This is the island of New Penzance. Sixteen miles long. Forested with oldgrowth pine and maple. Criss-crossed by shallow tidal creeks. An important seabird habitat. Chocktaw territory. There are no paved roads but instead many miles of intersecting foot paths and dirt trails and a ferry that runs twice daily from Stone Cove. The year is 1965. We are on the far edge of Black Beacon Sound, famous for the ferocious and well-documented storm which will strike from the east on the fifth of September — in three day’s time.