Coµyrigbt lage

laris August, 18¯8
Cbaµter 1
Cbaµter 2
Cbaµter 1
Cbaµter 4
Cbaµter :
Cbaµter 6
Cbaµter ¯
Cbaµter 8
Cbaµter v
Cbaµter 10
8ieua \areb, 18¯v
Cbaµter 11
Cbaµter 12
Cbaµter 11
Cbaµter 14
Cbaµter 1:
Cbaµter 16
Cbaµter 1¯
Cbaµter 18
Cbaµter 1v
Cbaµter 20
Cbaµter 21
Cbaµter 22
Cbaµter 21
Cbaµter 24
Cbaµter 2:
Cbaµter 26
Boiogua Ceto|er, 18¯v
Cbaµter 2¯
Cbaµter 28
Cbaµter 2v
Cbaµter 10
Cbaµter 11
Cbaµter 12
Cbaµter 11
Cbaµter 14
Cbaµter 1:
Cbaµter 16
Cbaµter 1¯
Cbaµter 18
\uuieb Deeen|er, 188¯
Cbaµter 1v
Cbaµter 40
Cbaµter 41
Cbaµter 42
Cbaµter 41
Cbaµter 44
Cbaµter 4:
Cbaµter 46
Cbaµter 4¯
Cbaµter 48
Cbaµter 4v
Cbaµter :0
Cbaµter :1
Cbaµter :2
Cbaµter :1
Cbaµter :4
Cbaµter ::
Cbaµter :6
\arseiiies le|ruary, 18v6
Cbaµter :¯
Cbaµter :8
Cbaµter :v
Cbaµter 60
Cbaµter 61
Cbaµter 62
Cbaµter 61
Cbaµter 64
Cbaµter 6:
Aeluowiecgeneuts
\.J. uearie |eeane accietec to stories at au eariy age. Aiter iaiiiug
to liel tbe ba|it be eveutuaiiy turuec to ceaiiug tben binseii.
ßìntecs Shadow is bis iirst uovei, auc be`s eurreutiy worliug ou
tbe seçuei.
lirst µu|iisbec 2011 iu lau |y lau \aeniiiau Austraiia lty Linitec
1 \arlet 8treet, 8ycuey
Coµyrigbt · \.J. uearie 2011
1be norai rigbt oi tbe autbor bas |eeu assertec.
Aii rigbts reservec. ro µart oi tbis |ool nay |e reµrocueec or trausnittec |y auy
µersou or eutity (iueiuciug Coogie, Anazou or siniiar orgauisatious), iu auy iorn or
|y auy neaus, eieetrouie or neebauieai, iueiuciug µbotoeoµyiug, reeorciug, seauuiug
or |y auy iuiornatiou storage auc retrievai systen, witbout µrior µernissiou iu
writiug iron tbe µu|iisber.
ratiouai Li|rary oi Austraiia
Cataioguiug-iu-lu|iieatiou cata.
uearie, \. J.
"iuter`s sbacow / \. J. uearie.
I8Br. v¯801104044¯1 (µ|l.)
A821.4
1yµeset iu 11.:/16 µt Coiceu Coelerei |y \iciauc 1yµesetters, Austraiia
lriutec iu Austraiia |y \elbersou`s lriutiug Crouµ
laµers usec |y lau \aeniiiau Austraiia lty Ltc are uaturai, reeyeia|ie µrocuets
nace iron wooc growu iu sustaiua|ie iorests. 1be nauuiaeturiug µroeesses eouiorn
to tbe euvirouneutai reguiatious oi tbe eouutry oi origiu.
1bese eieetrouie ecitious µu|iisbec iu 2011 |y lau \aeniiiau Austraiia lty Ltc
1 \arlet 8treet, 8ycuey 2000
1be norai rigbt oi tbe autbor bas |eeu assertec.
Aii rigbts reservec. 1bis µu|iieatiou (or auy µart oi it) nay uot |e reµrocueec or
trausnittec, eoµiec, storec, cistri|utec or otberwise nace avaiia|ie |y auy µersou or
eutity (iueiuciug Coogie, Anazou or siniiar orgauisatious), iu auy iorn (eieetrouie,
cigitai, oµtieai, neebauieai) or |y auy neaus (µbotoeoµyiug, reeorciug, seauuiug or
otberwise) witbout µrior writteu µernissiou iron tbe µu|iisber.
"iuter`s 8bacow
\. J. uearie
Aco|e ekeacer iornat v¯8-1-¯4262-¯18-0
Llu| iornat v¯8-1-¯4262-¯40-1
Cuiiue iornat v¯8-1-¯4262-¯1¯-1
\aeniiiau Digitai Austraiia
www.naeniiiaucigitai.eon.au
Visit www.µanmaemillan.eem.au to reac nore a|out aii our |ools auc to |uy |otb
µriut auc e|ools ouiiue. \ou wiii aiso iiuc ieatures, autbor iuterviews auc uews oi
auy autbor eveuts.

raris
August, 1818
\aceieiue Bouuaire iiec |eueatb tbe iiieleriug street ianµs oi kue
Deseartes. Vietor was eoniug. 8be eouic uo iouger bear bin |ut
rau ou, airaic oi wbat sbe nigbt see ii sbe turuec arouuc - Vietor
iun|eriug tbrougb tbe carluess, |reatb ioggiug iu tbe eoic uigbt air.
uer bus|auc was uotbiug ii uot µersisteut. It was bow be`c iirst
wou ber beart, auc uow \aceieiue iearec tbis µersisteuee wouic
crive bin ou uutii be eaugbt ber, auc stoµµec its |eat iorever.
Abeac, tbe µassage oµeuec iuto a snaii narlet sçuare.
8çuasbec iruit auc otber reiuse iay seatterec aeross tbe
eo||iestoues, ieit |y tbe veucors wbo bac ioug siuee eiosec uµ
sboµ. A siugie street ianµ giowec cuiiy iu tbe niccie oi tbe sçuare.
\aceieiue stun|iec iuto tbe weal eireie oi ianµiigbt auc µiaeec
oue tren|iiug bauc agaiust tbe irou |ase ior suµµort. Casµiug ior
|reatb, sbe tuggec at ber |ociee, tryiug to reiieve sone oi tbe
µressure ou ber ebest.
8be sµarec a µauielec giauee |ael tbe way sbe`c just eone.
\ereiiuiiy, tbere was uo sigu oi Vietor, uo beavy eeboiug iootiaiis.
8tiii, sbe cicu`t care rest ior ioug - esµeeiaiiy witb sauetuary so
eiose. \aceieiue eouic see tbe ebureb sµires oi 8aiut Ltieuue
iooniug over tbe lautbéou iu tbe niccie cistauee. 8oou sbe wouic
|e bicceu anoug tbe rest oi tbe eity`s uuiortuuates, saie iron
Vietor. Iu tbe noruiug sbe wouic returu bone to iiuc bin sieeµiug
oii bis rage. "beu be awole tbere wouic |e uo neutiou oi tbe
orceai be`c µut ber tbrougb touigbt. Vietor cicu`t |eiieve iu
aµoiogies.
1bere was a cenou iusice bin, a seetbiug batrec tbat be |areiy
nauagec to restraiu at tbe |est oi tines, auc it tool over eonµieteiy
ouee euougb aieoboi µassec bis iiµs. ue`c leµt it bicceu iron ber iu
tbe |egiuuiug, |ut uot ioug iuto tbeir narriage it bac startec to
nauiiest itseii tbrougb tbe uuueeessariiy eruei worcs be`c use
wbeuever sbe cisµieasec bin. ue`c eaii ber a cuii-eyec sow` ii sbe
|urut bis ciuuer or iorgot to sweeµ tbe beartb, çuiel to reniuc ber
iu sueeriug toues tbat were it uot ior bin, sbe`c stiii |e wboriug
berseii out` ou tbe stage. Bristiiug at baviug ber tbeatrieai µast
reierrec to tbis way, \aceieiue triec to ceieuc berseii at iirst |ut
tbis bac nace bin augrier stiii. 8eeiug tbe |iael rage iu ber
bus|auc`s eyes searec ber so |aciy sbe iearuec to boic ber tougue,
iusteac µrayiug tbat tbe cenou iurliug iusice bin wouic iiuc auotber
bost.
uer µrayers weut uuauswerec auc soou Vietor`s erueity |iec
iuto bis iists. ue wouic turu ou ber witb tbe siigbtest µrovoeatiou,
iaee eoutortec iuto au auinaiistie suari wbiie be raiuec tbe |iows
cowu. "beu bis iust ior vioieuee was uot satisiiec witb a nere
|eatiug be renovec bis |eit, tbe siiver |uelie gougiug |ioocy traels
cowu ber |ael.
8be bacu`t iet it µrogress to tbat stage touigbt. 8neiiiug tbe
wbisly ou bis |reatb auc reeoguisiug tbe |iael iool iu bis eye sbe`c
iiec to tbe street, |ut uot |eiore be`c nauagec to narl ber.
uer bauc stoie a|seutiy to ber ebeel, stiii tbro||iug iron
Vietor`s |iow. "ere it uot ior tbeir iuiaut sou, Autoiue, Vietor
wouic iiuc binseii waliug uµ to a eoic |ec iuceiiuiteiy. 1be ebiic
was ber rewarc ior eucuriug tbis torneut. 8be returuec ior bin, auc
bin aioue.
\aceieiue startec to nove away iron tbe ianµ, µausiug wbeu
sonetbiug crew ber eye to tbe rooitoµs oµµosite tbe sçuare. A
strauge sbacow or .
ro, it wasu`t a sbacow at aii. "bat sbe iirst tool to |e a triel oi
tbe iigbt, \aceieiue uow saw witb astouisbneut was a nau, cressec
iu a iiue suit auc bat. 1bougb tbis iu itseii gave ber reasou to µause,
wbat bac crawu ber atteutiou wasu`t tbe nau`s siibouette, |ut bis
eyes, wbieb giowec a naievoieut eneraic iu tbe carluess. 8be`c
uever seeu sueb a eoiour |eiore. 8ureiy tbis uuuerviug eiieet was
eausec |y sone reiieetiou iron tbe noou, or tbe eity ianµs' Auc
wbat was be coiug uµ tbere ou tbe rooitoµ' Crouebec iile sone
|izarre stoue gargoyie, tbe nau eoutiuuec to wateb ber.
\aceieiue was so nystiiiec |y tbe carl wateber tbat sbe cicu`t
uotiee Vietor`s sbacow iurebiug aeross tbe eo||iestoues |ebiuc
ber.
Made/eìne!`
1be aµµaritiou iorgotteu iu ber µauie, \aceieiue wbiriec arouuc
to see Vietor ebargiug towarcs ber. uis |ioatec iaee was rec witb
tbe ebase, bis eyes |ioocsbot - tbe vioieut cenou witbiu nace iiesb.
"itb a startiec ery, \aceieiue nauagec to seran|ie away
|eiore be reaebec ber, auc rau tbrougb tbe sçuare towarcs tbe
noutb oi tbe uearest aiiey. uer ouiy tbougbt was oi µuttiug as nueb
cistauee as µossi|ie |etweeu berseii auc Vietor, |ut iu ber baste sbe
tool a route tbat iec ber away iron tbe saiety oi tbe ebureb, auc
iuto au uuianiiiar street. keaiisiug ber nistale, sbe triec to weave
towarcs wbere sbe |eiievec 8aiut Ltieuue`s to iie, |ut ouiy
sueeeecec iu gettiug nore iost.
Desµerate uow, sbe eriec out ior beiµ to auyoue wbo nigbt
iisteu, |ut tbere was uo reµiy. uer irautie gaze searebec tbe terraees
ou eitber sice ior a iigbt or a sigu tbat soneoue bac bearc ber, |ut
iouuc ouiy carl coorways auc sbutterec wiucows. 8be was
eonµieteiy aioue.
Cuicec |y tbe µaie noouiigbt, \aceieiue saw a uarrow oµeuiug
iu tbe street abeac - a µassageway tbat Vietor nigbt eoueeiva|iy
niss iu bis cruuleu µursuit. 1browiug oue iast irigbteuec giauee
|ebiuc ber, sbe turuec iuto tbe µassageway auc rau beacioug iuto a
strauger`s startiec en|raee. 1be nau eaugbt ber, iaugbiug witb
surµrise as \aceieiue, stiii µauielec, tore ber wrists iron bis grasµ.
Let go oi ne:`
ue o|eyec, aiiowiug ber to retreat iron bin. Cuee sbe reaiisec it
was uot Vietor, \aceieiue sigbec iu reiiei.
8ir . µiease, ny bus|auc -` 8be µausec, irowuiug siigbtiy.
1bere was sonetbiug a|out tbe nau`s asµeet, |aeliit |y a cistaut
street ianµ, tbat ioolec ianiiiar.
\es'` tbe strauger µronµtec, sniiiug siigbtiy as tbougb
\aceieiue`s eouiusiou anusec bin. \aceieiue tool auotber steµ
|aelwarcs as it cawuec ou ber wbere sbe`c seeu bin |eiore.
8be regarcec tbe strauger wariiy. 8ir, cic I just see you ou tbe
rooitoµ'`
uis sniie wiceuec. I |eg your µarcou, nacenoiseiie, I cicu`t
neau to aiarn you.` Leauiug ceiieateiy ou a siiver eaue, be tool a
steµ eioser so tbat \aceieiue was a|ie to aµµraise bin nore
eieariy.
A gasµ eseaµec ber iiµs, ber auxiety auc iears were noneutariiy
iorgotteu, reµiaeec witb woucerneut. Duriug ber tine as au aetress
iu tbe Crauc Cuiguoi 1beatre, \aceieiue bac worlec oµµosite
nauy baucsone neu, |ut uot oue oi tben was eonµara|ie to tbe
nau wbo stooc |eiore ber uow. ue was youug, µerbaµs uot nueb
oicer tbau sbe, |ut bis |eauty bac a su|tie naturity to it, a
reiiueneut to bis snootb ebeels auc |row. 1bere was a seeret
bere. A secuetive story was writteu iu tbe strauger`s exçuisite
ieatures, a nystery tbat \aceieiue eouic sµeuc bours or cays or
noutbs ceeiµberiug.
Aiiow ne to iutrocuee nyseii,` tbe strauger saic, renoviug bis
bat auc |owiug ceeµiy. Ii be uotieec ber ualec acniratiou be was
too µoiite to craw atteutiou to it. \y uane is Arinau.`
\aceieiue gatberec berseii. But bow -'`
Arinau sbruggec ber çuestiou away |eiore sbe eouic iiuisb
asliug it, auc gazec iuto ber eyes. I`ve |eeu watebiug you ior sone
tine.`
1be strauge iigbt oi bis eyes seenec to grow |rigbter, auc
\aceieiue iouuc berseii uua|ie to turu away. 1be iouger sbe ioolec
iuto tbe strauger`s - iuto Arinau`s - eyes, tbe iess airaic auc
eouiusec sbe ieit. Aii ber çuestious - sueb as bow be luew ber
uane auc bow be`c trausµortec binseii so çuieliy iron tbe rooi to
tbe aiiey - µaiec iu tbat eneraic |riiiiauee.
\ou`ve |eeu watebiug ne'` \aceieiue bearc berseii resµouc
soitiy iu tbe cetaebec nauuer oi soneoue tailiug iu ber sieeµ.
8tiii sniiiug, Arinau uoccec. I bave sonetbiug to sbow you.
"iii you eone witb ne'` ue arebec bis eye|rows boµeiuiiy auc
oiierec ber bis grey-giovec bauc.
Co witb you wbere'`
Beiore be eouic auswer, tbe stiiiuess oi tbe aiiey was sbatterec
|y a ery.
Iound ;ou. wìtch!`
leeiiug as tbougb sbe`c |eeu siaµµec awale iron a crean,
\aceieiue jerlec arouuc to see Vietor ebargiug towarcs tben iile
a wiic |east. uis iaee was eoutortec iuto au exµressiou oi sueb ugiy
rage tbat \aceieiue eouic |eiieve be bac uotbiug sbort oi nurcer
ou bis niuc.
kuu iron ne, wiii you'` be suariec iu |etweeu rasµiug |reatbs.
I`ii give you sonetbiug to ruu iron:`
\aceieiue,` Arinau saic çuietiy. uer eyes wice witb terror,
\aceieiue turuec to iaee ber nysterious suitor auc was anazec to
see bow eain be aµµearec. 1bere was uo iear sbacowiug bis iiueiy
wrougbt ieatures. Auc tbe iigbt iu bis eyes .
1ale ny bauc,` be orcerec soitiy.
Ii \aceieiue besitatec, it was ouiy ior a seeouc or two, auc tbeu
sbe siic ber bauc iuto bis. 1buucer run|iec overbeac, tbe grouuc
ieii away auc sbe was iaiiiug. laiiiug tbrougb carluess.
thaµter 1
It was tbe ebureb tbat |rougbt "iuter bere.
Caiiec liigrin`s Laneut, it iay sonewbere iu tbe woocs uear tbe
sunnit oi Cwi \ouutaiu auc was runourec to |e oue oi tbe oicest
|uiiciugs stiii stauciug iu uagau`s Biuii. Cic euougb ior ber ecitor,
uarry lraueis, to tbiul it neritec au artieie auc µieture iu tbe sebooi
uewsµaµer. Luiortuuateiy ior "iuter, tbere were uo µbotograµbs oi
liigrin`s Laneut avaiia|ie iu tbe µu|iie conaiu, so it ieii to ber, as
tbe reeeutiy aµµoiutec 1cìnìt; 1ìoes µbotograµber, to veuture to
tbe toµ oi Cwi \ouutaiu to tale oue. Desµite tbis |eiug ber iirst
assiguneut, "iuter was ieeiiug iess tbau eutbusiastie a|out
saeriiieiug ber 8uucay aiteruoou ior oue iousy sbot oi au oic ebureb.
1wo iousy sbots, aetuaiiy. uarry bac sµeeiiieaiiy iustruetec ber to
µbotograµb tbe exterior auc iuterior oi tbe ebureb. ue wautec
oµtious, tbougb "iuter susµeetec be aiso eujoyec naliug ber iiie
ciiiieuit. uarry was tbat sort oi guy.
1bere was auotber reasou wby sbe cicu`t waut to |e bere.
8eeretiy, "iuter cicu`t iile tbe nouutaiu. It reniucec ber too nueb
oi tbe oue iu Disuey`s Iantasìa - tbe nouutaiu tbat was reaiiy a
giaut cenou witb |at-wiugs auc beiiisb yeiiow eyes. "beuever sbe
ioolec uµ at Cwi \ouutaiu iooniug over ber towu, sbe eouicu`t
beiµ |ut tbiul oi tbat sieeµiug cenou, |iciug its tine ior uigbtiaii.
1ocay, tbere was uo sigu oi auy cenous or evii sµirits as "iuter
ioiiowec \r Deuuiug aioug tbe wiuciug traii cowu iron tbe
ueritage Ceutre`s µarliug iot. Just |ugs. Lots oi |ugs. As eurator
oi liigrin`s Laneut auc tbe uagau`s Biuii ueritage Ceutre, tbe oic
nau bac µieuty to say, bowever it was ciiiieuit to eoueeutrate ou bis
ran|iiug ieeture wbiie ieuciug oii sçuacrous oi tbe |uzziug,
|iooctbirsty terrors.
`Course, aiter tbe iire iu seveuty-uiue we nore or iess stoµµec
gettiug tourists uµ bere.` \r Deuuiug µausec to µoiut out a seetiou
oi tbe woocs tbat was iess ceuseiy µoµuiatec witb trees tbau tbe
rest oi tbe area. It tore rigbt tbrougb bere, weut straigbt ior oic
liigrin`s Laneut, nace a reai ness oi everytbiug. Buueb oi iciot
lics startec it. uaviug a |ar|eeue. lro|a|iy criuliug auc cruggiug
as weii.`
"iuter bac to suµµress a sniie as tbe oic nau sbot a susµieious
giauee iu ber cireetiou, as tbougb sbe nigbt start criuliug auc
cruggiug rigbt tbere ou tbe sµot. 1bey eoutiuuec aioug tbe µatb, \r
Deuuiug resuniug bis tail witb a regretiui air. Lveu |eiore tbe iire
we uever got tbat nauy visitors. \aiuiy sebooi grouµs. 1be occ
tour |us.` ue sigbec. 8tuµic µiaee to |uiic a beritage eeutre, I
suµµose. Lveu stuµicer µiaee to |uiic a ebureb. It`s barc euougb
gettiug µeoµie to worsbiµ witbout naliug tben eiin| uµ a nouutaiu
to co it. ro woucer tbey eaiiec it liigrin`s Laneut. I`c eonµiaiu
too, ii I bac to co tbis every 8uucay noruiug.`
1be ebureb is stiii stauciug tbougb, rigbt'` "iuter aslec,
succeuiy uervous tbat sbe`c eone aii tbe way bere to µbotograµb a
µiie oi |iaeleuec ru||ie.
8ure, oi eourse it is.`
"iuter |reatbec a sigb oi reiiei.
1be iirst settiers nigbt uot bave µielec tbe |est sµot, |ut tbey
luew bow to |uiic a ebureb |ael iu tbe cay,` \r Deuuiug weut ou.
1be iire eouicu`t co nueb to tbe outsice oi tbe ebureb - soiic stoue
waiis auc aii - |ut tbe iusice cicu`t iare as weii. I`c leeµ ny
exµeetatious iu ebeel ii I were you, \iss Acans. Lots oi ebareoai
auc asb. \ay|e a iew sµicers ii you`re iuely. I io||iec tbe eouueii
to µay ior tbe restoratiou, |ut you luow bow .`
"iuter aiiowec \r Deuuiug`s worcs to criit iuto tbe
|aelgrouuc, iost iu tbe µersisteut crouiug oi tbe |ugs. As a eoic
|reeze gustec tbrougb tbe trees, naliug ber arns |real out iu
goose|unµs, "iuter bearc ber sister`s voiee iu ber beac. 1he
/cesh aìc wì// do ;ou good.` 1bat`s wbat Luey bac saic to ber
|eiore sbe ieit at iuuebtine. Conµiete uouseuse, oi eourse. It
wasu`t as ii uagau`s Biuii was sone snog-ebolec eity. Iu iaet, sbe
cou|tec tbe µoµuiatiou oi eigbt tbousauc or so eouic geuerate
euougb µoiiutiou to aiieet tbe euvirouneut. 1be ouiy ciiiereuee
|etweeu tbe air cowu iu tbe towu auc tbe air uµ bere was tbe
tenµerature. It was eoicer ou tbe nouutaiu. Coicer auc çuieter. 8o
çuiet sbe eouic |areiy bear tbe oeeau auy nore.
ro, "iuter cicu`t iile it uµ bere at aii, auc tbe iouger sbe sµeut
traiµsiug aioug tbis |ug-iuiestec, overgrowu traii, tbe carler ber
nooc was iileiy to grow. 8be just wautec to iiuc tbis stuµic ebureb,
tale tbe µietures ior uarry`s stuµic artieie, auc get |ael bone
|eiore tbe rest oi tbe weeleuc rau away iron ber. 1be woocs
arouuc tbe µatb |egau to tbiu auc sbe eaugbt a giinµse oi grey
stoue |etweeu tbe tree truuls abeac.
liigrin`s Laneut. liuaiiy.
1be µatb oµeuec uµ iuto tbe snaii eieariug auc "iuter got ber
iirst eiear view oi tbe ebureb. It was snaiier tbau sbe`c inagiuec.
uarciy a ebureb - nore oi a ebaµei, reaiiy. 1biel noss eoverec tbe
stoue waiis, tbe µealec rooi bac |eeu striµµec oi ainost aii its
sbiugies auc aµµearec suuleu iu µiaees, tbe |eiitower stooc ou a
siigbtiy eroolec augie auc tbe wiucows were enµty eavities,
oiieriug a giinµse oi tbe carluess witbiu. 1bere was sonetbiug
uusettiiug a|out tbe ebureb. 8onetbiug uuwboiesone.
1bey µausec at tbe ecge oi tbe eieariug auc "iuter waitec
µatieutiy ior ber guice to eonµose binseii. 1bougb it eouicu`t bave
|eeu nore tbau a iiiteeu-niuute wail, \r Deuuiug was buiiiug auc
µuiiiug as ii tbe exereise was tbe nost be`c coue iu sone tine.
Jucgiug |y bis stonaeb auc tbe two extra ebius be was earryiug,
"iuter guessec it µro|a|iy was.
"eii, \iss Acans, tbere sbe staucs. liigrin`s Laneut. Cicest
ebureb iu tbe Biuii, µro|a|iy oicest iu tbe state.` ue wiµec sone
sweat oii tbe |ael oi bis ueel witb a bauclerebiei. I suµµose
you`c |e wautiug to tale a iool iusice'`
"iuter uoccec. Ii tbat`s uot too nueb trou|ie.`
\r Deuuiug sbool bis beac. ro, uo trou|ie at aii. 1bere was a
tine I`c |riug sebooi grouµs auc tourists cowu bere, |ut it`s |eeu a
gooc teu years or so siuee liigrin`s Laneut bas bac auy visitors |ut
ne.`
"iuter ioiiowec bin towarcs tbe stoue steµs. "by`s tbat'`
\r Deuuiug µausec, auc iowerec bis voiee to a eousµiratoriai
wbisµer. Aiter tbe iire, tbe ioeai eouueii ruiec it au uusaie strueture.
1rutb |e toic, I sbouicu`t eveu |e iettiug you iusice witbout siguiug a
|uueb oi iusurauee iorns iirst . |ut I wou`t teii ii you wou`t.`
"iuter sniiec reassuriugiy. It`s our seeret.`
Cooc to luow,` \r Deuuiug bo||iec uµ tbe steµs to tbe
cou|ie coors. I`n just baµµy soneoue`s writiug a|out tbe ebureb
agaiu. It nigbt beiµ ne iiuaiiy get tbe iuuciug I ueec to eieau it uµ.`
A tbiel ebaiu was iooµec tbrougb tbe coorbaucies auc |ouuc |y a
µacioel. ue tool out a leyriug auc |egau tryiug tbe leys iu tbe
ioel. 1be iirst oue iaiiec, so be triec auotber auc tbeu auotber.
8o, bow uusaie is it iu tbere'` "iuter aslec, eyeiug tbe ebureb.
"eii, µut it tbis way. tbere`s iittie nore tbau sµit auc iaitb
leeµiug tbat rooi uµ. \ou`ii |e iiue so ioug as you`re eareiui.
Dannit:` Lxbaustiug bis suµµiy oi leys, be iet tbe ebaiu auc ioel
croµ |ael agaiust tbe coor. I nust bave ieit tbe ley |ael at tbe
eeutre.`
"iuter wailec uµ tbe steµs. Do you niuc ii I try'`
A iittie |enusec, \r Deuuiug baucec ber tbe leyriug. 8uit
yourseii.`
"iuter grasµec tbe µacioel auc iusertec a snaii |rass ley. It
turuec as easiiy as sbe exµeetec it wouic, auc tbe ebaiu eiatterec to
tbe grouuc. 8tartiec |y tbe souuc, a iioel oi |ircs tool iiigbt iron
tbe |aul oi trees |ebiuc tbe ebureb. 8be watebec tben cisµerse,
raggec |iael sbaµes agaiust a |iue sly.
I nust bave nissec tbat oue,` \r Deuuiug saic, irowuiug, as be
tool tbe leyriug |ael. "iuter sbruggec uouebaiautiy. Loels aiways
oµeuec |eueatb ber toueb. It was a triel tbat |orcerec ou uueauuy,
tbougb oue sbe`c growu so usec to tbat sbe was |areiy aware oi it
auy nore.
8be tool a steµ |ael as \r Deuuiug µusbec tbe irout coors
iuwarc to reveai tbe carl iuterior. A gust oi staie air rusbec out oi
tbe |eiiy oi tbe ebureb, iile a |reatb tbat bac |eeu beic ior a ioug
tine. A siigbt sbiver oi iear riµµiec uµ tbe |ael oi "iuter`s ueel,
auc sbe seoicec berseii ior |eiug ebieleu.
row, I boµe tbat eanera oi yours bas a iiasb - tbere`s uot
nueb iigbt to see |y iu tbere.`
"iuter raisec tbe rilou baugiug arouuc ber ueel. I sbouic |e
iiue.` 1bougb, ii sbe was µerieetiy bouest witb berseii, sbe was
|egiuuiug to ieei auytbiug |ut iiue. "atebiug \r Deuuiug oµeu tbat
coor iuto tbe carluess bac uusettiec ber. 8be sbouic bave |rougbt a
toreb aioug.
Clay tbeu,` \r Deuuiug uoccec, twistiug oii tbe snaii |rass
ley sbe`c usec to uuioel tbe ebaiu. Beiore sbe eouic tale it iron
bis µucgy iiugers, be crew it |ael, inµartiug oue iast waruiug.
\iuc wbat I saic a|out tbe rooi. Be eareiui iu tbere. I`c stay to
leeµ au eye ou you, |ut I gotta nau tbe µboues |ael at tbe Ceutre.
Besices, you cou`t iool iile you ueec a |a|ysitter.`
"iuter tool boic oi tbe ley auc siic it iuto ber jeaus µoelet,
tbiuliug be was wroug a|out tbat. \r Deuuiug nay uot bave |eeu
tbe |est eonµauy, |ut be was eonµauy uouetbeiess. 8be cicu`t
reiisb tbe icea oi |eiug ieit aioue iu tbe woocs, witb tbis aueieut carl
ebureb.
ro µro|ien, \r Deuuiug. 1bauls agaiu. I`ii croµ tbe ley oii
wbeu I`n coue.`
\ou co tbat. Be sure to ioel uµ.` ue irowuec at ber. "bat
µu|iieatiou is tbis ior agaiu'`
1be 1cìnìt; 1ìoes. It`s our sebooi uewsµaµer. "e`re coiug a
story ou beritage |uiiciugs iu 1be Biuii, auc ny ecitor wautec sone
µbotograµbs to go aioug witb it.`
\r Deuuiug sbruggec. 1cìnìt; 1ìoes' rever bearc oi it.`
"iuter wasu`t surµrisec. ro|ocy reac tbe 1cìnìt; 1ìoes exeeµt
ior geels iile uarry auc µerbaµs sone oi tbe teaebers. "iuter
bacu`t |otberec to reac it berseii uutii lriueiµai 8oreuseu bac
suggestec sbe joiu tbe µu|iisbiug tean as a µbotograµber.
Suggested wasu`t reaiiy tbe rigbt worc - 8oreuseu bac nore or
iess toic "iuter tbat ii sbe cicu`t worl witb uarry auc tbe otber
uewsµaµer cwee|s ior extra erecit, sbe was iu cauger oi iiuuliug.
Aeacenie µro|atiou, sbe`c eaiiec it. 1o "iuter it ieit nore iile
|iaelnaii.
Be sure to seuc ne a eoµy. I`n sure \rs Dauvers wouic iile it
ior ber |uiietiu |oarc.` \r Deuuiug |egau wailiug towarcs tbe µatb
ieaciug tbrougb tbe woocs to tbe ueritage Ceutre. ue µausec at tbe
ecge oi tbe eieariug to wave gooc|ye. uoµe you get wbat you`re
iooliug ior, \iss Acans.` Auc witb tbat be turuec auc set oii aioug
tbe µatb.
I ho¡e so too. "iuter tbougbt as sbe watebec tbe woocs
swaiiow bin.
A|ove tbe trees, a eiouc|aul tbe eoiour oi iresb |ruises
ioonec. Ii sbe cicu`t iiuisb uµ bere soou, sbe was goiug to get
creuebec ou tbe jouruey bone.
"itb tbat iu niuc, "iuter turuec |ael to tbe carl coorway,
tool a ceeµ |reatb auc euterec liigrin`s Laneut.
thaµter z
"iuter crew ber jaelet tigbtiy arouuc ber |ocy as sbe erossec tbe
tbresboic. 8be triec to eouviuee berseii tbat it was tbe succeu croµ
iu tenµerature tbat was naliug ber sbiver, uot tbe eerie atnosµbere
oi tbe ebureb. uer uose wriuliec iu cisgust as tbe steueb oi nouic
auc niicew µrielec ber uostriis. It sneit o/d bere. Cic auc staie. At
ieast sbe eouic see. Diagouai sbaits oi weal suuiigbt sta||ec
tbrougb tbe boies iu tbe ebureb`s rooi, iigbtiug "iuter`s way tbrougb
tbe gioon.
8be cuelec |eueatb a raggec eurtaiu oi sµicerwe|, leeµiug ber
eyes µeeiec ior auy |iael seuttiiug sbaµes. uacu`t \r Deuuiug saic
sonetbiug a|out sµicers' Looliug arouuc at tbe seatterec ce|ris ou
tbe iioor, it was easy to inagiue ber ioot siiciug iuto a µiie oi rottiug
wooc auc tbousaucs oi tiuy, bairy, |iael |ocies ruuuiug uµ ber ieg.
Ii sbe saw so nueb as oue oi tbose eigbt-ieggec iittie nousters sbe
was out oi bere - aeacenie µro|atiou or uot:
It succeuiy oeeurrec to "iuter tbat tbis was tbe iirst tine sbe`c
|eeu iu a ebureb siuee ber µareuts` iuuerai six noutbs ago.
Sì· oonths .
1o stoµ ber niuc iron cweiiiug ou tbat nisera|ie cay, "iuter
iiitec tbe rilou to ber eye auc |egau suaµµiug inages oi tbe
sbacowy cisarray. 1be µroeess cistraetec ber, |ut "iuter luew tbe
sacuess stiii iurlec ou tbe µeriµbery oi ber eouseiousuess, waitiug to
crag ber cowu. As ioug as sbe leµt |usy sbe`c |e iiue.
Viewiug tbe ebureb tbrougb tbe eanera ieus, "iuter was struel
|y its starluess. 1bere was barciy auytbiug bere. ro µews or
eouiessiou |ootbs, just a |are aitar at tbe irout oi tbe ebureb, auc
|esice it, tbe sµiiuterec |ase oi a ebarrec µuiµit. Auy iuruiture tbat
bacu`t |eeu recueec to asb bac |eeu µiiec uµ auc µusbec to tbe
ecges oi tbe roon, µresuna|iy to nale sµaee ior tbe vagrauts
wbo`c usec liigrin`s Laneut as a sbeiter over tbe years.
As sbe ioolec cowu at ber ieet, "iuter was iuterestec to see
wbat ioolec iile rec noss growiug ou tbe iioor iu tbiel µatebes
|etweeu tbe enµty |eer |otties, eaus auc ebareoaiec wooc. Cu
eioser iusµeetiou sbe reaiisec it wasu`t noss at aii, |ut tbe renuauts
oi a µiusb earµet, wbieb nust bave iiuec tbe aisie |eiore tbe ebureb
bac iaiieu to ruiu.
It was barc to inagiue a reiigious eougregatiou ever gatberiug
bere. "iuter ieit as tbougb sbe was wailiug tbrougb tbe eareass oi a
buge, rottiug ieviatbau - sone borri|ie ceac nouster tbat bac |eeu
ieit to ceeay ou tbe nouutaiu auc was uow uotbiug |ut |oues auc
cust.
1be ebureb ieit nore tbau oic.
It ieit ceac.
"iuter sbiverec at tbat µartieuiariy nor|ic tbougbt. 1be
carluess succeuiy seenec aiive arouuc ber. 8be eouic bear wiuc
wbistiiug tbrougb tbe eraels iu tbe waiis, tbe souuc |otb nouruiui
auc oniuous.
1be soouer sbe was coue bere tbe |etter.
"iuter çuieliy |egau suaµµiug oii sbots to iiuisb tbe roii oi iiin,
taliug iess eare tbau sbe sbouic bave to irane ber µbotograµbs.
1bey cicu`t aii bave to |e nasterµieees, so ioug as oue or two were
usa|ie. 8be bac euougb eouiiceuee iu ber teebuiçue tbat sbe cicu`t
ueec to sµeuc bours agouisiug over every augie. Just tale tbe sbots
auc get out:
Aiter a iew niuutes oi tbis ireuziec suaµµiug, "iuter reaiisec,
witb uo snaii seuse oi reiiei, sbe was cowu to ber iast irane ou tbe
roii. 8be giaueec arouuc ior sonetbiug wortbwbiie to µbotograµb
ior ber iiuai su|jeet. A iiasb oi eoiour crew ber eye to tbe iar
easteru waii. lusbiug µast a iarge µiie oi ru||ie so sbe eouic see
wbat was ereatiug tbe caµµiec raiu|ow, "iuter nace a surµrisiug
ciseovery. It was a taii staiuec-giass wiucow tbat bac |eeu
µreviousiy o|seurec iron ber view |y a iarge eoiunu - oue oi tbe
iew renaiuiug rooi suµµorts.
1be |otton µortiou oi tbe wiucow was nissiug, |ut tbe toµ baii
renaiuec a stuuuiug testaneut to tbe artistry oi staiuec giass,
stauciug iu narlec eoutrast to tbe gioon auc sçuaior oi tbe ebureb.
1be inage was au exçuisite ceµietiou oi tbe \acouua boiciug ber
bauc out iu |euecietiou, reucerec iu vivic |iues, recs auc yeiiows.
1be artist bac taleu µartieuiar eare to iuiuse tbe \acouua`s iaee
witb tbe aµµroµriate |ieuc oi |eauty auc µiousuess.
uer seuse oi creac noneutariiy iorgotteu, "iuter novec eioser
ior a |etter augie oi tbe staiuec giass. 1hìs was the one! "iuter
was succeuiy iiiiec witb eouiiceuee tbat tbis µartieuiar sbot aii |ut
guarauteec tbe extra erecit sbe ueecec to µass tbe senester. uarry
lraueis wouic siug ber µraises to lriueiµai 8oreuseu, auc "iuter
wouic |e reieasec iron µro|atiou. 8be nigbt eveu |e a|ie to use
tbe inage iu ber µersouai µortioiio, wbieb was eurreutiy iinitec to a
iew sbots oi tbe iigbtbouse ou "bistier`s leal. As ioug as sbe
cicu`t ness it uµ.
Acjustiug tbe exµosure to retaiu tbe vi|raut eoiours, "iuter
raisec tbe eanera to ber eye, eareiuiiy iraniug tbe wiucow iu tbe
viewiiucer. uer iiuger |egau to ceµress tbe |uttou |ut iroze nic-
aetiou. "iuter`s |reatb eaugbt iu ber tbroat.
8be wasu`t aioue.
thaµter 1
"iuter siowiy iowerec ber eanera, eareiui uot to nale auy uoise.
1brougb tbe |roleu µaue oi tbe staiuec-giass wiucow sbe eouic see
tbe renuauts oi au aueieut graveyarc, aii |ut bicceu |y tbe taii grass
auc weecs tbat bac ereµt iu iron tbe surrouuciug woocs.
Biaeleuec ton|stoues rose a|ove tbe grass bere auc tbere iile
strauge iuugi, weatberec |y tbe eieneuts auc tbe µassage oi tine.
8tauciug over oue oi tbe graves, cressec iu a sinµie grey suit, was
a youug nau.
ue was augiec away iron ber so sbe eouicu`t çuite see bis iaee,
a |ouçuet oi wiic iiowers iu bis baucs. 8iowiy be lueit auc µiaeec
tbe iiowers at tbe |ase oi tbe gravestoue, witb a cegree oi
revereuee tbat toic ber bow nueb be earec a|out tbe µersou |uriec
tbere. As be straigbteuec, a gust oi wiuc |iew tbrougb tbe trees,
|uiietiug bis eiotbes auc ireeiug tbe |iael euris iron bis |row.
"iuter eouic see bis iaee nore eieariy.
Le was leautì/u/.
uer eyes traeec tbe eoutours oi tbe nau`s suµer|iy wrougbt
iaee, searebiug ior a iiaw auc iiuciug uoue. uis sliu was a ceeµ
goiceu |rowu, bis |oue strueture startiiug iu its µerieetiou. bigb
ebeel|oues, straigbt, siigbtiy tiitec uose auc a seuiµtec jawiiue
eoverec iu iiue stu||ie. By iar bis nost striliug ieature was bis eyes,
wbieb giitterec iile eneraic stars iu tbe sbacows oi tbe graveyarc.
"iuter tbougbt sbe ceteetec a sacuess a|out bin, a bauutec çuaiity
sbacowiug bis ieatures, wbieb nace bis |eauty aii tbe nore striliug.
Auc sbe eouicu`t iool away:
8onetbiug a|out tbe nau cenaucec ber atteutiou, eaiiiug to ber
ou au iustiuetuai ievei. "iuter`s µuise çuieleuec, ber |ocy iiusbec
witb beat, |ut sbe was ouiy vagueiy aware oi tbese µbysieai
resµouses. It was as tbougb watebiug tbe nau bac iuiiec ber iuto a
liuc oi crean state. uer tbougbts siowec, auy iiugeriug irigbt at
reaiisiug sbe wasu`t aioue iacec away. rotbiug seenec to natter
|ut tbe strauger.
8be |unµec agaiust tbe wiucow iecge, tbe seusatiou |riugiug
ber |ael to berseii. uac sbe |eeu tryiug to wail towarcs bin'
1rou|iec |y tbis iaµse iu seii-awareuess, sbe çuietiy steµµec out oi
view. "bat was wroug witb ber' 8be was sµyiug ou a strauger,
o|serviug wbat was eieariy a µrivate noneut, |ut sbe eouicu`t beiµ
berseii. Lveu uow tbe urge to µeel arouuc tbe wiucow irane at bin
was nacceuiugiy stroug. 1oo stroug to resist. uis |eauty cenaucec
ber atteutiou.
"iuter steaitbiiy ieauec arouuc to wateb bin agaiu, a çuestiou
iiuaiiy oeeurriug to ber - wbat was be coiug bere'
1be ebureb was iar euougb iron tbe roac tbat it was uuiileiy a
µersou eouic stun|ie aeross it. Besices, "iuter was eertaiu tbe
ouiy µatbway bere startec at tbe ueritage Ceutre, auc a waucerer
wouicu`t bave |eeu a|ie to µass |y witbout \r Deuuiug seeiug bin.
1be oic nau bacu`t neutiouec to "iuter tbat tbere was goiug to |e
auyoue eise cowu at tbe ebureb tocay, wbieb iec ber to |eiieve be
cicu`t luow a|out tbe baucsone strauger. 1be nau was as nueb a
tresµasser iu tbis iorgotteu µiaee as "iuter.
"iuter raisec tbe rilou auc iranec tbe strauger tbrougb ber
ieus. 1bere was iittie eouseious tbougbt |ebiuc tbe aetiou, just au
ainost iustiuetive urge. It was tbe sane urge tbat bac crawu ber to
tbe \acouua. to eaµture a su|jeet oi sueb µure aestbetie wortb.
8iieutiy, sbe sbiitec tbe ioeus uutii tbe strauger`s exçuisite ieatures
were |rougbt iuto sbarµ reiiei. Agaiu, tbe uotiou iiasbec tbrougb ber
niuc tbat wbat sbe was coiug was sonebow wroug.
"iuter tool tbe µieture, auc inneciateiy regrettec ber ceeisiou.
At tbe souuc oi tbe sbutter, tbe nau stiiieuec auc jerlec bis
beac towarcs ber. uis eyes ioelec outo bers, auc tbe iuteusity oi
bis gaze ioreec ber to tale a steµ |aelwarcs, as tbougb be`c
µbysieaiiy µusbec ber. A strauge tbougbt iiasbec tbrougb ber niuc -
he was seeìng hec! Le was cea//; seeìng hec! - auc |ebiuc tbis
was auotber, nueb eiearer tbougbt - what had she done`
"iuter eoutiuuec to |ael away, stiii stariug at tbe strauger,
uua|ie to |real tbe sµeii oi bis gaze. \ic-steµ ber ioot eaugbt ou a
µieee oi iaiieu tin|er auc sbe iost ber |aiauee.
ßhack!
uer |ael siannec agaiust tbe suµµortiug eoiunu auc sbe siic
cowu it outo tbe iioor, vagueiy eouseious oi ber sbirt |eiug
sbreccec |y tbe rougb wooc. 1bere sbe stayec, ieeiiug a nixture oi
sboel auc en|arrassneut. !ìce /ol. ßìntec. sbe tbougbt, cea//;
soooth!
1bere was a iouc erealiug a|ove ber iu tbe raiters as tbe
vi|ratious oi ber eoiiisiou rau uµ tbe eoiunu auc iouuc tbeir way to
tbe eross|eans. A sbower oi cust sµriuliec cowu ou ber. 8be
|rusbec it iron ber bair auc got µaiuiuiiy to ber ieet. 1be nau bac
vauisbec iron tbe graveyarc. lerbaµs be was naliug bis way
arouuc to tbe coorway to eouirout ber.
1bis µrosµeet cicu`t trou|ie "iuter as nueb as it sbouic bave,
|eeause sonetbiug eise was cistraetiug ber - sonetbiug sbe
eouicu`t çuite grasµ |ut seenec terri|iy inµortaut. Cverbeac, tbe
erealiug iuereasec iu voiune, ceeµeuiug to a iow groau as tbe
ebureb voieec its eonµiaiut.
1be iiue bairs ou ber arns stooc ou euc as tbougb tbe air arouuc
ber was iuiusec witb statie eieetrieity. 8iowiy, too siowiy, tbe
tbougbt iornec, risiug a|ove tbe ciu, |eeoniug eiearer.
1he coo/ was goìng to cooe down!
As ii to eouiirn tbis, nore cust sbowerec arouuc ber auc tbe
oniuous rever|eratious anµiiiiec. "iuter cicu`t ueec auy nore
eouviueiug. 8be seran|iec over tbe ce|ris eiutteriug tbe iioor. 1be
cust ieii iile a tbiel, grey raiu. Cougbiug auc sµiutteriug, sbe
sbieicec ber noutb witb ber bauc. lauie tbreateuec to |ioon, |ut
sbe beic it at |ay. 8be just ueecec to wail çuieliy auc |e eareiui
uot to triµ ou auy oi tbe -
A buge |ean erasbec to tbe grouuc, |areiy nissiug ber. "iuter
eriec out as sµiiuters oi wooc iiew tbrougb tbe air, |ouueiug oii ber
arns auc iegs. 8tuuuec, sbe stooc rootec to tbe sµot, stariug at tbe
iaiieu |ean auc tbe |roleu iuruiture it bac µuiverisec |eueatb it.
1hat cou/d have leen hec!
"iuter joitec berseii iuto a zigzaggiug ruu, oue bauc eiutebiug tbe
rilou µroteetiveiy to ber ebest. A|ove ber tbe ebureb`s rooi
eoutiuuec to groau auc sbale, cisiocgiug tin|er struts auc buriiug
cowu iragneuts oi wooc iile sone euragec goc. uer eyes stiugiug,
"iuter nauagec to cuel auc weave tbrougb tbe avaiauebe, leeµiug
ber watery gaze ioelec ou tbe exit. 8be was eiose uow - tbe greeu
woocs were iranec |y tbe ebureb coorway, tbe iigbt auc eoiour
|eelouiug ber witb a µronise oi saiety. Cuiy steµs away .
"iuter sµarec oue iast iool uµwarcs, just iu tine to see tbe
|iuut wooceu iaee oi a |ean rusbiug towarcs ber.
thaµter 4
Darluess riµµiiug witb eneraic iigbt.
Beiis toiiiug sonewbere iu tbe cistauee.
8be was iiyiug, or iaiiiug, wbiie soneoue beic ber bauc tigbtiy.
A warn wiuc |uiietec ber iaee, iiiiiug ber uose auc iuugs witb
tbe sweetest µeriune.
ßhece was she`
ßhece .`
"iuter oµeuec ber eyes to tbe barsb suuiigbt oi tbe eieariug. A
iaee ioonec out oi tbe goiceu iigbt a|ove ber. tbe graveyarc
strauger. ue was iooliug cowu at ber, bis |row iurrowec. It
seenec a siu tbat sueb |eautiiui ieatures were trou|iec |y tbis
worriec exµressiou. "iuter |iiulec, eurious to see ii be`c cisaµµear
or ii tbis was aetuaiiy baµµeuiug. It ieit iile a crean.
Are you olay'` uis voiee was soit, bis |reatb sneiiec vagueiy
oi tbat strauge carluess sbe`c iaiieu iuto. aronatie, sweet. As be
starec at ber, tbe iigbt iu bis eyes seenec to |rigbteu, iuteusiiy, craw
ber iu. Lost iu bis gaze, sbe was vagueiy aware oi ber beart|eat
tbucciug iu ber ears. 1bat µeeuiiar seuse oi |eiug seen |y bin
returuec, strouger tbau ever. ue was iooliug at ber nore ceeµiy
tbau auyoue ever bac |eiore, bis visiou µeuetratiug ber niuc, as
tbougb searebiug ior sonetbiug bicceu.
Are you olay'` be reµeatec.
"bat'` sbe reµiiec |reatbiessiy.
Auotber iaee joiuec tbe strauger`s, tbis oue nueb iess baucsone
auc a gooc ceai oicer - \r Deuuiug.
\ou ieeiiug olay, \iss Acans' Auy |oues |roleu'`
uis a|ruµt arrivai |role tbe uusettiiug trauee sbe`c siiµµec iuto.
leeiiug cizzy auc a iittie |reatbiess, "iuter nauagec to reµiy, I
cou`t tbiul so.`
8be giaueec ouee nore at tbe strauger, ainost too wary to nale
eye eoutaet agaiu, auc succeuiy reaiisec sbe was iyiug eraciec iu bis
arns. 1be en|arrassneut at tbis ioreec iutinaey eausec ber to sit
uµ nueb too çuieliy. lurµie iireworls exµiocec iu ber visiou,
tbreateuiug to seuc ber |ael to tbe carluess. "bat bac baµµeuec'
uer niuc worlec siuggisbiy, tryiug to eouueet tbe cots tbat bac iec
ber to tbis µoiut.
8be eouic renen|er sçueeziug ber eyes sbut, waitiug ior tbe
awiui inµaet oi tbe |ean, |ut tbat was wbere ber nenory stoµµec.
uow cic sbe eone to |e iyiug bere iu tbe eieariug' uac sbe |eeu bit
ou tbe beac auc suiierec sone liuc oi |raiu canage' "iuter raisec
a bauc to ber beac. 8ureiy sbe nust bave sµiit oµeu ber sluii or at
ieast |ruisec it. But tbere was uo µaiu wbeu sbe teutativeiy µressec
tbe sliu auc, |etter yet, uo |iooc wbeu sbe iusµeetec ber iiugers.
Lasy tbere, you`ve bac a iaii,` \r Deuuiug saic, bis grey |usby
eye|rows twitebiug witb eoueeru.
Let ne beiµ you,` tbe strauger saic, auc "iuter eouicu`t beiµ
|ut sueal auotber giinµse oi bis nagieai eyes. 1bey were so greeu
to |e ainost iuniuous, uo woucer sbe`c |eeu eutraueec |y tben.
"iuter bac uever seeu auyoue witb eyes iile tbat. ue geutiy boolec
a bauc |eueatb ber ei|ow auc beiµec ber to ber ieet. Deac ieaves
eruuebec |eueatb ber as sbe sbiitec ber weigbt.
1bauls.` "iuter sniiec sbyiy at bin, wiiiiug ber ebeels uot to
|iusb.
Botb neu were uow watebiug ber eioseiy, as ii worriec sbe
nigbt eoiiaµse at auy noneut.
Oh óod. the chucch!
"iuter ioolec µast \r Deuuiug at liigrin`s Laneut, wbieb
ioolec eveu nore nissbaµeu tbau it bac |eiore. A iarge seetiou oi
tbe rooi was nissiug, auc tbe eutrauee was eioggec witb |roleu
tin|er. 1be µauielec iiigbt iron tbe ebureb eane rusbiug |ael to
ber witb startiiug eiarity.
\ou sure you`re olay' Dou`t ueec uo an|uiauee or uotbiug'`
\r Deuuiug aslec ber.
"iuter sbool ber beac siowiy. I`n iiue.` 8be sbouic bave |eeu
iyiug |eueatb tbat µiie oi ru||ie:
ue jerlec a tbun| towarcs tbe ebureb. "bat baµµeuec iu
tbere'`
I cou`t luow, \r Deuuiug. Cue niuute I was taliug µietures,
tbe uext . tbe rooi was eoniug cowu.` 8be ieit guiity ior iyiug, |ut
iaelec tbe eourage to owu uµ to tbe trutb. It was hec /au/t! Ii
"iuter bacu`t |eeu so eiunsy, uoue oi tbis wouic bave baµµeuec.
As be surveyec tbe canage, \r Deuuiug a|seutiy ru||ec tbe
|ael oi bis ueel witb bis bauclerebiei. Just tool sone µietures,
bub' Dicu`t crive a |uiicozer iu tbrougb tbe irout coor or uotbiug'`
At tbe neutiou oi ber µietures, "iuter |egau to seareb tbe
grouuc arouuc ber ior tbe rilou.
"bere`s ny eanera'`
I bave it,` tbe strauger auswerec çuietiy. uer beart saul as be
beic uµ wbat was ieit oi tbe eanera |y its toru straµ. A sbarc oi
giass ieii iron tbe ieus to tbe grouuc. 1be |ocy bac |eeu erusbec,
tbe |ael gaµec oµeu iile a wouuc. 8be wouic ratber bave |roleu
a |oue or two ii it neaut saviug tbe rilou. Boues beaiec, eaneras
cicu`t. It bac |eeu a giit iron ber iatber. 8be giugeriy tool it iron
tbe strauger`s grasµ auc turuec it over iu ber baucs.
I`n sorry,` tbe strauger saic eonµassiouateiy, as tbougb be bac
sone seuse oi bow nueb tbe eanera neaut to ber.
\r Deuuiug iusµeetec tbe ruiuec eanera over ber sbouicer.
Couic |e worse. Least you got out iu oue µieee. Cic liigrin`s
Laneut nigbt`ve taleu a ebuul outta you ii tbis youug ieiia bacu`t
|eeu bere.` ue irowuec at tbe strauger. "bat`s your uane agaiu,
sou'`
Biale. Biale Duebanµ.`
"eii, Biale, seens \iss Acans bere owes you a |ig
tbaulyou.`
"iuter sniiec at Biale aµoiogetieaiiy. A|soiuteiy. 1baul you.
I`n "iuter.`
8be ieit ber iaee recceu as it aiways cic wbeu sbe iutrocueec
berseii. uowever, tbis tine it was iess to co witb ber seii-
eouseiousuess a|out baviug sueb au uueouveutiouai uane, auc nore
to co witb tbe toueb oi Biale`s bauc as be sbool bers.
It`s a µieasure to neet you, "iuter.`
\r Deuuiug tiitec bis beac towarcs Biale. "bat were you
coiug cowu bere auyway, Biale' I cicu`t see you uµ at tbe
ueritage Ceutre.`
"iuter watebec Biale, eurious a|out tbis µoiut. uis iaee
renaiuec uureaca|ie as be eainiy auswerec, uiliug.`
Cue oi \r Deuuiug`s eye|rows junµec uµ. uiliug'`
Biale uoccec, as tbougb it were tbe nost uaturai tbiug iu tbe
woric to |e wauceriug arouuc tbese nouutaiu woocs iu a grey suit
auc cress sboes. \r Deuuiug ioolec as ii be nigbt say sonetbiug
eise, |ut sbruggec iusteac auc turuec |ael to iaee tbe ebureb.
ue sigbec ceeµiy. "bat a ness. Couua |e a cevii to eieau uµ.`
Aiter a noneut`s tbougbt, be turuec |ael to "iuter auc aslec
boµeiuiiy, \iss Acans, cou`t suµµose I eouic get you to sigu
tbose iusurauee iorns uow, eouic I'`
thaµter s
By tbe tine "iuter ieit tbe ueritage Ceutre, tbe aiteruoou iigbt bac
taleu ou a nueb carler çuaiity. "biie sbe`c |eeu iusice iiiiiug out
aii tbe iia|iiity iorns \r Deuuiug eouic iiuc, tbe storn eioucs bac
stoieu aeross tbe sly, turuiug it tbe eoiour oi siate. A iow run|ie oi
tbuucer souucec as sbe erossec tbe µarliug iot to Jessie, ber
seooter. Ii sbe cicu`t get bone soou sbe was goiug to get wet.
Just |eiore sbe reaebec Jessie, a voiee startiec ber.
Cau I give you a iiit'`
"iuter turuec to see Biale stauciug |esice a rusty µiel-uµ truel
ou tbe otber sice oi tbe µarliug iot. A iittie surµrisec tbat be was stiii
bere, sbe sniiec |asbiuiiy auc sbool ber beac.
It`s iiue. I bave ny seooter.`
ue uoccec towarcs tbe truel. I eouic µut it ou tbe |ael. Lools
iile it`s goiug to raiu.`
"iuter besitatec a noneut |eiore sbaliug ber beac agaiu.
1bauls auyway.`
1be reasou ior tbis reiusai was twoioic. Cue. sbe was ceeµiy
en|arrassec a|out taliug Biale`s µieture iile sone ceneutec
µaµarazzi, auc two. be irigbteuec ber. ro, tbat wasu`t çuite true.
Biale cicu`t irigbteu ber iu tbe seuse tbat be was caugerous, |ut tbe
rusb oi ieeiiugs sbe`c exµerieueec iooliug iuto bis eyes cic nale
ber uueoniorta|ie. 8onetbiug a|out tbis strauger bac wrestec away
auy enotiouai eoutroi "iuter µossessec, auc ior a iew |riei
seeoucs sbe`c ieit outsice berseii. Distaut. Lost.
"bat searec ber nost a|out tbat ieeiiug was bow µart oi ber
aetuaiiy eujoyec iosiug eoutroi. As sbe stooc iooliug at Biale
aeross tbe µarliug iot, "iuter ieit a gbost oi tbat cizzyiug seusatiou.
Cooc seuse toic ber tbat auytbiug tbat µrovolec sueb a stroug
reaetiou was µro|a|iy |ac ior ber auc sbouic |e avoicec. Lveu ii
tbe stirriugs iu ber beart arguec tbe eoutrary.
8tiii aware oi Biale`s gaze, "iuter straµµec ou ber beinet auc
siic outo tbe seooter. "by bac be nace tbe oiier, auyway' Ii
"iuter eaugbt sone ereeµ taliug µbotos oi ber, sbe cou|tec sbe`c
eare wbetber tbey got bone saieiy or uot. Lviceutiy Biale was uot
ouiy gorgeous |ut liuc as weii. Auc "iuter bac reiusec au
oµµortuuity to sµeuc nore tine witb bin. \eµ, sbe eouic acc tbat
to tbe iist oi snart ceeisious sbe`c nace tocay, rigbt uucer wailiug
|iitbeiy iuto wbat was o|viousiy a ceatbtraµ.
"iuter leyec tbe iguitiou, eriugiug at tbe raggec tieliug souuc
ceeµ witbiu Jessie`s eugiue. uer µoor oic seooter was ueariug tbe
euc oi its iiiesµau. Last weel, wbiie waitiug at a set oi traiiie iigbts,
Jessie bac startec sbucceriug auc vi|ratiug iu tbe nost aiarniug way
|eiore eveutuaiiy iaiiiug stiii. Aiter tbe seooter iaiiec to start agaiu,
"iuter bac |eeu ioreec to µusb it tbe rest oi tbe way bone. Cuee
iu tbe criveway, Jessie`s eugiue bac sµruug |ael to iiie, reniuciug
"iuter oi a triel sbe usec to µuii ou ber iatber wbeu sbe was a
ebiic. lreteuciug to |e asieeµ, sbe wouic aiiow bin to earry ber
iron tbe ear to tbe |ecroon - ouiy to oµeu ber eyes auc giggie
nisebievousiy as be tuelec ber iu.
lor a iew uervous seeoucs, "iuter tbougbt sbe nigbt aetuaiiy
bave to tale Biale uµ ou bis oiier, |ut ou tbe sixtb turu tbe eugiue
startec wbirriug. 8be steerec Jessie towarcs tbe µarliug iot exit,
ieeiiug seii-eouseious a|out tbe µiunes oi oiiy |iael snole |eiebiug
iron tbe seooter`s exbaust. "beu Biale turuec to wateb ber µass,
sbe tbrew bin a wave. ue returuec it witbout sniiiug, auc eoutiuuec
to stare at ber iu tbat iuteuse way. ue was a strauge oue, tbat was
ior sure. 8trauge auc |eautiiui.
"iuter woucerec ii sbe`c ever see bin agaiu. Lveu iu a snaii
towu iile uagau`s Biuii tbe iileiibooc oi tbeir µatbs erossiug ior a
seeouc tine was siin. Besices, iu ber exµerieuee oµµortuuity rareiy
luoelec twiee, esµeeiaiiy aiter gettiug tbe coor siannec iu its iaee
tbe iirst tine. \eµ - sbe`c |iowu it. \issec out ou ber oue auc ouiy
ebauee at gettiug to luow tbe nysterious Biale. ue was uotbiug
uow |ut au aueecote, au exeitiug story ior ber to teii Jasniue at
sebooi tonorrow. 8be`c µro|a|iy ieave out tbe µart a|out reiusiug
bis oiier oi a iiit bone, tbougb. Jasniue wouic uever iorgive ber ior
|eiug sueb a eowarc.
Cousiceriug tbe sort oi cay sbe was baviug, "iuter wasu`t
surµrisec tbat it startec raiuiug niuutes aiter sbe ieit tbe µarliug iot.
8be`c ouiy just turuec outo Arebineces Drive auc was beaciug
cowu tbe nouutaiu towarcs towu wbeu tbe iuitiai iat croµs ieii. At
iirst it was ouiy sµriuliiug auc sbe was a|ie to rice witbout too
nueb ciiiieuity, |ut aiter a iew niuutes tbe sbower streugtbeuec iu
ioree. rot ior tbe iirst tine, sbe woucerec wby beinets wereu`t
eçuiµµec witb wiµers. 8be siowec Jessie to a erawi auc tbat was
wbeu tbe creacec sbucceriug vi|ratiou |egau.
C`nou, Jessie:` "iuter urgec, griµµiug tbe baucie|ars, |ut tbe
wbir oi Jessie`s eugiue bac aireacy regressec to a series oi aiarniug
µoµs auc sµiutters. Desµite "iuter`s cesµerate µieaciug, tbe
seooter soou ieii siieut. "itb ouiy gravity to leeµ ber iu notiou,
"iuter eoastec ou tbe cowubiii sioµe ior auotber iew netres |eiore
µuiiiug over to tbe sice oi tbe roac. "bat a µerieet euciug to a
µerieet aiteruoou.
8ittiug ou tbe sice oi tbe roac, "iuter watebec tbe storn rage
uµou uagau`s Biuii. lron ber vautage µoiut ou tbe nouutaiu, sbe
eouic see nost oi tbe towu iar |eiow, sµreaciug out iron tbe |ase
oi tbe nouutaiu. Aii tbose µeoµie cowu tbere were eujoyiug tbe iast
oi tbe weeleuc wbiie sbe was stuel baiiway uµ a nouutaiu, gettiug
wetter auc eoicer |y tbe niuute.
1be Biuii ioolec a iittie iile a toy viiiage, tbe Laeley kiver
tbreaciug tbrougb it eouic bave |eeu a trielie oi sµiiiec siiver µaiut.
"iuter`s gaze ioiiowec tbe sualiug µatb oi tbe river µast tbe streets
auc bouses to tbe eoastiiue, wbere it enµtiec iuto tbe oeeau. 1be
|iuiis, iron wbieb tbe towu reeeivec its uane, rose uµ ou eitber sice
oi tbe river noutb, tbe iurtbest oue sµortiug a |rigbt eoiunu oi
wbite. tbe iigbtbouse ou "bistier`s leal. Beyouc tbe iigbtbouse, tbe
oeeau was a wice carl |iue |auc. 1biel sbeets oi raiu |iew iu over
tbe water, wbiie iigbtuiug iiasbec iu tbe eburuiug eioucs nirrorec
a|ove. Ii sbe wereu`t soaliug wet auc ireeziug, tbe vista wouic
bave struel "iuter as |eautiiuiiy cranatie.
8be was just a|out to see ii Jessie bac iiuisbec suiliug wbeu tbe
souuc oi au aµµroaebiug eugiue crew ber atteutiou |ael uµ tbe
wiuciug roac towarcs tbe ueritage Ceutre. 8eeoucs iater,
beaciigbts iaueec tbrougb tbe raiu as a µiel-uµ truel eane arouuc
tbe eoruer. "iuter straigbteuec ou ber saccie as tbe truel roiiec to
a stoµ uear wbere sbe was µarlec. 1be criver ieauec aeross to
wiuc cowu tbe µasseuger-sice wiucow.
uoµ iu,` Biale saic, µusbiug oµeu tbe µasseuger coor.
thaµter e
"biie Biale was straµµiug Jessie cowu ou tbe |ael oi bis truel,
"iuter uervousiy |egau to seeouc-guess ber ceeisiou. 8be sbouic
bave eaiiec Luey to eone auc µiel ber uµ. 1bey eouic bave ieit tbe
seooter bere ou tbe nouutaiu auc eaiiec a tow truel to eoiieet it. It
was au exµeusive oµtiou, |ut at ieast it wouicu`t bave resuitec iu
"iuter sittiug bere ieeiiug auxious.
uer tbougbts were iuterruµtec |y tbe souuc oi tbe rear tray
ioeliug iuto µiaee, ioiiowec |y Biale`s sboes eruuebiug ou tbe
gravei outsice. "iuter iielec ber cry iiµs as be oµeuec tbe coor auc
siic iu uext to ber. Lveu tbougb tbe raiu bac iiatteuec bis |iael wavy
bair to bis seaiµ, be stiii ioolec as ii be eouic bave steµµec iresb
iron tbe µages oi a nagaziue. "iuter cou|tec sbe eouic say tbe
sane ior berseii. uer rec bair buug iu wet straucs |y tbe sices oi
ber iaee, auc ber eoat auc |iue 1-sbirt were soalec. At ieast sbe
bacu`t |otberec to µut auy naseara ou tbis noruiug, otberwise, sbe
wouic eertaiuiy bave serious µauca eyes auc iool eveu nore
irigbtiui.
Are you eoic'` Biale aslec, bis gaze croµµiug to tbe
goose|unµs ou ber arns.
ro, I`n ii -` sbe |egau, |ut be was aireacy taliug oii bis
jaelet. 1beir eyes net |rieiiy as be wraµµec it arouuc ber
sbouicers. Looliug iuto bis eneraic eyes, "iuter ieit a joit, ainost
iile a surge oi eieetrieity, tbat nace ber eutire |ocy tiugie. 8be
giaueec cowu, |otb eouiusec auc ceeµiy en|arrassec a|out sueb a
stroug µbysieai reaetiou iron sone iuuoeeut eye eoutaet.
1bauls,` sbe nurnurec, orceriug berseii to get a griµ. Biale
was just a nau. A |eautiiui nau, |ut uo oue to get so iuereci|iy
worlec uµ over. But eveu as sbe triec tbis iiue oi reasouiug, "iuter
eouicu`t ioiiow tbrougb witb it. "raµµec iu Biale`s jaelet, iu tbe
iuxurious warntb oi bis |ocy beat, "iuter luew it was a iie.
"bere to'` Biale aslec, startiug tbe eugiue.
lor a noneut, "iuter`s niuc weut |iaul as sbe triec to
renen|er bow to get to ber bouse. lerbaµs sbe bac bit ber beac iu
tbe ebureb' 8be was iiuciug it barc to tbiul eieariy. Lveutuaiiy tbe
cireetious suriaeec tbrougb ber nucciec tbougbts.
Just beac cowu tbe nouutaiu, auc tale a ieit at tbe naiu roac.`
Biale uoccec auc swuug tbe truel |ael outo tbe iaue. 1bey
crove iu siieuee as "iuter starec tbrougb tbe raiu-strealec wiucow
at uagau`s Biuii, tryiug to tbiul oi sonetbiug to say. 1be siieuee
stretebec ou, |eeoniug uueoniorta|ie, as ber eyes restiessiy
seauuec tbe nisty iaucseaµe |eiow.
8o wby "iuter¨'` Biale saic, |realiug tbe busb. A uane iile
tbat bas gotta bave a story |ebiuc it.`
"iuter eriugec. Couutiess ebiicbooc tauuts bac ieit tbeir narl.
rot nueb oi oue. \y nun was a |ig |iues iau. \ou`ve µro|a|iy
uever bearc oi Jobuuy "iuter.`
Ci eourse I bave.` Biale`s çuiel resµouse astouisbec ber. ue
eoverec BB kiug`s Be Careiui witb a looi¨ iu tbe sixties, rigbt'`
I eau`t |eiieve you luow tbat:`
ue sbruggec. I`ve got a nenory ior nusie. Auc iittie eise,` be
accec, bis iiµs twitebiug iu a iaiut sniie. It was ouiy a siigbt erael iu
bis eurtaiu oi reserve, |ut "iuter was eueouragec. Auytbiug was
|etter tbau tbat awlwarc siieuee.
"eii, ii ny nun bac bac a |oy, sbe wouic bave uanec bin
Jobuuy. 8be bac a giri, so .`
"iuter,` Biale iiuisbec ior ber.
8be sigbec. rot tbe easiest uane to survive tbe µiaygrouuc
witb. \ost µeoµie just eaii ne "iu.`
I iile "iuter,` Biale saic, auc, ior nay|e tbe iirst tine, so cic
"iuter. Cau I asl you a çuestiou'`
8ure.` 8be was ieeiiug a iot |etter. 8eeiug Biale sniie bac goue
a ioug way to easiug tbe teusiou sbe was ieeiiug. lius, be cicu`t
tbiul ber uane was siiiy.
"by were you sµyiug ou ne'`
"iuter`s stonaeb tigbteuec iuto a luot.
I wasu`t -` sbe |egau.
"bat was witb tbe eanera'` Biale wore uo traee oi bis eariier
sniie.
1oo iiusterec to eone uµ witb a µiausi|ie exeuse, "iuter eouic
ouiy reµiy trutbiuiiy. I`n sorry. I cicu`t neau auytbiug |y it. I was
uµ tbere taliug µietures ior a stuµic sebooi uewsµaµer tbiug. Auc
tbeu I saw you auc . \ou nust tbiul I`n a ireal.` I ao a /ceak,
sbe tbougbt to berseii nisera|iy.
Ci eourse uot,` be saic, bis toue soiteuiug. Dou`t |eat yourseii
uµ. I was just eurious.`
"iuter carec to |eiieve be was teiiiug tbe trutb.
"bat were you coiug tbere'` sbe aslec, regrettiug tbe çuestiou
eveu as it eseaµec ber iiµs. It was uoue oi ber |usiuess wbat Biale
was coiug iu tbe graveyarc: uacu`t sbe iutrucec ou bis µrivaey
euougb ior oue cay'
Visitiug a grave,` Biale auswerec sbortiy. C|viousiy be bac uo
wisb to ciseuss tbe natter iurtber.
