Words of Wisdom:

"There is no substitute for genuine lack of preparation!" - Whatever

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  • Date Submitted: 07/20/2015 12:34 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 83.4 
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The Sea Devil Arthur Gordon
The man came out of the house and stood quite still, listening. Behind him, the lights glowed in the cheerful
room, the books were neat and orderly in their cases, the radio talked importantly to itself. In front of him, the bay
stretched dark and silent, one of the countless lagoons that border the coast where Florida thrusts its great green
thumb into the tropics.
It was late in September. The night was breathless; summer's dead hand still lay heavy on the land. The man
moved forward six paces and stood on the sea wall. The tide was beginning to ebb.
Somewhere out in the blackness a mullet jumped and fell back with a sullen splash. Heavy with roe, they were
jumping less often, now. They would not take a hook, but a practiced eye could see the swirls they made in the
glassy water. In the dark of the moon, a skilled man with a cast net might take half a dozen in an hour's work. And
a big mullet makes a meal for a family.
The man turned abruptly and went into the garage, where his cast net hung. He was in his late 20s, wideshouldered,
and strong. He did not have to fish for a living, or even for food. He was a man who worked with his
head, not with his hands. But he liked to go casting alone at night.
He liked the loneliness and the labor of it. He liked the clean taste of salt when he gripped the edge of the net with
his teeth as a cast netter must. He liked the arching flight of sixteen pounds of lead and linen against the starlight,
and the weltering crash of the net into the unsuspecting water. He liked the harsh tug of the retrieving rope around
his wrist, and the way the net came alive when the cast was true, and the thud of captured fish on the floorboards
of the skiff.
He liked all that because he found in it a reality that seemed to be missing from his 20th century job and from his
daily life. He liked being the hunter, skilled and solitary and elemental. There was no conscious cruelty in the way
he felt. It...

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