The Black Monkey

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The Black Monkey by Edith L. Tiempo
Two weeks already she had stayed in the hunt on the precipice, alone except for the visits of her husband. Carlos came regularly once a day and stayed three or four hours, but his visits seemed to her too short and far between. Sometimes, after he had left and she thought she would be alone again, one or the other of the neighbors came up unexpectedly, and right away those days became different, or she became different in a subtle but definite way. For the neighbors caused a disturbed balance in her which was relieving and necessary. Sometimes it was one of the women, coming up with some fruits, papayas, perhaps, or wild ink berries, or guavas. Sometimes the children, to grind her week’s supply of corn
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When the tide was low and then water drained toward the sea, the river was shallow in some parts and the ladder could be reached by wading on a pebbly stretched to the base of the cliff. At high tide an outrigger boat had to be rowed across. They were fortunate to have the hiding place, very useful to them whenever they had to flee from their hut on the knoll below, every time a Japanese patrol was reported by the guerillas to be prowling around the hills.
Two weeks ago, in the night, they had fled up to the forest again, thinking a patrol had penetrated. Marina remembered how she and Flavia and Flavia’s daughter had groped their way up to the precipice behind their faster neighbors, how the whole of that night the three of them had cowered in this dark hut while all around monkeys gibbered in the leaves, and pieces of voices from the guerillas on the river pieced into the forest like thin splintered glass. And all the time the whispered talk of their neighbors crouched in the crevices of the high rocks above them floated down like echoes of the whispers in her own mind. Nobody knew the reason for the harm sounded by headquarters unto the next morning when Carlos and two other guerillas paddled around the river from camp and had told everyone to come down from their precipice and return to the huts; it was not enemy
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