"orriec tbat tbe nooc iu tbe ear bac ouee agaiu growu teuse,
"iuter raelec ber |raiu ior a way to reseue tbe noneut.
8o, are you just µassiug tbrougb or . '` "iuter was µretty
sure Biale wasu`t ioeai. uagau`s Biuii was too snaii ior soneoue
wbo ioolec iile bin to go uuuotieec. 8be suµµosec be nigbt |e
bere ior a boiicay, aitbougb it was uuiileiy. leoµie eane to uagau`s
Biuii ior tbe |eaebes auc it wouicu`t |e warn euougb to swin ior
noutbs yet.
ro, I just |ougbt a µiaee out ou uoiioway koac. I µiau ou
stayiug bere ior a wbiie.`
"iuter`s eyes wiceuec. 8be luew tbat uane weii, as cic nost oi
tbe otber lics iu uagau`s Biuii. uoiioway koac startec at tbe ecge
oi towu |eiore cisaµµeariug iuto tbe woocs at tbe |ase oi Cwi
\ouutaiu`s soutberu sioµe. It usec to |e tbe naiu route to tbe
bigbway |ut bac |eeu suµersecec |y tbe |yµass eoustruetec a iew
years ago. row it was a ioueiy roac, traveiiec |y iew, auc tbe oue
µroµerty tbat iay tbere was sureiy uot ior saie.
rot tbe Veiaseo µiaee'` "iuter aslec, uua|ie to bice tbe
sboel iu ber voiee.
Biale giaueec over at ber. \ou`ve bearc oi it'`
Lveryoue`s bearc oi it:` 8be eaugbt bis raisec eye|row. It bas
a . reµutatiou.`
I cou`t uucerstauc.`
\ou luow bow every towu bas a bauutec bouse' "eii, ours is
tbe Veiaseo µiaee. 1be story goes tbat oic nau Veiaseo was a
ebureb niuister iu tbe tbirties. ue bac a wiie auc tbree caugbters.
1bis was curiug tbe Deµressiou, so iooc was µretty searee. 1bere
were a iot oi buugry µeoµie arouuc. Cue 8uucay Veiaseo`s wiie
auc caugbters cicu`t eone to ebureb. "beu tbey cicu`t turu uµ tbe
uext weel eitber, µeoµie startec asliug çuestious. A noutb iater,
wbeu tbey stiii bacu`t turuec uµ, sone|ocy eaiiec tbe µoiiee. 1bey
iouuc Veiaseo`s wiie auc caugbters eooiiug iu tbe |aseneut. "eii,
µart oi tben, auyway. I guess tbe buuger |eeane too nueb ior oic
Veiaseo to baucie, so be inµrovisec. 1bey iouuc bin swiugiug iron
tbe raiters iu tbe attie, baviug baugec binseii ratber tbau iaee tbe
eouseçueuees. Cu uaiioweeu tbe ioeai lics care oue auotber to go
uµ auc riug tbe |eii. \ou bave to riug it tbree tines or risl |eiug
eaiiec ebieleu.` "iuter µausec, auc accec, I ouiy ever nace it to
two.`
Biale was çuiet ior a noneut, bis exµressiou sonewbere
|etweeu astouucec auc anusec. I |ougbt a bauutec bouse'`
ueariug bin say tbe µbrase haunted house nace "iuter aware
oi bow siiiy tbe eoueeµt was. kegarciess, sbe ceeicec to µiay
aioug, reiievec tbat tbe eouversatiou bac steerec away iron tbe
awlwarc seeue iu liigrin`s Laneut. `lraic so. Do you |eiieve iu
gbosts'`
8be ioolec over at Biale auc saw tbat be was tryiug uot to
sniie.
I suµµose I co,` be auswerec, auc "iuter got tbe cistiuet
inµressiou be was eujoyiug a µrivate jole.
thaµter 1
1bis is it, eoniug uµ ou tbe ieit,` "iuter saic as tbey turuec iuto
"averiy 8treet. uer bouse was stiii a iew uun|ers away, |ut
tbey`c |e tbere soou euougb. 1oo soou ior "iuter. Driviug tbrougb
tbe raiusweµt streets, Biale bac ouiy just |eguu to oµeu uµ a|out
wby be`c ceeicec to nove to uagau`s Biuii to eseaµe tbe eity.
"biie be seenec reiuetaut to ciseuss bis µroiessiou, sbe got tbe
inµressiou tbat wbatever it was nust bave |eeu µretty stressiui.
lerbaµs be`c |eeu a stoel|roler, or a juuior µartuer at a iaw iirn'
ue bac sonetbiug oi tbat criveu, buugry iool a|out bin, bowever,
tbere was a weariuess tbat ereµt iuto bis toue wbeuever be aiiucec
to bis µast. A sacuess tbat nace ber |otb synµatbetie auc eurious.
Biale |rougbt tbe truel to a stoµ at tbe ioot oi "iuter`s
criveway. 8be uotec tbat Luey`s statiou wagou was µarlec iu tbe
garage - sbe nust bave iiuisbec eariy at tbe µbarnaey tocay.
Lueliiy, tbe litebeu wiucows were crawu, so tbere was a ebauee
Luey wouic niss Biale croµµiug ber oii. "iuter cicu`t reiisb baviug
to eucure tbe iuevita|ie iuterrogatiou tbat wouic oeeur ii ber sister
eaugbt ber |eiug criveu bone |y a strauge nau.
Biale switebec oii tbe eugiue. Is bere olay'`
\eab, tbauls ior tbe iiit,` sbe saic, wouceriug ii sbe sbouic
iuvite bin iusice.
ro µro|ien.` Beiore sbe eouic nuster tbe eourage to asl ii be
wautec to eone iu ior a criul, be`c aireacy oµeuec tbe coor. I`ii
get your seooter oii tbe |ael.`
ue steµµec iuto tbe raiu, ieaviug "iuter ieeiiug iile a siiiy giri
witb a erusb. "bat was sbe tbiuliug' A gorgeous guy iile Biale
µro|a|iy bac a giriirieuc waitiug ior bin at bone.
8tiii wraµµec iu bis jaelet, "iuter çuieliy eoiieetec ber tbiugs
auc ioiiowec bin outsice. 8be giaueec uµ at ber bouse sittiug ou toµ
oi tbe steeµiy sioµiug µroµerty auc ieit a µaug oi sbane. 8be boµec
Biale wouicu`t jucge ber |asec ou its aµµearauee. uer oic bone
bac |eeu so ioveiy sbe wouicu`t bave ieit at aii seii-eouseious a|out
|eiug croµµec oii iu irout oi it. 1be |est you eouic say a|out tbis
oue was tbat it bac iour waiis auc a rooi to leeµ tbe raiu oii tbeir
beacs. Aiter tbey`c soic tbeir oic bone to settie tbeir iatber`s
outstauciug |usiuess ce|ts, tbis was aii tbey eouic aiiorc. a two-
|ecroon grey |ox eievatec over a snaii garage. It wasu`t a cunµ,
|ut "iuter wouic uever |e a|ie to tbiul oi it as bone.
Do you bave a neebauie you eau trust'` Biale saic, as be
renovec tbe ebaius tbat noorec Jessie to tbe truel.
"iuter sbruggec. I trust wboever gives ne tbe ebeaµest çuote.`
I luow a iittie |it a|out |iles. lron tbe souuc it was naliug as
you crove away, I tbiul you just bave a eoutaniuatec iiiter.
8bouicu`t |e too exµeusive to iix. Dou`t µay nore tbau oue-iiity.`
One-/ì/t;! uow was sbe goiug to aiiorc tbat' Deeiciug to worry
a|out it iater, "iuter triec to eujoy tbe view. 8bieiciug ber eyes
iron tbe nistiug raiu, sbe watebec Biale set a|out uuioaciug ber
seooter iron tbe |ael tray. Desµite |eiug reiativeiy siin, tbe way be
eiiortiessiy iiitec Jessie iron tbe ranµ suggestec be was strouger
tbau be ioolec. "iuter watebec bis arns teuse auc iiex auc
eouicu`t beiµ wouceriug wbat be ioolec iile witbout bis sbirt ou.
8be was stiii stariug as Biale wbeeiec Jessie over, eatebiug
berseii |eiore be uotieec.
I`c get soneoue to bave a iool at it soou, tbougb,` be saic as
sbe tool tbe baucie|ars iron bin. \ou sbouicu`t iet tbese tbiugs
iie.`
A tbougbt oeeurrec to "iuter. Let ne try sonetbiug.` 8be
turuec tbe ley iu Jessie`s iguitiou. Aiter a iew eiiels, tbe eugiue
niraeuiousiy eougbec iuto iiie.
Biale ioolec geuuiueiy anazec. uow cic you co tbat'`
I bac a ieeiiug Jessie was µiayiug µossun.` 8be turuec oii tbe
eugiue.
ue raisec bis eye|rows at ber. Jessie'`
\es, I eaii ny seooter Jessie, auc I cou`t tbiul tbat`s weirc iu
tbe siigbtest.`
uer iatber was tbe oue wbo`c urgec ber to uane tbe seooter ou
tbe cay sbe`c µielec it uµ iron tbe usec ear iot, teiiiug ber iu tbat
sage-iile nauuer oi bis tbat tbiugs cicu`t |eioug to you uutii you
uanec tben. 1essìe bac eone to "iuter ainost iustautiy, tbougb
sbe wasu`t sure iron wbere. 1be seooter sinµiy ioolec iile a
Jessie.
Doesu`t your truel bave a uane'` sbe aslec Biale witb noel
surµrise.
8ure. 1oyota,` be reµiiec witbout nissiug a |eat.
1bere was a noneut oi siieuee as tbey stooc iooliug at eaeb
otber. As ber gaze ioelec witb bis, "iuter ioeusec ou ber µbysieai
reaetiou, uot iettiug berseii criit away. 8be ieit au iuteuse wave oi
µieasure wasb over ber, ber |ocy grew bot, so nueb so tbat sbe
was ainost surµrisec tbe raiu cicu`t sizzie auc turu to stean as it ieii
uµou ber |uruiug sliu. 8tariug iuto Biale`s |riiiiaut greeu eyes,
"iuter ieit nore aiive tbau sbe eouic ever renen|er. It was a
ceiiriousiy accietive seusatiou, as tbougb sbe`c sµeut ber eutire iiie
iu a carl roon auc bac uow at iast exµerieueec tbe warntb oi tbe
suu. 1o tbiul be eouic nale ber ieei tbis way just |y iooliug at ber:
Do you waut ne to beiµ you wbeei Jessie uµ to tbe garage'`
Biale saic, giaueiug at tbe steeµ criveway auc |realiug tbe sµeii.
leeiiug iiusterec, "iuter sbool ber beac.
ro, it`s iiue. I`ve got it. I tbiul you`ve coue euougb ior ne ior
oue cay.`
8be suealec oue iast giauee iron |eueatb ber iasbes, auc was
eurious to see tbat a sbacow bac iaiieu over bis iaee.
"bat is it'`
Biale seenec to renen|er binseii auc ioreec a uot eutireiy
eouviueiug sniie.
rotbiug. It was uiee neetiug you, "iuter.`
\ou too, Biale,` sbe saic, sbaliug bis bauc. 1bauls ior, you
luow, saviug ny iiie.`
Auytine.` 1bere was auotber run|ie oi tbuucer. \ou |etter
get iusice |eiore you crowu.` ue startec noviug away iron ber.
8tay out oi oic eburebes, olay'` be eaiiec over bis sbouicer |eiore
be reaebec tbe truel.
8be griuuec at bin. I`ii try.`
Biale startec tbe eugiue, tbrew ber a çuiel wave auc µuiiec
|ael outo tbe street. It was ouiy aiter be cisaµµearec iron view
tbat sbe reaiisec sonetbiug.
8be was stiii weariug bis jaelet.
thaµter 8
"iuter µusbec Jessie uµ tbe steeµ iueiiue, ber tbougbts raeiug. uac
be ieit tbe jaelet ou µurµose' Dic be waut to see ber agaiu or was
it sinµiy au aeeiceut' 1bese were weigbty çuestious auc wouic
tale sone eousiceratiou. 1be icea oi seeiug Biale agaiu tbriiiec ber,
|ut uow sbe was iree oi bis byµuotie gaze, "iuter eouic bear nore
eieariy tbat snaii voiee oi eautiou iu tbe |ael oi ber niuc. 1be oue
tbat bac toic ber to get ou Jessie auc crive away iron tbe ueritage
Ceutre ratber tbau aeeeµt bis iiit. 1bere was sonetbiug ciiiereut
a|out Biale, sonetbiug |eyouc bis startiiug |eauty. A cauger. A
seeret.
Cut oi tbe eoruer oi ber eye, "iuter uotieec tbe litebeu wiucow
eurtaiu iaii |ael iuto µiaee. 8be sigbec ceeµiy. It ioolec iile sbe`c
|e ciseussiug Biale wbetber sbe was reacy to or uot.
1be noneut sbe`c stowec Jessie auc startec uµ tbe stairs iron
tbe garage, Luey eaiiec iron tbe litebeu. Is tbat you, "iu'`
"iuter grittec ber teetb, aireacy irritatec at tbe µrosµeet oi tbe
iuterrogatiou. \eab, it`s ne.`
Cive ne a bauc iu bere, wiii you'`
"iuter trucgec reiuetautiy iuto tbe litebeu. Luey was |eut over
tbe stove, stirriug a uoxious-sneiiiug |rotb iu a iarge saueeµau. 8be
was stiii cressec iu ber greeu µbarnaey uuiiorn, |ut bac tiec ou
tbeir notber`s rec iiorai-µriut aµrou to µroteet it iron sµiatters. 8be
turuec at tbe souuc oi "iuter`s aµµroaeb, |eelouiug ber over
eutbusiastieaiiy. Cone bere - I waut you to taste tbis.`
"iuter watebec witb borror as ber sister ciµµec tbe sµoou iuto
tbe |u||iiug iiçuic auc |rougbt it uµ ior ber to sanµie. Luey |iew
ou it |eiore µusbiug tbe stuii iuto "iuter`s noutb. "iuter eiosec ber
eyes, tryiug to leeµ ber iaee ueutrai. 1be souµ/stew/s/ìoe rau cowu
ber tbroat, ieaviug a |itter aitertaste.
uow is it'`
"iuter oµeuec ber eyes to see Luey watebiug ber exµeetautiy.
Deiieious,` sbe iiec, |ut Luey`s reiiei was wortb it.
keaiiy' I was worriec I cicu`t use euougb rosenary.`
roµe - I tbiul you uaiiec it.`
Diuuer`s a|out baii au bour away. "by cou`t you wasb uµ auc
tbeu set tbe ta|ie'`
Clay.` 8be beacec out oi tbe litebeu. \ay|e sbe eouic eseaµe
|eiore Luey |egau asliug çuestious.
8o . uew jaelet, bub'`
"iuter µausec iu tbe coorway. Shed leen so c/ose! 8iowiy,
sbe turuec ou ber beeis auc ieauec agaiust tbe wooceu irane.
Luey snirlec at ber. "bo`s tbe guy'`
Just a guy.` It was ciiiieuit to leeµ tbe uote oi exasµeratiou out
oi ber voiee.
Just a guy' C`nou, "iu - you eau co |etter tbau tbat. "bat`s
bis uane' Does be go to your sebooi' uow cic you neet' \ou
luow tbe criii.`
"iuter ebose ber worcs eareiuiiy. Lver siuee tbeir µareuts`
ceatb, Luey bac |eeu µroteetive oi ber. Icotectìve was aetuaiiy au
uucerstateneut - sbe`c aii |ut µiaeec "iuter uucer bouse arrest.
uis uane`s Biale. ue`s uew iu towu. \y seooter |role cowu
auc be gave ne a iiit bone.` "iuter tbougbt onittiug tbe aeeiceut
wouic sµare ber sister sone uuueeessary stress, |ut aµµareutiy
sbe`c niseaieuiatec Luey`s seusitivity.
ue was a stcangec' Are you teiiiug ne you got iu a ear witb a
strauge nau'`
"eii, uo. rot reaiiy. I neau, we liuc oi net -`
Luey cicu`t iet ber iiuisb. "bat were you thìnkìng, "iu'` Do
you luow bow nauy youug giris go nissiug every year'` 8be
eoutiuuec ber raut, reeiiug oii a iist oi statisties tbat "iuter iouuc
bigbiy susµeet. "beuever tbey bac oue oi tbese arguneuts Luey
was sonebow a|ie to çuote reans oi statisties, tbougb "iuter bac
uever seeu ber aetuaiiy eoucuetiug auy researeb to gatber tbis
iuiornatiou. 1be ouiy iiterature Luey reac were tbe ta|ioic
nagaziues sbe |rougbt bone iron tbe µbarnaey rael.
\ou`re a|soiuteiy rigbt, Luey. I wou`t co it agaiu.` Iu situatious
iile tbis it was |etter to µiaeate ber sister ratber tbau argue. "iuter
cicu`t |iane Luey ior reaetiug tbe way sbe cic. 1bey |otb were stiii
grieviug auc ii Luey bac |eeone a iittie uubiugec auc
overµroteetive, "iuter eouic uucerstauc it. Lveu ii it got ou ber
uerves sonetines.
I just waut you to tbiul |eiore you tale tbese stuµic risls. I
luow I`n uot \un, |ut .` uaviug tirec berseii out, Luey seenec
to regaiu sone sen|iauee oi sauity. 8be erossec tbe litebeu auc
µuiiec "iuter iuto a tigbt bug.
\ou luow I iove you, rigbt'` sbe wbisµerec iuto "iuter`s ear.
I luow.`
Cooc.` Luey iet go oi ber, eyes sbiuiug witb tears. "iuter
µreierrec ber sister`s outrage to tbis. Beiore tbe iuuerai, sbe
eouicu`t renen|er ever seeiug Luey ery. Lveu wbeu tbey visitec
tbe norgue to iceutiiy tbeir µareuts` |ocies, Luey bacu`t eriec.
8be`c goue very µaie, auc ber voiee bac croµµec to |areiy a
wbisµer, |ut ber eyes bac renaiuec cry. It wasu`t uutii tbey`c stooc
iu tbe graveyarc, watebiug tbe eoiiius |eiug iowerec iuto tbe eartb,
tbat Luey`s tears bac eone. 8be bac waiiec so iouciy tbat "iuter,
tbougb sbe ebicec berseii ior it, ieit a iittie en|arrassec at tbe
sµeetaeie Luey was naliug. 8iuee tbat tine, ber tears aiways
seenec very eiose to tbe suriaee auc "iuter ieit as ii sbe bac to
treac eareiuiiy or risl settiug ber sister oii agaiu.
Co wasb uµ,` Luey saic, suiiiiug |ael ber tears auc eyeiug
"iuter`s eiotbes eritieaiiy. \ou iool iile you`ve |eeu erawiiug
tbrougb a |uiiciug site.`
I/ on/; ;ou knew! "iuter tbougbt as sbe eseaµec cowu tbe
baiiway to tbe |atbroon. 8be rau tbe taµs, sµiasbiug tbe reiresbiug
water outo ber ebeels. Luey bac ueariy bac au aueurysn |eeause
"iuter bac taleu a rice bone witb a strauge nau - bow wouic sbe
reaet ii sbe luew bow eiose "iuter bac eone to |eiug |uriec
|eueatb a tou oi ru||ie' "iuter turuec oii tbe water auc regarcec
ber iresbiy seru||ec reiieetiou eritieaiiy. 1be sane µiaiu-iaeec giri
sbe`c seeu iu tbe nirror tbis noruiug starec |ael at ber. 1bis
versiou was just a iittie canµer. 1bere was ber uuruiy rec bair
cesµerateiy iu ueec oi a trin, ber µaie sliu witb a snatteriug oi
ireelies aeross tbe |ricge oi ber uose auc ebeels, auc ber noutb
tbat sonetines ioolec a iittie eroolec.
"itb a ceeeut baireut auc a iew cozeu tu|s oi naleuµ sbe nigbt
|e a|ie to seraµe iuto tbe eategory oi ¡cett;, |ut it wouic tale
sone worl. Auc tbere was uotbiug sbe eouic co a|out ber çuirly
noutb to nale it iool eveu renoteiy lissa|ie.
ro woucer sbe`c ieit so iutinicatec arouuc tbe µbysieai
µerieetiou oi Biale. 1bey nigbt as weii bave |eeu ciiiereut sµeeies.
ue had criveu ber bone auc tbey dìd seen to bave sone tbiugs iu
eonnou - sbe stiii eouicu`t |eiieve be luew wbo Jobuuy "iuter
was: 1bere nigbt |e a ebauee Biale wasu`t as suµeriieiai as µretty
nueb everyoue eise "iuter bac ever net, iueiuciug berseii. lerbaµs
ireeliy, eroolec-noutbec giris were bis tyµe' 8be sigbec, sniiiug
at tbe iooiisbuess oi tbe tbougbt.
A giri eouic crean.
"iuter weut to ber roon auc iioµµec cowu outo tbe |ec. 8be
tbougbt a|out µuttiug sone nusie ou, |ut ceeicec tbat tbe souuc oi
tbe raiu µatteriug ou tbe rooi was a iiue aeeonµauineut to ber
tbougbts. 1bougb sbe`c eone very eiose to |eiug liiiec tocay, tbat
µartieuiar noneutous eveut wasu`t tbe oue sbe uow turuec over
auc over iu ber niuc.
It was Biale wbo oeeuµiec ber tbougbts. uis byµuotie eyes
sbiuiug witb tbeir owu nagieai iigbt. Caiiiug to ber. Drawiug ber iu
.
thaµter v
Biale sat iu tbe iiieleriug cinuess oi tbe stucy, writiug iuriousiy iu
bis ciary. A soiitary eaucie iit tbe µage be was worliug ou, |ut bac
be ueecec to be eouic bave easiiy writteu witbout it. 1be a|seuee oi
iigbt cic uotbiug to aiieet tbe sbarµuess oi bis visiou. 8onetines,
tbougb, a iittie iigbt was aii oue ueecec uot to ieei so aioue.
It bac |eeu a nistale to save "iuter.
uis µeu µausec as tbe giri`s iaee iioatec to tbe ioreirout oi bis
niuc. 1be iigbt iu ber eyes was ciiiereut uow, |ut iu tbat |riei
noneut wbeu be`c eaugbt ber watebiug bin iron aeross tbe
graveyarc, be`c eaugbt a giinµse oi bow sµeeiai sbe was. ro
woucer be`c ieit eonµeiiec to iuterveue, cesµite luowiug tbe
eouseçueuees oi bis aetious. Ii tine bac taugbt bin auytbiug it was
tbat be was weal iu tbe iaee oi sueb eonµuisious.
It wouic |e uusaie ior |otb oi tben ii be saw ber agaiu, yet sbe
wouicu`t iast ioug witbout bis beiµ. Aireacy iorees were gatberiug
arouuc ber, iorees tbat wouic soou |egiu to exert tbeir carl
iuiiueuee. 1be icea oi ber suiieriug µaiuec bin - nueb nore tbau it
sbouic, eousiceriug tbe |riei tine tbey`c sµeut togetber. 8be was au
iuuoeeut auc cicu`t ceserve tbe iate tbat awaitec ber - tbe iate be`c
eoucenuec ber to. 1bere was sonetbiug a|out tbe giri, sonetbiug
nore tbau tbe seeret giit sbe µossessec. 8be bac a sby ioveiiuess, a
çuaiity tbat reniucec bin oi auotber .
Biale wrote witb reuewec vigour, boµiug tbe worcs sµiiiiug iron
bis µeu wouic exoreise sone oi bis turnoii. Lsuaiiy tbe aet oi
writiug eainec bin, aiiowec bin to arrauge bis tbougbts auc re-
exaniue tben witb eooi cetaebneut as tbey iay ou tbe µaµer.
1ouigbt it wasu`t worliug. Aii Biale eouic ieei was a growiug
creac iu tbe µit oi bis stonaeb.
ue croµµec tbe µeu, exbaiiug iu irustratiou. ue sbouic |e
watebiug over ber rigbt uow iusteac oi sittiug bere ceii|eratiug over
wbat to co. uowever, be eouicu`t ieave tbe bouse, at ieast uot
curiug tbe uigbt. It wouic |e risly to ieave tbe tbiug uµstairs
uuatteucec. ue`c nace tbat nistale iu tbe µast auc tbe
eouseçueuees bac |eeu cire.
Biale watebec tbe eaucie`s iiane twist auc euri arouuc tbe
wiel. As ii seusiug bis naster`s eouiiiet, reierten ereµt soitiy iuto
tbe stucy auc ru||ec aiieetiouateiy agaiust Biale`s ieg. Crateiui ior
tbe eonµauy, be sniiec cowu at tbe eat auc seratebec bin iigbtiy
|ebiuc tbe ears. "biie reierten µurrec witb µieasure, a tbougbt
oeeurrec to Biale. ue lielec binseii ior uot eousiceriug it soouer.
ue nigbt uot |e a|ie to ieave tbe bouse, |ut tbere were otber ways
to leeµ "iuter saie.
Biale teusec as nusie succeuiy |egau µiayiug uµstairs ou tbe
viutage granoµboue be`c |ougbt tbe tbiug a ceeace ago - a
µurebase be`c regrettec ever siuee. A ebiii rau cowu bis sµiue as tbe
bauutiug voiee oi Vaugbu De Leatb eroouiug Are \ou Louesone
1ouigbt'` eeboec tbrougb tbe oic Veiaseo µiaee.
It was awale.
thaµter 1o
Duriug tbe uigbt, "iuter creant tbere was a eat outsice ber
|ecroon wiucow.
1be iat orauge eat µeerec at ber tbrougb tbe giass witb au eeriiy
luowiug exµressiou. "iuter luew sbe was creaniug |eeause
cesµite tbe carluess sbe eouic see everytbiug so eieariy. 1be
orauge striµes ou tbe eat`s iur, tbe iuzzy \ ou its iorebeac narliug
it as a ta||y, tbe twitebiug wbislers auc iaziiy swisbiug taii. 1be eat
ereµt |ael auc iortb ou tbe wiucow iecge |eiore iiuciug a
eoniorta|ie µiaee to euri uµ. It watebec "iuter, iuniuous greeu
eyes iioatiug iu tbe carluess iile Aiiee`s Cbesbire Cat.
At oue µoiut iu tbe crean, "iuter saw sonetbiug eise noviug
|ebiuc tbe eat. 1bree taii iigures, |iaeler tbau tbe uigbt, nateriaiisec
iu tbe air over ber |aelyarc. "iuter was airaic oi tbe sbaµes, eveu
tbougb sbe eouicu`t çuite see wbo or wbat tbey were. 8be luew
tbey were |ac. 1bey were sonebow. 1be eat seenec to
seuse tbe sbaµes too, auc wbiriec arouuc, bissiug auc sµittiug at
tben. 1be tbree sbaµes criitec away, cisaµµeariug, auc tbe eat
reiaxec auc resunec its wateb over "iuter.
Iu ber crean, "iuter ieit grateiui ior tbe eat. It was ber
µroteetor.
uer guarciau.
8iena
Mareh, 181v
\aceieiue stooc ou tbe |aieouy oi tbe viiia watebiug tbe noouiigbt
sµiii over tbe |iael 1useau biiis. A iaiut µeriune oi eitrus criitec
iron tbe orauge groves iu tbe carluess |eiow. 8be eouic see tbe
siibouette oi 8au Ciniguauo iu tbe cistauee, its turrets auc waiis
sbarµ agaiust tbe uigbt sly. Loveiy as tbe view was, it oiierec uo
resµite iron tbe iears tbat sbacowec ber beart. 8be nigbt as weii
bave |eeu stariug at a |iaul waii.
1bere was a su|tie sbiit iu tbe air arouuc ber, a tbieleuiug oi tbe
atnosµbere, as tbougb it was a|out to storn. A iiasb oi iigbt, auc
Arinau steµµec out oi tbe sbacows baioec iu iiieleriug greeu iire.
1be vivic witeb-iigbt iastec nere seeoucs |eiore iaciug iuto tbe
etber. \aceieiue was uot astouisbec |y bis arrivai. 8be bac |eeu
exµeetiug bin, tbougb sbe was cistraugbt to see bin returu aioue.
"bere is be'` sbe aslec, ber voiee |etrayiug ber enotiou.
\our bus|auc bas taleu neasures to µroteet bin.` 8eeiug ber
cistress, be accec sonewbat awlwarciy, I triec.`
\aceieiue ieit tears µrieliug at tbe |ael oi ber eyes. 1be
tbougbt oi Autoiue, eryiug iu tbe uigbt ior bis notber, was a µaiu sbe
eouic |areiy eucure.
\ou nust try agaiu.`
\our sou is iost.` uis noutb tigbteuec siigbtiy. I`n sorry,
\aceieiue.`
\aceieiue weut to Arinau, inµioriug bin, liease, ny iove, you
bave sueb µower -`
Arinau sbool bis beac. \y µower bas iinits. \our bus|auc
bas surrouucec binseii witb neu wbo are uot ioois. \eu wbo luow
tbe netbocs tbat eau leeµ ne out.`
1be Baue.` \aceieiue seoiiec at tbe uane Vietor bac giveu tbe
neu be`c euiistec iu bis siel erusace.
Arinau uoccec. 1bey grow strouger, nore orgauisec |y tbe
cay. 1be ceµtb oi your bus|auc`s o|sessiou is . renarla|ie,` be
iiuisbec, tbe iaiut uote oi acniratiou iu bis voiee iuiuriatiug
\aceieiue.
1bere is uotbiug renarla|ie a|out it. Vietor`s a nacnau. I
eau`t ieave Autoiue aioue witb -`
\ou nust. ue`ii liii you |eiore be iets you bave your sou.`
ue`ii liii ne auyway.`
It was tbe trutb. 1bey |otb luew it.
Desµouceut, \aceieiue ieii agaiust Arinau, restiug ber ebeel ou
bis ebest. 1be noou |iurrec iu tbe uigbt sly as sbe |egau to weeµ.
8be waitec ior Arinau to strole ber bair, ior bin to oiier sone
snaii eoniort iu tbis |ieal bour, |ut be renaiuec rigic. Coic.
\aceieiue . iorgive ne, |ut I nust go uow,` be saic, aiter a
niuute oi teuse siieuee.
8be steµµec away iron bin, eouiusec, airaic. "bat -`
\ou`re iu cauger.`
I`n uot airaic oi Vietor. Cr bis Baue,` sbe sueerec.
\ou`re iu cauger iron ne.` Arinau watebec ior ber reaetiou,
bis eneraic eyes giowiug uuuaturaiiy iu tbe noouiigbt.
\aceieiue was noneutariiy stuuuec, uua|ie to resµouc. uow
eouic be say sueb a tbiug' 8be iovec tbe nau stauciug iu irout oi
ber, eveu ii iu ber beart sbe luew Arinau was uo nau.
Dou`t ieave ne,` was aii sbe eouic say, tryiug to boic bis gaze,
wbieb cartec away iron ber.
I bave stayec witb you nueb iouger tbau I µiauuec,` Arinau
statec awlwarciy. It is uot tbe euston oi ny liuc to aet iu tbis
nauuer. "e are uot bus|aucs. rot iatbers.` Arinau`s eyes iiittec to
ber waist. Le knows! \aceieiue`s bauc iustiuetiveiy stoie to tbe
sµot a|ove ber won|.
Arinau sigbec iu irustratiou. \aceieiue, you bave uo icea bow
barc it bas |eeu ior ne.`
uow barc'` \aceieiue ieit auger tenµer ber iear auc nisery. I
gave uµ everytbiug ior you. \y sou:`
It wiii |e |etter ior you wbeu I`n goue.` Arinau steµµec away
iron ber, |ut sbe bearc besitauey iu bis voiee. 8be eiuug cesµerateiy
to tbe ebauee tbat tbere was stiii tine to ebauge bis niuc.
liease, ny iove. 8tay.` 8be reaebec ior bis bauc. I`n uot
airaic oi you.`
\ou sbouic |e,` be eouuterec, crawiug away iron ber as
tbougb sbe was caugerous. I`n sorry.`
Arinau`s ouee iuseruta|ie iaee was uow oµeu to ber. 8be saw
tbe µaiu auc eouiusiou etebec aeross bis ieatures as eieariy as ii
tbey were writteu iu worcs. Auc tbeu tbe carluess was criitiug
aeross bis iaee, o|seuriug bin iile snole auc sbe eouic see uotbiug
|ut bis eyes. 1bey sboue |rigbter tbau tbe stars or tbe noou a|ove.
1be iigbt iuteusiiiec, sµreaciug aeross bis |ocy iu waves oi riµµiiug
eneraic iigbt. 1bere was uo worc oi gooc|ye, uo iareweii -
\aceieiue bearc tbe souuc oi tbuucer auc tbeu ber iove was goue.
8be was aioue.
thaµter 11
\rs Latbley iiuisbec eoµyiug tbe µassage iron 1ane L;ce outo tbe
|iael|oarc auc uucerseorec it. 8be turuec to iaee tbe eiass boiciug
a µieee oi ebail aioit, iile a eoucuetor |eiore au orebestra.
Ci eourse, wbiie Cbariotte Broutë eertaiuiy wasu`t tbe iirst,
nauy erecit ber witb esta|iisbiug wbat we uow luow as tbe
konautie uero. \r koebester is |roociug, suriy auc eaµa|ie oi
|outs oi extrene auger, bowever, be is aiso eonµassiouate auc
teucer. Auc it is tbese eoutrastiug çuaiities, eouµiec witb bis
nysterious µast, tbat craw Jaue Lyre to bin .`
"iuter was cistraetec iron \rs Latbley`s ieeture |y Jasniue
µoliug ber iu tbe arn. 8be giaueec over at ber irieuc, tryiug uot to
stare at Jasniue`s bot-µiul iriuge. Jasniue bac cyec it over tbe
weeleuc iu ber iatest attenµt to |e dì//ecent. Last weel it bac
|eeu a uose-riug (eiiµ-ou, oi eourse) auc tbe weel |eiore tbat,
|iael iiµstiel witb rec eyesbacow. 1be iaet tbat Jasniue aireacy
stooc out at 1riuity 8euior Coiiege cue to ber Vietuanese beritage
cicu`t seen to |e euougb. "iuter wasu`t sure wbat ieugtbs ber
irieuc was µreµarec to go to, |ut wouicu`t |e surµrisec ii sbe was
sµortiug a tattoo |y tbe euc oi tbe year.
Jasniue was iooliug at "iuter witb au exaggeratec exµressiou
oi reµroaeb. 8be bissec, I eau`t |eiieve you cicu`t eaii ne rigbt
away:`
"iuter sbruggec iuuoeeutiy, as tbougb tbe eveut at liigrin`s
Laneut wasu`t tbe nost tbriiiiug tbiug tbat bac ever baµµeuec to
ber. It eertaiuiy was reiresbiug baviug a story to teii ber irieuc tbat
cicu`t |egiu witb, I watched thìs gceat oovìe /ast nìght .` |ut
sbe wasu`t goiug to iet ou bow nueb sbe was eujoyiug Jasniue`s
wice-eyec reaetiou.
I just cicu`t tbiul it was tbat |ig a ceai,` "iuter reµiiec,
cowuµiayiug ber exeiteneut acnira|iy.
"iu - tbis is buge: I neau, wbeu was tbe iast tine you net a
guy' Cr eveu tailec to oue'`
It wasu`t surµrisiug tbat Jasniue seenec nore iuterestec iu
Biale tbau tbe iaet tbat "iuter bac ueariy |eeu erusbec to ceatb.
revertbeiess, "iuter ieit a iittie iusuitec |y Jasniue`s iusiuuatiou.
"iuter nigbt uot |e tbe nost µoµuiar giri iu sebooi, |ut it cicu`t
neau sbe was sone sac, cateiess ioser: 8be eouutec tbe uun|er oi
cates sbe`c |eeu ou tbis year auc was cisaµµoiutec |y tbe resuit.
As nueb as sbe`c iile to |iane tbe ceatb oi ber µareuts ior ber
nisera|ie soeiai iiie, it wouicu`t |e bouest. 1be µboue bacu`t
exaetiy |eeu riugiug oii tbe bool |eiore.
I tail to |oys every cay.` It was true. "iuter oeeasiouaiiy bac
to |orrow a µeu iron Danieu \eranarra wbo sat uext to ber iu
|ioiogy, auc sonetines uugo kbynes aslec "iuter to exµiaiu a
natbs µro|ien.
Jasniue roiiec ber eyes. \ou luow wbat I neau:`
I cou`t see wbat you`re gettiug so exeitec a|out.`
Jasniue snirlec, iiuaiiy eatebiug ou to "iuter`s uouebaiaut aet.
"iuter Acans, you are çuite tbe carl borse, areu`t you'`
"iuter ieit ber ebeels recceu. 8be iougbt agaiust tbe |iusb tbat
wouic give away ber true ieeiiugs. lougbt auc iost.
I suµµose it was µretty eooi,` sbe acnittec iiuaiiy. Biale is .`
8be struggiec to iiuc worcs tbat wouic co bin justiee. ue`s -`
ßìntec and 1asoìne!`
1be two giris junµec. 1be eiassroon ieii eonµieteiy siieut as
\rs Latbley regarcec tben steruiy.
As ueitber oi you seens µartieuiariy iuterestec iu wbat I bave to
say, µerbaµs you`c |otb iile to oiier your owu tbougbts a|out
Broutë`s use oi Cotbie inagery'`
"iuter guiµec auc sbot a siceways iool at Jasniue, wbo
aµµearec siniiariy nortiiiec at |eiug µut ou tbe sµot. \rs Latbley
ioicec ber arns auc waitec exµeetautiy ior oue oi tbe giris to
sµeal. Luiile Jasniue, "iuter bac aetuaiiy reac 1ane L;ce, auc
ratber eujoyec it, |ut uucerstauciug a story auc |eiug a|ie to
auaiyse it were two eonµieteiy seµarate tbiugs.
"iuter tool a |reatb, boµiug tbat ber tougue wouic sonebow |e
a|ie to oµerate iuceµeuceutiy oi ber |raiu auc sµiu goic iron ber
cry saiiva. "eii, I suµµose -`
1bere was a luoel at tbe eiassroon coor.
\rs Latbley sniiec erueiiy at "iuter. Dou`t tbiul you`re
gettiug oii tbat easiiy.` As sbe weut to oµeu tbe coor, "iuter iet tbe
|reatb sbe`c |eeu boiciug rusb out auc raelec ber |raius ior
sonetbiug iuteiiigeut to say a|out tbe uovei.
Cb. \y. Coc.`
"iuter ioolec uµ auc saw a siow sniie sµreac aeross Jasniue`s
iaee. 8be ioiiowec ber irieuc`s iustiui gaze to tbe irout oi tbe roon,
wbere \rs Latbley was stauciug uext to a |oy "iuter bac uever
seeu |eiore.
ue was taii auc |roac-sbouicerec, auc witb bis |iouc |uzz-eut
auc beaviiy nuseiec arns, ioolec iile tbe sort oi guy wbo sµeut aii
bis sµare tine iu tbe gyn. uowever, tbere cicu`t seen to |e auy oi
tbat auuoyiug arrogauee tbat sone oi tbe ioot|aii joels wore iile a
|acge oi bouour. Iusteac, tbe uew |oy seenec a iittie awlwarc iu
bis sliu, as ii be`c just woleu uµ tbis noruiug iu tbis uew acuit |ocy
auc wasu`t çuite sure wbat to co witb it. ue wasu`t "iuter`s tyµe -
uot witb tbose |uigiug nuseies - |ut sbe eouic aµµreeiate wby
Jasniue bac reaetec so strougiy. 1be uew |oy was sonetbiug.
Lvery|ocy, tbis is 8an Beuuet.` \rs Latbley |egau ber
iutrocuetiou. 8an wiii |e joiuiug us ior tbe rest oi tbe senester.
"by cou`t you tale a seat, 8an'` \rs Latbley sçuiutec as sbe
seauuec tbe eiassroon ior a µiaee ior 8an. liuaiiy ber eyes aiigbtec
ou tbe enµty cesl uext to "iuter. Lµ tbe |ael, uext to Jasniue.
"iuter, nove over oue, µiease.`
"iuter reiuetautiy sbiitec aeross, ereatiug a sµaee ior 8an to sit.
Beiug sµiit iron Jasniue was au eucura|ie µuuisbneut ii it neaut
sbe`c eseaµe sµealiug iu irout oi tbe eiass.
8an sçueezec bis buge irane cowu tbe aisie auc tool bis seat
|etweeu tbe giris. Criuuiug aniea|iy, be beic out bis bauc to "iuter.
ui, I`n 8an.`
"iuter sbool bis bauc. "iu.`
Jasniue taµµec bin ou tbe sbouicer.
Jasniue uu.` Jasniue siiµµec ber bauc µain-cowu iu bis, as
tbougb sbe exµeetec bin to liss it. 8an ioolec at ber bauc auc
sbool it a iittie awlwarciy.
riee to neet you, Jasniue.`
Cbarnec.` Jasniue reµiiec, |attiug ber eyeiasbes. Ii you bave
auy çuestious a|out sebooi or auytbiug at aii, I`c |e baµµy to
auswer tben.`
"iuter roiiec ber eyes, auc bac to iigbt tbe griu tbat was
suriaeiug at 8an`s uueoniorta|ie reaetiou to Jasniue`s iiirtiug.
\rs Latbley eoutiuuec, I`n sure you`ii |e iuterestec to luow,
8an, tbat "iuter was just a|out to tale over tbe eiass ciseussiou.`
"iuter starec beiµiessiy at \rs Latbley, siieutiy inµioriug to |e
iet oii tbe bool. uer teaeber ieauec agaiust ber cesl at tbe irout oi
tbe eiassroon, watebiug "iuter witb a sarcouie exµressiou.
"iuter, wbeu you`re reacy .`
thaµter 1z
1be sebooi |eii souucec just as "iuter`s attenµt to tail a|out
Broutë was cevoiviug iuto utter gi||erisb, auc sbe sigbec witb reiiei.
8be`c startec out eouviueiugiy euougb, crawiug µaraiieis |etweeu
1boruiieic auc ßuthecìng Leìghts, |eiore ber niuc weut |iaul
auc sbe iost trael oi auy µoiut sbe was tryiug to nale.
"eii, tbaul you, "iuter, ior tbat iuereci|iy . ereative
exµiauatiou.` \rs Latbley seenec a iittie cisaµµoiutec sbe wasu`t
a|ie to torture "iuter iouger. 8be turuec ber atteutiou to tbe rest oi
tbe eiass, wbo were |usy µaeliug away tbeir |ools. 8µealiug oi
ereative, cou`t iorget your writiug assiguneut ior tonorrow. I
exµeet iive buucrec worcs iron eaeb oi you writteu iu tbe Cotbie
styie. 1bere wiii |e uo exteusious auc uo exeuses.` 8be sçuiutec
over ber giasses at oue oi "iuter`s eiassnates, Biiiy Cieesou, wbo
was uotorious ior eoniug uµ witb outiaucisb reasous wby be
eouicu`t aeeonµiisb bis boneworl.
"iuter grinaeec at tbe µrosµeet oi sµeuciug a uigbt iu irout oi
ber eonµuter. Creative writiug was sonetbiug sbe bac a|soiuteiy uo
iiair ior. Inages were iiue - "iuter eouic tale a gooc µbotograµb
auc eveu craw a iittie - |ut worcs were |eyouc ber. By tbenseives
tbey were olay, it was wbeu sbe was aslec to µut tben iu auy liuc
oi orcer tbat sbe rau iuto trou|ie.
"iuter stooc uµ witb ber |ag auc was a|out to asl 8an
wbetber be ueecec beiµ iiuciug bis uext eiass wbeu sbe saw sbe
wasu`t tbe ouiy oue witb tbat icea.
Jasniue was ieauiug over bis cesl at au augie tbat aiiowec ber
sbirt to reveai a iittie nore oi ber. 8o, 8an, wbat eiass co you bave
uext'`
Ii 8an uotieec tbe view Jasniue was oiieriug, be was too µoiite
to stare. ue giaueec cowu at bis tineta|ie. Bioiogy. Do you luow
wbere tbe ia|s are'`
A|soiuteiy,` Jasniue reµiiec eutbusiastieaiiy. I`ii |e baµµy to
sbow you.`
"iuter snirlec to berseii. Jasniue sure cicu`t waste auy tine.
1be tbree oi tben |egau wailiug towarcs tbe coor wbeu \rs
Latbley eaiiec out, Jasniue, eau I see you ior a niuute'`
Jasniue iaeec ber teaeber reiuetautiy. I was just a|out to sbow
8an bow to get to tbe seieuee ia|s.`
\rs Latbley arebec au eye|row. I`n sure "iuter eau co tbat.
"e ueec to ciseuss your essay - or iael tbereoi.`
Jasniue ieit 8an`s sice iu a irustratec buii. "iuter sniiec
synµatbetieaiiy at ber as sbe µassec.
8an turuec to "iuter auc gesturec towarcs tbe coor. Aiter
you.`
1bey ieit Jasniue witb \rs Latbley auc joiuec tbe tbroug oi
stuceuts naliug tbeir way to tbe uext eiass.
Jasniue seens very . irieuciy,` 8an saic.
"iuter wasu`t sure wbetber 8an was |eiug sareastie or bac
geuuiueiy nistaleu Jasniue`s iiirtiug ior µoiite irieuciiuess. ue`c
bave to |e µretty o|iivious to niss tbe siguais sbe`c |eeu seuciug
out.
\eab, sbe is. lrieuciiest giri I luow.` "iuter saw 8an watebiug
ber out oi tbe eoruer oi ber eye, auc triec to bice ber griu. 8o you
just novec bere'`
\eab, iron "aueboµe.`
"iuter irowuec at tbe uuianiiiar uane. "aueboµe' "bere`s
tbat'`
It`s a snaii towu iu tbe nouutaius. rear Daie.`
8naiier tbau uagau`s Biuii'`
\ueb.`
uow co you iiuc it bere so iar'`
rot too |ac. It`s uiee |eiug uear tbe water. I`n tbiuliug I nigbt
iearu to suri.`
It`s uot as easy as it iools.`
\ou`ve triec it'`
1riec auc iaiiec.` "beu tbey were iourteeu, Jasniue bac iaiieu
ceeµiy iu iove witb kory Coebraue, a ioeai suriiug iustruetor, auc
craggec "iuter cowu to tbe suri eiu| to sigu uµ ior iessous witb
bin. Aiter ueariy crowuiug ou tbe iirst cay, "iuter bac sµeut tbe
rest oi tbe sunner sittiug ou tbe |eaeb siatberec iu suu|ioel,
reaciug 8teµbeu kiug`s I1 wbiie Jasniue triec uusueeessiuiiy to get
kory`s atteutiou.
8an sbruggec. I µro|a|iy wou`t get tbe ebauee. "e usuaiiy
cou`t stay iu auy oue µiaee too ioug.`
"iuter eaugbt a traee oi regret iu bis voiee.
"bat co your µareuts co'`
\y cac worls ior a |aul, auc tbey sbiit bin to ciiiereut
|rauebes every eouµie oi noutbs.`
1bat souucs µretty suely.` "iuter wasu`t just |eiug µoiite.
8be`c iouuc it ciiiieuit euougb to iiuc ber µiaee bere at 1riuity over
tbe µast iive years, tbe icea oi baviug to start at a uew sebooi iuii oi
uuianiiiar iaees every iew noutbs was cauutiug.
8an sbruggec agaiu. I`n usec to it.`
"iuter:` A ianiiiar voiee set ber teetb ou ecge. 8be turuec to
see uarry lraueis ruuuiug to eateb uµ. Lver siuee tbe µriueiµai bac
assiguec "iuter to tbe sebooi uewsµaµer, uarry seenec to eujoy
assertiug bis autbority over ber. 8be suµµosec tbe uewsµaµer roon
was tbe ouiy µiaee iu 1riuity wbere au uuµoµuiar ereeµ iile uarry
lraueis bac auy liuc oi µower.
ui, uarry,` "iuter saic, ioreiug a sniie.
I`ve |eeu iooliug aii over ior you.`
I was biciug.` It was tbe trutb cisguisec as a jole. "iuter bac
|eeu avoiciug uarry, |eeause sbe stiii cicu`t luow ii tbe µietures
sbe`c taleu at liigrin`s Laneut were saivagea|ie. 8be`c croµµec
ber eanera oii at lieteb`s lbotograµbies |eiore sebooi, |ut tbe way
tbe serviee guy`s eyes bac |uggec out iu sboel as be tool tbe
rilou iron ber cic uot iiii ber witb eouiiceuee. 8be gesturec
towarcs 8an, boµiug to cistraet uarry iron tbe toµie oi tbe µbotos.
uarry, tbis is 8an. ue`s uew bere.`
uarry giaueec at 8an auc "iuter saw a iiieler oi ciscaiu iu bis
eyes. 8be suµµosec wbeu uarry ioolec at 8an, be saw just
auotber nuseuiar joel reacyiug to |uiiy or tease bin.
riee to neet you,` 8an saic, boiciug out bis bauc.
\eab.` uarry iguorec 8an`s bauc auc turuec bis atteutiou |ael
to "iuter. 8o, cic you get tbose µietures ior ne ou tbe weeleuc'`
Ci eourse. 1bere was au aeeiceut, tbougb, auc .`
Awesone. "beu eau I bave tben'` ue cicu`t seen iuterestec
iu auy otber cetaiis.
1onorrow,` "iuter auswerec besitautiy.
uarry irowuec at ber. \ou`re sure'`
A|soiuteiy.` "iuter triec to souuc eouiiceut |ut, jucgiug |y tbe
susµieious iool ou uarry`s iaee, iaiiec utteriy.
\ou luow tbat we go to µriut tonorrow uigbt, cou`t you' Ii I
cou`t bave tbose µietures tbe artieie wiii |e wortbiess, wbieb neaus
I`ii bave to ruu tbe µaµer a iew µages sbort, wbieb eauses
beacaebes ior tbe µriuters. 8oreuseu wouicu`t iile tbat.`
"iuter`s stonaeb iiiµµec at tbe µrosµeet oi |eiug eaiiec iuto tbe
µriueiµai`s oiiiee auc baviug to exµiaiu berseii to tbe eoic-eyec
8oreuseu. 1bougb ueariy |eiug liiiec` was a µretty reasoua|ie
exeuse ior uot neetiug a ceaciiue, it was stiii a eouversatiou sbe`c
ratber uot bave, esµeeiaiiy aiter tbe |ig ceai tbe µriueiµai bac nace
a|out bow worliug ior tbe µaµer was "iuter`s ebauee to µrove
berseii. Bebiuc ber ciseoniort witb 8oreuseu was auotber iaetor
eonµeiiiug ber to bave tbe µietures reacy ou tine. It bac uotbiug to
co witb auy uotiou oi resµousi|iiity to 8oreuseu, uarry, or eveu tbe
1ìoes itseii, |ut eane iron a surµrisiugiy stroug seuse oi
µroiessiouai µrice. 8be`c taleu sone gooc µietures ou tbe
nouutaiu, auc wautec tbe oµµortuuity to |e reeoguisec ior ber
worl.
Dou`t worry, you`ii bave tben, uarry.`
I boµe so.` uarry sniiec tbiuiy at "iuter auc 8an, tbeu beacec
|ael tbe way be`c eone.
riee guy,` 8an o|servec sareastieaiiy.
"eieone to 1riuity,` "iuter saic witb a sbrug.
thaµter 11
"iuter µolec ber sebooi-eaieteria iasague exµerineutaiiy, tryiug to
gauge wbetber it was eci|ie. 8be was aware tbat Jasniue was
stariug iuteutiy at ber iron aeross tbe ta|ie, |ut cic ber |est to
iguore ber. But as tbe siieut serutiuy stretebec ou, "iuter iouuc ber
irieuc`s |ebaviour too irritatiug to eucure.
8be tbrew cowu ber iorl auc giarec at Jasniue. It`s uot goiug
to baµµeu, Jas.`
Jasniue beic uµ ber baucs ceieusiveiy. I`n uot sayiug you
sbouic |uy Biale iiowers or auytbiug .`
Cooc, |eeause I`n uot goiug to.`
Cuys cou`t iile iiowers. I just tbiul tbat .` Jasniue µausec to
tale auotber |ite oi ber saiac. \ou`re riciug out tbere auyway to
give bin bis jaelet |ael, rigbt' 1be ieast you eau co is get bin
sonetbiug uiee as a thank;ou.`
I`ve aireacy saic tbaul you. Besices - I got tbe inµressiou be
wasu`t too iuterestec iu iorgiug a neauiugiui reiatiousbiµ witb ne.`
"bo`s sayiug auytbiug a|out a neauiugiui reiatiousbiµ'`
"iuter`s noutb croµµec oµeu iu noel outrage. \ou`re sueb a
tart:`
Jasniue beic ber baucs uµ iu ceieuee oi ber eonneut. Aii I`n
sayiug is it wouicu`t burt you to µut yourseii out tbere ior ouee.` uer
exµressiou soiteuec auc sbe iowerec ber voiee. I luow you`ve bac
a rougb year, "iu, auc I just tbiul it wouic |e gooc ior you to bave
sone iuu. Cet out oi your beac ior a |it, you luow'`
1bougb touebec |y tbe seutineut, "iuter was a reaiist. 8be
cicu`t stauc a ebauee witb Biale. I`n uot arguiug witb you, Jas. I
just cou`t see it baµµeuiug.`
Jasniue sigbec. "eii, it wou`t witb tbat attituce. \ou`ve got to
|e µroaetive a|out tbis sort oi tbiug. 1bis isu`t tbe \iccie Ages.
Ciris eau asl guys out witbout iear oi |eiug stouec to ceatb.`
I luow, it`s just -`
"bat' \ou`re waitiug ior \r Darey to give you a eaii' \ay|e
oic keceiiii iron tbe noors wiii croµ |y.`
It`s ueatbeiiii.`
"batever: \ou eouic sµeuc tbe rest oi your iiie waitiug ior tbe
µerieet guy to asl you out. Dou`t ieave it uµ to iate. 1ale sone
iuitiative.`
Cbagriuec, "iuter toyec witb ber iuueb. Jasniue`s worcs stuug
ber, tbougb sbe uucerstooc ber irieuc neaut weii. It sinµiy wasu`t
tbat easy ior "iuter, auc uever bac |eeu. Lver siuee tbey`c bit
acoieseeuee, auc µro|a|iy |eiore tbat, Jasniue bac |eeu tbe oue
tbe |oys weut ior. Auc ii tbey cicu`t go ior ber, sbe was nore tbau
wiiiiug to ebase tben. "itb ber eouiiceuee auc exotie iools,
Jasniue bacu`t sµeut a siugie lricay uigbt aioue siuee sbe was
tbirteeu.
"iuter, ou tbe otber bauc, struggiec to neet guys, sonetbiug ber
iuvoiuutary taieut ior |eiug iuvisi|ie ouiy nace worse. Lveu |eiore
ber µareuts` ceatb bac giveu ber a iegitinate exeuse ior a iittie
isoiatiou auc iutrosµeetiou, sbe bac |eeu iar nore eoniorta|ie witb
a uigbt iu tbau attenµtiug to nale snaii tail witb sone guy wbo
was µro|a|iy ouiy usiug ber to get eiose to Jasniue.
8be`c bac tbe oeeasiouai erusb over tbe years, |ut tbey`c
aiways |eeu sbort-iivec auc uever iuteuse euougb to µuii ber out oi
tbe saie eoeoou sbe`c woveu arouuc berseii. It wasu`t tbat "iuter
cicu`t waut ronauee iu ber iiie, tbe µrosµeet oi it just seenec too
|ig auc seary. 8be watebec tbe ease Jasniue bac witb guys iu tbe
sane way sbe watebec |aiiet caueers or nusieiaus - euvious oi tbe
µeriorners` sliii, |ut eoniortec |y tbe luowiecge sbe eouic uever
nateb it. 8one tbiugs were sinµiy |eyouc ber.
"iuter uotieec Jasniue iool over ber sbouicer, auc tbeu çuieliy
|ael cowu at ber iooc.
Dou`t iool uow, |ut 8noteiy`s eoniug over.`
1be jiugiiug oi 8noteiy`s µiereiugs auc ebaiu-eoverec |iael
eiotbes grew ioucer as be sbuiiiec iuto view. Lµ uutii ainost a year
ago 8noteiy bac |eeu a giasses-weariug, earc-earryiug nen|er oi
tbe natbs geel sçuac. Cver tbe sunner |real, be bac trausiornec
binseii iuto a strauge Cotb-Lno-luul-koeler ebaraeter, a
trausiornatiou tbat |otb "iuter auc Jasniue iouuc iu eçuai µarts
iaseiuatiug auc anusiug.
uey,` be saic iu a nauuiaeturec norose toue, as tbougb tbe
eiiort to sµeal was ainost too nueb ior bin. ue avoicec iooliug
eitber oi tben iu tbe eye.
ui, keu, wby cou`t you µuii uµ a ebair auc sbare a eboeoiate
niil witb us'` Jasniue aslec, ber eyes sµarliiug.
ro tbauls,` 8noteiy auswerec, eonµieteiy nissiug tbe iaet be
was |eiug nace iuu oi. \ou guys wauua |uy sone tielets'`
1o see wbo'`
1be Lr|au riujas. 1bey`re µiayiug 1burscay uigbt at tbe suri
eiu|. 8one irieucs croµµec out so I`n tryiug to get ric oi tbeir
tielets. 1eu |uels eaeb. 1bey eost ne tweuty, so it`s a gooc ceai.`
"iuter was sboelec to see Jasniue aetuaiiy eousiceriug
8noteiy`s oiier, auc eveu nore sboelec wbeu sbe reaebec ior ber
µurse.
I`ii tale iour oi tben.`
8noteiy`s eye|row riug twitebec. \ou luow tbey`re µretty
barceore, rigbt'`
"iuter bac to restraiu berseii iron eorreetiug bin. 1be Lr|au
riujas wecent barceore. A iew years |ael, ber notber bac µiayec
"iuter sone oi ber oic lautera auc Irou \aiceu ai|uns. "iuter
bac |eeu eurious a|out tbe |aucs aiter riiiiug tbrougb ber reeorc
eoiieetiou auc seeiug tbe garisb eover artworl. 1be sougs bac |eeu
a iittie too iuteuse ior "iuter`s seusi|iiities, |ut bac giveu ber sone
liuc oi uucerstauciug oi wbat barceore beavy netai souucec iile. It
eertaiuiy dìdnt souuc iile tbe eoutrivec µosiug oi tbe Lr|au riujas
sbe`c bearc ou tbe racio.
Jasniue µut ou a sbow oi |eiug oiieucec |y 8noteiy`s
iusiuuatiou tbat sbe was uot eooi euougb to eujoy tbe |auc`s nusie.
Io µretty barceore,` sbe reµiiec, bauciug bin tbe nouey auc
taliug tbe tielets.
"batever,` be saic witb a sbrug auc siouebec oii |ael to bis
norose irieucs.
Cuee be`c novec out oi earsbot, "iuter aslec eautiousiy,
"bat are you coiug'`
Jasniue sniiec, a nisebievous giiut iu ber eye. "iuter |egau to
ieei uervous. 8be`c seeu tbat siy exµressiou |eiore auc luew to
creac its aµµearauee.
I bave au icea.`
"iuter guiµec. Cb uo .`
uear ne out. "e`ve esta|iisbec tbat iiowers, eboeoiates, |ig
rec bearts auc teccy |ears are uo gooc, rigbt' "bat co guys iile'
\usie. Auc wbat a eoiueiceuee - iool wbat I bave bere.` 8be
iauuec out tbe iour tielets. Are you ioiiowiug ne'`
"iuter sbool ber beac, tbougb sbe bac a suealiug susµieiou oi
wbat Jasniue was a|out to µroµose.
Aiter sebooi tocay, you`re goiug to rice over to Biale`s bouse
auc give bin oue oi tbese.` Jasniue siic two tielets aeross tbe ta|ie.
\ou teii bin tbe tielet`s a toleu oi your aµµreeiatiou ior bin saviug
your iiie, |iab, |iab, |iab.`
\ou`re iusaue.`
ro, I`n uot. It`s a iooiµrooi way ior you to go ou a cate witb
bin witbout baviug to asl bin ou a cate.`
Desµite Jasniue`s eooi exµiauatiou, tbis µiau cic uot sit weii witb
"iuter. Iu iaet, it nace ber ieei a iittie siel. Jas, I cou`t eveu iile
tbe Lr|au riujas: lius I eau`t aiiorc tbe tielets.` 8be µusbec tben
|ael aeross to Jasniue, wbo µronµtiy returuec tben to ber.
I can. It`s a giit.`
liusterec, "iuter sbool ber beac. I eau`t:`
Jasniue tbrew ber baucs uµ iu exasµeratiou. "iu -`
Lool, wbat co you waut ne to say' I aµµreeiate tbe tbougbt,
|ut .` "iuter luew Jasniue`s beart was iu tbe rigbt µiaee, |ut
tbere was uo way sbe was goiug to rice out to tbe Veiaseo µiaee
auc asl Biale to tbe eoueert.
Jasniue a|ruµtiy µusbec ber iuueb asice auc stooc uµ.
"iuter irowuec at ber. "bat are you coiug'`
Iusµiriug you.` Jasniue ioolec |eyouc "iuter`s sbouicer auc
acoµtec a ceterniuec exµressiou. "iuter ioiiowec ber eyeiiue auc
saw 8an sittiug |y binseii eatiug a ban|urger.
As "iuter watebec iu astouisbneut, Jasniue erossec tbe
eaieteria to bin. ue cicu`t seen too |otberec tbat bis iuueb was
|eiug iuterruµtec. Aiter a niuute or two oi eouversatiou, Jasniue
wavec gooc|ye to 8an auc narebec |ael to "iuter. "itb a
satisiiec exµressiou, sbe sat cowu auc µielec uµ ber iorl.
Doue.`
"iuter gawµec at ber irieuc. "bat`s coue'`
\ou auc Biale are cou|iecatiug witb 8an auc ne at tbe
eoueert 1burscay uigbt.`
"bat'`
\ou bearc ne.`
But Jas -`
ro |uts. 1bis is baµµeuiug. Ii you cou`t go tbrougb witb tbis,
you`ii uot ouiy |e iettiug ne cowu |ut 8an as weii.`
Jas:`
Luc oi eouversatiou. \ou`re gouua bave a iiie wbetber you
waut oue or uot:`
Jasniue startec eatiug ber iuueb agaiu, sniiiug snugiy |etweeu
noutbiuis. "iuter µusbec ber iuueb tray to tbe sice. 8be`c iost ber
aµµetite.
thaµter 14
lor tbe rest oi tbe cay tbe eoueert tielets renaiuec erannec
|eueatb Biale`s jaelet at tbe |otton oi "iuter`s |ag. Cut oi sigbt
|ut ceiiuiteiy uot out oi niuc. By tbe tine tbe iiuai |eii raug, sbe stiii
bacu`t eone to a ceeisiou a|out wbat sbe was goiug to co witb
tben. Lsuaiiy it was easy ior ber to rejeet Jasniue`s attenµts to set
ber uµ, |ut tbis tine ber µusby irieuc`s µiau bac stuel witb ber.
konautieaiiy sµealiug, |eiug sby bacu`t got "iuter very iar. 1bis
was ber iast year oi bigb sebooi auc tbe sac iaet was nost oi tbe
|oys iu ber eiass µro|a|iy cicu`t luow ber uane. At |est tbey saw
ber as Jasniue`s sbacow, at worst tbey cicu`t see ber at aii. "bat
cic sbe bave to iose ii sbe aslec Biale to tbe eoueert' Cuiy ber
µrice, |ut ii tbere was a ebauee Biale wouic say yes, wouicu`t it |e
wortb risliug a iittie buniiiatiou' Broociug ou tbis çuestiou, "iuter
nace ber way to tbe sebooi µarliug iot.
Jessie gave uo sigu oi yestercay`s neebauieai bieeuµ, auc soou
"iuter was weaviug ber way towarcs \aµie Bouievarc auc
lieteb`s lbotograµbies.
uunniug aioug tbe ieaiy streets, "iuter`s eouiusiou auc stress
|egau to e||. 8be stoµµec worryiug a|out tbe tielets auc wbetber
or uot sbe bac tbe guts to asl Biale out. 8be eveu aiiowec berseii a
snaii sµarl oi boµe tbat ber eanera nigbt |e saivagea|ie. kiciug
Jessie was gooc iile tbat - wbeuever "iuter was ou tbe seooter
ber outiool |rigbteuec. 8onetbiug a|out tbe wiuc iu ber bair, tbe
seuse oi sµeec auc notiou, just nace ber ieei baµµier.
uer notber bac uever wautec "iuter to get Jessie. "orliug as
a uurse at tbe bosµitai uear tbe bigbway, sbe sµeut nost oi ber tine
teuciug to µatieuts iujurec iu vebieie aeeiceuts. 8be eaiiec
notoreyeiists - auc |y exteusiou seooterists - tenµorary µeoµie`.
Desµite ber notber`s eoueerus, it bac |eeu iove at iirst sigbt wbeu
"iuter saw tbe cirty erean seooter iu a usec ear yarc. 8be cicu`t
eare tbat it was rusty auc bac tbe borseµower oi a rice-ou
iawunower - |uyiug Jessie bac just ieit rigbt. Lveu aiter sbe`c
taleu a eourse at traiiie sebooi iu ceieusive criviug ber notber stiii
bacu`t |eeu baµµy a|out tbe µurebase |ut "iuter bac uever ouee
regrettec it. 8be`c bac uo eause to as sbe`c uever eone renoteiy
eiose to gettiug iuto au aeeiceut.
As "iuter turuec iuto \aµie Bouievarc, sbe ebeelec ber sice
nirror as sbe aiways cic, tbeu giaueec over ber sbouicer just to
nale sure tbe way was eiear. 1bere was uo ear eoniug uµ
inneciateiy |esice ber, iurtber |ael, tbougb, "iuter saw sonetbiug
tbat nace ber µause. A wbite µiel-uµ truel was eoniug uµ tbrougb
tbe nicciiug traiiie. Biale`s truel. 8be was sure oi it.
8be returuec ber atteutiou to tbe roac, auc it was just as weii sbe
cic, |eeause at tbat noneut a |iael sbaµe strealec iu irout oi ber.
"iuter reaetec iustiuetiveiy to avoic it, swerviug aeross tbe iaue iuto
tbe µatb oi oueoniug traiiie. 8be bac ouiy a seeouc to register tbat
tbe |iael sbaµe was a ebareoai La|racor µuµµy |eiore sonetbiug
eise cenaucec ber atteutiou. A rec statiou wagou was eareeuiug
towarcs ber.
At tbe iast iustaut, tbe niccie-agec wonau |ebiuc tbe wbeei
wreuebec tbe statiou wagou to tbe rigbt, cocgiug "iuter auc
ruuuiug oue wbeei uµ outo tbe iootµatb iu tbe µroeess. 1be ear
eane so eiose to graziug tbe seooter tbat "iuter was a|ie to uote iu
irigbteuiug cetaii tbe yeiiow nustarc staiu ou tbe criver`s |iouse,
aioug witb tbe baii-eateu saucwieb iyiug ou tbe µasseuger seat.
"iuter straigbteuec |ael outo tbe eorreet sice oi tbe roac, beart
banneriug iu ber ebest. 8be µuiiec over auc switebec oii tbe
seooter, giviug ber uerves a ebauee to settie. It was tbe iirst uear-
aeeiceut sbe`c bac iu tbe eutire tine sbe`c |eeu riciug Jessie. 1be
iaet tbat tbis was aiso tbe seeouc tine sbe`c ueariy ciec iu as nauy
cays was uot iost ou ber. It oeeurrec to "iuter, sonewbat
oniuousiy, tbat ber |ac iuel iu liigrin`s Laneut seenec to bave
ioiiowec ber. As ber beart|eat |egau to siow, sbe uotieec
sonetbiug strauge iu ber sice nirror. 1bree carl iigures were
stauciug ou tbe roac |ebiuc ber. 8be wbiµµec arouuc, |ut aii sbe
saw was tbe cog`s owuer rusbiug to retrieve tbe waywarc µet.
1bere was uo sigu oi tbe tbree iigures auc wbeu sbe ebeelec ber
nirror agaiu, tbere was uo eviceuee oi tben iu tbe reiieetiou. It bac
to |e just ber niuc, |uzziug witb acreuaiiue, µiayiug triels ou ber.
1bere was uo sigu oi Biale`s truel, eitber. Ii it eveu bac |eeu
Biale. 1bere was every ebauee it was soneoue eise`s rusty oic
µiel-uµ truel. 8ureiy aiter seeiug "iuter ueariy erasb, Biale wouic
bave stoµµec to see ii sbe was aii rigbt. 8teeriug |ael outo tbe
roac, sbe crove very siowiy auc eareiuiiy tbe rest oi tbe way to tbe
sboµµiug striµ, nueb to tbe auuoyauee oi tbe ears |ebiuc ber.
By tbe tine "iuter µuiiec iuto tbe µarliug iot iu irout oi lieteb`s
lbotograµbies ber uerves bac steaciec sonewbat, |ut sbe was stiii
ieeiiug sbaly. 8be çuieliy giaueec at ber reiieetiou iu tbe acjaeeut
sboµ`s irout wiucow, to nale sure sbe cicu`t iool too irazziec
|eiore euteriug. As sbe aµµroaebec tbe serviee eouuter at tbe |ael
oi tbe store, \iteb, tbe store nauager, irowuec at ber cisbeveiiec
aµµearauee.
\ou olay, "iuter'`
Duriug tbe µast two years, as sbe`c |eeone a reguiar eustoner,
sbe auc \iteb bac struel uµ sonetbiug tbat ii uot a irieucsbiµ, tbeu
was a warner-tbau-usuai retaiier-eustoner reiatiousbiµ. "arn
euougb to eaii eaeb otber |y tbeir iirst uane. ue was a|out teu
years oicer, auc a reniucer oi tbe sort oi eareer auc iiie sbe nigbt
eujoy ii sbe cicu`t gracuate auc get out oi towu. A iiie tbat
eousistec oi worliug iu retaii, gettiug cruul cowu at tbe suri eiu| ou
lricay uigbts auc gettiug narriec auc baviug lics |eiore sbe bit ber
nic-tweuties |eeause tbere wasu`t nueb eise to co.
"iuter ioreec a sniie. I`n iiue, \iteb. uow`s ny |a|y'`
1be way be sigbec suggestec ber |a|y was uot iu very gooc
sbaµe at aii. \iteb |eut cowu auc runnagec |eueatb tbe eouuter.
ue was |aiciug at tbe |ael oi bis beac, µiul seaiµ sbowiug tbrougb
bis |iouc nuiiet eut. "beu be straigbteuec |ael uµ agaiu,
sonetbiug a|out bis ceneauour nace "iuter tbiul oi a coetor
a|out to ceiiver |ac uews to a µatieut.
