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The thought neither distressed nor delighted her.

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She enjoyed the modest wealth her father had earned, and she knew her mother did too. She was familiar with the petty social problems, and they bored her. Her first contact with Brody was professional. It was late at night, and she was being driven home by an extremely drunk young man intent on driving very fast down very narrow streets. The car was intercepted and stopped by a policeman who impressed Ellen with his youth, his looks, and his civility.

The next morning, Ellen was shopping when she found herself next to the police station. As a lark, she walked in and asked the name of the young officer who had been working at about midnight the night before. Then she went home and wrote Brody a thank-you note for being so nice, and she also wrote a note to the chief of police commending young Martin Brody.

Brody telephoned to thank her for her thank-you note. When he asked her out to dinner and the movies on his night off, she accepted out of curiosity. She had scarcely ever talked to a policeman, let alone gone out with one. He had been a policeman for six years. He said his ambition was to be chief of the Amity force, to have sons to take duck-shooting in the fall, to save enough money to take a real vacation every second or third year. They were married that November. There were some awkward moments during the first few years. People behaved as if they were fearful of committing a faux pas.

Gradually, as friendships developed, the awkwardness disappeared. It was as if she had moved to another country. She was too busy, and too happy, raising children to let her mind linger on alternatives long past. But when her last child started school, she found herself adrift, and she began to dwell on memories of how her mother had lived her life once her children had begun to detach from her: shopping excursions fun because there was enough money to buy all but the most outrageously expensive items , long lunches with friends, tennis, cocktail parties, weekend trips.

What had once seemed shallow and tedious now loomed in memory like paradise. They talked about New York politics, about art galleries and painters and writers they knew. Most conversations ended with feeble reminiscences and speculations about where old friends were now. Always there were pledges about calling each other and getting together again.

She made sure that everyone she met knew she had started her Amity life on an entirely different plane. She was unhappy, and she took out most of her unhappiness on her husband, a fact that both of them understood but only he could tolerate. She wished she could go into suspended animation for that quarter of every year. Brody rolled over toward Ellen, raising himself up on one elbow and resting his head on his hand.

He still had an erection from the remnants of his last dream, and he debated rousing her for a quick bit of sex. He knew she was a slow waker and her early morning moods were more cantankerous than romantic. Still, it would be fun. There had not been much sex in the Brody house-hold recently.

There seldom was, when Ellen was in her summer moods. Brody felt himself turn off as quickly as if someone had poured ice water on his loins. He got up and went into the bathroom. It was nearly 6. The sun was well up. It had lost its daybreak red and was turning from orange to bright yellow. The sky was cloudless. Theoretically, there was a statutory right-of-way between each house, to permit public access to the beach, which could be privately owned only to the mean-high-water mark.

But the rights-of-way between most houses were filled with garages or privet hedges. From the road there was no view of the beach. All Brody could see was the tops of the dunes. So every hundred yards or so he had to stop the squad car and walk up a driveway to reach a point from which he could survey the beach. There was no sign of a body. All he saw on the broad, white expanse was a few pieces of driftwood, a can or two, and a yard-wide belt of seaweed and kelp pushed ashore by the southerly breeze.

There was practically no surf, so if a body was floating on the surface it would have been visible. He drove back along Scotch Road, turned north toward town on Bayberry Lane, and arrived at the station house at 7. Is Kimble in yet? Kimble arrived a little before eight, looking, aptly enough, as if he had been sleeping in his uniform, and he had a cup of coffee with Hendricks while they waited for the day shift to appear.

I remember last summer a woman called at one in the morning and asked if I could come out as early as possible the next morning because she thought some of her jewelry was missing. I offered to go right then, but she said no, she was going to bed. The door opened almost before Brody had finished knocking.

Did you find her? This is Officer Hendricks. No, Mr. Can we come in? It took less than five minutes for Brody to learn everything he felt he needed to know. He was shown into the bedroom, and he looked through the clothing on the bed. I mean, like taking off in the middle of the night… or walking around naked? Hendricks and I can handle it.

The three men walked down to the beach. Brody looked up and down the beach. For as far as he could see, more than a mile in both directions, the beach was empty.

