And the Sea shall give up its Dead. Over the Tears of the fallen the next part.

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He still fully, had his wits about him as well, strong and tough he was, though withered now with age but an old salt. There was not a thing to know about the sea that he did not know. Smart as well, he did not claim omnipotence as he always said the sea will have its toll in return, and as far as I could see it always did, in human lives.

"You find anyone?" I asked.

"As soon as we got here", he said, "at the end of the stream", I could see the darkness in his face before he told me, "face down".

"From the boat?" Every so often here due to the vagaries of the tide a body appears from nowhere. Once from Canada and once from Spain that I remember but I bet there have been many more that I have forgotten. Looking at Hamish's eyes I suspect that he remembered every one.

"We don't know yet". Plain and non-committal.

Fresh? I knew as I asked the question that it was a terrible thing to ask. You would then have to draw the picture that you were busily trying to forget straight back into your mind. Hamish obviously did, I doubt it.


"For fuck sake Billy do you want the details?

"I do" I said, "as I think Ramsey was wrong, he spends all his time inside these days. I admit", I continued quickly allowing no interruption, "that he is the best reader of the wind and tides that I have ever seen"

"Hamish, I looked straight into his eyes, you know you have to be out here to feel them. Ask old Ramsey. He will tell you the same. He is not a stupid man even if he does not like me".

"Billy you just said that he is better at it than you.

He is, but he's not here and I am and were he still capable of being here then he would tell you what I am telling you. The pull of the tide is too strong and so anything, swimmers and corpses will pass here, drawing them into the loch and to the point at the shipyard.

At this point a hand caught my shoulder pulling me back and away from Hamish spinning me in the mud to face another.

"Billy" the newcomer uttered with contempt, "you saying my old man is losing it".

"Nice to see you Morris" (the very last thing that would be true, I hated the bastard) "No I am saying that he is not here, if you listened to what we were saying, then you would know that, I think your old man is the best judge of the tides and weather there is living but it is difficult to do that unless you are down here at the sea".

"You know as well as I that he can't be. He can't leave that chair now and that's why I found a survivor and he was telling them to look in the wrong place".

Morris grabbed me by the front of my coat and drew me close, almost nose to nose though I stood a little shorter than he and so it was more my nose to his chin.

"No one disrespects my father" he said as I looked up at him and he down at me. I felt spittle again on my chin though it may have been the now spitting rain.

It was time, was my first thought, he was taller than me, stronger than me, tougher than me but I am just at the right height and if I stick the head on him then I will at least break his nose before he beats me to a pulp. I was so very tempted as a payback for all the times that he had bullied me in school yet it was not a path I would wish to take on such a terrible night. I hated the fellow so much that I was tempted, I was still thinking about it when I heard the call. We both turned from each other to see what the call came for.

Hamish had gone while we were facing off and I had not even heard him jumping into the narrow but fast flowing stream. No matter the problems between me and Morris I was smiling as he dragged the coughing and spluttering fellow out of the stream.

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