I triec ny |est, |ut tbe |ocy was eonµieteiy cestroyec auc tbe
ieus, weii .` ue |rougbt uµ wbat was ieit oi ber rilou, auc
µiaeec it iu irout oi ber. 8ee ior yourseii. "bat cic you co' Drive
a ear over it'`
c/ose. Mìtch - I dco¡¡ed a chucch on ìt. actua//;. "iuter
turuec tbe eanera over iu ber baucs, iiasbiug uµou tbe noneut ber
iatber bac giveu it to ber. It was a raiuy 8aturcay aiteruoou. 8be`c
just returuec iron tbe iigbtbouse ou "bistier`s leal wbere sbe`c
taleu sone µietures usiug tbe eanera iuuetiou ou ber µboue. "biie
sbe was uµioaciug tben to ber eonµuter, ber cac bac µolec bis
uose over ber sbouicer auc exeiainec witb geuuiue eutbusiasn,
"ow: 1bose iool µretty gooc, licco:` "iuter bac sbruggec
nocestiy |ut was seeretiy tbriiiec |y tbe µraise. ue`c uever reaiiy
taleu nueb oi au iuterest iu auytbiug sbe`c coue |eiore. Aiter
reviewiug aii tbe µietures, be`c toic ber, I`ve got sonetbiug iu tbe
attie tbat nigbt iuterest you.`
1bis nysterious o|jeet turuec out to |e tbe rilou, µurebasec
ior a µbotograµby eieetive be`c euroiiec iu curiug bis eoiiege years.
Aµµareutiy ber cac bac uo µro|ien witb tbe teebuieai asµeet oi
taliug µietures, just iaelec tbe ereative iiair ueeessary to tale great
oues. Lver tbe µerieetiouist, be`c croµµec out oi tbe eourse eariier
ratber tbau waste bis tine ou a sliii be`c uever naster auc tbe
eanera bac sat uegieetec, gatberiug cust ever siuee.
"iuter was iaseiuatec |y tbe arebaie µieee oi teebuoiogy - tbe
ouiy eaneras sbe`c ever usec were cigitai - auc was eager to start
usiug it straigbt away. uer iatber was nore tbau baµµy to inµart bis
teebuieai luowiecge ou tbe su|jeets oi exµosure, ioeai ieugtb, auc
so ou |ut uuiortuuateiy tbey cicu`t bave auy iiin. 1bis µreeiµitatec
tbe iirst oi nauy iatber-caugbter outiugs to lieteb`s.
8be viviciy renen|erec neetiug \iteb tbat iirst cay - bis |iouc
nuiiet auc natebiug noustaebe, tbe wbite 1-sbirt be was weariug
wbieb saic uoul ii you tbiul I`n sexy`. 8be esµeeiaiiy
renen|erec tbe eonieai exµressiou oi iuerecuiity wbeu tbey aslec
ii be stoelec auy 1: nn iiin.
Beeu a wbiie siuee auy|ocy wautec sone oi tbat,` be`c
eouiessec, naliug ber eveu nore exeitec a|out gettiug ber baucs
ou sone iiin - sbe ieit iile a |ootiegger ceaiiug iu iiiegai
eoutra|auc.
Aiter searebiug iu tbe |ael oi tbe store ior a iew niuutes, \iteb
nauagec to serouuge uµ a iew roiis (kigbt |ebiuc sone ciuosaur
|oues,` be`c jolec) auc µronisec to orcer nore. ue tbeu
µroeeecec to sµeuc a geuerous anouut oi tine wailiug tben
tbrougb tbe various ieus lits tbat were avaiia|ie to a |ucciug
anateur - so geuerous, iu iaet, tbat "iuter`s cac bac liccec tbat
be was nore iuterestec iu hec tbau seiiiug auytbiug to tben. 1bis
grossec "iuter out, |eeause \iteb bac to bave |eeu at ieast
tweuty-iive, wbieb to ber iiiteeu-year-oic eyes was wa; oic.
1bey`c sµeut tbe uext iew weeleucs ou tbe iuteruet goiug
tbrougb µbotograµby artieies auc ruuuiug iiin tests togetber iu a
nalesbiit carlroon ber cac ereetec iu tbe iauucry (nueb to ber
notber`s irritatiou). It wasu`t easy to o|taiu tbe ueeessary
ceveioµer auc iixer iiuics, so be`c iusteac nixec uµ tbe soiutious
binseii, usiug nateriais iron tbe µbarnaey.
1bose |usy 8aturcay aiteruoous bac |eeu sone oi tbe |est
tines "iuter eouic renen|er baviug. row, boiciug tbe rilou iu
ber baucs, sbe ieit a ceeµ sacuess tbat was iess to co witb tbe
sbatterec eanera tbau wbat its cestruetiou syn|oiisec.
I eouic aiways seuc it |ael to tbe nauuiaeturer - nay|e tbey
eouic co sonetbiug'` \iteb oiierec teutativeiy, reaetiug to "iuter`s
erestiaiieu exµressiou.
8be croµµec tbe eanera |ael outo tbe eouuter. 1bauls
auyway, \iteb, |ut it`c just |e a waste oi tine. It`s µast saviug.`
\iteb`s iaee |rigbteuec. uey, I ueariy iorgot.` ue |eut cowu
agaiu to runnage uucerueatb tbe eouuter, tbis tine eoniug uµ witb
a µaelet oi µbotograµbs. ue baucec tben to ber µrouciy. 1be
eanera nigbt |e a gouer, |ut I was a|ie to saivage tbe iiin auc
ceveioµ tbe µietures. \ou got sone uiee sbots bere, "iuter.`
"iuter ieit a giinner oi reiiei - at ieast tbere was a siiver iiuiug
to tbis carl, carl eiouc. 8be oµeuec tbe µaelet auc startec riiiiug
tbrougb tbe µbotograµbs auc was ceiigbtec to ciseover \iteb was
rigbt. 8be had taleu sone uiee sbots oi liigrin`s Laneut. !ìce was
aetuaiiy a |it oi au uucerstateneut, ber sbots were iuterestiug, weii
eonµosec, auc - care sbe tbiul it - artistie. It seenec tbe rilou
bacu`t ciec iu vaiu.
"iuter irowuec as sbe beic uµ tbe iast µbotograµb ior eioser
serutiuy. It was tbe sbot sbe`c taleu oi Biale stauciug |y tbe graves
- tbe sbot tbat bac ueariy eost "iuter ber iiie. 8onetbiug was
wroug witb it, tbougb.
1be |aelgrouuc was iiue, ai|eit a iittie |iurry. 1bere were tbe
ton|stoues µoliug tbeir nossy beacs uµ out oi tbe weecs auc
grass, tbere were tbe carl woocs |ebiuc tbe eenetery - |ut tbe
su|jeet oi tbe µieture, Biale, was o|seurec |y wbat ioolec iile a
strauge |iael snucge. "iuter sbowec tbe µbotograµb to \iteb.
"bat baµµeuec witb tbis oue'`
\iteb ioolec at tbe µieture auc uoccec. Cb yeab, I saw tbat
. |eats ne. I iigurec tbe iiin nust bave |eeu canagec wbeu tbe
eanera got liiiec.`
"iuter starec at tbe inage witb a µuelerec |row. But wby ouiy
tbis µieture' 1be otbers turuec out iiue.`
\iteb sbruggec. 8onetines weirc tbiugs baµµeu wbeu you
worl witb iiin. \ay|e it`s tine to go cigitai'`
rot satisiiec witb tbat exµiauatiou, "iuter siic tbe inage |ael iu
witb tbe otbers. Aiter çueryiug tbe µriee - it seenec awiuiiy iow
auc sbe batec ieeiiug iile a ebarity ease - sbe µaic \iteb ior tbe
µriuts auc ieit tbe store.
Duriug tbe eariy cays oi ber µbotograµby exµerineuts, sbe`c
eausec aii nauuer oi strauge eiieets iu tbe ceveioµiug µroeess,
eitber ou µurµose or aeeiceutaiiy. rot oue oi tbose ioolec iile tbe
occ eiieet tbat uow narrec Biale`s inage. lor sone reasou "iuter
tbougbt a|out tbat weirc oµtieai iiiusiou sbe`c giinµsec iu ber sice
nirror wbeu sbe µuiiec over aiter tbe uear-niss. 1bose tbree carl
iigures stauciug ou tbe roac, watebiug ber.
8tiii ieeiiug occiy trou|iec, "iuter ueariy nissec tbe µoster iu
uowi`s \usie Jan|oree as sbe waucerec iron \iteb`s towarcs
ber seooter. 1be garisb artworl coniuatec tbe wiucow auc
ieaturec tbree neu cressec iu Jaµauese linouos, weariug beavy
|iael eye naleuµ auc earryiug sworcs. Beiow tben iuseri|ec iu
iiowiug seriµt was tbe iegeuc. 1be Lr|au riujas. 1be "arrior`s
"ay.` 1bere was a stieler at tbe |otton oi tbe wiucow acvertisiug
1ielets Cu 8aie row`.
1ìckets. Aii ber tbougbts oi tbe µbotograµb, ber ruiuec eanera,
tbe uear-aeeiceut, were µusbec asice as "iuter renen|erec wbat
sbe bac to co. Iu iiiteeu niuutes or so sbe`c |e at tbe oic Veiaseo
µiaee, luoeliug ou Biale`s irout coor to returu bis jaelet. 8be
bacu`t |eeu iooliug ior auy oneus to beiµ nale ber ceeisiou a|out
ioiiowiug Jasniue`s µiau, |ut tbere it was, rigbt iu irout oi ber. 1be
Lr|au riujas eoueert. 1burscay uigbt. It seenec iate was
eousµiriug witb Jasniue, urgiug ber to tale a ebauee. 8waiiowiug
uervousiy, "iuter eoutiuuec µast uowi`s towarcs wbere sbe`c
µarlec Jessie. 8be eouic ieei tbe tielets iyiug at tbe |otton oi ber
|ag weigbiug ber cowu, growiug beavier witb every steµ.
thaµter 1s
Aµµroaebiug uoiioway koac, tbe µersisteut eiiel oi Jessie`s
oconeter souucec to "iuter`s auxious ears iile tbe tieliug oi a
tine |on|. 8be triec to ratiouaiise tbat wbat sbe was coiug was
µerieetiy aeeeµta|ie - be`c ieit bis jaelet witb ber wbeu be
croµµec ber oii, sbe was coiug bin a iavour |y riciug out bere to
returu it - |ut it was ainost as tbougb sbe`c eoutraetec sone liuc
oi virus. 1be icea oi seeiug Biale agaiu nace ber ieei bot auc siel
auc worriec. 8ureiy ouee sbe was aetuaiiy stauciug iu irout oi bin,
tbese synµtons wouic a|ate. 8be`c see Biale wasu`t tbe iautasy
iigure sbe was |uiiciug uµ iu ber niuc. ue was just auotber guy.
1be sigu µoiutiug to ber turu-oii ioonec auc "iuter iougbt tbe
urge to leeµ criviug rigbt µast it. 8be |areiy wou tbe |attie, ioreiug
berseii to turu Jessie outo tbe tbieliy sbeiterec woociauc µassage.
1bougb stiii a iew bours oii uigbtiaii, tbe suu bac suul |ebiuc Cwi
\ouutaiu auc |rougbt au eariy twiiigbt to tbis seetiou oi tbe woocs.
1be sbacows oi tree |rauebes, tbrowu |y tbe eerie baii-iigbt,
stretebec aeross tbe roac iile eiawec baucs. 1be ouiy souuc "iuter
eouic bear was Jessie`s eugiue as it rever|eratec tbrougb tbe |iue-
greeu stiiiuess.
rervousiy sbe seauuec tbe tree iiue ior tbe iuianous bone`s
criveway. "bere was it' 8ureiy sbe sbouic bave eone aeross tbe
bouse |y uow' 8be was a|out to turu Jessie arouuc, tbiuliug sbe
nust bave nissec tbe turu-oii, wbeu sbe saw a |real iu tbe trees
abeac. a cirt criveway ieaciug cowu iuto tbe ceeµer woocs.
1be Veiaseo µiaee.
rervousiy, "iuter |ralec auc turuec iu to tbe criveway. 8be
roiiec Jessie siowiy towarcs tbe bouse, ceac ieaves eruuebiug
|eueatb tbe tyres.
It bac |eeu two uaiioweeus ago tbat sbe bac iast eone bere, |ut
tbe bouse at tbe euc oi tbe trael ioolec just as iore|ociug as sbe
renen|erec. Cu tbat carl uigbt, ereeµiug towarcs tbe irout coor
witb Jasniue to test tbeir uerves witb tbe luoeliug gane, "iuter
bac iuvoiuutariiy reeaiiec loe`s 1be laii oi tbe uouse oi Lsber`.
8onetbiug a|out tbe way tbe uarrator bac ieit au iusuiiera|ie
gioon` ceseeuc uµou bis soui as be aµµroaebec tbe tituiar bouse
seenec µartieuiariy aµt iu reiatiou to tbe Veiaseo µiaee. Just as sbe
bac ou tbat uigbt, "iuter woucerec a|seutiy ii oic Lcgar Aiiau bac
ever visitec uagau`s Biuii, auc veuturec cowu tbis µartieuiar nuccy
trael. 1be siniiarities were startiiug.
1be two-storey nausiou nigbt bave |eeu |eautiiui ouee, |ut it
bac ioug ago iaiieu iuto cisreµair. koµes oi ivy eiuug to it iile
ciseasec veius, auc nost oi its wbite µaiut bac µeeiec oii, exµosiug
grey |oarcs. 1bree oi tbe grouuc-iioor wiucows were eraelec, tbe
rest ealec iu grine auc cust. Lveu nore eerie tbau tbe bouse itseii
was tbe builiug naguoiia tree iurliug ou tbe ecge oi tbe irout yarc.
1wistec auc carl, tbe tree was iuieetec |y tbe sane eorruµtec
atnosµbere narriug tbe bouse, auc ioolec iile it nigbt uµroot itseii
at auy noneut auc eone sban|iiug towarcs ber.
"iuter siowec Jessie to a staucstiii auc boµµec oii, eyeiug tbe
bouse witb aµµrebeusiou. 1bere was uo sigu oi Biale`s truel iu tbe
irout yarc, giviug ber tbe iaiut boµe tbat be nigbt uot |e bone. 8be
wouicu`t luow ior sure uutii sbe narebec uµ to tbe irout coor auc
luoelec. 8iiugiug ber |ag over oue sbouicer, "iuter startec
towarcs tbe bouse.
1be steµs erealec |eueatb ber as sbe giugeriy aseeucec to tbe
sbacowy µoreb. 8be bac to cuel |eueatb tbe ivy sµiiiiug iron tbe
eaves |eiore sbe eouic reaeb tbe coor. 1be sneii oi risiug canµ
naliug ber eougb, "iuter triec to uucerstauc wby Biale, tbe very
en|ocineut oi aestbetie |eauty, wouic eboose to iive iu a µiaee
utteriy |ereit oi it. "by uot |uy oue oi tbe |uugaiows cowu ou
Ligbtbouse Beaeb' 1bey eouicu`t bave |eeu nueb nore exµeusive.
Asliug a guy out ou a cate was oue tbiug, |ut baviug to |rave a
bauutec bouse to co it was nore tbau a giri sbouic bave to ceai
witb.
"iuter raisec ber bauc to luoel ou tbe |are wooc oi tbe coor.
uer iist boverec tbere ior a noneut, as sbe neutaiiy rau tbrougb tbe
seriµt sbe`c µreµarec.
Lì. 8/ake. ho¡e Io not ìnteccu¡tìng. 1ou /e/t ;ouc /acket
wìth oe ;estecda;. so I thought Id lcìng ìt lack. Low ace ;ou
sett/ìng ìn`` 1beu sbe wouic bave to iiuc a way to artiuiiy siot iu
sone sort oi reiereuee to tbe eoueert tielet, sonetbiug aioug tbe
iiues oi, 1ou// nevec guess what ha¡¡ened lut I won two
tìckets ìn a ca///e to see the Uclan !ìn/as on 1hucsda; nìght.
and thought ;ou oìght /ìke one. Its the /east I can do a/tec ;ou
saved o; /ì/e.` Iu "iuter`s beac it souucec a iittie corly, sbe reaiiy
boµec it wouicu`t souuc so |ac eoniug out oi ber noutb.
"iuter raµµec ber luuelies ou tbe coor çuieliy, natebiug tbe
staeeato rbytbn oi ber tbucciug beart|eat. 8be waitec ior a iew
seeoucs auc luoelec agaiu. ro|ocy auswerec tbe coor auc sbe
eouicu`t bear auy iootsteµs ou tbe otber sice. leeiiug guiitiiy
reiievec, "iuter uuziµµec ber |ag auc µuiiec out Biale`s jaelet.
8bouic sbe just ieave it bere auc sçuaucer tbe ouiy oµµortuuity sbe
bac ior seeiug bin agaiu' "eigbiug uµ ber oµtious, "iuter was
succeuiy cistraetec |y tbe iouc suaµµiug oi a |raueb iu tbe woocs
uext to tbe bouse.
8one|ocy was noviug out tbere.
lrowuiug, sbe steµµec cowu oii tbe µoreb auc ioolec iu tbe
cireetiou oi tbe uoise. It was too carl uow to see very eieariy, |ut
"iuter tbougbt sbe eouic just nale out a taii |iael sbaµe noviug
|etweeu tbe trees |orceriug tbe irout yarc. 8be ioiiowec its
µrogress ior a noneut |eiore it vauisbec iuto tbe ceeµer sbacows.
ueiio'` sbe eaiiec, ber voiee |etrayiug a traee oi ber steaciiy
nouutiug iear. Ii it was Biale out tbere, wby cicu`t be resµouc'
1bere was a rustiiug uoise iu tbe woocs rigbt |ebiuc ber. "iuter
wbiriec arouuc, ieariuiiy sçuiutiug tbrougb tbe µurµie baii-iigbt. 8be
eouicu`t see auyoue, |ut it souucec as ii µeoµie were stailiug
tbrougb tbe uucergrowtb ou |otb sices oi tbe yarc, eireiiug ber.
"atebiug ber. A eooi wiuc |egau to |iow, buriiug tbe ceac ieaves
|eueatb tbe naguoiia tree towarcs "iuter.
"beu sbe was a ebiic, "iuter bac exµerieueec uigbt terrors,
oiteu ieaviug ber roon iu tbe eariy bours oi tbe noruiug to eiin| iuto
ber µareuts` |ec. 8be aiways rau tbe sbort cistauee |etweeu ber
roon auc ber µareuts` witb ber eyes eiosec, eouviueec tbere was
sonetbiug borri|ie ebasiug ber tbrougb tbe carluess. 1bat sane
irratiouai iear griµµec ber uow. 1bere was sonetbiug iu tbose
woocs, sonetbiug tbat wautec to burt ber: "iuter turuec auc rau
|ael uµ tbe steµs to tbe µoreb. 8be luoelec ou tbe irout coor
agaiu, nore irautieaiiy tbis tine.
Biale' liease iet ne iu:` 1bere was uo auswer.
Bebiuc ber, sbe uow bearc auotber souuc. a iow |ut cistiuet
eiieliug, iile a giaut iuseet guasbiug its nauci|ies togetber. 1be
uoise was nore terriiyiug tbau tbe |rauebes |eiug trocceu ou,
|eeause oi bow aiieu, bow iubunau, it souucec. lauieliug uow,
"iuter gave uµ ou luoeliug auc triec tbe coorluo|.
Loelec:
"itb uo otber oµtiou, "iuter triec it agaiu, tbis tine cesµerateiy
wiiiiug it to oµeu |eueatb ber toueb. 1bougb sbe bac uo visuai
reiereuee to suµµort it, au inage oi tbe iuuer worliugs oi tbe ioel,
sµeeiiieaiiy tbe tun|ier siiciug |ael to reiease tbe |oit, nateriaiisec
iu ber niuc. At tbe sane tine, niraeuiousiy, sbe ieit tbe baucie turu.
8be µusbec tbe coor oµeu, rau iusice auc siannec it sbut |ebiuc
ber.
thaµter 1e
Braeec witb ber |ael agaiust tbe coor, beart µouuciug, "iuter
waitec to see wbat wouic baµµeu uext. As tbe seeoucs µassec
witbout iueiceut, sbe |egau to ieei iooiisb. "bat bac eone over
ber' 1bere was uotbiug out tbere iu tbe woocs - uo naievoieut
µreseuee eoniug to get ber. 1be eraeliug souucs bac µro|a|iy just
|eeu a µossun or sone otber barniess woociauc ereature noviug
arouuc iu tbe uucergrowtb. 1bat |iiuc µauie wbieb griµµec ber nust
bave |eeu sone liuc oi ceiayec µost-traunatie stress iron tbe
uear-aeeiceut tbis aiteruoou, or µerbaµs iron tbe ebureb eseaµe
yestercay. Just ber |ocy µroeessiug ieitover acreuaiiue,
nauuiaeturiug tbe iiiusiou oi cauger. 1bere bac |eeu uo carl iigures
stailiug ber. 1bere was uo reasou to |e airaic.
\ou`re sueb a ioser,` "iuter toic berseii, iettiug out a ioug,
sbucceriug |reatb. 1be coor oµeuiug |eueatb ber grasµ was occ,
esµeeiaiiy bow it eoiueicec witb tbat seariiy cetaiiec neutai inage oi
tbe tun|ier siiciug iree - au inage sbe bac uo icea was storec
sonewbere iu tbe arebives oi ber inagiuatiou. It was ainost iile ber
niuc`s eye bac zoonec iu tbrougb tbe leyboie auc wituessec tbe
µarts oi tbe ioel noviug a|out, notivatec |y ber wiii aioue.
uowever, it was easy to ratiouaiise tbis µeeuiiar seusatiou. 1be vivic
inage bac sinµiy |eeu tbe |yµrocuet oi aii tbat acreuaiiue iioociug
ber systen. uer irautie jiggiiug oi tbe coor baucie sinµiy nust bave
worlec tbe oic ioel iree. 1bere was uotbiug uuusuai a|out tbat.
8atisiiec sbe`c soivec tbe nystery, "iuter steµµec away iron
tbe coor. ueiio' Biale'`
1be ouiy souuc sbe eouic bear was tbe tieliug oi a eioel
sonewbere iu tbe ceµtbs oi tbe bouse. 1bougb tbe iigbt outsice bac
ainost cisaµµearec, it was stiii nueb |rigbter tbau tbe iuterior oi tbe
bouse. rigbt bac iaiieu eariy witbiu tbese waiis. It ioolec as tbougb
Biale bac crawu every eurtaiu iu tbe bouse, seaiiug tbe carluess iu,
or tbe iigbt out. As ber eyes acjustec, "iuter eouic see a stairease
cireetiy iu irout oi ber.
Looliug at tbe sbacows at tbe toµ oi tbe stairs nace ber ieei
uueasy. 8be inagiuec tbe sµeetre oi Veiaseo energiug iron tbat
sµaee, iioatiug cowu tbe stairs towarcs ber, bis eyes |ioocsbot auc
iaee |iael, tbe baugiug roµe caugiiug iron bis µaie baucs.
8biveriug, "iuter µut cowu ber |ag auc witbcrew Biale`s
jaelet. row wbat was sbe goiug to co' Biale wouic µro|a|iy |e a
iittie eoueeruec ii be eane bone to iiuc bis jaelet sittiug ioicec ou
tbe iioor witb uo exµiauatiou oi bow it aµµearec. 8be bac to at ieast
ieave a uote. Luiortuuateiy sbe`c ieit ber exereise |ool iu ber
sebooi ioeler, so sbe bac uotbiug to write ou. 1bere were severai
|atterec earc|oarc |oxes staelec agaiust tbe waii uext to ber,
sone stiii seaiec witb µaeliug taµe. Biale nustu`t bave bac tine to
iiuisb uuµaeliug. \ay|e sbe`c iiuc a seraµ oi |iaul µaµer anoug
bis tbiugs. "iuter µeelec iusice tbe uearest oµeu |ox.
Iusteac oi µaµer, or µots auc µaus, or auytbiug eise sbe bac
inagiuec it nigbt eoutaiu, "iuter was iutriguec to see tbat tbe |ox
was iuii oi |ools. rot just auy |ools - sbe eouicu`t see auy
µaµer|aels or text|ools. Iusteac, tbe |ox eoutaiuec severai cozeu
ieatber-|ouuc jouruais. uer euriosity overµoweriug auy guiity
reservatious, "iuter tool out tbe toµnost jouruai auc oµeuec it. Its
µages were yeiiowec witb age auc rustiec soitiy as sbe turuec tben.
1be cate a|ove tbe iirst eutry reac 11tb uoven|re, 18v1`. 1be
|ool was nore tbau oic - it was au autiçue: Luiortuuateiy, tbe
iiowiug eaiiigraµbie baucwritiug |eueatb tbe cate, wbiie |eautiiui to
iool at, was eonµieteiy iueonµrebeusi|ie to ber. "iuter bac taleu
lreueb oue senester iour years ago auc reeoguisec a worc bere
auc tbere, |ut tbere was uo way sbe eouic trausiate wbat sbe was
reaciug.
"iuter eiosec tbe jouruai, iu tbe µroeess cisiocgiug a ioose ieai
oi ioicec µaµer tuelec iuto tbe |ael eover. It iiutterec to tbe
grouuc, auc wbeu sbe lueit to µiel it uµ, sbe was surµrisec to see it
was writteu iu Lugiisb.
1:tb August, 18v2
Dearest Liisa|etta,
I write uucer tbe µreteuee tbat I an µraetisiug ny Lugiisb, |ut I
µray tbese worcs wiii sonebow wiug tbeir way to your beart,
tbat tbey wiii iiuc µassage tbrougb tbe uigbt auc inµriut
tbenseives iu a crean, auc you wiii wale witb a ebaugec
µereeµtiou oi ne. It is a iooiisb wisb. \ou wiii uever boic tbis
eoic µarebneut, uever see tbese eiunsy eaucieiit seratebiugs,
uever luow tbe torneut I eucure every noneut. I an a eowarc,
Liisa|etta, tbougb sureiy you susµeet tbis |y tbe way I µaie
wbeuever you euter tbe roon, bow I eau |areiy nuster sµeeeb
wbeu you greet ne. \y greatest iear is tbat you nistale ny
retieeuee ior aµatby, or worse - bostiiity. 1be trutb is tbat you
ieave ne µoweriess auc siel, iile a µoisou I eauuot resist
in|i|iug. I erave you, Liisa|etta, auc bave coue so ever siuee
our iirst eouversatiou curiug lroiessor Cvareez`s tutoriai. I oiteu
reµiay it iu ny niuc, sbanec |y ny owu stutteriug eiunsiuess.
\our worcs were eruei, Liisa|etta, aii tbe nore burtiui as tbey
ieii iron sueb exçuisite iiµs. \otber says you bice your true
ieeiiugs, tbat you eare ior ne as strougiy as I co you, |ut I
careu`t |eiieve tbis. It wouic |e as nueb to |eiieve au augei
eouic grow euanourec oi au ass, sueb is our cisµarity. 8bouic I
eouiess bow I stare at you aeross tbe roon, watebiug tbe iigbt
eteb your bair iu |riiiiaut goics auc recs' I eau see raciauee iu
tbe ceeµ |iue oi your eyes as tbougb you earry tbe suu witbiu
you. 1be iigbt eaiis to ne, awaleuiug cesires tbat startie witb
tbeir iuteusity. 1ine is neauiugiess iu tbese noneuts. I inagiue
stroliug your iaee, ieeiiug tbe soituess oi your sliu, seeiug its
µaiior uext to ny owu carl eonµiexiou. Lile a sbacow iaiiiug
aeross suow .
"iuter µausec reaciug, wbeu sbe bearc a nuiiiec souuc ceeµ
witbiu tbe bouse. 8be beic ber |reatb ior a noneut, iisteuiug. "beu
tbere was uo iurtber uoise, sbe eaiiec out uervousiy, ueiio' Is
auyoue tbere'`
It nust bave just |eeu ber inagiuatiou. Aiter ber nac casb iron
tbe iuvisi|ie µbautons iu tbe woocs, it was o|vious tbat sbe was iu
a bigbiy suggesti|ie state oi niuc. Desµite wautiug to reac tbe rest
oi tbe ietter, "iuter siiµµec it |ael iuto tbe jouruai auc reµiaeec it
iu tbe |ox. It wouicu`t co ior Biale to iiuc ber goiug tbrougb bis
µersouai |eiougiugs. 8be woucerec |rieiiy ii tbe autbor bac ever
eouiessec bis true ieeiiugs ior Liisa|etta or ii tbe iove bac goue
uureçuitec. Ii sbe ever got to luow Biale |etter, sbe nigbt asl bin
a|out tbe jouruais auc wbat baµµeuec to tbe ronautie wbo wrote
tben.
kigbt uow, sbe cicu`t waut to iiuger iu tbe Veiaseo µiaee auy
iouger. "iuter ieit iile a tresµasser, au uueoniorta|ie ieeiiug
eonµouucec |y ber creac oi tbis iuianous bouse. 1bere bac to |e
a seraµ oi µaµer sonewbere ior ber to write a uote ior Biale.
1be baiiway |rauebec oii to eitber sice. A wbite-tiiec litebeu
was visi|ie to ber rigbt auc to ber ieit wbat ioolec iile a iarge iiviug
roon -
"iuter startec as sonetbiug grey riµµiec iu tbe baii-iigbt. It was
just a sbeet eoveriug a µieee oi iuruiture. 1bere nust |e a wiucow
oµeu sonewbere, aiiowiug a |reeze to ruiiie tbe ia|rie iu sueb a
cisçuietiug nauuer. "bat bac sbe tbougbt it was' A gbost'
kicieuious. 1bere was uo sueb tbiug as -
A sbaµe eane seuttiiug out oi tbe iiviug roon towarcs ber.
"iuter junµec |ael a steµ. But sbe wasu`t |eiug attaelec |y
tbe sµeetre oi Veiaseo - just au overweigbt giuger ta||y. 8be reaiiy
was a |uucie oi uerves tbis aiteruoou. 1be eat eyec ber euriousiy
ior a noneut |eiore µacciug over to ru| itseii agaiust ber jeaus.
"bat`s your uane'` sbe aslec, lueeiiug to strole tbe eat. It
stretebec |eueatb "iuter`s toueb, eieariy eujoyiug tbe atteutiou.
1bere was sonetbiug ianiiiar a|out tbe eat. It reniucec ber oi a eat
sbe`c seeu ou teievisiou . or iu a crean.
As sbe was stroliug tbe ta||y`s |ael, auotber casb oi
noveneut crew ber atteutiou. 1o ber surµrise, tbree nore eats
aµµearec. Cue was jet |iael witb sieeµy greeu eyes, auotber wbite
auc very sliuuy, tbe tbirc grey auc sµortiug a |attie sear ou its rigbt
ebeel. Aii oi tben were eoiiariess iile tbe ta||y. 1be eats stooc ou
tbe tbresboic oi tbe iiviug roon, regarciug ber susµieiousiy.
8o Biale was a eat iover.
"iuter iouuc tbe uotiou oi bin owuiug so nauy eats - strays,
jucgiug |y tbe iael oi eoiiars - touebiug. It suggestec a ioueiiuess
tbat seenec at occs witb bis iools auc µersouaiity.
Agaiust tbe waii uear tbe |ase oi tbe stairease stooc a iarge oal
ta|ie auc nirror. 8ureiy tbere wouic |e sone µaµer auc a µeu iu
tbe crawer tbat sbe eouic use. 8be wailec over auc |egau riiiiug
tbrougb tbe crawer, cisnayec to iiuc tbere was uo statiouery
wbatsoever. Just cust auc a iew ceac eoelroaebes.
8be siannec tbe crawer sbut iu irustratiou, auc ber luee
luoelec agaiust sonetbiug eoverec witb a tbiel eiotb ieauiug
agaiust tbe iegs oi tbe ta|ie. 1be iarge reetauguiar o|jeet |egau to
tiµ over, auc "iuter ouiy just nauagec to eateb it.
Cue oi tbe eoruers oi tbe eiotb ieii cowu, auc "iuter lueit to
see wbat it bac |eeu eoveriug. au oii µaiutiug. Iutriguec, sbe crew
asice tbe eiotb, reveaiiug tbe eutire µieture.
It was a ianiiy µortrait oi a |eautiiui youug wonau, uursiug two
snaii ebiicreu ou ber iaµ - a |oy auc a giri. 1wius, "iuter was sure
oi it: 1bey sbarec tbe sane sµarliiug greeu eyes auc augeiie
ieatures. "iuter was uo bistory exµert, |ut jucgiug |y tbe way tbe
iigures were cressec sbe guessec tbe µaiutiug catec iron tbe nic to
iate uiueteeutb eeutury.
1bere was sonetbiug a|out tbe inage tbat seenec straugeiy
ianiiiar, tbougb ior tbe iiie oi ber "iuter eouicu`t µut ber iiuger ou
wby. \ay|e sbe`c seeu a µriut oi it iu au art |ool. 8be was crawu
to tbe exµressiou iu tbe notber`s eyes. 1bere was baµµiuess taiutec
witb a sweet sacuess tbat "iuter iouuc iuereci|iy µoiguaut. 8be
woucerec wbat tbe youug wonau bac |eeu tbiuliug a|out wbiie tbe
artist eaµturec tbis asµeet.
"iuter`s |reatb eaugbt as soit nusie |egau µiayiug iu tbe roons
a|ove. 8be wasu`t aioue. 1be nusie was strauge - siigbtiy nuiiiec
auc witb a cistiuet biss, as ii |eiug µiayec tbrougb au oic-iasbiouec
granoµboue.
"iuter stooc uµ auc eaugbt ber reiieetiou iu tbe nirror over tbe
ta|ie, auc was sboelec at bow ieariui sbe ioolec. Aiter aii, it was
just nusie. 1bere was uotbiug irigbteuiug a|out soneoue µiayiug a
reeorc. Biale nust |e uµstairs sonewbere. ue`c µro|a|iy |eeu iu
tbe sbower auc bac just steµµec out, wbieb was wby be bacu`t
bearc "iuter eaiiiug to bin.
A snoly voiee, aeeonµauiec |y a ioue vioiiu, iioatec cowu
tbrougb tbe eeiiiug, seuciug ebiiis uµ "iuter`s sµiue. 8be tbougbt it
nigbt |e Liia litzgeraic.
"iuter eaiiec out agaiu - Biale'` - |ut agaiu be cicu`t reµiy. It
was µossi|ie tbat tbe reeorc bac crowuec out ber voiee. 8be
novec to tbe |ase oi tbe stairs auc µausec, iooliug uµ iuto tbe
sbacowy reeesses oi tbe iauciug. "as sbe reaiiy wiiiiug to go uµ
tbere'
"iuter was vagueiy aware oi a strauge seusatiou at tbe |ael oi
ber niuc, iile a voiee wbisµeriug to ber iu a iauguage sbe cicu`t
luow |ut wbose neauiug was uuceuia|iy eiear. 1bere was
sonetbiug uµ tbere, sonetbiug sbe bac to see .
leeiiug iile sbe`c iaiieu iuto sone liuc oi crean, "iuter |egau
to aseeuc tbe stairease. 8be iguorec tbe susµieious gaze oi tbe iour
eats, wbo sat at tbe |otton watebiug ber iile a siieut Creel eborus.
8be was baiiway uµ wbeu a voiee |oonec tbrougb tbe bouse.
"bat co you tbiul you`re coiug'`
8be wbiriec arouuc auc saw Biale stauciug iu tbe oµeu irout
coorway witb au arniui oi groeeries. 1be iat orauge ta||y rau to
wbere be stooc, euriiug its taii arouuc bis ieit ieg. ue cicu`t µay
atteutiou to it, auc iusteac eoutiuuec to giare augriiy at "iuter.
leeiiug as tbougb sbe`c |eeu siaµµec awale iron a ceeµ
crean, "iuter slitterec |ael cowu tbe stairs. uer iaee ieit bot
euougb to iguite iuto iianes.
I`n so sorry . I bearc nusie uµstairs auc -` As ii ou eue, tbe
nusie bac stoµµec µiayiug iron tbe uµµer ievei, naliug ber iool
iile a iiar.
"bat are you tailiug a|out'` Biale cenaucec.
I . un .`
I sbouic eaii tbe µoiiee:`
liease cou`t: 1be coor was oµeu. I - I eaiiec out |eiore
eoniug iu. Auc -` "iuter was baviug ciiiieuity gettiug tbe worcs
out. uow eouic sbe exµiaiu to bin tbe irratiouai µauie tbat bac
criveu ber iusice'
Just go, "iuter,` be orcerec, visi|iy tryiug to eoutaiu bis rage.
uis eyes leµt junµiug µast ber to tbe stairs |eyouc, as tbougb be
were iooliug ior soneoue eise. A giriirieuc' 1bat`s µro|a|iy wbo
was µiayiug tbe nusie: \ortiiiec, "iuter cesµerateiy wautec to
eseaµe tbis awiui situatiou, |ut tbeu renen|erec tbe jaelet. \ay|e
it wouic beiµ to µrove sbe`c eone bere witb tbe |est iuteutious.
Biale, I . ab . ouiy wautec to returu your jaelet. It`s over
tbere |y tbe |ools.`
uis eyes iiielec to tbe jaelet iyiug uear tbe jouruais. ue seenec
to grow eveu nore augry as tbougb be guessec sbe`c |eeu
suooµiug tbrougb bis tbiugs.
I cicu`t toueb auytbiug,` sbe iiec, growiug reccer |y tbe seeouc.
I aiso eane to give you a µreseut. \ou luow, ior saviug ne
yestercay.` lun|iiug iu ber µoelet, sbe siieutiy ebastisec berseii.
ßhats wcong wìth oe` I oust have /ost o; oìnd! uer aetious
bac |eeu µaiuiuiiy stuµic. Iuaµµroµriate. looiisb.
liuciug tbe tielet, "iuter beic it out to Biale as a µeaee
oiieriug. I tbougbt it wouic |e a uiee gesture -`
I cou`t waut auytbiug iron you. Just ieave. row.` 1bis tine
tbere was nore irustratiou iu bis voiee tbau auger. ue wautec ber
goue, auc "iuter cicu`t |iane bin. lirst be`c eaugbt ber sµyiug ou
bin iu tbe ebureb graveyarc, uow be`c wailec iu ou ber µrowiiug
arouuc bis bouse - uo woucer be wautec to eaii tbe eoµs: Biale
µro|a|iy tbougbt sbe was sone neutaiiy uubiugec stailer, auc tbe
seary tbiug was tbat "iuter eouicu`t |e sure be was wroug.
Clay. I`n goiug.` "itb a tren|iiug bauc, "iuter ieit tbe
eoueert tielet ou tbe baii ta|ie, tbeu wailec µast Biale witb ber
beac iowerec. 8be`c uever ieit so asbanec iu ber eutire iiie. Cuee
outsice, sbe µraetieaiiy rau to wbere Jessie was µarlec, ieaµt ou
auc turuec tbe ley. rotbiug baµµeuec.
8be bearc tbe irout coor oµeu. Biale µro|a|iy wautec to yeii at
ber sone nore. "iuter wautec to |e cust, to |e goue. uer stonaeb
ieit as ii it was iuii oi |attery aeic. Auy noneut uow sbe nigbt
tbrow uµ.
liease start:` sbe |eggec Jessie, turuiug tbe ley agaiu, |ut tbe
seooter reiusec. row aii sbe bearc were iootsteµs ou tbe grass as
Biale wailec towarcs ber. 1ears oi buniiiatiou µrielec tbe |ael oi
"iuter`s eyes, auc sbe |iiulec tben away. 8be cicu`t waut bin to
see ber ery.
thaµter 11
"iuter starec noociiy out oi tbe wiucow oi Biale`s truel. 1be µaie
woocs iiuiug uoiioway koac iiasbec |y iu tbe carluess. rever
|eiore eouic sbe renen|er ieeiiug so buniiiatec auc en|arrassec.
8be stoie a giauee at Biale. Iiiuniuatec |y tbe weal |iue iigbt oi tbe
casb|oarc, bis iaee renaiuec stouy, jaw eieuebec as tbougb seaiiug
iu auotber augry tirace. 8be sbouic bave just wailec oii auc ieit
Jessie to rust iu Biale`s irout yarc. It nay bave taleu ber aii uigbt to
reaeb bone, |ut at ieast sbe wouicu`t bave to eucure tbis grueiiiug
exµerieuee. 1be atnosµbere iu tbe truel was oµµressive,
eiaustroµbo|ie. Iu a way sbe wisbec Biale wouic just serean at ber
sone nore. Cet it aii oii bis ebest. Auytbiug |ut tbis µreguaut
siieuee.
"iuter stiii cicu`t uucerstauc wby be`c iusistec ou criviug ber
bone. 1bis reiuetaut aet oi ebarity was nore tbau sbe ieit sbe
ceservec. uer seooter eiaulec auc rattiec iu tbe |ael oi tbe truel,
tbe souuc reniuciug "iuter tbat tbis was aii Jessie`s iauit. 1wiee
uow, tbe seooter bac |eeu resµousi|ie ior tbrowiug ber togetber
witb Biale iile sone ceneutec natebnaler.
I`n sorry,` Biale saic, startiiug "iuter out oi ber nisera|ie
reverie.
8be cicu`t çuite luow bow to resµouc. "bat ior'`
\eiiiug at you |ael tbere.` ue stiii reiusec to iool at ber,
tbougb sbe eouic bear tbe geuuiue uote oi renorse iu bis voiee. \y
reaetiou wasu`t . aµµroµriate.`
\ou bac every rigbt to yeii at ne, Biale.`
ro, I cicu`t. I just wasu`t exµeetiug to see you agaiu so soou.
\ou eaugbt ne oii guarc. 8tiii, I eau`t beiµ |ut woucer wbat you
were tbiuliug.`
"iuter sçuirnec |eueatb tbe çuestiou. 1be coor was oµeu. I
uever wouic bave goue iusice otberwise.`
It was ioelec, "iuter.`
Ciieucec |y tbe iusiuuatiou, "iuter tool a noneut to iiuc ber
voiee. I cicu`t |real iu, Biale.` 8be viviciy renen|erec tbe
coorluo| turuiug |eueatb ber toueb. I luoelec iirst auc tbeu I
bearc a uoise outsice auc .`
Biale uow ioolec at ber, irowuiug siigbtiy. "bat uoise'`
rotbiug. \ou`c tbiul I was erazy.` kenen|eriug bis wice-
eyec outrage iu tbe bouse, "iuter accec, Lveu nore erazy.`
1bere was uo way sbe eouic ceseri|e tbe irratiouai µauie sbe`c
ieit ou bis irout µoreb at tbe souucs sbe`c bearc iu tbe woocs, tbe
carl sbaµes sbe tbougbt sbe`c giinµsec noviug tbrougb tbe twiiigbt.
It was çuite iileiy Biale aireacy tbougbt sbe was uu|aiaueec
witbout ber iistiug tbese µarauoic ceiusious. uowever, tbe nusie
sbe`c bearc uµstairs bacu`t |eeu a baiiueiuatiou. "iuter was sure oi
tbat.
"as tbat your giriirieuc uµstairs'` sbe aslec besitautiy. liayiug
tbe nusie'`
1be çuestiou aµµearec to tbrow bin. I iive aioue,` be auswerec
aiter a ioug µause. 1be nusie you bearc was tbe racio.`
1be racio' 1bat cicu`t nale seuse. "by wouic a racio start
µiayiug auc tbeu sbut oii aii |y itseii' Biale cicu`t seen wiiiiug to
tail auy nore, so "iuter was ieit to cweii ou tbese trou|iiug
çuestious tbe rest oi tbe way bone.
1be noneut Biale µuiiec uµ iu irout oi "iuter`s criveway, sbe
was reaebiug ior tbe coor. 8be eouicu`t wait to |e iree oi tbe
teusiou iu tbe ear, wbieb bacu`t a|atec cesµite bis aµoiogy. But
|eiore sbe eouic eseaµe, Biale geutiy tool ber arn.
"iuter, wait.`
1be toueb oi bis iiugers ou ber sliu seut a tiugie oi µieasure
tbrougb "iuter, auc aii at ouee sbe was uo iouger eager to |e goue.
Iutriguec, sbe saw eouiiiet trou|iiug bis baucsone ieatures.
8onetbiug was ou bis niuc.
I cou`t tbiul you`re erazy, "iuter.`
Disarnec |y tbe acnissiou, sbe tool a noneut to resµouc.
Cb. Cooc to luow.`
1bere was eieariy sonetbiug eise Biale wautec to say, |ut tbe
worcs were eiuciug bin. Cr be was boiciug binseii |ael. "iuter
wautec to reaeb over auc toueb bin, tale bis bauc, co sonetbiug to
iet bin luow it was olay to tail to ber, |ut tbe noneut µassec.
Biale ioreec a snaii sniie. It was a weal eiiort to eover uµ
wbatever torneutec bin.
I`ii get your seooter,` be saic auc steµµec outsice, ieaviug ber
|aiiiec. 1bat iirst noneut sbe`c sµiec Biale iu tbe graveyarc,
"iuter bac seusec be earriec a seeret sorrow witbiu bin. 1bis
nystery was µart oi bis aiiure, acciug ceµtb to bis |eauty, naliug it
ciiiieuit ior ber to east bin iron ber niuc. Desµite everytbiug tbat
bac trausµirec |etweeu tben, giinµsiug tbat seeret iu Biale`s eyes
reliuciec ber euriosity. 8be stiii wautec to luow bin, bowever,
tbere was every ebauee be uo iouger wautec to luow ber.
As "iuter boµµec out oi tbe truel, Biale was wbeeiiug Jessie
to tbe ioot oi tbe criveway. ue restec tbe seooter ou its stauc auc
turuec to iaee ber, bis greeu eyes sµarliiug iu tbe carl. Cuiy
yestercay aiteruoou be`c |eeu stauciug iu nore or iess tbe sane
sµot, iooliug at ber witb a siniiar iuteusity.
1be |aieouy iigbt iiielec ou, |atbiug tben iu its weal yeiiow
giow. Botb oi tben giaueec uµ to see a sbacow nove |ebiuc tbe
eurtaiu. Luey. "iuter`s uosy sister was seuciug a uot-very-su|tie
nessage tbat tbey were |eiug watebec.
"eii, I guess tbis is gooc|ye,` "iuter saic, watebiug bis iaee
ior a sigu - auy sigu at aii - tbat tbis wasu`t gooc|ye. 1bat be
iorgave ber ior wbat baµµeuec tbis aiteruoou auc wautec to see ber
agaiu. Iusteac, ber boµes saul as Biale reaebec iuto bis jaelet auc
µuiiec out tbe eoueert tielet.
\ou sbouic tale tbis |ael.`
Clay.` "iuter giugeriy µiuelec tbe o|jeet tbat bac eausec aii
tbis turnoii iron bis bauc. I`n sorry ior . everytbiug.`
Biale cisnissec ber aµoiogy. lorget it.` ue uoccec towarcs
tbe tielet. It was a uiee tbougbt, "iuter. \ay|e you eau give it to
oue oi your irieucs'`
"iuter cicu`t luow wbat sbe wouic co witb tbe tielet. Buruiug it
eane to niuc.
8ee you arouuc,` Biale saic, bis eyes neetiug bers oue iast
tine. 1bat eouiiiet was stiii tbere, as weii as sonetbiug eise -
renorse, nay|e' 1beu agaiu, tbat nigbt |e just wisbiui tbiuliug ou
ber µart. "iuter watebec Biale eiin| iuto bis truel auc crive away,
auc tbeu µusbec Jessie |ael uµ to ber garage, resistiug tbe urge to
liel tbe seooter ou ber way out.
thaµter 18
As sbe wailec uµstairs sbe eouic bear Luey ou tbe µboue iu tbe
litebeu, tbe eouversatiou too iow ior ber to nale out auy worcs.
"iuter was just grateiui ber sister was cistraetec. 8be startec
tiµtoeiug cowu tbe baii -
"iuter'`
Dannit: Luey nust bave bearc ber iootsteµs. "bat is it'`
lboue ior you. uoic ou a seeouc, Jas, sbe just wailec iu tbe
coor.`
Jasniue was tbe iast µersou sbe wautec to tail to rigbt uow.
"itb a reiuetaut sigb, "iuter weut to tale tbe µboue iron Luey.
8be µiaeec tbe baucset agaiust ber ear, turuiug away iron ber
sister. 8be was worriec ber iaee wouic reveai too nueb.
ueiio'`
Jasniue souucec as ii sbe was eatiug sonetbiug ou tbe otber euc
oi tbe iiue. Iu |etweeu noutbiuis sbe nauagec to |iurt out, \ou
luow wby I`n eaiiiug. 1ail to ne.`
It`s uot a gooc tine, Jas.`
"bat co you neau' "bat baµµeuec' \ou souuc weirc.`
I`ii eaii you iater, olay'`
ro you wou`t: 1eii ne wbat`s goiug ou. Dic you or cic you uot
tale tbe tielet out to Biale'`
Cut oi tbe eoruer oi ber eye, "iuter watebec Luey µouriug
berseii a tea at tbe litebeu |eueb, auc uotec tbe susµieious ietbargy
iu tbe aet. Lver tbe stiely|eal, Luey nigbt as weii bave µuiiec uµ a
ebair uext to "iuter witb a µac auc µeu so sbe eouic tale uotes.
uaug ou a seeouc, I`n just goiug outsice.` Ciariug at Luey,
"iuter tool tbe µboue out outo tbe irout |aieouy. Cuee sbe was
sure Luey eouicu`t bear tben, "iuter bissec cowu tbe µboue, \ou
waut to luow wbat baµµeuec, Jas'`
By tbe toue oi your voiee I tale it tbiugs cicu`t go so weii'`
\ou`re a geuius. I weut out to see Biale, just iile you toic ne
to. It was a eonµiete uigbtnare. I nace a iooi oi nyseii.`
"by, wbat co you neau' ue cicu`t tale tbe tielet'`
ro, be cicu`t tale tbe tielet. 1baul you so nueb ior µusbiug
ne iuto oue oi tbe worst exµerieuees oi ny iiie.`
I cicu`t tbiul -`
\ou uever tbiul, Jas. \ou just |uiiy µeoµie iuto coiug wbat you
waut.`
1bat`s uot iair, "iu.`
1be ratiouai sice oi "iuter luew tbis was true, |ut tbere was so
nueb µaiu µereoiatiug iusice ber tbat sbe ueecec to iire it at
sone|ocy, auc Jasniue was au easy target.
Lool, I`ve gotta go.` It wouic |e |est to get out uow, ratber
tbau risl |eiug erueiier to Jasniue.
Clay.` Jasniue weut siieut ior a noneut |eiore sayiug soitiy,
"iuter, I`n sorry.`
\eab, weii, I`n sorry too. I`ii see you tonorrow.`
"iuter buug uµ tbe µboue. 8be`c µro|a|iy owe Jasniue au
aµoiogy iu tbe noruiug, |ut sbe was too eburuec uµ to worry a|out
it uow. 8be sbouicu`t bave taleu tbe µboue eaii to |egiu witb. Iu tbe
cistauee sbe eouic see tbe builiug siibouette oi Cwi \ouutaiu
agaiust tbe star-sµriuliec sly. Looliug at tbe nouutaiu, "iuter was
struel |y a seuse oi iore|ociug. As tbougb sone carl iate awaitec
ber uµ tbere.
8be sbiverec iu tbe uigbt air, |otberec |y tbe succeu croµ iu
tenµerature. A eoic |reeze rose out oi uowbere auc |egau to |iow
arouuc tbe bouse. 1be ualec |ui| iigbtiug tbe |aieouy iiielerec
erratieaiiy, as tbougb aiieetec |y tbe eoic ebauge. lrowuiug, "iuter
watebec it swiugiug |ael auc iortb iu tbe wiuc. 8be was succeuiy
griµµec witb tbe uuuerviug eouvietiou tbat sbe wasu`t aioue auy
nore. It was iess stroug tbau tbe seusatiou sbe`c exµerieueec
outsice tbe oic Veiaseo µiaee, |ut just as cistur|iug.
8iowiy sbe turuec, regarciug tbe carluess |eyouc tbe |aieouy
raiiiug wariiy. lart oi ber wautec to eseaµe iusice, |ut sbe`c aireacy
giveu iu to tbat irratiouai inµuise ouee tocay. It was tine sbe got ber
enotious uucer eoutroi. 1heces nothìng out thece! 8be reµeatec
tbis to berseii agaiu iile a nautra, tryiug to exµei tbe ereeµiug
uuease. It wasu`t worliug. Ii auytbiug, tbe iouger sbe stayec bere
tbe nore exµosec auc vuiuera|ie sbe ieit. 1be sµooly iiieleriug
iigbt overbeac ouiy iuereasec ber creac. 8tiii, sbe wouicu`t ruu
iusice, ii ouiy to µrove to berseii tbat ber iear wasu`t wortb
aeluowiecgiug. "itb aiieetec eonµosure, sbe turuec arouuc to
wail iusice wbeu a iouc neow at tbe euc oi tbe |aieouy startiec
ber. A eat was erouebec ou tbe raiiiug, watebiug ber. Au orauge
ta||y. It neowec a greetiug agaiu.
"iuter |reatbec a ceeµ sigb oi reiiei. uer iustiuets bac |eeu
rigbt, tbere had |eeu sonetbiug iu tbe carluess watebiug ber - a
iat, oic eat. As a|ruµtiy as it bac aµµearec, tbe wiuc ciec cowu.
Lveu tbe |aieouy iigbt stoµµec sµutteriug auc resunec its µersisteut
cuii giow. Just sone iauity wiriug auc a çuiel ebauge iu tbe weatber
- uotbiug to get so worlec uµ over.
8baliug oii tbe renuauts oi ber ereeµiug µarauoia, sbe
waucerec aeross tbe |aieouy to greet ber stailer. "bat are you
coiug bere, µuss'`
1be eat nereiy |iiulec auc iielec its wbislers iu resµouse. row
sbe was eioser, "iuter was surµrisec to see tbat be ioolec exaetiy
iile tbe ta||y sbe`c seeu at Biale`s µiaee. But tbat was inµossi|ie,
wasu`t it' It wouic bave taleu tbe iittie ieiia aii uigbt to travei iron
uoiioway koac to "iuter`s bouse. Luiess be`c bitebec a rice iu tbe
|ael oi Biale`s truel oi eourse.
uow a|out sone water'` sbe aslec tbe eat, stucyiug bin
eioseiy to see ii sbe eouic reeoguise auy narliugs tbat wouic
eouiirn bis iceutity as Biale`s eat. 1be |ig orauge \ ou bis
iorebeac eertaiuiy ioolec ianiiiar. 1be ta||y aiso sbarec tbe
aiieetiouate nauuer oi tbe oue sbe`c net eariier iu tbe aiteruoou. As
soou as tbe oµµortuuity µreseutec itseii, be ieaµt eageriy iuto ber
arns. Laugbiug as bis wbislers tieliec ber iaee, "iuter earriec bin
iusice.
Luey was waitiug ior ber iu tbe litebeu, eboµµiug ouious. 8be
giaueec over at "iuter`s aµµroaeb, oue eye|row arebiug
çuestiouiugiy at tbe eat iu ber arns.
"bat`s witb tbe eat'`
"iuter sbool ber beac. I iouuc bin ou tbe |aieouy. ue iools
tbirsty.`
Luey tuttec cisaµµroviugiy. \ou sbouicu`t ieec strays, "iu. It`ii
leeµ eoniug |ael auc |eiore you luow it you`ii bave got yourseii
a µet you cou`t waut.`
"iuter µut tbe eat cowu auc ioolec ior a |owi. I cou`t niuc ii
be eones |ael.`
liuciug oue, sbe iiiiec it witb water auc µiaeec it |eiore tbe eat`s
iuçuisitive uose. ue inneciateiy startec iaµµiug.
8o, was tbat µboue eaii a|out tbe guy wbo croµµec you oii'
1be sane oue iron yestercay'`
\eµ.`
"bat`s bis uane'`
"iuter sigbec soitiy auc turuec to iaee ber sister. "by eouicu`t
Luey just bave a eouversatiou witb ber witbout it turuiug iuto au
iuterrogatiou'
Biale.`
"bat coes be co'`
Deais crugs,` "iuter auswerec witbout |iiuliug. I`n tbiuliug
a|out worliug as a nuie ior bin. \ou luow - suealiug crugs over
tbe |orcer, stuii iile tbat .`
"iuter -` Luey aiways eaiiec ber "iuter` iusteac oi "iu`
wbeu sbe wautec to ciseiµiiue ber.
"bat co you waut ne to teii you, Luey' I barciy luow tbe
guy.`
But you iile bin'`
"iuter roiiec ber eyes cranatieaiiy, boµiug to eoueeai ber true
reaetiou. 1be awiui seeue tbis aiteruoou bacu`t nucciec ber ieeiiugs
ior Biale, iusteac it bac eiariiiec tben. \es, "iuter iilec Biale - iu
iaet /ìke seenec too niic a worc ior wbatever sbe was ieeiiug.
8o . are you goiug to teii ne wbat you guys bac to tail a|out'
\ou seenec µretty uµset |eiore.`
"iuter sinµiy sniiec auc sbool ber beac. ro. ro, I`n uot.`
Luey µursec ber iiµs iu irustratiou auc turuec |ael to tbe ouious.
Diuuer wiii |e reacy iu tweuty niuutes.`
"iuter uoccec auc µielec uµ tbe eat. 8be luew sbe sbouic
µro|a|iy µut it |ael outsice, |ut sbe ieit iile sone eonµauy.
Conµauy tbat cicu`t asl a niiiiou çuestious, auyway. Leaviug Luey
to seetbe iu tbe litebeu, "iuter earriec tbe eat iuto ber |ecroon
auc sbut tbe coor.
Ainost inneciateiy tbe eat wriggiec iron ber arns, croµµiug to
tbe iioor. ue µaccec over to suiii ber ruuuers, wbieb iay cisearcec
at tbe ioot oi ber |ec. "iuter ieit a wave oi exbaustiou wasb over
ber. Aii sbe wautec to co uow was go to sieeµ auc iorget
everytbiug tbat bac baµµeuec ever siuee sbe ieit lieteb`s tbis
aiteruoou. Luiortuuateiy, ii µast exµerieuee was auy iucieatiou,
ouee sbe turuec out tbe iigbts auc eiosec ber eyes, sieeµ wouic |e
inµossi|ie.
"beuever sonetbiug uµsettiug baµµeuec, ber niuc, iu au aet oi
eruei iusu|orciuatiou, reeorcec it iu cetaii - ouiy to µiay tbe µaiuiui
eveut over auc over agaiu as soou as "iuter iet ber neutai guarc
cowu. 1bese niui niuc novies were uever straigbtiorwarc aeeouuts
oi wbat sbe`c exµerieueec. Iusteac, tbey seenec to |e ecitec ior
naxinun enotiouai µaiu, iiugeriug ou seoruiui iools or burtiui iiues
oi ciaiogue.
Aiter ber µareuts ciec "iuter bac iost wbat ieit iile weels oi
sieeµ, torneutec |y oue sueb niuc novie sbe`c cu||ec 1be
loiiee 8eeue`. 1bis µartieuiar reeorciug |egau witb "iuter arriviug
bone iron sebooi to iiuc a µoiiee oiiieer sittiug iu tbe litebeu witb
Luey.
1he o//ìcec /ooks u¡ as ßìntec entecs the cooo. hìs ;oung
/ace (he cou/dnt le ooce than twent;-two; heav;. Le
ìntcoduces hìose// - ßì/son Oaks - to ßìntec and then o//ecs
hec a seat. O//ìcec Oaks te//s ßìntec that she shou/d lcace
hecse//. Le ¡auses a oooent. as though /oc dcaoatìc e//ect.
and then cecounts hec ¡acents accìdent ìn s/ow. oethodìca/
tecos as though he wece desccìlìng to a l/ìnd ¡ecson
sooethìng hed seen on te/evìsìon. O//ìcec Oaks asks ßìntec ì/
she undecstands and ßìntec /ooks to Iuc; to see ì/ thìs ìs sooe
kìnd o/ ccue/ ¡cank. 1hece ìs sooethìng alout hec sìstecs
vacant stace that convìnces ßìntec that thìs ìs ìn /act
ha¡¡enìng.
Lec ¡acents ace dead.
ßìntec e·cuses hecse// to kìnd O//ìcec Oaks. lecause shes
alout to thcow u¡. She /ust oanages to get to the lathcooo
and a/tecwacds ceoaìns knee/ìng on the l/ue and whìte tì/es ìn
a kìnd o/ stu¡oc.
1bis was tbe µoiut wbere tbe novie wouic stoµ auc rewiuc
|eiore µiayiug agaiu.
Auc uow "iuter bac a iresb accitiou to joiu ber eoiieetiou oi
µaiuiui niuc novies. 8be aireacy bac a titie ior it - "iuter tbe
lsyebo 8tailer` - auc susµeetec it wouic |e gettiug sone serious
µiay over tbe uext weel or so.
8be steµµec over tbe iayer oi cirty eiotbes eoveriug ber iioor to
reaeb ber cesl. 1bere were tbree sbeives serewec over it, tbe toµ
two erannec tigbtiy witb nusie ai|uns auc tbe |otton oue
reservec ior ber treasures. 1bis treasure sbeii was sonetbiug "iuter
bac ereatec iive or six years ago aiter ciseoveriug a µartieuiariy
|eautiiui seasbeii ou Ligbtbouse Beaeb. 1be sbeii bac |eeu tbe iirst
accitiou to tbe sbeii auc was ioiiowec a year iater witb a |ool oi
µoens |y kin|auc, seut to "iuter |y Craucnotber 8ai six noutbs
|eiore sbe ciec.
8ai bac |eeu a voraeious reacer, auc was µartieuiariy µassiouate
a|out µoetry, wbieb sbe oeeasiouaiiy reac aiouc to "iuter aiter
criuliug too nueb egguog curiug tbe ianiiy`s auuuai Cbristnas visit.
8bortiy aiter 8ai was ciaguosec witb eaueer, sbe seut "iuter tbe
kin|auc voiune. "iuter bac |eeu reiuetaut to aeeeµt tbe giit
|eeause oi wbat it siguiiiec - ber graucnotber`s aµµroaebiug ceatb
- |ut ber notber bac nace ber leeµ it. Lveu stiii, "iuter bacu`t
|eeu a|ie to oµeu tbe |ool siuee tbe iuuerai |eeause oi tbe raw
enotiou sbe assoeiatec witb it.
Aiter gaiuiug tbis µartieuiariy µoiguaut treasure, tbe sbeii bacu`t
bac auotber iten µiaeec ou it uutii Jasniue bac µreseutec ber witb a
snaii stuiiec irog sbe wou iu a riug gane at tbe Laster Caruivai iast
year. Lveu tbougb tbe irog was µretty taely, "iuter bac |eeu
çuietiy touebec |y Jasniue`s giit auc so outo tbe sbeii it bac goue.
row "iuter reaebec iuto ber |ag auc tool out tbe erusbec
rilou, µiaeiug it |etweeu tbe |ool oi µoens auc tbe irog. 8be
starec at tbe eanera ior a noneut, ieeiiug a sacuess nore resouaut
tbau auytbiug sbe`c suiierec tocay, |eiore sbaliug berseii. 8be`c
ratber |rooc over tbe exµerieuee at tbe Veiaseo µiaee tbau tbiul
a|out ber cac. \usie. 1bat`s wbat sbe ueecec.
"iuter |egau riiiiug tbrougb ber ai|uns. 8be`c iuberitec nost oi
tben iron ber notber, auc usuaiiy was a|ie to iiuc sonetbiug anic
tbe eeieetie rauge to aeeonµauy wbatever nooc sbe was ieeiiug.
uer notber bac uever tbrowu away a siugie ai|un sbe owuec, so
aii ber nusieai wbins were reµreseutec, everytbiug iron yoceiiiug
eow|oys iron tbe iiities to 8wecisb ceatb netai.
8eeiug bow eiueiess ber irieucs were a|out nusie, bow reaciiy
tbey iaµµec uµ wbatever was µoµuiar ou tbe nusie ebarts witbout
luowiug bow cerivative nost oi it was, nace "iuter aµµreeiate tbe
giit oi taste ber notber bac |estowec uµou ber. It gave ber a snaii
seuse oi suµeriority to eiiug to, wbeu nost oi tbe tine sbe ieit
|ebiuc everyoue eise witb regarcs to iasbiou, teievisiou, |oys . At
ieast sbe eouic teii gooc nusie iron |ac.
8onetines wbeu sbe µiayec ber oic ai|uns "iuter iilec to
inagiue ber notber as a teeuager iyiug ou ber |ec or coiug ber
boneworl, |oµµiug ber beac to tbe tuues tbe way "iuter cic. It
nace ber ieei baµµy auc sac aii at tbe sane tine.
Aiter sone ceii|eratiou, "iuter µielec a CD, rirvaua`s In
Uteco, auc iusertec it iuto ber µiayer. Aitbougb ueariy tweuty years
oic, it was oue oi tbe nore reeeut ai|uns iu tbe eoiieetiou, auc
µerieetiy suitec ior exoreisiug sone µeut-uµ enotious.
1be jaugiiug eborcs oi tbe iirst trael rever|eratec tbrougb ber
roon as "iuter iioµµec iistiessiy outo ber |ec. 1be ta||y junµec
uµ ou tbe nattress auc |egau µawiug at tbe eiosec wiucow.
uac euougb oi ne, bub'` "iuter saic witb |enuseneut, auc
oµeuec tbe wiucow so tbe eat eouic eseaµe. ue erawiec outo tbe
iecge outsice auc tbeu ieaµt outo tbe uear|y |raueb oi tbe eyµress
growiug outsice ber |ecroon. "iuter watebec tbe eat uin|iy ruu
cowu tbe truul outo tbe grouuc |eiow, wbere sbe was surµrisec to
see two otber eats joiu bin. 1be tbree eats siuul oii iuto tbe ceeµer
sbacows oi tbe |aelyarc.
"iuter sbut tbe wiucow, ieeiiug vagueiy uueasy. "atebiug tbe
eat erawi out oi ber wiucow bac giveu ber a µoweriui seuse oi céja
vu. Au inage aµµearec iu ber niuc - a nenory oi a crean,
µerbaµs' 1bree carl iigures boveriug iu tbe air over ber |aelyarc.
"atebiug ber.
thaµter 1v
Biale wailec arouuc tbe Veiaseo µiaee ebeeliug tbat tbe warcs
be`c statiouec were stiii worliug. Lverytbiug ioolec iiue, |ut be cic
auotber eireuit auyway, cou|ie- auc triµie-ebeeliug. 1be bouse was
saie. rotbiug suµeruaturai eouic get iu or out witbout bis exµress
µernissiou. ue bac gooc reasou to |e eautious.
1be 8livers bac |eeu bere.
"beu be`c touebec "iuter iu tbe ear, Biale bac usec tbe 8igbt
to µeel iuto ber niuc. Iu tbat seeouc be`c wituessec a nenory -
"iuter`s exµerieuee outsice bis bouse, tbe sbacows, tbe uoises -
auc uucerstooc wbat bac criveu ber iusice. ue sbouic uever bave
yeiiec at ber. 8be`c bac every reasou to aet tbe way sbe bac.
Luiortuuateiy, eatebiug ber ou tbe stairease bac sboelec bin so
|aciy tbat Biale bacu`t |eeu a|ie to stoµ binseii iron yeiiiug. uis
outrage bac |eeu notivatec |y iear. Ii be`c arrivec bone iive
niuutes iater tbeu sbe nigbt bave |eeu iost to bin iorever.
It was gettiug barcer to tbiul oi ber as a resµousi|iiity, as a
µro|ien be nust soive. 1be eoueert tielet bac |eeu a cisarniugiy
sweet gesture. It bac |eeu a ioug tine siuee auyoue bac giveu bin a
giit. 1biuliug a|out tbis a siigbtiy eouiusec sniie ereµt aeross
Biale`s iaee. "by was be ieeiiug tbis way' Cu au iuteiieetuai ievei
be luew tbat inneciate eouueetiou |etweeu tben, tbe way bis
|ocy reaetec to ber iigbt, cesiriug it, wautiug to µossess it, was au
iustiuetuai oue. It bac uotbiug to co witb enotious.
"iuter`s eviceut iuiatuatiou witb bin eouic aiso |e |oiiec cowu
to |ocy ebenistry. ue was aware oi tbe eiieet be bac ou giris, bow
bis eyes |ewitebec tben, bis aiiure. 1bis was a nere suµeriieiai
resµouse. Beyouc bis aµµearauee, "iuter cicu`t luow Biale - sbe
eouicu`t µossi|iy giveu tbe sbort tine tbey`c sµeut togetber, |ut
wbeu Biale ioolec at ber be ieit tbe straugest seuse tbat sbe cic
luow bin. Cr eouic. It bac |eeu a ioug tine siuee a giri bac nace
bin ieei tbis way. A very ioug tine.
"itb sone eiiort Biale ioreec binseii to stoµ tbis traiu oi
tbougbt. 1bese enotious wereu`t µraetieai auc eertaiuiy wereu`t
goiug to beiµ bin leeµ "iuter saie. Ii auytbiug tbey wouic nale it
barcer ior bin to eoueeutrate. ue ueecec to renaiu cistaut, eoic,
ioeusec. 1be 8livers were growiug |oicer.
Lariier iu tbe aiteruoou, wbiie Biale bac |eeu ioiiowiug "iuter
iu bis truel, be`c watebec tben eause tbe aeeiceut iu tbe roac. At
tbe iast noneut, be`c criveu tben oii, uarrowiy eseaµiug crawiug
atteutiou to binseii. ue cicu`t waut to seare "iuter |ut it was goiug
to |e ciiiieuit to eoutiuue µroteetiug ber iron tbe sbacows. ue
ueecec nore beiµ. Lueliiy be luew wbere to iiuc it.
Biale wailec tbrougb tbe bouse auc out iuto tbe irout yarc.
8tauciug |eueatb tbe swayiug |ougbs oi tbe naguoiia tree, Biale
eiosec bis eyes, seuciug a nessage iuto tbe uigbt. "itbiu niuutes tbe
eats auswerec bis eaii, cozeus oi tben, strays auc |eiovec µets
aiile, ereeµiug out oi tbe woocs auc assen|iiug ou tbe grass |eiore
bin. A iaitbiui eougregatiou waitiug to bear Biale`s sernou. Beiore
be eouic ceiiver it, tbere was a |augiug souuc iron tbe bouse
|ebiuc bin, iile a bauc siaµµiug agaiust a wiucow. Biale turuec
arouuc auc ioolec uµ at tbe Veiaseo µiaee. 1be wiucows were
carl save ior tbe iast oue ou tbe seeouc iioor, wbieb giowec
naievoieut an|er. It was watebiug. Aiways watebiug.
thaµter zo
1be uext noruiug, "iuter aµµroaebec Jessie witb a siguiiieaut ievei
oi susµieiou. lor aii ber aiieetiouate µersouiiieatiou oi tbe seooter,
"iuter luew tbat uitinateiy it was just a µieee oi naebiuery
iueaµa|ie oi seutieut tbougbts. revertbeiess, ii it startec uow aiter
cyiug outsice tbe Veiaseo µiaee auc ioreiug ber to eucure tbat
uueoniorta|ie ear rice witb Biale, sbe nigbt start |eiieviug tbe
seooter was ioiiowiug its owu µersouai ageuca. 8be cicu`t luow ii
sbe ieit reiievec or cisaµµoiutec wbeu Jessie renaiuec o|stiuateiy
siieut aiter nuitiµie turus oi tbe iguitiou ley.
