EXTRACT: And then, unfurling from a satiny spout between the creature's limbs, comes at first a tendril of black that swells into a cloud, black as soot, black as ink, black as the starling's wing. The cloud encompasses me about like a watery blindfold. My father's body and my father's boat I can see no more. How it is that I survived will have to keep, for that is another story, and I am not on trial for being alive. Sworn this day by myself. 1852. Annus Domini.