Mr. and Mrs. Anderson are riding in a rented wooden boat on a small empty lake. The lake is edged by all sorts of water plants reaching well into the shallow waters along its shore, then there is low grass, and four or five steps beyond that is an oak-tree forest, almost impenetrable to the eye. Everything is enveloped in a primeval summer silence. Mr. Anderson, Bob Anderson, rows lazily, his gaze following the flight of a lone bird, and – how fortunate, he is no hurry whatsoever. If Robert had his way, what he would like doing best is fishing, casting a fly amidst this calming magical atmosphere, but May despises this, as she usually puts it, “crushingly boring sport”. His dear May is sitting in the prow. In her left hand, she is holding a pink parasol that they have purchased at a gas station along the way, and with her right hand, she is pretending to be rowing through the clear water. May is a bit chubby; she has a markedly light complexion, big green eyes, thick golden hair and could be attractive, even beautiful if it wasn’t for her dark-red, stern, almost male eyebrows that she inherited from some hairy Irish ancestor of hers. If one was to make a guess about her age, everyone would contend that she couldn’t be older than 45, even though things are somewhat different concerning her age, rather different. The pink parasol adds a shady warm reddish tone to her image, making May look very pretty indeed against the backdrop of the greenish dark of the forest.
Her hairdresser Christine, who, having married a certain Mr. Travis, quite simply disappeared from their neighborhood, often nagged at her and tried to persuade her to have her eyebrows trimmed, or at least bleached. May would not hear of it. At the beauty parlor, Travis presented himself as the head doctor at the local veterinary hospital, but May tended to doubt his rather coarse style of bragging. To her, he looked like a serial killer. No one could imagine, not even in their wildest dreams, that the breezy Christine would fall head over heels in love with that dark individual characterized by an angry glare and vampire-like manners. The spit image of Count Dracula.
Several months later, Christine reappeared all of a sudden, alive and well, and better-looking than ever. She triumphantly announced to the other hairdressers that she was a widow now. She emphasized that she would have to drudge no more, or listen to the palaver of silly women, for her Travis had left her a house full of valuables and a sizeable bank account. And so, to put it laconically: God bless America!