He kept boots dry all day, but in the late afternoon, still an hour and a half from the small ship and its pop-up campsite, one of Morrow’s feet slipped sideways in the mud and sank on its edge, just deep enough to let water in over the rim. After that there was little point being careful.
The water didn’t stay cold long. He was glad that he was too tired to think about the softening skin, the unpleasant odour, the damage that might be happening unseen. It would be dark soon. He would go back to camp, take the boots off, warm his feet under the heating element that Arch would have got going in advance of his return, and be fine. The thought of Arch was like the thought of water. There was still enough good light to get back, even if he moved slowly, and so he kept on.
Embrace Australia’s finest writers: subscribe to Meanjin
Subscriptions start at just $5 a month — which goes directly towards our writers’ fees.