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  1. April 1989 Southport, Maine Someone had told her once that the red house had withstood years of abuse from the gales and never faltered because it had good bones. But the house that fishermen looked to as a landmark in the fog was now a beacon of neglect. Galene stopped at the front door and scraped her fingernails along the siding. Red paint peeled off in shards. At least she’d had the roof replaced last year. She tussled with the finicky lock and cringed as the door creaked open in protest. The air inside smelled like must. Furniture covered in white cloth. Dust motes dancing. A memory tugged at her. She shook it off. The large windows in the parlor stretched across the room, affording views of both Sheepscot Bay and the ocean beyond where a flock of gulls soared on an updraft, monitoring the water below for prey. A few landed on the granite ledge overlooking the bay. They still nest there, she thought. All these years and they still know to come home. There wasn’t time to linger over memories though. She needed to find her journal that she’d stashed years ago. A flight of steps led her to the attic and a flip of the switch bathed the room in a muted yellow glow. She yelped at the sight of the dress mannequin in front of the only window in the room. At first, she thought it was a real person. No. Just a ghost standing watch over the scattered remains of the people who once inhabited this house and didn’t take the time to clean up their mess. The chest was on the floor next to the mannequin. She unlocked it with a key, yanked it open, and the first thing she saw was the silk dress she’d retrofitted when she was seventeen. For him. She pulled the dress out of the tissue paper she’d wrapped it in, examining it in the natural light. Surprisingly, there were no moth holes. Standing up, she draped it over the mannequin where she had first discovered it, falling in love with the fabric’s silky embrace. Oh God, don’t do this to yourself. Move on. Find the damn journal and get the hell out of here. She returned to the chest. On top of a Montgomery Ward box that held her wedding dress was the trilogy of the sea by Rachel Carson. They belonged to her dad, and she read them to him almost every night until they had both read all three books at least twice, memorizing entire passages. Her eyes pooled, and she wiped at them with the back of her sleeve, getting mascara on it. She took the books out, set them aside, and rummaged around the bottom of the trunk until she felt the leather-bound journal. Lifting it out of the chest, she swung around, startled by a sharp bark. A yellow lab bounded up the stairs, its claws scratching the wooded steps, and sprinted directly at her, almost knocking her over. “Sit!” she said, grabbing for the collar as the dog licked the back of her hands and wagged its tail. “Sit, Beebee.” “There you are. Didn’t you hear me calling you?” Sasha stood in the doorway, hands planted on her hips. Arms akimbo. Galene let go of the collar and pulled the journal to her chest. “Jeesh, Sasha. Beebee scared the hell out of me.” Sasha stepped into the light. Her curly black hair now white, her blue eyes just as vivid as they’d always been. “BeeBee, come.” She motioned for her dog. “What are you doing up here?” “How’d you know I was here?” “I was walking BeeBee and saw a car with out-of-state plates and…you know you left the door wide open to the house?” She strode across the room and embraced Galene. “Why didn’t you tell anyone when you were getting in? We could’ve picked you up at the airport.” “I didn’t want to put anyone out, so I rented a car.” Sasha stepped away from her and poked at the journal. “Found your old diary?” Her dark brows slanted. “I remember that thing. You were always writing in it. Look, if there’s anything about me in there that my kids shouldn’t know about I suggest you burn it.” “It’s about me. Not you. And don’t worry. I won’t let it get into the wrong hands. I just want to read it again. I stopped by the house to find it. Thought it might jog my memory about the summer I worked for Rachel Carson. I need to think of what I’m going to say at the memorial.” Sasha rolled her eyes. “I know. That’s all everyone around here is talking about.” There’s not much else to talk about on this island besides other people’s business and the latest catch, Galene thought. But didn’t say out loud. “Where are you staying?” Sasha continued. “I got a room at Newagen.” “Lucky you. I hear they’re booked solid. You’ll be hobnobbing with all the bigwigs. The Governor is staying there as well. You sure you’re ready for this? There’s going to be a huge crowd.” “I lecture to a room of over a hundred students every week. I think I can handle it.” Sasha swiped a piece of hair away from her eyes. Galene recognized the dark red nail polish on her fingernails, chipping off like the paint on the house. “Oh, my God! Is that the dress