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  • Discovery at Little Hog Island

    All current links for Little Hog Island installments

    Chapter 3, Part 6


    "Glenn grabbed for the kayak and looked around for Ami, but no Ami. Glenn started screaming for help, took a mouthful of water, and went under. Billy dove in and swam out there.

    "The rest of us followed. When we got there, Billy had a sputtering Glenn and shoved him at Garrett and went down again. The water there was deep and full of jagged rocks, like these.

    "Billy was gone so long we started worrying about him. Finally, he came up with Ami--he was dragging her by the hair. She was limp and blue. He got his arm around her and hauled her to shore. It was a feat of near superhuman strength, swimming with one arm with the distance and surf the way it was. He gave her mouth-to-mouth. She had blood on her face and was a while--a long while--coming around.

    "When she did come around, she threw up on him.

    "We'd made it into shore with the kayak. Glenn seemed to be okay, a bit disoriented. There were no cell phones back then--as you know--so we loaded Ami in the dingy. Billy held her and I rowed us back. Glenn and Garrett came in the kayak and we went to Samson's bait shop, near where we left our bikes, and they took all five of us to the hospital. They said Ami would have died. Billy Owens saved her life.

    "Ami had hit her head on a rock. It knocked her out. She had a big gash and had to have stitches.

    "They said she was probably essentially dead when Billy hauled her up. But the water so cold--you know--the water always cold up here, but it was spring, and really cold--that she wouldn't suffer much brain damage. And she didn't. She was still smart as a whip.

    "But something changed. Ami wasn't quite as wild and crazy as she used to be, after that. She was still fun, and funny, but . . . I don't know, a little different. We could all feel it, but we couldn't put our finger on it. It was only the first change. The first of several.

    "Glenn was in love with Ami, but Ami had never showed him any special interest. It had been a coincidence that she'd ridden out in the kayak with him. She'd just come along at the right time. She went on a lark.

    "After the swamping and the rescue, Ami kind of withdrew for a few days. She came to school, but never spoke. She seemed to gravitate toward Billy. We'd see them together in the library or at the five and dime. Not holding hands or anything, just sort of staring at each other.

    Meanwhile, we were going out to Little Hog Island every day, taking notes, taking pictures.

    "Ami said she wanted to come out again, bring her friends. She hadn't smiled since the day she almost drowned, now she did. We said yes, of course. But we were scared."

    "Why were you scared?"

    "Brigand and his pals were dropping hints of an attack. We didn’t want another swamping. The waters were dangerous there. Undertows. Rocks, strong tides.

    "We'd all lost something that day. Not our innocence, exactly, but our fearlessness, our sense of immortality was gone. Shattered. We'd seen Ami, seen her blue and not breathing and not responding for so long to Billy’s mouth-to-mouth. We'd seen Glenn go down. We'd seen the rocks and waves in a new way. Our whole lives changed subtly along with Ami's.

    "The grownups were worried too; our parents, the teachers, even Phip, and that didn't help. They kept warning us every little while to be careful. We kept looking around, over our shoulders for Finley and Brigand. It was like a gathering storm, like something was going to break."


    1)This is a portion (part 6) of chapter 3 of my serial novel hopeful, Discovery at Little Hog Island. Find links at the top and below to other parts of the novel.
    2)The illustration is a photograph of a Bait Shop I took in Maine. The trucks are the wrong vintage, since I took it somewhat recently.
    3)Part 1: Chapter I part 1,
    4)Most recent previous part, part 18: Chapter 3, part 5: Chapter 3, Section 5 (18)
    5)Part 20 (the next installment after this one): (not written or posted yet, will hopefully add here later.)
    6)Links to all the parts that have been published on Cowbird so far: All current links for Cowbird's Little Hog Island installments
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