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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...

Her acts of independence

Watching the Diana sink had removed the last faint illusion that things would come right: the fire go out, the ship prove, miraculously, sound enough to navigate. Or the radio still workable, to bring a...

They’re too late

Sweeney remained silent, concentrated, and the silence spread to the others. They watched Yasha and the four Hawaiians running along the beach, and heard Yasha calling something out, presumably to Billy. He reached the spot...

A spot of flame

Susan said: ‘Oh, look. The sun’s rising.’ A spot of flame had sprung up between two leaning palms on the headland; it broadened as they watched and the palms stood black against the gold, which...