Thursday, July 10, 2003

Chap 12, part 6

Jimmy Reynolds lay prone in the raft. He was preciously near the finish. His eyes had sunk an inch and a half into his skull. His resemblance to a death's head was startling. Jimmy's normal weight is 130 pounds. He weighed 90 a few days later when Navy doctors got to him.

The poor kid exhibited the finest spirit I have ever seen. Though he could hardly lift himself, he kept saying: "I feel all right; just tired. I'll get up in a minute and help you, Jim."

During that long row to the island Jimmy lay down against the gunwale behind me and with the flare shell dipped water which he poured on the back of my head and neck after the heat began to bear down after 10 o'clock. Without it I might have collapsed.

We had calculated to get in about noon and I was encouraged by the good time I made. Just before 12 o'clock we had reached a point less than 250 yards from the shore. I had opened my mouth to tell Johnny and Jimmy to start ordering their dinners. Then something happened.

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