Water Crisis: Day Zero

Clumps of seaweed were the only dark spots on the white sand. You got your whistle, Leonard? Just in case. You can take your pants off if you want. Hendricks started eastward. The wet sand felt crisp and cool on his feet. He walked with his head down and his hands in his pockets, looking at the tiny shells and tangles of seaweed.

He enjoyed the walk. Every now and then, Hendricks looked up to see how much closer he was to the point. Once he turned back to see if Brody and Cassidy had found anything. He guessed that they were nearly half a mile away. As he turned back and started walking again, Hendricks saw something ahead of him, a clump of weed and kelp that seemed unusually large. He was about thirty yards away from the clump when he began to think the weed might be clinging to something.

When he reached the clump, Hendricks bent down to pull some of the weed away. Suddenly he stopped. For a few seconds he stared, frozen rigid. He fumbled in his pants pocket for his whistle, put it to his lips, and tried to blow; instead, he vomited, staggered back, and fell to his knees. He saw a black spot on the sand, which he assumed was Hendricks, and then he heard the whistle more clearly. Hendricks was still on his knees when they got to him.

He had stopped puking, but his head still hung, mouth open, and his breathing rattled with phlegm. Cassidy, stay back there a second, will you? He swallowed and closed his eyes. Cassidy was terrified. His eyes shifted between the exhausted Hendricks and the mass of weed. Reflexively, he stepped backward. Brody was still fighting to control his stomach. Reluctantly, Cassidy shuffled forward. Brody held back a piece of weed so Cassidy could get a clear look at the gray and gaping face.

The stink of vomit reached Brody almost instantly, and he knew he had lost his struggle. Several minutes passed before Brody felt well enough to stand, walk back to his car, and call for an ambulance from the Southampton Hospital, and it was almost an hour before the ambulance arrived and the truncated corpse was stuffed into a rubber bag and hauled away.

And a big bastard, too. Thanks for calling, Carl. It was the beginning of the summer season, and Brody knew that on the success or failure of those twelve brief weeks rested the fortunes of Amity for a whole year. A rich season meant prosperity enough to carry the town through the lean winter. The winter population of Amity was about 1,; in a good summer the population jumped to nearly 10, And those 9, summer visitors kept the 1, permanent residents alive for the whole year.

The wives of carpenters, electricians, and plumbers worked during the summer as waitresses or real estate agents, to help keep their families going over the winter. There were only two year-round liquor licenses in Amity, so the twelve weeks of summer were critical to most of the restaurants and pubs. Charter fishermen needed every break they could get: good weather, good fishing, and, above all, crowds. Even after the best of summers, Amity winters were rough. Three of every ten families went on relief. Dozens of men were forced to move for the winter to the north shore of Long Island, where they scratched for work shucking scallops for a few dollars a day.

Brody knew that one bad summer would nearly double the relief rolls. The town would lose tax revenue. Municipal services would deteriorate, and people would begin to move away. So there was a common, though tacit, understanding in Amity, born of the need to survive. Everyone was expected to do his bit to make sure that Amity remained a desirable summer community. A few years ago, Brody remembered, a young man and his brother had moved into town and set themselves up as carpenters.

They came in the spring, when there was enough work preparing houses for summer residents to keep everyone busy, so they were welcomed. They seemed competent enough, and several established carpenters began to refer work to them. But by midsummer, there were disquieting reports about the Felix Brothers. Albert Morris, the owner of Amity Hardware, let it be known that they were buying cheap steel nails instead of galvanized nails and were charging their customers for galvanized.

In a seaside climate, steel nails begin to rust in a few months. Dick Spitzer, who ran the lumberyard, told somebody that the Felixes had ordered a load of low-grade, green wood to use in some cabinets in a house on Scotch Road. The cabinet doors began to warp soon after they were installed. In a bar one night, the elder Felix, Armando, boasted to a drinking buddy that on his current job he was being paid to set supporting studs every sixteen inches but was actually placing them twenty-four inches apart. And the younger Felix, a twenty-one-year-old named Danny with a stubborn case of acne, liked to show his friends erotic books which he bragged he had stolen from the houses he worked in.

Other carpenters stopped referring work to the Felixes, but by then they had built enough of a business to keep them going through the winter. Very quietly, the Amity understanding began to work. At first, there were just a few hints to the Felixes that they had out-worn their welcome. Armando reacted arrogantly. Soon, annoying little mishaps began to bother him. All the tires on his truck would mysteriously empty themselves of air, and when he called for help from the Amity Gulf station, he was told that the air pump was broken.

