In the morning there would be only ashes, and they would be swept away in the rain, and the wind. The tracks of sea birds might, too, like the thief’s brand, be found in the sand. Too, in time, they would wash away.

“Thurnock!” I cried.

As the chair was lifted, I looked once more to the northeast. The sky still glowed. I was not dissatisfied that I had set the beacon. It did not matter to me that few would see it. It did not matter to me that none would understand it. I myself did not know, truly, why it burned but it had seemed important to me to set it.

“Carry me to my cabin,” I said.

“Yes, Captain,” said Thurnock.

“It is a fair wind,” said one of the crewmen, as the door to my cabin shut. “That it is,” said Thurnock. “That it is.”

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