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As she took up the mike, Cassie worried that she might be about to make a fool of herself. It was one thing to lecture on food chains and ecological niches before a class of Tarrytown sophomores and quite another to critique the cosmos before a mob of hardened and depressed merchant sailors. "In all of Scripture," she began, "it is perhaps the ordeal of Job that best allows me to articulate how rationalists such as myself feel about our cargo." Swallowing a frigid mouthful of air, she glanced down at the wharf....

"Job, you may recall, demanded to know the reason for his terrible losses — possessions, family, health — whereupon the Whirlwind appeared and explained that justice for one mere individual was not the point." She leaned the Bible's spine against the rail and opened it near the middle. "Where were you when I laid the earth's foundations? God asks, rhetorically. What supports its pillars at their bases? Who pent up the sea behind closed doors when it leapt tumultuous out of the womb?" She extended her right mitten, indicating the frozen hippopotamus. "Now think of Behemoth," she said, still quoting God. "What strength he has in his loins, what powe