They landed the boat. Lars took the juniper into shed and
began to cut it to shape. ‘It has to be dried first,’ Barbro
She explained that he couldn’t use green timber for ribs,
but juniper was better than spruce if there was no option.
He asked why. Barbro said that juniper shrinks less, and
also expands less, it is resinous and tough. Lars asked what
she thought he should do. She said he should probably have
a go with the juniper, then walked back to the house as he
banged away at the broken half-rib, using it as a template,
and worked until darkness fell.
When he came in to eat, Felix was sitting upright under the
duvet on the couch, coughing. His eyes were still red, but
he ate a few morsels and asked in an almost inaudible voice
whether Lars had got hold of some suitable wood. Lars said
yes and explained that he was going to rivet the bits
together the following day. He asked Barbro if she had put
any water on the board in the tub under the oven. She said
yes. Lars went out and worked until it was time for bed.
Felix was sleeping on his own in the kitchen.
When Lars got up next day it was dark outside the window.
He dressed and went downstairs and found that Felix was
still asleep, he could tell that by his breathing, he was alive
and not dead.