The Helmsman

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"Am I not the helmsman?" I cried? "You?" asked a tall dark man and passed his hand over his eyes, as if to banish a dream. I was standing at the helm in the dark night, the weak-burning lantern over my head and now this man had come and wanted to brush me aside.

And as I would not give, he set his foot on my chest and trampled me slowly down, while I continued to cling to the spokes of the ship's wheel and falling down, pulled it all the way around. But the man grabbed it and brought it back around; me, however, he pushed away. I came to myself soon, walked to the hatch which led to the cabin and cried: "Men! Comrades! Come quickly! A stranger has deposed me from the wheel!" They came slowly, climbing up the ship's ladder, swaying tired powerful figures. "Am I the helmsman?" I asked". They nodded, but only had eyes for the stranger, stood in a semi-circle about him and as he commandingly said "Don't disturb me", they gathered themselves, nodded to me and moved again down the ship's ladder. What sort of people are these? Do they think at all or do they merely shuffle thoughtlessly over the Earth?