Sample text for Henderson's spear : a novel / Ronald Wright.

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Copyrighted sample text provided by the publisher and used with permission. May be incomplete or contain other coding.

So this won't be that kind of letter. What I can give you, for now, is my story. And in return I hope someday you'll give me yours. I'll try to stick to the point, though it doesn't come easily-my mind's a sackful of cats and they're all clawing their way out at once. Be patient while I let them go in an order that makes sense, at least to me. Mine isn't the usual tale of a girlish mistake with a pimply boy in the bicycle shed. This stretches across a hundred years and half the world. I'll start with me, but you must hear from Frank Henderson too. I'm enclosing copies of his papers. More than a century ago, when he was about your age, he sailed to the South Seas aboard a warship. It's ultimately because of him that I'm here now.

We seem a family of writers-diarists, memoirists-the kind with secrets to dribble onto paper and hoard away. For whom, I wonder. For posterity? Or as a form of exorcism? Of course you may decide, after reading what I have to say, that you want nothing to do with me. How far can we go with genes; do they call to one another like the deeps? Damn the genes, let me choose my friends, and to hell with blood relations. I can hear myself saying something like that in your position. That's your right, and if it's your choice I'll respect it. But if ever you change your mind, know that I'll never hide from you again.

Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: Canadians Polynesia Fiction, George V, King of Great Britain, 1865-1936 Travel Polynesia Fiction, Korean War, 1950-1953 Missing in action Fiction, Fathers and daughters Fiction, Women prisoners Fiction