you wore to the boat club party years ago? You kept it?” Sasha took a handful of the fabric in her hand. “I always loved this dress.” Galene stopped herself from telling Sasha to leave it alone because she didn’t want to come across as unkind in the short time she had here. “I’m only here for a few days,” she said to change the subject. “I’ve got to get back for finals week.” Sasha’s dreamy gaze remained on the dress. A smile formed on her lips, most likely remembering a time when they were both young and determined to makes something of their lives. A passing thought, a disturbing memory perhaps, caused Sasha to chomp down on her lower lip. She turned her attention to Galene. “Why’d you keep it?” “I don’t know,” Galene said as she choked back tears. Damn it, Sasha. Leave it alone. Maybe Sasha noticed the raspiness in Galene’s voice, because she let go and stepped away from the mannequin. Galene headed toward the stairs, Sasha right behind like a collie nipping at her heels. “Come on BeeBee,” Sasha called, and the lab barreled past them, almost knocking Galene over. “Do you know what you’re going to say at the memorial?” “I’ll figure it out.” They ended up in the parlor surrounded by white drop cloths, layers of dust on the mantel, and a fireplace that hadn’t felt the lick of flames in ten years. Maybe coming here was a bad idea. She’d given up on the place. Stopped renting it out because she didn’t feel like hearing renters complain about the lack of water pressure or the broken slats on the deck. She only did the bare minimum for upkeep, as was evident by the peeling exterior. Her brother kept telling her to sell it. The value of coastal property had quadrupled since her father-in-law bought the place in the 1960s. Sasha hugged her unexpectedly, and the warmth of it settled her. “I know it’s difficult for you to make the trip back. But I’ve really missed you.” “I’ve missed you too, Sasha.” “Then why don’t you plan to stay longer?” “I can’t.” “Then come back when the semester ends. Fix this place up. Have you forgotten how nice the summers are here?” “It’s hard not to,” Galene said. “Don’t take it personally. I’m usually tied down by my research.” She failed to mention that her summer stipend hadn’t come through. The funders were rethinking their commitment to her work studying the impacts of global warming on the marine life in the Salish Sea. “I’ve never taken it personally. But for the life of me, I can’t figure out why you made a pit stop to this place to find a twenty-five-year-old diary so you can reminisce.” Galene clutched the leather journal closer and stalked outside to the car. “It’s not reminiscing. It’s research.” She stepped into the car and shut the door. Sasha rested her elbows at the window as Galene put the car into gear. “Sure it is.” *** Her attention drifted to the murmuration over the fir trees dotting the coast. High above the audience on the lawn, the starlings were putting on their own choreographed show. The surf muffled their song, but she knew they were communicating to each other. How else could they accomplish these aerial theatrics?. They alighted en masse onto the branches of a tree, and on cue, pitched back into the air, circling, fanning, creating waves of black smoke along the horizon. From her viewpoint on the deck at the Inn, she imagined they were harassing the hawk waiting restlessly in the tree. He finally gave up and flew away. “…am happy to introduce one of our hometown heroes to the environmental cause, Dr. Galene MacGregor.” The clapping brought her back to the stage, to the event, to the people on the lawn waiting for her to speak. With a nod and a smile she took her place at the podium and focused on the audience. She’d learned long ago to keep her attention on the last row, a trick mastered when she felt seasick on a boat. Keep steady. Not that she felt seasick, but a feeling had crawled up her arms, tingled the back of her head, made her brain buzz. She couldn’t pinpoint it. Clearing her throat, she unfolded her notes and found them unacceptable. All of the lectures in the world hadn’t prepared her for this. The crowd waited expectantly for her to speak. The blood drained from her head, their faces went blurry. Was she about to faint? “Uhm. Do you need a moment?” the last speaker, the mayor of Booth Bay, whispered in her ear. Shaking her head to bring back some energy she said, “I’ll be all right.” Someone handed her a glass of water. She took two gulps, faced the crowd, and spotted her brother, Sam, in the front row next to Sasha. Galene spoke, “The other speakers here have spoken about Rachel Carson’s influence. Her message to us all about the perils of neglecting the natural world. And she’ll always be memorialized for that. But my memory of Miss Carson is of a warm, caring, private friend. She became my mentor when I desperately needed one.” Galene locked eyes with her brother to register his reaction. Noting none, she continued. “My