"iuter returuec uµstairs auc µielec uµ tbe µboue. Luey bac
aireacy criveu to worl, so ii sbe wautec to get to sebooi ou tine
sbe`c ueec to get a iiit iron soneoue eise. 8be ciaiiec Jasniue,
boµiug tbat ber irieuc cicu`t |ear a grucge a|out tbe teteby way
"iuter bac sµoleu to ber iast uigbt. It reaiiy bacu`t |eeu iair oi ber
to suaµ at Jasniue iile tbat.
Aiter a iew sbort riugs tbe iiue was µielec uµ. ueiio'`
\oruiug, Jas, it`s "iu.`
"bat`s uµ'` \eµ, Jasniue was stiii uµset witb ber. "iuter
eouic ceteet tbe siigbt eoicuess iu ber resµouse.
I was wouceriug ii you eouic µiel ne uµ' Jessie ciec.`
1bere was a |riei µause, |eiore Jasniue resµoucec. 8ure, |e
tbere iu teu.`
"iuter buug uµ tbe µboue, grateiui tbat sbe bac a iiit, |ut uot
reiisbiug baviug to eucure a ear rice witb Jasniue ii sbe was iu a
buii. It was at ieast a iorty-iive niuute wail to 1riuity, auc tbere
was uo way "iuter eouic nale it to ber iirst eiass ou tine witbout
Jasniue. rot tbat "iuter wouic bave |eeu too cistraugbt to niss
out ou \r Jeulius`s çuacratie eçuatious, |ut ber sbaly reeorc
cicu`t ueec auotber |iael narl ou it ior iate atteucauee.
1biuliug a|out tbis, "iuter reeaiiec tbe vagueiy tbreateuiug enaii
sbe`c iouuc iu ber iu|ox tbis noruiug. It was uarry lraueis,
iusiuuatiug tbat ii "iuter iaiiec to µrocuee tbe µietures ior bis artieie
tocay, be wouicu`t besitate to reµort to 8oreuseu tbat sbe`c iaiiec
ber extra erecit tasl. "iuter µattec ber sebooi|ag, ieeiiug tbe
eoniortiug sbaµe oi tbe µbotograµb waiiet sbe`c µaelec eariier.
1bey were gooc µietures. 8be knew tbey were gooc µietures, |ut
tbere was every ebauee uarry wouic try to iiuc iauit witb tben. 8be
cicu`t luow wbetber be wouic stiii eonµiaiu to 8oreuseu, seeiug
tbat sbe`c eonµietec tbe assiguneut, |ut wouicu`t µut it µast bin.
uer tbougbts were iuterruµtec |y a ear boru |eeµiug outsice.
"iuter joggec cowu tbe criveway to wbere Jasniue`s ebanµague-
eoiourec \iui Cooµer was iciiug.
8be siic iuto tbe µasseuger seat. 1bauls ior µieliug ne uµ, Jas.`
Jas sniiec µoiiteiy. ro µro|ien.`
8o iar, so gooc. "iuter straµµec berseii iu as Jasniue µuiiec
|ael outo tbe roac. uowever, aiter a iew niuutes oi criviug iu
siieuee, "iuter reaiisec tbat Jasniue wasu`t goiug to |e tbe oue to
iuitiate tbe eouversatiou.
8o, a|out iast uigbt .` "iuter |egau, |itiug tbe |uiiet. I`n
sorry ii I was ruce to you ou tbe µboue. I was just uµset.`
8be giaueec at Jasniue out oi tbe eoruer oi ber eye, auc was
reiievec to see Jasniue`s exµressiou soiteu. Desµite Jasniue`s
seusitivity, sbe was aiways çuiel to iorgive.
It`s olay. I sbouicu`t bave µusbec you as barc as I cic. 8o
wbat baµµeuec'`
"iuter tool a ceeµ |reatb auc toic Jasniue everytbiug tbat bac
baµµeuec at tbe Veiaseo µiaee. tbe ciary, tbe eats, tbe eurious
nusie sbe`c bearc, wbieb |eelouec ber uµstairs. 8be giossec over
just bow iurious Biale bac |eeu wbeu be iouuc ber, eouseious oi
uot wautiug to µaiut bin iu a |ac iigbt.
Aiter sbe iiuisbec, Jasniue renaiuec tbougbtiuiiy siieut ior a
noneut.
ue iiles you, "iu,` sbe statec as tbougb it were au o|vious
cecuetiou.
"iuter sbool ber beac, seeretiy ceiigbtec at Jasniue`s
eoueiusiou. I cou|t tbat, Jas.`
Jasniue sbruggec. keeµ iu niuc, I`n ouiy goiug oii wbat
you`ve toic ne - |ut ii I iouuc a strauge guy iurliug iu ny bouse I
wouicu`t oiier to crive bin bone. Lveu ii bis seooter |role cowu.`
Biale`s just uiee.`
ue coesu`t souuc uiee. ue souucs liuc oi augry auc weirc.
uaugiug out iu graveyarcs, iiviug iu a bauutec bouse, leeµiug aii
tbose eats.`
\ou wouicu`t say tbat ii you saw bin,` "iuter saic, griuuiug at
Jasniue`s |iuutuess.
"batever. I cou`t luow ii I sbouic eueourage you to see tbis
guy agaiu. It`s just as weii be gave you tbe tielet |ael.`
"iuter ioolec out tbe wiucow at tbe eiear |iue sly, ieeiiug
nueb |etter ior baviug ciseussec tbe situatiou. Couic it |e true'
Couic a guy iile Biale reaiiy |e iuterestec iu soneoue iile ber' ue
bac savec ber iiie . "bat was tbat syucrone eaiiec wbere uurses
ieii iu iove witb tbeir µatieuts' 1be lioreuee rigbtiugaie Liieet.
\ay|e tbere was sonetbiug siniiar ior guys wbo savec giris iron
eoiiaµsiug eburebes'
1riuity ioonec ou tbe rigbt sice oi tbe roac.
8an eaiiec ne iast uigbt,` Jasniue saic as tbey µassec tbrougb
tbe gates iuto tbe µarliug iot.
keaiiy' "bat cic you tail a|out'` "iuter ioolec over auc saw
Jasniue struggiiug to eoutaiu ber exeiteneut.
Lverytbiug. 8ebooi. uis ianiiy, ny ianiiy. I was ou tbe µboue to
bin ior ueariy two bours. Au uu|eiieva|ie eouversatiou. ue`s iile,
you luow, a nau. rot a |oy. Deeµ.` Jasniue ioolec out tbe
wiucow at tbeir eiassnates niiiiug a|out tbe grouucs. rot iile tbe
rest oi tbese nouleys.`
"iuter eouicu`t beiµ |ut griu at ber starry-eyec irieuc. It wasu`t
tbe iirst tine sbe`c seeu Jasniue go gaga over a |oy so çuieliy, |ut
it was tbe iirst tine sbe`c ever bearc Jasniue reier to oue oi ber
eouçuests as dee¡. Lot, /ush auc se·; were tbe acjeetives sbe
usuaiiy reiiec uµou.
"bo wouic bave tbougbt we`c |otb neet soneoue at tbe sane
tine'` Jasniue saic as sbe µuiiec iuto a sµaee auc switebec oii tbe
eugiue. 8niiiug, "iuter sbruggec iu agreeneut. rot tbat sbe tbougbt
tbeir situatious were very siniiar - Jasniue aetuaiiy stooc a ebauee
witb 8an.
1bey got out oi Jasniue`s ear auc wailec towarcs tbe eutrauee
oi tbe naiu |uiiciug. 8tuceuts ioiterec ou tbe irout steµs, tailiug iu
eiiçues or stauciug aioue waitiug ior tbeir irieucs to arrive.
Jasniue eoutiuuec gusbiug a|out 8an. It`s iuuuy, |ut wbeu I
iirst saw bin I got tbis ieeiiug tbat tbere was sonetbiug sµeeiai a|out
bin. ro, tbat`s uot true.` A ebeely griu suriaeec. lirst I saw tbe
nuseies, auc tbe sniie, auc tbe teetb, auc tbe eyes - tbeu I got tbat
sµeeiai ieeiiug. Do you tbiul it`s µossi|ie, "iu' \ou eau just iool
at soneoue auc luow tben'`
"iuter tbougbt |ael ou tbat iirst noneut sbe saw Biale iu tbe
graveyarc. I tbiul so.`
I gotta teii you, it`s a iittie |it irealy. I neau, wbeu was tbe iast
tine .` Jasniue stoµµec iu ber traels. uer eyes wiceuec
caugerousiy, ber goiceu ebeels eoiourec, auc ber |otton iiµ
twitebec ever so siigbtiy. "iuter bac luowu Jasniue ioug euougb to
reeoguise tbese sigus, auc to beec tben. A storn was eoniug, a
Jasniue storn, auc it wouic µro|a|iy |e wise to start iooliug ior
eover. Lueliiy tbe iury wasu`t cireetec at ber. "iuter ioiiowec
Jasniue`s euragec stare auc saw 8an stauciug at tbe |ase oi tbe
steµs ieaciug uµ to tbe eutrauee. ue wasu`t aioue.
Beely Layue - or Layue tbe laiu as "iuter auc Jasniue eaiiec
ber - was tailiug to bin, tbougb ta/kìng µro|a|iy wasu`t tbe nost
aeeurate ceseriµtiou. As tbey watebec, Beely iaugbec uµroariousiy
at sonetbiug 8an saic, tbeu touebec bis arn iu a ualeciy iiirtatious
gesture. 8be iiielec ber ioug |iouce bair |ael over oue sbouicer,
sniiiug uµ at 8an iron |eueatb ber eyeiasbes.
Lxeuse ne a seeouc,` Jasniue saic tbrougb ber teetb, auc
narebec towarcs tbe cuo, ber iaee aµµroaebiug tbe eoiour oi ber
vivic µiul iriuge.
As nueb as "iuter wouic bave iovec to wateb Jasniue
eviseerate Layue tbe laiu, sbe bac nore µressiug natters to atteuc
to. 8be nace ber way µast tbe gyn towarcs tbe kee koon, wbere
tbe 1ìoes beacçuarters was ioeatec. uarry was sittiug at bis cesl
µoriug over sone sanµie iayouts ior tbe uext issue. It cicu`t
surµrise ber to iiuc bin bere |eiore sebooi bac startec - uarry
nore or iess iivec iu tbe kee koon. At tbe souuc oi ber aµµroaeb,
bis beac suaµµec uµ, |eacy eyes uarrowiug |ebiuc bis tbiel giasses
wbeu be saw it was "iuter.
"iuter, I tale it you reeeivec ny enaii tbis noruiug'`
\es, uarry. 1baul you ior |eiug so µatieut,` sbe reµiiec, uot
|otberiug to bice ber sareasn. As reçuestec - your µbotograµbs oi
liigrin`s Laneut.` 8be croµµec tbe µbotograµb µaelet iu irout oi
bin ou tbe cesl.
I bave to acnit, I bac ny cou|ts.` ue oµeuec tbe sieeve auc
tool out tbe µbotograµbs. "beu 8oreuseu toic ne I bac to use
you as a µbotograµber, I tbougbt it was goiug to |e a cisaster. ro
oiieuee, |ut you`ve uever struel ne as tbe sort oi µersou wbo bac
a stroug worl etbie.`
I aµµreeiate you giviug ne tbe |eueiit oi tbe cou|t,` "iuter
reµiiec tbrougb tbiu iiµs.
8be watebec eioseiy as uarry tbun|ec tbrougb tbe µietures,
taliug uo snaii satisiaetiou iu tbe way bis seeµtieai exµressiou
siowiy ebaugec to geuuiue acniratiou.
rot |ac. I suµµose we eau worl witb tbese.`
rot |ac' Ii you ouiy luew wbat I weut tbrougb to get tben.`
8urµrisiugiy, I reaiiy cou`t eare.` uarry eoutiuuec iusµeetiug tbe
µietures, o|iivious to "iuter`s exasµeratiou. "oab: "bat bave we
got bere'` be saic, irowuiug as be reaebec tbe iiuai µbotograµb. It
was tbe ereeµy graveyarc inage narrec |y tbe bazy |iael iiaw,
wbieb "iuter bac iorgotteu to renove iron tbe µaelet.
Very iuterestiug.` uarry |rougbt tbe µieture eioser to bis
giasses.
\eab, sonetbiug weut wroug witb tbat µieture wbeu it was
ceveioµec.` 1be occiy texturec carluess oi tbe µbotograµb nace
"iuter ieei uusettiec agaiu. 1bere was sonetbiug ainost su|stautiai
a|out tbe iiawec area wbere Biale sbouic bave |eeu stauciug - as
tbougb it bac iorn.
I cou`t tbiul tbis is a ceveioµiug nistale.`
"by' uave you seeu sonetbiug iile tbis |eiore'`
As a natter oi iaet, I bave. \ou`ve got yourseii a 8bacow.`
I luow tbat.`
uarry sbool bis beac. ro - tbat`s uot wbat I neaut.` ue sigbec
witb irustratiou. \ou uever watebec M;stecìes o/ the Occu/t'
Lieveu-tbirty 8aturcay uigbts'`
I nust bave nissec it.`
uarry wavec tbe µieture at ber. 1bis was taleu iu a graveyarc,
eorreet'`
"iuter uoccec, uusure bow au euvirouneut eouic |e eouueetec
to a ceveioµiug error.
"eii, wbat co you iiuc iu graveyarcs'` uarry eoutiuuec, as
tbougb exµiaiuiug sonetbiug µatieutiy to a snaii ebiic. Deac
µeoµie. A 8bacow is tbe sµirit oi a ceac µersou eaugbt ou iiin.`
ue uotec "iuter`s iuerecuious exµressiou, auc seenec a iittie
oiieucec.
Lool it uµ - it`s seieuee.`
Desµite tbe iucierousuess oi uarry`s exµiauatiou - Scìence`
1eah. cìght! - a ebiii rau uµ "iuter`s sµiue.
Cau I leeµ it'` uarry aslec boµeiuiiy.
ro.` "iuter tool tbe µieture iron bin, uot sure wby sbe was
ieeiiug so µossessive a|out it.
8be ieit tbe roon çuieliy, iguoriug uarry`s |enusec exµressiou.
8be eouicu`t |eiieve sbe was aiieetec |y wbat be`c saic. It bac to
|e a jole.
1bere was uo sueb tbiug as gbosts.
thaµter z1
rot usuaiiy tbe |iggest iau oi gyn eiass, tocay "iuter eujoyec tbe
cistraetiou ruuuiug arouuc tbe sebooi ovai aiiorcec ber. 1ryiug to
leeµ uµ witb tbe grouµ, ber eyes iixec ou tbe sweat-staiuec |ael oi
tbe giri abeac oi ber, sbe was a|ie to noneutariiy µut Biale out oi
ber niuc. 1bis was uo easy ieat. uis seuiµturec ieatures, iiawiess
oiive sliu, tbe siigbt stu||ie rougbeuiug bis ebiu, auc nost oi aii bis
cazziiug greeu eyes leµt iutruciug ou ber tbougbts. It wasu`t ouiy
Biale`s iaee tbat nucciec ber tbiuliug, |ut tbe graveyarc
µbotograµb wbieb seenec iuexora|iy iiulec to bin.
1brougbout tbe cay sbe was eonµeiiec to tale tbe µieture out
reµeateciy, stucyiug tbe iiaw ior sone eviceuee oi wbatever
ebenieai reaetiou bac eausec tbe |izarre eiieet. 1bere had to |e a
iogieai exµiauatiou |ebiuc tbe sbacowy iigure auc "iuter was
ceterniuec to seareb tbe µbotograµb uutii sbe iouuc it. A gbost
eaugbt ou iiin. 8beer uouseuse, oi eourse, |ut stiii .
Aiter gyn, "iuter beacec straigbt ior tbe sbowers, baviug
worlec uµ çuite a sweat. 8be tool iouger tbau usuai, iuxuriatiug iu
tbe bot water, inagiuiug it wasbiug away tbe eoueerus tbat µiaguec
ber. By tbe tine sbe`c iiuisbec sboweriug auc cressiug, tbe otber
giris bac aireacy ieit tbe |atbroon. "iuter ioolec at ber wateb auc
saw tbat sbe`c nissec tbe iiuai |eii. 8ebooi bac oiiieiaiiy iiuisbec teu
niuutes ago. Ii sbe cicu`t burry sbe`c niss Jasniue auc bave to get
tbe |us bone. "iuter bac |eeu sµoiiec |y owuiug ber owu vebieie.
It wouic |e irustratiug to bave to sit ou tbe uoisy, sneiiy |us wbiie it
tool twiee as ioug to get bone as usuai.
Quieliy toweiiiug ber bair cry, "iuter weut to ebeel ber
aµµearauee. Luiile tbe otber giris sbe cicu`t eare a|out aµµiyiug
iiµstiel or siatberiug iouucatiou aii over ber iaee, |ut sbe cicu`t
waut to ieave tbe |atbroon iooliug iile a eonµiete borror. As tbe
nirrors were eonµieteiy steanec over iron tbe sboweriug, "iuter
saw berseii aµµroaeb tbe |asiu as a greyisb snucge, bazy auc
iucistiuet. 1bere was sonetbiug wroug witb tbe reiieetiou tbougb.
8onetbiug . uer beart ieaµt iuto ber tbroat. It ioolec iile tbree
carl sbaµes were stauciug cireetiy |ebiuc ber iu tbe swiriiug stean.
"biriiug arouuc, "iuter saw ouiy tbe wooceu |euebes auc row
oi |iue ioelers eoverec iu a iiue iayer oi eouceusatiou. leariuiiy,
sbe turuec |ael to tbe nirrors. It was inµossi|ie: 1be carl sbaµes
were stiii tbere. 1ren|iiug, "iuter ieauec iorwarc auc wiµec ber
bauc aeross tbe giass, eieariug away tbe iog. 1bere was uotbiug
reiieetec iu tbe nirror exeeµt ber owu µaie iaee. 8be stooc tbere
stariug at ber reiieetiou ior a iew seeoucs iouger, uutii sbe was
µositive tbe giass cicu`t bice auytbiug eise, auc tbeu eseaµec to tbe
baiiway.
8be bacu`t nace it very iar wbeu soneoue gra||ec ber arn,
naliug ber junµ.
"itb reiiei, sbe saw it was ouiy 8an.
I`n sorry, I cicu`t neau to seare you,` be saic, iooliug
nortiiiec.
"iuter sbool ber beac. \ou cicu`t. I`n just - cou`t worry
a|out it.` 8be çuieliy ebaugec tbe su|jeet. uow are tbiugs witb
you'`
lretty gooc. 1be teaebers bave |eeu reaiiy beiµiui, auc nost oi
tbe guys bere seen µretty eooi. I`n tryiug out ior tbe ioot|aii tean
tonorrow aiteruoou. Coaeb C`Leery seens to tbiul I stauc a gooc
ebauee oi gettiug iu. I usec to .`
ue eoutiuuec to tail as tbey reaebec tbe irout coors auc
steµµec out iuto tbe eiear aiteruoou suuiigbt, "iuter ouiy baii-
iisteuiug to bin. 1be |atbroon exµerieuee bac rattiec ber.
Con|iuec witb tbe µauie sbe`c exµerieueec at tbe Veiaseo µiaee,
auc ou ber |aieouy tbe µrevious eveuiug, "iuter was |egiuuiug to
worry sonetbiug was aetuaiiy wroug witb ber. Deuiai bac aiways
|eeu ber irieuc - it bac got ber tbrougb tbe grieviug µroeess - |ut ii
tbese baiiueiuatious eoutiuuec to µiague ber sbe nigbt bave to tail to
sone|ocy. Lver siuee tbe iuuerai, tbe sebooi eouuseiior, \rs
\orris, bac |eeu |acgeriug "iuter ior a sit cowu - "e eouic tail
a|out auytbiug you ieei iile` - |ut sbe`c nauagec to avoic it.
\ay|e it was tine to tale ber uµ ou ber oiier.
\ou baveu`t seeu Jasniue arouuc, bave you'` be aslec
besitautiy, ouee tbey`c reaebec tbe |otton oi tbe steµs. "iuter bac
|eeu too µreoeeuµiec witb ber owu worries to reaiise tbat 8an bac
|eeu eireiiug tbe su|jeet oi Jasniue tbrougbout tbeir eouversatiou.
roµe, sorry. rot siuee tbis noruiug.`
8an`s |row ereasec iu |ewiicerneut. 8be seens augry witb ne
a|out sonetbiug. I cou`t luow wbat I cic. "e`re suµµosec to |e
goiug to tbis eoueert tonorrow uigbt.`
kigbt, tbe Lr|au riujas. 8bouic |e gooc.`
\eab, exeeµt I cou`t luow ii sbe stiii wauts ne to go witb ber,
or . I just wisb I luew wbat I cic wroug.`
I`n sure it`s uo |iggie.`
8an wasu`t to luow tbat as soou as Jasniue bac stalec ber
eiain, tbere were eertaiu siieut ruies be was exµeetec to ioiiow -
tbe iirst |eiug uo iiirtatious |auter witb otber giris, es¡ecìa//; Layue
tbe laiu. Luiortuuateiy, be wasu`t tbe iirst guy wbo bac aµµroaebec
"iuter witb tbe boµe oi iiuciug sone iusice trael to uucerstauciug
Jasniue`s |ebaviour. "iuter sonetines wisbec tbere was a nauuai
to Jasniue, outiiuiug tbe eonµiexities auc o|seure rituais tbat were
ueeessary to leeµ ber baµµy, so tbat sbe eouic siiµ it to tbese µoor
guys auc save tben uuueeessary stress.
8an uoccec towarcs a eiuster oi giris stauciug ou tbe ecge oi
tbe |aslet|aii eourts. Jasniue was stauciug witb tben. Do you
tbiul nay|e you eouic tail to ber ior ne'`
8ure,` "iuter saic reiuetautiy. 8be batec µiayiug tbe
iuterneciary iu Jasniue`s siiiy neiocranas. 1be µoor guy seenec to
|e suiieriug, tbougb - tbe ieast sbe eouic co was try to get bin
sone µieee oi niuc.
8be ieit 8an µreteuciug to ebeel bis µboue, wbiie surreµtitiousiy
steaiiug giauees at Jasniue, auc wailec aeross tbe |aslet|aii eourts
towarcs tbe grouµ.
8tauciug witb ber were tbree giris iron Jasniue`s swinniug
tean. 8aiiy Jeuseu, 1iua \itts auc Ciive \at-tbews. "iuter was
irieuciy witb tben, |ut ouiy |eeause oi ber reiatiousbiµ witb
Jasniue. 8be sonetines got tbe ieeiiug tbat ii it wereu`t ior Jasniue,
8aiiy, 1iua auc Ciive µro|a|iy wouicu`t nale au eiiort witb ber.
uey, guys,` "iuter saic, boveriug outsice tbeir eireie. 1be giris
- Jasniue iueiucec - seenec to |e ceeµ iu ciseussiou.
Jasniue |eelouec to "iuter, |riugiug ber iuto tbe eouversatiou.
uey, "iu, bave you seeu bin yet'`
"bo' 8an'`
8eowiiug, Jasniue sbool ber beac. ro, ceiiuiteiy uot 8an.
Lool over ny sbouicer.` "iuter |egau to co just tbat |eiore |eiug
eautiouec |y Jasniue, 8u|tiy, "iu: Be eooi:`
As su|tiy as sbe eouic, "iuter sçuiutec aeross tbe ioot|aii iieic
to tbe snaii stuceut µarliug iot. As sebooi bac ouiy just iiuisbec tbe
iot was stiii çuite iuii, so it tool "iuter a noneut or two to
reeoguise tbe rusty wbite µiel-uµ truel µarlec anic tbe otber ears.
Auc tbe guy ieauiug agaiust tbe booc.
lretty sµeetaeuiar, isu`t be'` Jasniue saic, nistaliug "iuter`s
sboelec reaetiou ior awe. 1iua tbiuls it`s kristeu \aeley`s uew
|oyirieuc. 8be`s |eeu tailiug a|out -`
It`s Biale,` "iuter saic çuietiy. 1be |atbroon sµeetres, 8an`s
cistress, tbe bauutec µbotograµb, aii tbe otber tbougbts auc
eoueerus tbat bac |eeu |ouueiug arouuc ber beac were uow
iorgotteu. Biale was µroµµec agaiust tbe irout oi tbe truel, baucs
iu bis µoelets, as ii µatieutiy waitiug ior soneoue . waitiug ior
"iuter.
Jasniue`s eyes wiceuec iu sboel. 1hats Biale' "ow - you
wereu`t licciug, "iu. ue is totaiiy out oi your ieague.`
"iuter sbot Jasniue a iool. uer irieuc sbruggec au aµoiogy, |ut
µoiutec at Biale as eviceuee ior ber renarl. uey, I iove you, "iu,
|ut /ook at bin:`
"bo`s Biale'` 8aiiy aslec, auc "iuter reaiisec vagueiy tbat
sbe`c |eeone tbe eeutre oi atteutiou ior tbe rest oi tbe giris. 1bey
were watebiug ber witb a nixture oi euriosity auc iuerecuiity tbat
was a iittie iusuitiug.
ue`s tbis weirc guy wbo savec "iuter`s iiie auc is uow totaiiy
iuto ber,` Jasniue saic, beiµiuiiy iiiiiug tben iu.
Le`s iuto ;ou'` 1iua aslec "iuter iu anazeneut, uot |otberiug
to bice tbe iuiieetiou iu ber voiee tbat suggestec tbe icea oi a
gorgeous nau iiliug liaiu Jaue "iuter |orcerec ou inµossi|ie.
ue`s uot iuto ne. "e |areiy luow eaeb otber,` "iuter saic
seii-eouseiousiy.
"by co you tbiul be`s bere tbeu'` Jasniue aslec.
I guess I`c |etter go iiuc out.` "iuter`s stonaeb eburuec witb
auxiety agaiu. Just tbe sigbt oi Biale was euougb to nale ber ieei
stirrec uµ auc eouiusec. 8be startec towarcs tbe µarliug iot, ieeiiug
tbe eyes oi tbe giris |oriug iuto ber |ael.
8be was baiiway tbere wbeu Biale saw ber. ue wavec, as
tbougb worriec "iuter nigbt uot see bin. 1bere was iittie ebauee oi
tbat baµµeuiug - eveu iron tbis cistauee Biale was |reatbtaliug.
"iuter eouic see bis |eauty aiieetiug tbe otber giris as tbey µassec
witbiu bis or|it. \ost oi tben sinµiy cic a cou|ie tale |eiore
noviug ou to wbisµer exeiteciy to eaeb otber, |ut oue or two
sbaneiess iucivicuais stoµµec to stare. "itb aii tbe eonnotiou be
was eausiug, Biale nigbt weii bave |eeu sone liuc oi ianous roel
star or eeie|rity. But be cicu`t seen to uotiee tbe atteutiou. "iuter
suµµosec be was usec to |eiug ioolec at.
uey, "iuter,` Biale greetec ber as soou as sbe reaebec bis
truel. Beiug tbis eiose to bin nace ber ieei bot, as tbougb Biale
was giviug oii au iuteuse raciatiou tbat ouiy sbe eouic ieei. 8be
eoueeutratec aii ber eiiorts ou uot |iusbiug.
ui. "bat are you coiug bere'` "iuter cicu`t neau to souuc
aggressive, |ut tbauls to ber uerves, tbe çuestiou eane out nueb
nore |iuutiy tbau sbe`c neaut it to. It succeuiy seenec uuuaturaiiy
çuiet iu tbe µarliug iot, as ii tbe stuceuts niiiiug a|out were aii
straiuiug to iisteu to "iuter auc Biale`s eouversatiou. 8be luew
tbat it was µro|a|iy µarauoic uouseuse, |ut sbe eouicu`t sbale tbe
seusatiou.
I tbougbt tbat witb Jessie |eiug out oi eonnissiou you nigbt
ueec a iiit bone.`
A iiit'`
Biale ioolec a iittie sbeeµisb. I eouicu`t sieeµ iast uigbt
|eeause I was ieeiiug so guiity a|out . yeiiiug at you tbe way I cic.
1bougbt I`c try auc nale aneucs.`
"iuter eouicu`t |eiieve wbat sbe was beariug. 8be`c eouviueec
berseii tbat sbe`c µro|a|iy uever see Biale agaiu. \ou`re sure' I
eau get a rice witb oue oi ny irieucs, or .`
Iu tbe cistauee "iuter eouic see Jasniue auc tbe otber giris
iooliug ou witb raµt atteutiou. Lveu µoor 8an, wbon sbe`c
iorgotteu a|out, was stauciug wbere sbe`c ieit bin uear tbe irout
steµs, watebiug ber eouversatiou witb Biale. kuowiug sbe was
|eiug o|servec so eioseiy nace "iuter ieei µaiuiuiiy seii-eouseious.
Biale sniiec auc sbool bis beac. "iuter, µiease get iu tbe
truel. I wouicu`t |e bere ii I cicu`t waut to |e.`
"iuter eouicu`t boic |ael ber ceiigbtec griu. Clay, tbaul you.`
As be wailec ber to tbe truel, Biale wbisµerec eousµiratoriaiiy,
I cou`t neau to aiarn you, |ut I tbiul µeoµie are stariug at us.`
"iuter iaugbec. I tbiul you nigbt |e rigbt.`
"by'`
Beeause tbey bave uotbiug |etter to co.` ~nd lecause the;ce
tc;ìng to /ìguce out what a leautì/u/ ¡ecson /ìke ;ou ìs doìng
ta/kìng to oe, sbe tbougbt.
Let`s get goiug |eiore tbey start taliug µietures,` Biale saic,
oµeuiug tbe coor ior ber. "biie "iuter luew be neaut it as a jole,
sbe eouicu`t beiµ |ut iiasb uueasiiy uµou tbe graveyarc µbotograµb
iu ber |ag. 8be eaugbt boic oi berseii - 8/ake was dcìvìng hec
hooe! ue`c eone to ber sebooi witb tbe exµress µurµose oi seeiug
ber. 1bis was sonetbiug wortb o|sessiug a|out, uot sone weirc
µbotograµb.
Biale boµµec iuto tbe criver`s seat auc startec tbe eugiue. As
tbey crove tbrougb tbe µarliug iot, "iuter uotieec tbe gaµiug
astouisbneut oi Jasniue auc tbe otber giris. Iusteac oi ieeiiug
awlwarc or seii-eouseious, sbe tiugiec witb a seusatiou çuite
ioreigu to ber.
"iuter ieit sµeeiai.
thaµter zz
uoiciug two giasses oi orauge juiee, "iuter teutativeiy eane cowu
tbe stairs to tbe garage. Biale nust bave iouuc Luey`s oic |oon
|ox auc tuuec it to oue oi tbe viutage l\ roel`u`roii statious
|eeause sbe eouic bear tbe koiiiug 8toues` 8ynµatby ior tbe
Devii` eraeliiug tbrougb tbe sµealers.
Biale was buuebec over Jessie`s eugiue, sçuiutiug iu tbe soit
giow oi tbe garage`s iigbt. Duriug tbe crive over be bac oiierec to
iix Jessie - wbieb "iuter eageriy junµec at. 8be cicu`t eare
wbetber be sueeeecec iu tbis or uot, sbe was just grateiui ior tbe
oµµortuuity to sµeuc nore tine witb bin. ue giaueec uµ at ber
aµµroaeb.
I boµe you cou`t niuc - I saw tbe stereo, auc I worl iaster to
nusie.`
ro µro|ien.` "iuter baucec bin oue oi tbe criuls. Is orauge
olay' "e`re out oi graµe.`
Crauge is iiue. 1bauls.` Biale guiµec cowu tbe eouteuts oi tbe
giass, a iiue sbeeu oi sweat ou bis |row.
uow`s Jessie iooliug'` "iuter aslec, µeeriug iuto ber
seooter`s exµosec iuuarcs.
Biale seratebec bis ebiu. lretty gooc, aetuaiiy. I tbiul you just
bac a ioose sµarl µiug. 1be gas iiiter was aiso a |it eioggec wbieb
wouicu`t bave beiµec tbe situatiou. Lasiiy iixec, tbougb. I sbouic |e
coue witbiu tbe bour.`
1ale your tine.`
I`n uot iu your way'`
rot at aii.` As iar as sbe was eoueeruec be eouic stay as ioug
as be iilec.
Biale uoccec auc |eut over tbe eugiue agaiu. "biie "iuter
watebec bin worl, sbe triec to reiax auc eujoy tbe noneut. 1bere
be was, bis sieeves roiiec uµ, worliug uµ a sweat, siaviug away ior
ber. It was tbe stuii oi iautasies - yet "iuter cicu`t ieei exeitec. uer
niuc leµt returuiug to tbe ebauge roons, auc tbose tbree oniuous
iigures iurliug iu tbe nistec giass. "iuter sbiverec, ieeiiug ber arns
|real out iu goose |unµs.
Biale giaueec uµ at ber, irowuiug siigbtiy. Are you olay'`
"iuter ioreec a sniie. 8ure.`
uis eye|rows junµec seeµtieaiiy.
It`s uotbiug reaiiy. I just tbiul I nigbt |e iosiug ny niuc,` sbe
eouiessec witb au awlwarc sniie, naliug iigbt oi wbat was
|eeoniug a very reai eoueeru.
"bat baµµeuec'`
"iuter sigbec, uusure wbere to |egiu. Lver siuee you . un .
tbat wboie tbiug baµµeuec iu tbe ebureb, I`ve |eeu baviug tbese
weirc µauie attaels. I leeµ seeiug sbacows tbat iool iile µeoµie,
reiieetious iu nirrors wbeu tbere`s uo oue tbere.` 1be worcs
souucec siiiy as tbey eane out oi ber noutb.
8bacows'`
8be iaugbec uervousiy. \eab - µretty erazy, bub'`
uis |row iurrowec, Biale |eut to acjust a serew. 8one
euitures |eiieve seeiug carl iigures is au evii oneu. A sigu tbat
cauger is eoniug.`
row it was "iuter`s turu to raise ber eye|rows. 1bauls ior
naliug ne ieei |etter.`
I`n just sayiug tbat µerbaµs you sbouic beec tben. 1ale a |it
oi extra eare. Dou`t µut yourseii iu auy µoteutiaiiy caugerous
situatious.`
Lile wailiug arouuc a eoucenuec ebureb'`
Biale sniiec, tbougb uot as |roaciy as sbe wouic bave iilec.
Lxaetiy. Cau you µass ne tbe iiatbeac serewcriver'`
"iuter was grateiui ior tbe sbiit iu eouversatiou. 8be runnagec
iu bis tooi|ox. "bieb oue' 1bere`s, iile, iive iu bere.`
1be oue witb tbe iiat beac.`
leeiiug iooiisb, "iuter iouuc tbe serewcriver auc baucec it to
bin. uer arn aeeiceutaiiy |rusbec ber sebooi|ag sittiug uext to tbe
tooi|ox, tiµµiug it outo tbe iioor. 8one oi ber |ools sµiiiec out,
anoug tben ber ciary. Biale stoµµec wbat be was coiug auc
beiµec ber µiel tben uµ. As be baucec ber tbe ciary, tbe
µbotograµb bicceu iu tbe |ael siiµµec to tbe iioor.
"bat`s tbis'` be saic, eyes uarrowiug witb susµieiou.
Cb.` "iuter was reiuetaut to iceutiiy tbe µieture auc reniuc
Biale oi tbe en|arrassiug eireunstauees surrouuciug it. 1bat`s oue
oi tbe µietures I tool uµ at tbe ebureb. It`s .`
It`s oi ne, rigbt' \ou tool it just |eiore .` ue ioolec at ber
ior eouiirnatiou.
"iuter uoccec, ber µuise çuieleuiug at tbe nenory. \eab, |ut
sonetbiug baµµeuec to it wbeu it was ceveioµec. "eirc, bub'`
Biale`s irowu ceeµeuec as be exaniuec tbe sbacow taruisbiug
tbe µbotograµb. Aiter a iew seeoucs oi siieut stucy, be aslec,
uave you sbowu tbis to auyoue eise'`
ro - ouiy tbe guy at tbe µboto store. Auc ny ecitor, uarry. ue
tbiuls it`s a gbost. 1beu agaiu, be`s au iciot.`
"iuter exµeetec Biale to iaugb at tbe gbost reiereuee, |ut
iusteac bis exµressiou tigbteuec siigbtiy. Aiter auotber noneut oi
son|re evaiuatiou, Biale reiaxec, auc sbe was iiuaiiy rewarcec
witb tbe anusec griu sbe`c |eeu boµiug ior.
ro woucer you`re seeiug carl iigures everywbere. 1bis wouic
sµool auyoue.` ue baucec tbe µieture to ber. It`s uot a gbost. I`ve
seeu sonetbiug iile tbis |eiore. It`s eaiiec tbe Crinaici Liieet auc
baµµeus wbeu tbere`s too nueb siiver uitrate iu tbe iiin ceveioµer. I
bate to cisaµµoiut your ecitor, |ut tbere`s uotbiug suµeruaturai
a|out it.`
1be Crinaici Liieet'` "iuter ieit reiievec tbat tbe nysterious
iiaw bac a uane, iucieatiug a seieutiiie exµiauatiou.
Biale startec worliug ou Jessie`s eugiue agaiu, aµµareutiy uot
iuterestec iu ciseussiug tbe µbotograµb iurtber. "iuter stuiiec tbe
µieture |ael iuto ber ciary, giac to bice it iron sigbt. Crinaici Liieet
or uot, tbe |iael snucge stiii uuuervec ber.
Clay,` Biale saic, µuttiug cowu tbe serewcriver. A biut oi a
sniie tuggec at tbe eoruer oi bis noutb. Dou`t suµµose you luow
wbat a soelet wreueb iools iile'`
ue was teasiug ber:
8oelet wreueb. ro µro|ien,` sbe auswerec eouiiceutiy. 8be
iguorec bis cou|tiui exµressiou auc starec iuto tbe tooi|ox agaiu,
tryiug to iigure out wbieb oi tbe netai tbiugs it nigbt |e. Aiter a iew
seeoucs, Biale oiierec beiµiuiiy, It`s tbe oue witb tbe boie iu it.`
I luow:` "iuter suaµµec iu noel iuciguatiou. Biale sbool bis
beac auc startec wiµiug uµ tbe exeess grease arouuc tbe ecges oi
tbe oµeu µauei.
Bo| Dyiau`s kuoeliu` ou ueaveu`s Door` bac |eeu µiayiug ior
tbe iast eouµie oi niuutes, auc, |areiy reaiisiug sbe was coiug it,
"iuter startec to bun aioug to tbe eborus uucer ber |reatb. 8be
eveutuaiiy iouuc tbe wreueb, turuec to bauc it to Biale, auc was
surµrisec to see tbat be too was bunniug soitiy aioug witb Dyiau.
Biale |iusbec (he l/ushed!) wbeu be saw tbat "iuter bac
eaugbt bin. 1bey |otb stooc over Jessie`s exµosec eugiue, sniiiug,
wbiie Dyiau saug iu tbe |aelgrouuc. As Biale`s gaze sougbt bers,
"iuter ieit a ceiieious tiugiiug aii over ber |ocy, as tbougb iuvisi|ie
iiugers were iigbtiy stroliug ber sliu. keeµiug bis eyes traiuec ou
ber, Biale tool a steµ eioser. ue`c |eeu stauciug iu tbe sbacow oi
tbe garage |ut uow, witb tbe aiteruoou iigbt sµiiiiug iu tbrougb tbe
oµeu garage, bis oiive sliu was suiiusec witb a goiceu giow. "iuter
inagiuec sbe nigbt cisaµµear eonµieteiy iu tbe |riiiiauee oi sueb
|eauty. ue wouicu`t iet ber cisaµµear tbougb. uis gaze beic ber as
iirniy as a stroug en|raee. Drawiug eioser, Biale`s iiµs µartec
siigbtiy - he was goìng to kìss hec!
8ucceuiy tbe ceiieate iutinaey oi tbe noneut was ruiuec |y tbe
souuc oi a ear eugiue revviug ou tbe criveway outsice. 1be twiu
beaciigbts oi Luey`s statiou wagou sµiiiec iu tbrougb tbe oµeu
garage coor, µiuuiug "iuter auc Biale iile a eouµie oi jaii|realers.
8eeiug tbat tbe sµaee ior ber ear was µreseutiy oeeuµiec, Luey
µuiiec ou tbe bauc|rale auc steµµec out. ueiio.` uer gaze iiittec
|etweeu "iuter auc Biale, as tbougb waitiug ior oue oi tben to
exµiaiu wbat was goiug ou.
Luey,` "iuter saic, sniiiug tbrougb grittec teetb. As usuai, ber
sister bac cisµiayec inµeeea|ie tiniug.
Luey sniiec eiviiiy at Biale. Biale, is it'`
1bat`s rigbt.`
"bat are you guys uµ to'` 8be gesturec towarcs Jessie.
lro|ien witb your seooter'`
\eab, it`s |eeu aetiug uµ. Biale oiierec to iix it.`
Luey`s |row eriuliec ever so siigbtiy. 1bat`s very liuc oi you,
Biale.`
It was uo |otber.` Biale turuec to "iuter. I guess I |etter |e
goiug.` ue novec away iron tbe seooter auc µuiiec bis jaelet ou.
"by cou`t you stay ior ciuuer'` Luey aslec a|ruµtiy.
"iuter auc Biale were eçuaiiy surµrisec |y tbe oiier.
Ln .`
8u|jeetiug Biale to ber sister`s iuterrogatiou, uot to neutiou ber
iael oi eooliug sliiis, wasu`t "iuter`s icea oi sµeuciug çuaiity tine
witb bin. 8be tbrew bin a iiieiiue.
Ii you`ve aireacy got µiaus .`
Biale sbruggec. ro, ciuuer souucs great. 1baul you ior tbe
iuvitatiou.`
Luey |eanec at "iuter as ii to say, See how nìce I can le`
"iuter wasu`t |uyiug it. 8be tool a ceeµ |reatb auc µrayec siieutiy
tbat Luey wouicu`t en|arrass ber. 1bis was goiug to |e iuterestiug.
thaµter z1
"iuter twiriec a iew soggy sµagbetti straucs arouuc ber iorl auc
ciµµec it iuto tbe watery sauee µooiec iu ber µiate. 1bis was
suµµosec to |e sµagbetti |oioguaise, auc wbiie tbere was µieuty oi
over-eoolec sµagbetti, tbe |rowu iiçuic µourec over it |ore iittie
resen|iauee to |oioguaise sauee as "iuter luew it. 8be wasu`t
sure wbere Luey bac bicceu tbe neat or ouious iu it, |ut so iar sbe
bacu`t |eeu a|ie to iiuc sigus oi eitber.
8be ebaueec a siceways iool at Biale sittiug at tbe euc oi tbe
ta|ie, auc saw tbat be was coiug a nueb |etter jo| oi µreteuciug to
eujoy tbe neai tbau sbe was. ue iorlec a noutbiui oi µasta iuto bis
noutb witb a eouteutec souuc.
Deiieious.`
Luey sniiec at bin besitautiy, as tbougb eveu sbe eouicu`t
|eiieve soneoue eouic aµµreeiate ber eooliug. I tbougbt I nigbt
bave accec too nueb water to tbe |oioguaise nix.`
Biale sbool bis beac. rot at aii. 1bis is aetuaiiy very siniiar to
tbe way tbey serve sµagbetti iu Itaiy.`
"iuter assunec Biale was ouiy |eiug µoiite, as sbe eouicu`t
inagiue Itaiiaus, or auy otber uatiouaiity ior tbat natter, serviug
sµagbetti iile .
Luey tiitec ber beac to oue sice. \ou`ve |eeu to Luroµe'`
Biale uoccec, ca||iug bis noutb witb a uaµliu. I was |oru
tbere. Just outsice oi Boiogua.`
"iuter wasu`t surµrisec to bear tbat be was iron auotber
eouutry. Biale seenec eousicera|iy nore euiturec auc reiiuec tbau
auy otber guy sbe`c net.
Luey regarcec bin seeµtieaiiy. But you cou`t bave au aeeeut.`
I`ve |eeu bere ior a wbiie.`
I`c iove to go to Luroµe.` "iuter sigbec wistiuiiy. 8be was
eager to travei auc see tbe woric |eiore goiug to eoiiege, |ut
eouicu`t inagiue baviug euougb nouey to co so iu tbe ioreseea|ie
iuture. \ost oi tbe nouey sbe`c iuberitec iron ber µareuts` wiii bac
goue to µayiug ber sebooi iees ior tbe renaiuiug senester. Luey bac
µiaeec tbe snaii sun tbat was ieit over iuto a saviugs iuuc, wbieb
"iuter eouicu`t toueb uutii sbe was tweuty-oue. \ay|e ii sbe got a
jo| wbeu sbe ieit sebooi sbe nigbt |e a|ie to save euougb to go
|aelµaeliug iu Luroµe ior a eouµie oi noutbs. 1bere was aiways a
ebauee Luey eouic get ber a jo| at tbe µbarnaey.
1beu agaiu, "iuter wasu`t sure sbe`c |e a|ie to worl tbere. 8be
cicu`t luow bow Luey eouic co it. "iuter bac too nauy nenories
oi visitiug tbeir iatber aiter sebooi, watebiug bin iu bis wbite eoat
iiiiiug µreseriµtious |ebiuc tbe eouuter, wbiie sbe cic ber boneworl
at bis cesl. 8be iouuc it borri|iy irouie tbat |otb Acans giris eouic
euc uµ worliug iu tbeir iatber`s oic µbarnaey. 1bey bac sbarec a
eonµiete iael oi iuterest iu it wbiie be was aiive.
8o, Biale, wbat |rougbt you to uagau`s Biuii'`
Luey µbrasec tbe çuestiou iuuoeeutiy euougb, |ut "iuter eouic
see |y tbe uarrowiug oi ber eyes tbat bis auswer wouic go a ioug
way to ceeiciug ber ieeiiugs a|out bin. Biale µausec iu tbe aet oi
iorliug sone sµagbetti iuto bis noutb.
"eii, I`ve aiways wautec to iive uear tbe sea, auc I`ve |eeu
leeµiug ny eye ou µroµerty aioug tbis streteb oi tbe eoast. A bouse
eane outo tbe narlet tbat eaugbt ny iuterest, so I ceeicec to nale
tbe nove.`
Luey seenec geuuiueiy inµressec. \ou`re a boneowuer'
"ow, you seen so youug. I tbougbt you nust |e a stuceut.`
Biale sniiec nocestiy. I`n oicer tbau I iool.`
"beu Luey eoutiuuec to stare at bin witb a µerµiexec
exµressiou, Biale accec joviaiiy, Carrot juiee auc iots oi it.`
A snaii groove aµµearec |etweeu Luey`s eyes. "iuter bac seeu
tbis exµressiou |eiore wbeu tbey`c |eeu watebiug a eonecy ou
teievisiou auc sbe`c iaugbec at a jole Luey cicu`t iiuc anusiug. uer
sister`s seuse oi bunour was iinitec |eiore tbeir µareuts` ceatb, auc
bac uow sbruul iurtber stiii to tbe µoiut tbat "iuter wasu`t sure it
eveu existec auy nore.
lorgive ne ii I`n a iittie eurious,` Luey saic, |realiug a µieee oi
cry gariie |reac oii tbe ioai iu tbe eeutre oi tbe ta|ie. uow eouic
you µossi|iy aiiorc a bouse iu tocay`s eeouonie eiinate' "bat co
you co ior a iiviug'`
Luey,` "iuter eautiouec ber sister. 8be`c |eeu µreµarec to
eucure ber sister`s çuestiouiug oi Biale, |ut Luey`s toue bac taleu
ou a eouiroutatiouai çuaiity. 8be was treatiug Biale as ii be was tbe
susµeet iu a erine auc sbe was tryiug to µole boies iu bis aii|i.
"iuter giarec at ber sister as Luey aiieetec a iool oi |ianeiessuess.
Lueliiy Biale cicu`t seen oiieucec. It`s iiue, "iuter,` be saic,
auc turuec to accress Luey. laniiy nouey is tbe auswer to your
çuestiou. I`n iuely euougb to |e iuceµeuceutiy weaitby. "bat
a|out yourseii, Luey'` be aslec, uuexµeeteciy turuiug tbe ta|ies ou
tbe iuterrogatiou. "bat co you co ior a iiviug' Are you stucyiug at
tbe noneut'`
Luey`s |ael straigbteuec, reaetiug to Biale`s çuestiou iile it
was au attael. ro, I worl cowu at tbe µbarnaey as a cisµeusary
assistaut. I was stucyiug narletiug |ut bac to ceier. 8one|ocy bac
to eone |ael bere auc iool aiter "iu.` 8be giaueec aiieetiouateiy
at "iuter, wbo avoicec ber gaze. 8be cicu`t aµµreeiate |eiug nace
to ieei iile a ebarity ease.
"bere are your µareuts'` Biale aslec iuuoeeutiy, naliug
"iuter wiuee. 1bis ciuuer was awlwarc euougb witbout ciseussiug
tbeir ianiiy tragecy.
Luey croµµec ber iorl outo tbe µiate. 1be riugiug it nace as it
struel tbe ebeaµ µoreeiaiu seenec to streteb ou ior niuutes. Luey
siowiy µielec uµ tbe uteusii, turuiug it over iu ber baucs as tbougb
sbe wasu`t sure wbat to co witb it. "beu sbe ioolec uµ at Biale
ber eyes were noist. Dicu`t "iuter teii you'`
Biale sbool bis beac, giaueiug siceways at "iuter ior
eiariiieatiou. 8be sniiec synµatbetieaiiy at bin, auc boµec tbat ber
sister wouicu`t start eryiug.
Luey`s |otton iiµ tren|iec siigbtiy |ut sbe nauagec to leeµ it
togetber. Cur µareuts are ceac.`
Biale ioolec borriiiec.
I`n so sorry, I cicu`t -`
1bey ciec iu a ear erasb six noutbs ago,` Luey µiougbec ou,
iguoriug bis aµoiogy. ue`c oµeuec tbis wouuc auc sbe was canuec
ii sbe was goiug to iet bin oii easiiy. Cur uearest reiatives - Lueie
keviu auc Auut "eucy - iive ou tbe otber sice oi tbe eouutry, so it
was ieit to ne to serve as "iuter`s iegai guarciau. I ceierrec ny
stucies auc got a jo| worliug iu our iatber`s µbarnaey. Lueliiy tbe
uew owuers agreec to µut ne ou. It`s ouiy ior a year, uutii "iuter
goes to eoiiege. 1beu I eau get ny iiie |ael.` 8be sniiec tbiuiy auc
tool a |ig guiµ oi water.
Biale seenec a iittie uusure oi wbat be sbouic say. It nust bave
|eeu very barc ior you,` be saic.
\ou eau`t µossi|iy inagiue,` sbe reµiiec, iooliug cowu at ber
µiate iile a zon|ie.
"iuter ceeicec uow was as gooc a tine as auy to start eieariug
tbe ta|ie.
thaµter z4
"iuter seru||ec at tbe |rowu siucge ealec to tbe |otton oi tbe
saueeµau iu wbieb Luey bac nace tbe |oioguaise sauee. Biale
joiuec ber iu tbe litebeu, earryiug tbe rest oi tbe cirty µiates, auc
|egau to seraµe tbe ieitover iooc iuto tbe gar|age |iu uext to tbe
siul. 1bere was tbe souuc oi a teievisiou |eiug switebec ou iu tbe
uext roon, as Luey sbiitec iron tbe ta|ie to tbe eoueb.
Biale wbisµerec soitiy, I`n sorry a|out wbat baµµeuec iu
tbere. I cicu`t neau to uµset you auc your sister.`
"iuter giaueec uµ iron tbe siul auc was touebec at bow
geuuiueiy µaiuec Biale ioolec. It`s uot your iauit. Luee bas |eeu a
iittie . seusitive siuee tbe aeeiceut .` 8be eouicu`t iiuisb tbe
seuteuee. Lveu aiter aii tbis tine sbe stiii bac trou|ie sayiug tbat
tbey`c ciec.
Biale tool tbe saueeµau iron ber auc |egau to cry it witb a tea
towei. \ou cou`t bave to exµiaiu -` be startec, |ut "iuter sbool
ber beac. Iusteac oi sbuttiug cowu as sbe usuaiiy cic wbeu tbe
eouversatiou turuec to ber µareuts, "iuter surµrisec berseii |y
wautiug to tail to Biale.
ro, it`s olay.` 8be tool a steacyiug |reatb auc tbe worcs
|egau to sµiii out, eoniug easiiy, cesµite tbe µaiu tbey eoujurec.
1bey were criviug aioug tbe eoastai roac, ou tbeir way to tbe µieuie
sµot overiooliug Ligbtbouse Beaeb. It was sonetbiug tbey cic
every "ecuescay - iile a rituai. Dac wouic ieave tbe µbarnaey
auc µiel \un uµ iron tbe bosµitai auc tbey`c orcer sone
taleaway auc crive to tbe µieuie sµot ior iuueb. Lxeeµt ou tbat
µartieuiar cay tbey uever nace it. 8onetbiug baµµeuec . 1be
µoiiee cou`t luow exaetiy wbat. \ay|e Dac was sµeeciug' Cr
sonetbiug weut wroug witb tbe ear' Aii tbey luow is tbat at sone
µoiut be iost eoutroi auc tbey weut over tbe ecge iuto tbe oeeau.
1bey crowuec.`
1be iast two worcs buug iu tbe air |etweeu tben. "iuter`s
tbroat ieit tigbt auc bot tears µrielec tbe |ael oi ber eyes,
tbreateuiug to overiiow cowu ber ebeels. 1bis wasu`t iile ber. Luey
was tbe enotiouai oue - uot ber: 8be cicu`t waut to ery iu irout oi
Biale.
Biale reaebec out auc geutiy tool ber bauc. uis eyes iouuc
bers, auc sbe was |otb surµrisec auc grateiui ior tbe warntb auc
eonµassiou sbe saw reiieetec tbere.
I luow wbat it`s iile to iose your µareuts,` be saic soitiy.
"iuter wiµec ber eyes auc ioolec uµ at bin witb iuterest. 8o
sbe auc Biale cic bave sonetbiug iu eonnou. 1bey were |otb
orµbaus. Beiore Biale eouic eoutiuue, tbere eane tbe souuc oi
Luey aµµroaebiug tbe litebeu. ue iet go oi "iuter`s bauc, auc tool
a steµ away iron ber, wary oi |eiug eaugbt stauciug too eiose
togetber.
Luey steµµec iuto tbe roon, ber eyes a iittie recrinnec. "iuter
guessec sbe nust bave beic it togetber just ioug euougb ior Biale
auc "iuter to ieave tbe ta|ie |eiore eryiug. 8be sniiec at Biale
terseiy. 1bauls ior beiµiug witb tbe wasbiug uµ, Biale, |ut as it`s a
sebooi uigbt "iuter sbouic µro|a|iy |e bittiug tbe |ools.`
Biale uoccec auc ioicec uµ tbe towei. Ci eourse. 1baul you
ior baviug ne, Luey.`
It was our µieasure, I`n sure.`
"iuter eaugbt tbe iaiut traee oi sareasn iu ber sister`s voiee, auc
boµec Biale bac nissec it. It wasu`t iair oi Luey to cisiile Biale
|eeause be bac aeeiceutaiiy uµset ber.
I`ii wail you outsice,` "iuter toic bin, iguoriug tbe tigbteuiug oi
Luey`s noutb.
Leaciug Biale out iuto tbe baiiway auc outo tbe irout µoreb, sbe
was struel |y bow eoic it bac |eeone. 8be buggec berseii as tbey
startec cowu tbe steµs to tbe criveway wbere Biale`s truel was
µarlec, ru||iug sone warntb |ael iuto ber sliu.
"eii, I`ve ceiiuiteiy nace |etter iirst inµressious,` Biale saic
ouee tbey were out oi Luey`s earsbot.
"iuter sigbec iu exasµeratiou. I cou`t luow wbat ber µro|ien
is. It`s iile, just |eeause sbe eau`t nove ou witb ber iiie, sbe coesu`t
waut ne to eitber.`
Cive ber a |real. I`n sure sbe`s coiug tbe |est sbe eau.`
Biale uotieec tbe goose|unµs ou "iuter`s |are arns.
Co |ael iusice, you cou`t bave to see ne oii.`
"iuter wavec bis eoueeru away. I`n iiue.` 8be was µreµarec
to weatber a |iizzarc ii it neaut sµeuciug nore tine witb bin. 8o
. is Jessie aii iixec uow'`
\eab, it sbouic ruu iiue. Just cou`t µusb it over iiity.`
"iuter arebec au eye|row. I cicu`t eveu luow it eouic go
iiity.`
8nirliug, Biale uoccec |ael to tbe bouse. 8eriousiy, go
iusice, "iuter. It`s ireeziug out bere.`
Au icea succeuiy oeeurrec to ber. "ait a niuute:`
Leaviug Biale stauciug witb a µerµiexec exµressiou, sbe rau
|ael iuto tbe bouse, returuiug a iew noneuts iater eiutebiug
sonetbiug iu ber bauc.
1ale tbis,` sbe saic, µressiug tbe Lr|au riujas tielet iuto
Biale`s surµrisec grasµ.
"iuter -` be |egau to µrotest, |ut sbe siieueec bin witb a
sbale oi ber beac.
Just iu ease you ebauge your niuc.` 8be croµµec ber gaze,
airaic oi wbat ber eyes wouic reveai. \ou cou`t luow bow barc it
was ior ne to give it to you.`
I`n uot reaiiy a eoueert liuc oi guy, "iuter. 1oo nauy µeoµie,
you luow'`
"bat`s wroug witb µeoµie'`
1bey`re iiue |y tbenseives. Iu grouµs, tbey eau |e caugerous.`
"iuter was surµrisec at Biale`s eautiousuess. It was ainost iile
sonetbiug Luey wouic say. \ou`re airaic oi nosb µits'`
Anoug otber tbiugs.` ue tiitec bis beac to oue sice, stucyiug
ber. \ou`re ceiiuiteiy goiug'`
I waut to.` "iuter wasu`t sure sbe`c go ii Biale cicu`t.
ue uoccec tbougbtiuiiy auc µoeletec tbe tielet. I`ii tbiul a|out
it, tbeu. 1baul you.`
It wasu`t tbe eutbusiastieaiiy µositive resµouse "iuter bac boµec
ior, |ut it was euougb to get ber exeitec.
1eii your sister tbauls agaiu ior ciuuer,` Biale saic, noviug
towarcs bis truel.
I`n giac you eujoyec it. Iu tbe Acans bouse, we bave aii our
neais witb a sice oi awlwarc eouversatiou,` sbe accec, boµiug a
iittie bunour eouic gioss over tbe eriugewortby nenory.
Biale tiitec bis beac at ber as ii sbe was a µartieuiariy triely
µro|ien to soive. 1beir eyes ioelec, auc ior oue ceiirious noneut
"iuter bac tbe seuse agaiu tbat Biale wautec to liss ber. It was au
irratiouai, inµossi|ie, wouceriui iustiuet - au iustiuet ber |ocy
reiuioreec tbrougb its reaetiou. liusbec witb beat, ber µuise
çuieleuec, auc everytbiug stooc out iu exçuisite cetaii. 1be stars iu
tbe sly, Cwi \ouutaiu a tootb oi carluess iu tbe cistauee, a stray
ioel oi Biale`s bair stirriug iu tbe |reeze, tbe seusuai eurve oi bis
iiµs, auc bis eyes. \ost oi aii bis eyes.
I`ii see you arouuc,` Biale saic, a|ruµtiy turuiug auc beaciug to
bis truel. leeiiug iost auc ceiiatec witbout bis gaze uµou ber, sbe
watebec bin start tbe eugiue auc swerve out outo tbe street.
1biuliug a|out stauciug at tbe µreeiµiee oi a liss, reai or inagiuary,
"iuter µro|a|iy wouic bave stayec tbere weii aiter be`c criveu oii,
|ut tbe eoic iiuaiiy |egau to assert itseii agaiu. 8biveriug, sbe rau
|ael iusice, sbut tbe coor |ebiuc ber auc |iew ou ber iey baucs to
try to beat tben uµ.
A griu leµt ioreiug its way outo ber iaee. Biale bac saic be`c
tbiul a|out eoniug to tbe eoueert: Led thìnk alout ìt! 1bat was
µraetieaiiy a ;es: 8be luew sbe was settiug berseii uµ ior µoteutiai
cisaµµoiutneut, |ut sbe was uua|ie to reiu iu ber gaiioµiug tbougbts.
"iuter'` 1be souuc oi ber sister eaiiiug ber iron tbe iiviug roon
was euougb to µut a siigbt canµeuer ou ber nooc. Croauiug
iuwarciy, sbe trucgec cowu tbe baiiway. 8be cou|tec Luey wautec
to siug Biale`s µraises.
uer sister was stauciug iooliug out tbe wiucow at tbeir
|aelyarc, ber iaee bicceu. "iuter ceeicec to go ou tbe oiieusive,
ratber tbau iet Luey start ieeturiug ber.
Lool, Luee, I luow you µro|a|iy cou`t iile Biale ior
wbatever reasou. But it`s reaiiy uoue oi your -`
Cone bere,` Luey saic witbout turuiug arouuc, auc tbe strauge
iuiieetiou oi ber voiee was euougb to µiçue "iuter`s euriosity. ßhat
was she /ookìng at`
"iuter weut to tbe wiucow auc saw tbe eats.
1bere were at ieast tbirty, aii ciiiereut eoiours auc |reecs, sone
weariug eoiiars, sone witbout. 1bere were so nauy oi tben tbat
"iuter eouic |areiy see tbe grass |etweeu tbeir iurry iittie |ocies.
8be suµµosec tbere nigbt |e eveu nore oi tben out oi sigbt iu tbe
sbacows wbere tbe |aelyarc sioµec away iron tbe iigbts oi tbe
bouse.
"bat are tbey coiug bere'`
\ystiiiec, Luey siowiy sbool ber beac. 1bis is wby you cou`t
ieec strays.`
thaµter zs
1be souuc oi tbe eats outsice reucerec "iuter`s eiiorts to sieeµ
useiess. 8be cicu`t luow ii tbey were naliug iove or iigbtiug witb
eaeb otber, |ut wbatever tbey were coiug, it souucec µaiuiui.
1bougbts oi Biale eireiec restiessiy tbrougb ber niuc, naliug sieeµ
eveu nore inµossi|ie to aebieve. 1bree cays - tbat`s bow ioug
sbe`c luowu bin, |ut tbe inµaet be`c aireacy nace ou ber iiie was
eousicera|ie. "iuter eouicu`t renen|er tbe iast tine a guy bac
taleu uµ so nueb oi ber neutai reai estate. lerbaµs 1onny Butier
iu tbe eigbtb grace, |ut tbe nenory oi tbat µartieuiar uureçuitec
iove µaiec iu siguiiieauee agaiust tbe iuteusity oi tbese enotious.
1be sereeebiug |eiow tbe wiucow beigbteuec iu µiteb as sone
uew ieiiue crana uuiuriec. "iuter sçueezec tbe µiiiow over ber ears
iu au attenµt to |ioel out tbe µiereiug souuc, |ut it nace iittie
ciiiereuee. 8be exbaiec iu irustratiou auc ceeicec tbat sbe nigbt as
weii get out oi |ec, as sieeµ cicu`t iool iile it wouic |e baµµeuiug
iu tbe uear iuture.
8be sat cowu at ber cesl auc turuec ou tbe eonµuter. 1be
sereeu iiielerec iuto iiie, |atbiug ber |ecroon iu a cuii |iue giow.
"iuter ebeelec ber enaii auc was anusec to see oue iron Jasniue
waitiug at tbe toµ oi ber iu|ox. 1be nessage sinµiy reac, 1LLL
\L LVLk\1uIrC:`
"iuter çuieliy tyµec a reµiy, sunnarisiug tbe eveuts oi tbe
aiteruoou auc eveuiug. Biale iixiug Jessie, tbe exerueiatiug ciuuer
witb Luey, bis aeeeµtauee oi tbe eoueert tielet auc tbe µossi|iiity
tbat be nigbt |e joiuiug tben ou 1burscay uigbt. Aiter sbe seut tbe
enaii to Jasniue, "iuter |egau to iciy suri tbe iuteruet. Cu a wbin
sbe searebec ior CkI\ALDI LllLC1`, eurious to reac uµ ou
Biale`s exµiauatiou ior tbe graveyarc µbotograµb. 1bere were uo
resuits iistec uucer tbat sµeeiiie tern. luzziec, "iuter triec tyµiug
variatious oi tbe sµeiiiug iuto tbe seareb eugiue auc stiii eouicu`t iiuc
auy eviceuee suµµortiug Biale`s eiain.
1bis was weirc. \ay|e tbe sµeiiiug was uotbiug at aii iile it
souucec' "iuter triec to eouviuee berseii tbat tbis bac to |e tbe
ease, |ut eouicu`t eonµieteiy |auisb tbe snaii worn oi cou|t tbat
bac |eguu to guaw away at ber. Couic Biale bave nace uµ tbe
tern'
"iuter switebec oii tbe eonµuter auc ceeicec to nale auotber
attenµt at sieeµ. Desµite tbe cistraetiug eaterwauiiug, ber eyes
eveutuaiiy eiosec auc sbe ieii iuto a ceeµ siun|er. 8be |egau to
crean - uot oi eats, as sbe nigbt bave exµeetec. Iusteac, "iuter
creanec sbe was iiyiug tbrougb a sly staiuec eneraic greeu.
8be wasu`t iiyiug aioue.
8oneoue beic ber bauc tigbtiy, µuiiiug ber tbrougb tbe air.
8oneoue .
thaµter ze
Iu tbe easteru eoruer oi Veiaseo`s attie, Biale erouebec over oue
oi tbe oic ebests eoutaiuiug bis |eiougiugs. Aiter auotber niuute oi
iruitiess searebiug, be siannec tbe iic cowu iu irustratiou. ßhece
was ìt` 1be iocestoue sbouic bave |eeu bere witb tbe rest oi tbe
arteiaets be`c sbiµµec iron \oroeeo. 1ryiug a ciiiereut netboc, be
eiosec bis eyes, eoujuriug tbe inage oi tbe greeu erystai sbarc iu bis
niuc. Cuee be bac a eiear µieture, be stretebec out witb bis seuses,
attuuiug binseii to tbe uuiçue vi|ratiou oi tbe iocestoue.
8tiii witb bis eyes eiosec, Biale stooc auc novec to tbe
oµµosite euc oi tbe attie wbere be`c µiiec sone earc|oarc |oxes
oi bis eiotbes. Cuicec |y iustiuet, be reaebec iuto oue oi tbe |oxes
auc ieit arouuc tbe ioicec eoats µaelec tbere, uutii bis bauc eiosec
over sonetbiug jaggec auc barc. Cµeuiug bis eyes, be saw tbe
iocestoue iyiug iu bis µain, tbe tbiu goic ebaiu eoiiec |eueatb it iile
a suale.
Ligbt giiutec oii tbe iaeets as Biale beic tbe greeu erystai uµ to
tbe attie`s ualec |ui|. ue inagiuec craµiug it arouuc "iuter`s µaie
ueel. ue eouic aireacy euvisiou ber surµrisec reaetiou, tbe way ber
ebeels wouic |iusb tbat acora|ie µiul. row it was just a natter oi
µieliug tbe rigbt tine to µreseut it to ber.
Learuiug oi ber µareuts` ceatb bac ceeµiy aiieetec bin touigbt.
Duriug tbe crive bone be`c |roocec ou tbe suiieriug sbe nust bave
goue tbrougb, tbe sacuess be saw ceeµ witbiu tbose ioveiy bazei
eyes. Biale luew tbe eoic ioueiiuess oi tbe orµbau auc wouicu`t
wisb it ou auyoue. Lsµeeiaiiy "iuter. ue ouiy wautec baµµiuess ior
ber. 8be ceservec uotbiug iess. ue boµec tbe giit oi tbe iocestoue
nigbt oiier ber sone snaii µieasure. 8be ueecu`t luow bis uiterior
notive. tbat tbe iocestoue was nore tbau a µieee oi jeweiiery.
\ueb nore. ue wautec to leeµ ber as iguoraut as µossi|ie a|out
tbe carluess iu tbe woric, tbe carluess be luew aii too weii. 1be
icea oi irigbteuiug ber, µartieuiariy ii be was tbe souree oi tbat iear,
nace bis beart aebe.
Iu tbe garage tbis eveuiug tbe buuger bac ueariy uucoue bin.
Caziug uµou ber, Biale bac |eeu griµµec |y sueb iust tbat ior a
noneut be`c ainost iost eoutroi. uowever, sonetbiug bac giveu
bin tbe streugtb to resist tbat uuiçue goiceu iigbt be saw sbiuiug iu
"iuter`s eyes. Lveu witbout ber sister`s a|ruµt arrivai, Biale
|eiievec be wouicu`t bave giveu iu to bis urges. 1bis sbow oi
restraiut was as eueouragiug as it was surµrisiug. "bat was it a|out
tbis giri tbat overµowerec bis caugerous cesires'
8tiii cweiiiug ou tbis çuestiou, Biale µiaeec tbe iocestoue iu bis
µoelet auc returuec cowustairs. 1be eats were waitiug ior bin. It
aµµearec tbey`c eboseu a saeriiiee - a snaii kussiau Biue.
lro|a|iy tbe ruut oi tbe iitter. Biale µielec uµ tbe snole-eoiourec
eat auc starec saciy iuto its eyes. ue saw resiguatiou tbere.
Aeeeµtauee. keiuetautiy, be turuec auc earriec tbe kussiau Biue
cowu tbe baiiway. 1be µoor eat`s iate iurlec |ebiuc tbe iast coor
ou tbe ieit. Bebiuc bin traiiec a iuuerai µroeessiou oi its |rotbers
auc sisters. 1be eats starec at Biale iu reµroaeb, tbougb tbey
uucerstooc tbere was uo otber way.
It was ieeciug tine.
Belegna
Oeteber, 181v
\aceieiue eiosec ber eyes as auotber eoutraetiou raelec ber |ocy.