When he ran out of propane gas in his kitchen, the local gas company took eight days to deliver a new tank. His orders for lumber and other supplies were inexplicably mislaid or delayed. In stores where once he had been able to obtain credit he was now forced to pay cash. By the end of October, the Felix Brothers were unable to function as a business, and they moved away. In that case, there was the added problem that none of the women who had told the police they had been raped would repeat their stories to anyone else.

If one of the wealthier summer residents of Amity was arrested for drunken driving, Brody was willing, on a first offense, to book him for driving without a license, and that charge would be duly reported in the Leader. But Brody made sure to warn the driver that the second time he was caught driving under the influence he would be charged, booked, and prosecuted for drunk driving.

Because several summer residents found it fun to subscribe to the Leader year-round, the matter of wintertime vandalism of summer houses was particularly sensitive. But in the winter of sixteen houses were vandalized within a few weeks. Brody and Meadows agreed that the time had come for a full campaign in the Leader against wintertime vandals.

Once in a while, Brody and Meadows collided. Meadows was a zealot against the use of narcotics. To Brody, there was no evidence of foul play, and since the family opposed an autopsy, the death was officially listed as drowning. But Meadows had reason to believe that the girl was on drugs and that she was being supplied by the son of a Polish potato farmer.

It took Meadows almost two months to get the story, but in the end he forced an autopsy which proved that at the time she drowned the girl had been unconscious from an overdose of heroin. He also tracked down the pusher and exposed a fairly large drug ring operating in the Amity area. And it won Meadows two regional journalism prizes. He intended to close the beaches for a couple of days, to give the shark time to travel far from the Amity shoreline. This time he wanted publicity, to make people fear the water and stay away from it.

Brody knew there would be a strong argument against publicizing the attack. Like the rest of the country, Amity was still feeling the effects of the recession. So far, the summer was shaping up as a mediocre one. Sensational reports of a shark attack might turn mediocrity into disaster. Still, Brody thought, one death in mid-June, before the crowds come, would probably be quickly forgotten. Certainly it would have less effect than two or three more deaths would. His stomach was still groaning, and the thought of food nauseated him.

He glanced up at the wall calendar. It was a Thursday. Like all their friends on fixed, tight incomes, the Brodys shopped according to the supermarket specials. As each item was consumed, Ellen would note it on her list and replace it the next week. The only variables were bluefish and bass, which were inserted in the menu when a friendly fisherman dropped his overage by the house.

Harry Meadows was an immense man, for whom the act of drawing breath was exertion enough to cause perspiration to dot his forehead. When Brody arrived, Meadows was standing beside his desk, waving a towel at the open window. He glanced around the small, cluttered room, searching for a place to sit. Reports from the county, reports from the state, reports from the highway commission and the water commission.

Brody picked up the heap of papers and piled them atop a radiator. Meadows rooted around in a large brown paper bag, pulled out a plastic cup and a cellophane-wrapped sandwich, and slid them across the desk to Brody. Then he began to unwrap his own lunch, four separate packages which he opened and spread before himself with the loving care of a jeweler showing off rare gems: a meatball hero, oozing tomato sauce; a plastic carton filled with oily fried potatoes; a dill pickle the size of a small squash; and a quarter of a lemon meringue pie.

He reached behind his chair and from a small refrigerator withdrew a sixteen-ounce can of beer. Some lose themselves in whiskey. Brody was in the midst of swallowing a bite of egg salad sandwich, and he had to force it past a rising gag. They ate in silence for a few moments. Brody finished his sandwich and milk, wadded the sandwich wrapper and stuffed it into the plastic cup. He leaned back and lit a cigarette. He recalled a time when Meadows had visited the scene of a bloody automobile accident and proceeded to interview police and survivors while sucking on a coconut Popsicle.

It was a shark attack, clear and simple. Do you know what the temperature was at around mid-night? Do you know what the water temperature was? About fifty. Brody was annoyed. Once in a while, people do die by accident. Who knows about sharks? By the way, did the Watkins girl have her period last night? Some years ago, a boy was killed by one near San Francisco. The water temperature was fifty-seven. From what I can gather, this was a real freak accident.

