Although it is unjust, he thought. But I will show him what a man can do and what a man endures.
”I told the boy I was a strange old man,” he said.
”Now is when I must prove it.”
The thousand times that he had proved it meant nothing. Now he was proving it again. Each time was a new time and he never thought about the past when he was doing it.
“If you’re not tired, fish,” he said aloud, ”you must be very strange.”
The old man’s head was clear and good now and he was full of resolution but he had little hope. It was too good to last, he thought.
“But man is not made for defeat,” he said. ”A man can be destroyed but not defeated.”
“You were born to be a fisherman as the fish was born to be a fish.”
“I killed him in self-defense,” the old man said aloud. ”And I killed him well.”
Besides, he thought, everything kills everything else in some way. Fishing kills me exactly as it keeps me alive. The boy keeps me alive, he thought. I must not deceive myself too much.”