"North" by Joseph Fick

Chapter 61 The Death of Peter p598~600

Mason stared at the body of their companion and
diverted his eyes to the bright snow. Peter was dead. A
combination of his wounds from Keelut and the scurvy.
Dunn held Hollister. The reporter still couldn’t see.
“Is Peter dead?” asked Hollister.
“Yes, Jack. He’s passed on,” said Dunn as gently as he
could.
Hollister sighed and slightly sagged against Dunn who
was near him. “Always good men, always good men die.”
Dunn could detect a trace of fatalism in the newsman’s
voice.
“Hey Jack,” said Dunn. He understood the man’s
anguish. Death among them most was difficult. Among
people such as them it was always hard. “Peter’s dead.
We can’t change that.”
“And Goodman and Wacha and how many others?” said
Hollister with said some bitterness.
Dunn could understand the man. “Jack, we’re gonna
get back, really we are.”
Mason pulled Peter’s body off the sled and started
piling snow over it. In time his body would fall into the
ice cold sea. Eventually the sea would claim him and he
would be gone, there would be nothing left except a
limited memory and in time… that would be gone. The
cycle of life. After he finished covering the body he stood
up and folded his hands in front of himself. Dunn
staggered forward pulling the staggering Hollister with
him to pay their last respects.
“Lord… God,” said Mason with a slight weave in his
stance. He struggled to remember some appropriate
words “Take our departed friend Peter into your Holy
sanctuary and Grace…” He wanted to say more but… he
really didn’t know what to say. “Amen.”
“Amen,” said both men. Now there were only three of
them. Dunn helped the blind Hollister to the sled and did
his best to make him comfortable. Afterwards, he walked
over to Mason.
“Ellesmere Island, it’s out of the question,” said Dunn.
Mason nodded, “I know.”
Dunn scratched his head. “The SHY LADY will be gone
Jon, what’ll we do?”
Mason shrugged his shoulders. “Best we can, I reckon.
We’ll try and head back to Greenland. I can’t really see
any other option.”
Dunn sucked in some air. “If we get stuck on a floe…”
“It’s the only alternative we have, right now!” snapped
Mason.
Dunn nodded, “We might as well get going, Captain.”
Mason nodded his head and the two men walked back to
the sled and a very uncertain future.

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