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Chapter 82
I kept rainwater and the water I collected from the solarstills in the locker, out of Richard Parker's sight, in the three50-litre plastic bags. I sealed them with string. Those plasticbags wouldn't have been more precious to me had theycontained gold, sapphires, rubies and diamonds. I worriedincessantly about them. My worst nightmare was that I wouldopen the locker one morning and find that all three had spilledor, worse still, had split. To forestall such a tragedy, I wrappedthem in blankets to keep them from rubbing against the metalhull of the lifeboat, and I moved them as little as possible toreduce wear and tear. But I fretted over the necks of thebags. Would the string not wear them thin? How would I sealthe bags if their necks were torn?
When the going was good, when the rain was torrential,when the bags had as much water as I thought they couldtake, I filled the bailing cups, the two plastic buckets, the twomulti-purpose plastic containers, the three beakers and theempty cans of water (which I now preciously kept). Next Ifilled all the plastic vomit bags, sealing them by twisting themshut and making a knot. After that, if the rain was still comingdown, I used myself as a container. I stuck the end of therain-catcher tube in my mouth and I drank and I drank and Idrank.
I always added a little sea water to Richard Parker's freshwate............
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