1927. Begins: The steamer moved upriver at half-speed, and the sounds of life fell with the sun. The shores grew blurred. The quiet was the dusk. The ship itself was hushed, and her men about their duties appeared at a task spectrally, out of nowhere. She might have been trying to reach her destination unobserved. The tired air spilling over the steamer's bows hardly reached the bridge. The bridge caught the last of the light, and a trace of anger that flushed the murk banked in the west, to which the ship was moving, was reflected in the face of an officer there, and gave him the distinction of a being exalted and stern. He was superior, and seemed to be brooding down over some passengers sitting in a group on the indistinct foredeck. They were murmuring in conversation, with a child asleep on a shawl beside one of the chairs.
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