The Sea Runners
By Ivan Doig
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Throughout there. " Karlsson grabbed the spyglass out of the canoe and Braaf again round the seashore rocks. A excessive around little island, like a kettle became down, sat upcoast might be a half of 1 mile from the place Karlsson and Braaf and Wennberg crouched now in the back of a boulder on their lonesome island, and simply inshore from the kettle island, grey and coffee less than the coastal ridge of woodland the longhouses have been ranked. Karlsson flung a glance alongside their very own seashore to make sure definite: the canoe and camp have been from sight in the back of the tumble of rock. Then with the glass Karlsson counted. Fifteen of the just about flat-roofed constructions. If those Koloshes lived as many to a longhouse because the Sitkans, households all of the means out to Adam... "People on these roofs," Karlsson mentioned in puzzlement. "Children, feels like. " "Upside down bastards besides, those goddamn Koloshes," Wennberg said. "What're they squatting up therefor? " Karlsson studied extra. "Watching the ocean, appear to be. They—" simply then commotion erupted atop the roofs. Its cause already used to be came upon via Braaf, pointing into the stretch of ocean they would paddled via in yesterday's cloud. Craft have been coming in there, a line of them. Blade varieties at the water. yet all aimed an analogous, one after one other, immediately as instantly, towards the kettle island. The glass ratified what was once within the minds of the 3 Swedes. "Canoes," Karlsson suggested. Braaf and Wennberg have been tranced beside him, observing the flotilla. "Several paddlers each one. " the best way the canoes stayed a gentle area from one another ... Karlsson questioned on the development. as though they have been strung into position. Or harnessed— "Something in tow, there. " The tiny tunnel of sight introduced it then to Karlsson. ... Melander, Melander, this you ought've visible. Fishers of monsters... "Whale. " the scoop didn't check in on Braaf and Wennberg. Karlsson repeated. "They're towing a whale. " "Whale? Whale, my ass," Any demeanour of doubt now not identified to Wennberg had now not bo en invented but. "Whei'e'd they get a whale? you've got come down with the vapors, Karlsson, hand me that glass—" Wennberg centred in flip and an identical wonder traveled the tube of the glass to him. The canoe fleet used to be bringing in the back of it a glistening size, buoyed with floats that gave the impression of puffed-up seals. "Working like Finns at it," saw Braaf. "Digging paddles that deep, you would imagine their arms'd pull off. " Wennberg, nonetheless no longer eager to settle for: "But how in Judas—M" Karlsson had plucked the glass again from him and used to be learning back. "Laying up over the prows there. Harpoons. They paddle out and kill whales. " ... And small fish we would be for them. Holy Ghost and any of the others, what'll we... Karlsson felt a dry clot shape demanding on the best of his throat as he watched the lengthy canoes—five, six, seven all jointly. Six paddlers at paintings in each one and extra males, a steersman aft and sure the harpooner ahead, to test the sea like fish hawks. infrequent for him, Braaf was once overtly perturbed; his correct leg jigged flippantly in position, as though trying out for run. Wennberg sought to appear stolid, yet Karlsson spotted him swallow at his personal throat-pebble of worry.