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    The boat wailed past, whining and bouncing, circled around, and came back at them. Another boat bore down on them, careened wildly, yet aimed unerringly toward them. As both boats closed in on them, Dana realized Ross couldn’t possibly have heard her scream above the roar of the boats.

    The second boat also swerved at the last possible second. A woman’s eyes rolled white with shock and fear. The dark face looked like a mirror image to Dana. Then she knew—Ami.

    ‘Were Ami and Ross the ones who’d been rocking Peggy’s boat, throwing rocks through her window?” Dana wondered. ‘Could that be?’ She didn’t think so, but stranger things had happened.

    Ross circled, more slowly now, and pulled up beside the skiff. Ami followed, pulling up on the other side.

    “Oh, my God,” Ami said, her face looking blanched of all color, “We both almost hit you, I’m so sorry!”

    “Ami called to tell me that she had seen boats circling the Roseate and had seen a rock break a window. We were coming to try to help, and it never occurred to me that you’d be out in the skiff.”

    “Or me. I’m so sorry! Did you see who was circling you?” Ami asked.

    “No, we couldn’t see in the dark. Did you recognize the boat or boats?” Peggy asked. Then, “Do you make a habit of watching me? You must have been using binoculars!” Peggy said, sounding more than a little annoyed.

    “Ross had said you had Dana and there could be trouble and to keep an eye out.”

    “I thought Ross was busy with some family emergency,” Dana said, addressing not Ross, but Ami.

    “I told Peggy to tell you I’d explain later,” Ross said, sounding half apologetic and half angry.

    “I did tell her, but I can see why she might be concerned. This has been altogether too much excitement for me,” Peggy said, “Why don’t you take Dana and I’ll go back to the Roseate. If anyone wants to take up a collection for the Roseate’s window, poor thing, let me know.”

    Ross helped Dana into his boat and Peggy rowed rapidly away into the darkness toward the Roseate.

    “Why don’t you guys come over to my house for a drink and maybe spend the night?” Ami suggested.

    “I think I might like to just get my bike and my gear and head north to a quieter spot, if you’d just take me back to camp, Ross.”


    Links to the COWBIRD installments of my serial novel hopeful, Discovery at Little Hog Island. (These are only links to cowbird stories, nothing else.)

    To start at the beginning of this serial novel, go here: first installment
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