After an hour’s fishing, Reuel had caught two perch and a sunfish and Peter had caught nothing. He complained good-naturedly to Reuel that he, himself, had done all the suffering while Reuel had had all the luck. Peter had gotten a chill in the cool of the late afternoon; he wore only bathing trunks and a sweater.

“Look, I’ll clue you,” Reuel said. “Worms are the only bait. They don’t like those pieces of clam.” They had found a box of bait clams in the boat and with them eked out their small supply of worms which Reuel had put in a Band Aid box.

Eventually Reuel was satiated with his catch and Peter became weary of simply sitting, throwing out his line, waiting, watching the end of the baited hook gleam faintly as it descended slowly, to be lost from sight among the weeds on the bottom, then after a few moments, repeating the process in a slightly different direction from the boat. Peter wondered at Reuel. He was so much younger but so self possessed. Yet when Reuel had hooked his fish, Peter had had to take them off the hook for him, feeling very deft and competent as he did so, while Reuel looked away.