She reached the upriver end of Temple Island, saw again the pale
wedding-cake shape of the folly, and slowly, slowly, the dim shapes
of familiar landmarks moved by. If before she had had the sensation
of slipping backwards in time, now she felt suspended, as if only her
own efforts could inch the clock forward.
She pulled harder, again and again, lost in the rhythm of the
stroke. It was only in the instant of calm following a perfect drive
that she heard the floundering splash. The boat creaked as she
stopped, as if it were resisting the cessation of forward motion.
The sound had been close, and too loud for a diving bird. A large
animal slipping in from the bank, perhaps?
She tasted salt, realized her nose was running from the cold and
wind. Shifting her grip on her oars into one hand, she swiped at her
lip with her other sleeve. The boat rocked slightly as she twisted to
look upriver and she quickly grasped the oars in both hands again.
Then she peered at the bank, but the shadows beneath the trees had
deepened to impenetrable ink.
Shrugging, she rotated her oars, putting the sound down to her
imagination. But as she slid up to the catch, she heard a cry. The
voice was unmistakably human, oddly familiar, and she could have
sworn it had called her name.
A Man Called Intrepid author dies aged 89(Dec 03 2013) William Stevenson, a journalist and author who drew on his close ties with intelligence sources to write two best-selling books in the 1970s, A Man Called...