At tbe iast noneut sbe eieuebec ber teetb, seaiiug iu tbe serean tbat
eane burtiiug iron ber tbroat. It wouic |e uuwise to craw too nueb
atteutiou to berseii. Let tbe konaui outsice |eiieve sbe was just
auotber µayiug eustoner, eone to \acane lrovost`s snaii
eoverec wagou to bave ber iortuue toic. It was uuiileiy tbat Vietor
bac euiistec tben as bis iuiorners - be`c aiways exµressec seoru
ior tbe konaui - yet \aceieiue renaiuec wary. Cver tbe µast year
Vietor`s reaeb bac growu ioug, be bac eyes everywbere. Lveu bere,
anic tbis |auc oi wauceriug gyµsies, worc nigbt bave sµreac oi tbe
nacnau wbo was wiiiiug to µay goic ior iuiornatiou eoueeruiug bis
iost wiie.
"beu tbe wave oi µaiu µassec, \aceieiue oµeuec ber eyes to
see tbe wizeuec iaee oi \acane lrovost µeeriug cowu at ber iu
eoueeru. 1be ceeorative |rouze necaiiious riugiug tbe oic wonau`s
|row eaugbt tbe ianµiigbt, wiuliug ou auc oii.
8oou, it eones,` sbe saic, ber grasµ oi \aceieiue`s iauguage
µoor at |est. uer |reatb sneiiec strougiy oi tbe exotie ber|s auc
sµiees tbat buug iu tiec |uuebes iron tbe wagou`s rooi. 8be µressec
geutiy ou \aceieiue`s swoiieu |eiiy. As \aceieiue teusec iu
µreµaratiou ior auotber eoutraetiou, sbe siieutiy çuestiouec agaiu
wbetber sbe`c nace tbe rigbt eboiee iu eoniug bere.
\aceieiue bac ceeiiuec tbe oiier oi a liuciy nicwiie iu Boiogua,
eoueoetiug a story a|out a bus|auc sbe wouic |e neetiug sbortiy iu
tbe uext towu - a bus|auc wbo bac aireacy nace arraugeneuts
witb tbe nicwiie tbere. uer µarauoia bac |eeone so aeute tbat sbe
cicu`t care risl teiiiug tbe trutb to tbis liuciy strauger. Lveu a weii-
neauiug nicwiie eouicu`t |e trustec uot to gossiµ to ber bus|auc or
sister or µriest a|out tbe strauge ioreigu iacy oi aµµareut weaitb auc
|reeciug wbo arrivec ou ber coorsteµ beavy witb ebiic, aioue, witb
uo sigu oi tbe iatber. \aceieiue luew tbe risl oi sueb icie ebatter,
luew bow it bac a way oi iiuciug uuirieuciy ears. ro, sbe`c nace
tbe rigbt eboiee iu eboosiug tbe iortuueteiier`s sbacowy wagou.
"biie tbe konaui were geueraiiy regarcec witb susµieiou, it was
tbis µreeise çuaiity tbat nace tben \aceieiue`s uuiileiy saviours.
Ctbers wouic |e iess iueiiuec to |eiieve tben, sbouic tbey reµort
ber visit. As soeiai outeasts, tbey were iar renovec iron tbe gossiµ
eireies sbe cesµerateiy sougbt to avoic.
Irouieaiiy, it bac |eeu gossiµ tbat bac iec \aceieiue bere - au
overbearc eouversatiou iu tbe taveru a|out tbe konaui earavau
restiug iu tbe surrouuciug woocs. It bac taleu ouiy a iew su|tie
euçuiries |eiore sbe`c iearuec \acane lrovost`s uane, tbougb it
bac stiii |eeu witb euornous treµicatiou tbat sbe`c veuturec bere
aioue. Desµeratiou bac giveu ber eourage. At ieast witb tbe gyµsies
sbe auc ber uu|oru ebiic stooc a ebauee oi survivai. It was nore
tbau sbe eouic exµeet ii Vietor eaugbt ber.
Lveu uow, \aceieiue iouuc it ciiiieuit to aeeeµt bow be`c
euiistec tbis grouµ oi neu, tbese nauiaes be eaiiec tbe Baue, iu bis
µrivate veucetta agaiust berseii auc Arinau. "bat µroµagauca bac
be usec to eouviuee tben tbat tbeir eause was just'
uer iower a|coneu eoutraetec agaiu, auc tbis tine \aceieiue
was uua|ie to stoµ au agouisec groau iron eseaµiug ber iiµs. uer
baucs eiawec at tbe wet sbeets \acane lrovost bac sµreac
aeross tbe barc oal ta|ie, twistiug tben iuto roµes.
lusb:` tbe oic wonau urgec, auc \aceieiue triec to o|ey, |ut
tbe µaiu rose a|ove everytbiug, craiuiug ber streugtb. uer visiou
swan, tbe rooi oi tbe wagou riµµiec as tbougb reiieetec iu a µooi oi
water, auc rec-tiugec carluess ereµt iu iron tbe eoruers.
"itb Autoiue it bac |eeu so nueb easier. ue bac energec iron
ber witb |areiy a wbinµer, auc tbe toii ou ber |ocy bac |eeu
niuinai. It bac |eeu a çuiet, geutie |irtb, nueb iile tbe iuiaut
binseii. row it ieit as tbougb sbe was giviug |irtb to a iiou, riµµiug
auc teariug at ber iusices as tbougb iurious at |eiug cisµiaeec iron
its bone.
As auotber eoutraetiou tore tbrougb ber a|coneu, ioreiug ber to
ery out, \aceieiue iouuc berseii naliug a cesµerate wisb. I/ on/;
~cìoan wece hece .
lusb:` \acane reµeatec, ber voiee riugiug witb autbority.
lusb:`
\aceieiue triec to o|ey, |ut tbe eiiort was too great. 8be bac
uo streugtb ieit iu ber |ocy. Lile wooc |eiug iec iuto a |iaziug
iuruaee, ber µaiu bac greeciiy eousunec it.
I eau`t:` sbe weµt, tears oi agouy auc irustratiou staiuiug ber
ebeels.
\ou eau,` eane a voiee iron tbe ceeµer sbacows at tbe eoruer
oi ber |iurrec visiou. A voiee iron a crean. At tbe ioot oi tbe ta|ie
sbe bearc \acane lrovost`s startiec ery. 1be oic wonau tool a
stun|iiug steµ |aelwarcs as a warn bauc eueireiec \aceieiue`s,
tbe toueb uunistalea|iy reai. Arinau sniiec cowu at ber, bis iree
bauc geutiy |rusbiug tbe bair iron ber eyes.
\ou`ve returuec,` \aceieiue gasµec wealiy. \acane lrovost
eursec iu konaui, iorliug tbe sigu oi tbe evii eye at Arinau. Cue
|aieiui giauee siieueec ber.
liease eoutiuue,` Arinau saic graeiousiy, tbougb tbere was a
uote oi waruiug iu bis voiee. \utteriug a µrayer, tbe oic wonau
guiµec ieariuiiy auc returuec to tbe ioot oi tbe ta|ie.
\ou nust µusb,` sbe saic, ber voiee çuiveriug siigbtiy.
\aceieiue, iooliug uµ at ber iove, succeuiy iouuc tbe streugtb sbe
ueecec. 1bere was uo nore µaiu uow, tbere was just Arinau`s
eyes auc tbe sbiuiug eneraic iigbt enauatiug iron tben. uow sbe`c
nissec tbose eyes, auc tbe way tbey ioolec at ber witb tbat nix oi
geutie aiieetiou auc woucer - as ii \aceieiue was tbe nagieai oue:
Cue iiuai µusb auc tbe wagou iiiiec witb tbe souuc oi iuiaut
waiiiug. 1bere was sonetbiug a|out tbe souuc tbat \aceieiue, eveu
iu ber exbaustec state, reeoguisec as |eiug strauge. 1be µiaiutive
eries souucec iile tbey were iooµiug iu ou eaeb otber, oue
|egiuuiug eveu wbiie tbe otber stiii raug out, ereatiug a ciseoueertiug
coµµier eiieet.
Arinau`s eain ieatures twitebec iuto au uuebaraeteristie
exµressiou oi surµrise. Lsiug tbe iast oi ber streugtb, \aceieiue
raisec ber beac auc µeerec cowu witb awe at \acane lrovost.
1bere was uot oue |ut two eryiug iuiauts writbiug iu tbe oic
wonau`s arns:
1wìns .
thaµter z1
"iuter sat iu Lugiisb, ieit bauc µroµµiug uµ ber ebiu wbiie sbe tool
uotes witb tbe otber. \rs Latbley bac aslec tbe eiass to eritiçue
tbe ereative writiug assiguneuts |eiug reac aiouc, bowever, tbe
seri||ies tbat iiiiec "iuter`s µage were ouiy ior sbow. 8be wasu`t
iisteuiug to Biiiy Cieesou as be stutterec bis way tbrougb bis awiui
µrose. 8be eouic |areiy leeµ ber eyes oµeu. 1be eats bac returuec
iast uigbt.
\estercay noruiug, "iuter bac awoleu to tbe µieasiug souuc oi
tbe oeeau run|iiug iu tbe cistauee. 1be uueartbiy sereeebiug tbat
bac leµt ber uµ uutii tbe eariy bours oi tbe noruiug bac stoµµec.
"beu sbe ioolec out tbe wiucow tbere was uo sigu tbe eats bac
ever |eeu iu ber |aelyarc, save ior a iew tuits oi iur |ouueiug over
tbe grass iile niuiature tun|ieweecs. 1be surreai visiou nigbt as
weii bave |eeu a crean.
8be`c sµeut tbe rest oi tbe "ecuescay tryiug uot to o|sess over
tbe eouversatiou sbe`c bac witb Biale ou tbeir criveway. Aii be`c
saic was tbat be wouic eousicer joiuiug ber at tbe suri eiu| ou
1burscay uigbt. 8tiii, tbe µossi|iiity oi seeiug bin so soou -
esµeeiaiiy iu eireunstauees tbat eouic |e eoustruec as cate-iile -
was so ceiiriousiy iutoxieatiug tbat "iuter bac iouuc it ciiiieuit to
tbiul a|out auytbiug eise. 8ebooi bac craggec ou iuterniua|iy, ber
state oi uervous autieiµatiou ouiy naliug tbe bours seen iouger.
1burscay eouicu`t eone soou euougb. By tbe tine sbe`c arrivec
bone, sbe`c ieit craiuec auc stressec, aii sbe wautec was to get a
gooc uigbt`s rest.
1be eonnotiou bac startec a iittie |eiore eigbt wbiie sbe auc
Luey were eatiug ciuuer. Botb were eareiuiiy cocgiug tbe toµie oi
Biale wbeu tbe souuc oi ieiiue sereeebiug outsice oiierec a uot
eutireiy uuweieone cistraetiou. Looliug out tbe iiviug roon
wiucow, tbey`c wituessec a surreai sigbt siniiar to tbe uigbt |eiore
- tbeir |aelyarc beaviug witb eats. Lxeeµt tbis tine tbere seenec to
|e nore oi tben. Lveu aiter Luey bac turuec tbe bose ou tben, tbe
eats bacu`t iiec, auc "iuter bac |eeu ioreec to eucure auotber
uigbt oi µoor sieeµ.
As sbe`c sat at tbe |realiast ta|ie tbis noruiug, |iearyeyec auc
groggy, Luey bac |roaebec tbe su|jeet oi eaiiiug iu µest eoutroi to
co sonetbiug a|out tbe eats. "iuter bac tailec ber out oi it. 8be
eouicu`t exµiaiu ber reasous, tbe eats were a uuisauee, |ut sone
iustiuet sbe cicu`t iuiiy uucerstauc iec ber to |eiieve tbere was a
reasou ior tbe eats` µreseuee. It wasu`t sone raucon eoiueiceuee
tbey`c eougregatec iu ber |aelyarc. 1bey were tbere ior a
µurµose.
1biuliug a|out tbe eats auc wouceriug wby sbe ieit occiy
µroteetive oi tben, "iuter was cistautiy aware tbat Biiiy Cieesou
bac iiuisbec bis story auc was sittiug cowu. 8be ieit a noneut oi
niic µauie as \rs Latbley surveyec tbe eiass ior soneoue to µiel
uext. Ci eourse "iuter bacu`t coue ber assiguneut - iu iaet, sbe`c
iorgotteu aii a|out it ouee sbe`c ieit tbe eiassroon ou \oucay.
"bat witb Biale, tbe eats, auc ber iael oi sieeµ, sbe bacu`t bac tbe
neutai euergy to eoutenµiate sonetbiug as triviai as boneworl.
8tiii µreoeeuµiec witb eraitiug au exeuse, sbe ieit a giinner oi reiiei
wbeu 8an was eaiiec ou to reac bis worl. 8be was savec ior tbe
tine |eiug. 8be boµec bis story was ioug euougb to iast uutii tbe |eii
raug.
As be |egau to sµeal, "iuter iouuc berseii, cesµite ber tirec,
nuccie-beacec state, |eeoniug eutraueec |y bis story. 8et iu tbe
lreueb eouutrysice iu tbe iate seveuteeutb eeutury, 8an`s story was
toic tbrougb tbe eyes oi a teeuager uanec 8teµbeu laseai, wbo
was ioreec iuto a woii buut |y bis iatber auc |rotbers as a eruei rite
oi µassage. As 8an crew uear tbe eoueiusiou oi bis story, "iuter
tbougbt sbe ceteetec a traee oi neiaueboiy |ebiuc bis worcs.
Ainost as tbougb tbe story neaut nore to bin tbau a ereative
writiug exereise.
. Danieu ioiiowec tbe woii iuto tbe eave, auc stooc witb bis
riiie ainec at tbe auinai`s twitebiug suout. Its |rigbt yeiiow eyes
giowec |aieiuiiy iu tbe carluess. Bebiuc bin be bearc bis iatber
urge bin to µuii tbe trigger. Ðo ìt. Ðaoìen. kì// the least.¨
uowever, be besitatec. Aiter aii, tbis auinai wasu`t evii, cesµite
wbat bis iatber auc |rotbers bac ceeiarec. It was sinµiy o|eyiug its
iustiuet as a µrecator. It cicu`t buut ior µieasure or erueity, ouiy ior
susteuauee. It was caugerous, yes, |ut uot a nouster. "bo was be
to seuteuee it to ceatb'
ßhat ace ;ou waìtìng /oc`¨ bis iatber cenaucec sbriiiy.
Danieu bearc bis two |rotbers` suiggeriug eebo tbrougb tbe eave.
1bey tbougbt be was a eowarc. \ay|e tbey were rigbt.
Ciieriug a siieut aµoiogy to tbe woii, Danieu eiosec bis eyes
auc µuiiec tbe trigger. 1be |iast was ceaieuiug, auc tbe sneii oi
guuµowcer iiiiec bis uose. "beu be oµeuec bis eyes, tbe woii`s
|ocy was erunµiec at tbe |ael oi tbe eave. It seenec be was bis
iatber`s sou aiter aii.`
8an ioolec uµ at \rs Latbley. 1bat`s aii I wrote.`
\rs Latbley µusbec ber giasses |ael uµ iron tbe tiµ oi ber
uose. Very iuterestiug, 8an. rot exaetiy wbat I bac iu niuc wbeu I
set tbe assiguneut, |ut eutertaiuiug regarciess. 1baul you, you eau
sit cowu.`
8an uoccec auc eiosec bis uote|ool. "iuter uotieec Jasniue
oiier bin a suµµortive sniie. Lviceutiy ber rage over bis iuciseretiou
witb Beely Laue bac µassec. \rs Latbley erossec to tbe irout oi
tbe roon. "bo wouic iile to reac a seetiou oi tbeir assiguneut
uext'` lrecieta|iy, uo|ocy voiuuteerec, nueb to ber eviceut
irustratiou. C`nou, µeoµie, oue oi you nust |e µrouc oi your
worl.`
"iuter cuelec cowu iu ber ebair, µrayiug tbat sbe wouicu`t |e
eaiiec ou. Just as \rs Latbley turuec iu ber cireetiou, tbe |eii raug
ior tbe euc oi tbe µerioc. "iuter iet out a sigb oi reiiei auc |egau to
µael ber |ools away. It was a iuely eseaµe. 8be`c bave to
renen|er to co tbe assiguneut wbeu sbe got bone tocay, |eeause
sbe cou|tec ber iuel wouic boic.
thaµter z8
"iuter sat iu tbe eaieteria, ber eyes iixec ou ber µiate oi iooc auc
uot ou tbe uauseatiug sµeetaeie oµµosite ber. "batever µro|iens
Jasniue auc 8an bac |eeu exµerieueiug seenec to bave |eeu weii
auc truiy eiearec uµ, jucgiug |y tbe way Jasniue was iavisbiug
atteutiou ou bin uow. "iuter bac to stiiie ber gag reiiex as Jasniue
secuetiveiy iec 8an iries iron ber µiate. It uever iaiiec to astouuc
"iuter bow çuieliy ber irieuc eouic aeeeierate a reiatiousbiµ. 8an
bac ouiy startec at 1riuity ou \oucay, auc bere it was, just tbree
cays iater, auc Jasniue bac aireacy geueratec a iover`s çuarrei auc
tbe o|iigatory naleuµ sessiou. Ii sbe eoutiuuec at tbis µaee tbey`c
|e narriec auc civoreec |y tbe euc oi tbe weel.
Jasniue sbool ber beac, narveiiiug at 8an. I just eau`t |eiieve
tbat story eane out oi you.`
8an seenec |enusec. "by' \ou tbougbt I was au iciot'`
As a natter oi a iaet, I cic. A |ig, |eautiiui iciot.`
8an triec to iool uµset, |ut eouicu`t bice bis griu. I`n sorry ior
exeeeciug your exµeetatious.`
8o you sbouic |e. Ii I`c luowu you were sueb a uerc I
wouicu`t bave aslec you out.` 8an tbrew a ebiµ at ber, wbieb
Jasniue iaugbiugiy ceiieetec. uer ceneauour succeuiy grew serious
as sonetbiug |eyouc "iuter`s sbouicer eaugbt ber atteutiou.
8µealiug oi uercs .`
"iuter bearc iootsteµs eoniug uµ |ebiuc ber.
ui, "iuter,` uarry lraueis saic, iguoriug Jasniue`s iool oi
cistaste.
uarry. Lverytbiug olay'` "iuter bacu`t exµeetec to see uarry
uutii ber serviees as µbotograµber extraorciuaire were reçuirec ior
tbe uext 1cìnìt; 1ìoes issue.
\eab, everytbiug`s iiue.` lor ouee be cicu`t seen to |e
regarciug "iuter witb eouceseeusiou. uis asµeet wasu`t exaetiy
irieuciy, |ut it was eertaiuiy irieuciier.
\ou cou`t baµµeu to stiii bave tbat weirc µboto you sbowec ne
ou 1uescay, co you'`
"iuter reiaxec - so tbat`s wbat be wautec. 1be graveyarc
µbotograµb: 8be renen|erec bow inµressec be`c |eeu |y ber
occ µieture.
I tbiul so. "by'` 8be was µretty sure tbe µbotograµb was iu
tbe |ael oi ber ciary wbere sbe`c ieit it.
It`s just tbat I was iu a ebatroon iast uigbt tailiug to a guy wbo
exµressec sone iuterest iu seeiug it. ue oiierec ne iiity |uels,
aetuaiiy.`
\ou`re serious'` "iuter eouicu`t |eiieve tbere were µeoµie out
tbere wbo wouic µay nouey ior sueb a tbiug.
uarry uoccec. I`ii give you tweuty ior it.`
"iuter µoucerec bis oiier ior a noneut |eiore ceeiciug tbat
tbere was uo reasou to leeµ tbe µbotograµb. 8be nigbt as weii get
sone nouey ior it, eveu ii it souucec iile sbe was gettiug tbe sbort
euc oi tbe ceai.
8ure. "by uot'` 8be µuiiec ber ciary out oi ber |ag auc turuec
to tbe |ael, exµeetiug to see tbe µbotograµb uestiec tbere. It
wasu`t. lrowuiug, "iuter iauuec tbe µages oi tbe ciary, boµiug tbe
µbotograµb wouic iaii out, |ut was cisaµµoiutec.
1bat`s weirc,` sbe saic, ciggiug iuto tbe |otton oi ber |ag iu
ease tbe µbotograµb bac iaiieu out auc got nixec uµ iu tbe cetritus.
It`s uot bere.`
uarry seenec a iittie ceiiatec. "eii, ii you iiuc it, iet ne luow.`
ue ieit "iuter ieeiiug eouiusec. 8be was µositive sbe`c reµiaeec
tbe µbotograµb iu tbe ciary aiter sbowiug it to Biale iu ber garage.
"bere eouic it bave goue'
Jasniue auc 8an were watebiug ber witb euriosity.
"bat was aii tbat a|out'` Jasniue aslec, µieliug uµ a iry auc
ciµµiug it iuto tbe letebuµ.
"iuter sbruggec, |ut eouicu`t eonµieteiy iguore tbe seuse oi
uuease iu tbe µit oi ber stonaeb. rotbiug.`
thaµter zv
Aiter sebooi iiuisbec, "iuter iiugerec witb Jasniue ou tbe irout
steµs wbiie sbe waitec ior 8an. Jasniue bac just toic ber exeiteciy
tbat be was taliug ber to Acagio`s, tbe Itaiiau restauraut ou
uatberiy 8treet, |eiore tbe eoueert startec touigbt. "iuter bac triec
to sbare ber irieuc`s eutbusiasn, |ut sonetbiug a|out ber
exµressiou nust bave tiµµec Jasniue oii tbat sbe was beaviiy
µreoeeuµiec.
Jasniue touebec ber arn synµatbetieaiiy. I cou`t tbiul you`ve
got auytbiug to worry a|out. Biale wouicu`t bave taleu tbe tielet
|ael ii be wasu`t seriousiy eousiceriug eoniug.`
"iuter sigbec auc eaugbt berseii iooliug boµeiuiiy towarcs tbe
µarliug iot ior auy sigu oi Biale`s truel. It was tbe tbirc tine sbe`c
ebeelec siuee sbe auc Jasniue bac arrivec bere. \estercay "iuter
bac ioiterec out tbe irout oi tbe sebooi, osteusi|iy to wateb 8an`s
ioot|aii tean tryout witb Jasniue. 8eeretiy, sbe`c boµec tbat
wbatever wbin bac |rougbt Biale to ber sebooi µreviousiy nigbt
griµ bin agaiu. ue bacu`t aµµearec, auc aiter tbe tryouts bac
iiuisbec, "iuter roce bone ieeiiug ceiiatec.
I cou`t luow, Jas. I liuc oi |eggec bin to tale it.` It was
anaziug bow çuieliy ber enotious bac yo-yoec iron tbe iuitiai
µositivity ou 1uescay uigbt, aiter Biale bac aeeeµtec tbe tielet, to
tbis ereeµiug seii-cou|t. Lael oi sieeµ cue to tbe eat iuvasiou was
µro|a|iy eoutri|utiug to ber uegative outiool. Auc ii ouiy sbe`c
seeu bin yestercay, sbe µro|a|iy wouicu`t |e ieeiiug tbis iow. 8be
eursec berseii ior uot gettiug bis µboue uun|er wbeu sbe bac tbe
ebauee - a sinµie eaii or text nessage wouic bave eiariiiec
everytbiug ior ber.
Jasniue was watebiug ber susµieiousiy. \ou`re stiii goiug to
eone, areu`t you'`
"iuter besitatec. \ay|e.`
\ou bave to eone:` Jasniue inµiorec. I was tbiuliug we eouic
|otb go Cotb. \ess witb tbe beacs oi 8noteiy auc bis erew. It`c
|e awesone:`
"iuter sbruggec. I cou`t bave auy |iael eyeiiuer. Besices, you
auc 8an wiii bave iuu witbout ne.`
1be nore "iuter tbougbt a|out it, tbe nore tbe icea oi µiayiug
tbirc wbeei to 8an auc Jasniue iaelec aµµeai. 8ittiug iu tbe
eaieteria watebiug tbe ioveiest bac |eeu |ac euougb, "iuter
creacec bow tbe two oi tben wouic |ebave arouuc eaeb otber
outsice oi tbe eouiiues oi sebooi.
Ci eourse we wiii, |ut we`ii bave just as nueb iuu you,`
Jasniue exµiaiuec, uot iettiug tbe toµie croµ witbout a iigbt. liease,
"iuuie: It`ii co you gooc to get out oi tbe bouse. Biale`s goiug to
eone. I luow it:`
"iuter wisbec sbe eouic sbare Jasniue`s eertaiuty. 1be irout
coors to tbe sebooi swuug oµeu auc 8an aµµearec at tbe toµ oi
tbe steµs. ue saw Jasniue auc "iuter auc startec cowu towarcs
tben, giviug ber tbe oµµortuuity to steer tbe eouversatiou away iron
ber iuseeurities.
Cooc to see you two sortec everytbiug out,` sbe wbisµerec,
uua|ie to leeµ iron snirliug. Jasniue`s cranas were so ireçueut
auc over|iowu it was ciiiieuit ior ber to tale tben seriousiy.
Lueliiy, Jasniue was too |usy watebiug 8an to uotiee ber
sarcouie exµressiou. It wasu`t a |ig ceai,` sbe nun|iec
uucerueatb ber |reatb, rusbiug tbrougb ber worcs |eiore 8an got
witbiu earsbot. Just a niseonnuuieatiou, reaiiy. 8anny wasu`t to
luow tbat Beely Layue was a uasty slaul. uey tbere, bouey:` sbe
saic, iuugiug at 8an iile sone sort oi µrecatory iuseet attaeliug its
µrey.
"bat were you guys tailiug a|out'` 8an saic, eyeiug tben
susµieiousiy.
Jasniue turuec to "iuter. "iuter isu`t sure sbe`ii eone to tbe
eoueert touigbt. Couviuee ber.`
8an ioolec geuuiueiy cisaµµoiutec "iuter nigbt uot |e joiuiug
tben. "by uot' "bat`s tbe natter'`
"iuter sbruggec, uueoniorta|ie ciseussiug tbe situatiou witb
8an. I baveu`t ceeicec ior sure yet.`
I was iooliug iorwarc to neetiug your |oyirieuc. Jas toic ne
be`s uew iu towu too.`
ue`s uot ny |oyirieuc,` sbe statec a iittie nore iuciguautiy tbau
sbe neaut to. Auyway, be`s µro|a|iy uot eoniug.`
\ou cou`t luow tbat ior sure,` Jasniue saic. I tbiul you`re just
tryiug to tail yourseii out oi it.`
"by wouic I co tbat'`
Jasniue sbruggec. Beeause you`re uervous.`
"iuter sigbec, irritatec at baviug to ceieuc berseii. Luiortuuateiy
sbe eouicu`t iguore tbe eieneut oi trutb iu Jasniue`s aeeusatiou. Is
tbat wbat sbe was coiug' 1ryiug to tail berseii out oi goiug |eeause
sbe was searec, uot tbat Biale nigbt citeb ber, |ut tbat be nigbt
aetuaiiy sbow uµ'
8an`s gaze junµec |etweeu Jasniue auc "iuter, as tbougb
wary oi oiieriug bis oµiuiou auc µoteutiaiiy uµsettiug oue oi tben.
Lveutuaiiy be saic, "eii, I boµe you ebauge your niuc.`
Auyway, it`s uot iile you`ve got auytbiug |etter to co, "iu,`
Jasniue saic, ouiy seni-joliug. "bat are you goiug to co iusteac'
Co bone auc wateb 1V' 1bat wouic |e a uiee ebauge oi µaee ior
you.`
1bis nigbt eone as a sboel to you, Jasniue, |ut I bave a iiie
oi ny owu:`
reitber 8an uor Jasniue seenec eutireiy eouviueec tbis was
true. 1be sac tbiug was tbat "iuter wasu`t eveu sure sbe eouviueec
berseii.
thaµter 1o
1bat eveuiug, "iuter iouuc berseii sittiug ou tbe eoueb watebiug
1V. As nueb as sbe`c µreteucec to |e iusuitec |y Jasniue`s
iusiuuatiou, tbe sinµie trutb was sbe cicu`t bave nueb oi a iiie
outsice oi sebooi. kigbt uow, "iuter`s soeiai oµtious were iinitec
to sittiug bere, or goiug iuto ber roon to iisteu to nusie auc suri tbe
iuteruet. reitber oµtiou seenec µartieuiariy aµµeaiiug. Desµite
ieeiiug tirec aii cay iron ber µrevious uigbt`s trou|iec sieeµ, "iuter
was iuereci|iy restiess. uer gaze criitec to tbe eioel baugiug over
tbeir teievisiou, neutaiiy eaieuiatiug wbetber or uot sbe stiii bac
euougb tine to nale it to tbe eoueert.
Cutsice sbe eouic bear tbe bose |eiug turuec ou as Luey
µreµarec to sµray water ou tbe eats agaiu iu ber iatest attenµt to
seare tben out oi tbe |aelyarc. 8be`c triec sbooiug tben µoiiteiy,
auc wbeu tbis iaiiec, sbe |augec saueeµau iics iouciy togetber, |ut
tbe eats bac |areiy aeluowiecgec ber µreseuee. 1be bose was
niiciy nore eiieetive.
Duriug tbe cay, "iuter bac triec severai ciiiereut teebuiçues to
leeµ berseii cistraetec iron cweiiiug ou Biale, auytbiug to leeµ
ber |raiu |usy. Cue oi tbe exereises sbe set ior berseii was iiguriug
out tbe eoiieetive tern ior so nauy eats. "beu uoue eane to niuc
- µael` cicu`t seen rigbt, auc sbe was µretty sure µrice` ouiy
reiatec to iious - sbe`c junµec ou tbe iuteruet iu ber iree µerioc to
see wbat sbe eouic iiuc. By iar tbe nost µoµuiar tern was
eiowcer`, wbieb souucec iile a souµ, auc seenec iar too |euigu
wbeu usec iu reiereuee to tbe cistur|iug grouµ oi auinais outsice.
1he; wece ¡/agued l; a c/owdec o/ cats. It just cicu`t seen rigbt.
"iuter`s eyes iiielec to tbe eioel agaiu. 8be stiii bac tine to
nale tbe eoueert ii sbe ieit uow |ut sbe was eouiiietec. Acnittiug
to berseii tbat Jasniue was rigbt a|out ber iooliug ior au exeuse uot
to go bacu`t beiµec nale tbe ceeisiou auy easier. "iuter was usec
to cisaµµoiutneut, ieit µretty eoniorta|ie witb it iu iaet. Biale uot
sbowiug uµ touigbt wouic |e µaiuiui, |ut eousiceriug tbe beart-
reuciug ioss sbe`c aireacy iaeec tbis year it was µretty snaii
µotatoes. uowever, ii Biale eane to tbe eoueert touigbt it wouic
neau tbis reiatiousbiµ sbe was eoustruetiug iu ber niuc nigbt
aetuaiiy stauc a sbot at |eiug reai. Ltteriy uuµreµarec ior sueb au
eveutuaiity, tbis µrosµeet tbriiiec auc terriiiec "iuter iu eçuai
neasure.
It wouic |e nueb easier to stay rigbt wbere sbe was. 1bere was
uo µaiu or auxiety to risl sittiug bere ou tbe eoueb. 1be çuestiou
was - eouic sbe iive witb berseii luowiug sbe nissec au oµµortuuity
to sµeuc tbe uigbt witb tbe nost anaziug guy sbe`c ever net' Aiter
auotber niuute`s iuteuse eoutenµiatiou, "iuter boµµec oii tbe
eoueb auc weut to tbe wiucow.
8be eouic see Luey |eiow, ainiug a jet oi water towarcs oue oi
tbe ceuser seetious oi tbe eiowcer. 1be eats uin|iy junµec out oi
tbe way oi tbe strean auc, iusteac oi ruuuiug away, nereiy sbiitec
to auotber µart oi tbe yarc.
"iuter eaiiec cowu to ber, uey, Luee:`
Luey giaueec uµ, ber iaee µiul witb irustratiou.
Do you niuc ii I cuel out ior a iew bours'`
Luey irowuec at ber witb susµieiou. "by' "bo are you goiug
out witb'`
"iuter ieit ber |ael stiiieu witb irritatiou at ber sister`s µryiug.
"by cicu`t Luey just asl ii sbe was neetiug Biale' 8iuee tbe uigbt
oi tbe neai, ueitber sister bac neutiouec Biale iu eouversatiou. It
bac |eeone au uusµoleu souree oi eouteutiou |etweeu tben.
"iuter nauagec to leeµ ber voiee neasurec. I tbougbt I nigbt
go visit Jasniue ior a eouµie oi bours.`
Luey nuiiec tbis µrosµeet over ior a noneut. Clay. But |e
|ael |y eieveu, aii rigbt' It`s stiii a sebooi uigbt.`
"iii co.`
8be ieit Luey to ber |attie witb tbe eiowcer auc weut to eboose
au outiit. uer warcro|e was cevoic oi auytbiug renoteiy weara|ie.
Aii oi ber eiotbes seenec cra| auc uuiasbioua|ie, eertaiuiy uotbiug
|eiittiug wbat nigbt |e ber iirst cate (ìts not a date!) witb Biale.
"orriec tbat sbe was ruuuiug out oi tine, "iuter çuieliy µielec out
ber iavourite µair oi jeaus, auc a |iael toµ tbat sbe was eouiiceut
nace ber iool tbiuuer tbau sbe aetuaiiy was. As sbe ceii|eratec
wbetber to go witb |oots or suealers, "iuter`s uervousuess |egau
to give way to a uot uuµieasaut tiugiiug seuse oi exµeetatiou.
8onetbiug was goiug to baµµeu touigbt.
8onetbiug anaziug.
thaµter 11
1bere was a ioug iiue oi µeoµie çueuiug outsice tbe suri eiu|`s
eutrauee as "iuter steerec Jessie iuto tbe µarliug iot. \ost oi tben
bac acoµtec tbe tyµieai Cotb iool. iots oi |iael eyeiiuer, toru jeaus,
beavy |oots auc µurµie bigbiigbts. A iew were weariug 1-sbirts
ieaturiug tbe Lr|au riujas iogo - sonetbiug "iuter eousicerec a
najor iaux µas. 8be`c iearuec iron ber notber tbat you uever
uucer auy eireunstauees wore a 1-sbirt to a gig acvertisiug tbe
|auc you were a|out to see. It sinµiy wasu`t coue. Luiess you
were tryiug to |e irouie, oi eourse, auc "iuter cou|tec nost oi
tbese augsty teeuagers were eaµa|ie oi sueb seii-awareuess. 1bey
ioolec iar too grin.
8be steµµec oii tbe seooter, ieeiiug a iittie eousµieuous iu ber
reiativeiy |oriug eusen|ie. 8be wisbec sbe owuec sone ecgier
eiotbes to iit iu witb tbe otber eoueertgoers. At ieast sbe was
weariug |iael.
"iuter seauuec tbe çueue ior Jasniue auc ieit a |it |etter a|out
ber iasbiou eboiee wbeu sbe iiuaiiy ioeatec ber irieuc. Jasniue bac
aµµareutiy ioregoue tbe icea oi cressiug iile a Cotb, auc iusteac
ceeicec to go iu tbe oµµosite cireetiou, eboosiug a slinµy, giitteriug
eroµ toµ auc bigb beeis - au outiit "iuter susµeetec nigbt |e
ciiiieuit to nosb iu. 8an stooc |esice Jasniue, iooliug eçuaiiy out
oi µiaee anoug tbe gruugy ioug-bairec set, witb bis severe erew-eut
auc ueatiy irouec µowcer-|iue sbirt. "iuter sniiec to berseii as sbe
erossec tbe µarliug iot towarcs tben - trust Jasniue to eouseiousiy
gian uµ just to irritate tbe gruuge set.
I`n so giac you eane:` Jasniue saic, yauliug "iuter iuto au
exu|eraut bug as soou as sbe was witbiu arn`s reaeb.
8an griuuec at "iuter over Jasniue`s sbouicer. ui, "iuter.`
8an,` "iuter nauagec to |iurt out iu greetiug, |eiore Jasniue
sçueezec tbe air out oi ber.
"iuter uotieec sone cirty iools iron tbe otber µeoµie iiuec uµ
|ebiuc Jasniue auc 8an. I`c |etter get to tbe |ael oi iiue. 8one
oi tbe uatives are iooliug restiess.`
Dou`t |e siiiy,` Jasniue saic, gra||iug ber bauc auc µuiiiug ber
iuto tbe çueue.
uey: \ou eau`t co tbat:` au overweigbt, groueby-iooliug guy iu
a |iael 1-sbirt severai sizes too snaii yeiiec iron |ebiuc tben.
Jasniue wbiµµec ber beac arouuc auc suaµµec, Deai witb it:`
"iuter giaueec uµ auc cowu tbe iiue ior Biale. uer beart saul
wbeu sbe eouicu`t see bin. Jasniue snirlec at ber. Looliug ior
soneoue'`
"iuter triec to sbrug iuuoeeutiy, |ut it was eiear |y ber irieuc`s
reaetiou tbat ber ieeiiugs were writteu aii over ber iaee. Jasniue
iiulec arns witb ber as tbe iiue |egau to nove iorwarc. C`nou, be
nigbt aireacy |e iusice.`
1be eveut orgauisers bac set uµ a nalesbiit stage at tbe irout oi
tbe suri eiu|, auc turuec tbe snaii liosl at tbe |ael iuto a |ar.
1bere was a buge reetauguiar iixture baugiug over tbe stage witb baii
a cozeu sµotiigbts attaebec to it, aii traiuec ou tbe area wbere tbe
|auc wouic µiay. 1be strueture ioolec as ii it wouic bave |eeu at
bone iu au iucoor staciun auc seenec wiiciy out oi µiaee, uot to
neutiou caugerous, iu tbe nocest cineusious oi tbe suri eiu|.
Aiciug tbese overbeac iiuoreseeuts was a uettiug oi |iue Cbristnas
|ui|s struug aioug tbe waiis. 1beir giow bic tbe |uiietiu |oarc auc
troµby ease |ebiuc tben, wbieb wouic bave |roleu tbe iiiusiou tbat
tbe veuue wasu`t soieiy a tenµie oi roel`u`roii worsbiµ.
8an sµottec tbe |ar. kigbt, eau I get you ioveiy iacies a criul'`
"iuter sbool ber beac auc reaebec ior ber µurse. ro, it`s iiue.
I eau get ny owu.`
Let bin get you a criul, "iu.` Jasniue turuec to 8an auc
sniiec aµµreeiativeiy. 1baul you, sweetie, a eouµie oi Coles
wouic |e great. Auc eouic you see ii tbey`ve got auy ebiµs'
Bar|eeue.`
I`ii |e rigbt |ael.` ue ieauec over auc gave ber a çuiel µeel
ou tbe ebeel.
Jasniue sigbec wistiuiiy as sbe watebec bin cisaµµear iuto tbe
|iue niasna.
\ou`ve got yourseii a gooc oue tbere, Jas,` "iuter saic,
uegieetiug to eonneut ou bow nauy otber gooc oues` Jasniue bac
luowu tbis year aioue.
lirst tbere bac |eeu Lrie, eaµtaiu oi tbe swin tean, a |iouc,
iauly |oy witb au ainost µerieet iuvertec isoseeies-triaugie-sbaµec
nicseetiou. ue bacu`t iastec nore tbau two weels, wbieb was a
weel iouger tbau keviu \uibouey, au asµiriug µaiuter wbo startec
seeiug Jasniue aiter be aslec ber to µose ior bin ior tbe yeariy
uagau`s Biuii lortrait Conµetitiou. keviu bac |areiy iiuisbec
sletebiug Jasniue`s iegs wbeu sbe cunµec bin - aµµareutiy be was
naliug ber iool iat - auc startec catiug Cbris Baler, wbo bac bair
ainost as ioug as "iuter`s auc a ba|it oi nisçuotiug µoetry.
1bere were otbers, oi eourse, |ut tbese were tbe iirst tbree tbat
µoµµec iuto "iuter`s beac. Basec ou bow sbort-iivec tbese
ronauees bac |eeu, "iuter eouicu`t beiµ |ut woucer wbeu µoor
8an`s use-|y cate wouic |e uµ. Aitbougb, eousiceriug tbe starry-
eyec iool iu Jasniue`s eyes, tbere was a ebauee be nigbt iast
iouger tbau tbe rest.
I luow. I leeµ tryiug to iiuc a iauit witb bin |ut so iar I`n
eoniug uµ enµty. ue nigbt just |e µerieet.`
"iuter ninielec ber irieuc`s wistiui exµressiou. Jasniue uu.
boµeiess ronautie.`
Jasniue iguorec ber, auc µursec ber iiµs tbougbtiuiiy. "e wouic
nale |eautiiui |a|ies .`
"iuter eouicu`t cisagree witb tbat. "itb Jasniue`s exçuisite
goiceu sliu auc 8an`s |iouc µerieetiou, tbeir ebiicreu wouic
ceiiuiteiy |e geuetieaiiy |iessec. 8be was a|out to eonneut ou tbis
wbeu sbe uotieec a siow sniie sµreac aeross Jasniue`s iaee.
"iuter turuec to ioiiow Jasniue`s gaze auc ieit tbe grouuc iureb
|eueatb ber, iile sbe was stauciug ou tbe |ow oi a sbiµ wbieb bac
succeuiy bit a wave.
Biale bac arrivec.
thaµter 1z
Dressec iu a iittec suit auc eoiiarec sbirt oµeu at tbe ueel - iu
narlec eoutrast to tbe toru jeaus auc 1-sbirts oi tbe otber
eoueertgoers - Biale stooc at tbe eutrauee oi tbe suri eiu|,
aµµeariug iii at ease anic tbe iiowiug tice oi gruugy teeuagers.
Corgeous as be was, Biale ioolec a iittie iile sone|ocy`s oicer
|rotber wbo bac waucerec iuto tbe veuue to leeµ au eye ou tbiugs.
Cb ny Coc,` "iuter saic, surµrisec sbe was stiii eaµa|ie oi
sµeeeb. 8eeiug Biale was a nueb |igger sboel tbau sbe`c
exµeetec.
Jasniue µut au arn arouuc ber auc gave ber a sçueeze. 8teacy,
giri. Just renen|er to |reatbe.`
ue eane:`
Ci eourse be cic. \ou iuvitec bin. row, go tail to bin.`
8be geutiy uucgec "iuter towarcs Biale. ue was sçuiutiug iuto
tbe gioon oi tbe suri eiu|, as tbougb searebiug ior sone|ocy.
Looliug ior ber.
\ay|e I`ii wait bere a |it iouger.`
Jasniue µusbec ber agaiu. "iuter giaueec cesµerateiy at
Jasniue, |ut saw tbere was uo µoiut arguiug witb ber.
Co on:` Jasniue orcerec.
"iuter tool a ceeµ |reatb auc wailec uervousiy tbrougb tbe
erowc to wbere Biale was stauciug. Baeliit |y tbe |iue ueou, be
seenec inµossi|iy |eautiiui. 8o |eautiiui, iu iaet, tbat it nace ber
eveu nore besitaut to aµµroaeb bin. 8be cicu`t ieei sbe bac tbe
rigbt to euter Biale`s or|it. 1be way bis tbiel |iael euris iranec bis
iaee, tbose bigb ebeel|oues auc seuiµtec jawiiue - be just ioolec
so . ¡ec/ect. uer beart sliµµec a |eat as bis eyes net bers, auc
sbe ieit a iittie weal at tbe luees.
Deeicec to |rave tbe erowc, cic you'` sbe saic, iiuaiiy reaebiug
bin. "iuter was inµressec |y bow reiaxec ber voiee souucec iu
oµµositiou to tbe ainost ce|iiitatiug exeiteneut auc auxiety sbe ieit
eraeliiug tbrougb ber |ocy.
"eii, I tbougbt to nyseii, bow |ac eouic it |e'¨` be reµiiec,
struggiiug to raise bis voiee over tbe bun oi tbe erowc. A |oy
weariug bis eaµ |aelwarcs |unµec rougbiy iuto Biale as be augiec
towarcs tbe |ar. ue cicu`t |otber aµoiogisiug, just eoutiuuec ou
o|iiviousiy. Biale iaugbec oii tbe ruceuess. I nigbt bave nace a
nistale.`
I`n giac you eane.` Auc tbat was aii "iuter eouic tbiul oi to
say. uis aµµearauee bac tbrowu ber to tbe µoiut wbere sbe seenec
iueaµa|ie oi eoniug uµ witb auytbiug to eoutri|ute to tbe
eouversatiou. 8be was just startiug to µauie tbat sbe wouic sµeuc
tbe rest oi tbe eveuiug suiieriug tbis sµeeeb µaraiysis, wbeu Jasniue
sasbayec out oi tbe gioon to reseue ber.
ui, I`n Jasniue. "iuter`s |est irieuc.` Jasniue stuel out ber
bauc, uua|ie to restraiu berseii iron acoµtiug ber nost suitry toue
oi voiee.
Biale sbool ber bauc. riee to neet you, Jasniue.`
"iuter eouicu`t |e µositive iu tbe cin iigbt, |ut it ioolec as
tbougb Jasniue aetuaiiy |iusbec wbeu Biale touebec ber. "iuter
bac uever seeu a guy nale Jasniue |iusb |eiore.
I`n sure "iuuie`s toic you aii a|out ne'` Jasniue eoutiuuec
boµeiuiiy.
rot reaiiy,` Biale saic witb a sbrug, auc "iuter ieit guiity at tbe
seeret ceiigbt sbe tool iu tbe way Jasniue`s eyes wiceuec siigbtiy iu
sboel. 8be was usec to |eiug tbe eeutre oi every naie`s atteutiou.
Lueliiy, 8an arrivec at tbat noneut to oiier Jasniue`s ego tbe
|oost it reçuirec.
1wo Coles. 1bere wereu`t auy -` 8eeiug Biale, 8an µausec
nic-seuteuee auc "iuter was iutriguec to see bis ebeeriui
cisµositiou iace. ue baucec Jasniue tbe two criuls auc steµµec
territoriaiiy iu irout oi ber.
Biale, is it'` 8an saic, sniiiug µoiiteiy |ut leeµiug bis gaze
iixec ou Biale iu au eutireiy uuirieuciy nauuer. I`n 8an.`
Biale uoccec, |ut nace uo eiiort to µut 8an at ease. Iusteac,
be reaetec to 8an`s µreseuee witb siniiar bostiiity, bis sniie
tigbteuiug, |eeoniug a grinaee. 1be two sbool baucs, |otb
reiuetaut to |e tbe oue to |real tbeir griµ iirst. 1bey aµµearec to |e
testiug eaeb otber`s streugtb.
"iuter cicu`t luow wby Biale auc 8an were aetiug so
aggressiveiy towarcs eaeb otber, |ut sbe tbougbt sbe sbouic try to
µut a stoµ to it.
\ay|e we sbouic nove eioser to tbe stage' I tbiul tbey`re
a|out to start.`
As ii ou eue, tbe sµealers at tbe irout oi tbe stage wbiuec witb
ieec|ael as a roacie switebec tbe nies ou. Jasniue bac |eeu
stariug at Biale so iuteuseiy tbat sbe`c |eeu o|iivious to ber cate`s
o|vious iuseeurity. row sbe uotec 8an`s reaetiou, auc çuieliy
triec to ceiuse tbe situatiou.
Cooc icea, I waut to |e a|ie to see tbe |auc.` 8be gra||ec
8an |y bis arn auc tuggec bin towarcs tbe stage.
8an aiiowec binseii to |e iec away, |ut uot |eiore sbootiug
Biale oue iast iool, as tbougb waruiug bin to leeµ bis cistauee.
Biale seenec to reiax ouee 8an was goue. ue gesturec towarcs
tbe stage wbere a sizea|ie erowc oi teeuagers was gatberiug iu
µreµaratiou ior tbe |auc`s arrivai. Aiter you.`
"iuter uoccec, wisbiug sbe bac tbe eourage to tale Biale |y
tbe bauc as Jasniue bac taleu 8an. Iusteac, sbe wailec abeac oi
bin, taliug sone snaii eoniort iu bow eioseiy be traiiec iu ber wale
as sbe µusbec tbrougb tbe erowc. A iew tines be iigbtiy |unµec uµ
agaiust ber, tbe |riei eoutaet giviug ber goose|unµs oi µieasure.
Cuee tbey`c reaebec tbe sµot Jasniue auc 8an bac iouuc uear
tbe irout, "iuter was eareiui to µut berseii |etweeu tbe two guys.
Jasniue nust bave |eeu tbiuliug tbe sane tbiug, as sbe`c nace sure
8an was stauciug ou tbe outsice oi tbeir çuartet. uer arn was
seeureiy arouuc 8an`s waist iu au eiiort to µut bin at ease.
It cicu`t seen to |e worliug.
"iuter eouic see 8an`s exµressiou iu tbe ueou giow auc be
cicu`t seen at aii baµµy. It uever iaiiec to surµrise ber bow
eonµetitive guys eouic |e, uot just iu sµort, |ut iu aii areas oi iiie.
1biuliug a|out 8an`s reaetiou, "iuter woucerec ii a guy wouic
ever ieei tbat µroteetive towarcs ber.
8be stoie a giauee at Biale wbo was iooliug arouuc cistraeteciy
as tbougb worriec sone|ocy nigbt reeoguise bin. It was a niuor
enotiouai |iow to eateb bin iooliug so uueoniorta|ie. 8be
uucerstooc tbat tbis wasu`t exaetiy bis erowc, |ut be nigbt at ieast
nasl bis uueasiuess a iittie ior ber |eueiit: Ii ouiy be wouic iool at
ber auc sniie, or co sonetbiug tbat sbowec be ieit a gbost oi tbe
exeiteneut sbe was ieeiiug, or, iaiiiug tbat, just aeluowiecge ber.
Iusteac, Biale`s gaze seenec to tale iu everytbiug arouuc bin
e·ce¡t "iuter.
A iouc ebeer issuec iron tbe erowc as tbe Lr|au riujas tool
tbe stage, auc "iuter triec to wiii berseii out oi tbe auxious iuul sbe
was siiµµiug iuto. \ay|e Biale wouic iooseu uµ ouee tbe nusie
startec. 1be ieac siuger, Aiiie Janesou, struttec uµ to tbe
nieroµboue, bis leucer guitar siuug iow ou bis biµ. ue ioolec oicer
tbau be bac iu tbe viceo eiiµs "iuter bac eaugbt µreviousiy ou
teievisiou - eioser to tbirty tbau tweuty. Cooc eveuiug, uagau`s
Biuii,` be µurrec to tbe aucieuee. uoµe you bave a gooc tine
touigbt - I luow we wiii.` Auc tbey ieaµt straigbt iuto tbeir siguature
bit, "bat Dreans \ay Cone`.
1be erowc arouuc "iuter junµec auc swayec to tbe criviug
rbytbn oi tbe nusie. 8be ioolec over at Jasniue auc saw ber
µunµiug ber iist auc sbaliug ber biµs, siugiug aioug to tbe iyries oi
tbe eborus. Lveu 8an novec to tbe nusie, |ut be cicu`t seen to |e
eujoyiug tbe µeriornauee as nueb as Jasniue. ue leµt suealiug
giauees at Biale, as tbougb ebeeliug to nale sure be was
naiutaiuiug bis cistauee. Cuiy Biale cicu`t seen to |e eaugbt uµ iu
tbe vi|e oi tbe roon. "iuter leµt sµottiug bin tbrougb tbe stro|iug
iigbtsbow auc every tine sbe cic, Biale seenec nore cistraetec. Ii
be bearc tbe nusie be eertaiuiy wasu`t reaetiug to it. 8tauciug stoel
stiii, a iaiut erease iiuiug bis iorebeac, Biale was a niiiiou niies
away.
ßhat was hìs ¡col/eo`
1owarcs tbe euc oi tbe soug, Biale eaugbt "iuter iooliug at
bin auc sniiec guiitiiy, as tbougb en|arrassec |y bis owu
µreoeeuµiec |ebaviour.
"iuter sboutec to bin over tbe nusie, Are you olay'`
Biale irowuec as ber worcs were iost iu a ceaieuiug cistortiou
eoniug tbrougb tbe sµealers.
Are you -` "iuter |egau to reµeat berseii, |ut was iuterruµtec
|y a strauge erealiug souuc eoniug iron a|ove tben. Lveu as sbe
cisnissec it as ieec|ael or sone otber sµealer eiieet, Biale
seenec to bear it too auc ioolec uµ at tbe beavy |aul oi sµotiigbts.
loiiowiug bis worriec gaze, "iuter iiasbec uµou ber exµerieuee iu
tbe ebureb just |eiore tbe rooi bac eone cowu.
Cue oi tbe iigbts overbeac seenec to |e tren|iiug.
8ucceuiy tbere was a borri|ie riµµiug souuc oi netai |eiug toru
asuucer, auc tbe iigbt wiulec out. kootec to tbe sµot iu uun|
sboel, "iuter watebec it exteuc ior a seeouc iron its caugiiug
ieac, |eiore teariug ioose. It ieii tbrougb tbe iiieleriug carluess
towarcs ber.
1bere was uo tine ior iear, just cetaebec iaseiuatiou as sbe
stuciec tbe tun|iiug o|jeet`s ceseeut. "iuter was |areiy aware oi
Biale iiitiug ber oii tbe grouuc as be swuug ber away iron tbe iigbt,
au iustaut |eiore it erasbec iuto tbe grouuc. ue beic ber iu bis arns,
sbieiciug ber witb bis owu |ocy iron tbe sµray oi sbraµuei.
1be nusie was eut oii iu au ear-µiereiug waii oi ieec|ael as tbe
Lr|au riujas sçuiutec iuto tbe aucieuee. 1bougb tbe erasbiug iigbt
bac |eeu |areiy auci|ie over tbeir nusie, tbe eonnotiou it eausec
iu tbe erowc bac |eeu euougb to craw tbeir atteutiou.
Craciec to Biale`s ebest, "iuter eouic ieei bis beart µouuciug
|eueatb ber ebeel. 8be sbaliiy witbcrew berseii iron bis en|raee
to see wbat bac baµµeuec. 1be wreelage oi tbe sµotiigbt iay
seatterec arouuc tbe µiaee wbere sbe`c just |eeu stauciug. Jasniue
was stauciug ou tbe otber sice oi tbe iaiieu iigbt, iooliug µaie auc
irigbteuec. 1be sµotiigbt bac |areiy nissec ber as weii.
"bat`s goiug ou out tbere'` Aiiie Janesou eaiiec iuto tbe
aucieuee. Is sone|ocy burt'`
"iuter ioolec iron tbe wreelage to Biale`s grin exµressiou.
Le knew! Desµite its irratiouaiity, tbe eertaiuty oi tbis tbougbt
µiereec tbrougb ber sboel. 8onebow Biale bac luowu tbe iigbt
was goiug to iaii.
thaµter 11
1be Lr|au riujas reiusec to eoutiuue aiter tbe aeeiceut, nueb to
tbe irustratiou oi tbe erowc, wbo |egau stanµiug tbeir ieet auc
|ooiug as soou as tbey ieit tbe stage. ro oue bac |eeu burt, aiter aii
- wbat was stoµµiug tbe |auc iron iiuisbiug tbe set' Aiter iive
niuutes µassec witbout tbe |auc returuiug, tbe ioot-stanµiug auc
jeers cwiuciec to su|cuec grun|iiug, auc tbe aucieuee |egau to
cisµerse.
As soou as tbe erowc bac tbiuuec euougb ior tben to nove,
Biale geutiy guicec "iuter towarcs tbe exit, µroteetiug ber as |est
be eouic iron tbe augry teeuagers |uiietiug tben ou aii sices. 8tiii
ieeiiug sboelec, "iuter triec to cisniss tbe strauge eertaiuty tbat
Biale bac luowu a|out tbe aeeiceut |eiore it baµµeuec. uow
eouic be bave' It was inµossi|ie, oi eourse, |ut tbat cicu`t stoµ ber
ieeiiug it was true. 8be triec to leeµ sigbt oi Jasniue auc 8an, |ut
soou iost tben iu tbe sea oi iaees. 1bey`c bave to iiuc eaeb otber
ouee tbey were outsice.
Buoyec |y tbe iiow, "iuter auc Biale sµiiiec out iuto tbe
µarliug iot auc criitec to tbe µaveneut. Disgruutiec eoueertgoers
stooc iu snaii eiusters uear|y, noauiug to eaeb otber a|out tbe
truueatec µeriornauee, or eonµiaiuiug iuto tbeir µboues. A grouµ
oi |oys bac startec µiayiug tbe Lr|au riujas iouciy ou tbeir µboues
auc were junµiug uµ auc cowu, reiusiug to bave tbeir gooc tine
ruiuec.
"iuter was |areiy aware oi tben. 8be leµt µiayiug tbe inage oi
tbe iigbt burtiiug towarcs ber, over auc over iu ber niuc. 8onetines
tbe inage norµbec auc sbe was |ael iu liigrin`s Laneut auc it
wasu`t a iigbt |ut tbe wooceu |ean tbat was iaiiiug. It bac |eeu so
eiose. Ii Biale bacu`t .
\ou`re uot burt, are you'` Biale was stucyiug ber witb
eoueeru.
ro. Aµart iron ny |raiu, wbieb I tbiul nigbt |e canagec.`
8be iaugbec wealiy. I`n baviug sone erazy tbougbts.`
Lile wbat'`
Lile I`n eursec or sonetbiug. 1bere`s ouiy so nauy tines you
eau ueariy |e sçuasbec iu a weel |eiore you start gettiug
µarauoic.` "iuter triec to leeµ ber toue iigbt, yet ber voiee
souucec iragiie, as tbougb it nigbt |real at auy noneut.
\ou`re uot µarauoic. Just uuiuely.` Biale tool ber bauc,
sçueeziug it geutiy. Dou`t |e airaic. Lverytbiug`s goiug to |e iiue.`
"iuter sniiec boµeiuiiy. lronise'`
Biale besitatec a seeouc, |eiore ausweriug. lronise. Lool,
tbere`s Jasniue.`
8be ioiiowec bis gaze auc saw Jasniue stun|ie out oi tbe niiiiug
erowc, iooliug µerµiexec. "iuter stooc ou tiµtoe auc wavec ber
over. 8be eouic teii tbat Jasniue was stiii a iittie rattiec.
uave you seeu 8an'` Jasniue aslec cistraeteciy. "e got
seµaratec iu tbe erowc. I eau`t iiuc bin.`
"iuter sbool ber beac. uave you triec eaiiiug bin'`
\eab - |ut bis µboue`s turuec oii.`
Do you waut us to beiµ you iool ior bin'` Biale aslec.
ro, it`s olay. I`n sure be`s arouuc bere sonewbere.` Jasniue
seauuec tbe µarliug iot agaiu. uow are you two coiug' Cot out iu
oue µieee' 1bat was a µretty erazy seeue iu tbere.`
Aii iiugers auc toes aeeouutec ior.`
\ou`re iuely your guy tbere bas sone gooc reiiexes.`
I luow,` "iuter reµiiec, giaueiug siceways at Biale, wbo
seenec uueoniorta|ie witb tbe atteutiou.
"eii, ii you see 8an, teii bin to eaii ne. It was uiee to iiuaiiy
neet you, Biale,` Jasniue saic, oiieriug bin ber bauc.
Biale sbool it µoiiteiy. \ou too, Jasniue.`
I`ii see you tonorrow, "iu.` Jasniue`s eyes eouveyec as
eieariy as a worciess gaze eouic. dont oess thìs u¡!
Cuee Jasniue bac ieit, "iuter iet out a ioug sbaly |reatb.
1biugs ceiiuiteiy bacu`t goue as weii as tbey eouic bave, |ut
µerbaµs sbe eouic saivage tbe uigbt. 8o, bow co ban|urgers auc
iries souuc' 1bere`s a eaie just rouuc tbe eoruer. It sbouic stiii |e
oµeu.`
I`n sorry, |ut I |etter |e gettiug bone.`
Do you bave to'` "iuter triec to bice ber cisaµµoiutec toue,
|ut iaiiec. 8be eriugec a iittie at tbe ueeciuess iu ber voiee. 8be
souucec iile a iittie lic.
\eab. Auotber tine, tbougb.`
"iuter eouic see tbat be was geuuiueiy sorry, wbieb nace ber
ieei a iittie iess ceiiatec, |ut wby eouicu`t be sµare ber auotber bour
or two'
8be ueecec eoniortiug, canu it: lerbaµs be ueecec to ieec tbe
eats. Cats . "iuter boµec Luey`s eiiorts witb tbe garceu bose bac
|eeu sueeessiui. Aiter tbe crana iu tbe suri eiu|, sbe eouicu`t |ear
tbe tbougbt oi auotber sieeµiess uigbt.
Clay, I`ii wail you to your ear.`
Biale seenec a iittie anusec |y ber iuversiou oi tbe eiassie
ebivairous gesture, |ut cicu`t µrotest. ue`c coue euougb ior ber
touigbt, tbe ieast sbe eouic co was wail bin to bis ear. As tbey
wailec iu siieuee towarcs tbe euc oi tbe µarliug iot wbere Biale`s
truel stooc, "iuter triec to iigure out a way to asl bin ior bis
µboue uun|er. Deterniuec uot to iet tbis oµµortuuity go to waste,
sbe was iiuciug it ciiiieuit to settie ou tbe |est µbrasiug. It seenec
iuereci|iy inµortaut uot to ness uµ tbis µartieuiar çuestiou.
1bauls agaiu ior iuvitiug ne out touigbt,` Biale saic, as tbey
crew uear bis truel.
\ou cou`t ueec to tbaul ne. I boµe uext tine isu`t so .
eveutiui.` 8be giaueec uµ at tbe stars. I leeµ exµeetiug a µiaue
eugiue or a neteor to iaii ou ne at auy noneut.`
Biale ioiiowec ber gaze auc sniiec. Lools aii eiear to ne.`
1beir eyes net auc "iuter ieit ber sµirits soar. It was writteu
µiaiuiy ior ber to see iu bis aiieetiouate baii-sniie, tbe siigbtiy raisec
eye|rows auc sbiuiug gaze - 8/ake /ìked hec. 8be wasu`t inagiuiug
it. 8onebow tbe inµossi|ie bac baµµeuec. tbis |eautiiui, strauge
youug nau bac ceveioµec ieeiiugs ior ber.
8be cou|tec tbere wouic |e a nore oµµortuue noneut to asl
ior bis uun|er. uer beart çuieleuiug, "iuter oµeuec ber noutb, tbe
çuestiou uervousiy caueiug ou tbe tiµ oi ber tougue wbeu sbe saw
bis asµeet sour. 8onetbiug over ber sbouicer bac eaugbt bis
atteutiou.
"bat tbe -'`
ue µusbec µast ber to bis truel auc |eut to exaniue sonetbiug.
"iuter saw tbat tbe tyre ou tbe rigbt wbeei was iiat. Biale stooc
auc çuieliy wailec arouuc tbe truel iusµeetiug tbe otber tyres,
irowuiug as be ciseoverec tbey were aii iiat too.
"iuter |eut cowu to exaniue tbe eiosest wbeei auc saw tbere
was a ioug iueisiou iu tbe |iael ru||er. 8one|ocy bac siasbec
Biale`s tyres:
8be µolec ber iiuger iuto tbe siit. "by wouic sone|ocy co
tbis'`
I cou`t luow,` be saic griniy. Do you bave tbe uun|er oi a
neebauie or a garage'`
"iuter sbool ber beac. 8orry - un . I eouic eaii ny sister'`
Biale ru||ec tbe stu||ie oi bis ebiu µeusiveiy. Dou`t worry
a|out it. I`ii get a taxi.` "iuter uotieec tbat be leµt iooliug over at
tbe street |eyouc tbe µarliug iot as ii exµeetiug to see soneoue.
1be µarliug iot was ainost enµty uow. \ost oi tbe erowc bac
eitber cisµersec or |eeu eoiieetec. 1bere were a iew straggiers
stauciug iu snaii grouµs |eueatb tbe iiuoreseeuts, |ut aµart iron
tbese µeoµie, "iuter auc Biale were aioue. uis agitatec |ebaviour
nace "iuter ieei uervous.
A tbougbt succeuiy oeeurrec to ber. lerbaµs I eouic give you a
rice bone'`
1be inage oi bin stracciiug tbe seooter |ebiuc ber, arns
wraµµec arouuc ber waist, was iuereci|iy µoteut. "iuter ieit a iittie
sbort oi |reatb just tbiuliug a|out it.
Biale erusbec ber iautasy. ro, tbat`s iiue. I`ii nale ny owu
way. 1bauls, tbougb. \ay|e -`
ue was iuterruµtec |y tbe souuc oi a ear eugiue as it µuiiec uµ
uear|y. "iuter turuec auc saw a |iael vau iciiug ou tbe roac
µaraiiei to tbe µarliug iot.
1bere was sonetbiug eurious a|out tbe wiucows oi tbe vau.
1bey were tiutec, o|seuriug tbe criver auc µasseugers. lerbaµs tbe
vau was bere to µiel uµ tbe |auc. "iuter bac bearc roel stars
iilec to travei iueoguito, tbougb sbe cicu`t inagiue tbere wouic |e
nauy grouµies waitiug to rusb tbe |auc aiter touigbt`s a||reviatec
µeriornauee.
\ay|e I wiii get a iiit bone witb you aiter aii,` Biale saic
çuietiy, a strauge iuiieetiou iu bis voiee.
1bougb "iuter was µieasec |y bis a|ruµt ebauge oi niuc, sbe
was nore iutriguec |y bis exµressiou. Biale ioolec airaic.
Are you olay'`
ue reaiisec sbe was stucyiug bin auc ioreec a sniie, tbe wattage
oi wbieb was ainost |riiiiaut euougb to cisµei ber eoueeru. Ainost
.
Ci eourse. Let`s go.`
Do you luow tbat vau'` sbe aslec, gesturiug to tbe iciiug
vebieie.
"by wouic I'` Biale saic cisnissiveiy, auc tool ber |y tbe
arn, ieaciug ber away iron tbe truel. 8be tbrew a basty giauee
over ber sbouicer as tbey erossec to wbere Jessie was µarlec, |ut
tbe vau bacu`t novec. Ii tbat was wbat bac irigbteuec Biale, tbe
criver cicu`t seen very iuterestec iu ioiiowiug tben.
I`n sorry I baveu`t got a beinet ior you,` "iuter saic, ouee
tbey reaebec ber seooter.
Just cou`t erasb,` Biale reµiiec cryiy. ue was coiug a gooc jo|
at eoveriug bis auxiety, |ut "iuter eouic see it tbere, eviceut iu tbe
tigbtuess oi bis noutb.
I nale uo guarautee.`
8be stracciec tbe seooter, aiiowiug euougb sµaee ior Biale, auc
ieit a uot-iusiguiiieaut tbriii as be siic outo tbe seat |ebiuc ber. ue
erossec bis arns arouuc ber nicseetiou, bis ebest µressec iuto tbe
|ael oi ber, auc "iuter eouic ieei bis beart|eat µouuciug |eueatb
bis sbirt. 8be leyec tbe iguitiou. Cver tbe iow bun oi tbe eugiue,
sbe bearc Biale say, uow iast coes tbis tbiug go agaiu'`
"e sbouic |e at your bouse |y uext 1uescay at tbe very iatest.`
"iuter revvec tbe aeeeierator auc tbe two oi tben tool oii iuto
tbe uigbt.
thaµter 14
1be nost cireet route to uoiioway koac iay tbrougb tbe eeutre oi
towu, bowever, "iuter luew tbat tbey wouic µro|a|iy get tbere
iaster ii tbey tool tbe eoastai µatb aioug tbe |iuiis. lor tbe µast
noutb, tbe towu eouueii bac sebecuiec uigbtiy roac erews to ticy uµ
tbe µotboies µiaguiug \aiu 8treet, wbieb neaut tbere wouic |e
cozeus oi worlers eioggiug uµ tbe street rigbt uow. Ii tbey were
iuely, sbe auc Biale nigbt ouiy |e inµecec teu niuutes or so, |ut
tbere was aiways a ebauee tbey eouic |e ceiayec iouger. "iuter
ceeicec uot to risl it, esµeeiaiiy as baste seenec to |e au issue ior
Biale.
"by was be iu sueb a burry, auyway' "bat bac irigbteuec bin
|ael at tbe µarliug iot' Desµite bis cisnissai, "iuter was çuite sure
it bac sonetbiug to co witb tbe arrivai oi tbe oniuous |iael vau.
"bo crove arouuc witb tiutec wiucows' 1be µeoµie iusice nust
bave |eeu uµ to uo gooc ii tbey wautec tbeir iceutity to renaiu
seeret. 1beu tbere was tbe trou|iiug iaet oi Biale`s tyres |eiug
siasbec wbiie tbey were iusice tbe suri eiu|. 8be ebeelec ber sice
nirror auc was eoniortec tbat tbere was uo|ocy ioiiowiug tben.
lro|a|iy sone siael-jawec yolei bac seeu Biale`s truel auc
ceeicec to eause a iittie nisebiei. 8iniiar uuµrovolec iueiceuts oi
reeliess cestruetiou baµµeuec aii tbe tine iu towu. 1bere were too
nauy youug µeoµie auc uot euougb tbiugs to co. Aii tbose eburuiug
bornoues bac to bave au outiet sonewbere, auc too oiteu it was
tbrougb vioieuee or vaucaiisn. 1bere was uo reasou to tbiul Biale
was ruuuiug iron auytbiug. It was just ber µarauoia µiayiug triels ou
ber agaiu.
1bey roce cowu \aµie Bouievarc, µast lieteb`s auc uowi`s
\usie Jan|oree, |eiore turuiug iuto uortou 8treet auc beaciug
towarcs tbe iisbiug jetty. 1be iael oi streetiigbts iu tbis seetiou oi
towu cicu`t biucer "iuter`s sigbt - sbe bac tbe soit |iue noouiigbt.
rot çuite tbreeçuarters iuii, tbe noou buug iow iu tbe sly, guiciug
ber towarcs tbe eoastiiue iile a |eaeou.
Aµart iron tbe iow bun oi Jessie`s eugiue, tbe streets seenec
eeriiy çuiet, as ii tbe towu bac oµeuec itseii uµ ior ber auc Biale
aioue. 1bey cicu`t µass auotber ear or µecestriau as tbey roce µast
tbe jetty, cicu`t see auy otber iigbts euttiug tbrougb tbe sbacows
abeac.
1be uigbt was tbeirs.
Biale`s arns ieit stroug arouuc ber niccie, naliug "iuter
aware oi just bow soit ber niccie nust ieei iu eonµarisou. 8be
eieuebec ber stonaeb nuseies, naliug a siieut µronise to berseii
tbat startiug iron tonorrow sbe`c |egiu taliug |etter eare oi
berseii. 8be wouic start goiug to tbe gyn iu tbe aiteruoou witb
Jasniue.