mother died when I was young and the summer I met Rachel my entire world changed. Growing up on a small island, one doesn’t realize the vast opportunities that lay beyond the shore. Cloistered. I recall using that word about my life.” A few people chuckled, and she imagined it was one of her many cousins who were in the audience. “But Rachel made me recognize the potential I had when women like her, especially women scientists, were not taken seriously. Her critics, called her all sorts of names: spinster, hysterical, a mystic instead of a person of science. Through it all, she held her head high and showed true grace. Because she knew. She knew she was dying. And no one could take away her fortitude, her belief that as part of nature, it was up to nature to decide when her time came. As she told her best friend, Dorothy Freeman in one of her letters, reminiscing about a time she and Dorothy sat right here and watched a migration of monarchs over the lawn where you now sit, ‘…we felt no sadness when we spoke of the fact that there would be no return. And rightly—for when any living thing has come to the end of its life cycle, we accept that end as natural.’ “She was a keen observer. Her trilogy of the sea is a poetic account of the life cycle on the variety of species who rely on the ocean. I think she’d like most to be remembered not as the woman who catalyzed the environmental movement. But a biographer of the sea. Because it was here, by the ocean, she was happiest.” The applause died down, she regained her composure to allow a wide smile to break across her face, took another gulp of the water, and sat. The master of ceremonies announced a cocktail hour followed by dinner for those guests that had reserved tickets (tickets had cost three hundred a person and Galene doubted Sam or Sasha had forked out the money for a lobster bake when it was their lobster catch everyone was going to be eating). People came up to the deck and wandered inside when the breeze picked up and a chill descended. As she followed the crowd into the bar, Sam took her by her elbow. “Hey.” He kissed her lightly on the cheek. “We’re not staying.” “I didn’t think you would be.” “Come to dinner before you leave?” “Sure. I’m here until Tuesday.” His hair was still the same tawny brown, flecked with gray at the temples. His expression hopeful as he said, “Call us?” “Yes. I’ll call in the morning.” Sasha came up to say goodbye just as a man strode up and said, “Galene.” She did a double take. Although they were inside, he hadn’t taken off his black-framed wayfarer sunglasses, the type that were popular in the sixties and were making a comeback with celebrities. He lifted them onto his head and her heart caught in her throat. It was him. “James?” It came out as a croak. “James?” Sasha took the familiar stance of hands planted on hips. “Oh. My. God.” Galene widened her eyes at Sasha, communicating without saying, shut the hell up. And go away. “James, you remember my good friend Sasha?” He grinned, the corners of his eyes wrinkling like they always did, making him appear cheerful. “Of course.” His hair, once a deep brown, was now totally gray. His face had turned jowly, one reason she hadn’t recognized him when he took his seat on the lawn. That and his padded middle. No wonder she had felt unsettled before speaking. She’d seen him without recognizing him right away. He’d always been so chiseled. And without the bronze summer tan she remembered from their youth, he appeared—doughy. Galene hoped Sasha recognized her pleading expression after all of these years. “Sasha, so glad you came today. I’ll see you tomorrow? I know you have to go.” “Yes. So right. See you tomorrow. Goodbye, James.” And Sasha parted, leaving Galene to face the guy, now a man, she’d loathed for half of her life. “My company donated a lot of money to the Nature Conservancy for the upkeep of her preserve,” he said to explain his presence. The Rachel Carson Salt Pond Preserve in New Harbor was one of many memorials. “That’s nice,” Galene said, sounding as if her tongue had swelled to twice its size. He coughed into the back of his wrist. “I…uh…would you like a drink?” “Yes. A Chablis please.” She watched him make his way to the bar. As he did, a few people patted his shoulder, spoke into his ear. He threw his head back and laughed at a joke someone told him. Who were these people and how did he know them? Why was he here? He came back, handed her a glass, and as if on cue said, “When I heard you were speaking, I knew I had to come. We spent a lot of time in those tidal pools. You me and Trevor.” His eyes skimmed over the top of his tumbler of bourbon to meet hers. Ice tinkled in the glass as he sipped. “How is Trevor?” His face changed. “Trevor died in Vietnam.” “Oh, I’m so sorry. He was such a good spirited kid.” “Mother was crushed. She never recovered.” “That’s terrible.” It surprised Galene he talked about his mother with no note of