Winter 1979 • Vol. I No. 1 Fiction |

John Charles Tapner

A lantern held to his face showed which of the exiles in the weave of the waves was the one who had insulted the Queen. Their longboat had touched into the shingle and they jumped from her prow, wet to the hips, to hand out women and boxes and trunks with hummocked tops. They'd come across from Jersey in a fog, calling on a tin trumpet that had the one flat ugly note breaking into the music of the gannets and gulls, the bells of the buoys, and the ruckus of windwash rolling the ocean at half dawn. It was a grand thing to see them all remove their hats and bow from the waist as the old one came from the boat. I had their names on a list from the constable: Bachelet, Dessaignes, Fruchard, Thomas, under proscription the lot, exiles living from pillar to post. Well over thirty years ago the first Napoleon died, in a rage they say, on some island no bigger than this half the world around, and the dust he raised will not settle in our time. But then the French love a drum and ador

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Guy Davenport (1927-2005) was best known for his short stories, though he also wrote poetry, translation, and criticism. He was a professor of English at both Haverford College and the University of Kentucky. As a writer, illustrator, teacher, and scholar, Davenport published over 40 books. He received a MacArthur fellowship, an O. Henry Award, and the Morton Dauwen Zabel award for fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

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