Jasniue bac |eeu accietec to liiates ior tbe µast tbree years,
|ut bac giveu uµ tryiug to eouviuee "iuter tbat it was auytbiug nore
tbau a µaiuiui way to sµeuc a eouµie oi bours - bours wbieb "iuter
luew eouic |e cevotec to sonetbiug nore useiui. Lile watebiug
1V. 1be icea oi tryiug to eonµete witb Jasniue auc ber touec,
gyngoiug sisterbooc was ceeµiy uuaµµeaiiug, |ut it wouicu`t liii
ber to try.
"iuter |areiy luew Biale, yet bere sbe was, aireacy
eoutenµiatiug nassive iiie ebauges ior bis |eueiit - auc tbe
µrosµeet oi auy liuc oi reguiar exereise ior "iuter was a oassìve
iiie ebauge. 8be ueecec to siow cowu auc leeµ berseii iron gettiug
earriec away. Cue steµ at a tine. It wouic |e seusi|ie to wait uutii
sbe at ieast bac Biale`s µboue uun|er |eiore startiug to µiau tbeir
boueynoou. A iew ioacec giauees were wouceriui auc aii |ut tbey
cicu`t exaetiy acc uµ to a reiatiousbiµ.
Desµite Jessie`s eugiue µrotestiug tbe steeµ iueiiue, tbey erestec
tbe biii auc turuec outo laeiiie Drive, ieaviug tbe greater towu area
|ebiuc tben. 1biel seru| rose uµ ou tbeir ieit-bauc sice, o|seuriug
tbe view oi tbe oeeau. It rau ior a sbort streteb |eiore tbiuuiug as
tbey weavec eioser to tbe |iuii. 8oou tbe oeeau oµeuec uµ |esice
tben iu tbe carluess, tbe roar oi tbe waves just auci|ie |eueatb tbe
souuc oi tbe seooter, tbe oeeasiouai sµray oi sea nist eooiiug tbeir
ebeels. 1be reiieetiou oi tbe noou slitterec aeross tbe sbiitiug
water`s suriaee, ebasiug tben as tbey roce aioug tbe eiiii`s ecge,
turuiug tbe water siiver iu its wale. It was |eautiiui.
Cau you nale tbis go auy iaster'` Biale`s voiee sboutec over
tbe bun oi tbe eugiue, startiiug "iuter out oi ber reverie.
8be was suiiieieutiy eurious |y tbe urgeuey oi bis toue to ebeel
ber sice nirror agaiu. 1bis tine tbe reiieetiou wasu`t enµty - a ear`s
beaciigbts were iooniug. uer seeouc çuiel giauee reveaiec it
wasu`t a ear at aii, |ut tbe sane vau witb tbe tiutec wiucows sbe`c
seeu µarlec outsice tbe suri eiu|. uer iustiuets bac |eeu rigbt.
Biale bac |eeu irigbteuec |y tbe vau auc witb gooc eause, it
aµµearec, |y tbe way it was aggressiveiy |eariug cowu ou tben.
1be vebieie bac uo uun|erµiate, auc tbis nace tbe tbreat it µosec
seen aii tbe nore reai.
"iuter aµµiiec tbe aeeeierator auc nauagec to µuii away iron
tbe vau. 1be iey eoastai wiuc |uiietec ber iaee, naliug ber eyes
water. 8be ebeelec ber sice nirror agaiu auc was aiarnec to see
tbe vau sµeeciug to eiose tbe gaµ |etweeu tben.
"bo are tbey'` sbe eriec out a|ove tbe rusbiug wiuc.
Just crive, "iuter:` Biale yeiiec |ael.
1ryiug to iguore ber iear auc eouiusiou, "iuter ioeusec aii ber
atteutiou ou tbe roac abeac. 8onebow sbe`c |eeu µuiiec iuto tbe
niccie oi a very caugerous situatiou - a situatiou aii tbe nore
terriiyiug |eeause oi its an|iguity. Ii tbey got out oi tbis saieiy,
Biale wouic bave sone serious exµiaiuiug to co.
Ii ouiy tbere was a turu-oii or a serviee statiou or sonewbere to
stoµ auc eaii tbe µoiiee, |ut tbere was just tbe |iuii`s ecge to tbe ieit
auc tbiel, tboruy seru|iauc ou tbe rigbt. laeiiie Drive was tbe ouiy
roac wiuciug its way tbrougb tbis seetiou oi tbe eoastai uature
reserve, auc wouicu`t joiu uµ witb eiviiisatiou agaiu ior auotber niie
or two.
"iuter urgec Jessie iaster, cesµerateiy watebiug tbe carluess
abeac ior sigus oi auotber ear. 1be roac cisaµµearec iuto a sbacow
tbat eveu tbe noou`s giow eouicu`t µeuetrate. ro iigbts sboue
tbere, uo sigu oi beiµ. "iuter succeuiy tbougbt oi ber µareuts auc
reaiisec witb borror tbat sbe was ueariug tbe sµot wbere ber iatber
iost eoutroi oi tbe ear auc cisaµµearec over tbe |iuii. It wouic |e a
eruei ease oi syuebrouieity ii sbe auc Biale were eoucenuec to tbe
sane iate.
"iuter`s beart junµec as tbe vau`s eugiue roarec ioucer iu ber
ears. 1beir sbacow was tbrowu aeross tbe gravei |y tbe naievoieut
giare oi tbe vau`s beaciigbts - it was ainost ou toµ oi tben: Ii tbey
eouicu`t µiel uµ auy nore sµeec, tbey were goiug to -
uoic ou:` Biale eriec out as tbe vau |unµec Jessie`s taii iigbt.
"iuter ieit tbe seooter iureb uucerueatb ber griµ. It was a
niraeie sbe cicu`t iose eoutroi. 1be uext tine sbe wasu`t so iuely.
1be vau uucgec ber agaiu, luoeliug Jessie oii tbe roac, augiiug
tben towarcs tbe eiiii`s ecge. Biue carluess yawuec abeac oi ber,
|ut stiii "iuter griµµec tbe baucie|ars, boµiug sbe nigbt avert tbis
cisaster. But tbere was sinµiy uot euougb grouuc |eueatb tben.
Iu a uun| state oi terror, sbe was vagueiy aware tbat aii tbe
souuc seenec to bave craiuec out oi tbe woric, exeeµt ior tbe
rusbiug wiuc auc Biale`s voiee tryiug to |e bearc a|ove it (what
was he sa;ìng`). Jessie`s irout wbeei rau over tbe ecge oi tbe eiiii,
auc tbeu tbey were µiuugiug towarcs tbe eburuiug oeeau |eiow.
1be ireuziec waters rusbec towarcs ber. 8be eouic see roels
|realiug tbe suriaee iile |iael ton|stoues, sbiuy auc siiel.
Iet go. ßìntec!` Biale was sereaniug iu ber ear, |ut "iuter
was too terror-strieleu to register bis voiee as auytbiug |ut
|aelgrouuc uoise.
1hìs was ìt!
She was goìng to dìe!
LL1 CC -`
1hìs was ha¡¡enìng! 1hìs was cea//; -
- Cl 1uL uArDLLBAk8:`
"iuter was aware oi Biale`s arns µuiiiug ber, tryiug to iiit ber
uµwarcs oii tbe seooter as tbey µiunnetec, |ut ber baucs were
irozeu to tbe baucie|ars iu a ceatb griµ. 8be was eouseious oi a
µaiu iu ber ebest as ber beart |ueliec |eueatb tbe straiu oi tbis
eonµiete auc utter nortai terror.
8ea sµray saitec ber oµeu noutb, tbe |roiiiug nicuigbt oeeau
iiiiec ber visiou. Biale`s voiee iu ber ear sonebow eut tbrougb tbe
ebaos.
Let go, "iuter,` be wbisµerec witb inµossi|iy eain autbority,
auc "iuter iiuaiiy o|eyec. 8be iet go oi tbe baucie|ars auc as
Jessie ieii away |eueatb ber, sbe reieasec berseii iuto Biale`s
en|raee, giviug iu to o|iiviou.
thaµter 1s
Dyiug was easy.
1bere was uo µaiu, uo a|ruµt euc as "iuter struel tbe iey
waters. 1bere was just a tigbtuess, a seusatiou oi µius auc ueecies
µrieliiug ber sliu, auc tbeu tbe atnosµbere seenec to su|tiy sbiit
arouuc ber, |eeoniug ceuser, tbieler, ainost iile water. 1be
strauge tbiug was tbat sbe renaiuec eouseious tbrougb aii tbis.
8be`c aiways inagiuec ceatb as |eiug tbe a|seuee oi everytbiug -
sigbt, souuc, toueb - |ut "iuter`s seuses renaiuec sbarµ.
8be sneiiec ceatb`s µeriune as it iiiiec ber uostriis auc iuugs, ieit
its toueb iile a warn |reeze earessiug ber iaee, bearc its nusie iu
tbe ebiniug oi cistaut |eiis. But eouic sbe see'
uesitautiy, "iuter oµeuec ber eyes . 8be was iiyiug. liyiug
tbrougb a carl sly, staiuec greeu as tbougb, just |eiow tbe borizou,
au eneraic suu was a|out to rise. 8be wasu`t aioue iu tbis µiaee.
Biale was iiyiug aioug |esice ber iu tbis eneraic carluess, bis bauc
eiasµec arouuc bers, µuiiiug ber tbrougb tbis sµaee. 1be wiuc ruiiiec
bis bair, |iowiug it |ael iron bis snootb |row. uis eyes were iixec
abeac ou sone inagiuary µoiut iu tbe uotbiuguess, bis exµressiou
oue oi suµrene eoueeutratiou.
8ucceuiy tbe wiuc streugtbeuec, auc "iuter ieit berseii |eiug
suelec cowu. 1be craugbt |role Biale`s grasµ ou ber auc yaulec
ber away. 8be saw bis beac suaµ arouuc towarcs ber, bis eyes
wiceuiug witb iear, auc tbeu sbe was iaiiiug. "batever nagie bac
leµt ber aioit iaiiec ouee ber eoutaet witb bin was |roleu. 8be ieii
tbrougb tbe carluess - siowiy. Cravity seenec to |e weal iu tbis
µiaee.
Desµite tbe iaet sbe was iaiiiug, "iuter wasu`t airaic. 8be`c
aireacy ciec ouee auc cou|tec sbe eouic cie agaiu. 1be seµaratiou
iron Biale trou|iec ber, |ut tbe worry was cistaut auc easiiy
iguorec. 8be was |eyouc sueb uegative enotious. "itb every
|reatb oi tbe sweet µeriune iu tbe air, "iuter ieit warn sereuity
sµreaciug tbrougb ber |ocy, steaiiug away auy seecs oi iear |eiore
tbey eouic |ioon. 8be aiiowec berseii to tun|ie cowu towarcs
wbat ioolec iile a tbiel earµet oi eioucs. 1bere were inneuse
carl sbaµes |eueatb tbe eioucs, |aeliit |y a sbiitiug greeu iigbt.
8oou sbe was iaiiiug tbrougb tbe eioucs auc iiuaiiy saw wbat east
oii tbe sµeetrai iigbt |eiow.
It was a eity.
A gbost eity. Au uueartbiy greeu iigbt iiowec over aii suriaees
iile water or iire or snole. "iuter`s eyes wiceuec as sbe triec to
tale iu its sµieucour. 1be arebiteeture oi tbe |uiiciugs auc eciiiees
was striliug, a seeniug eouiiueuee oi ciiiereut styies iron ciiiereut
tine µeriocs, at turus ianiiiar auc tbeu utteriy aiieu. 1bere were uo
µiaiu, iiat suriaees, uo sinµie geonetrie sbaµes - everytbiug ioolec
iutrieateiy wrougbt auc texturec. It was tbe seaie oi tbese struetures
tbat was tbe nost awe-iusµiriug. 1be taiiest slyseraµer sbe bac ever
seeu wouic |e cwariec |y tbe towers auc eoiunus sbe saw uow.
1bey reaebec µast ber, |realiug tbrougb tbe eioucs iuto tbe beaveus
|eyouc. It was a eity oi Ba|ei.
As sbe ieii eioser, criitiug |etweeu tbe towers auc sµires, "iuter
|egau to see tben. 1be µeoµie oi tbe eity. 1bousaucs oi tben,
tbrougiug tbe streets auc sçuares |eiow.
Lxotie ro|es |iiiowec iu tbe wiucs, wice ereseeut bats buug iile
vertieai noous uµou µaie |rows, nauy oi tbe ceuizeus beic
gieaniug |iael rocs, wbieb tbrew oii sµarls as tbey struel tbe
grouuc. 8one oi tbe woneu were wraµµec iron beac to toe iile
cesert Becouius, tbe nateriai sµarliiug as tbougb it were nace iron
tbe uigbt itseii. \ore µeoµie traveiiec |etweeu tbe towers aioug
exµausive |ricges . uo, "iuter saw sbe was nistaleu. 1bese
iucivicuais wereu`t usiug |ricges to uavigate tbe sµaee |etweeu tbe
towers - tbey were iioatiug: Ciiciug souuciessiy tbrougb tbe air iile
gbosts . or augeis.
Auc aii a|out tben tbe greeu witebiigbt µiayec, ieaµiug iron nau
to wonau auc |uiiciug aiile. 1be µrinary sourees oi tbe raciauee
aµµearec to |e a uun|er oi vast, eireuiar weiis situatec at
iuterseetious. ligures gatberec arouuc tbese weiis, eougregatiug ior
sone liuc oi eerenouy. It burt "iuter`s eyes to stare cowu at tbe
eneraic iigbt gusbiug iortb, |ut sbe eouicu`t iool away. 1bere were
nysteries iu tbe iigbt. Ii sbe eouic ouiy get eioser, tbeu sbe nigbt
|egiu to uucerstauc .
8ucceuiy a sbaµe eane burtiiug out oi tbe carluess a|ove
"iuter, eoiieetiug ber iu its stroug en|raee. It was Biale. uoiciug
ber tigbtiy iu bis arns, be earriec ber uµwarcs, away iron tbe eity
auc |ael iuto tbe eioucs to tbe sly a|ove. "iuter struggiec agaiust
bis en|raee, wautiug to |e iet go, wautiug - needìng - to see wbat
iay at tbe |otton oi tbe weiis. 1o iiuc out wbat seerets iay iu tbe
iigbt.
8be eriec out iu irustratiou, |ut ber voiee was iost. 1bere was uo
souuc bere, uo souuc exeeµt ior tbe wiuc rusbiug |y. Auc tbe |eiis
ebiniug iu tbe carluess.
Iet oe go! "iuter siieutiy µieacec witb Biale. I/ease /et oe -
thaµter 1e
- go:`
1be woric exµiocec arouuc "iuter, overwbeiniug ber seuses
witb its ianiiiar uoise auc sneiis. 1bey were tun|iiug tbrougb tbe
air, ioelec iu a taugiec en|raee, auc tbeu -
1uL\l:
1be air was luoelec out oi ber iuugs as tbey struel tbe grouuc
auc |egau to roii aeross tbe iunµy suriaee. Biale gaiiautiy triec to
a|sor| nost oi tbe inµaet, uutii tbeir noneutun iiuaiiy siowec auc
tbey eane to a rest. "iuter was iyiug iiat ou ber |ael witb Biale
sµrawiec ou toµ oi ber. 8be stretebec out ber baucs auc eouic ieei
eoic sauc |eueatb ber iiugertiµs. A cistaut iigbtbouse`s |ean eut a
swatbe tbrougb tbe uigbt, auc sbe luew at ouee wbere tbey were.
Ligbtbouse Beaeb uear tbe suri eiu|, wbieb tbey`c ieit uot baii au
bour ago. roue oi tbis nace auy seuse.
8be`c ciec. 8be`c goue over tbe eiiii ou tbe seooter witb Biale.
1be waves auc roels bac rusbec uµ to greet ber, |ut |eiore tbey`c
bit, Biale bac µuiiec ber oii Jessie, µuiiec ber iuto .
1be weigbt oi Biale ou toµ oi ber was naliug it ciiiieuit to
|reatbe. row, be raisec bis beac oii ber ebest. uis iaee was
eonµieteiy craiuec oi eoiour, bis iiµs wbite. Cuiy bis eyes sµarliec
iu tbe uigbt witb tbeir iiery greeu iigbt, so |eautiiui, so siniiar to tbe
iigbt oi .
1he cìt;!
1be inage oi tbat bauutec µiaee, aiive witb sµeetrai iire, eane
rusbiug |ael. It was barc ior "iuter to boic tbe nenory iu ber
niuc, tbougb. Aireacy tbe niraeuious inages were |eeoniug
iutaugi|ie auc ciiiieuit to grasµ, iile boiciug outo snole. Cr a
crean. kegarciess, sbe beic ou as tigbtiy as sbe eouic,
eoueeutratiug ou tbe cetaiis oi tbe giaut struetures, tbe iioatiug
streans oi µeoµie, tbe weiis tbrowiug uµ tbat byµuotie greeu iigbt.
1be strouger sbe beic outo ber nenories, tbe iess reai tbe woric
arouuc ber |eeane. Biale, tbe sauc, tbe oeeau, aii grew iaiut as tbe
inage oi tbat iautastie eity |eeane |rigbter. "iuter eouic ainost
see tbe eity |ebiuc tbe uigbt sly, as tbougb its iigbt were |eiug
µrojeetec tbrougb a sbeer eurtaiu.
"iuter'` Biale`s |reatb sneiiec sweet, iile tbe µeriune oi tbe
gbost wiuc, tbe wiuc a|ove tbe eity.
"iuter:` be saic, nore iirniy uow, |ut sbe cicu`t auswer bin.
8be cou/dnt auswer bin. 8be was iooliug |eyouc tbe |eauty oi
bis iaee to tbe creaniaucs wbere tbey`c nace tbeir jouruey
togetber, to tbe eity aiive witb greeu iire auc nagie.
"iuter - iool at ne:`
8be ieit Biale`s baucs go to ber iaee, eraciiug ber ebeels. 1bere
was sauc ou bis µains, tbe grauuies iigbtiy seratebiug ber sliu. 1bey
ieit reai. Biale was reai. "iuter |egau to eone |ael to berseii. lor
a noneut sbe`c |eeu eouueetec to tbat otber µiaee |y a tbiu tbreac
oi nenory tbat was stroug euougb to start µuiiiug ber |ael - |ut
|ael to wbere'
Biale'`
ue seenec to reiax ouee "iuter sµole bis uane. 8tiii, be
eraciec ber ebeels teuceriy, stroliug tbe µiaee |eueatb ber eyes
siowiy witb bis tbun|s, as tbougb worriec sbe nigbt siiµ away
agaiu. 8be wautec bin to boic ber auc iool at ber iile tbat iorever.
ue`c savec ber iiie agaiu, sbe cicu`t luow |y wbat nagie, |ut
sonebow be bac |rougbt ber bere to tbis µiaee.
Are you aii ri-`
Lua|ie to co auytbiug eise, "iuter ieauec uµwarcs auc µiautec
ber iiµs ou bis, steaiiug bis worcs witb a liss.
It nigbt as weii bave |eeu ber iirst, so riie witb uew seusatious
auc ieeiiugs it seenec. 1beir iiµs µressec togetber, "iuter`s tougue
iouuc bis, tastiug bis noutb, bis ceiieious |eauty. It was a siow liss,
a true liss.
Lile every giri, "iuter luew bow sbe`c aiways wautec to |e
lissec, auc uow sbe aetec out ber iautasy witb µreeisiou auc sliii.
Biale was tbe µerieet µartuer. uis noutb was suµµie yet stroug,
geutiy roeliug agaiust bers, resµouciug to ber rbytbn. last tbeu
siow. last tbeu siow. Deiiriousiy over-stinuiatec, "iuter`s seuses
reeiec.
8be |eeane su|tiy aware oi a µeeuiiar yet weieone seusatiou oi
|eiug crawu iuto Biale. rot µbysieaiiy, |ut iu a ceeµer seuse -
tbeir esseuees traveiiiug tbrougb tbe liss to neet baiiway, eutwiuiug,
joiuiug, |eeoniug a siuguiarity. "iuter was |egiuuiug to ieei iigbt-
beacec, as tbougb sbe nigbt iaiut. But sbe eouicu`t stoµ lissiug bin
- uo, sbe uever wautec tbis to euc. 8be ieit eouueetec to sonetbiug
sbe uever luew existec. Au euergy tbat iivec |ebiuc tbiugs. Brigbt
auc µure.
Auc tbeu it was over.
Biale tore binseii iron ber en|raee. ue seran|iec oii "iuter
auc stooc ou tbe sauc a iew ieet away, regarciug ber witb . iear'
"by cic be iool so searec' 8ureiy be nust bave ieit tbat su|iine
eouueetiou, tbat eioseuess. "iuter triec to sit uµ, |ut iouuc sbe
eouicu`t. uer nuseies ieit too weal ior tbe tasl. 1be nost sbe
eouic co was µroµ berseii ou ber ei|ows.
"bat`s tbe natter'` It was barc to iorn tbe worcs, as sbe
cicu`t seen to bave auy |reatb ieit. 8be ieit as ii sbe`c just ruu a
naratbou. Luiile ber |ocy, ber niuc eraeliec witb nysterious
euergy, iile sbe`c cruul a cozeu eoiiees auc ioiiowec tben witb a
iitre oi kec Buii. 1be woric seenec |rigbter auc eiearer. 1be waves
|realiug cowu at tbe sbore, tbe iigbtbouse auc tbe tbree-çuarter
noou tbat iurlec |eyouc it, aii stooc out uow witb a startiiug eiarity.
Biale'`
uis ebest was beaviug as tbougb be too was out oi |reatb. 1be
eoiour bac returuec to bis iaee auc tbe strauge greeu iigbt iu bis eyes
was |rigbter - ainost iile a eat`s eyes sbiuiug iu tbe uigbt. Biale
ioolec sonebow nore |eautiiui tbau ever. uow eouic sbe see bin
so eieariy' 1be noouiigbt wasu`t that µoweriui.
1bat bac |eeu sone liss.
"iuter watebec bin swaiiow auc sbale bis beac a iew tines as
ii tryiug to eiear it.
I`n sorry, I .` Biale |egau, tbeu, witb a µauielec iool iu bis
eyes, turuec auc wailec çuieliy uµ tbe sauc iuto tbe cuues. "itb
sone eiiort, "iuter turuec arouuc auc eaiiec out to tbe reeeciug
iigure, Biale:` |ut ii be bearc ber be cicu`t stoµ.
Couiusec, sbe ioreec berseii outo ber ieet, auc |egau to stun|ie
iu bis cireetiou. uer iegs ieit ieaceu, naliug it ainost inµossi|ie to
ebase bin at auy sµeec. Desµerateiy, sbe traelec bis iootµriuts as
tbey wouuc tbeir way arouuc oue oi tbe taii wbite biiis auc tbeu
stoµµec a|ruµtiy, as tbougb be`c taleu to tbe air. But tbat was
inµossi|ie. "asu`t it . '
As "iuter stooc iooliug cowu at tbe euc oi tbe traii, sbe iouuc
tbat sbe eouicu`t auswer tbat çuestiou auy nore. 1be worc
ìo¡ossìl/e bac iost its ceiiuitiou ior ber.
thaµter 11
Biale nateriaiisec iu Veiaseo`s stucy. Ciutebiug bis ebest, be
eoiiaµsec to tbe iioor iu agouy. Creeu sµarls oi euergy slitterec
aeross bis writbiug iorn ior a iew nore seeoucs |eiore sµutteriug
out, ieaviug a iaiut traee oi ozoue iu tbe air. It bac |eeu a ioug tine
siuee be`c nace two triµs so eioseiy togetber. uis |ocy was uow
griµµec iu tbe tbroes oi a eriµµiiug buuger as it sougbt to reµieuisb
its euergy stoels.
ueeciug bis siieut eaii ior beiµ, tbe coor to tbe stucy was uucgec
oµeu auc iour eats µaccec iuto tbe roon. 1bey eireiec arouuc
Biale, ieuciug bin sone oi tbeir iiie ioree, uutii be was suiiieieutiy
restorec to raise binseii oii tbe grouuc. 1bis was uot tbe iirst tine
tbey`c savec bin. Lxbaustec, tbe eats siunµec to tbeir |eiiies,
watebiug tbeir naster stauc ou tren|iiug iegs.
1bere bac |eeu uo otber eboiee. It was eitber reveai binseii or
iet "iuter µiuuge to ber ceatb. Biale cicu`t regret bis aetious,
cesµite tbe iaet tbat uow tbe cauger was nore inneciate tbau ever.
1onorrow, aiter gettiug bis truel`s tyres reµiaeec, be wouic waste
uo tine iu iiuciug ber. "iuter`s tine was growiug sbort. Ii be bac
tbe streugtb be wouic go to ber uow, |ut be ueecec to reeuµerate.
It wouic |e iooiisb to try to µroteet ber iu tbis wealeuec state.
Biale steaciec binseii agaiust tbe cesl. It µaiuec bin to tbiul oi
bow eouiusec auc irigbteuec "iuter nust bave |eeu wbeu be ieit
ber ou tbe |eaeb. 1be liss bac |eeu uuexµeetec, be bacu`t bac
tine to µreµare binseii ior tbe eiieets. 1biuliug oi ber iiµs touebiug
bis, bis |ocy aebec witb iougiug. 1be buuger tbreateuec to
overwbein bin agaiu, auc it was witb eousicera|ie eiiort tbat Biale
regaiuec bis eoutroi.
A borri|ie rasµiug souuc eeboec iron tbe iioor a|ove, sbatteriug
tbe siieuee oi tbe oic bouse. 1be eats seanµerec away iu terror,
cisaµµeariug iuto tbe sbacows. 1be souuc grew iu voiune.
Laugbter.
It was iaugbiug at bin.
thaµter 18
By tbe tine sbe wailec iu ber irout coor, "iuter`s eiotbes were
soalec witb sweat auc ber tbroat was µarebec. 1be jouruey bone
iron tbe |eaeb bac taleu iouger tbau sbe`c exµeetec. Laeb steµ au
euornous eiiort, it was a niraeie sbe`c nace it at aii. La|ouriug
uucer tbis aiarniug ietbargy, ouiy ber eyesigbt bac renaiuec stroug.
8trouger, iu iaet, tbau it bac |eeu |eiore. 8be`c |eeu ioreec to
stiel to tbe sbacows, as tbe giare iron tbe streetiigbts bac |eeu too
µaiuiui.
1be oue |eueiit oi naliug sueb siow µrogress was tbe tine it
aiiowec ber to tbiul - to try to ratiouaiise everytbiug sbe`c |eeu
tbrougb. Luiortuuateiy sbe was uo eioser to eoniug uµ witb a
soiutiou uow tbau sbe bac |eeu wbeu sbe ieit tbe |eaeb. rotbiug iu
ber µersouai exµerieuee, uotbiug iu |ools or novies or teievisiou
exµiaiuec wbat sbe`c seeu. 1be ouiy µersou wbo eouic iiiuniuate
tbe nystery bac ruu oii auc ieit ber aioue. Auc wby'
"iuter eouicu`t |eiieve sbe`c nace a nistale iu lissiug Biale.
ßou/dnt |eiieve it: 8be bacu`t inagiuec tbe µassiou witb wbieb
be`c returuec ber liss, tbe way be`c µressec ou toµ oi ber, µuiiiug
ber eioser. Lveu ii sbe was wroug, auc Biale bac |eeu revoitec |y
tbe liss, sureiy iieeiug iuto tbe uigbt wasu`t a reasoua|ie resµouse.
Biale bac ieit |eeause be was airaic - sbe`c seeu tbe iear ou bis
iaee. ue`c sbowu a visiou to "iuter touigbt, auc iu coiug so bac
reveaiec sonetbiug a|out binseii. 8onetbiug suµeruaturai,
sonetbiug nagieai, wbieb be eieariy wisbec to leeµ seeret.
"iuter was grateiui tbe bouse was carl - it neaut Luey bac
goue to |ec auc tbere wouic |e uo çuestious. Just tbiuliug a|out
ber sister was exbaustiug rigbt uow. 8be |areiy bac tbe euergy to
eutertaiu ber owu çuestious, iet aioue ceai witb Luey`s. 1onorrow,
"iuter wouic set a|out uueoveriug tbis nystery. 8be`c trael cowu
Biale auc eouirout bin witb tbe çuestious tbat µiaguec ber.
uowever, rigbt uow sbe eouic barciy stauc. Aii sbe wautec to co
was bave a sbower auc go to |ec. Beiore tbat, tbougb, sbe ueecec
to criul sonetbiug. uer tbroat ieit as ii it was iiuec witb saucµaµer.
\oviug eouiiceutiy tbrougb tbe µiteb-|iael litebeu, "iuter weut
to tbe iricge auc tool out a eartou oi niil, wiueiug at tbe |rigbt
iuterior iigbt tbat autonatieaiiy iiielec ou. 8be siannec tbe iricge
coor, seaiiug tbe |rigbtuess iu, auc greeciiy guiµec cowu tbe
eouteuts oi tbe eartou uutii ber tbirst was çueuebec. 8be was
reµiaeiug tbe niil wbeu tbe litebeu iigbt |iazec iuto iiie, tenµorariiy
|iiuciug ber.
Deeicec to eone bone, cic you'` Luey stooc iu tbe coorway,
ber arns erossec.
"iuter gesturec at ber iu irustratiou. 1uru tbe iigbt oii:`
"bat'`
1be iigbt - it`s too |rigbt.`
uave you |eeu criuliug'` Luey saic iuerecuiousiy.
ro. Ci eourse uot:` "iuter reµiiec, wiueiug. 1brougb tbe giare,
sbe eouic see ber sister`s iaee siiel witb noisturiser, ber exµressiou
tbuucerous.
Do you bave auy icea wbat tine it is'` Luey cenaucec, auc
"iuter eaugbt auotber enotiou iurliug |eiow tbe outrage. iear.
"iuter ieit a twiuge oi guiit.
I`n reaiiy sorry, Luey - I bac a . strauge uigbt. It wou`t
baµµeu agaiu.`
"ary oi nore reµrinaucs, "iuter |rusbec µast Luey iuto tbe
baiiway, auc startec wailiug towarcs tbe |atbroon. 1be seariug
giare iron tbe litebeu iigbt bac triggerec oii a liiier beacaebe, auc
sbe ueecec to µoµ sone µaiuliiiers as soou as µossi|ie. But it
cicu`t seen tbat Luey was goiug to iet ber go tbat easiiy. 8be`c bac
aii uigbt to worl berseii uµ iuto tbis state auc wouicu`t |e ceuiec
tbe satisiaetiou oi sone reiease.
\ou just eau`t stay out aii uigbt auc uot eaii or nessage ne,`
Luey |egau, ber voiee sbriii. \ou just eau`t co tbat, "iuter: I
ueariy eaiiec tbe µoiiee .` 8be traiiec oii as "iuter euterec tbe
|atbroon, eiosiug tbe coor ou ber.
Leaviug tbe iigbt oii, "iuter weut to tbe |asiu auc sµiasbec
sone eoic water ou ber iaee. 8be µuiiec a µaelet oi beacaebe µiiis
iron tbe ea|iuet, µoµµiug two oi tben. 8be seooµec water to wasb
tbe µiiis cowu, grinaeiug at tbeir aeric taste. Cu tbe otber sice oi
tbe coor "iuter eouic bear Luey`s |reatbiug as sbe waitec ior ber
to energe. "iuter wisbec ber away.
"iu'`
"iuter ralec ber wet baucs tbrougb ber bair iu exasµeratiou.
I`n reaiiy tirec, Luey - eau we tail iu tbe noruiug'`
"iuter bearc ber sister sigb. I uucerstauc tbat you`re seveuteeu,
you`re uot a lic - |ut you`re stiii ny resµousi|iiity, "iu. At ieast
ior a iew nore noutbs. Ii you`re iu sone liuc oi trou|ie, I waut
you to teii ne.`
"iuter stooc over tbe |asiu iu tbe carl, too tirec to aµoiogise
auy nore. 8be uotieec tbe water was stiii ruuuiug auc turuec it oii.
uouestiy, Luey, everytbiug`s iiue. I`n goiug to bave a sbower
uow. I`ii tail to you tonorrow.`
Luey iiugerec outsice a noneut iouger, auc tbeu "iuter bearc
ber iootsteµs µac soitiy cowu tbe baiiway auc ber |ecroon coor
sbut. "iuter exbaiec iu reiiei auc wailec tbrougb tbe carluess to
tbe sbower auc turuec it ou.
Disearciug ber saucy eiotbes, sbe steµµec |eueatb tbe rusb oi
water, iuxuriatiug iu its beat as it easeacec outo ber. 8be turuec ber
iaee uµ to tbe sbower beac, eiosiug ber eyes agaiust tbe sµray.
Biale`s iaee iioatec out oi tbe |iaeluess, sniiiug at ber. 8be sniiec
|ael at bin, tastiug water iu ber noutb.
ßho ace ;ou` sbe aslec tbe µbauton Biale auc bis siieut reµiy
surµrisec ber.
Ðont ;ou oean - what ao I` be auswerec, |eiore bis iaee
criitec |ael iuto tbe etber. It was a trou|iiug çuestiou. Biale bac
µeriornec a ieat touigbt tbat was eertaiuiy |eyouc auy bunau
eaµa|iiities "iuter was aware oi - so cic tbat nale bin iubunau'
1rou|iec |y tbis uotiou, |ut uuwiiiiug to cweii ou it, sbe turuec oii
tbe sbower, toweiiec berseii cry auc, stiiiiug au ainigbty yawu,
stun|iec to ber |ecroon. 8be eoiiaµsec outo tbe nattress, uot
|otberiug to su|nerge berseii |eueatb tbe eovers, auc was asieeµ
noneuts aiter ber beac struel tbe µiiiow.
"iuter creant tbat sbe awole iu tbe niccie oi tbe uigbt to see
Biale stauciug at tbe ioot oi ber |ec, bis eyes |uruiug witb greeu
iire, iiiuniuatiug tbe carluess.
ue cicu`t say auytbiug, just stooc tbere watebiug ber saciy. It
nace ber beart aebe to see bin iooliug so nouruiui, auc sbe triec
to teii bin tbat it was aii rigbt, tbat everytbiug wouic |e iiue, |ut
wbeu sbe sµole uo souuc eane out oi ber noutb. 1bere was just
tbe roar oi tbe oeeau auc tbe souuc oi |eiis ebiniug iu tbe cistauee.
Munieh
neeember, 1881
Cian|eriug tbrougb tbe suow, \aceieiue tbougbt ior oue terriiiec
seeouc tbat sbe`c iost sigbt oi tbe ebiicreu`s traels. lrautieaiiy, sbe
searebec tbe wbite terraiu uutii sbe iouuc tben agaiu. a twiu set oi
iootµriuts cisaµµeariug iuto tbe ceeµ woocs. 8be wraµµec ber
seari nore tigbtiy arouuc ber ueel auc set iortb iu tbe cireetiou tbe
traels iec. 1bey`c ouiy |eeu goue tbree bours, |ut tbe triµ to uerr
laileunyre`s iarn sbouic bave taleu nueb iess tine tbau tbat.
\aceieiue eursec berseii ior uot goiug to retrieve a jug oi niil
berseii. 1be ebiicreu bac |eeu so exeitec at tbe µrosµeet oi gettiug
out oi tbe bouse tbat sbe`c iouuc it inµossi|ie to reiuse tben. Lver
siuee tbey`c |eeu |oru sbe`c leµt sueb a tigbt reiu ou tben - ieariui
tbat ii sbe iet tben out oi ber sigbt ior nore tbau a seeouc tbey
nigbt iaii iuto tbe eiutebes oi Vietor auc bis Baue. \ore tbau ouee
sbe`c bac to ior|ic tben iron µiayiug outsice, tbe wouucec
cisaµµoiutneut iu tbeir eyes |realiug ber beart.
A triµ to tbe ioeai iarner`s nigbt uot seen terri|iy iuterestiug to
au acuit, |ut Ciaucette auc Biale junµec at tbe tasl. 1be sbort
jouruey iron tbeir eottage tbrougb tbe woocs to tbe laileunyre
µroµerty oiierec au eutieiug oµµortuuity ior acveuture.
It bac |eeu noutbs siuee eitber sbe or Arinau bac |eeu aiertec
to Vietor`s aetivities, auc so \aceieiue saw iittie barn iu seuciug
tben ou tbe errauc. row reaiisiug sbe`c |eeu iuiiec iuto a iaise
seuse oi seeurity, sbe resoivec uever agaiu to iet ber guarc cowu.
I/ease óod - /et o; chì/dcen le sa/e!
Biale: Ciaucette:` \aceieiue eaiiec out, straiuiug ber ears over
tbe souuc oi tbe risiug wiucs ior a reµiy. liales oi suow |egau to
criit cowu iron tbe |ieal grey sly. Voiuniuous tbuucerbeacs
ioonec oniuousiy iu tbe cistauee. A |iizzarc was eoniug, sbe eouic
taste it iu tbe air. 8oou tbe traels wouic |e eoverec auc ber
ebauees oi iiuciug tbe ebiicreu renote. Ii Arinau bac |eeu bone,
sbe wouic bave bac nueb iess eause ior eoueeru. ue eouic bave
iouuc tben iu au iustaut. Luiortuuateiy be was away iu lrague,
seeuriug tbeir saie µassage ior tbe nove iu Jauuary. 1bey`c aireacy
stayec iu tbeir eottage ou tbe outslirts oi \uuieb too ioug.
1be iey wiuc eut tbrougb \aceieiue`s tbiel eioal, naliug ber
sbiver. Lveu ii Biale auc Ciaucette bacu`t net auy cauger, |ut bac
nereiy waucerec oii tbe µatb auc |eeone iost, tbey wouicu`t iast
ioug iu tbe eoic. lauieliug at tbis tbougbt, sbe triec to nove iaster,
|ut tbe suow was tbiel, waist-ceeµ iu µiaees, inµeciug ber
µrogress.
\aceieiue luew oi ouiy two µatbs tbrougb tbese woocs - oue
nore cireet tbau tbe otber. 8be`c taleu tbe iouger µatb, autieiµatiug
tbat tbe eigbt-year-oic twius wouic bave wautec to µroioug tbeir
exµecitiou, tbeir ireecon iron ber overµroteetiveuess. 1be traels
were iittie nore tbau sbaiiow inµressious uow. Iu iaet, tbey ioolec
nore iile µaw µriuts. uac sbe nace a nistale auc ioiiowec tbe
wroug set oi traels' 8tucyiug tbe grouuc ieariuiiy, \aceieiue
reaiisec sbe eouicu`t |e eertaiu sbe was stiii eveu ou tbe µatb. 8be
µausec, searebiug ior a ianiiiar iaucnarl. 1be trees erowcec
arouuc ber, tbeir |iael sleietai iorns twistec auc noustrous.
A ebiic eriec out, tbe souuc ainost |eiug suatebec away |y
wiuc |eiore it reaebec \aceieiue`s ears. uearteuec, sbe eaiiec out,
Cbiicreu'`
\ana:` eane tbe inneciate reµiy iron just uµ abeac. It was
Biale:
I`n eoniug:` 8µurrec |y tbe uote oi urgeuey sbe ceteetec iu bis
ery, \aceieiue µiougbec tbrougb tbe suow witb reuewec vigour.
Ciieriug uµ a siieut µrayer oi tbauls, sbe ieit ainost ceiirious
witb reiiei. Iu auotber iew niuutes, tbe storn`s iury nigbt bave
eoverec tbeir eries auc tbey wouic bave |eeu iost to ber iorever.
1be earµet oi suow tbiuuec as sbe erestec a snaii rise, auc sbe
was a|ie to wail iaster. Breatbiug beaviiy witb exertiou, sbe µusbec
tbrougb a tboruy eoµse auc was net witb a sigbt tbat nace ber
ireeze. 1bere were Biale auc Ciaucette, erouebec iu tbe |ougbs oi
a witberec oal tree. 8uaµµiug |eiow tben were tbree suariiug
woives. 1be iearsone |easts sera||iec at tbe |ase oi tbe tree witb
tbeir eiaws, tryiug to gaiu µurebase so tbey eouic reaeb tbeir neai.
kootec to tbe sµot iu sboel, \aceieiue was sbaleu iron ber
stuµor |y Biale`s terriiiec exµressiou as bis gaze net bers aeross
tbe eieariug. uer µroteetive nateruai iustiuet was iguitec auc sbe
ioolec arouuc cesµerateiy ior a weaµou. A ceac |raueb iay ou tbe
suow uear|y. 8be suatebec it uµ, wieiciug it iile a eiu|.
As sbe stroce towarcs tbe woives, \aceieiue saw Ciaucette tiit
ber beac iu ber cireetiou. 8be was surµrisec to see tbat ber
caugbter`s augeiie ieatures were uusbacowec |y tbe iear tbat
griµµec ber |rotber. Iusteac, Ciaucette ioolec eain, nore
iaseiuatec |y tbe saiivatiug |easts tbau airaic oi tben.
Cet away iron tben:` \aceieiue sereanec at tbe woives.
1beir twitebiug suouts jerlec iu ber cireetiou. 1brougb tbe
criitiug suow, sbe eouic see tbe |aieiui yeiiow giare oi tbeir eyes as
tbey ieit tbe tree auc µaccec siowiy towarcs ber. 1biu auc wiry,
tbese woives bac |eeu starvec |y tbe ioug wiuter. Loug roµes oi
saiiva criµµec iron tbeir jaws as tbey regarcec \aceieiue buugriiy.
Desµite tbe wiuc, sbe eouic bear growis run|iiug iu tbe |ael oi
tbeir tbroats.
kun, \otber:` Biale eaiiec iron tbe saiety oi tbe tree.
Dou`t |e airaic:` sbe resµoucec, ber voiee sbaliug. Criµµiug
tbe |raueb witb two baucs, sbe waitec ior tbe woives to ebarge.
1be iear tbat nace it tren|ie iu ber grasµ was ior Biale auc
Ciaucette, uot ior berseii. Lettiug ioose a ebiiiiug bowi, tbe iirst woii
|role raul auc sµriutec tbrougb tbe suow towarcs ber. \aceieiue
|raeec berseii, raisiug tbe |raueb over ber beac. Cuee it was witbiu
liiiiug cistauee, tbe woii ieaµt, eyes iixec ou ber tbroat. 1error bac
nace a warrior oi \aceieiue. 8be swuug tbe |raueb witb aii ber
nigbt, |riugiug it cowu uµou tbe triauguiar sluii oi tbe woii witb a
iouc erael. 1be strieleu auinai tun|iec tbrougb tbe suow |eiore
erunµiiug agaiust a tree.
row tbe otber woives eane, lieliug uµ µiunes oi wbite µowcer
witb tbeir µaws. \aceieiue turuec to iaee tben witb tbe |raueb,
ieeiiug a |iael boµeiessuess carleu ber resoive. 1bere was uo way
sbe eouic iigbt tben |otb: uer µauielec stare sbot µast tbe woives
to tbe ebiicreu iu tbe tree. Ciaucette was nissiug:
8be eouic see tbe |iooc-rec guns oi tbe woives uow, tbeir
eruei, jaggec teetb exµosec iu triunµbaut suaris. 1eusiug ior tbe
attael, \aceieiue raisec tbe |raueb agaiu.
1be woives uever reaebec ber. A µaie |iur iutereeµtec tbe
uearest oue, taeliiug it to tbe grouuc. \aceieiue watebec iu
anazeneut as tbe |iur resoivec itseii iuto ber eigbt-year-oic
caugbter. 1be wiuc wbiµµec Ciaucette`s |iael euris a|out ber beac
as sbe ioreec oµeu tbe woii`s suaµµiug jaws, wreuebiug its beac
|aelwarcs. \aceieiue bearc a suaµ auc tbe woii ieii iron ber
caugbter`s grasµ, its ueel |roleu.
1be otber woii, cistraetec |y tbe µiigbt oi its nate, bac
a|aucouec its ebarge ou \aceieiue. Couiusec, it eireiec Ciaucette,
acvaueiug auc tbeu retreatiug, uusure ii it was stiii saie to attael tbe
tiuy bunau.
1be snaii giri stooc eainiy watebiug tbe woii stail ber. 1bere
was stiii uo sigu oi auy iear ou ber coii-iile iaee, just eoic regarc.
uer eyes uarrowec as tbe woii tool a iew teutative steµs towarcs
ber. \aceieiue saw tbe eneraic iigbt oi ber eyes (so nueb iile ber
iatber`s) iiasb iu tbe carluess oi tbe woocs. A siieut eonnuuieatiou
µassec |etweeu tbe two - a waruiug. 1be surviviug woii bowiec
ouee, a µatbetie, cesµerate gesture, |eiore turuiug to ruu |ael iuto
tbe woocs, taii |etweeu its iegs. \aceieiue croµµec tbe |raueb auc
rusbec to ber caugbter, gatberiug tbe ebiic iu ber arns. Ciaucette
ieit uuuaturaiiy bot, ainost |uruiug \aceieiue`s iiµs as sbe eoverec
ber ieverisb iaee witb lisses.
1bat was iuu,` Ciaucette saic çuietiy.
8boelec, \aceiiue µuiiec away iron ber caugbter. 8be starec
at ber ebiic`s iiusbec, µiul iaee, at ber eyes sbiuiug uuuaturaiiy iu tbe
iow iigbt. 1bougb Ciaucette was µbysieaiiy uubarnec, \aceieiue
iearec tbe |attie witb tbe woives bac canagec ber iu ways tbat
were iuvisi|ie. 8onetbiug bac ebaugec iu ber iittie augei . Cr
sonetbiug bac |eeu reveaiec. a carl asµeet cornaut uutii uow.
Beiore \aceieiue eouic cweii ou tbis trou|iiug µrosµeet, sbe was
cistraetec |y tbe souuc oi tiuy ieet ruuuiug aeross tbe suow |ebiuc
ber.
As sbe turuec, Biale ieaµt iuto ber arns, ueariy luoeliug ber
oii-|aiauee.
I was so searec:` be eriec, |uryiug bis iaee iu ber |reast. 8be
ieit bis tears soaliug tbrougb ber |ociee as sbe roelec bin geutiy.
uusb uow, tbe cauger`s µassec,` sbe saic, ber gaze iiittiug to
Ciaucette. "atebiug ber caugbter`s |iaul iaee, \aceieiue ieit a
eoic ebiii auc luew sbe`c just iiec.
thaµter 1v
"iuter bac uever sieµt tbrougb ber aiarn |eiore, |ut wbeu tbe
eioel racio eraeliec iuto iiie nic-eonnereiai tbe uext noruiug, sbe
|areiy stirrec. It wasu`t uutii ber µboue startec riugiug tbat sbe iiuaiiy
oµeuec ber eyes. Biiuliug |ieariiy iu tbe noruiug iigbt, sbe iun|iec
ior tbe vi|ratiug auuoyauee uext to ber |ec.
ueiio'` uer voiee was stiii tbiel witb sieeµ. 8be leµt ber eyes
sbut, as tbe iigbt iu ber roon seenec ainost uu|eara|iy iuteuse.
"iu' "bat`s tbe natter, are you olay'` It was Jasniue.
\eab. "by'`
"by areu`t you at sebooi'`
"bat co you neau'` Couiusec, "iuter oµeuec ber eyes agaiu
- siowiy tbis tine, to give ber uewiy seusitive µuµiis tine to acjust.
1be |ecroon tbreateuec to renaiu a nass oi swiriiug byµer-eoiours
auc iigbt iiares ior a iew seeoucs |eiore resoiviug iuto sonetbiug
sbe eouic |ear.
8be sçuiutec at tbe rec LLD cisµiay oi tbe eioel racio |esice
ber auc was sboelec to see tbe tine. It was ueariy tweive-tbirty:
Are you siel or sonetbiug' \ou souuc reaiiy weirc.`
"iuter struggiec to |riug ber tbougbts iuto ioeus. I`n uot ieeiiug
too bot. Lool, Jas, I just wole uµ. I`ii eaii you |ael iu a see,
olay'`
Clay. Are you sure uotbiug`s wroug'` Jasniue aslec, ber
voiee eoueeruec.
I`n iiue, Jas. I`ii eaii you |ael.` "iuter was iu uo state to
ciseuss wbat bac baµµeuec iast uigbt witb Jasniue. rot yet,
auyway. 8be ueecec to trael Biale cowu |eiore sbe eouic eveu
eoutenµiate ciseussiug it witb soneoue eise.
Draggiug berseii out oi |ec, "iuter µuiiec ou ber jeaus. 1be iigbt
eoniug iu tbrougb tbe wiucow was stiii cistraetiugiy µaiuiui. 8be
reaebec ior ber suugiasses, wbieb were iyiug ou tbe cesl uext to ber
eoµy oi 1ane L;ce. 1be sweet reiiei tbey aiiorcec ber was ainost
beaveuiy. 8be iiuisbec cressiug auc weut to tbe |atbroon to wasb
ber iaee auc |rusb ber teetb. 8be eouseiousiy avoicec seeiug ber
reiieetiou, airaic sbe nigbt iool worse tbau sbe ieit.
"iuter bac uever ieit buugrier iu ber eutire iiie. uer stonaeb was
run|iiug so iouciy sbe was surµrisec it bacu`t woleu ber uµ |eiore
Jasniue cic. 8be µraetieaiiy rau to tbe litebeu auc set a|out naliug
berseii a iuii neai oi eggs, |aeou auc toast witb a |owi oi eereai to
iiuisb. uer euornous aµµetite was |aiiiiug, as sbe was uornaiiy a
iigbt eater, rareiy iucuigiug iu auytbiug nore tbau au aµµie auc a nug
oi tea ior |realiast. 1ocay, sbe eouicu`t seen to get iuii. 1be
exµerieuee iast uigbt bac aµµareutiy ieit ber |ocy`s euergy stores
eonµieteiy ceµietec. Aiter tbere was sone iooc iu ber stonaeb,
"iuter ieit nueb strouger. 8troug euougb to iaee tbe tasl abeac,
auyway.
1be icea oi seeiug Biale agaiu iiiiec ber witb a nixture oi auxiety
auc exeiteneut. uer |iggest eoueeru was tbat be nigbt uot waut to
see ber agaiu. "iuter ieit tbat sbe bac uo otber eboiee. It was
inµossi|ie to iorget tbe sigbts be`c sbowu ber - tbe gbost eity, tbe
iiyiug, tbe teieµortatiou. "bat was sbe suµµosec to co' Co to
sebooi auc µreteuc it bac uever baµµeuec' It ieit as tbougb a erael
bac |eeu oµeuec iu ber niuc - a erael iu ber µreeoueeivec uotious
oi reaiity, a erael tbat was siowiy wiceuiug. "iuter was worriec
tbat ii Biale cicu`t beiµ ber to uucerstauc wbat bac eausec tbat
sebisn, it nigbt eoutiuue to wiceu uutii it swaiiowec ber wboie auc
sbe iost ber grasµ ou reaiity.
"itb µoor Jessie goue, "iuter`s ouiy neaus oi gettiug to
Biale`s wouic |e |y |us. 8be was µretty sure tbe 410 out to
Ciiitou wouic tale ber aioug uoiioway koac, |ut sbe`c ueec to
wail to \aµie Bouievarc to eateb it - a iair cistauee. Ii sbe wautec
to reaeb tbe oic Veiaseo µiaee |eiore it got too iate, sbe wouic
bave to get noviug. 8be wasbec uµ tbe |realiast cisbes, µut asice
ber growiug aµµrebeusiou, auc set oii ou ber jouruey.
Cutsice, a wice |aul oi grey eioucs bac roiiec aeross tbe sly. It
ioolec as ii it was goiug to raiu agaiu. Desµite tbe ciiutec suuiigbt,
"iuter iouuc sbe stiii ueecec ber suugiasses to see eoniorta|iy.
8onetbiug bac ceiiuiteiy baµµeuec iast uigbt to nale ber eyesigbt
nore seusitive. "bat ii it was µernaueut' "iuter cicu`t waut to go
tbrougb iiie biciug ber eyes iile au atteutiou-eouseious eeie|rity.
keeµiug au eye ou tbe eioucs, sbe çuieleuec ber steµ as sbe
startec cowu tbe iootµatb. lueiiec |y ber auxiety, tbe jouruey
cicu`t tale as ioug as sbe`c exµeetec, auc soou sbe was turuiug tbe
eoruer iuto \aµie Bouievarc. 1be |us stoµ was uµ abeac just
oµµosite tbe uewsageuey. As sbe crew uearer, ber µboue |uzzec iu
ber jeaus µoelet. It was Jasniue agaiu.
ueiio'`
"by cicu`t you eaii ne |ael'`
I`n so sorry, Jas. I eonµieteiy iorgot.`
1bere was au oniuous roii oi tbuucer iron a|ove. "iuter eouic
taste tbat cistiuetive netaiiie iiavour iu tbe air tbat aiways µreeecec
a storn. Ii sbe cicu`t iiuc eover soou sbe was goiug to get very wet.
Craciiug tbe µboue agaiust ber ear, sbe beacec ior tbe uewsageuey
to |uy a |us tielet.
8o are you goiug to teii ne a|out iast uigbt, or are you just
goiug to ieave ne iu susµeuse'` "bat eouic "iuter µossi|iy teii ber
tbat wouic souuc eveu renoteiy |eiieva|ie'
"iu' Are you tbere'`
"iuter sigbec iaiutiy euougb tbat Jasniue eouicu`t bear it. \ou
luow wbat, Jas' 1bere`s uotbiug to teii. "e saic our gooc|yes auc
tbat was tbat.`
\ou`re licciug ne' rotbiug baµµeuec' ro liss, uo
eauoociiug - uotbiug'`
~ kìss .
1hat bac |eeu so nueb nore tbau a liss tbat "iuter ieit as ii
sbe sbouic iuveut auotber worc. 1be two tines sbe`c |eeu lissec
|eiore Biale eertaiuiy eouicu`t eonµare. 1be iirst, Aruie "iilius,
bac |eeu a ebu||y |oy witb eboeoiate ou bis iiugers sittiug uear ber
auc Jasniue ou tbe |us bone iron au eigbtb grace sebooi eanµ.
Duriug tbe jouruey, Jasniue bac ieit it was bigb tine "iuter iost ber
lissiug virgiuity`, auc Aruie bac |eeu tbe eiosest (auc nost wiiiiug,
"iuter susµeetec) eaucicate. 1be liss bac iastec ouiy a seeouc or
two |eiore Aruie |eeane a iittie too eager auc ceeicec to try to
exµiore ber tousiis witb bis tougue. Aiter µusbiug bin oii, sbe
renen|erec ieeiiug reiievec tbat sbe`c iiuaiiy coue it - lissec a |oy
- auc was uow iree oi tbe |urceu oi exµeetatiou.
1be seeouc, \arl C`Couuor, bac |eeu at iast year`s sebooi-
sµousorec cauee at tbe suri eiu|. \arl weut to tbe µu|iie sebooi
ou tbe otber sice oi towu auc bac surµrisec "iuter |y asliug ber to
cauee witb bin. 8be`c seeu bin at a iew µarties |ut tbe two oi tben
bac uever exebaugec worcs. ue`c lissec ber iu tbe carluess curiug
a kaciobeac soug, auc sbe`c tastec aieoboi ou bis |reatb. reitber
exµerieuee renoteiy eane eiose to natebiug tbe eieetrie seusatiou
oi Biale`s iiµs µressiug agaiust bers.
8be sniiec to berseii, tbiuliug tbat aiter aii tbe anaziug tbiugs
tbat bac baµµeuec to ber, it was tbis noneut tbat |uruec tbe
|rigbtest iu ber nenory. It seenec as tbougb tbe woucers oi tbe
uuiverse µaiec uext to its sinµie nagie.
"iu'` Jasniue`s inµatieut toue |rougbt ber |ael to eartb.
8orry. I wisb I eouic teii you nore.` lor a seeouc or two, sbe
was worriec Jasniue wouic µress tbe su|jeet, |ut iueliiy ber irieuc
was too µreoeeuµiec witb ber owu woes to ceteet "iuter`s
retieeuee.
"eii, it souucs iile you stiii bac a |etter uigbt tbau I cic:`
Jasniue saic.
"by'`
Beeause guys suel, tbat`s wby: I bate tben aii:`
Cb - it was ouiy |oy trou|ie. "iuter iouuc berseii occiy grateiui
ior tbe oµµortuuity to iisteu to Jasniue`s ueurotie ran|iiugs. It was
a weieone cistraetiou iron ber owu seary tbougbts, çuestious auc
auxieties.
1eii ne wbat baµµeuec, Jas.`
Last uigbt aiter I ieit you, I sµeut baii au bour wailiug arouuc
iooliug ior 8an - baii au bour, "iu: - |eiore I iigurec out tbe jerl
bac citebec ne.` Jasniue µausec ior tbat noneutous iaet to siul iu.
ue citebec ne: Me! I cou`t get citebec. I`n tbe oue wbo coes tbe
citebiug.`
1bat`s uu|eiieva|ie,` "iuter oiierec, ouiy µartiaiiy tougue iu
ebeel. Luiile "iuter, Jasniue was iuexµerieueec witb rejeetiou.
liuaiiy, bere was a natter oi tbe beart "iuter bac sone ianiiiarity
witb. uowever, it cicu`t iool as tbougb sbe was goiug to get a worc
iu ecgeways. lat croµs oi raiu |egau to sµatter ber jaelet auc sbe
çuieleuec ber µaee.
\ou luow, I eouic bave ciec wbeu tbat iigbt ieii cowu. I was
cistraugbt: 1be ieast 8an eouic bave coue was baug arouuc to
eoniort ne. I neau, tbat`s wbat a nocoa/ µersou wouic co giveu
tbe situatiou, cou`t you tbiul'`
"iuter bac to restraiu berseii iron µoiutiug out it was she, uot
Jasniue, wbo bac iu iaet ainost ciec. Iusteac, sbe oiierec tbe
reçuisite synµatby, or a reasoua|ie initatiou oi it.
I`n reaiiy sorry ior you, Jas.`
Jasniue grew eveu nore vexec. Dou`t ieei sorry ior ne, ieei
sorry ior 8an. 1bat |oy coesu`t luow wbat be`s iu ior. Cau you
|eiieve tbe eowarc cicu`t eveu bave tbe guts to sbow uµ at sebooi
tocay eitber' ue tbiuls be eau just avoic ne: "bat a ioser:` 8be
µausec ber raut to suel iu a |reatb. 8eriousiy, I tbiul I nigbt
aetuaiiy liii bin. Do you luow auy gooc eriniuai ceieuee
attorueys'`
Lb-bub .` "iuter saic a|seutiy, steµµiug iuto tbe uewsageuey,
just as a eurtaiu oi water ieii |ebiuc ber auc tbe storn |egau iu
earuest. 1bere was uo|ocy iu tbe store, save ior tbe eiceriy eierl
|ebiuc tbe eouuter. ue sbot oue cisnissive giauee at "iuter |eiore
turuiug bis atteutiou |ael to bis ear nagaziue. Jasniue eoutiuuec to
|ieat cowu tbe µboue, nore or iess reµeatiug tbe story.
Couic I bave a siugie to Ciiitou, µiease'` "iuter aslec tbe
eierl, iun|iiug ior ber µurse.
1oo |rigbt ior you iu bere, is it'` tbe eierl aslec sareastieaiiy,
uocciug towarcs ber suugiasses.
Cb, sorry:` "iuter saic, ieeiiug a iittie iooiisb. 8be iiitec ber
suugiasses, teutativeiy sittiug tben ou toµ oi ber beac. 1be
iiuoreseeut iigbts oi tbe store were stiii |rigbt, |ut it was toiera|ie.
Cue seveuty-iive,` tbe eierl saic, riugiug uµ tbe anouut ou tbe
tiii.
"iuter siic tbe ebauge aeross tbe eouuter. ue tool it witbout a
sniie, eviceutiy auuoyec |y tbe cisruµtiou to bis reaciug tine. ue
sbuiiiec oii to tbe tielet naebiue uext to tbe easb register auc
startec µriutiug ber tielet.
\ou luow, I`n uot ieeiiug a iot oi iove iron you, "iu. Just
|eeause you`re siel auc aii coesu`t neau you eau`t sboot sone
synµatby ny way.` Jasniue cenaucec, iiuaiiy eiuiug iu to "iuter`s
an|ivaieuee.
"iuter çuieliy |egau aµoiogisiug. I`n sorry, Jas. "bat were
you -`
1be worcs ciec iu ber tbroat as tbe eierl returuec. "iuter ieit
ber noutb croµ oµeu as sbe starec at bis iaee iu astouisbneut.
Is tbat aii ior tocay, niss'` ue beic tbe tielet out ior "iuter to
tale. 8be cicu`t reaet.
"iuuie:` Jasniue`s voiee was sbiitiug over iuto outrigbt auger
uow, |ut "iuter |areiy bearc ber. 8be was trausiixec |y tbe eierl
iu irout oi ber - |y wbat sbe saw iu bis eyes.
"iu' "by are you iguoriug -'`
"iuter was aware oi tbe µboue siiµµiug iron ber iiugers |ut
nace uo eiiort to eateb it. 1be eierl watebec witb niic surµrise as it
ieii to tbe iioor.
\ou croµµec your µboue.`
"beu "iuter nace uo nove to µiel it uµ, |ut sinµiy stooc
tbere gawliug at bin, tbe eierl |egau to get irritatec.
Cau I beiµ you witb sonetbiug eise'`
"iuter eouicu`t auswer bin.
Lìs e;es . hìs e;es wece on /ìce!
thaµter 4o
"iuter eouicu`t |eiieve wbat was baµµeuiug iu irout oi ber. As tbe
oic eierl seowiec at ber, sbe eouic see tiuy tougues oi |iue iire
caueiug iu bis µuµiis. 1be iianes iiielerec auc µuisec iu tbe |iael
ceµtbs, eutraueiug "iuter witb tbeir iigbt auc noveneut.
\iss'` 1be eierl ioicec bis arns iu irritatiou. "beu sbe agaiu
iaiiec to auswer bin, be sbool bis beac iu exasµeratiou. "iuter was
iaseiuatec to see bis eyes ieaviug tbiu |iue iigbt traiis witb tbe
sbaliug notiou oi bis beac.
\our eyes .` was aii sbe eouic nauage. 8be iowerec ber
suugiasses agaiu, eurious to see ii tbe visuai eiieet wouic iace. 1be
|iue iigbt vauisbec. 1bere nust |e sonetbiug a|out tbe µoiarisec
ieuses tbat bic tbe eiieet iron ber ualec eye. \esnerisec, "iuter
raisec tbe suugiasses auc tbe strauge eye-iire |eeane visi|ie agaiu.
"bat was aiso |eiateciy visi|ie to "iuter was tbe eierl`s
auuoyauee.
\iss, ii you`re uot goiug to |uy auytbiug eise I`n goiug to bave
to asl you to ieave,` be saic, µoiutiug at tbe coorway |ebiuc
"iuter.
I`n sorry,` "iuter bearc berseii say cistautiy. 8tiii stariug at tbe
sµeetrai |iue iigbt iu tbe oic nau`s eyes, sbe seooµec uµ ber µboue,
auc |aelec out tbe coor. 1be eiouc|urst bac easec sonewbat auc
tbrougb tbe nistiug raiu "iuter eouic see a cozeu or so sboµµers
|raviug tbe nisera|ie weatber as tbey wailec µast tbe storeirouts,
tbeir |ocies iittie nore tbau bazy sbaµes sbuiiiiug to auc iro, auc
tbeir eyes |uruiug witb tbe sane sµeetrai iire as tbe eierl`s.
"bat was goiug ou' "as sbe baiiueiuatiug' "as tbis wbat it
was iile to see tbe woric ouee your niuc iost its griµ ou reaiity' Dic
tbe µeoµie arouuc you trausiorn iuto |iue-eyec µbautons'
A |aic nau iu a tau suit narebec out oi tbe barcware store iu
irout oi ber, boiciug a uewsµaµer over bis beac to sbieic binseii
iron tbe raiu. uere was sonetbiug ciiiereut - tbe nau`s µuµiis
giowec ueou rec iusteac oi |iue. laseiuatec |y tbis uew
ceveioµneut, "iuter stoµµec to wateb tbe nau as be wailec µast
ber to tbe µecestriau erossiug, traiiiug twiu erinsou iigbts iu bis
wale.
As be stooc ou tbe eur| waitiug ior tbe siguai to ebauge, tbe
nau`s µboue |egau to riug. "iuter watebec as be greetec tbe
eaiier, auc iaugbec at sone uubearc jole. rotieiug a iuii iu tbe
traiiie, tbe nau |egau to eross tbe street eariy, stiii iaugbiug iuto tbe
reeeiver. ue was too cistraetec |y bis eouversatiou to uotiee tbe
|us |eariug cowu ou bin iron tbe oµµosite cireetiou, too cistraetec
to see tbe cauger be was iu.
A ery oi waruiug rose iu "iuter`s tbroat. Lveu as it eseaµec ber
iiµs sbe luew it was too iate. 1be |us criver siannec ou tbe
|rales, |ut tbe vebieie`s noneutun was too great, auc tbe nau
was struel |eiore be bac a ebauee to turu bis beac. Iustiuetiveiy,
"iuter iiiuebec away so sbe cicu`t see tbe noneut oi inµaet. 8be
bearc tbe sieleuiug tbunµ as bis |ocy eoiiicec witb tbe uuyieiciug
irout oi tbe |us, ioiiowec |y a wet snaeliug souuc. "beu "iuter
carec to iool agaiu, sbe saw tbe nau iyiug severai ieet away iron
tbe |us, twitebiug as tbougb au eieetrieai eurreut rau tbrougb bin.
Coueeruec µassers|y rau to bis sice, ieaviug iaciug |iue iigbt traiis
iu tbeir wale. "iuter eouic aireacy teii tbe eiiort was iutiie.
ro|ocy eouic survive sueb a eoiiisiou.
thaµter 41
"iuter bac uever seeu auyoue cyiug |eiore. uer µareuts bac |eeu
liiiec wbiie sbe was iu eiass at sebooi, auc it wasu`t uutii sbe`c goue
witb Luey to tbe bosµitai auc seeu ber µareuts iyiug ou tbe norgue
sia| tbat tbe uu|eara|ie reaiity oi tbe situatiou bac siannec bone.
Lveu tbeu, "iuter renen|erec |eiug grateiui tbat sbe was sµarec
viewiug tbe noneut oi tbeir ceatb. row, bere it was baµµeuiug
rigbt |eiore ber eyes - tbe trutb oi nortaiity. 1be succeu, nessy
auc vioieut trutb.
Lveu iron tbis cistauee, "iuter eouic see tbe rec giow iron tbe
nau`s eyes as be iay witbiu tbe eireie oi ouioolers. It bac taleu ou
a cinner çuaiity, |ut it eoutiuuec to stauc out iu narlec eoutrast to
tbe |iaziug |iue iigbts oi tbose arouuc bin. Asbanec oi berseii ior
ieeiiug auytbiug otber tbau borror at tbe nau`s iate, "iuter eouicu`t
beiµ |ut see tbe |eauty oi tbe eoiours iu tbe ta|ieau - tbe
sbinneriug vi|rauey oi tbe rec auc |iues µartiaiiy o|seurec |y tbe
iaiiiug raiu. It was a noneut oi trauseeuceutai woucer, auc over iar
too çuieliy.
A eoicuess succeuiy stoie over "iuter tbat bac uotbiug to co
witb tbe wet eiotbes eiiugiug to ber |ocy. It was ainost as tbougb
sbe`c steµµec iuto tbe sbacow oi sonetbiug noustrous auc
iuvisi|ie. sonetbiug tbat |ioelec out aii iigbt auc warntb. 1bree
carl sbaµes aµµearec iu tbe eoruers oi ber visiou auc |egau to criit
towarcs tbe cyiug nau. 1be sbaµes were taii - at ieast seveu ioot -
auc novec iu au iubunauiy snootb nauuer, as ii tbey were giiciug.
"iuter wasu`t sure wbere tbey`c eone iron, ouiy tbat tbe sigbt oi
tben nace ber waut to sbriul iusice berseii auc cisaµµear.
ßhat wece the;`
Desµite |eiug vagueiy bunau iu aµµearauee, tbe sµeetres were
eieariy auytbiug |ut. 1beir eiougatec beacs were eonµieteiy
bairiess, wbite auc snootb - nore iile µoiisbec |oue tbau sliu. A
strauge iuniueseeuee seenec to raciate iron tbeir sliu iile snole,
etebiug tbe iigures iu a sbinneriug wbite iigbt. 1be ereatures nigbt
bave |eeu eeriiy |eautiiui were it uot ior tbeir eyes. jet |iael, iile
µoiisbec e|ouy. ro wbite, uo iris, uo µuµii, just a terriiyiug, restiess
carluess, wbieb eveu iron tbis cistauee "iuter iouuc irigbteuiug.
1wo oi tbe ereatures were cressec iu iceutieai tigbt-iittiug |iael
ro|es, aeeeutuatiug tbeir eiougatec, sleietai iranes auc biciug tbeir
ieet - tbese ro|es reniucec "iuter oi tbe eassoels woru |y Jesuit
nissiouaries, witbout auy oi tbe |euigu iuiereuee sueb eiotbiug
µossessec. 1be tbirc iigure`s ro|e was siigbtiy ciiiereut. 8trauge,
swiriiug erinsou cesigus en|roicerec tbe beniiue, sieeves auc
eoiiar, narliug tbis ereature as seµarate iron tbe otber two. 1bis
nust |e tbe coniuaut eutity, tbeir naster.
1be \aster oµeuec its noutb, eonnuuieatiug witb tbe otber two
uot witb worcs, |ut |y eiieliug its snaii grey teetb togetber iile a
giaut iuseet. 1be souuc nace "iuter sbuccer. It souucec
eonµieteiy iubunau. It souucec wcong. "itb a ebiiiiug reaiisatiou
sbe luew sbe`c bearc tbis eiieliug |eiore - iu tbe woocs outsice
tbe Veiaseo µiaee.
"iuter was eieariy tbe ouiy oue wbo eouic see tbe aµµaritious,
otberwise tbe µeoµie gatberec arouuc tbe cyiug nau sureiy wouic
bave startec sereaniug iu terror ouee tbe ereatures euterec tbeir
nicst. Auc yet tbe eoueeruec ouioolers seenec to seuse tbeir
µreseuee, iustiuetiveiy noviug asice to iet tbe ereatures tbrougb.
"atebiug iu borror, "iuter gasµec as tbe iirst ereature beic tbe
cyiug nau cowu wbiie tbe seeouc reaebec iuto tbe ioics oi its
eassoel auc witbcrew sonetbiug snaii auc sbarµ. 1be \aster
stooc over tben, o|serviug or µerbaµs cireetiug tbeir aetious.
"iuter`s eubaueec visiou, wbieb sbe uow wisbec away nore tbau
ever, aiiowec ber to see tbe o|jeet tbe ereature beic iu its iiugers.
seissors: 1bougb reiativeiy snaii auc iuuoeuous, tbe |iaces gieanec
witb cauger iu tbe grey iigbt.
