The Cadaver of Conover Cove


conover2From our friend, and fellow Outposter, Winston Mitchell—–

“I’m just back from a weekend sail from Sidney to Nanaimo BC, in what is euphemistically referred to as the “off-season”… They turn the heat “off” but the rain “on”, from November to February up here, so naturally in the middle of that, we went sailing.

I’m swapping boats (my 34-footer for their 51′) with a couple (boat + staggering-sum-of-cash on my part), so did the first part of the transaction by taking my former boat to their marina up north.

To deliver the boat, we sailed about 6 hours on Dec 20 (close enough to the shortest day of the year) in near gale-force winds and rain, with 4-5 foot waves, but rather pleasant, as it was mostly with the wind. Good thing, too, as the life jacket was down below, clean, warm and dry in the duffel bag! We pulled into a little cove at a place called Wallace Island, arriving just before dark. The new owners daughter and friend waited until well after dark during a lull in the rain, to pitch their tent in the forest on-shore while we old guys remained warm and dry on the boat. We were teasing the girls about cougars and wolves, and were trying to come up with a fitting “campfire ghost story”… The cove was named “Conover Cove” and the word “cadaver” immediately popped to mind. Couldn’t get a story out of it at that point, so off to sleep I went… The ideas came in the wee hours, and the next morning this flowed out of my head… (more of a Halloween tale, rather than Christmas but hey, I’m always fashionably late for everything!)”


The Cadaver of Conover Cove

(For Danielle and Kayleen)

On the eve of the Solstice so cold,
A tale, the wind and rain told;
Of a night filled with dread,
And the strange walking dead
Cadaver of Conover Cove.

The sailboat was tied to the dock
As daylight spilled from the clock;
Night began, with its function
As your introduction
To the Cadaver of Conover Cove.

The dark forest ghosts whispered bold,
Warning of deeds best untold;
And of losing your mind
When you suddenly find
The Cadaver of Conover Cove.

His flesh, torn and hanging in folds,
From wounds suffered long, long ago,
Cause the birds to take flight
At the horrible sight
Of the Cadaver of Conover Cove.

It began at high noon one dark day,
Long lifetimes ago, I would say;
Two men, friends as one,
But one would become
The Cadaver of Conover Cove.

‘Twas a quarrel increasing in rage
O’er a maiden much younger in age;
At the end of that strife
Was the end of the life
Of the Cadaver of Conover Cove.

His killer was hung from the gallows,
The body submerged in the shallows,
Thus ended his fight,
On that cold winter night,
With the Cadaver of Conover Cove.

Ahh, Love for a maiden with hair of bright gold,
Left two men who’ll now never grow old;
While birds bore mute witness
To events which have left us
Two Cadavers of Conover Cove.

Now, when the wind-driven rain fiercely blows
On your boat, as it sways to and fro,
Remember the night
You learned of the plight
Of the Cadavers of Conover Cove!



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