Segura is a native of the coastal marshlands of French Louisiana (where he now still works, as a newspaper reporter); and there can be no doubting the verisimilitude of his portrait of the marsh, the animals, or (to a lesser extent) the people. In the first of the two paired stories here, ""Tranasse (Marsh Passage),"" a man named loser Dimanche follows murderer Etienne Lopez into the chaotic marsh where Lopez has fled--with its crocodile, cottonmouths, lizards, nutria, rats, waterfowl. And Dimanche hunts down Lopez with all the wiles and instincts and nearly feral sensitivities of the trapper that he is--though the animal life is more vividly drawn than the human drama. In the second, longer story, however--""Les Perdues (The Lost Ones)""--Segura focuses more firmly on the people of the marsh, with a full sketch of the Viator family: they trap in season, they raise horses, they nourish deep familial (and sexual) tensions, and they speak in the terse, tough, musical Acadian dialect. (""She say, 'Oh yeah, mais, and what you do, you?' I say, me, 'Oh, me and the boys we had some fun, yeah. You know what them crazy boys do, them?' "") As local slices-of-life, then, these two stories glisten. As fiction, however, they're rich only in atmosphere--without the pace, angle, or deepening needed for full-fledged storytelling.