Monday, October 4, 2010

Dust of the Earth, chapter 17

Welcome to the continuing serialized version of Phantom Limbs' bassist Jim Parks' novel, Dust Of The Earth, a Tucson story about Tucson history, mystery, other worlds, desert mojo, forbidden love, and the fledgling Tucson music scene... (c) by Jim Parks, reprinted with permission

We left off last time with our narrator and Ana Socorro's family pulling up to Pena Blanca Lake...

Chapter 17
"Ehmet took his long sheathed Gurkha knife from his belt and placed it under his seat."
"I thought that we would rent boats and paddle about the lake," Don Pedro said to me. "The waterfowl have begun to arrive in their eclipse plumage, while the migrant passerines of autumn are always a possibility. Ehmet will want to cast about for pan fish, bass, and the newly stocked trout, while Ana Socorro and Elena might enjoy frolicking in a paddleboat. To what activities do you incline, my son?"

    "Well...Pops..." At this, Don Pedro laughed and reached to playfully smack me. "Since I'm not a birdwatcher or a fisherman, maybe I could row the boat."

    "That's acceptable. But perhaps you will learn a little of both pastimes as the afternoon progresses."

    "While Tia Elena and I decorate the lake with our frivolities?" A.C. asked, raising an eyebrow.

    "Yes, mija," Don Juan answered. "You and your tia will be as water lilies, clothed in splendor, neither toiling nor spinning - yet certainly paddling."

    "And we shall take no thought for the morrow?" A.C. inquired, smiling.

    "Heavens, no! Dum vivimus, vivamus!"

    After brunch, we rented two boats, a rowboat for Don Pedro, Ehmet and me -- and a paddleboat for A.C. and Tia Elena. The ladies were already kicking up a storm, paddling away from us, when Ehmet and I finally got Don Pedro situated in the boat. Ehmet had easily picked up Don Pedro from his wheelchair and stepped into the boat with him, while I steadied it from the dock. Back in Tucson, a handyman friend of Don Pedro had fashioned for him a boat chair with armrests that we clamped onto the plank seat near the stern. I sat on the middle plank, ready to row, while Ehmet sat on the bow plank and stowed his fishing rods and tackle box behind me. Ehmet took his long sheathed Gurkha knife from his belt and placed it under his seat.

To Be Continued...

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