‘America’ was first published in The Interpreter’s House 26 (2004), and now appears in Reasoning: Twenty Stories.

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Gwilym Lloyd stepped out of the house in Fforest a little after six in the morning. There was dew on the ground, a fox was barking, and another search party were looking at maps in the lights of a police Land Rover. Gwilym put his coat in the car and crossed the road. On the fringes of the group he approached the hotel manager, and touched him on the shoulder.

‘What’s the news?’ he said.

‘Nothing,’ said Pennant Hughes, ‘we’re waiting for the parents. I hear they’ve got dogs further up.’

A man in a headlamp glanced their way. His light revealed Hughes’s weariness, but his own face stayed in shadow.

‘I can’t come today,’ said Gwilym. ‘I’m collecting my daughter from Heathrow.’

‘It doesn’t matter,’ said Hughes; ‘we’re looking for a corpse. I’m afraid she won’t be seen alive again.’

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