1be ereature wieiciug tbe seissors uow cic sonetbiug tbat nace
"iuter çuestiou wbetber sbe bac eonµieteiy iost ber niuc. Iguoriug
tbe iaws oi µbysies, tbe ereature`s µaie bauc µassec tbrougb tbe
nau`s eiotbes auc ri|eage as tbougb it were snole. 1be bauc was
witbcrawu a noneut iater, eiutebiug a µuisiug |aii oi rec iigbt - tbe
iuteusity oi wbieb burt "iuter`s eyes.
1be nau`s struggies iuteusiiiec uow tbat tbe ereature beic tbe
iigbt iu its eiutebes. ue |egau to sµasn, bis iegs jerliug as tbougb be
was tryiug to liel oii tbe sµeetres auc iree binseii. "iuter ieit tears
µriel ber eyes as sbe watebec bin struggie - it was just so awiui:
1biu teucriis oi rec iigbt tbreaciug iron tbe nau`s ebest eiuug to
tbe or| iu tbe nouster`s bauc, iile arteries sualiug to a beart. Lsiug
its seissors, tbe ereature |egau to suiµ tbrougb tbe tbreacs oi iigbt,
µresuna|iy to iiuisb renoviug tbe or| iron tbe cyiug nau`s |eiug.
8eeiug tbe nau`s esseuee |eiug eut iree µrovolec sueb µrinai
borror iu "iuter tbat sbe was |areiy aware oi tbe ery risiug iu ber
tbroat.
Sto¡ ìt!`
1be ouioolers gatberec arouuc tbe nau giaueec iu ber cireetiou,
sone witb nore euriosity tbau otbers. uowever, tbe sµeetaeie oi a
bysterieai giri sboutiug iron tbe iootµatb wasu`t ueariy as iuterestiug
as tbe gory iigure iyiug at tbeir ieet. uer ery aiso crew tbe atteutiou
oi tbe ereatures. 1bey µausec iu wbat tbey were coiug auc siowiy
turuec tbeir beacs towarcs ber.
1be \aster, µartieuiariy, seenec iaseiuatec |y "iuter`s
iutrusiou. uer |iooc rau eoic as it tiitec its beac to oue sice,
stucyiug ber. 8iowiy tbe \aster raisec its arn auc µoiutec at
"iuter. C|eyiug a siieut eonnauc, tbe otber two ereatures |egau
to giice aeross tbe roac towarcs ber.
ßhat had she done`
"iuter triec to serean, |ut eouicu`t. 1bere cicu`t seen to |e
euougb air iu ber iuugs to geuerate tbe souuc sbe ueecec to nale.
uer iin|s ieit weal auc ru||ery, tbe iear bac stoieu ber streugtb.
8ut she cou/dnt /ust stand hece! 1bose tbiugs were eoniug iast.
Ii tbey reaebec ber .
1bat terri|ie µrosµeet was euougb to |real ber µaraiysis, auc
"iuter turuec auc rau.
thaµter 4z
"iuter bac uo cestiuatiou iu niuc, sbe just luew sbe bac to get
away. kaiu stuug ber eyes, |iurriug ber visiou. 1be sboµµers sbe
burtiec µast regarcec ber witb sboelec exµressious - wbat cic sbe
iool iile to tben' 8one nac giri teariug tbrougb tbeir nicst' lor
wbatever reasou, sbe was tbe ouiy oue eursec witb tbe a|iiity to see
tbe borrors ebasiug ber. uow eouic tbey uot bear tbat awiui eiieliug
souuc' It seenec to crowu out aii otber uoises, risiug a|ove tbe ciu
oi traiiie ou \aµie Bouievarc, eveu ber owu barriec |reatbiug. Auc
it was growiug ioucer.
"iuter`s beart µouucec iu ber ebest, ber iuugs tbreateuec to
|urst. 8be was uo ruuuer. 8be was a sitter, au eater, a 1V-wateber.
1bis tyµe oi exereise was |eyouc ber. Ii sbe cicu`t stoµ soou sbe
was goiug to eoiiaµse iron exbaustiou.
Auotber souuc run|iec tbrougb tbe cenouie ebatteriug. au
eugiue. 8oneoue was criviug uµ |ebiuc ber. A truel |y tbe souuc
oi it. 1bere was a |iur oi notiou out oi tbe eoruer oi "iuter`s eye
as tbe truel overtool ber, junµec tbe eur|, auc sliccec to a uoisy
bait aeross tbe µaveneut. Iu ber eurreut state, "iuter was too
cisorieutatec to reaiise sbe`c seeu tbis vebieie |eiore - it was just
auotber o|staeie |ioeliug ber eseaµe. 8be was a|out to eireie
arouuc it wbeu tbe criver ieauec out oi tbe wiucow. "iuter ainost
weµt witb reiiei at tbe sigbt oi bis barriec, yet stiii reeoguisa|iy
|eautiiui, ieatures.
Quieliy, get iu:` Biale saic, |eelouiug urgeutiy to ber. uis gaze
cartec µast "iuter, carleuiug at wbat be saw tbere.
"iuter cicu`t ueec auy nore eueourageneut, uor cic sbe ueec
to see bow eiose tbe ereatures were. 8be eouic bear tben. 1beir
cenouie ebatteriug souucec ever eioser as sbe raeec to tbe truel.
Cuee iusice, sbe |areiy bac tine to eiose tbe coor |eiore Biale
siannec cowu tbe aeeeierator. 1be truel ieaµt iorwarc, its
noneutun µiuuiug ber agaiust tbe seat. Criµµiug tbe arnrest,
"iuter |raeec berseii as Biale seut tbe truel burtiiug |ael outo tbe
roac, uarrowiy nissiug a |iue niuivau. 1be criver`s boru |iastec
augriiy at tben as tbey sµec away.
Are you olay'` Biale aslec, eyes worrieciy iiieliug iron tbe
roac to "iuter.
8be eouicu`t auswer. 1bere cicu`t seen to |e euougb air iu ber
iuugs to iorn tbe worcs. uer iegs tbro||ec as ii soneoue bac
jannec rec-bot ueecies iuto ber sbius auc was siowiy twistiug
tben.
"iuter'` Biale aslec agaiu, eieariy trou|iec |y ber siieuee.
"bat . wbat are tbose tbiugs'` sbe nauagec to say at iast.
uer voiee souucec weal auc cistaut.
1bey`re eaiiec nauy uanes - souisnitbs, ierryneu, reaµers. I
luow tben as 8livers,` Biale saic griniy.
"iuter`s tbougbts sµuu as sbe triec to get a griµ ou berseii. "as
it µossi|ie to µbysieaiiy straiu your niuc tbe way you eouic a
nuseie' Ii so, sbe was iu cauger oi iujuriug berseii. uer baucs
startec to sbale uueoutroiia|iy, tbe eouvuisious sµreaciug cowu to
tbe rest oi ber |ocy. 1bere was tbe souuc oi teetb eiieliug togetber,
auc ior oue borriiyiug seeouc "iuter tbougbt it was tbe ereatures,
uutii sbe reaiisec it was ber owu teetb ebatteriug.
1bere was a nau |ael tbere,` sbe |egau, as ii tailiug it tbrougb
nigbt beiµ ber ceai witb it |etter. ue got bit |y a |us, auc tbeu
tbose tbiugs eane. 1be 8livers .`
Dic you see a rec iigbt iu bis eyes' Beiore tbe |us bit bin.`
"iuter turuec to bin, eager ior bis exµiauatiou. \es - wbat
coes it neau'`
1be iigbt is eaiiec tbe Ceeuiuna. Ii it was giowiug rec, iusteac
oi |iue, tbeu it neaus be was narlec ior barvestiug.`
Ceeu-`
Ceeuiuna. Iuvisi|ie to tbe ualec eye, exeeµt ior tbose witb tbe
8igbt. 1be Ceeuiuna is a way oi neasuriug soneoue`s iiie ioree.
1be |rigbter tbe |iue iiane |urus, tbe iouger you bave to iive. As
tbe iigbt ciniuisbes auc grows iaiut, tbe eioser we eone to ceatb.`
"iuter irowuec, uua|ie to leeµ uµ witb tbe iiow oi iuiornatiou.
Biale, siow cowu. I cou`t uucerstauc -`
Biale sbool bis beac, wreuebiug tbe steeriug wbeei to tbe rigbt
as be overtool a siow ear. 1bere`s uo tine, "iuter. \ou`re goiug
to bave to try to leeµ uµ. I luow bow eouiusiug tbis nust |e.`
8be uotieec bis eyes cart to tbe rear-view nirror auc ieit a sta|
oi iear. 8ureiy tbey`c ieit tbe 8livers iar |ebiuc' 1be truel was
noviug at a cizzyiugiy çuiel µaee, Biale exµertiy weaviug it iu auc
out oi gaµs tbrougb tbe aiteruoou traiiie. Auotber ear wouic bave
ciiiieuity leeµiug µaee witb tben, iet aioue tbree ereatures traveiiiug
ou ioot. 8tiii, sbe bac to see ior berseii, ii ouiy to |e eertaiu.
1eutativeiy, "iuter turuec .
Dou`t iool:` Biale waruec iron |esice ber, a seeouc too iate.
1be 8livers were stiii ioiiowiug. "iuter eouic see tbeir carl,
wraitbiile iorns cistortec iu tbe raiu-siielec giass. 1bey were
giiciug aiter Biale`s truel witb suµeruaturai iiuicity, tbe bens oi
tbeir |iael garneuts |areiy touebiug tbe grouuc. It cicu`t iool as ii
tbey were gaiuiug ou tben |ut tbey wereu`t iaiiiug away eitber.
"iuter siunµec iu tbe seat, a so| oi terror eseaµiug ber iiµs.
"iuter'`
1bis isu`t baµµeuiug.`
Biale sbot a iool iu ber cireetiou, aiarnec |y ber µaiior. 8be
was goiug iuto sboel.
"bat eau I co'`
1ail to ne, µiease,` "iuter |eggec. 8be ieit as tbougb ber
sauity was siiµµiug iree iron its nooriugs. ueiµ ne uucerstauc
wbat`s baµµeuiug.`
Clay, I`ii co ny |est. loeus ou ny voiee. 1ry uot to tbiul
a|out wbat`s |ebiuc us.`
As inµossi|ie as bis reçuest was, "iuter aµµreeiatec Biale`s
eiiort. It eouicu`t |e easy ior bin to eoueeutrate ou tbe roac auc
tail to ber at tbe sane tine. ue tool a ceeµ |reatb auc |egau.
"e aii bave a µatb, "iuter. A |egiuuiug auc au euc. Ii we ever
steµ oii tbis µatb, ii we avoic our µreorcaiuec euc, tbeu we |eeone
narlec. Cur Ceeuiuna ebauges eoiour. It turus iron |iue to rec.
1be nau you saw eariier, tbe oue wbo got bit |y tbe |us, nust bave
steµµec oii bis µatb. At sone µoiut |eiore tocay be sbouic bave
ciec auc cicu`t. Litber ou µurµose, |iiuc iuel or tbrougb soneoue
eise`s iuterveutiou, be eseaµec iate. Cuee tbis baµµeuec bis soui
|eeane iorieit.`
"iuter starec |iauliy abeac, watebiug tbe roac cisaµµear
|eueatb Biale`s truel. 1oo µreoeeuµiec witb ber owu iears, sbe
was baviug trou|ie µroeessiug bis worcs.
8oui'`
As gooc a worc as auy ior tbe iigbt tbat resices iu us aii.`
1bose tbiugs ebasiug us eau steai our sou/s'`
lut ou your seat|eit,` Biale suggestec, just |eiore wreuebiug
tbe steeriug wbeei vioieutiy to tbe rigbt as be swuug to overtale a
siow-noviug ear. "iuter was tbrowu agaiust bin, auc tbeu iiuug
µaiuiuiiy iuto tbe sice coor. leeiiug cazec, sbe straµµec tbe seat|eit
arouuc ber.
rot steai. kenove uucer eertaiu eireunstauees. 1bey eau`t just
tale auyoue`s soui,` Biale eoutiuuec. Cuiy tbose wbose Ceeuiuna
giows rec. 1bose wbo are uo iouger µart oi iiie`s µiau. Lveu tbeu,
tbe 8livers are |eboiceu to a set oi aueieut ruies. lor exanµie, tbey
are ior|icceu iron cireetiy attaeliug tbe iiviug.`
"bat co you neau' 1bey bave to wait uutii soneoue gets bit |y
a |us'`
Biale struggiec to µut tbe eoueeµt µiaiuiy. rot exaetiy. 1be
8livers are evii ereatures, tbeir very µreseuee cisruµts tbe uaturai
orcer oi tbiugs, taiuts µeoµie`s tbougbts, eauses aeeiceuts - iile tbe
|us bittiug tbe nau. 1bey iusµire iear auc creac. Citeu tbey eau use
tbis carl iuiiueuee to crive tbeir iuteucec vietin to tbe µoiut wbere
tbey tale tbeir owu iiie, otber tines it tales iouger. Lveutuaiiy,
tbougb, tbey aiways get wbat tbey waut.`
ue tool tbe turu-oii iuto uarris 8treet too iast, tbe truel`s tyres
sereaniug iu eonµiaiut, auc augiec towarcs Cwi \ouutaiu. "iuter
cicu`t luow wbere tbey were goiug, auc cicu`t eare. 8be just
wautec to get as iar away iron tbose tbiugs as µossi|ie. Lveu nore
so uow sbe bac au iuliiug oi wbat tbey were eaµa|ie oi.
Disorieutec, "iuter ioolec out tbe wiucow, |ut tbe view oi tbe
sboµirouts rusbiug |y nace ber ieei eveu iess iu eoutroi.
"by eau I see tben' "bat`s baµµeuec to ne'`
\ou`ve aiways bac tbe 8igbt, "iuter, tbe a|iiity to see tbe
iuvisi|ie. It`s just iaiu cornaut iusice you. Last uigbt ou tbe |eaeb
wbeu we .` Biale stoµµec binseii, as tbougb besitaut to neutiou
tbe stoieu liss. It awole tbis a|iiity. It wiii µro|a|iy wealeu over
tine, it nigbt uot, I`n uot sure. I cicu`t µiau ior auy oi tbis to
baµµeu.`
1be liss was tbe reasou |ebiuc aii tbis nacuess. Ii sbe`c uever
tbrowu berseii outo Biale, nay|e sbe wouic bave |eeu sµarec tbis
terror - tbis a|iiity be aiiucec to. 1be 8igbt.
"iuter`s niuc |uzzec witb çuestious, |ut |eiore sbe eouic asl
tben tbe worcs ciec ou ber iiµs. 8be starec at Biale`s eyes - at tbe
Ceeuiuna sbiuiug iu tben. It was greeu, ciiieriug iron tbe |iue auc
rec sµeetruns sbe`c seeu, |ut uo iess byµuotie.
Lool away, "iuter,` be saic çuietiy, eyes iixec ou tbe roac.
8be o|eyec, ieeiiug occiy guiity, as ii sbe`c giinµsec sonetbiug
µrivate, au asµeet oi Biale tbat be wasu`t eoniorta|ie sbariug witb
ber. 1uruiug ber atteutiou |ael to tbe roac, sbe saw tbat be was
criviug tben towarcs tbe iuterseetiou oi 8nitb auc kiiey 8treet -
oue oi tbe |usiest juuetious iu tbe Biuii. Aii tbougbts oi Biale`s
uuiçue Ceeuiuna were east asice wbeu sbe reaiisec witb aiarn tbat
tbeir µaee wasu`t siowiug. 1be traiiie iigbt was orauge, |ut auy
seeouc uow it wouic |e turuiug rec.
Biale aeeeieratec, swerviug arouuc tbe |raliug ears abeac oi
tben auc sµeeciug towarcs tbe iuterseetiou. "iuter eaugbt a
giinµse oi tbe traiiie iigbt iiasbiug rec just |eiore tbey erossec iuto
tbe µatb oi tbe oueoniug traiiie. 1be raiusweµt woric outsice tbe
truel succeuiy sbiitec iuto siow notiou. 8be o|servec iu startiiug
cetaii tbe ears aµµroaebiug tbrougb ber µasseuger wiucow, bearc
tbe sçueai oi tyres as tbe eiosest oue siannec ou tbe |rales.
Crittiug ber teetb, "iuter µreµarec berseii ior tbe inµaet, |ut at
tbe iast iustaut Biale nauagec to swerve, avoiciug tbe slicciug ear
eareeuiug towarcs tben. ue nauoeuvrec tbe truel saieiy tbrougb to
tbe otber sice, a eaeoµbouy oi borus |iariug iu its wale.
"iuter siowiy uueieuebec ber jaw. uow nueb nore oi tbis eouic
sbe tale' Biale bac iaiieu siieut |esice ber, eoueeutratiug aii bis
atteutiou ou criviug. "ary oi cistraetiug bin iurtber, a uew çuestiou
uow oeeurrec to "iuter, oue tbat seenec µartieuiariy µertiueut
giveu tbe situatiou.
"by are tbey ebasiug us, Biale'` sbe aslec, resistiug tbe urge
to iool |ebiuc ber. \ou saic tbose tbiugs - tbe 8livers - are
crawu |y tbe rec Ceeuiuna. 1bat tbey eau`t just eut tbe souis out oi
auyoue tbey waut. "by wouic tbey .`
"iuter traiiec oii, ber noutb succeuiy cry. !o. ìt cou/dnt le!
I`ii exµiaiu iater,` Biale resµoucec, bastiiy iiiiiug ber siieuee iu
as tbougb boµiug to stoµ ber tbougbts iron beaciug iurtber cowu
tbe caugerous eourse sbe`c startec. "beu we`re saie.`
"iuter barciy bearc bin. 8be was |areiy aware oi auytbiug auy
nore exeeµt tbe eoic, creac eertaiuty tbat was iorniug. 1be run|ie
oi tbe truel, tbe raiu sµatteriug agaiust tbe wiucows, ber wet eiotbes
- auytbiug tetberiug ber to tbe bere auc uow iost its eousisteuey as
sbe witbcrew iuto berseii. It ieit as tbougb sbe was |ael ou Jessie,
burtiiug towarcs tbe ecge oi tbe eiiii, rusbiug iuto a carl iate
inµossi|ie to avoic.
"iuter'` Agaiu, sbe bearc Biale`s voiee, nore iusisteut tbis
tine. uer baucs tren|iiug, "iuter reaebec uµ auc grasµec tbe rear-
view nirror, augiiug it towarcs ber. Iu a seeouc, sbe saw ber iears
reaiisec iu tbe giass.
Biale iiielec tbe nirror away iron ber iu a iutiie attenµt to bice
tbe reiieetiou iron ber.
I wisb you bacu`t seeu tbat,` be saic saciy.
thaµter 41
"iuter sçueezec ber eyes sbut, tryiug to |ioel out tbe inage. It was
uo use. Lveu witb ber eyes eiosec sbe eouic stiii viviciy see ber
irigbteuec, µaie reiieetiou. Auc ber eyes . tbe erinsou tougues oi
iire |uruiug iu tbe ceµtbs oi ber eyes. 1be rec Ceeuiuna. row sbe
uucerstooc wby tbe 8livers were ebasiug tben. uer soui was
narlec ior barvestiug. 8be was suµµosec to |e ceac.
1brougb tbe carluess sbe bearc Biale say, I`n goiug to get you
tbrougb tbis, "iuter,` auc sbe boµec tbe iael oi eouvietiou iu bis
voiee was just ber inagiuatiou. It souucec as tbougb be was tryiug
to eouviuee binseii as nueb as reassure ber.
"beu sbe oµeuec ber eyes agaiu, "iuter saw tbat tbey`c µassec
tbrougb tbe eeutre oi towu auc were beaciug cowu \osscowu
8treet towarcs tbe woocs ou tbe outslirts. Cwi \ouutaiu ioonec
iu tbe cistauee, its µeal wreatbec iu teucriis oi nist.
"beu . wbeu was I suµµosec to cie'` sbe wbisµerec
boarseiy, iear steaiiug ber voiee.
Biale besitatec a noneut |eiore ausweriug. 1be ebureb. I
sbouic uever bave iuterveuec.`
Ci eourse: Lver siuee Biale bac reseuec ber iron liigrin`s
Laneut, "iuter bac ieit ber su|seçueut cays staiuec |y a carl
sbacow. 1be iigures sbe`c seeu iu nirrors, tbe cistur|iug creans, aii
tbese trou|iiug eveuts uow nace seuse iu iigbt oi tbe iuiornatiou
sbe`c iearuec. uer niuc raeec, iiuliug tbe uear-erasb ou \aµie
Bouievarc, tbe iaiiiug iigbt iu tbe suri eiu|, auc |eiug ioreec over tbe
eiiii, to tbe naiiguaut µreseuee oi tbe 8livers. 1bey were |ac iuel
iuearuate - it was anaziug sbe`c survivec tbis ioug.
I tbougbt tbey eouicu`t attael tbeir vietins cireetiy' 1bere were
ruies .` sbe aslec, cesµerateiy gra||iug at tbe iueousisteuey.
Biale sbool bis beac. 1be 8igbt iet you see tben iu tbeir true
iorn. rot as sbacows or uigbtnares, |ut as tbey exist ou tbe
sµeetrai µiaue. Cuee tbis visuai eoutaet is nace it reucers tbe
eoutraet voic. 1be 8livers eau tale you wbeuever tbey waut.`
As ber sboel siowiy |egau to wear oii, "iuter ieit iile sbe nigbt
|e siel. 8ueliug iu air to çueii ber eburuiug uausea, sbe eouicu`t
stoµ cweiiiug ou ber iate. 1bose tbiugs were eoniug ior ber very
soui - wbat wouic baµµeu ii tbey sueeeecec iu taliug it' "ouic sbe
µass ou to au aiteriiie' "iul out iile a eaucie' Be canuec ior aii
eteruity'
"by cic you co it, Biale'` sbe aslec, ber voiee eraeliug
siigbtiy. Ii you luew wbat was goiug to baµµeu - wby cic you save
ne'`
ue swaiiowec, bis exµressiou µaiuec. uow eouic I uot'`
"iuter ioolec over auc saw tbe iear sbacowiug bis baucsone
ieatures. rot ior binseii. lor ber. Lveu uow, iu tbe eiutebes oi ber
owu aii-eousuniug creac, sbe batec luowiug sbe was tbe eause oi
bis auguisb.
"e ueec to iiuc sonewbere carl,` Biale saic, voiee tbiel witb
uew resoive.
I`n sorry'` "iuter wasu`t sure sbe`c bearc bin eorreetiy.
ueiµ ne iool ior au oµeu garage. 8onewbere tbe iigbt oi cay
eau`t reaeb.`
\ou`re uot naliug auy seuse:`
1rust ne.`
"iuter sçuiutec tbrougb tbe raiu-snearec wiucows at tbe tigbtiy
eiusterec bouses iiasbiug |y outsice. 8be nigbt uot luow wby sbe
was iooliug ior a garage, |ut sbe ioolec auyway. ue bacu`t
ueecec to asl ber to trust bin. kigbt uow "iuter was wiiiiug to co
µretty nueb auytbiug Biale toic ber. ue was ber ouiy iigbt iu tbe
carluess, tbe ouiy boµe sbe bac oi survivai.
Biale`s truel roarec iuto Deut Creseeut, wbieb, cesµite its
µiaiu-souuciug uane, was oue oi tbe nore aiiiueut ioeatious iu
uagau`s Biuii. rot as |uuebec togetber as iu tbe µreeeciug streets,
tbese grauc bones were sµaeec wiceiy aµart iu iarge tree-sµottec
µroµerties. \ost bac roony garages tbe size oi "iuter`s bouse.
Luiortuuateiy, aii oi tben aµµearec to |e eiosec.
Biale`s eyes succeuiy iixec ou a ioeatiou. 1bere:`
"iuter saw tbe oµeu garage Biale bac sµottec. It was acjoiuiug
a bouse ereetec iu tbe 1ucor styie, tbe arebiteeturai naguiiieeuee
sonewbat taruisbec |y tbree µiastie iianiugos sµroutiug iron tbe
garceu |ec. Litber tbe owuers bac a wbinsieai seuse oi bunour or
çuestioua|ie taste. Lueliiy, tbere were uo ears µarlec iu tbe
garage, wbieb neaut tbey`c iorgotteu to eiose it |ebiuc tben, or
tbere was sone|ocy bone. Lviceutiy tbis iast µossi|iiity cicu`t
|otber Biale as be µuiiec over auc |rougbt tbe truel to a jucceriug
stoµ at tbe |ase oi tbe criveway.
"iuter sbot auotber terriiiec giauee at tbe rear wiucow. 1be
8livers eoutiuuec to |ear cowu ou tben. 1bey were two |ioels
away, eiosiug tbe cistauee witb irigbteuiug sµeec.
Biale:`
I luow. kuu:`
Iu ber µauielec state, "iuter cicu`t çuite uucerstauc wbat be
wautec ber to co - wby bac tbey stoµµec bere agaiu' 8eeiug tbe
eouiusiou iu ber iaee, Biale ieauec aeross auc µusbec tbe
µasseuger coor oµeu ior ber. kuu, "iuter: Iuto tbe garage.`
"iuter junµec out oi tbe truel auc stun|iec uµ tbe raiu-siielec
criveway. 8be bearc Biale sian tbe truel coor |ebiuc ber auc bis
ieet siaµµiug ou tbe wet eouerete as be casbec to eateb uµ. 1bey
erossec iuto tbe sbacow oi tbe garage, auc Biale ieit "iuter
stauciug eouiusec iu its eeutre as be searebec ior tbe coor eoutroi.
At iast tbe garage coor |egau to iower witb a iouc µueunatie biss.
But siowiy - so siowiy.
"iuter eouicu`t see tbe 8livers, |ut jucgiug |y tbe sµeec at
wbieb tbey novec, sbe iearec tbey were eiose. Auy seeouc uow,
sbe exµeetec to see tben siice tbrougb tbe sbriuliug gaµ |etweeu
tbe iioor auc tbe garage coor iile uigbtnarisb |iael suales.
\ereiiuiiy, tbe coor iiuaiiy eiuulec to a bait auc tbe roon was
µiuugec iuto a nurly baii-iigbt. "iuter triec cesµerateiy to leeµ
berseii togetber. A|ove ber tbe raiu |eat a staeeato rbytbn as it
struel tbe garage`s tiu rooi, leeµiug tine witb ber owu irautie
beart|eat.
Littie cetaiis stooc out as ber niuc eataioguec wbat nigbt very
weii |e tbe iast µiaee sbe`c ever see. 8tauciug iu tbe gioon, sbe
eouic nale out a snaii oii sµot ou tbe eouerete iioor, au oic µeauut
|utter jar iuii oi rusty uaiis sittiug ou tbe worl|eueb, a grass-
eoverec iawunower µusbec agaiust tbe waii.
Biale'` "iuter bearc berseii say çuietiy.
\es'` be auswerec iu cistraetec toues. ue was |usy |ioeliug a
wiucow witb au oic sbeet be`c iouuc stuiiec uucer tbe |eueb.
"bat co tbey co witb tbe souis tbey tale'`
ue µausec, |eiore reµiyiug iirniy, \ou`re uever goiug to bave
to iiuc out.` liuisbiug witb tbe sbeet, be returuec to wbere sbe was
stauciug. 1ale ny baucs.`
"iuter siiµµec ber eoic, wet baucs iuto bis, astouisbec at bow
warn tbey ieit. 1bougb it was very carl iusice tbe garage uow,
sone yeiiowisb iigbt stiii seeµec tbrougb tbe grine-euerustec
wiucow over tbe worl|eueb. By its sieliy giow, "iuter eouic see
bis iaee, tbe iurrowec |row |eueatb bis |iael euris, eyes |uruiug
|rigbtiy witb tbe Ceeuiuna. kigbt uow sbe cicu`t eare wbat tbe
sµeetrai greeu iigbt siguiiiec or tbat it narlec bin as uuiçue anoug
tbe otbers sbe`c seeu. 8be`c aiways luowu Biale was ciiiereut, ieit
it iu ber beart tbat very iirst iustaut tbeir eyes bac net. "batever
seeret iurlec |ebiuc tbose cazziiug eneraic iianes wouicu`t ebauge
ber ieeiiugs ior bin.
I cou`t regret lissiug you.` Ii tbis was to |e oue oi ber iast
noneuts, it was inµortaut Biale luew tbat. 1bat be uucerstooc
bow nueb tbe liss bac neaut to ber - bow nueb neaut to ber.
I`n giac,` Biale saic, bis iaee soiteuiug. A iaiut sniie µiayec
aeross bis iiµs |eiore be eiosec bis eyes. row, cou`t say auotber
worc. I bave to eoueeutrate.`
"iuter uoccec auc waitec.
rotbiug baµµeuec.
Biale oµeuec bis eyes auc exbaiec iu irustratiou. It`s too |rigbt
iu bere.`
"iuter stiii cicu`t uucerstauc wby be ueecec it to |e carl, or
eveu wbat tbey were coiug iu tbis garage. It ieit as tbougb sbe`c
stun|iec iuto a crean wbere tbe ruies oi reaiity ar|itrariiy ebaugec
every iive niuutes or so. 1be çuaiity oi iigbt iu tbe roon sbiitec
siigbtiy as a sbacow novec iu irout oi tbe wiucow.
8be ioolec µast Biale`s sbouicer auc ieit a serean rise iu ber
tbroat. 1bey`re bere:`
1be 8livers bac siieutiy nateriaiisec iu tbe garage auc were
aµµroaebiug "iuter auc Biale iron tbree seµarate sices. 1bey
|egau eiieliug exeiteciy to oue auotber. 1be \aster starec at
"iuter, its o|siciau eyes |oriug iuto ber owu. 1bere was uo nerey
iu tbat |iaeluess, uo bunauity. Just eoic iuteut.
Biale eiosec bis eyes agaiust tbe 8livers, bis |row luittiug iu
eoueeutratiou.
uoic ou tigbt.`
1buucer run|iec overbeac (or was it iusice'). 1be seeue |ebiuc
bin sbinnerec, as tbougb reiieetec outo a nirror - a nirror tbat
was |eiug |eut auc warµec auc stretebec - |eiore exµiociug iuto a
niiiiou sbarcs. 1bere was au eneraic-tiugec carluess, iiiiiug
"iuter`s visiou, swaiiowiug tben wboie.
thaµter 44
"iuter luew sbe wasu`t ceac tbis tine, |ut baviug tbat luowiecge
cicu`t nale it auy easier to aeeeµt wbat sbe was seeiug. 1bey were
iiyiug agaiu. liyiug tbrougb tbe sane carl slies tbey bac tbe
µrevious uigbt. Biale was at ber sice, stiii boiciug ber bauc. ue
sniiec reassuriugiy, auc "iuter luew tbat as ioug as sbe beic outo
bin sbe wouic |e saie.
1be µeriune oi tbis strauge µiaee iiiiec ber uostriis auc iuugs.
8be |reatbec it iu euriousiy, nore eouseious oi tbe eiieet it bac ou
ber tbau iast tine. As |eiore, tbe seeutec air eainec "iuter,
sootbiug ber iears iile au oµiate. 1be inniueut tbreat oi tbe 8livers
seenec to iace iurtber away witb eaeb |reatb.
1bey criitec eioser to tbe eioucs |eiow, auc "iuter |egau to
see giinµses oi tbe carl sbaµes oi tbe eity tbrougb tbe grey veii.
uere auc tbere a µartieuiariy an|itious strueture |role tbrougb tbe
nisty eauoµy, |aeliit |y tbe eneraic |iasts oi iigbt issuiug iron tbe
weiis |eueatb. 8be eouic just nale out µeoµie stauciug arouuc
tbese eireuiar eavities, arns raµturousiy outstretebec, waitiug ior tbe
uext geyser oi iigbt to eruµt. Beiis ebinec eiose |y, growiug ioucer,
nore byµuotie.
Distautiy, "iuter ieit Biale sçueeze ber bauc auc sbe nauagec
to wreueb ber gaze iron tbe weiis. ue was stariug at ber iuteuseiy,
bis noutb iorniug worcs, worcs sbe eouic |areiy nale out tbrougb
tbe carluess - Ðont /ook!` 8µeeeb cicu`t seen to exist iu tbis
µiaee, yet "iuter eaugbt tbe urgeuey oi bis waruiug. It was ciiiieuit
to o|ey. 1be sigbts oi tbe eity |eggec to |e seeu.
Abeac oi tben a snaii µateb oi wbite iigbt aµµearec iu tbe sly,
iile a cistaut coorway |eiug oµeuec iu a carleuec roon. "iuter
ieit tbeir iiigbt su|tiy ebauge eourse as Biale µuiiec tben towarcs its
iaiut giow, wbieb seenec µaitry auc iusiguiiieaut eonµarec to tbe
raciauee oi tbe eity |eiow. 1be iigbt grew strouger as tbey uearec it,
|ut tbe oµeuiug was snaii, so snaii tbat Biale bac to µuii "iuter
eiose to bin to iit tbrougb tbe gaµ togetber.
Beiore tbey µassec iron tbis gbost woric, "iuter tool oue iast
|reatb, wautiug to boic as nueb oi tbat iutoxieatiug seeut iu ber
|ocy as µossi|ie, auc tbeu tbey were sonewbere eise.
"iuter`s iive seuses struggiec to aeeeµt tbe a|ruµt ebauge iu
euvirouneut. 1bere was sonetbiug eoic auc gritty |eueatb ber
iiugertiµs - soii. 8be eouic bear raiu iaiiiug sonewbere iar a|ove.
lee|ie grey iigbt seeµec iu iron au oµeuiug µast ber beac, |ut it
was uot euougb ior ber to see tbe |ouucaries oi tbis sµaee.
"batever tbis µiaee was it was carl, eranµec auc cirty. 8be
|iiulec iu tbe nurl, ber beac ieeiiug euriousiy beavy. Inages oi tbe
gbost eity iiasbec iu irout oi ber eyes - tbe towers |realiug tbrougb
tbe eioucs, tbe iigbt weiis . "iuter eouic stiii taste tbe µeriune oi
tbe air ou ber tougue, its seeut sootbiug iu tbis eoic, cirty µiaee. 8be
ieit tirec, so tirec. uer eyeiics |egau to crooµ, tbe voic |eelouec
.
8oneoue`s sbucceriug |reatb eeboec oii tbe waiis auc |rougbt
ber noneutariiy |ael to berseii - 8/ake!
8be oµeuec ber noutb to eaii out bis uane, |ut eouic ouiy
nauage a wbisµer.
Biale'`
"iuter'` uis voiee souucec as ii it was eoniug iron very iar
away.
8be triec to turu ber beac towarcs wbere bis voiee bac eone
iron, |ut iaelec tbe streugtb. 1be strauge ietbargy tbat bac µiaguec
ber iast uigbt bac stoieu over ber agaiu. uer visiou |egau to swin,
auc tbeu carleu. "iuter ieit tbe carluess, eiosiug iu. 8be was
criitiug, iaiiiug .
8oneoue was gra||iug boic oi ber sbouicers auc geutiy µuiiiug
ber aeross tbe grouuc. Iu ber senieouseious state, "iuter eouic ieei
cirt sµiiiiug iuto ber sbirt auc jeaus as sbe was craggec aioug.
8onetbiug seratebec agaiust ber ebeel auc sonetbiug barc auc
|iuut ja||ec ber tbigb, |ut tbese seusatious were cistaut, ainost as
tbougb tbey were baµµeuiug to auotber µersou.
Aiter wbat eouic bave |eeu iive niuutes or iive bours, "iuter
iiuaiiy ieit berseii |eiug µuiiec iuto tbe oµeu air. Iey raiu sµriuliec
cowu outo ber iaee, |ut stiii sbe eouicu`t rouse berseii to iuii
eouseiousuess. Biale iiitec ber uµ iuto bis arns. 1beu sbe was |eiug
earriec.
uer beac ioiiiug, "iuter nauagec to raise ber eyeiics a iraetiou,
auc reeoguisec tbrougb ber |iurry visiou tbe twistec naguoiia tree iu
irout oi tbe Veiaseo µiaee. 1bere was a snaii boie iu tbe truul
ieaciug cowu iuto tbe carl, boiiow ceµtbs. It was just |ig euougb to
erawi tbrougb. Jucgiug |y tbe cirty iootµriuts iu tbe grass ieaciug
away iron tbe tree, "iuter guessec tbat was wbere tbey`c
aµµearec. Iu ber crean-state, tbis ainost nace seuse to ber.
"iuter'` Biale saic iron a great cistauee.
"iuter eouicu`t auswer bin. 8be was siiµµiug ceeµer iuto tbe
carluess agaiu.
Deeµer .
thaµter 4s
A eioel was tieliug sonewbere.
1bere was auotber souuc, eioser . a strauge eraeliiug auc
µoµµiug souuc. "iuter ieit beat raciatiug agaiust ber iaee. 8iowiy,
ber eyes iiutterec oµeu.
ßhece was she`
8be was iyiug ou a ieatber eoueb iu au uuianiiiar roon. As ber
eyes ioeusec, "iuter eouic see beavy eurtaius crawu aeross tbe
wiucows aioug tbe iar waii. 1be eraels oi siivery iigbt |etweeu tbe
eurtaius suggestec tbat it was stiii caytine. "iuter eouic ouiy guess
bow ioug sbe`c |eeu asieeµ. It nigbt |e tonorrow ior aii sbe luew.
1be eooi ieatber |eueatb ber erealec soitiy as sbe sbiitec ber
weigbt.
1bere were strauge sbacows µiayiug aeross tbe eeiiiug. 1bey
iiielerec auc caueec, sbiitiug iu tbe iireiigbt. "iuter ioolec cowu
towarcs tbe euc oi tbe eoueb auc saw tbe iireµiaee. kec auc yeiiow
tougues oi iiane geutiy iielec at a µiie oi ebareoaiec wooc iu tbe
grate.
Couiusec, sbe raisec ber beac auc saw tbat sbe wasu`t aioue iu
tbe roon. Biale was sittiug aeross iron ber iu a custy arnebair, a
eoiiee ta|ie iyiug |etweeu tben. ue was asieeµ. Aitbougb be was
stiii |eautiiui iu reµose, sbe uotieec witb eoueeru tbat bis ieatures
were µaie auc siigbtiy ieverisb. uis tbiel |iael euris were µastec to
bis iorebeac witb sweat, bis eiotbes were cisbeveiiec, eoverec witb
cirt.
A rusb oi inages iioocec ber niuc - tbe 8livers, tbe ebase, tbe
garage, iiyiug tbrougb tbat carl sly a|ove tbe eity, tbe boiiow oi tbe
naguoiia tree iu tbe irout yarc. Biale nust bave earriec ber iusice -
lut wece the; sa/e hece` Lariier iu tbe weel, sbe`c bearc tbe
8livers iu tbe woocs outsice. "bat was stoµµiug tben iron
returuiug' lauie seiziug ber, "iuter sat |oit uµrigbt, cisiocgiug tbe
giuger ta||y tbat bac |eeu euriec uµ ou ber iegs.
1be eat junµec oii "iuter auc outo tbe iioor wbere it giarec at
ber reµroaebiuiiy |eiore µacciug aeross to Biale.
1bis notiou rousec bin, bis eyeiics iiutterec oµeu. \ou`re
awale.` 1be eat euriec uµ iuto a |aii at bis ieet, eiosiug oue eye auc
leeµiug tbe otber iuniuous yeiiow oue traiuec ou "iuter.
Are we saie'`
\es,` Biale auswerec boarseiy. ue beic a iist uµ to bis noutb,
nuiiiiug a eougb. As ioug as you`re witbiu tbese waiis tbe 8livers
eau`t reaeb you.`
uer gaze cartec ieariuiiy to tbe wiucows. I saw oue oi tbose
tbiugs reaeb iuto a nau`s ebest. "bat`s stoµµiug tben wailiug rigbt
tbrougb tbe waiis'`
I`ve set uµ µroteetious arouuc tbe bouse. "arcs cesiguec to
leeµ tben out. Beiieve ne, "iuter, you`re saie.`
"iuter tool a ceeµ |reatb. Desµite Biale`s reassurauees, sbe
eouicu`t eonµieteiy cisµei tbe iear tbat eiutebec at ber eveu uow.
8be was a eoucenuec soui - Biale bac saic as nueb. uow ioug
eouic tbis saiety iast' As sbe eousicerec tbis çuestiou sbe was
cistraetec |y sonetbiug iyiug ou tbe eoiiee ta|ie |etweeu tben. Au
o|jeet tbat ioolec straugeiy ianiiiar. Leauiug eioser ior a |etter
iool, "iuter saw it was ber nissiug µbotograµb. tbe iiawec
graveyarc inage tbat bac cisaµµearec iron ber |ag.
I stoie it iron you.`
8be ioolec uµ iron tbe µbotograµb at Biale watebiug ber
tbrougb tbe iiieleriug carluess.
"by'`
Biale tool a noneut to auswer. lirst, iet ne asl you a
çuestiou, "iuter.`
8be µiaeec tbe µbotograµb |ael ou tbe ta|ie. Asl ne
auytbiug.`
uave you ever eone aeross a ioelec coor'`
Ci eourse I bave,` "iuter auswerec eautiousiy, uusure ii sbe
was nissiug sone ceeµer inµiieatiou.
Let ne reµbrase tbe çuestiou,` Biale saic, bis eyes giitteriug iu
tbe iireiigbt. uave you ever eone aeross a coor you eouicu`t
oµeu' 1biul |eiore you auswer.`
8tiii very eouiusec, "iuter cic as be aslec ber, auc was
surµrisec |y wbat sbe reeaiiec. Cr wbat sbe eouicu`t reeaii. It was
inµossi|ie, oi eourse. 1bere nust bave |eeu sone tine iu ber iiie
wbeu sbe`c triec a coor auc |eeu uua|ie to oµeu it.
\ou eau`t tbiul oi a siugie tine, eau you'` Biale saic, stucyiug
ber eioseiy.
I`n sure I bave, |ut I eau`t renen|er oue rigbt uow.`
Lariier, I saic tbat you`c aiways bac tbe 8igbt. 1be a|iiity bac
sinµiy iaiu cornaut.`
"iuter cicu`t ueec reniuciug. 8be eouic see tbe eviceuee
giowiug iu Biale`s eyes, tbe tiuy eneraic sµarls oi tbe Ceeuiuna.
\es.`
1bis was uot tbe iinit oi your uutaµµec µoteutiai. \ou`re a key,
"iuter.`
"iuter |auilec at tbe tern. I`n a wbat'`
A key,` be reµeatec µatieutiy. \ou bave tbe µower to oµeu
ioelec coors.`
8be raisec au eye|row seeµtieaiiy. \ost µeoµie eau co tbat.`
rot iile you. 1bere are otber µiaees, otber worics, |esices tbis
oue. \ou eau oµeu gateways to tbese worics - or eiose tben. It is
a rare auc µoweriui giit.`
"iuter tool a noneut to µroeess tbis. 8be ioolec cowu at ber
baucs, tryiug to giinµse a sigu oi tbis anaziug µower Biale saic sbe
µossessec. uer baucs ioolec iile sbe ieit - eonµieteiy
uurenarla|ie.
uow eau you |e sure I`n oue oi tbese keys¨'`
Biale sbiitec siigbtiy, as tbougb tbe çuestiou uuuervec bin. I
eouic teii iron tbe iirst noneut I saw you aeross tbe graveyarc.
1bere`s a uuiçue iigbt iu your eyes tbat`s ciiiereut iron tbe
Ceeuiuna. A goiceu iigbt visi|ie ouiy to soneoue iile ne. It`s very
ciiiieuit to resist.` uis eyes ioelec outo bers. kigbt uow, I waut
you nore tbau I`ve ever wautec auytbiug iu ny eutire iiie.`
1be roon seenec to bave succeuiy growu nueb botter. "iuter
wet ber cry iiµs, attenµtiug to retaiu ber eonµosure. Cuiy |eeause
oi tbis iigbt iu ny eyes'`
1bougb tbriiiec |y bis eouiessiou, cisaµµoiutneut tenµerec ber
exeiteneut. ue cicu`t waut ber ior ber niuc, ber µersouaiity, or ber
iools - just tbis iuvisi|ie iigbt.
Biale ieauec iorwarc, bis voiee soiteuiug. Cuiy iu tbe |egiuuiug.
It was sonetbiug I bac uo eoutroi over. row, tbougb .`
Co ou,` "iuter urgec.
Auuoyauee iiasbec aeross bis iaee. ue wasu`t eoniorta|ie
sbowiug tbis vuiuera|iiity.
\ou sbouic |e airaic oi ne:`
"by'`
Aiter iast uigbt I tbougbt it wouic |e µretty eiear.`
"iuter ieit ebaiieugec to ceieuc ber nenory. Last uigbt was
anaziug:`
I ueariy liiiec you.` Biale giowerec at ber a noneut iouger
|eiore iaiiiug |ael iuto bis ebair, exbaustec iron tbe exebauge.
"iuter was sboelec iuto siieuee. 8be renen|erec tbe aiarniug
ietbargy tbat bac stoieu over ber ou tbe |eaeb - he had done that
to hec` "atebiug bin |roociug iu tbe iireiigbt, sbe iiuaiiy nusterec
tbe uerve to asl tbe çuestiou tbat bac |eeu iurliug at tbe |ael oi
ber niuc ever siuee be`c µuiiec ber out oi tbis woric auc taleu ber
to auotber. "bat are you'`
Biale`s eyes wiceuec siigbtiy |eiore cartiug to tbe iianes,
avoiciug ber gaze agaiu. A nouster.`
I cou`t |eiieve tbat.`
\ou wiii.` ue sigbec ceeµiy, eiosiug bis eyes. "beu be oµeuec
tben agaiu, tbey bac taleu ou a bauutec çuaiity, sbacowec |y tbe
nenory oi tbe taie be was a|out to teii.
1wo tbousauc years ago tbere was a youug giri wbo iivec iu a
viiiage bigb iu tbe Carµatbiau \ouutaius, ou tbe |orcer oi wbat is
uow luowu as konauia. uer uane was Lanara auc sbe was
reverec |y tbe otber viiiagers as au oraeie, soneoue wbo eouic
eonnuuieate witb tbe gocs. Cue cay ber notber ieii ceatbiy iii.
1erriiiec oi iosiug ber, Lanara |eseeebec tbe gocs to sµare ber
notber`s iiie. 1be gocs erueiiy ebose to iguore ber µrayers, uo
natter bow ioug sbe µrayec, bow nauy saeriiiees sbe nace to
tben.
Lanara grew irustratec, augry tbat tbey wouic a|aucou ber
uow iu ber tine oi ueec. Lsµeeiaiiy aiter cevotiug ber iiie to tbeir
wiii. 8be resoivec tbat ii tbey wouic uot iisteu to ber tbeu sbe wouic
iiuc a way to travei to tbe aiteriiie auc nale tben iisteu.
\ou see, Lanara bac a µower greater tbau tbat oi a nere
sootbsayer. Lile you, "iuter, sbe was a key - µerbaµs tbe iirst.
8be set a|out eoustruetiug a ceviee, a µortai eraitec iron µoiisbec
o|siciau. 8be boµec tbis Biael \irror, as it was eveutuaiiy eaiiec,
nigbt tale ber to tbe gocs. Iusteac, sbe oµeuec a coorway to
sonewbere eise. a µiaee eaiiec tbe Deac Laucs.
1bere sbe eane aeross a eity - kryµtbia, beart oi tbe Deac
Laucs.`
"iuter oµeuec ber noutb to asl ii tbis was tbe gbost eity sbe`c
seeu, |ut Biale autieiµatec ber çuestiou.
\es. \ou`ve giinµsec tbis eity twiee uow, auc I`n sure you`ve
ieit its secuetive µower. Lanara eertaiuiy cic. 8be was |ewitebec
|y tbe terri|ie |eauty oi kryµtbia auc oi tbe |eiugs tbat cweit tbere.
tbe \aiiaerie.` Biale`s sieliy eonµiexiou µaiec eveu iurtber. I
inagiue sbe tbougbt tbey were augeis at iirst. 8o |eautiiui, so
uueartbiy. Lutii tbey |egau to ieec ou ber.`
leec'` "iuter aslec uervousiy.
1be \aiiaerie erave tbe uuiçue esseuee tbat exists iusice
nortais - tbe iiie ioree, tbe soui. It`s iile a crug to tben. uowever,
tbey are uua|ie to travei bere to tale it tbenseives. 1be Deac
Laucs are uot ouiy tbeir bone, |ut tbeir µrisou. 1bere are otber
ereatures tbat iive iu tbe Deac Laucs wbieb are uot restrietec iu tbis
way. \ou`ve seeu tbese as weii.`
1be 8livers,` "iuter iiuisbec ior bin, sbiveriug at tbe nenory
oi tbe |iael-eyec cenous.
Iu returu ior barvestiug souis, tbe \aiiaerie aiiow tbe 8livers to
criul iron tbeir iigbt weiis. 1bere is au euergy souree |eueatb
kryµtbia, a vast reservoir oi µower. 1be 8livers yearu to |atbe iu
tbe raciauee oi tbis euergy, iustiug aiter it just as tbe \aiiaerie eovet
souis.` Biale sueerec iu cisgust. Iu a eireie oi accietiou, tbe
\aiiaerie auc 8livers ieec eaeb otber`s aµµetites.`
"iuter iiasbec uµou tbe carl iigures sbe`c o|servec eueireiiug
tbe iigbt weiis. 8be renen|erec tbe way tbey stooc witb tbeir arns
outstretebec, waitiug ior tbe eerie iigbt to issue iortb auc raiu cowu
uµou tben.
Lucerstauciug tbis siel cesire, you eau inagiue bow Lanara
was sonetbiug to |e µrizec,` Biale eoutiuuec. Au euciess souree
oi sweet vitaiity to tbe \aiiaerie wbo µossessec ber, so ioug as tbey
eouic restraiu tbenseives iron craiuiug ber eonµieteiy. I inagiue
great |atties were iougbt over tbe rigbt to ieec oii ber. 8onebow
sbe nauagec to eseaµe tbe Deac Laucs auc iiuc ber way |ael to
tbis woric. 8be cic uot returu aioue. Lanara was witb ebiic. A baii-
|reec - µart nortai, µart \aiiaerie. 1be iirst oi ny liuc. 1be iirst
Denori.`
Denori'` "iuter`s |row eriuliec.
It`s au oic worc tbat neaus Darl 1raveiier¨,` Biale eiariiiec
ior ber. Iu tine, Lanara gave |irtb to a sou auc uanec bin
Arinau. 8be triec to raise bin as a nortai ebiic - a nistale. Arinau
was strouger tbau tbe otber ebiicreu, iaster. ue eouic see tbiugs
tbey eouicu`t, iire caueiug iu tbeir eyes tbat sµole to bin oi tbeir
iragiie nortaiity - tbe Ceeuiuna. Iu tine be ciseoverec otber giits.
ue iearuec be eouic 1ravei |etweeu tbis woric auc tbe Deac
Laucs, eoveriug vast cistauees iu a noneut witb tbe ease oi
erossiug iron oue roon to auotber. 1bougb tbis µartieuiar giit eane
witb a eaveat. it ouiy worlec uucer tbe eover oi carluess. 1be
giare oi tbe suu ro||ec bin oi tbis a|iiity. Duriug tbe cayiigbt bours
be eouic stiii 1ravei, |ut bis cestiuatiou µoiuts were iinitec to areas
|ioelec oii iron tbe iigbt. ue eaiiec it sbacow junµiug.`
"iuter uoccec, tbiuliug |ael to eariier iu tbe aiteruoou wbeu
Biale bac sougbt tbe sbeiter oi carluess to eseaµe tbe 8livers.
1bese triµs to tbe Deac Laucs cenaucec euergy, auc wbeu be
returuec Arinau wouic |e wealeuec. ue exµerieueec a eriµµiiug
buuger. A buuger tbat wouicu`t |e satisiiec, uo natter bow nueb be
ate or craul. 1bere was ouiy oue tbiug tbat wouic sate bin. iiie.
Draiuec iron auotber iiviug |eiug tbrougb tbe noutb. 1brougb a
liss. A ceaciy liss. ue nace tbis terri|ie ciseovery tbe iirst tine be
returuec iron tbe Deac Laucs auc eane aeross bis notber.`
"iuter`s noutb ieii oµeu iu borror. ue liiiec Lanara.`
rot ou µurµose. \ou nust renen|er tbe iigbt oi a key eaiis to
ny liuc iile uo otber. "e resµouc to it ou au iustiuetuai ievei,
reeoguisiug tbe uuiçue asµeet iu you tbat we sbare. tbe a|iiity to
1ravei |etweeu worics. Arinau was youug, iii-µreµarec to resist
tbe attraetiou, tbis overwbeiniug buuger. Dou`t jucge bin too
barsbiy.`
I cou`t luow bow you eau ceieuc bin.`
ue was ny iatber,` Biale saic çuietiy, bis giitteriug eyes iixec
ou bers, as ii exµeetiug ber to |e reµuisec. "iuter cicu`t sby away
iron tbe reveiatiou, sbe beic bis gaze.
uow oic are you, Biale'`
I was |oru Ceto|er iourtb, eigbteeu seveuty-uiue.`
Astouisbec, sbe triec to acc uµ tbe uun|er oi years. 1bat`s -`
Cver oue buucrec auc tbirty years. \ouug ior a Denori. Cuee
we bit µbysieai naturity we stoµ ageiug.`
\ou`re innortai'`
Biale sbool bis beac. rotbiug`s truiy innortai, "iuter. I cou`t
age, |ut tbere wiii eone a tine wbeu I`ii eboose to µass ou.`
"by wouic you ever eboose to cie'`
Beeause a iiie witb uo euc ioses neauiug. Deatb ceiiues iiie.
Cue cay, I boµe to iiuc a gooc reasou to cie.`
"iuter eousicerec tbe wiscon oi tbis, auc iouuc it iaeliug. Aiter
|eiug tbrust iaee to iaee witb ber owu µreeious nortaiity, sbe
eouicu`t inagiue ever eboosiug to cie.
\y notber was a nortai. A wonau uanec \aceieiue
Bouuaire. 8be was iile you, "iuter, auc iile Lanara. A key. 1bis
was tbe reasou ny iatber was iuitiaiiy crawu to ber. I |eiieve be
wouic bave cevourec \aceieiue eonµieteiy as be bac bis notber
eeuturies |eiore, |ut sonetbiug baµµeuec. 8onetbiug I`n sure be
cicu`t µiau ior. lerbaµs sonetbiug be cicu`t eveu luow be was
eaµa|ie oi. Arinau ieii iu iove.`
A sac sniie twitebec at tbe eoruers oi Biale`s noutb.
\y sister auc I were |oru a year iater.`
"iuter renen|erec sonetbiug sbe`c seeu curiug ber iast visit
bere - tbe µortrait oi tbe |eautiiui wonau auc tbe two greeu-eyec
eberu|s. 1wius. 1be µaiutiug iu tbe baii .`
Biale was surµrisec sbe`c seeu it. \es. 1bat`s ny notber,
Ciaucette auc ne. 1be µaiutiug is tbe ouiy tbiug I bave ieit oi tben.
1bey`re |otb iost to ne uow.`
Desµite ber euriosity, "iuter resistec µressiug bin ou tbis
su|jeet. 8be luew iron ber owu exµerieuee bow uueoniorta|ie it
was tailiug a|out tbe ceac.
I cou`t renen|er nueb a|out ny ebiicbooc, ouiy tbat we
novec arouuc a iot. laris, \uuieb, Cotbeu|urg, kone - ainost
every eity iu Luroµe. "e uever stayec ioug iu oue µiaee. I cicu`t
luow at tbe tine, |ut we were |eiug buutec. uuutec |y tbe Baue.
\y notber cicu`t tail nueb a|out tbe nau sbe ieit ior ny
iatber. uis uane was Vietor Bouuaire. 1beir narriage was uot a
baµµy oue. Ii it was, I cou|t ny notber wouic bave goue so
wiiiiugiy to Arinau. Aiter sbe ieit, Vietor was criveu nac witb rage.
ue |eeane eouviueec tbat ny iatber was tbe cevii, tbat be bac
eorruµtec ny notber. 1be ouiy way to save ber was to set ber soui
iree.`
ue wautec to liii ber'`
Biale uoccec. It`s iuuuy bow oiteu neu use Coc`s wiii¨ as au
exeuse ior nurcer. Vietor gatberec a grouµ oi siniiariy ceraugec
neu, ebristeuiug tben tbe Baue, auc nace it bis iiie`s worl to buut
ny ianiiy cowu. "beu be grew too oic, be traiuec bis sou,
Autoiue, to tale uµ tbe erusace. "beu Autoiue bac sous oi bis
owu, be iuieetec tben witb tbis sane nisguicec batrec, auc so ou
cowu tbe iiue.` Biale µausec, |eiore acciug, 1be neu iu tbe vau
wbo crove us over tbe eiiii iast uigbt are tbe cireet aueestors oi
Vietor Bouuaire. uis iegaey.`
Biale`s iool oi iear at tbe arrivai oi tbe |iael vau succeuiy
nace a wboie iot oi seuse. ue aiiowec "iuter a noneut to cweii
ou tbis auc tbeu eoutiuuec. Desµite iiviug iile iugitives, we bac a
nore or iess uornai iiie. \y µareuts uever exµiaiuec to Ciaucette
auc ne wbat we were - I tbiul tbey boµec our Denori beritage
wouic renaiu bicceu.`
But wby, Biale' 1o co tbe tbiugs you eau co .`
rotbiug eones witbout a µriee. 1o |e a Denori is to |e
eursec.` Biale`s exµressiou |eeane torneutec as be reiivec sone
seeret µaiu. "iuter`s beart aebec seeiug tbis, auc witbout tbiuliug
sbe reaebec over auc touebec bis bauc.
Inneciateiy sbe ieit tbat ianiiiar joit oi euergy as ber sliu nace
eoutaet witb bis. A tiugiiug seusatiou rau uµ ber arn auc sµreac
aeross ber eutire |ocy, suiiusiug ber witb warntb. 8ucceuiy a
nenory exµiocec iu "iuter`s niuc witb tbe iuteusity oi iireworls.
A nenory tbat cic uot |eioug to ber.
It was nìght. She was wa/kìng a/ong a coll/estone lcìdge
towacds a cast/e sìttìng hìgh on a stee¡ hì//. 8ehìnd the
cast/e. a thousand stacs shone ìn the sk;. oakìng hec /ee/
co/d and /one/;. 1he lcìdge s¡anned a vast. cushìng cìvec
and was /ìt l; the so/t g/ow o/ aolec /ao¡s ¡osìtìoned at
cegu/ac ìntecva/s. !e·t to evec; thìcd /ao¡ stood a dì//ecent
stone statue. Saìnts and sìnnecs. hecoes and vì//aìns /coo
stocìes ßìntec had nevec cead.
She dìdnt wa/k a/one. 1hece was a gìc/ ne·t to hec.
ho/dìng hec hand. L·ce¡t ìt wasnt ßìntecs hand. It was a
oans hand. stcong and soooth. Lven l; the ¡a/e stac/ìght.
the gìc/s leaut; was stcìkìng. Iuoìnous. Iìke ßìntec. she
had /ong ced haìc s¡ì//ìng ovec hec lace shou/decs /ìke wìne.
Lec e;es wece sa¡¡hìce l/ue. lut thece was a ¡ecu/ìacìt;
alout theo. a go/den cast to hec e;es that shì/ted and
danced /ìke the ce//ectìon o/ the sun ìn the ocean. ßìntec
knew /ove /oc thìs gìc/. ~ dee¡ /ove that oade hec ache wìth
/ongìng.
1he gìc/ /aughed at sooethìng. and then she was ¡u//ìng
ßìntec le/ow one o/ the lcìdges /ao¡¡osts. a oìschìevous
soì/e /ìghtìng hec e//ìn /eatuces. kìss oe. she saìd ìn a
/anguage ßìntec dìdnt lut dìd undecstand. 1hat teo¡tìng
go/den /ìght lcìghtened ìn the gìc/s e;es as ßìntec /eaned
/ocwacd. 1he kìss was dee¡ec and ooce e·¡uìsìte than
an;thìng she cou/d have ìoagìned ¡ossìl/e. lut thece was
sooethìng dack lehìnd the kìss. Sooethìng gcowìng ìnsìde
hec. ~ hungec that oade hec entìce lod; cc; out /oc
sustenance. and she was no /ongec kìssìng the gìc/. she was
/eedìng on hec. Ieedìng on hec oagnì/ìcent go/den /ìght. 1he
gìc/s lod; weakened wìthìn ßìntecs eolcace. shcìve//ìng.
dìsa¡¡eacìng ìnto ìtse//. She dco¡¡ed to the gcound. nothìng
lut a husk.
Loccì/ìed. ßìntec was now cunnìng a/ong the lcìdge.
cunnìng ìn teccoc at the ccìoe shed coooìtted. kunnìng
/coo the oonstec that /ìved ìnsìde hec. She cou/d heac a
sound /ìke dìstant thundec. gettìng /oudec. Loeca/d s¡acks
/uo¡ed ìn the cocnec o/ hec vìsìon and then the lcìdge. the
stacs. evec;thìng was gone. and ßìntec was scceaoìng and
/a//ìng thcough a ho/e ìn the woc/d.
"iuter suatebec ber bauc |ael iron Biale as tbougb |urut. uer
beart was µouuciug auc tbe gbost oi a serean stiii iurlec at tbe
|ael oi ber tbroat. 1be |ricge, tbe giri, tbe borror at wbat sbe`c
coue - everytbiug bac ieit so vivic auc reai. As tbougb sbe`c |eeu
trausµortec tbrougb tine auc ceµositec iu a strauger`s |ocy. ro,
uot a strauger - Biale. It bac |eeu Biale`s nenory tbat sbe`c
uuwiiiiugiy uueoverec.
1be 8igbt is a µoweriui giit,` be saic witb a ceieatec sigb.
"bo was sbe'` "iuter aslec, stiii struggiiug to eain ber raeiug
beart.
uer uane was Liisa|etta. "e were stuceuts togetber iu lrague.
I iovec ber very nueb.`
L/ìsaletta. 1be uane neaut sonetbiug to "iuter. Ci eourse:
1be ietter sbe`c iouuc bicceu iu tbe |ael oi tbe jouruai bac |eeu
accressec to Liisa|etta.
1bat was tbe iirst tine I 1raveiiec. I cicu`t luow wbat I was. I
cicu`t luow tbat µart oi tbe reasou I was crawu to Liisa|etta was
|eeause sbe was a key. Cuee I startec lissiug ber, tbe buuger tool
over. I eouicu`t stoµ nyseii.`
Biale sat stariug at tbe iianes, bis eyes sbiuiug witb tears. "iuter
ieit a sta| oi guiit ior |eiug tbe reasou be was iu sueb µaiu. Ii it
wereu`t ior ber, Biale wouicu`t bave to |e trawiiug tbrougb tbese
µaiuiui nenories. 8be was a|out to teii bin tbat be cicu`t ueec to
go ou wbeu be startec sµealiug agaiu, bis voiee iuii oi seii-ioatbiug.
I iearuec tbat uigbt wbat I was - a nouster. Lver siuee, I`ve
triec to iive iile a nau. 1riec auc iaiiec.`
It burt ber to see bin so erestiaiieu. Aii tbat µaiu. Aii tbat
carluess. 1erriiiec tbat bis owu buuger wouic crive bin to liii tbose
be iovec.
\ou`re uot a nouster.`
ue ieauec iorwarc auc µusbec tbe µbotograµb aeross tbe eoiiee
ta|ie towarcs ber. 1bis µieture sbows ne exaetiy as I an. A
sbacow. A |iigbt ou tbis woric. It`s a reniucer tbat I cou`t |eioug
bere, tbat I`n au iusuit to uature. I stoie it |eeause I eouicu`t |ear
tbe tbougbt oi you iiuciug tbis out.`
"iuter µielec uµ tbe µbotograµb auc exaniuec it oue iast tine.
1be carl area seenec to bave nore iorn uow sbe uucerstooc
wbat sbe was iooliug at, |ut it cicu`t uusettie ber as it bac |eiore.
8be luew wbat it was.
"iuter tbrew tbe µbotograµb iuto tbe iireµiaee auc net Biale`s
gaze beac-ou.
It`s just a µbotograµb,` sbe saic.
Biale seenec astouisbec |y ber reaetiou. ue giaueec at tbe
µbotograµb euriiug auc |iaeleuiug iu tbe iianes. \ou`re uot airaic
oi ne' Lveu luowiug wbat I an'`
8be giaueec uµ at bin iurtiveiy, seii-eouseious oi reveaiiug bow
nueb sbe earec ior bin. I luow wbat you are, Biale. Auc it
coesu`t seare ne.`
8urµrise sµreac aeross bis iaee, trausiorniug bis |roociug
ieatures iuto sonetbiug iigbter. "iuter Acans, wbere cic you
eone iron'` be saic witb woucer iu bis voiee.
\ou iouuc ne.` "iuter sniiec, aiiowiug berseii a noneut to |e
euraµturec |y tbe iuteusity oi bis eyes. "bat co we co uow' 1be
8livers are goiug to leeµ eoniug aiter ne, areu`t tbey'`
Biale uoccec saciy. \es, tbey are.`
8o, tbis is tbe µart wbere you teii ne bow you`re goiug to save
ne,` "iuter saic, tryiug to nasl ber growiug iear witb iaise
eouiiceuee.
I cou`t luow bow to save you. I cou`t bave tbe auswers,`
Biale acnittec regretiuiiy. ue µausec ior a noneut, tbiuliug
ceeµiy ou tbe µro|ien. Aiter a iew seeoucs "iuter saw bis
trou|iec exµressiou reiax as be arrivec at sone liuc oi soiutiou.
But I tbiul I luow wbere I eau iiuc tben .`
"bere'`
kryµtbia,` Biale reµiiec, tbe very worc seeniug to tbrun witb
çuiet µower.
thaµter 4e
1be \aiiaerie bave a ruiiug |ocy oi eicers. 1bey nay |e a|ie to
beiµ you,` Biale saic, |eiore acciug sonewbat eautiousiy, tbat is,
ii tbey aiiow ne to sµeal to tben.`
Desµite tbe iaiut µronise oi boµe beic |y Biale`s auswer,
"iuter cicu`t iile tbe uueertaiuty sbe saw ou bis iaee. "by
wouicu`t tbey sµeal to you'`
Denori are baii-|reecs. 1be \aiiaerie cesµise us ior tbis, eveu
wbiie tbey`re jeaious oi our a|iiity to 1ravei.` ue exbaiec weariiy. I
cou`t see tbat we bave auy otber eboiee. I bave to try.`
It succeuiy cawuec ou "iuter tbat Biale was µiauuiug ou
ieaviug ber aioue iu tbe bouse. lresb µauie |ioonec. \ou`re goiug
to ieave ne bere' 1be 8livers -`
I toic you, you`re saie iu tbe bouse.`
I`c ieei saier witb sone µroteetiou. Lile a guu or sonetbiug.`
A guu wouicu`t co auy gooc. Besices, I`n uot ieaviug you
aioue.`
Biale uoccec towarcs tbe ta||y, wbo was restiug bis beac iu
"iuter`s iaµ. "iuter ioolec cowu at tbe eat auc |ael to Biale,
wouceriug ii be`c iost bis niuc or just ceveioµec a reaiiy |ac seuse
oi bunour.
\ou`re serious' Les suµµosec to µroteet ne'`
uis uane`s reierten auc be`s |eeu µroteetiug you tbis wboie
tine. 1be aueieut lbaraobs were nunniiiec witb tbeir eats |eeause
tbey |eiievec tbe auinais eouic guarc tben iron evii sµirits ou tbeir
jouruey to tbe aiteriiie. 1bey were uo ioois.`
keaiisiug be was |eiug serious, a çuestiou oeeurrec to ber, Dic
you seuc bin to ny bouse' Auc tbe otber eats'`
\es. 1be eats are irieucs to tbe Denori. 1bey iisteu to ne.`
Biale ieauec aeross tbe eoiiee ta|ie auc µielec uµ reierten,
boiciug bin uµ to bis eye ievei. 1be iat ta||y`s ebeels sµiiiec over
tbe ecges oi Biale`s baucs.
\ou`ii iool aiter "iuter, wou`t you, reierten'` be aslec,
stariug ceeµiy iuto tbe eat`s yeiiow eyes. reierten |iiulec sieeµiiy
auc yawuec. Biale sniiec iu satisiaetiou as ii tbat was tbe µreeise
auswer be was iooliug ior, auc sat tbe eat cowu ou tbe eoiiee
ta|ie. "iuter watebec bin iu |ewiicerneut, ieeiiug as ii sbe`c
steµµec iuto tbe niccie oi a sebooi µiay witbout luowiug tbe seriµt.
I ueariy iorgot,` Biale saic, reaebiug iuto bis µoelet. I was
tryiug to µiel tbe rigbt noneut to give tbis to you.` ue µuiiec out
sonetbiug netai tbat giitterec iu tbe iireiigbt. I suµµose uow is as
gooc a tine as auy.`
ue oµeuec bis bauc auc sbowec "iuter wbat was iyiug iu bis
µain. It was a goic ebaiu witb a snaii greeu erystai sbarc acoruiug
it.
"bat is it'` "iuter aslec, nesnerisec |y tbe way tbe rougb
iaeets oi tbe erystai reiieetec tbe iireiigbt.
A iocestoue.` Biale reaebec over auc buug it ceiieateiy arouuc
ber ueel. 8be sbiverec as bis iiugers iigbtiy |rusbec agaiust ber sliu.
"biie tbe ebaiu was eooi, tbe erystai itseii gave oii a niic,
eoniortiug beat. Ii you ueec ne, sinµiy boic tbe stoue auc say ny
uane. I`ii eone as soou as I eau.`
"iuter ioolec at bin cu|iousiy. It`s a nagie ueeliaee'`
Biale returuec ber iuerecuious iool. Aiter everytbiug I`ve toic
you, you iiuc tbat barc to |eiieve'` "iuter suµµosec be bac a
µoiut. Dou`t use it uuiess you a|soiuteiy bave to.`
"iuter roiiec tbe erystai |etweeu ber iiugers. 1baul you. I wisb
I eouic give you sonetbiug |ael.`
\ou eau.` Biale`s eyes cartec away iron "iuter. But I`n
airaic to asl.`
ue stooc auc wailec to tbe eeutre oi tbe roon wbere be µausec
ou tbe ecge oi tbe iiieleriug iireiigbt, bis |ael to ber.
Couiusec |y bis retieeuee, "iuter ioiiowec bin. 8be touebec
bin iigbtiy ou tbe sbouicer, turuiug bin arouuc to iaee ber. Dou`t
|e. I`ii give you auytbiug I eau.`
Biale tool a ceeµ |reatb. "iii you liss ne'`
Aii "iuter`s otber eoueerus were noneutariiy over-wbeinec |y
Biale`s çuestiou. Le wanted to kìss hec` "biie tbe icea oi sueb a
reçuest wouic bave ieit ber weal at tbe luees nere bours ago,
siuee tbat tine "iuter bac iearuec sone tbiugs tbat gave ber µause.
uow eiose bac sbe eone to cisaµµeariug eonµieteiy iuto Biale`s
en|raee ou tbe |eaeb iast uigbt'
8onetbiug a|out ber reaetiou nust bave leyec Biale iuto tbis
reservatiou, |eeause be |egau to |aeltrael. I`n sorry, "iuter.
