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No voice answered him.
He looked down. All their heads were under water. They had let themselves be drowned on their knees.
The doctor took in his right hand the flask which he had placed on the companion, and raised it above his head.
The wreck was going down. As he sank, the doctor murmured the rest of the prayer.
For an instant his shoulders were above water, then his head, then nothing remained but his arm holding up the flask, as if he were showing it to the Infinite.
His arm disappeared; there was no greater fold on the deep sea than there would have been on a tun of oil. The snow continued falling.
One thing floated, and was carried by the waves into the darkness. It was the tarred flask, kept afloat by its osier cover.
BOOK THE THIRD.
_THE CHILD IN THE SHADOW_.