bitterness in his voice. Losing Trevor must have been the end of what was left of their miserable family life. He put on a smile. “You look the same. And I hear you’re doing wonderful work out at the University of Washington is it?” “Yes.” “Still tramping around in the seaweed?” “Kelp beds. I study the impact of warming ocean temperatures on the kelp beds.” “Ahh…that global warming stuff. You take that seriously?” She bit her tongue. Took a long draw of her wine. “Well,” he continued, “I always knew you’d do something with yourself.” “Really?” She wanted so desperately to remind him of their last conversation, where he told her she’d move to Boston to be with him. “Did you ever get into Harvard?” She hoped this was a dagger that would ward him off. Send him scurrying. “Haha. That’s a long story. I own a company now. Real estate.” “Good for you.” His eyes grazed over her figure. “Get back home much?” “Rarely, I’m sorry to say.” She wasn’t, but it felt like she was supposed to say this. “Is this your first time back here since…?” She couldn’t bring herself to say what should come next. The awful summer of 1962 that had started out so sweet and ended up so tragic. Though out of tragedy she had love. He shook his head and puckered his lips. “No. But that’s probably going to change.” “There you are.” A young woman, Galene guessed was in her late twenties, came up to them and slid her arm into his. He patted the back of her hand. “Galene, meet my wife, Violet.” “Nice to meet you.” “You as well. You gave a wonderful speech.” Violet smiled politely, looked around as if finding Galene non-threatening, and not worth the effort. “Look at this crowd! Everyone is here.” She sounded like a chirping chickadee. “Hey, I just saw Farrah by the bar. I’ll be right back.” And she took off. “You were saying?” Galene said, trying to keep her expression neutral. Inside, she wanted to scream. He raked his free hand through his thick, wavy hair as his gaze followed his wife sashaying to the bar through a thick crowd of people. After taking the last swig of his drink, he puckered his lips and said, “I’m planning to buy the red house. The one my dad owned way back when we first met.” Galene dropped her glass, and it shattered, wine coating the floor, slithering around her feet. Everyone’s attention turned to them and a hush fell across the room. She felt like she was under a microscope. A server scurried over with a rag, wiping up around her shoes. “I’m so sorry,” Galene stammered. “Are you okay?” He was actually concerned for her. “I’ll be fine. I just need to sit,” she said. He took hold of her by the waist and guided her to a chair in the lounge by the fireplace. People gave her a wide berth as they passed. She inhaled and stared into the flames, afraid to look him in the eyes. “It’s probably jet lag,” he said. “Yes.” “I’ll stay with you until you feel better.” “It’s fine. Don’t worry. I have a room upstairs. I think I’ll go lay down.” “Wonderful. Then I’ll see you again.” “What do you mean?” “We’re staying here too.” Galene Early Spring 1962 Southport, Maine There’s gray, and there’s black and white. Gray times are those when you make concessions to survive. Black and white times are when you won’t. Today is gray. A fox got into the coop last night, chased the hens off their nests and ate the eggs. Dad doesn’t know yet. My brother Sam forgot to close up the coop before he went out, and I don’t want to give our dad another reason to be mad at him. So, I’m off to find gull eggs. The temperature was arctic last night, but as dawn creeps over the horizon, it provides a glimpse of warmer weather. The heat builds with the rising sun, coursing through my limbs, my face, my breath, as I venture out onto the rocky shore, slick with sea spray and small pools of water reflecting the silvery dawn mist. The herring gulls, with their muted gray wings, are less aggressive than the black backed, and smaller, so I start with their nests. I throw a pocket-sized rock to shoo a gull from her nest and snatch an egg before she can pierce my hand with her beak. It’s warm from her incubating and a wave of guilt washes over me briefly before I place it in the wicker basket. We need to eat. The indignant bird has a partner who joins her, circling in the air above my head. I move to another nest. Alert, this pair torpedoes my feet with their bills. I dodge their attacks as best I can, and they peck at my rubber boots like a small hammer. They’re in a frenzy now and my luck will run out soon if I don’t hurry. I’m able to take four more eggs before being chased off by one of them nipping at my hair. Their squawking protests echo as I run away. The things we do. If Sam had closed the coop, I wouldn’t be here wanting to screech back at the birds. “Sorry, you can always lay another one, but we’ve got to eat.” A few pairs of black-backed gulls have nests on the farthest ridge. As I approach, they flap their wings. One lifts its beak, opens