There are no reefs around here. Meadows sighed. You know what I mean. And you know what the real estate situation is like around here this summer. Sharks are like ax-murderers, Martin. People react to them with their guts. Brody nodded. Look at it from my point of view, just for a second. The most dangerous thing out there in the water is probably the undertow. What then? My ass is in a sling. Your ass is in a sling, too. I want you to run the story, Harry. I want to close the beaches, just for a couple of days, and just for insurance sake. Meadows sat back in his chair and thought for a moment.

They were most anxious to know whether or not I planned to run a story on the Watkins thing, and most anxious to let me know they felt Amity would best be served by letting the whole thing fade quietly away. The sixth call was from Mr. Coleman in New York. Coleman who owns fifty-five per cent of the Leader. It seems Mr. Coleman had received a few phone calls himself. He told me there would be no story in the Leader.

Well, Harry, where does that leave us? But let me remind you of something. Meadows smiled. Besides, who am I to be making threats? Brody rose to go. What do I owe you for lunch? Brody smiled. The mayor. Not Larry Vaughan, just calling to check in. But Mayor Lawrence P. Larry Vaughan was a handsome man, in his early fifties, with a full head of salt-and-pepper hair and a body kept trim by exercise.

Though he was a native of Amity, over the years he had developed an air of understated chic. He dressed with elegant simplicity, in timeless British jackets, button-down shirts, and Weejun loafers. Unlike Ellen Brody, who had descended from summer folk to winter folk and was unable to make the adjustment, Vaughan had ascended smoothly from winter folk to summer folk, adjusting each step of the way with grace.

He was not one of them, for he was technically a local merchant, so he was never asked to visit them in New York or Palm Beach. But in Amity he moved freely among all but the most aloof members of the summer community, which, of course, did an immense amount of good for his business. He was asked to most of the important summer parties, and he always arrived alone.

Very few of his friends knew that he had a wife at home, a simple, adoring woman who spent much of her time doing needlepoint in front of her television set. Brody liked Vaughan. The evenings were special treats for Ellen, and that in itself was enough to make Brody happy. Vaughan seemed to understand Ellen. He always acted most graciously, treating Ellen as a clubmate and comrade. Vaughan was obviously upset, which interested Brody.

Vaughan pressed, and Brody could see he was having trouble controlling his temper. I want to know now. Suppose they did find something. Something like this could be very bad for us. Brody laughed. I thought you ran that shop like an emperor. Vaughan was embarrassed, as if he felt he had said too much. Do me this favor. This once. Brody looked at Vaughan, trying to fathom his motives. But believe it or not, I do have discretion over the job of chief of police. From his jacket pocket Vaughan took a copy of the corporate charter of the town of Amity.

Brody read the paragraph Vaughan had indicated. I had hoped that you would go along, once you knew how I and the selectmen felt. Brody had never seen Vaughan in a mood so aggressively ugly. He was fascinated, but he was also slightly shaken. Brody sighed. Miss Watkins was a nobody. She was a drifter. No family, no close friends. She said she had hitchhiked East from Idaho. Brody arrived home a little before five.

His stomach had settled down enough to permit him a beer or two before dinner. Ellen was in the kitchen, still dressed in the pink uniform of a hospital volunteer. Her hands were immersed in chopped meat, kneading it into a meat loaf. Ellen stopped kneading meat and looked at him. You see one once in a while, but they never do anything.

I thought Penrose was his middle name, or something like that. Anyway, I thought he owned the whole thing. He tends to take a wider, more overall view of things than most people. Brody felt the blood rise in his neck. For the next few days the weather remained clear and unusually calm. The wind came softly, steadily from the southwest, a gentle breeze that rippled the surface of the sea but made no whitecaps. There was a crispness to the air only at night, and after days of constant sun, the earth and sand had warmed. Sunday was the twentieth of June.

Public schools still had a week or more to run before breaking for the summer, but the private schools in New York had already released their charges. Families who owned summer homes in Amity had been coming out for weekends since the beginning of May. Summer tenants whose leases ran from June 15 to September 15 had unpacked and, familiar now with where linen closets were, which cabinets contained good china and which the everyday stuff, and which beds were softer than others, were already beginning to feel at home.

