The Last Resort
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Jenny has devoted her life to her husband, the naturalist Wilkie Walker. She is as rare a creature as the endangered species he works to preserve. But this year, as winter comes on, Wilkie seems distant and depressed. In desperation Jenny persuades him to visit Key West, but the sun and tropical scenery do nothing to cheer him up. As he grows even stranger, Jenny becomes involved with some exotic local characters - including Gerry, an ex-beatnik poet, and Lee, the dramatically attractive manager of a women-only guest house.
suppose there was another failure? Also, today would be his last chance at the ocean for a while. According to the radio a massive cold front was moving in; temperatures would fall into the fifties tonight, and heavy rain was expected. If he went swimming tomorrow under such conditions he would be thought deranged. Wilkie glanced again at the house where Jenny sat reading a book, unaware of what was to come. Besides great shock and loss, she would have many duties. For instance, she would have
running around. But it’s not really like that.” She gave a loud musical laugh. “Oh no,” Molly agreed. “Only thing I can’t understand is, why are there so many T-shirt shops?” “Well, people say there aren’t, not really,” Molly lowered her voice and her wine glass, which to her surprise was nearly empty. “What I’ve heard is that some of them aren’t real shops. They’re actually laundries, for laundering drug money, you know.” “Oh yeah?” Myra leaned forward with interest. “The idea is, nobody
his wife, first at the lodge and then at home. “I don’t understand it,” he said, sounding as if he were speaking from the bottom of a cold, foggy well. “Jenny should have been home hours ago.” “How’re you feeling?” “Better,” he managed. Physically, this was true. Mentally, however, Wilkie was frustrated and enraged. Why was he still alive? What was the point of such agony, if it wasn’t the prologue to a speedy death? “It doesn’t look like a heart attack to me,” the doctor on call (a small,
much.” Wilkie smiled broadly, gesturing at the glass coffee table in the next room, with its supporting plaster monkeys, and Jenny managed a matching though weaker smile. “Homosexuality isn’t as useful to the species as it once was,” her husband continued. “It may even die out eventually, but genetic change is slow. Still, the numbers are declining even now. Partly as the result of AIDS and other diseases, of course. Nature can seem cruel, but she balances her books.” He leaned back, the lecture
better judgment, in a voice that, she realized too late, gave everything away. “No? Well, you know best.” Lennie allowed himself an aggravating smile. “I’ve never tasted her myself.” “She’s too good, that’s all,” Lee said, ignoring this smile and trying to speak casually. “The trouble is, she wants to make everyone happy, including her husband, who’s a complete egotist and MCP.” “Really.” “He thinks he loves her, but he has no consideration for her. Treats her as if she were his secretary,