wide and screams. I remind myself that their protective instincts aren’t half as bad now as they will be once the chicks hatch. When I was the height of Sam’s knees, he took me out on this ledge to see the chicks, warning me to stay away from the nests. I may have gotten too close, or not have paid attention to his warning. A pair of black-backs rose in the air above us, dropping an enormous plop of white and green slimy mess on my head. Sam laughed while I cried. I approach with caution. A gull pulls out of her nest, runs right at me, her wings unfolding and flapping like a red flag to the flock. There are gray and there are black and white moments. I just washed my hair last night. This is a black and white moment. I back off, turn, and stumble over a small boy. “What’re you doing?” he asks. From his small stature I guess he’s too young to know much of anything. “I’m collecting gull eggs,” I say, pulling the basket to my chest. “Who are you?” “Why?” Searching the sea behind him for answers, pointing at the gulls dipping into the waves. “They eat the fish. The fishermen pay me. To control the population.” “What fish?” “Herring. That’s why they’re called herring gulls.” He’s wearing a pair of un-scuffed Buster Brown shoes, a white button-down shirt, gray flannel pants, and a jacket. And from the sound of his accent I’d say he’s from away. “You’re going to dirty those,” I say. He shrugs and smears the toe of his shoe against a rock. “I don’t care.” “What’s your name?” “Trevor.” “How old are you?” “Nine.” “Where are you from?” “Boston.” It surprises me his accent doesn’t give that away. “What’re you doing here?” He gestures to the red house looming on an outcrop of rock at the end of the island. “My dad just bought that house. We’re staying there for the summer.” The locals call it the red house because of the brilliant red paint job. Though it’s actually owned by the Hemburly family. Or it was. Old lady Hemburly died a few years ago and her nephew inherited it but he lives in Texas and rarely comes back to Maine. Built a century ago when sheep grazed, the land is now flanked by fir and spruce. There’s a ribbon of stone wall embedded in the forest of trees. I haven’t been in the house since I was a little girl and I recall that the inside of the house was run down. So was Mrs. Hemburly. And I remember the views in the main parlor where she sat in an old velvet chair with views of the ocean on one end of the room, and Sheepscot Bay at the other. I set my basket of eggs down and put out my hand. “Well, nice to meet you. My name is Galene.” He puts his small hand in mine. It’s smooth and warm like the eggs. “What kind of name is Galene?” If he weren’t so young, his bluntness would be annoying. However, it’s not the first time someone has asked me that. My father named me after the Greek goddess. “It means calm seas.” “Oh.” He scratches his head and we both hear someone call, “Trevor!” In the distance, a young man stands on a boulder, cupping his mouth to the breeze. “That’s my brother James. I need to go now. Nice to meet you, Galene.” “Nice to meet you too, Trevor.” He pivots, runs toward his brother, and when he reaches him, points back in my direction. I pick up my basket and head back home. When I reach the road, a Cadillac comes out of the driveway of the red house. Trevor and his brother James are in the back seat. James’ dark eyes assess me under the rim of a tweed cap. I trip on a small rock and he turns away just as I find my balance. Trevor puts his face to the back window, flapping his hand. I wave back before James grabs him by the collar and pulls him into his seat. *** It’s a short walk past the red house to mine at the end of the road. Our Labrador, Candy, flops on the ground, languidly guarding the hen coop. “Too late,” I tell her. Her ears prick up, but she doesn’t even bother lifting her head as a fly buzzes around her nose. Green tufts of grass and dandelion greens peek out from under the melting remnants of a late spring snow along the side of the barn. The air smells like warm earth and salt. It’s the kind of day to open the windows. I pick some dandelion greens for breakfast and put them in my basket. My brother Sam comes out of the barn, sits on a bench, sliding his boots on over thick wool socks. “Where’ve you been?” “I had to collect gull eggs. You left the coop open last night.” “I know,” he says. “Candy was barking, so I ran out just in time to stop a coon from carrying off with one of the hens.” “The eggs are gone, or crushed. It was a mess.” Sam grunts but won’t acknowledge his mistake. “Go feed Dad. He’s been asking for you. And then I need you to come with me today. Louis can’t make it.” “Is that why you’re going out so late?” “Don’t be fresh.” He sweeps an oil stained hand through his unruly hair. I was about to ask him why his sternman wasn’t showing up, but he wouldn’t let me. “Go on now. Dad’s waiting.” Dad’s sitting by the wood-burning stove with a blanket