I love you and I know how bad you're going to feel. I won't feel anything. I'll be dead. You know what? I'm scared, Dad. I don't want to die. I wish you could make me better, but I know you wish that, too, so if you can't do it, I guess no one can. Tear stains had blurred some of the ink. Jinx wondered whose tears they were – J.J.
David the sparks was a militant Ulsterman with a grating accent that could cut through metal. He wore a Red Hand of Ulster badge and was a rabid supporter of the paramilitary Protestants. In the early 1970s, Northern Ireland was afire with paramilitary outrages from both the Protestant and Catholic sides and the province was on the front pages of the newspapers with depressing frequency. Although any discussion of politics and religion was taboo, David would lose no opportunity to push his argument forward. When someone new arrived on the ship with newspapers from home, he would jab his finger at any Belfast bomb story and work himself into a fury, his voice becoming louder and shriller, his face becoming redder and contorted with outrage and hatred, spittle flying.