“Help!” she says. “Damn it, somebody help me!”
The bear looms above her. From this angle, it’s huge; it’s all Dawn can see. Its harsh breathing is all Dawn can hear. And it suddenly seems stupid that this is how she’s going to die, eaten by a bear -a black bear- in the middle of nowhere, screaming for her life and probably peeing her pants.
And then a gunshot cracks behind her.
“Fluctuat nec mergitur.”
“Is that Latin?”
“Yes. It’s the motto of Paris–something like, Tossed but not sunk. The French translate it a bit more prettily–She is tossed by the waves but she does not sink.” Then he looked at me. “We’ve all been tossed by the waves, haven’t we, little ‘un? The t-trick is not to sink…”