draped over his laps. He’s staring out the window, what he sees, I’m not sure. Blue sky? White clouds? Or just watery images? “It’ll rain later,” he says, sensing my presence as I place the basket on our old wooden kitchen table. He can predict the weather. I’d say it was because he’s losing his sight, or maybe the arthritis flaring, seeping into his bones. But there’s more to it. As long as I can remember, even back when I was a little girl and my mother was still alive, my dad spoke about the weather with inevitability. He feels the air and knows which direction the wind will shift; knows to batten the window hatches when a Nor’easter no one else predicted is working its way up the coast. His uncanny sense of weather made him one of the most enduring and prosperous lobstermen in our town. Until he had given it over to my brother. Sam didn’t have Dad’s intuition about where to place the pots for the best catch, how to navigate tricky waters, and his timing was all wrong. I think he’s not up to it. My Dad blames it on the alcohol. Sam goes to the tavern with his friends almost every night and, as Dad says, five dollars spent is five dollars not made. I throw a slab of butter in the iron skillet and it sizzles. “Sam asked me to go out with him today. Will you be all right?” Dad shrugs. “Ayuh.” I crack a gull egg over a bowl, add milk, whisk it into a froth, and add the dandelion greens. There’s enough bread in the box for the two of us. I hope Sam ate already. “Wasn’t planning on going today. Sasha might call,” I say as I slather the toast with the rest of the butter, cook the eggs, and scoop them onto a plate. The smell alerts Dad to get out of his chair. He walks across the floor of the living room with a measured gait, both out of caution and because of his arthritis, and takes a seat at the kitchen table. “Eat more, Galene,” he says, scraping some of his eggs onto my plate, which makes me feel guilty. “A family bought the red house,” I say. “From away?” he asks. His gnarled hands reach for his coffee mug. Arthritic knuckles bulge, years of lobstering written all over them: scars from rope cuts; knife wounds; age spots from the sun. “Boston,” I say. “Figures. The house is in such state I don’t know whether anyone from town could afford to fix it proper.” He wipes his mouth with his napkin. “Gull eggs?” I set my fork down. He knew. Of course, he’d know the difference in taste, while I couldn’t tell. “I stole them from the nesting birds up on the ridge.” What I don’t reveal is that Sam left the coop open. Although I want to. He grunts and scoops a forkful in his mouth. “Only get to taste them in the spring. Always like the taste. Did they get you?” He was the one who taught me how to collect the eggs years ago. “Almost.” His eyes graze past me, a fond memory lurking somewhere. There’s a fire in the stove, and wood close at hand. I telephone the neighbor, Mrs. Peterson and ask her to check in on Dad at lunch. “We should be back by evening,” I say. I leave a plate of pickles and ham in the cupboard. “Louis isn’t good for your brother,” she says. “I have to go now.” I don’t want to listen to Ida Peterson lecture me about my brother’s lobster business. There’s nothing I can do about it, anyway. Dad and Sam had always been a team until Dad’s sight went. He tried to hide it from us, but we noticed small things. The way he’d grasp at the side of chairs as he made his way across a room, fumbling in the cupboards for the tea, his hands wandering over containers of porcelain until they landed on the hard metal tin box. “Here, Dad, let me help you,” I’d say. And he’d brush me off with an impatience that struck me as odd. “He’s losing his sight,” my brother told me one day six years ago after they got back from lobstering. “How do you know for sure?” I said. “Because he almost killed me today.” My brother was not one for melodramatics. “What happened?” “The fog rolled in and we were passing the lighthouse and he didn’t spot Davey’s shoal until we were almost on top of it.” “Is that the whole of it? Maybe it was the vapors? Anyone can lose their sense of direction in the vapors.” Sam shook his head. “No, Galene. Admit it. We’ve known for some time. He almost tripped on the stool walking into the kitchen. He says it’s the malaria. He says it’s the lingering effects.” How could malaria still plague my dad years after he fought in the Pacific? Sam insisted it was too dangerous for Dad to keep lobstering. At sixteen, he quit high school to take over the business. I was too young to help, so he recruited a local boy named Louis. But I’m seventeen now, old enough, and Sam trusts me to bait the traps when Louis was busy or sleeping off a night at the bar. I don’t like it though. It’s hard and my hands end up red and raw from working the lines, even with rubber gloves as protection. The sound of the truck horn startles me. “Come on!” Sam shouts.
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