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Life of Pi (part 1 chapter 91)

2006-08-22 21:28

  CHAPTER   91

  I climbed aboard my brother's boat. With my hands I explored it. I found he had lied to me. He had a little turtle meat, a dorado head, and even-a supreme treat-some biscuit crumbs. And he had water. It all went into my mouth. I returned to my boat and released his.

  Crying as I had done did my eyes some good. The small window at the top left of my vision opened a crack. I rinsed my eyes with sea water. With every rinsing, the window opened further. My vision came back within two days.

  I saw such a vision that I nearly wished I had remained blind. His butchered, dismembered body lay on the floor of the boat. Richard Parker had amply supped on him, including on his face, so that I never saw who my brother was. His eviscerated torso, with its broken ribs curving up like the frame of a ship, looked like a miniature version of the lifeboat, such was its blood-drenched and horrifying state.

  I will confess that I caught one of his arms with the gaff and used his flesh as bait. I will further confess that, driven by the extremity of my need and the madness to which it pushed me, I ate some of his flesh. I mean small pieces, little strips that I meant for the gaff's hook that, when dried by the sun, looked like ordinary animal flesh. They slipped into my mouth nearly unnoticed. You must understand, my suffering was unremitting and he was already dead. I stopped as soon as I caught a fish.

  I pray for his soul every day.

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