It was getting into the afternoon and the boat still moved slowly and steadily.
But there was an added drag now from the easterly breeze and the old man rode gently with the small sea and the hurt of the cord across his back came to him easily and smoothly.
Once in the afternoon the line started to rise again.
But the fish only continued to swim at a slightly higher level.
The sun was on the old man's left arm and shoulder and on his back.
So he knew the fish had turned east of north.
Now that he had seen him once, he could picture the fish swimming in the water with his purple pectoral fins set wide as wings and the great erect tail slicing through the dark.
I wonder how much he sees at that depth, the old man thought.
His eye is huge and a horse, with much less eye, can see in the dark.
Once I could see quite well in the dark.
Not in the absolute dark.
But almost as a cat sees.
The sun and his steady movement of his fingers had uncramped his left hand now completely and he began to shift more of the strain to it and he shrugged the muscles of his back to shift the hurt of the cord a little.
"If you're not tired, fish," he said aloud, "you must be very strange."
He felt very tired now and he knew the night would come soon and he tried to think of other things.
He thought of the Big Leagues and he knew that the Yankees of New York were playing the Tigers of Detroit.
This is the second day now that I do not know the result, he thought.
But I must have confidence and I must be worthy of the great DiMaggio who does all things perfectly even with the pain of the bone spur in his heel.
What is a bone spur?
He asked himself.
We do not have them.
Can it be as painful as the spur of a fighting cock in one's heel?
I do not think I could endure that or the loss of the eye and of both eyes and continue to fight as the fighting cocks do.
Man is not much beside the great birds and beasts.
Still I would rather be that beast down there in the darkness of the sea.
"Unless sharks come," he said aloud.
"If sharks come, God pity him and me."
Do you believe the great DiMaggio would stay with a fish as long as I will stay with this one? He thought.
I am sure he would and more since he is young and strong.
Also his father was a fisherman.
But would the bone spur hurt him too much?
"I do not know," he said aloud.
"I never had a bone spur."
But his left hand had always been a traitor and would not do what he called on it to do and he did not trust it.
The sun will bake it out well now, he thought.
It should not cramp on me again unless it gets too cold in the night.
I wonder what this night will bring.