Summer 1958 • Vol. XX No. 3 Fiction |

The Drowning

The old people were standing in a self-protecting group Ion the small triangle of beach. After all, this portion had been designated as their beach. Yet they seemed to be standing at bay, wary and watchful, and they even patted themselves occasionally, as for identity's sake. They kept nodding their heads with brusque and staccato motions, considerably like the small shore birds that went scudding around the sudden pampasses of eelgrass. What they were seeing and watching, ought not to be; it ought not to be happening here to them. The seven young people they had been watching kept approaching. There were six young men and one girl, who was now shouting against the tilting north-east wind: "There you see it, chums. The great big beautiful sea. Just see what you can make of it, pals." Her mien was tigerish between wings of flapping red-orange hair. Her vast-painted mouth and bared teeth seemed to glitter the words out. But there were also her dayflower-blue eyes which the gray se

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