Two or three times a week or more Lee would walk down the hill to the store and back again, passing the house each way. Often he would stop to rest in a tiny park almostdirectly across the street from Green Gates, especially if he was carrying a heavy bag of groceries. Lee enjoyed sitting and smoking a pipe as he looked at the house anddaydreamed about owning it. He was still a long way from being able to afford it, butcloser than he was when he first moved to this quiet Oakland neighborhood borderingPiedmont. Considering how Lee Meadows made his living he might get the moneyquickly or not at all, but even should he get the money, he would still have to convincethe owner to sell.
Get the money first
, Lee told himself as he sat on a bench in the tiny park,watching the house, smoking, dreaming
. Binion’s starts the end of this month, maybe thiswill be my year?
At that very moment Lee saw a bird take off from the railing of the third floor porch, gliding a beautiful deep blue through the sunlight before landing on a branch nomore than ten feet from where Lee sat. It was a magnificent Steller’s Jay, a bird Lee oftensaw in the Sierras or the wooded parks of the Oakland hills, but he could not remember seeing one in such a populated area before. The bird looked directly at Lee, turning his black head to look at him first with one eye then the other. When Lee broke off a piece of baguette and tossed it toward the jay the bird caught it in mid air and flew back to the porch railing in another beautiful blue display.
, Lee thought to himself.#It was getting late and Cassandra knew it. The vernal equinox had just passedleaving less than nine months remaining in the present cycle and still she had found noone she wanted to teach what she knew. In truth Cassandra had not been searching very- 2 -