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    “Well of course, being in our family, both girls knew how to work on the boats. Willie had just purchased his own boat and he needed a crew and hadn’t hired anyone so the girls were helping him out. And, he was paying them, of course.”

    “Both of them? Was Yllsa there when Yvonya was killed? How did it happen, anyway? Or is it too hard to talk about? I’m sorry if I’m prying too much yet again.”

    “Yllsa wasn’t there. They had just dropped her off at Peggy’s. Peggy had invited them all to dinner. Willie and Yvonya had already made other plans. Peggy insisted that Yllsa come anyway, along with Simon who arrived separately and she said she’d have the four of them over all at once another time. Of course, that never happened, since Yvonya was killed . . .” Ross trailed off.

    “Look, Dana, I’m late and my crew is waiting for me, I don’t have time right now. I’ll pick you up between seven-thirty and eight and take you to dinner.”


    Dana sat on a rock with her feet in the water. Her shirt was rolled up and tied under her breasts, even though her stomach was anything but flat. It was still hot. But the water was cold her feet were turning blue and getting numb.

    Ross had dropped her off on the spit of Little Hog Island while it was still dark and the tide was partly out. She had watched the terns wake, and spent the day making notes, photographs and sketches.

    The tide had come up, gone down, and was now coming up again. Now, it was getting dark and she was watching the terns go to sleep for the night.

    Soon, Ross would be arriving to pick her up and take her out to eat. Earlier, she’d eaten a breakfast turkey sandwich with lettuce and tomatoes and a similar lunch turkey sandwich and two apples. And taken lots of tern notes. Finally.

    Earlier in the week, Dana had started to wonder if she would ever get any research done, but now she'd done the equivalent of three days of work in a single day.

    Thinking about it irritated her slightly. It was not her preferred method of working. She would rather have had a leisurely breakfast, spend 3-4 hours taking notes, come back to camp for a swim and some reading time, and start over the next day. But she might have come at the same time every day and not noticed the differences in behavior with dawn and dusk. So she had to be grateful to Ross for suggesting the idea. Ross, after all, she reminded herself, had more experience at this than she did.

    It was too dark to see the terns now, but still desperately hot. She stripped down and waded into the cold water. She had just resurfaced when she saw an approaching light. She ran in, pulled her clothes crookedly onto her damp body and stood with her daypack full of gear at the docking cove waiting for Ross, but when the boat came closer, she saw in the faint bow light that it was not Ross at the helm.

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