Stories by Colin Burke

Clay Lies Still

Skipper Tom Clay was a fishing captain from Friar’s Cove on the Northern Peninsula who had made a huge fortune from the Newfoundland cod fishery without ever taking unemployment insurance. Having long been what he called in later years an omnivoracious reader, except for pornography, he resolved, when the fishery was halted by the cod moratorium (or, rather, by various causes of which the moratorium was made a necessary effect), to spend his retirement in formal study, so he got accepted at Memorial University as a very mature student and went after various degrees in literature and philosophy. His talent for narrative got him a large audience when he took beer at the Thomson Students’ Centre, which was often, but we are not concerned here with his longer and more complicated and most admittedly tall tales.

When Skipper Tom first visited the Thomson, a lot of (much) younger people gathered round to see whether he was really a student and what he might be studying.

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