By noon, the beach in front of Scotch and Old Mill roads was speckled with people. Wives leaned against aluminum backrests, reading Helen MacInnes and John Cheever and Taylor Caldwell, interrupting themselves now and then to pour a cup of dry vermouth from the Scotch cooler. Teenagers lay serried in tight, symmetrical rows, the boys enjoying the sensation of grinding their pelvises into the sand, thinking of pudenda and occasionally stretching their necks to catch a brief glimpse of some, exposed, wittingly or not, by girls who lay on their backs with their legs spread.

These were not Aquarians. They uttered none of the platitudes of peace or pollution, or justice or revolt. Privilege had been bred into them with genetic certainty. As their eyes were blue or brown, so their tastes and consciences were determined by other generations. They had no vitamin deficiencies, no sickle-cell anemia. Their bodies were lean, their muscles toned by boxing lessons at age nine, riding lessons at twelve, and tennis lessons ever since. They had no body odor. When they sweated, the girls smelled faintly of perfume; the boys smelled simply clean.

None of which is to say that they were either stupid or evil. If their IQs could have been tested en masse , they would have shown native ability well within the top 10 per cent of all mankind. And they had been, were being, educated at schools that provided every discipline, including exposure to minority-group sensibilities, revolutionary philosophies, ecological hypotheses, political power tactics, drugs, and sex. Intellectually, they knew a great deal. Practically, they chose to know almost nothing. They had been conditioned to believe or, if not to believe, to sense that the world was really quite irrelevant to them.

And they were right. They were inured even to the economic spasms that wracked the rest of America. Undulations in the stock markets were nuisances noticed, if at all, as occasions for fathers to bemoan real or fancied extravagances. Those were the ones who returned to Amity every summer. But because they had rejected Amity and, at most, showed up for an occasional Labor Day weekend, they, too, were irrelevant. A boy of six stopped skimming flat stones out into the water.

He walked up the beach to where his mother lay dozing, and he flopped down next to her towel. His mother sat up and put on her sunglasses. She looked up and down the beach. A few dozen yards away, a man stood in waist-deep water with a child on his shoulders. The woman looked at him, indulging herself in a quick moment of regret and self-pity that she could no longer shift to her husband the responsibility of amusing their child. Before she could turn her head, the boy guessed what she was feeling.

Except for a few couples in the dim distance, it was empty. He stood up, grabbed his rubber raft, and dragged it down to the water. He picked up the raft, held it in front of him, and walked seaward. When the water reached his waist, he leaned forward. A swell caught the raft and lifted it, with the boy aboard. He centered himself so the raft lay flat. He paddled with both arms, stroking smoothly.

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His feet and ankles hung over the rear of the raft. He moved out a few yards, then turned and began to paddle up and down the beach. The water was fifteen feet deep where the slope began to change. Soon it was twenty-five, then forty, then fifty feet deep. It leveled off at a hundred feet for about half a mile, then rose in a shoal that neared the surface a mile from shore. Seaward of the shoal, the floor dropped quickly to two hundred feet and then, still farther out, the true ocean depths began.

In thirty-five feet of water, the great fish swam slowly, its tail waving just enough to maintain motion. It saw nothing, for the water was murky with motes of vegetation. The fish had been moving parallel to the shore-line. Now it turned, banking slightly, and followed the bottom gradually upward. The fish perceived more light in the water, but still it saw nothing. The boy was resting, his arms dangling down, his feet and ankles dipping in and out of the water with each small swell.

His head was turned toward shore, and he noticed that he had been carried out beyond what his mother would consider safe. He could see her lying on her towel, and the man and child playing in the wave-wash. But he wanted to get closer; otherwise his mother might sit up, spy him, and order him out of the water. He eased himself back a little bit so he could use his feet to help propel himself.

He began to kick and paddle toward shore. His arms displaced water almost silently, but his kicking feet made erratic splashes and left swirls of bubbles in his wake. The fish did not hear the sound, but rather registered the sharp and jerky impulses emitted by the kicks. They were signals, faint but true; and the fish locked on them, homing. It rose, slowly at first, then gaining speed as the signals grew stronger. The boy stopped for a moment to rest. The signals ceased. The fish slowed, turning its head from side to side, trying to recover them. The boy lay perfectly still, and the fish passed beneath him, skimming the sandy bottom.

