Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy
Gary D. Schmidt
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then he was out in the open. He spread his arms wide against the ocean sounds: the rush of the waves, the manic giggles of the gulls, the sighing of the sea breeze against the granite. He put his back to all of Phippsburg—Lord, to the entire continent—till with a shrug he sloughed off its heavy stillness and looked for a way to climb down to the water. In the end, it was more of a tumble than a climb, and he left a little skin and a little blood in one or two places—though, thankfully, not on
eardrums. It went on, threatening the very roof. It went on, until the last thing Turner thought could ever happen—the very last thing—happened. “Buckminster, stop it!” It took Turner a moment to figure out who had just spoken. He saw that his mother had stood, that she had one hand against her face, another clenched into the checks of her apron. Since there was no one in the room but the three of them, it had to have been her. But that couldn’t be. Turner looked at his father, who was coming
their fiery white chests. Turner looked at them through his window; he could almost see them puffing. In the dark, the cranked horn of a doryman sounded, and then another, higher pitched. Back and forth they talked to each other, braving the immense presence of the dark. On that very same night, Turner had almost touched a whale. CHAPTER 6 TURNER was not surprised the next morning when Malaga Island was declared a forbidden place, once again. He was not surprised when his father—and his
conflagration,” he said. Turner looked steadily at him. “Should a minister’s son be reading this?” “Who better?” said his father.”Besides, your mother says that maybe First Congregational doesn’t need to know everything we’re thinking.” He laughed again. “Whatever would Deacon Hurd say if he knew you were reading Charles Darwin?” Turner felt as if the world was suddenly a more mysterious place. He had never before thought that there were things he ought to be doing that might cause, well,
waiting for him by the shore, Turner would figure her granddaddy needed her, and he would wait, hoping she might come around the turn. If she didn’t, he would walk home with his coat wrapped about him, a tang of salt in his mouth. Back at First Congregational, folks were quiet around Turner, though Deacon Hurd had stopped him outside church the Sunday after the game. “Still can’t get a hit off my Willis’s pitching, can you, Turner?” He had laughed, then stopped suddenly and stared at Turner.