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SERGEANT CROCKER NEWTON RECOLLECTS THE RETURN OF THANE GOULD TO ENDICOTT, MASSACHUSETTS, IN THE WINTER OF 1977/ Brendan Galvin That was the winter a nameless December hurricane laid the freighter Etruria lengthwise on the sand at Head of the Meadow, then Thane appeared in early January as though there was some connection, hitchhiking down Route 6. Before I saw who it was I had already pulled the cruiser over to check him out: short on luggage, jailhouse tattoos on the backs of his hands, hair to his shoulders and stiff as peanut brittle, like you could snap it off. And his back showing signs of defeat, stiU lugging the invisible piano of a recent attitude adjustment. A cop's inclination is to keep a vision like that moving on down the road: he's probably not in town to visit his dear old mother. Then I saw it was Cousin Thane, only thinner than chopsticks and fresh from two years' incarceration down there in Santa Marijuana or whatever they caU it. Before I let him off at Aunt Shirley's, he'd told me what a damn fool he was. Gone and gotten in on the deal because he wanted to go into auto parts, twenty K they promised him and the other guys apiece on delivery of the bales up here to Cape Cod, except by the time they'd anchored overnight at Santa WhatchacaUit the crew was sampling the cargo, and everyone in port got wind of it. The jaUer'd sUde a bowl into the ceU and watch them fight for it Uke chickens in a hen yard. Fish and rice the whole two years. Of course the pus-bags who'd signed him up went into thin air, and the moral of the story is that when Thane did the math—plenty of time for that between eye-gougings for a few mackerel parts— he saw he could have saved the twenty grand by doing oU changes right here in Endicott two years for Moxie Hogan, or shingling for the Olafsen brothers. He's been clean ever since. Chopping up the beams and laths in the house Aunt Shirley left him 22 · The Missouri Review to keep warm was dumb, but it wasn't a crime. AU night he leaves the Ughts on in that little traUer, even now. Says he gets dizzy in strange buildings. Things couldn't been too easy in that jailhouse after dark, I'd say, and anyway a man's got to watch himseU. Brendan Galvin The Missouri Review · 23 CATBOAT/Brendan Galvin Year upon year, trial and error: of a thousand anonymous quahoggers looking up from low tides, rubbing their backs, one studying his widow-maker anchored in the mud is thinking, Push the width toward the stern so her beam's half her length and you've got a broader, flatter deck, less chance of going ass up. Then another, scratching the flats mUes and years away: Maybe shove the mast up closer to her bow and hang a longer boom for more canvas. You've got storage up front then—add a low cabin—and the load's that much closer to the keel. The way an idea is layered, her keel's laid on in strips of fir. Red cedar lengths, an inch square, bend to the fit from bow to transom,% until she's like a horseshoe that wUl float. Above a Ufe-size blueprint called a lofting, form is foUowing function now and forever. When it comes to workboats, this is one of the shapes necessity evolved, broad-beamed but shaUow, almost a scaUop shell for the hummocks and shoals of these northern waters, but stable around the holes and channels, 24 · The Missouri Review her one large saU laid on for speed upwind and down, and to come about quick when water and sky turn ugly, and get you to hell home. Brendan Galvin The Missouri Review · 25 A FEW LOCAL NAMES OF THE DOUBLECRESTED CORMORANT/Brendan Galvin This is the fish-bird that flew here directly out of its fossil imprint, unchanged for sixty miUion years, heU's turkey from its punk hairdo...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1548-9930
Print ISSN
0191-1961
Pages
pp. 22-28
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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