Again it turned. The boy resumed paddling. He kicked only every third or fourth stroke; kicking was more exertion than steady paddling. But the occasional kicks sent new signals to the fish. This time it needed to lock on them only an instant, for it was almost directly below the boy. The fish rose. Nearly vertical, it now saw the commotion on the surface. There was no conviction that what thrashed above was food, but food was not a concept of significance.

The fish was impelled to attack: if what it swallowed was digestible, that was food; if not, it would later be regurgitated. The mouth opened, and with a final sweep of the sickle tail the fish struck. The breath was driven from him in a sudden rush. He had no time to cry out, nor, had he had the time, would he have known what to cry, for he could not see the fish.

The jaws smashed together, engulfing head, arms, shoulders, trunk, pelvis, and most of the raft. Nearly half the fish had come clear of the water, and it slid forward and down in a belly-flopping motion, grinding the mass of flesh and bone and rubber. He had been looking toward the sea, then started to turn his head when an uproar caught his eye.

He jerked his head back seaward again, but by then there was nothing to see but the waves made by the splash, spreading outward in a circle. She saw him point toward the water and heard him say something to the child, who ran up the beach and stood by a pile of clothing. Brody was having lunch: baked chicken, mashed potatoes, and peas. The phone rang. That was the way it usually happened. It was the same when she had forgotten something in the kitchen. Brody heard him say something to someone else, then return to the phone. He felt flushed, almost feverish.

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Fear and guilt and fury blended in a thrust of gut-wrenching pain. He felt at once betrayed and betrayer, deceived and deceiver. He was a criminal forced into crime, an unwilling whore. He had to take the blame, but it was not rightly his. It belonged to Larry Vaughan and his partners, whoever they might be.

He had wanted to do the right thing; they had forced him not to. But who were they to force him? He should have closed the beaches. Suppose he had. The beaches had stayed open, and a child had been killed because of it. It was as simple as that. Cause and effect. Brody suddenly loathed himself.

And just as suddenly, he felt great pity for himself. Harry Meadows was waiting in the parking lot at the rear of the station house when Brody drove up. And the woman. And the man who says he saw it happen. He was on the beach. So was one of the Newsday guys. They were onto it within two minutes. My man does, but he knows enough not to talk. There was no conspiracy. If I can put the right words in his mouth, we may all be spared a lot of grief. Say that I wanted to close the beaches and warn people, but the selectmen disagreed.

And say that because I was too much of a chicken to fight and put my job on the line, I went along with them. Say that all the honchos in Amity agreed there was no point in alarming people just because there was a shark around that liked to eat children. We came to a decision, took a gamble, and lost. Meadows, slower to extract himself, followed a few paces behind. Brody stopped. Who really made the decision? You went along with it. I went along with it. I think he went along with it, too. Anyway, fuck it… for now. Brody entered his office through a side door. She was wearing a short robe over her bathing suit.

Her feet were bare. Brody looked at her nervously, once again feeling the rush of guilt. A man was standing by the back wall. Brody assumed he was the one who claimed to have witnessed the accident. Not exactly the stuff to command much attention from an adult, but staring at it was preferable to risking conversation with the woman. Brody had never been adept at consoling people, so he simply introduced himself and started asking questions.

The man described what he had seen, or what he thought he had seen. Brody realized that the exercise was futile. The woman shook her head and wept. Brody told the woman and the man to wait in his office, and he walked out into the front of the station house. Meadows was standing by the outer door, leaning against the wall. The young man was tall and slim. He wore sandals and a bathing suit and a short-sleeved shirt with an alligator emblem stitched to the left breast, which caused Brody to take an instant, instinctive dislike to the man. In his adolescence Brody had thought of those shirts as badges of wealth and position.

All the summer people wore them. He tore the alligator off the pocket and used the shirt as a rag to clean the lawn mower with which he earned his summer income. One wore a bathing suit, the other a blazer and slacks. They stopped talking as soon as they saw Brody enter. I was there, too. Nobody saw anything. Except maybe the guy in your office.

He says he saw something. The Times man smiled.


