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.Anyone who fell into the hole would likely be impaled by at least ten spikes.Though Roger didn’t believe that he’d ever need the trap—after all, when the Japanese landed, he’d retrieve his gun—he liked having options.And if he was somehow forced to run, he could lead his adversary here.As Roger worked, he held a slender, cigarette-shaped stick between his teeth and imagined Akira and Joshua chasing him through the jungle.He saw himself lead them into the gulley.He then jumped over the trap and, after rounding a nearby corner, grabbed a pair of spears.By the time he turned back to the trap, the Jap and the infuriating captain had already fallen into it.They were pierced in a dozen places and dying quickly.With no need to use his spears, he set them down, put his legs over the edge of the pit and listened to his enemies plead for mercy.He laughed, picked up several stones, and began to hurl the stones into their faces, killing them the same way criminals had been slain for thousands of years.His breath quickening at the prospect of such a moment, Roger climbed from the pit and with his trembling fingers began to lay long and slender branches over it.Once he’d placed enough branches so that they were almost touching, he tossed leaves atop the branches.The gulley was covered in leaves and twigs, and Roger was easily able to replicate the look and feel of the jungle floor.Finally content with the concealment of his trap, he picked up a blood-colored boulder and set it next to his pitfall.He pretended to run and jump over the trap, repeating the sequence several times until he felt comfortable with how he’d recognize the rock and then leap over the hidden pit.Carefully skirting the trap, Roger followed the gulley around a bend and hid a spear.Though this was the first such trap he’d created, he had already concealed a variety of weapons and supplies all over the island.Despite his assumption that it would be easy to find the Japanese once they’d landed and take them directly to the cave, he’d learned that in war anything was possible.Prudence demanded that he prepare for every contingency, and he believed he had.Thinking about the cave, and how the idiot captain was convinced that it would protect everyone, Roger smiled for the first time all day.That cave will be the fool’s tomb, he thought excitedly.He’ll hide in it like a coward, hide with that annoying, know-it-all bitch of his.He’ll think he’s safe, but I’ll lead Edo’s men straight to his door.I’ll tell him that the women can go free, and when the skirts come out, we’ll open fire on the men.They’ll burn and scream and they’ll never leave that worthless cave.And when those maggots are dying, I’ll let them know what will happen to their whores.Pleased with his trap and by thoughts of the future, Roger decided that he’d reward himself with a cigarette.As he had several days before, he’d climb to his secret stash, strip off his clothes to keep them free of smoke, enjoy several cigarettes, and later swim in the ocean and remove all scents but salt from him.If smoking presented a small risk, so be it.It was far better, he reasoned, to take a slight chance at discovery than to continue to suffer from an intolerable headache and to have the trembling hands of an old man.Making his way through the jungle, his mind euphoric over the prospect of his reward, Roger again thought about what the near future would bring.In less than a week, he said to himself, I’ll have everything I want, everything I’ve worked for.I’ll have it because I’m smarter and stronger than anyone else on the island.And though now they laugh at me and hate me and I can’t do a goddamn thing about it, soon enough they’ll know that I betrayed them, that I sold their souls, and they’ll understand that I won.And when they look into my eyes before they die, when their pain’s so great that they beg for an end, I’ll drag them to the sea and let the waves wash them away.ANNIE WASN’T USED to walking the beach alone, having spent most of her time on the island with Isabelle or Akira.And though she didn’t need constant companionship or distractions—as she sometimes thought her sister did—creating poetry with Akira or talking with Isabelle about her baby had provided her with much-needed escapes.She’d initially told herself that she was fleeing nothing more than the horror of Benevolence sinking.But as the days passed, and she continued to seek diversions, she realized that she wasn’t running from the past, but from the future.The future, after all, had been almost determined for her.She’d return from the war, marry Ted, bear and raise children, and spend the rest of her life playing tennis and bridge.That was the future that Ted saw, that he wanted.And to be fair, at one time she’d wanted that future as well.It had seemed safe and decent.But not long after Ted had proposed, Annie started to have misgivings.She’d started to panic.As Annie walked down the beach, she tried to remember the good times she’d experienced with Ted.Almost immediately, she reflected on how easily he could make her laugh.No one had ever prompted her laughter like Ted, and the many smiles he put on her face endeared her to him from their very first date.After the seriousness of her childhood, it felt so wonderful to laugh.And the discovery that laughter could temporarily obscure difficult memories had been extremely cathartic.To Ted’s credit, he clearly enjoyed provoking her laughter.Her smile made him smile, and he seemed happiest when she was grinning because of something he’d said.In this way, he did his best to encourage her to forget her past, to enjoy the present.In this way, he succeeded in giving her bliss.At times she laughed so hard with him that she felt as if she were once again a little girl, giggling at her puppy’s antics.Ted also treated her parents well.He smoked pipes with her father and complimented her mother on her cooking.And Ted came from money.He’d once shown Annie the house he had already purchased for them.Though she’d hoped for something quaint and cozy, he’d bought a large, ranch-style home on twenty acres of land [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]