When the rain lifted and while Battard penned his letter, Hsiao Yen and the child took the row boat. She had won him with the promise of a swim. The heat was oppressive, a kettle run on in a closed room. Battard's plants and papers suffered. A grey mould furred and flowered on his precious notes. Clothes folded and stowed dry, grew black spots. Shoe leather took water on as a sponge.