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Call it a mysterious disappearance? Boy lost at sea? It was difficult for Brody to resist the temptation to trade angry ironies with the Times reporter. We have no witnesses who saw anything but a splash. The man inside thinks he saw a big silver-colored thing that he thinks may have been a shark. It is conceivable that he drowned. It is conceivable that he had a fit or a seizure of some kind and then drowned. The sound of tires grinding over gravel in the public parking lot out front stopped Brody.

A car door slammed, and Len Hendricks charged into the station house, wearing nothing but a bathing suit. His body had the mottled gray-whiteness of a Styrofoam coffee cup. He stopped in the middle of the floor. This was a man, an old man. Five minutes ago. He was just beyond the surf, and suddenly he screamed bloody murder and his head went under water and it came up again and he screamed something else and then he went down again. There was all this splashing around, and blood was flying all over the place.

The fish kept coming back and hitting him again and again and again. I went in up to my waist and tried to get to the guy, but the fish kept hitting him. His breath squeezed out of his chest in short bursts. I waded out to where the guy was floating. His face was in the water.

I took hold of one of his arms and pulled. The fish must have chewed fight through it, all but a little bit of skin. Leonard, are you up to doing some work? We must. Next morning, Brody arrived at the office a little after seven. By William F. Although the body of the boy, Alexander Kintner, was not found, officials said there was no question that he was killed by a shark.

A witness, Thomas Daguerre, of New York, said he saw a large silver-colored object rise out of the water and seize the boy and his rubber raft and disappear into the water with a splash. Amity coroner Carl Santos reported that traces of blood found on shreds of rubber recovered later left no doubt that the boy had died a violent death. At least fifteen persons witnessed the attack on Morris Cater, 65, which took place at approximately 2 PM a quarter of a mile down the beach from where young Kintner was attacked. Apparently, Mr.

Cater was swimming just beyond the surf line when he was suddenly struck from behind. He called out for help, but all attempts to rescue him were in vain. Cater, a jewelry wholesaler with offices at Avenue of the Americas, was pronounced dead on arrival at Southampton Hospital. These incidents are the first documented cases of shark attacks on bathers on the Eastern Seaboard in more than two decades.

According to Dr. When informed that one witness described the shark that attacked Mr. The shark was probably just passing by. It happened to be a nice day, and there happened to be people swimming, and he happened to come along. It was pure chance. Amity is a summer community on the south shore of Long Island, approximately midway between Bridgehampton and East Hampton, with a wintertime population of 1, In the summer, the population increases to 10, Brody finished reading the article and set the paper on the desk.

Chance, that doctor said, pure chance.

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What would he say if he knew about the first attack? Still pure chance? Or would it be negligence, gross and unforgivable? He was standing in the doorway. I had to. Two summer visitors to Amity were brutally slain yesterday by a man-eating shark that attacked them as they frolicked in the chill waters off the Scotch Road beach.

His body has not been found. Less than half an hour later, Morris Cater, 65, who was spending the weekend at the Abelard Arms Inn, was attacked from behind as he swam in the gentle surf off the public beach. The giant fish struck again and again, savaging Mr. Cater as he cried for help. Patrolman Len Hendricks, who by sheer coincidence was taking his first swim in five years, made a valiant attempt to rescue the struggling victim, but the fish gave no quarter. Cater was dead by the time he was pulled clear of the water.

The deaths were the second and third to be caused by shark attack off Amity in the past five days. John Foote of Old Mill Road, went for a swim and vanished. It would have pinned everything on you and me. It was understood, however, that Amity police and government officials had decided to withhold the information in the public interest. Fish swim in it and move from place to place. What were we going to do? Close the Amity beaches, and people would just drive up to East Hampton and go swimming there. I had to have someone give the official line, and with Vaughan away, you were the logical one.

I just quote Matt Hooper, that fellow from Woods Hole. He says it would be remarkable if we ever have another attack. Yesterday afternoon I called the Coast Guard out on Montauk. Not one so far this spring. I finally called them back. From what Leonard said he saw yesterday, this is no medium-sized blue. You know, spread fish guts and goodies like that around in the water.

And what if he shows up? What do we do then? The sound of running feet, first one pair, then two. She ignored him and walked up to Brody, who was standing behind his desk. The woman slapped the newspaper across his face. The paper fell to the floor. That you knew it was dangerous to swim. That somebody had already been killed by that shark. That you kept it a secret. Of course it was true, all of it, at least technically. He was sure his wife heard them, and his children.

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