When the bait came loose, Mrs. Hardin reeled the line back up and jabbed another steak onto the hook. She had an entire bucket of them and wouldn’t share a one, even though I’d smuggled a hibachi in my rucksack.
I looked across the swamp; so far the meat hadn’t attracted more than gnats.
“You sure that’ll fetch an alligator, Mrs. Hardin?” I asked.
She spooned some cow drippings around the side of our raft with all harpoons. “Crocodile, Maya. We’re hunting crocodiles.”
“Well now what’s the difference between an alligator and a crocodile?”
As though to answer, a scaly back rippled through the film of the swamp. It swished a needlessly long tail as it swam toward our raft, which suddenly felt far too small.
“Crocodile tried to eat my husband, Maya.” Mrs. Hardin picked up a harpoon in one hand and a shotgun in the other. She waited at the end of the raft, stirring the bloody waters with double-barrels. “An alligator’s what actually did it.”