when once, through my treachery

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Español, Venezuela
Hi there, I don't get the underlined phrase at all, especially when once, could you help me understand it? It doesn't make sense to me:confused:, given the context (his talking about a Marlin):

“I wish the boy was here,” he said aloud and settled himself against the rounded planks of the bow and felt the strength of the great fish through the line he held across his shoulders moving steadily toward whatever he had chosen.

When once, through my treachery, it had been necessary to him to make a choice, the old man thought.

His choice had been to stay in the deep dark water far out beyond all snares and traps and treacheries. My choice was to go there to find him beyond all people.

The Old Man and the Sea
by Ernest Hemingway

Thank you.
Last edited:
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    The old man is thinking about one time --"when once" -- when the old man's treachery forced the boy to make a choice.
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