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“Out the lampoons!” cries Mayhap, and three Ivy men crowd up in the prow of the longboat, gleaming barbs levelled for use. Before them surges the great white hope: its boiling enormity is striped with scars, the salt-burned wounds of a long and deadly hunt.

“He’s mine today!” Mayhap exults. “Strike true!”

They do, and ropes thrum taut in E minor. His blood is black as ink. Rivulets of it lock the long scars together into glissandi, and the boat frets the wave tops like a pillbottle slide.

The hope is diving; the boat goes down. Mayhap drowns in metaphor.