By Curt Saltzman
The stream flowed gently past the sleeping town. Only trout rising for insects come up from the marshlands and green, wet meadows dimpled its placid surface, and slow-moving eddies swirled smoothly by the banks. It was August, and the early-morning sunlight fell obliquely to the earth, dappled by the summer leaves. Charlie Addison, an old man, strolled along thinking of nothing.
If the hour was early, the weather was cloudless and mild. Dressed in cotton pants and shirtsleeves, he made his way down the gravelly path that followed the easy stream. After walking a while, he grew tired and sat on one of the benches flanking the water.