Anna Pigeon 02 A Superior Death by Nevada Barr

By Nevada Barr

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On still, sunny days when the lake was more likely to forgive mistakes, she blanked her windows with old maps and crawled from place to place, eyes glued to the radar screen, ears tuned to the clatter of the depth finder. Like most landlubbers, she was less afraid of shallow waters—coves full of stones and half-submerged logs—than she was of deep. Though the brutal cold of Superior would drown her a quarter of a mile from shore just as mercilessly as it would ten miles out, Anna seldom came in from open water without a sense of returning to safety.

There was a creak of hull against hull as they jerked the boats together, undoing her careful maneuvering. The man at the bow, wind-whipped in an oversized K-mart slicker, dragged out a yellow nylon cord and began lashing the two boats together as if afraid Anna would abandon them. She shut down to an idle and climbed up the two steps from the cabin. The fisherman at the Low Dollar’s starboard quarter began to tie the sterns together. “Hey! ” Anna shouted. “Don’t you tie my boat to that—” “Piece of junk” was the logical end of the sentence, but a fairly recent lecture from Lucas Vega on the importance of positive visitor contact and maintaining a good relationship with the armies of sport fishermen that invaded the island every summer passed through her thoughts.

Begging your pardon” —this to Carrie for the rough language. ” The dialogue was clichéd. Anna lost interest. She cast her eye around for some likely reason to excuse herself from the table. Damien and Tinker provided it. Damien beckoned with the cock of a wing-shaped eyebrow. Handfast, Tinker’s blond hair permed and repermed into a golden frizz, Damien dressed all in black, they looked like the hero and heroine of an Afterschool Special. With a good-bye to Dave, Anna squeaked her chair back, shouldered her daypack, and went over to their table.

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