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WHEN she woke to find herself on the tiny island, she felt no alarm. Her first concern was for her skin; the smiling male clerk in Bermuda's most fashionable store had warned her that a South Sea lava-lava offered very little protection against the white sun. But she wasn't badly burned at all.

The sun had dropped from its position overhead when she had fallen asleep. That had been three hours or so earlier. While she slept, the tide came in and covered most of the peninsula. She'd seen it stretching away from the rest of the shore like a finger pointing out to sea. Its highest point was at the fingertip, where it formed a little hill, and she'd walked out on the peninsula to sit there and be alone for a while.

Everything was very much like the tourist brochures had promised: Bask in the Warmth of a Tropical Sun, Listen to the Whisper of the Surf and Feel the Caress of the Breeze Stealing over You ... She rose and stretched. Her skin felt taut where the sun had gotten at it. The sea wasn't as calm as it had been before the tide started coming in. Her hill on the peninsula was now an island some twenty feet square, and the rest of the slender white strip was under water which she estimated was five or six feet deep, right behind her.

She smiled. It meant she would have to swim back to the beach, and while the distance was no more than two hundred and fifty yards, her lava-lava was considerably—say, two hundred and forty-eight and a half—less. If a man came by on the beach when she happened to be coming out of the water, or before she'd had a chance to dry, well....

Probably the clerk had been thinking something like that when he spoke to her. She remember...

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