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I couldn't help it. I don't know what's wrong with me. I have little
lights or something in my eyes. I can't see you very good."
got a headache or anything?"
and I never get headaches. You know, Johnny, I can't believe it
happened. It was just a regular set, you know?"
was a regular set. Johnny was up in the mast with the glasses on
the fish. There was a light swell and a little wind. "Looks like
40 or 50 tons," he yelled down to Anton.
nodded, went back to the wheel and brought the boat around. "Let
her go!" he yelled, and the skiff and the net were on their way.
They circled, closed up quickly and began to purse. It was an easy
set, routine. They had the fish; it was just a matter of getting
them on board. When they finished pursing, the back of the net was
brought in, and the fish were dried up in the bunt. They were ready
to start brailing.
swung the boom into place and got the brailer hooked up. Raul brought
the skiff around to hold the net open, and the brailer was lowered
and forced into the fish. "OK, up!" Tony yelled, and the brailer
rose out of the net with tons of bluefin inside, seawater pouring
out. The rigging strained under the load. The winch kept turning.
The brailer lifted higher and higher. Then, with a popping sound,
the boom's topping block flew apart and the boom fell to the deck.
It had been a routine set, but then, with no warning, death lay
in front of Raul, staring at him from the guard. No blood, no torn
flesh, no painful sounds, but no life. Tony was gone. Raul threw
get the boom up! Anton Anton!" someone yelled. Anton stepped out
onto the bridge wing, a slice of apple in his hand. Frantic calls:
"Watch the net!" "Let the breast line go!" "Maybe there's a doctor
on Guadalupe!" "Raul, come and talk on the radio, we need someone
who speaks Spanish." "Dump the fish, hurry!"