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    Ami leaped to her feet.

    "I should go, too. Would you mind staying here alone? If they think you are with Peggy, they might damage the Roseate more than they already have."

    "I'll come with you."

    "Not a good idea, take my word for it. Really."

    Ami was half out the door and Dana said, "Do you think they'd they'd actually hurt me?"

    "Not intentionally," Ami said, emphasizing intentionally, and a shadow crossed her face. Then she was gone.

    Dana watched Ross and his boat in the darkness as he sped back toward the Roseate. Two minutes later, Ami followed in her boat.

    A few minutes later, Dana dimly saw Ross and then Ami begin circling the Roseate in their boats. Motorboats, Dana thought. She was thinking about how prior to tonight, she had only seen Ross rowing. She'd never seen his motorboat before tonight and never seen his fishing boat at all. She was suddenly desperately curious.

    It looked, from Dana's vantage point, as if Ross and Ami had joined the others in tormenting Peggy, but perhaps they were just trying to speak to the tormentors or drive them away.

    The tiny black specks of the four boats whirled like angry black bees around the larger black shape of the roseate. Pinpoints of light shone from the Roseate’s window, but suddenly, they went dark. The little bees disappeared into the maw of the Roseate's shadow, and Dana could see them no more.

    She got up and paced. She wished she had night vision binoculars. Or any binoculars. She turned out the lights in the cabana and tried to see what was happening out at the Roseate, then, when she couldn't, she turned the lights back on and wandered around the cabin poking at things, opening drawers in the small tables, looking on the tiny mantle.

    Finally, she spotted a pair of small binoculars behind a pile of books on a small bookshelf. She snatched them, and thinking she could see better outside, dashed out onto the deck of the cabana, letting the screen door slam behind her.

    She held the binoculars up to her eye and leaned on the railing to steady herself. The railing wobbled. The binoculars were inexpensive, and she had to focus each eyepiece individually. They were completely out of focus.

    Finally, she brought the Roseate into view. Somehow, she could see it better as if there were more light outside the boat. As she tried to locate the four smaller boats, she felt a hand clamp down on her left arm.




    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
    This is a temporary illustration, as I have already created an illo for this story, but it is at home and I am on the road. The temporary illo is my version of a painting from Ljubljana, Slovenia.
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