— And I'm telling you... water that cold, like right down there... it hits you like 1000 knives stabbing you all over your body. You can't breathe... You can't think. Least not about anything but the pain. Which is why I'm not looking forward to jumping in there after you. Like I said I don't have a choice I guess I'm kind of hoping you'll come back over the rail and... and get me off the hook here.
— You're crazy.
— That's what everybody says but... with all due respect, miss... I'm not the one hanging off the back of a ship here.
Still, he was ready to run — would run in a second or two, when his mental switchboard had dealt with the shock those two shiny yellow eyes had given him. He felt the rough surface of the macadam under his fingers, and the thin sheet of cold water flowing around them. He saw himself getting up and backing away, and that was when a voice — a perfectly reasonable and rather pleasant voice — spoke to him from inside the stormdrain. There was a clown in the stormdrain.
Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith. Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
— What can I do for you, ma'am?
— I would like some water, if it's no trouble.
— Water? That word is poison around these parts ever since the days of the great flood.
— You mean you never wash?
— We sure do!
— I'd like to use the same facilities you people do.
— You sure can. Just happen to have a full tub at the back. You're lucky. Only three people have used it this morning.
— Used it one at a time or all together?