Angus was resting his bones in the warm sun, watching the man and the boy.

The man was deeply tanned, his face wrinkled, his hands work-worn but strong.  He looked too thin to be lugging baskets and tools, but that was what he was doing, and the boy was helping.

A little boat rocked gently in the water nearby.

Around him other fishermen were also working: tending to their boats, loading and unloading, cleaning equipment.  The men returning from a day on the water and who had been lucky strutted proudly to the stalls at the end of the pier.  From time to time the sounds of engines and clatter and sea birds quieted enough that Angus could hear the virile strains of haggling at the stalls.  The men who argued best – or loudest – would eat well that evening, with their whole families.  The men who protested timidly, or who returned from the water empty handed, might not eat at all.

Angus watched the man and the boy.

From time to time they paused and looked up at the pier, to the marlin carcass hanging from a post.  Much of it had been eaten away, Angus guessed, by sharks as whoever had caught it towed it to shore.  It was a shame.  Judging by the size of the bones that remained, it had been an enormous fish, possibly the largest Angus had ever seen.  To have caught it would have been an impressive feat.  He wondered who had.

A man strode quickly across the sand now, to where the old man and the boy were working.  He spoke briefly to the boy, and the boy nodded his head and began to gather belongings.  The boy waved at the old man as he turned and walked away with his – what?  Angus thought the boy’s father had probably come to collect him.  Perhaps to begin their day’s work together.  The old man finished his work alone, climbed into his little boat, and began to row.

At first Angus thought he wouldn’t, couldn’t, make his spindly arms a match for the pounding surf, but the old man expertly guided his boat over and through the waves until he reached the calmer water.  Then he sat for a moment and took a drink of something.  As he put down his bottle he must have seen Angus watching him from the pier.  Their eyes met, even across that distance, and finally the old man raised his hand and waved.  Then he took up his oars again and went on rowing, until Angus could only barely make out the boat, a speck now against the water.

The sun beat down on both of them.  The hours passed.  The sun set on both of them.  They dreamed of lions.

*Characters “borrowed” from Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea.

And that’s all for my tribute to Angus this month.  I hope you liked it.  Check out the October 2012 edition of the ABA Journal, wherein other people honor Professor McElhaney and Angus’ twenty-five year run.