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‘I’ve got a gun’

‘All I’m asking you to do,’ Marriott said, ‘is hand the gun over. We’ll see to the rest.’ ‘You don’t know when you’re well off, do you?’ Billy stared at him for a moment and...

In the shade of the avocado tree

Despite the concentrated heat of mid-afternoon, they were very cheerful indeed over the last stretch. They broke into the clearing just behind Sweeney’s hut, and saw Sweeney sitting in the shade of the avocado tree...

A walk down by the beach

They were called to their supper, the food set out on leaves which were roughly circular, a foot or more across, and glossily smooth. The taste of the pork, roasted over an open fire, was...

Poseidon’s herdsman

‘A great moment,’ Sweeney said. ‘The hunters home from the hill. Adrenalin pumping through the veins, and the sweet smell of burning flesh in the nostrils.’ Susan laughed. ‘I suppose you are going to say...

So does your husband

‘Well, you know. Propinquity makes strange bed-fellows.’ Toni stretched her arms back, a voluptuous movement. ‘And tropic islands make you sexy. At least, I find it so.’ Katey thought of saying: so does your husband,...

‘I’ve met his kind before’

Lydia said: ‘All this talk about Billy. I’ve met his kind before.’ She put her hand out and Susan helped her to her feet. ‘I’ll go and have a chat with him.’ She hobbled out...

Our little microcosm

Marriott said, with exasperation: ‘You must agree that it’s only sensible to slap him down now, and hard.’ ‘I don’t know,’ Sweeney said. ‘But, as you’ve said, we’re going to have to live here, possibly...

Crop mysteries

‘What kind of a colony puts down a coffee patch the same size as the wheat patch?’ ‘A colony of Viennese intellectuals,’ Susan suggested. ‘It may not have been a colony, in the sense in...

Learning lessons

‘Is that breadfruit?’ Susan asked. ‘Do you eat it just as it is?’ ‘You have to cook it. It isn’t a very difficult job, though. You merely have to wrap it in leaves and put...

Of monkeys and men

Susan found herself near Lydia. She said: ‘It was a white monkey?’ Lydia looked at her, at first aggressively and then relaxing. ‘Yes,’ she said. ‘It was white.’ ‘An albino, I suppose.’ ‘I didn’t get...