The three adults were around the fire, guarding us. I felt safe again. And I listened. Between the whistles of the crickyjeens, Mr Haddy was talking about tigers. Father laughed at him recklessly, as if daring a tiger to show itself, so he could jig it on to a tree.

He said, “This is the best part — skipping out naked, with nothing. We just walked away. It was easy!”

He had forgotten Jeronimo already.

But Mother said, “We had no choice.”

“We chose freedom.” His voice was glad. “It’s like being shipwrecked.”

Mother said, “I didn’t want to be shipwrecked.”

Paul Theroux, “The Mosquito Coast”.

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