By A. K. Srikumar
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Extra info for The Swamp
While Moloy set about his task the girl selected a pair of small rocks that suited her purpose. A couple of minutes later a neat pile of dry twigs and leaves lay at her feet. She struck the stones against each other. Again she tried, and then again. At the umpteenth attempt sparks flew. A leaf smouldered, then a small f l a m e a p p e a r e d . It grew and flourished. " Bharti stood back, surveying the small fire that she had managed to get going. "Quick! The fish ... " While the cousins built the fire Sanjib had been busy sharpening a slim, leafless bough broken off a tree.
The boat's engine cut, its bow beached noiselessly. An instant later Bidhu's wiry figure leaped off the craft and hurried ashore. "What's the matter, Bidhu? " Sumanta's anxiety was reasonable. " Sumanta looked anxiously over his shoulder at the Sonkali, waiting expectantly for the figures of his brother and the three children to emerge, "Where are the others? " "Oh, my God! What is it? " Sumanta pushed Bidhu aside and sprinted towards the boat shouting, "Dada! Bubu! Moloy! " Kanti Mukherjea's hunched figure leaning against the wheel of the Sonkali told the story.
The comment came from Moloy. Stretched out on the earth beside the pool, the boy's face bore an expression of joy, almost. "Time to move, friend. " "Oh, no. " "Don't bet on it, mate," Bharti turned to Sanjib, "I have an idea. You can make yourself a walking stick with... with... there! " Soon the trio were on the road again, hunger satiated and Sanjib moving with renewed vigour, thanks to the aid of his newly acquired crutch. "We ought to have carried some of the fish in that pool with us," complained Moloy after a while.