Thursday, June 16, 2005

Discovery at Little Hog Island, Part 46

Part 1, Part 45

“Billy Owens. All three of them, and Buck, don’t want you raising Billy Owens from the grave.”

“That’s it? That’s all? Because of all the Billy Owens offspring? Everyone must know about it by now.”

The boat rocked and swayed violently. Another boat circled fiercely, swept by a few feet away and then sped off. There was a clunk on the wall beside the window. “They missed, the fools, they’re probably drunk,” Peggy said.

They went out on deck and picked up another object that was swaying precariously on the edge, about to slide in. “GET RID OF THE INTERLOPER!” It said, in even larger letters, “OR ELSE.”

“Or else what?” Dana asked. “Should I leave? You know, there are other islands with Roseate tern populations. I have a map. I could easily go somewhere else.”

Peggy swept up the glass shards and taped Saran Wrap over the hole in the window. She made them another green drink. “I don’t want to sound like a wimp or a naysayer,” she finally answered, “but if I were you I would carefully consider the peace and serenity it might bring you to do your tern research at some other location. I don’t think you’re in any real danger, but this can’t be much fun for you.”

“It’s not,” Dana said. “I’m curious-er and curious-er, but I have limited time and need to get my project done. If you are willing to take me back to camp, I think I will pack up tonight and head north.”

They hadn’t rowed more than a hundred yards toward shore when they saw a boat coming, bearing straight down on them, fast.

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