Tales from long ago and far away ...

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Thor May

Mr Vee Jay Ali came to the yacht club just before dusk. He was a slim and pushy young man whose saturnine Indian demeanour would immediately put  him at arm's length from the European members, and invite contempt from the comprador Fijian aristocracy. 

Nevertheless, he had come, and we discussed the sale of the yacht. I explained sheets and runners, and tacking and reaching, for he hadn't sailed before. He listened eagerly, absorbing this new cultural achievement, and seemed barely distracted when I bought the discussion around to a price for the vessel. 

It was, as I have said, almost dusk. Mr Vee Jay Ali reached over a little awkwardly to shake my hand upon the bargain. As he did so, his left foot rested heavily upon the transom deck. There was a dreadful sound of splintering timber, and that damp astringent smell which comes from rotten wood. The gentleman was suddenly lowered through the deck up to his 
crutch, with his foot submerged in dirty bilge-water. 

I could see Mr Vee Jay Ali's lust to join the privileged classes struggling heavily with the commercial acumen that had got him to this point. We exchanged pleasantries, with a promise to sleep on the problem, but I am afraid that he never did come back. 

The Sale of Tabu Soro
copyright (c) Thorold May 1997, all rights reserved

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