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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.