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"We're permit fishing, Cart."
"Oh, really. Why, permit huh."
"What do you think? Boca Chica beach?"
"Your guess is as good as mine. But yeah, O.K., Boca Chica."
Skelton moved the boat slowly on the green tidal gloss of the canal until he cleared the entrance, then ran it up to 5,000 rpm and slacked off to an easy plane in the light chop. He leaned back over his shoulder to talk to Rudleigh. "We're going to Boca Chica beach. I think it's our best bet for permit on this tide."
"I hate to take you there, a little bit, because it's in the landing pattern."
"I don't mind if the fish don't mind."
Skelton swung in around by Cow Key channel, past the Navy hospital, under the bridge where boys were getting in some snapper fishing before it would be their own time for the military hospitals; then out the channel along the mangroves with the great white wing of the drive-in theater to their left, with an unattended meadow of loudspeaker stanchions; and abruptly around the corner to an expanse of the blue Atlantic. Skelton ran tight to the beach, inside boat-wrecking niggerheads. He watched for sunken ice cans and made the run to Boca Chica, stopping short.
The day was clear and bright except for one squall to the west, black with etched rain lines connecting it to the sea. The great reciprocating engine of earth, thought Skelton, looks like a jellyfish.