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214
THE CRASHAW BROTHERS

Durant slackened the stroke while he and all his crew gazed at the St. John’s boat drifting astern. The St. John’s crew were resting on their oars, all but the stroke, who had collapsed utterly and seemed to have fallen forward almost against the coxswain.

“He’s a dead one!” screamed Gardner in his juvenile jubilation; he was only a Third Former after all. “He’s passed away! He’s all in!”

“Shut up!” commanded Durant savagely. “Have n’t you any sense?”

Gardner subsided, with a stricken glance at Edward; for the time being he had forgotten entirely who the St. John’s stroke was. Edward had been slow to take in all the disaster to his brother; it had for the moment stupefied him. Now he rowed mechanically, and suddenly his eyes filled with tears. Poor Charles! To have a thing like that happen! After all his brilliant record at St. John’s, to finish off with this!

With what? A sudden appalling thought cleft Edward to the soul. Charles was huddled