Uit: God’s Grace
“When he recovered from his radiation illness, he had acquired a light-brown beard and slim, tanned body, but his short legs, from childhood a bit bent, seemed more so.
No cows, no calcium. One day he journeyed with Buz by rubber raft to the coral atoll on the northwestern side of the island to see what they might recover from the wreck of Rebekah Q. Many useful objects were too large for transportation by raft, but they could pile up small things, about a four-hundred-pound load each trip.
The cave was a sloping half mile from the southern shore of the island, on the opposite side from the reefs; and it was best to carry in supplies by raft around the island rather than attempt to lug them through the rain forest by tortuous, all but-impossible routes. Cohn had made five trips to the beached boat, before he became ill, and had gathered many useful objects. Given his uncertain destiny, he felt he ought not pass up any serviceable item.
He paddled at the forward-port corner, and Buz imitated his friend, wielding his aluminum oar in the starboard corner. Or if the chimp dozed off, Cohn, with difficulty, rowed alone.
A breeze had risen and the water was choppy; it took half the morning to arrive at the reef. The grounded vessel, broken in two and lying broadside the sea, was still there, sprayed by waves chopping against the bony atoll.
Cohn had previously taken back with him The Work: of William Shakespeare, his old Pentateuch, a one-volume encyclopedia, a college dictionary, and a copy-there were eight in his cabin-of Dr. Walther Biinder’s The Great Apes, a classic textbook containing three excellent chapters on the life cycle of the chimpanzee.”
Bernard Malamud (26 april 1914 – 18 maart 1986)