The Water Bearer

“Not me. I knew. Besides, I was in the room when old Doc Hampton showed. He opened Dr. Wilson’s mouth to have a look-see inside, and a gush of water and wet cattail fluff spilled out. Only I knew.”

I didn’t want to say it, but I felt obligated. “What? That the pond had gotten into the house and drowned the man? That’s crazy.”

Jim turned and gave me a sour look. “I told you I read a lot during my time at Dr. Wilson’s. One of the books I read said that a person is made almost completely of water. Why do you think the oceans hold so much attraction for men? Because water attracts water, calls out to its own.

“Someone once said that the sea is a harsh mistress. But I think that’s only half right. Water is a harsh mistress--and a jealous one.”

I could think of nothing more to say. His story had held me, pinned me at some essential level where I couldn’t wriggle away.

“Drain it, I still say,” he muttered. “Drain that son of a bitch before it loves somebody. Before somebody loves it.”

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