\ou cou`t bave to -`
ro. liease . I waut to,` sbe saic baitiugiy. I`n just .`
Airaic'`
"iuter uoccec guiitiiy. Auc eouiusec. "by co you waut to liss
ne'`
I`n stiii weal iron tbe iast jouruey. I ueec sone oi your euergy
to nale tbe jouruey to kryµtbia.`
\ou use tbat iiue ou aii tbe giris'` sbe saic, awlwarciy tryiug to
eover ber uervousuess.
Biale iguorec ber jole. 1bis was eieariy uo iaugbiug natter.
\ou cou`t ueec to |e airaic oi ne, "iuter. I eau eoutroi tbe
buuger.` It seenec inµortaut to bin tbat sbe uucerstauc tbat iast
µoiut. ue waitec ior ber auswer, bis iaee eonµieteiy oµeu iu its
vuiuera|iiity. 8be cicu`t waut to burt bin, |ut .
It`s just .`
Biale was agreeiug witb ber |eiore sbe eouic iiuisb voieiug ber
besitatiou. ue seenec nore tbau wiiiiug to nove away iron tbe
su|jeet. lorget I aslec. I`ii nauage. \ou cou`t bave to worry -`
Biale,` "iuter saic, stoµµiug bin iu bis traels. 8be wailec to
wbere be was stauciug iu tbe eeutre oi tbe roon. uis exµressiou
was so torturec tbat "iuter bac to restraiu berseii iron tbrowiug
ber arns arouuc bin tbeu auc tbere. Auytbiug to tale tbat µaiu iron
bis iaee.
Cone bere,` sbe orcerec bin soitiy.
Biale tool a teutative steµ towarcs ber, as tbougb airaic she
nigbt |e eaµa|ie oi barniug hìo. Are you sure a|out tbis'` be
aslec oue iast tine, searebiug ber eyes ior µernissiou.
\es,` "iuter reµiiec, auc iiitec ber iiµs to bis.
It was ciiiereut iron tbeir iirst liss, |ut uo iess µoweriui. 1bere
was au eieneut oi iear iu tbe aet tbat sonebow nace it aii tbe nore
tbriiiiug. Desµite Biale`s reassurauees, a µart oi "iuter aeeeµtec
tbat tbis eouic |e ber iast liss auc iuteucec to eujoy every seeouc
oi it.
8o nauy stroug enotious viec ior atteutiou - iear, iust,
eonµassiou, iove. 1bere was a soituess to bis iiµs - tbe way tbey
yieicec to bers - tbat seenec ainost ieniuiue, bowever, tbe iiue
stu||ie ou bis ebiu ieut a ceiieious rougbuess. "iuter eouic ieei tbe
iirnuess oi Biale`s tougue, auc sbe eageriy resµoucec iu liuc,
tastiug bis sweetuess auc µassiou.
ue eraciec ber iaee iu bis, bis tbun|s stroliug ber ceiieateiy just
|eiow tbe ebeel|oues as be µuiiec ber eioser. "iuter luew Biale
was criuliug ber uow, sbe eouic ieei berseii |eiug crawu iuto bin,
|ut sbe was surµrisiugiy uuairaic. Ii tbis was wbat cyiug ieit iile, tbis
iosiug oueseii iu tbe arns oi auotber, tbeu "iuter eouic suiier it
giaciy. 8be eouic suiier it ior bin .
Auc tbeu tbe liss was over auc Biale was noviug away iron
ber, bis iaee giowiug witb uew vitaiity.
Are you olay'` be aslec ber, griµµiug ber sbouicers iu
eoueeru.
"iuter ieit iigbt-beacec auc a iittie |reatbiess. "o||iiug a iittie
uusteaciiy ou ber ieet, sbe nauagec a sniie. I`n iiue.`
\ou`re sure'` ue was stucyiug ber eyes ior auy biut oi a iie.
\es. "as tbat ioug euougb'` As iooiisb as it was, sbe boµec be
wouic say uo.
Biale cisaµµoiutec ber |y uocciug. 1baul you.`
"bat uow'`
I`ii ieave you.`
8bouicu`t you wait uutii it gets carl'` "iuter eouic see tbrougb
tbe erael |etweeu tbe eurtaius tbat tbe iigbt outsice was cinniug.
1wiiigbt wouic |e uµou tbese woocs soou euougb auc bis µower
wouic |e strouger.
Biale sbool bis beac. 1bere isu`t auy tine to waste. I cou`t
luow bow ioug it wiii tale ne to iiuc tbe auswers I ueec, auc you
eau`t stay bere iorever.`
"iuter bacu`t tbougbt oi tbat. 8be woucerec iciy ii Luey bac
returuec bone iron worl yet, auc nace a neutai uote to eaii.
Desµite tbe µerii oi ber situatiou, "iuter cicu`t waut to µut ber sister
tbrougb auotber uigbt oi worry.
Biale wailec over to tbe iire auc extiuguisbec it, lieliug soot
over tbe en|ers. "iuter µut ber bauc ou bis arn auc tbe two oi
tben stooc iu tbe cyiug iigbt.
Biale . '`
\es'`
\ou cou`t bave to co tbis ior ne.`
Biale ieauec over auc µiaeec a teucer liss uµou ber iorebeac.
\es, I co.`
"bat ii sonetbiug baµµeus wbiie you`re goue'` "iuter aslec,
iigbtiug to leeµ tbe iear out oi ber voiee.
It wou`t,` Biale saic eainiy. But ii it coes .` ue giaueec
cowu at tbe iocestoue. Caii ne. 1ine to go.` ue tool a steµ |ael
iuto tbe ceeµer carluess oi tbe roon. Cue iast tbiug, "iuter.`
\es'`
ue µausec, ieuciug gravity to wbat be was a|out to say.
lronise ne you wou`t go uµstairs. ro natter wbat you bear. It`s
uot saie.`
"bat co you neau'`
lronise ne,` be iusistec.
I µronise,` "iuter saic, auc ebastisec berseii ior tbe worn oi
euriosity tbat bac aireacy startec to tbreac its way tbrougb ber
eouvietiou. ßhat was u¡staìcs`
row tbat tbe en|ers bac ciec away eonµieteiy, tbe roon was
ainost µiteb |iael, save ior tbe iaiut iigbt iiuciug its way iu |etweeu
tbe erael iu tbe eurtaius. By tbis neagre iiiuniuatiou "iuter eouic
see tbat Biale was irigbteuec.
8ee you soou,` be saic çuietiy.
"iuter watebec Biale`s eyes giitteriug iu tbe carl, auc tbeu
grew aware tbat tbe air arouuc tben was succeuiy ebargec witb
eieetrieity. 1be iiue bair ou ber arns stooc ou euc as ber eutire
|ocy reaetec to tbe iuvisi|ie µower tbat was |uiiciug. Creeu sµarls
iguitec arouuc Biale, etebiug bin iu iigbt. 1bere was a souuc iile a
tbuucereiaµ auc tbeu be was goue. ue`c 1raveiiec, ieaviug |ebiuc
bin tbe iaiutest traee oi µeriune. tbe seeut oi tbe Deac Laucs.
"iuter renaiuec iu tbe iiviug roon a noneut iouger, stucyiug tbe
sµaee wbere bis siibouette bac just stooc, |eiore aeeeµtiug sbe was
uow |y berseii. It seenec so çuiet iu tbe bouse. 8be eouic bear tbe
iouucatious erealiug, tbe grauciatber eioel tieliug, auc tbe raiu
outsice as it ieii uµou tbe rooi.
"itbout tbe eoniortiug µreseuee oi Biale, tbe carl oi tbe iiviug
roon eoutaiuec a neuaee it bac µreviousiy iaelec. It ieit aiive, tbis
carluess. Luuervec, "iuter çuieliy ieit to iiuc sonewbere |rigbter
to wait.
thaµter 41
"iuter waucerec tbrougb Biale`s litebeu, turuiug tbe iigbt ou witb
oue bauc, boiciug ber µboue witb tbe otber.
Luee, I toic you iast weel tbat I was goiug to sµeuc tbe uigbt at
Jasniue`s. Dou`t you renen|er'` Ci eourse sbe bac toic Luey uo
sueb tbiug, |ut was gan|iiug ou tbe iaet tbat ber sister was too
µreoeeuµiec witb tbe various asµeets oi ber owu iiie to renen|er
tbis.
Dic you' I nust bave iorgotteu.` Luey cicu`t souuc eutireiy
eouviueec tbat tbe iauit iay witb ber, |ut at ieast sbe wasu`t uµset
witb "iuter. It`s a sbane, |eeause I`n naliug a stir-iry touigbt.
\`luow, witb easbew uuts auc tiuy µieees oi earrot. \ou iove tbat,
rigbt'`
"iuter cic iove it wbeu ber notber bac nace it. Luiortuuateiy,
Luey`s versiou oi tbe cisb resen|iec it iu uane ouiy.
8ave sone ior ne. I`ii eat it tonorrow.`
Clay. uave iuu witb Jasniue touigbt - wbat tine sbouic I
exµeet you bone tonorrow'`
It succeuiy cawuec ou "iuter tbat tbere was tbe very reai
µossi|iiity tbat sbe nigbt uever see Luey agaiu. It nace ber saccer
to tbiul oi Luey`s reaetiou to ber ceatb tbau to eoutenµiate it
berseii.
8oouer ratber tbau iater,` "iuter reµiiec. Bye, Luee.`
8be buug uµ tbe µboue, ieeiiug a iittie iost auc boµeiess. 8tariug
tbrougb tbe litebeu wiucow at tbe sbacowy woocs outsice, sbe
eouic see Cwi \ouutaiu, µartiaiiy o|seurec |y tbe sieetiug raiu.
Looliug at tbat nouoiitb, "iuter ieit a sbiver µass tbrougb ber,
ioiiowec |y a stroug seuse oi iore|ociug tbat |orcerec ou
µrenouitiou.
8be sbool berseii, tryiug to eiear tbe carl tbougbts iron ber
niuc.
Biale was goiug to save ber.
Aii sbe bac to co was wait bere uutii bis returu. "ait aioue iu tbe
Veiaseo µiaee, wbiie soui tbieves iurlec outsice auc au uuluowu
cauger resicec uµstairs. As ii seusiug ber vuiuera|ie state, reierten
ieaµt uµ outo tbe litebeu eouuter. 1ry as sbe nigbt, "iuter sinµiy
eouicu`t see auytbiug renarla|ie a|out tbe eat tbat suggestec be
eouic µroteet ber. 8tiii, suµeruaturai guarciau or uot, sbe
aµµreeiatec tbat at ieast sbe bac sone eonµauy. Catberiug
reierten iuto ber arns, "iuter ieit tbe litebeu to seareb tbe rest oi
tbe bouse ior a teievisiou or sonetbiug to leeµ ber cistraetec.
Lxµioriug tbe roons witb reierten euriec uµ iu ber arns,
"iuter was cisaµµoiutec to iiuc uotbiug tbat nigbt oiier ber au
eseaµe iron ber tbougbts. ro teievisiou, uo |ools, uo nagaziues -
uotbiug wbatsoever. Just cust, auc eo|we|s, auc autiçue iuruiture
eoverec iu yeiiowiug sbeets. 1be |ox oi jouruais bac cisaµµearec
iron tbe baiiway as weii. Desµite ber restiessuess, sbe was grateiui
tbey were goue, tbe tenµtatiou to buut tbrougb tben ior nore
Lugiisb µassages, to uueover nore oi Biale`s µast, wouic bave
|eeu ciiiieuit to resist.
8be µassec iuto tbe irout baiiway auc ber eyes junµec to tbe
stairease auc tbe carluess tbat iay at tbe toµ oi tbe stairs. "bat was
stoµµiug tbe neuaee iurliug ou tbat ior|icceu ievei iron veuturiug
cowu to eiain ber'
lerbaµs tbe cauger Biale bac reierrec to wasu`t a eouseious
eutity |ut iusteac a nysterious arteiaet, iile tbe iocestoue be`c giveu
ber. koiiiug tbe erystai a|seutiy |etweeu ber iiugers, "iuter
woucerec ii it reaiiy was nagie, or ii Biale bac just giveu ber sone
liuc oi Dun|o`s ieatber. au o|jeet "iuter eouic boic outo ior
streugtb wbeu sbe ieit airaic or iuseeure, |ut oue tbat bac uo reai
µower.
"iuter`s eyes sbiitec iron tbe stairease to Biale`s µaiutiug,
wbieb was stiii µroµµec agaiust tbe baii ta|ie.
Crateiui ior sonetbiug to tale ber niuc oii berseii, "iuter
croµµec reierten auc |eut cowu ior a eioser iool. 8be iiitec tbe
sbeet auc gazec witb uew iuterest at tbe µaiutec iigures |eueatb.
1be sacuess iu \aceieiue`s eyes uow beic greater µoiguauey ior
"iuter. 8be woucerec wbat it was iile to |e tbe iover oi au
innortai.
"iuter`s eyes criitec cowu to tbe tiuy iigure oi Biale, bis rosy
ebeels auc greeu eyes sµarliiug witb nirtb. ue`c |eeu baµµy tbeu,
too youug to luow wbat iate iay abeac. Ciaucette, ou tbe otber
bauc, seenec a nueb nore son|re ebiic. 1bere was a wiicuess iu
ber eyes tbat "iuter bac to suµµose was tbe artist`s iuveutiou. 8be
cicu`t |eiieve iuiauts were eaµa|ie oi iooliug so naiieious.
Luexµeeteciy, "iuter bearc a uoise iron tbe litebeu |ebiuc ber.
It souucec iile era|s seuttiiug aeross tbe tiiec iioor. uer beart iroze,
a |ioel oi jaggec iee iu ber ebest. 1bere it was agaiu: Au erratie
eiieliug souuc, iile a giaut iuseet.
8be iet tbe eover iaii |ael over tbe µaiutiug auc turuec siowiy to
iaee tbe litebeu coor. reierten neowec at ber ieet, bis taii iiieliug
|ael auc iortb, seusiug tbe cauger.
"iuter triec to eouviuee berseii it was uotbiug, tbat it was just
tbe µiµes or sone otber bouse souuc, sueb as tbe agec iraneworl
reaetiug to tbe bunicity oi tbe storn. "itb reierten at ber sice,
"iuter ereµt towarcs tbe litebeu, straiuiug to iisteu ior tbe erratie
eiieliug, wbieb bac iaiieu siieut. 8be µausec outsice, ber bauc
restiug ou tbe coorluo|, asliug berseii ii sbe reaiiy wautec to see
wbat was ou tbe otber sice.
uer bauc stoie to tbe ueeliaee - nay|e uow wouic |e a gooc
tine to see ii tbe iocestoue reaiiy worlec' But sbe ceeicec agaiust
it. "iuter wautec to aiiow Biale as nueb tine as be ueecec to iiuc
tbe auswers iu kryµtbia. Caiiiug bin |ael so soou wouic ouiy ceiay
ber saivatiou.
At ber ieet, reierten was stariug iuteutiy at tbe coor, naliug a
strauge growiiug uoise iu tbe |ael oi bis tbroat. "iuter µrayec tbat
Biale bac luowu wbat be was coiug, eutrustiug ber saiety to tbe
eat. 1bere was uotbiug eise ior it. 8be eouic eitber renaiu bere,
eoweriug iu tbe irout baii, or iaee wbatever iay iu tbe roon |eyouc.
"iuter µusbec oµeu tbe coor.
thaµter 48
1he Skìvecs had /ound hec!
"iuter`s eyes wiceuec iu borror at tbe sigbt oi tben stauciug
outsice iu tbe raiu. 1bere were so nauy oi tben: A cozeu at ieast,
µressec uµ agaiust tbe litebeu wiucows iile borric iuseets crawu to
tbe iigbt iusice. At "iuter`s eutry, tbeir eruei wbite iaees suaµµec iu
ber cireetiou, teetb eiieliug togetber iu exeitec uuisou at tbe
uearuess oi tbeir µrey. "iuter ieit tbe streugtb iu ber iegs iaii as a
wave oi ce|iiitatiug terror wasbec over ber. 8be wautec to turu auc
ruu, |ut sbe eouicu`t nove, beic iu µiaee |y tbe 8livers` |iael-
eyec gaze |oriug iuto ber owu. 8be eouic see berseii reiieetec iu
tbeir eyes, ber inage eaµturec iu a woric oi iuiiuite carluess.
1bere was a |iur oi orauge at ber ieet as reierten raeec µast
ber auc ieaµt uµ ou toµ oi tbe litebeu eouuter.
1be ta||y eoiiec |ael ou its bauuebes, bissiug auc sµittiug at tbe
8livers as tbougb cariug tben to eone tbrougb tbe giass.
"iuter watebec iu cazec astouisbneut as tbe 8livers reeoiiec
iron reierten, criitiug |ael iron tbe wiucows auc noviug out oi
sigbt. It was wockìng! 1be eat was aetuaiiy seariug tbese ereatures:
Cuee tbe iast oi tbe 8livers bac vauisbec, "iuter tool a iew
besitaut steµs towarcs tbe eouuter auc seooµec uµ tbe uow-coeiie
reierten. 1be eat ieit bot auc ieverisb iu ber arns, |ut otberwise
bac iustautiy revertec to bis iauguor ouee bis euenies bac vauisbec.
Biale bac |eeu rigbt a|out uot uucerestinatiug tbe ta||y`s
wortb, auc "iuter ieit guiity ior cou|tiug bin. 8onetbiug a|out tbe
eat bac searec tbe beii out oi tbe nousters, euougb to crive tben
away.
Ciutebiug reierten to ber |reast, "iuter |aelec siowiy out oi
tbe litebeu, watebiug tbe wiucows. Aiter aii, tbe 8livers eouic stiii
|e out tbere. "iuter eoujurec a cistur|iug inage oi tben giiciug
souuciessiy arouuc tbe bouse iile buugry sbarls eireiiug a iiie rait,
auc sbuccerec.
"ieiciug ber iurry guarciau iile a weaµou, "iuter µassec iuto
tbe irout baiiway. 1bere was uo traee oi tbe eiieliug souuc auy
nore, tbe bouse was siieut. 8be eouic bear tbe wiuc wbistiiug iaiutiy
tbrougb tbe trees outsice, |ut aµart iron tbat - uotbiug. Cautiousiy,
sbe nace ber way tbrougb tbe irout µart oi tbe bouse, treaciug
soitiy ou tbe tbiel earµet.
8~!ó! 8~!ó! 8~!ó!
"iuter eriec out at tbe ainigbty µouuciug iron tbe irout coor.
8taggeriug |aelwarcs, ber eyes wiceuec iu iear as tbe coorbaucie
|egau to rattie vioieutiy. Biale bac |eeu wroug a|out tbe 8livers.
1he; wece goìng to get ìn!
reierten seenec as startiec as sbe was |y tbe irigbteuiug ciu
auc sçuirnec iron ber grasµ, croµµiug to tbe iioor. 1be eourage
be`c sbowu bac aµµareutiy |eeu sµeut. "iuter triec to eateb bin,
|ut was too siow as tbe eat |oitec uµ tbe stairs to tbe ior|icceu
ievei. "iuter sµeut oue µauiely noneut iu ceii|eratiou - 8/ake
had oade hec ¡cooìse! - |eiore giviug ebase to tbe eat. "batever
caugers iurlec a|ove eouicu`t |e as |ac as tbe oues tbat
tbreateuec iron tbe otber sice oi tbat coor.
keaebiug tbe toµ oi tbe stairs, "iuter erouebec agaiust tbe
|auister, ears straiuiug ior tbe souuc oi tbe irout coor |eiug oµeuec.
1be coorluo| eoutiuuec to rattie |ut tbere was uo iucieatiou tbat
tbe 8livers bac gaiuec eutry. Aiter a iew nore seeoucs oi
agouisiug susµeuse, tbe ciu a|ruµtiy eeasec.
8be renaiuec stiii a noneut iouger, iisteuiug to ber owu barriec
|reatbiug, |eiore sbe aiiowec berseii to nove. It ioolec as ii sbe
was saie ior tbe tine |eiug. kegarciess, "iuter wouic ieei a wboie
iot |etter as soou as sbe bac reierten iu ber arns agaiu.
"iuter ieit iile a tresµasser, |ut eoniortec berseii witb tbe
tbougbt tbat eveu ii Biale ciseoverec sbe`c |roleu ber µronise, be
was sure to uucerstauc ouee sbe exµiaiuec tbe situatiou. Aiter aii,
Biale bac |eeu tbe oue wbo bac giveu ber reierten as µroteetiou
iu tbe iirst µiaee, "iuter reasouec tbat be wouic waut ber to tale
wbatever steµs ueeessary to renaiu witb ber guarciau.
8be ueecec to iiuc a iigbt. It was too cin ou tbe iauciug ior ber
to |egiu searebiug. Cousiceriug tbe irayec state oi ber uerves, tbe
icea oi stun|iiug aiter reierten iu tbe carl was ceeµiy
uuaµµeaiiug. Biale`s waruiug was aiso iurliug iu tbe |ael oi ber
niuc. It wasu`t saie ior ber bere. Desµite Biale`s liss, tbe 8igbt
bacu`t returuec to ber, tbougb sbe eouic bave cesµerateiy usec tbe
eubaueec µereeµtive a|iiity rigbt uow. Litber tbe giit was as
tenµeraneutai as be`c suggestec, or ber niuc was too rattiec to
sunnou tbe eoueeutratiou ueeessary ior it to worl.
It tool ber a niuute, |ut "iuter eveutuaiiy iouuc tbe iigbt switeb,
µartiaiiy bicceu |ebiuc a ceac ieru uear tbe |auister. 8be iiielec it
ou auc tbe greeu-sbacec ianµs overbeac sµutterec iuto iiie.
uowever, tbe wiriug nust bave |eeu iauity |eeause tbe |ui|s
eoutiuuec to iiieler, ereatiug au eeriuess "iuter eouic bave weii
coue witbout. 1be iigbt was just euougb to see |y, auc "iuter
|egau to nove tbrougb tbe stro|iug iigbt towarcs tbe baiiway.
8be turuec a eoruer auc eane aeross au oµeu coorway.
8tauciug ou tbe tbresboic oi tbe roon, sbe wbisµerec, reierten'
\ou iu tbere, iittie |uccy'`
1bere was uo resµouse, so "iuter veuturec iorwarc auc iiielec
ou tbe iigbt switeb. It tool ber ouiy a çuiel giauee to cecuee tbis
was Biale`s |ecroon. It wasu`t tbe snaii ebest oi crawers tbat
gave it away, uor tbe ueatiy nace siugie |ec, µusbec iuto tbe
eoruer. It was Biale`s nusie eoiieetiou.
Duriug tbeir |riei tine togetber Biale bac croµµec euougb nusie
reiereuees to eouviuee "iuter tbat be bac nore tbau a µassiug
iuterest iu it, |ut sbe bac uever exµeetec to iiuc auytbiug iile tbis.
Au eutire waii bac |eeu turuec iuto a sbeiviug uuit eoutaiuiug au
anaziug array oi Lls, Lls, eigbt-trael taµes, eassettes, CDs - auc
µretty nueb every otber tyµe oi µiaya|ie nusie necia iron aii
stages oi noceru bistory. "beu be`c ruu out oi sµaee ou tbe
sbeives, Biale bac taleu to staeliug bis nusie eoiieetiou iuto ueat,
waist-bigb eoiunus oi ai|uns auc siugies.
Luiile "iuter`s iasticious cevotiou to aiµba|etisatiou, tbere
cicu`t seen to |e auy iogie to Biale`s eataioguiug - Brabns was
uext to kiugs oi Leou, wbo sbarec sbeii sµaee witb Queeu auc so
ou. 8tariug iu woucer at tbe variec tities, "iuter ceeicec Biale bac
to bave exµiorec auc owuec a µieee iron every geure auc
su|geure nusie bac to oiier. It was au inµressive eoiieetiou, auc ii
"iuter bacu`t |eeu ieeiiug so teuse, sbe wouic bave bac a ciiiieuit
tine restraiuiug berseii iron |rowsiug tbrougb it. uowever, sbe
luew sbe sbouicu`t |e bere. As tbere was uo sigu oi tbe eat, sbe
was turuiug to ieave tbe roon wbeu sonetbiug eaugbt ber eye -
sonetbiug siiver, restiug ou tbe ebest oi crawers.
Lettiug ber euriosity get tbe |etter oi ber, sbe erossec Biale`s
roon auc µielec uµ tbe siiver o|jeet ior a eioser iool. It was a
biugec cou|ie µieture irane, tbe oruate siiver siigbtiy taruisbec witb
age. Iu tbe ieit-bauc irane was a seµia-touec µbotograµb oi Biale,
cressec iu wbat "iuter eouic ouiy guess to |e a turu-oi-tbe-eeutury
|iael suit. It was uot uuiile tbe suit be bac woru to tbe eoueert tbe
µrevious uigbt, auc "iuter eouicu`t beiµ |ut sniie at tbe siigbtiy
uuebarita|ie tbougbt tbat oeeurrec to ber - wbiie Biale`s nusie
tastes bac sbiitec auc evoivec witb tbe µassage oi tine, it seenec
bis iasbiou seuse bacu`t.
1be oµµosiug irane beic a µbotograµb oi a striliug youug
wonau witb a tbiel naue oi |iael bair auc austereiy |eautiiui
ieatures. uer iirst tbougbt was tbat tbe wonau nigbt bave |eeu
Liisa|etta, tbe agec çuaiity oi tbe µbotograµb naliug ber rec bair
iool |iael, |ut ou eioser iusµeetiou sbe reaiisec ber nistale. 1be
Liisa|etta sbe bac giinµsec iu Biale`s nenory bac |eeu siigbt,
µossessiug a sby giriisbuess, wbereas tbere was uotbiug siigbt or
giriisb a|out tbis otber wonau. Iusteac tbere was a ior|icciug
severity to ber exµressiou. 1be wonau iu tbe irane bac to |e
Ciaucette, Biale`s sister.
"bat baµµeuec to you'` "iuter saic soitiy to tbe graiuy inage.
"biie sbe starec at tbe µieture oi Ciaucette, a iow newiiug souuc
succeuiy eane iron ceeµer iu tbe bouse.
!e/ecteo!
"iuter reµiaeec tbe µieture irane eareiuiiy wbere sbe iouuc it
auc ieit tbe roon.
thaµter 4v
lassiug |ael iuto tbe iiieleriug baiiway, "iuter turuec a eoruer auc
saw tbe eats. 8be µausec, tbe |reatb eatebiug iu ber tbroat at tbe
uusettiiug sigbt. Duriug ber iirst visit to tbe Veiaseo µiaee sbe`c
eueouuterec iour eats - reierten auc tbree otbers. |iael, wbite,
auc grey. "iuter bac ouiy seeu reierten tocay auc bacu`t sµarec
a tbougbt ior bis |rotbers auc sisters, |ut bere tbey were, aioug witb
a cozeu or so otber strays. Ii "iuter bacu`t aireacy |eeu exµosec
to a siniiariy eerie eoiieetiou (a c/owdec) oi eats iu ber |aelyarc,
tbe seeue wouic bave |eeu eveu nore cistur|iug.
"bat were tbey aii coiug erowcec iu tbis seetiou oi tbe bouse,
as tbougb sittiug seutry |eueatb tbe baii wiucow' "iuter eouic see a
coor at tbe euc oi tbe baiiway, wbieb seenec to |e tbe ioeus oi tbe
eats` atteutiou. lerbaµs it was tbe roon wbere Biale leµt tbe eat
iooc' \aliug joles to berseii cicu`t beiµ tbe uuease "iuter ieit
eiosiug arouuc ber iile a beavy, eoic |iaulet.
8be searebec anoug tbe nuitituce oi sieel bairy |ocies auc
sµottec reierten euriec uµ agaiust tbe iar waii, iieliug bis µaws
eouteuteciy.
Crouebiug cowu, "iuter µattec a rbytbn ou ber luees to craw
tbe ta||y`s atteutiou.
reierten. Cone bere, |oy:` sbe saic iu busbec toues, ieeiiug
iustiuetiveiy it was |est to |e çuiet. Biale`s an|iguous waruiug
bauutec ber tbougbts - thece was dangec hece! "iuter uow
|eiievec it nore tbau ever, sbe eouic ieei it tbrunniug iu tbe air
arouuc ber. 8onetbiug was sieeµiug auc sbe careu`t wale it uµ.
reierten:` sbe eaiiec to tbe eat agaiu, risliug a ioucer toue.
1be ta||y raisec oue sieeµy eyeiic auc regarcec "iuter witb
|orecon. ue nace uo nove to eone to ber sice. 1be rest oi tbe
eats bac uotieec ber too. 8one oi tben turuec tbeir beacs towarcs
ber iu iuterest, wbiie otbers nereiy giaueec iu ber cireetiou |eiore
eoutiuuiug witb tbeir grooniug auc stretebiug. Biale`s |iael eat, tbe
|iggest iu tbe eiowcer, sbiitec iron its µereb iu irout oi tbe coor auc
µaccec baiiway cowu tbe eorricor towarcs ber. 1bere it µausec,
neowiug a soit greetiug or eautiou.
Lxasµeratec |y tbe ta||y`s reiuetauee auc iuereasiugiy agitatec
every seeouc sbe iiugerec bere, "iuter startec cowu tbe baiiway
towarcs tbe eats. It was as tbougb sbe were iu a crean, |eiug
crawu iuexora|iy towarcs tbe euc oi a ioug baiiway wbere
sonetbiug terri|ie waitec. 1be iiieleriug iigbts auc tbe surreai sigbt
oi so nauy eats ouiy iuereasec tbe uureaiity oi tbe seeue. It
oeeurrec to "iuter tbat Veiaseo binseii bac µro|a|iy stailec
tbrougb tbis baiiway |eiore nurceriug bis wiie auc ebiicreu auc
baugiug binseii, |ut sbe nauagec to |auisb tbat oniuous uotiou.
"iuter uow luew euougb a|out tbe reai terrors tbat iurlec arouuc
ber to uot worry a|out nere gbosts.
8teµµiug over tbe |iael eat |ioeliug ber µatb, sbe eoutiuuec
towarcs reierten. 1be eat turuec to leeµ µaee witb ber, ioiiowiug
at ber sice.
"iuter reaebec tbe great wiucow at tbe euc oi tbe baiiway,
wbere reierten iay iu tbe sbacows east |y tbe iattiee.
"by cic you ruu away iron ne'` sbe aslec, ieeiiug tbe otber
eats` eyes uµou ber as sbe µielec bin uµ. 1be eat ieit a iittie stiii iu
ber arns, its nuseies teuse. "iuter synµatbisec. 8be ieit µretty
wouuc uµ berseii. 1uruiug to nale a basty retreat, "iuter saw
sonetbiug eurious.
1bere was a narl µaiutec ou tbe coor |esice ber. A syn|oi oi
sone liuc.
It ioolec iile a twistec suale witb tbree iiues siasbec ciagouaiiy
tbrougb it. 1bere was aiso a sneii - au awiui sneii tbat nace ber
stonaeb roii. 1bree noutbs ago a rat bac ciec iu tbe sµaee |etweeu
tbe waiis oi ber |ecroon auc tbe |atbroon. "iuter bac bac to iive
witb tbe steueb ior tbree cays, eoustautiy sµrayiug tbe air witb
iresbeuer to bice tbe uoxious ocour. 1bat`s wbat tbis sneii
reniucec ber oi uow - ceeay.
"iuter gasµec as tbe nusie |egau µiayiug ou tbe otber sice oi
tbe coor.
reierten stiiieuec iu ber arns at tbe souuc, wriggiiug bis iurry
beac arouuc agitateciy. It was tbe sane serateby, oic-iasbiouec
nusie "iuter bac bearc µiayiug tbe iirst tine sbe`c euterec tbe
bouse. 1bere was sonetbiug eise |eiow tbe nusie - auotber uoise.
8oneoue was noviug a|out iu tbe roon |eyouc tbe coor:
Desµite tbis aiarniug ceveioµneut, "iuter was straugeiy
uuairaic. It oeeurrec to ber tbat sbe shou/d |e airaic - tbat tbe
aµµroµriate resµouse to tbis situatiou wouic |e ior ber to gra|
reierten auc ruu cowustairs. 8onetbiug was leeµiug ber bere. It
was ainost as ii au aiieu eouseiousuess bac stoieu iuto ber niuc,
auc uow was iuiiueueiug ber aetious.
Just as "iuter cicu`t luow wby sbe`c startec aseeuciug tbe
stairs eariier iu tbe weel, sbe was eçuaiiy nystiiiec to see ber bauc
stretebiug towarcs tbe coorluo|. 8be cicu`t waut to oµeu tbe coor,
|ut ieit µoweriuiiy eonµeiiec to uouetbeiess. uer iiugers |rusbec
tbe cuii netai auc tbat was wbeu sbe bearc tbe sereeebiug |ebiuc
ber.
A seeouc iater, sonetbiug ieaµt outo ber |ael, raliug ber witb
its eiaws. 8be eriec out iu µaiu, ber voiee iost iu tbe augry serean oi
ber attaeler. A taii wbiµµec iu ber µeriµberai visiou - tbe |iael eat:
It bac goue nac. 8be croµµec reierten iu sboel, auc sµuu arouuc
irautieaiiy, tryiug to cisiocge tbe sereeebiug iury. uowever, tbe eat
reiusec to |e sbaleu oii auc cug its eiaws iu ceeµer. 8tiugiug µaiu
iaueec tbrougb ber as its eiaws µiereec tbe teucer iiesb |etweeu ber
sbouicer |iaces. liuaiiy, "iuter nauagec to eateb boic oi tbe seruii
|ebiuc tbe eat`s beac auc buri it outo tbe grouuc. Iustautiy, tbe eat
wbiµµec arouuc auc eane at "iuter agaiu.
row tbe otber eats joiuec it, sµittiug auc acvaueiug ou "iuter,
reaetiug to ber tbe sane way reierten bac reaetec to tbe 8livers,
treatiug "iuter as tbougb sbe were tbeir nortai eueny. Looliug at
tbeir naievoieut yeiiow eyes, "iuter bac uo cou|t tbat Biale`s eats
were µreµarec to serateb ber to ri||ous ii sbe cicu`t get away
soou. Cuiy reierten beic |ael, watebiug tbe attael iron tbe
eoruer, seeniugiy as sboelec as "iuter was |y tbe wiicuess iu bis
|retbreu. As tbe |iael eat eoiiec to sµriug at ber agaiu, "iuter
turuec auc iiec cowu tbe iiieleriug baiiway. 8be eouic bear tbe eats
µacciug ou tbe earµet |ebiuc ber as tbey gave ebase.
As "iuter reaebec tbe toµ oi tbe stairease, sbe eaugbt ber ioot
ou a ioic iu tbe rug auc weut sµrawiiug. 8be ieii µaiuiuiiy cowu tbe
iirst iiigbt, siiciug ou ber stonaeb, auc eane to au awlwarc rest ou
tbe iauciug. 8be çuieliy iiiµµec berseii iuto a ceieusive µositiou,
euvisiouiug tbe eats ceseeuciug uµou ber iu a wave oi teetb auc
eiaws, |ut was grateiui to see tbey`c stoµµec. 1be row oi eats sat
at tbe toµ oi tbe stairease, eviceutiy satisiiec tbat "iuter uo iouger
µosec a tbreat.
keeµiug ber eyes eautiousiy traiuec ou tbe eats, sbe siowiy got
to ber ieet. Aµart iron |eiug a |it |ruisec auc |atterec, tbe sµiii
cowu tbe stairs bacu`t ieit ber witb auy serious iujury. 8be ieit a
warn trielie ruu cowu ber sµiue auc stretebec arouuc, teutativeiy
ieeiiug ior tbe wouuc. uer iiugertiµs µassec tbrougb a ioug, raggec
gasb iu ber toµ auc touebec tbe teucer eut |etweeu ber sbouicers.
Desµite its aggressiou, tbe |iael eat bac ouiy crawu a iittie |iooc
auc tbe wouuc cicu`t seen ceeµ. 8be sbouic µro|a|iy eieau it to
avoic iuieetiou. Biale nust bave sone cisiuieetaut cowustairs.
"itb sone aµµrebeusiou, "iuter turuec away iron tbe watebiug
eats auc tbe iiieleriug iigbts. ro woucer Biale bac waruec ber
agaiust goiug uµ tbere: ue bac au arny oi nac eats µrowiiug tbe
baiiway. Lveu as "iuter eutertaiuec tbat tbougbt, sbe luew it was
wroug. 1be eats wereu`t tbe cauger. Biale bac |eeu airaic tbat
wbatever iurlec |ebiuc tbat straugeiy narlec coor wouic barn
ber. lerbaµs tbe eats bac ouiy attaelec ber to crive ber away iron
it.
8be sbuccerec at tbe nenory oi tbat aiieu eouseiousuess ioreiug
ber to reaeb towarcs tbe coor. "bat wouic bave baµµeuec ii sbe`c
oµeuec it auc iet out wbatever iurlec |ebiuc' Ii sbe eouic just
sµeuc tbe uext iew bours waitiug ior Biale witbout iueiceut or iear,
tbeu nay|e - just nay|e: - sbe nigbt avoic baviug a beart attael
iron tbese µroiougec |outs oi irigbt.
Aµµareutiy tbe iates bac uot iiuisbec witb ber yet, ior as sbe
eane to tbe |otton oi tbe stairease "iuter saw sonetbiug tbat iiiiec
ber witb iresb creac.
1be irout coor was stauciug wice oµeu.
thaµter so
"iuter stooc stariug at tbe yawuiug carluess |eyouc tbe coor, ber
beart µouuciug. 8be iisteuec iuteutiy auc bearc uotbiug, save ior tbe
tieliug grauciatber eioel |ebiuc ber. 1bere was uo iuseet-iile
eiieliug, uo otber eviceuee tbe 8livers were iu tbe bouse witb ber.
"iuter steµµec oii tbe stairease auc µausec, ebewiug ber iiµ
uervousiy.
Biale'`
As sbe`c exµeetec, tbere was uo auswer. Biale bac 1raveiiec
tbrougb tbe sbacows oi tbe iiviug roon, tbere was uo reasou wby be
wouicu`t returu tbat way. ue eertaiuiy wouicu`t ereeµ siieutiy
tbrougb tbe irout coor witbout eaiiiug out to ber iirst.
Ciugeriy, "iuter novec eioser to tbe coor, reacy to ruu at tbe
siigbtest iucieatiou sbe wasu`t aioue. 8be iisteuec ior souucs oi
noveneut iu tbe çuiet bouse, auy souucs at aii.
1bere were uoue.
8ureiy ii tbey bac gaiuec eutry tbey wouic bave µouueec ou ber
|y uow. Couic it |e µossi|ie tbat tbe coor bac |eeu |iowu oµeu |y
tbe wiuc' 1be wiuc |eeu stroug tbis aiteruoou, it wasu`t
outsice tbe reains oi µossi|iiity tbat tbe coor bac oµeuec |eueatb
its gusts.
uoiciug outo tbis iaiut boµe, "iuter wariiy erossec tbe baii. 8be
eouicu`t very weii ieave tbe coor oµeu, uot luowiug wbat iurlec
outsice. Just as sbe was reaebiug ior tbe coorbaucie, tbe nau
steµµec iuto view.
8be eriec out, stun|iiug |aelwarcs as be iiiiec tbe coorway.
Dressec iu a niiitaristie |iael uuiiorn, tbe strauger ioolec iile
sone liuc oi 8µeeiai lorees oµerative. A|out tweuty-iive auc
soiiciy |uiit, bis iaee was |roac auc |iuut. A iarge, oruate siiver
erueiiix caugiec iron bis |uiiisb ueel. \atebiug tbe |rigbt iustre oi
tbe erueiiix, tbe strauger`s bair was |ieaebec µiatiuun wbite. uis
eyes were |rigbt witb a eruei, auinai euuuiug. 1bat iool iu tben
aiarnec "iuter ainost as nueb as tbe eross|ow be µoiutec at ber.
It was ioacec witb wbat ioolec iile ioug netai sµiles. Ccciy, tbere
was sonetbiug vagueiy ianiiiar a|out bis ieatures, |ut "iuter was
iar too terriiiec to µuzzie over it at tbis µoiut.
"iuter eoutiuuec to |ael away towarcs tbe iiviug roon, ouiy to
iaii agaiust sonetbiug as soiic auc uuyieiciug as a waii - auotber
iutrucer. 1bere were two oi tben iu tbe bouse: A bauc µressec
over ber noutb to stoµ ber iron sereaniug, wbiie tbe otber arn
sualec a|out ber niccie, boiciug ber iirniy. 1be bauc over ber
noutb sneiiec, sonewbat iueougruousiy, oi µeauut |utter. Crueiiix
stroce aeross tbe iauciug to wbere "iuter was |eiug beic.
"bo`s sbe'` be aslec ber eaµtor witb a eouiusec exµressiou
ou bis iaee.
uow an I suµµosec to luow, \areus'` tbe µeauut-|utter-
seeutec µersou auswerec, reveaiiug Crueiiix`s uane. "iuter eouic
teii tbe nau boiciug ber was nueb youuger tbau \areus, |y tbe way
bis voiee eraelec siigbtiy wbeu be sµole. leauut Butter eouicu`t |e
nueb oicer tbau iourteeu or iiiteeu.
I luow ber.` 1be ianiiiar voiee eane iron tbe litebeu.
"iuter was swuug arouuc auc saw witb astouisbneut 8an
Beuuet striciug towarcs ber. Jasniue`s 8an, wbo sbe`c iast seeu
boiciug baucs witb ber irieuc at tbe eoueert. 8an oi tbe ebeeriui
griu, sbiuiug |iue eyes auc siigbt |ewiicerneut. 1bere was uotbiug
oi 8an bere. Iusteac, bis grinner, nore iutinicatiug twiu bac
taleu bis µiaee. Lile \areus, bis nuseuiar irane was eiotbec iu a
|iael uuiiorn auc tbere was a eross|ow straµµec to bis |ael.
8be |eiougs to bin,` 8an saic, bis eyes iiieliug to "iuter. ue
seenec eonµieteiy uueoueeruec auc uusurµrisec to iiuc ber |eiug
beic µrisouer |y tbese two neu.
"bat co we co witb ber'` \areus aslec 8an. 1bougb be was
eieariy oicer, tbe way \areus ceierrec to bin suggestec tbat 8an
was tbe oue iu ebarge bere.
"itb a sigb, 8an tiitec bis beac to oue sice auc exaniuec
"iuter as tbougb sbe was a µartieuiariy auuoyiug natbs µro|ien.
"e`ii tale ber witb us. I`n sure tbe oic nau wouic waut to sµeal
to ber. lirst, tbougb, iet`s iiuc out wbat sbe luows.`
8an ieauec iu to sµeal to ber, bis eyes as barc as ebiµs oi iee.
"iuter, are you aioue iu tbe bouse'` 8be eouicu`t sµeal witb
leauut Butter`s bauc eiasµec iirniy over ber noutb, |ut sbe was
a|ie to uoc easiiy euougb.
8an was µieasec |y ber auswer. Cooc. "bere is be'`
"iuter nace au eiiort to resµouc |ut eouicu`t. 8an seowiec at
ber eaµtor. Let ber sµeal, Danieu.`
leauut Butter - Danieu - uueoverec ber noutb. "iuter tool a
ceeµ tren|iiug |reatb, stariug at 8an witb wice, irigbteuec eyes.
I cou`t luow, 8an.`
8an irowuec at ber. Dou`t |e airaic. Just teii ne wbere be is,
"iuter.`
8tiii terriiiec, |ut resoiute iu ber cesire to µroteet Biale at aii
eosts, sbe nauagec a snaii, uueouviueiug sbrug iu resµouse.
Let ne try,` \areus saic |ebiuc 8an, auc "iuter`s stonaeb
eieuebec iu iear at tbe eruei sniie ou tbe |rute`s iaee.
ro, \areus,` 8an nereiiuiiy saic, auc gra||ec "iuter`s wrist.
I`ii µut ber iu tbe vau. Danieu eau use bis erystais wbeu we get
bone. \ou two get to worl.`
As 8an sµuu ber arouuc to crag ber tbrougb tbe irout coor,
"iuter iiuaiiy saw Danieu. ue eouicu`t bave |eeu oicer tbau
iiiteeu. 1bere was a rasb oi µinµies ou bis iorebeac, auc sone iiue
bairs a|ove bis iiµ wbieb "iuter assunec was bis attenµt to grow a
noustaebe. Luiile 8an auc \areus, Danieu`s bair was ioug auc
greasy. 1bougb youuger tbau tbe otber two, tbere cicu`t seen to |e
auytbiug iuuoeeut a|out tbe teeuager. Bebiuc bis tbiel giasses, bis
eyes stuciec "iuter witb a cistur|iug naievoieuee tbat nace ber
iiesb erawi.
"ait:` be saic as 8an µuiiec "iuter towarcs tbe coor.
"bat is it'` 8an aslec.
Danieu`s gaze criitec cowu to "iuter`s ueel - uo, uot ber
ueel, |ut tbe ueeliaee acoruiug it. ue wailec over auc stuciec tbe
greeu erystai eioseiy. Aiter a iew seeoucs oi iusµeetiou, be saic
witb a traee oi awe, 8be`s weariug a iocestoue.`
Are you sure'` 8an aslec.
"bat`s a iocestoue'` \areus aslec, irowuiug.
8be eau eaii bin witb it, norou,` Danieu auswerec cisnissiveiy.
\areus |ristiec at tbe siigbt auc tool a steµ towarcs Danieu.
8an steµµec |etweeu tben. Cooi it,` be eautiouec. 1uruiug to
Danieu, be orcerec, 1ale it oii ber.`
"itb µieasure,` Danieu saic, eyeiug tbe iocestoue greeciiy. ue
reaebec ior "iuter`s tbroat.
Dou`t toueb ne:` "iuter yeiiec, struggiiug agaiust 8an`s griµ.
I cou`t waut to bit you, "iuter, |ut I wiii:` 8an waruec, stiiiiug
ber irautie eiiorts. "iuter eouic teii |y bis exµressiou tbat be neaut
it. Danieu nauagec to µuii tbe ueeliaee over "iuter`s beac,
uutaugiiug tbe stoue iron ber bair, auc bic it iu oue oi tbe µoelets oi
bis uuiiorn. As sbe watebec tbe greeu erystai cisaµµear iron sigbt,
"iuter ieit ber boµe vauisb witb it. "bat was sbe goiug to co uow'
uow eouic Biale save ber ii be cicu`t luow wbere to iiuc ber'
Let`s go.` 8an craggec ber tbrougb tbe oµeu coor. Cuee tbey
were outsice, "iuter |egau to µieac witb 8an. \ay|e be wouic
tale µity ou ber uow be was away iron tbe otbers.
8an, wby are you coiug tbis'` uer eyes cartec arouuc ior a
sigu oi tbe 8livers iu tbe surrouuciug carluess.
8an iguorec ber çuestiou auc µuiiec ber aeross tbe wet grass. It
bac stoµµec raiuiug, |ut tbe wiuc was stiii stroug, wbiµµiug
"iuter`s bair a|out ber iaee. 1bere was tbe |iael vau iciiug iu
Biale`s criveway - tbe sane vebieie tbat bac criveu ber auc Biale
over tbe eiiii. 8an auc tbe otbers |eiougec to tbe Baue.
8an yaulec "iuter to tbe rear oi tbe vau, wreuebec oµeu tbe
coor auc tbrew ber iusice. 1be |ael oi tbe vau was nore iile a
eage, witb uo wiucows auc a wire nesb |arrier seµaratiug it iron
tbe irout eonµartneut. "iuter µielec berseii uµ iron tbe eoic steei
iioor auc iaeec ber licuaµµer.
liease, 8an: \ou cou`t luow wbat`s out bere:`
8an avoicec ber teariui gaze auc surµrisec ber |y ausweriug
witb a uote oi geuuiue regret. I`n sorry.` ue siannec tbe coor
sbut, ioeliug ber iu tbe gioon.
thaµter s1
"iuter waitec uutii 8an`s iootsteµs bac iacec |eiore tryiug to liel
oµeu tbe vau coor. "beu tbis iaiiec, sbe attenµtec to µry aµart tbe
nesb |arrier so sbe eouic siiµ tbrougb iuto tbe irout seat.
Luiortuuateiy sbe wasu`t stroug euougb, auc aiter severai niuutes
oi tbis ireuziec aetivity sbe eoiiaµsec outo tbe iioor, exbaustec.
Lveu iu tbe ceµtb oi ber cesµair, tbere was sone snaii eousoiatiou
tbat Biale bac eseaµec tbis orceai. "iuter cicu`t luow bow tbe
Baue bac iouuc Biale`s bone, |ut was giac be was iar |eyouc auy
barn 8an auc tbe otbers eouic co to bin.
8an`s reaetiou wbeu be was iirst iutrocueec to Biale iu tbe suri
eiu| succeuiy nace nueb nore seuse to ber. "bat "iuter bac
taleu to |e sinµie jeaiousy ou 8an`s µart, sbe uow saw as |eiug
sonetbiug nueb ceeµer. 8be woucerec ii be`c |eeu |ebiuc tbe
wbeei wbeu tbe vau rannec tben over tbe eiiii.
8be reeaiiec tbe story 8an bac reac aiouc iu Lugiisb eiass. It
bacu`t |eeu a worl oi iietiou at aii, |ut a tbiuiy veiiec aiiegory oi tbe
Baue`s bistory. Iu tbe story tbe youug nau, wbo "iuter guessec
was a surrogate 8an, exµressec renorse at tbe nereiiess exeeutiou
oi tbe ereatures be auc bis ianiiy buutec. 1bere bac |eeu a ceiiuite
iougiug iu tbe ebaraeter ior a nore µeaeeiui existeuee. \ay|e 8an
too bac cou|ts a|out wbat be was coiug, cou|ts tbat nigbt aiiow
"iuter to aµµeai to bis eonµassiouate sice.
A succeu eiieliug souuc outsice tbe vau |auisbec aii tbougbts oi
8an.
"iuter beic ber |reatb, siieutiy µrayiug tbat ber ears were µiayiug
triels ou ber. \ay|e tbe souuc was sone liuc oi aucitory
baiiueiuatiou |rougbt ou |y extrene stress auc iear' It was a
streteb, |ut oue sbe eiuug to cesµerateiy. 1be aiteruative was too
terriiyiug to eousicer.
As çuietiy as µossi|ie, "iuter got outo ber luees auc ioolec
tbrougb tbe wire nesb iuto tbe irout oi tbe ear. Due to tbe augie oi
tbe vau, sbe eouicu`t see nueb tbrougb tbe wiucsereeu, save ior tbe
woocs iaiutiy iit |y tbe bouse iigbts. A iuniuous grouuc nist bac
|eguu to seeµ iu tbrougb tbe uucergrowtb, siowiy ereeµiug its way
towarcs tbe vau. 1bere was uo sigu oi tbe 8livers. \ay|e tbey`c
a|aucouec tbe siege auc returuec to tbe Deac Laucs. \ay|e .
"iuter gasµec as a sbacowy iigure iiutterec iu ber µeriµberai visiou.
By tbe tine sbe suaµµec ber beac arouuc to ioiiow it, tbe |iael
sbaµe bac vauisbec.
leariuiiy searebiug tbe carluess, sbe siowiy |aelec away iron
tbe nesb iuto tbe ceeµer gioon oi tbe vau, wary oi naliug auy
uuueeessary souuc. Ii sbe was çuiet, nay|e tbe 8livers wouicu`t
luow sbe was iu tbe vau. 1bey nigbt tbiul sbe was stiii iu tbe bouse.
Desµerateiy, "iuter eiuug to tbis uotiou, |reatbiug tbrougb ber uose
so as to iinit tbe souuc oi air rusbiug iu auc out. Agouisiug seeoucs
tielec |y auc sbe |egau to |eiieve tbe cauger bac µassec.
cIIck! cIIck! cIIck! cIIck!
Cryiug out, "iuter tbrew berseii to tbe oµµosite sice oi tbe vau.
1bis tine tbe eiieliug bac eone iron cìght outsìde tbe tbiu sbeet
netai uext to ber beac.
lauie tbreateuec to tale over, |ut "iuter iougbt it, grittiug ber
teetb auc tryiug to nuster sone - auy: - eourage. 8be cicu`t waut
to cie iu a|jeet terror. Auotber sbacow iiutterec µast tbe
wiucsereeu. 1he; wece ¡/a;ìng wìth hec! 8be ereµt towarcs tbe
nesb µauei agaiu, terriiiec at wbat sbe nigbt see giiciug towarcs ber
tbrougb tbe nist.
reierten succeuiy junµec uµ iron tbe irout µasseuger seat oi
tbe vau, naliug "iuter serean. 1be eat stooc ou bis biuc iegs,
restiug bis µaws agaiust tbe wire nesb. ue neowec iu greetiug, bis
yeiiow eyes regarciug ber warniy.
"iuter iet out a ioug sbaly |reatb, ieeiiug reiiei iiooc tbrougb
ber.
\ou gave ne a irigbt, you siiiy eat:` 8be µusbec ber iiugers
tbrougb tbe wire auc triec to strole reierten`s iuzzy ebeels. 1be
eat uuzziec ber bauc, iieliug ber iiugers. "iuter cicu`t luow bow
tbe ta||y bac iouuc ber, |ut was too grateiui to eare. ue was bere,
tbat was tbe naiu tbiug. As ioug as reierten renaiuec witb "iuter,
sbe luew sbe wouic |e saie. 8aie iron tbe 8livers, at ieast.
1be irout coor oi tbe bouse siannec, ioiiowec |y tbe souuc oi
iootsteµs auc voiees. 1be sµealers souucec iile Danieu auc
\areus.
Dic you liii aii oi tben'`
\eab - tbe |iael oue |it ne:`
"bat tbe beii was goiug ou iu tbat roon' Aii tbat stuii ou tbe
waiis. I uever seeu uotbiug iile it.`
I`ii ebeel ny |ools wbeu I get bone. I reeoguisec sone oi tbe
syn|ois. I tbiul it was a eoutaiuneut sµeii.`
"by was tbere uotbiug iusice tbe eireie'`
1bat`s wbat`s |otberiug ne. "by nale a eoutaiuneut sµeii
witb uotbiug to eoutaiu'`
1be irout vau coors were µuiiec oµeu. Danieu was iirst iu,
junµiug |ael wbeu be saw reierten. 1be eat ieaµt oii tbe nesb
auc growiec at bin.
"oab: 1bere`s auotber oue iu bere:`
kiii it,` \areus saic easuaiiy iron |ebiuc bin.
As "iuter watebec iu borror, Danieu swuug a eross|ow oii bis
sbouicer auc ainec it at tbe eoiiec ta||y.
ro:` sbe eriec out |eiore Danieu eouic µuii tbe trigger. 8an
ieauec iu tbrougb tbe criver`s sice coor, auc ioolec at ber euriousiy
tbrougb tbe nesb. liease, 8an - be`s ny eat: Dou`t liii bin:` It
was a iie, |ut a gooc oue. 8be`c |eguu to ieei as tbougb reierten
was ber eat.
8an seenec to ceii|erate ior a noneut. uis eoic eyes net
"iuter`s auc sbe usec tbe oµµortuuity to siieutiy µieac witb bin.
Ðont kì// the cat! I/ease. Sao! I/ he dìes. I dìe! "iuter ieit a
giinner oi boµe at wbat sbe saw reiieetec |ael iu 8an`s gaze - a
iiieler oi eonµassiou. 8be boµec sbe bacu`t inagiuec it. 8an
turuec away iron "iuter auc uoccec at Danieu, wbo seenec iar
too eager to enµioy bis ceaciy weaµou.
Cive ber tbe eat.`
But 8an, Dac toic us to liii aii tbe eats:`
Cuiy Biale`s. 8be says tbis oue`s bers.`
\ou |eiieve ber'`
"iuter cicu`t tbiul 8an |eiievec ber iu tbe siigbtest. 8onetbiug
a|out ber cistress bac aµµeaiec to bin - sbe eouic see it iu tbe
eouiiietec enotious ou bis iaee.
Cive ber tbe eat,` be reµeatec steruiy.
8an -` Danieu wbiuec agaiu.
\ou bearc ne, Danieu:`
Danieu ioolec to \areus ior suµµort |ut reeeivec ouiy a sbrug.
loutiug, tbe exµressiou naliug bin aµµear eveu youuger, Danieu
uuioelec auc iowerec tbe wire nesb. Beiore be eouic µiel uµ
reierten, tbe eat ieaµt over tbe |arrier auc iuto "iuter`s waitiug
arns.
rursiug tbe eat, sbe oiierec 8an a sbaly sniie. 1baul you.`
ue iguorec ber auc siic iu |ebiuc tbe steeriug wbeei. "iuter
susµeetec sbe`c exbaustec auy µreiereutiai treatneut sbe eouic
exµeet iron bin, |ut was grateiui uouetbeiess. 8be cou|tec eitber
oi tbe otber two wouic bave sbowu ber tbe sane liucuess. \areus
seenec iile a suiieu |rute, auc Danieu a ereeµy iittie weasei. 8an
nigbt uot |e tbe |oy "iuter bac tbougbt be was, |ut be stiii seenec
eaµa|ie oi enµatby.
8towiug tbeir eross|ows, Danieu siic iuto tbe niccie, wbiie
\areus tool tbe wiucow seat. 1bere was a strauge seeut iu tbe air
- a µuugeut ebenieai arona tbat "iuter eouicu`t iceutiiy. 1bey aii
a|soiuteiy reelec oi it: 8be was stiii µuzziiug ou wbat tbe sneii was
wbeu 8an revvec tbe eugiue, taliug oii at sµeec.
"iuter ieii |aelwarcs outo tbe netai iioor, croµµiug reierten
as sbe triec iu vaiu to leeµ ber |aiauee. 1be eat iaucec uin|iy,
slitteriug away to a saie sµot |ebiuc tbe rear rigbt wbeei. lron
tbere be watebec "iuter, bis yeiiow eyes giowiug iaiutiy iu tbe iow
iigbt.
"iuter siowiy µielec berseii uµ, wiueiug at tbe iresb µaiu oi ber
|ruises. 8be was jostiec to auc iro as tbe vau ieit tbe |unµy terraiu
oi Biale`s criveway auc turuec outo uoiioway koac. Cuee tbe
jouruey bac snootbec out, "iuter µusbec berseii agaiust tbe ieit-
bauc sice oi tbe |ael eonµartneut, µuiiiug ber luees uµ to ber
ebest. "bat was goiug to baµµeu to ber' uow ioug eouic sbe
survive witbout Biale to µroteet ber'
8be eoujurec au inage oi Biale`s iaee auc beic it iu ber niuc
iile a taiisnau. 8be boµec tbat, wberever be was, Biale wouic
eone ior ber soou. "iuter luew tbe cauger grew every seeouc
tbey were aµart.
thaµter sz
"iuter eouicu`t |e sure bow ioug sbe was iu tbe vau |eiore it
eveutuaiiy eane to a stoµ, |ut guessec tbey bac erossec iron oue
sice oi towu to tbe otber. Duriug tbe triµ, tbe otbers were nostiy
çuiet, exeeµt ior a iew neutious oi tbe oic nau` auc tbe ereature`
- a reiereuee to Biale, sbe assunec.
Cuee tbe vau`s eugiue was switebec oii ber licuaµµers exitec
tbe vau, ieaviug "iuter auc reierten to wait iu tbe |ael. 8be eouic
bear tbeir iootsteµs eruuebiug ou tbe gravei outsice as tbey wailec
arouuc to oµeu tbe rear coors, auc steeiec berseii ior aetiou.
"iuter bac sµeut tbe jouruey µsyebiug berseii uµ to tbis µoiut,
iiguriug it was µro|a|iy ber oue ebauee to eseaµe. 8be roiiec
berseii iuto a erouebiug µositiou, reacy to ieaµ out as soou as tbe
coors oµeuec. 1bey were µro|a|iy exµeetiug ber to |e irigbteuec
auc naiiea|ie, sonetbiug sbe µiauuec ou usiug to ber acvautage.
1be coors were tbrowu oµeu auc "iuter iauuebec berseii out -
straigbt iuto tbe waitiug arns oi \areus.
"oab: \ou cicu`t teii ne sbe was sueb a iigbter, 8anny,`
\areus saic, iaugbiug as be griµµec "iuter`s wrists to stoµ ber
|eatiug bin.
8an watebec "iuter struggie iu \areus`s en|raee witb a |orec
exµressiou ou bis iaee. 8toµ iooiiug arouuc auc |riug ber iusice.
8one|ocy nigbt see ber.`
Let go oi ne:` "iuter nauagec to yeii |eiore \areus eoverec
ber noutb witb bis bauc auc craggec ber towarcs tbe bouse. Lveu
iu ber µauielec state sbe was surµrisec to see 8an`s bouse was a
nocest oue-storey |uugaiow, iucistiuguisba|ie iron tbe bones ou
eitber sice. Cwi \ouutaiu rose uµ agaiust tbe uigbt sly iu tbe
cistauee, auc |y its ioeatiou sbe was a|ie to guess wbere tbey were
iu towu. 8onewbere uear uauciey Drive, uot iar away iron sebooi.
Aiter inagiuiug tbat tbey wouic tale ber to sone isoiatec sbael
sonewbere |eyouc tbe outslirts, sbe ieit a iittie eoniortec |y tbe
ianiiiar surrouuciugs. At ieast ii sbe nauagec to eseaµe tbere wouic
|e beiµ eiose at bauc iron oue oi tbe ueigb|ours. I/ sbe nauagec to
eseaµe .
"iuter triec to wriggie arouuc iu \areus`s grasµ to see ii
reierten bac |eeu iiitec out oi tbe vau too. 1bere was uo sigu oi
tbe eat. 8be µrayec siieutiy tbat be was sonewbere uear|y,
otberwise sbe`c bave nueb nore to iear tbau tbese tbugs.
\areus earriec ber over tbe tbresboic iuto tbe bouse, witb
Danieu auc 8an ioiiowiug eiose |ebiuc. Cuee tbey were aii iusice,
8an ioelec tbe irout coor.
1ale ber out |ael. ue`s waitiug ior ber.`
"iuter cicu`t iile tbe souuc oi tbat. Just who was waitiug ior ber
out |ael' 8be eoutiuuec to liel auc struggie agaiust \areus, |ut
bis griµ was too stroug.
As sbe was craggec tbrougb tbe eeutrai baiiway, "iuter eaugbt
giinµses oi tbe roons, tbe iirst eoutaiuec tbree iuiiata|ie nattresses
iiuec uµ uext to eaeb otber, wbiie auotber was µaelec witb gyn
eçuiµneut - weigbts, cun||eiis, a iiat |eueb. Auotber roon
cisµiayec nueb nore iutriguiug eouteuts. "iuter saw sone liuc oi
worl|eueb witb a eoiieetiou oi erystais auc weirciy sbaµec µieees
oi netai sµreac aeross it. 1bere was au oµeu iaµtoµ eonµuter
ruuuiug sone liuc oi graµbie sinuiatiou tbat nace uo seuse to ber.
1be renaiuiug roons were virtuaiiy |arreu save ior tbe occ
earc|oarc |ox or µaeliug erate. 1be eutire bouse bac a eoic,
inµersouai ieei to it - tbere were uo ianiiy µietures, seatterec
nagaziues or |ools, uot eveu a teievisiou. It was nore iile a
nalesbiit niiitary |arraels tbau auytbiug eise.
\areus earriec "iuter tbrougb a coorway auc iiuaiiy reieasec
ber. Ciariug at bin augriiy, sbe turuec arouuc, ber |reatb eatebiug
wbeu sbe saw tbe oic nau sittiug at tbe ta|ie watebiug ber. ue bac
ioug, straggiy wbite bair, sweµt |ael iron a gauut iaee tbat
wouicu`t bave ioolec out oi µiaee ou a uaiioweeu nasl. 1bere
was sonetbiug aiarniugiy eacaverous a|out bin, as ii be were
siowiy |eiug eateu away iron tbe iusice |y iiesb-eatiug |ugs. uis
sliu was stretebec so tbiuiy aeross bis |oues tbat "iuter was
surµrisec tbe sluii cicu`t |urst tbrougb wbeu be sniiec.
Auc wbat co we bave bere'` be aslec iu ceeeµtiveiy irieuciy
toues as \areus uucgec "iuter towarcs bin. A siigbt Luroµeau
aeeeut sbarµeuec bis voweis.
uer uane`s "iuter. 8be`s tbe oue I toic you a|out |eiore,`
8an auswerec.
1be oic nau ioolec synµatbetieaiiy at "iuter. I inagiue you
nust |e çuite aiarnec, youug iacy. liease aiiow ne to iutrocuee
nyseii.`
"iuter giarec at bin. I luow wbo you are.`
Cue oi tbe nau`s grey eye|rows twitebec iu euriosity. Is tbat
so'`
\ou`re tbe Baue.`
\areus suiggerec |ebiuc ber, wbiie tbe oic nau sigbec
sonewbat saciy. "e baveu`t eaiiec ourseives tbat uane ior nauy
years,` be reµiiec. "iuter iguorec tbe anusec iool iu tbe ereeµy
oic nau`s eyes auc çuieliy seauuec tbe roon ior auytbiug tbat
nigbt aic ber eseaµe. Cieariy sbe eouicu`t ruu |ael tbe way sbe`c
eone - uot witb \areus auc 8an |ioeliug tbe route. uowever, tbe
sasb wiucow at tbe |ael oi tbe roon was wice euougb ior ber to
eiin| tbrougb. 8be just ueecec to get µast tbe oic nau to co it.
\y uane is Caie| Beuuet,` be eoutiuuec, bis overiy irieuciy
nauuer naliug "iuter eveu nore susµieious oi bin. 1be |oys
stauciug |ebiuc you are ny sous. Danieu`s tbe youugest, \areus is
tbe oue witb tbe çuestioua|ie bair eoiour, auc I |eiieve you luow
8an.`
Brotbers: ro woucer "iuter bac seeu sone µbysieai siniiarities
|etweeu tbe tbree. Caie| gesturec to tbe ebair eiosest to "iuter.
row tbat we`ve |eeu iutrocueec µroµeriy, wiii you sit cowu'`
"iuter besitatec, ueeciug sone reassurauee. \y eat .`
Caie| irowuec auc ioolec to 8an. Cat'`
8an startec to eiariiy "iuter`s çuestiou wbeu Danieu euterec
tbe roon, boiciug reierten to bis ebest.
"iuter reaebec ior tbe irigbteuec ta||y. liease give bin to ne.`
Danieu ioolec to Caie| ior µernissiou. ue seenec to |e
ceii|eratiug over wbetber or uot to give ber reierten wbeu 8an
sµole. It`s ber eat. "e liiiec tbe otbers.`
Caie| sbruggec auc Danieu baucec tbe ta||y over to "iuter.
8troliug bin, "iuter reiuetautiy sat cowu oµµosite Caie|. ue
sniiec at ber agaiu, tbe exµressiou out oi µiaee ou bis barc, eruei
iaee.
Crowiug uµ iu lrague, I bac a cog wbeu I was a ebiic - a
woiibouuc uanec Lueius. Cats, tbougb, bave aiways |otberec ne.
1bey see too nueb. "beu 8atau wailec tbe eartb it is saic be eane
iu tbe iorn oi a eat. Dic you luow tbat'`
"iuter sbool ber beac.
Caie| aµµearec cisaµµoiutec sbe cicu`t luow tbis iaet. "bat`s
your eat`s uane'`
reierten.`
ranec ior tbe Lgyµtiau goc oi iuel. I boµe be`s |rougbt you
sone'`
rot so iar,` "iuter reµiiec bouestiy auc tbe oic nau iaugbec.
row, nay I oiier you a criul' 1ea' Coiiee'`
8be bac uo tine ior tbis µoiite ebarace. 1bese µeoµie bac
licuaµµec ber:
"bat co you waut witb ne'`
Caie| seenec surµrisec at tbe çuestiou. 1o µroteet you, oi
eourse.`
lroteet ne iron wbat'`
\ou`re iu great cauger, "iuter,` be reµiiec, stariug at ber
graveiy.
"iuter returuec bis stare. ro arguneuts bere. But I wouic |e iu
iess cauger ii you bacu`t licuaµµec ne.`
\ou tbiul you`re saie witb tbe ereature'`
"iuter`s |ael stiiieuec at tbe reiereuee to Biale. 8be cic
uotbiug to bice tbe cisµieasure iu ber voiee wbeu ausweriug, I
know I`n saie witb Biale. ue`s uever ruu ne over a eiiii:`
Caie| buug bis beac as tbougb sbanec |y "iuter`s aeeusatiou.
I nust aµoiogise ior tbat µartieuiar aetiou. "e were nereiy tryiug
to |ait tbe ereature iuto usiug sone oi its µower, tbus reveaiiug
itseii.`
\ou`re iusaue:` "iuter reµiiec, sboelec tbat tbey eouic sbrug
oii ber uear-ceatb so easiiy.
8but uµ, "iuter: \ou bave uo icea -` 8an |egau augriiy, |ut
was siieueec |y Caie|`s raisec iiuger.
"bat cic be teii you a|out us'` Caie| aslec ber witb a wry
sniie, as tbougb iucuigiug a snaii ebiic`s iautasy.
ue toic ne bow you`ve buutec bin aeross tbe years iile be was
sone liuc oi nouster.`
Caie|`s eyes wiceuec siigbtiy auc ieauec iorwarc iu bis ebair.
Iìke be was a nouster' \y cear giri, wbat co you suµµose it -
Biale - is'`
"iuter auswerec bin easiiy. 1be nau wbo savec ny iiie.`
\au'` Caie| seoiiec. \y cear, we |otb luow your Biale is
uo oan. ue`s a Denori. Just iile bis iatber. A ereature tbat craius
tbe iiie ioree oi µoor iguoraut giris iile yourseii.`
Biale wouic uever burt ne,` "iuter saic ceiiautiy.
Ci eourse be wouic.` Caie|`s toue soiteuec as be regarcec
"iuter synµatbetieaiiy. I`n sure Biale coesu`t waut to burt you,
|ut soouer or iater be wou`t |e a|ie to resist. It`s bis uature to liii
wbat be ioves.`
thaµter s1
Caie| µausec, watebiug tbe eiieet oi bis worcs ou "iuter. Aiter a
noneut oi tbis siieut stucy be eoutiuuec sµealiug, bis voiee taliug
ou a seboiariy toue.
\ore tbau a eeutury ago, ny aueestor Vietor Bouuaire was
narriec to a |eautiiui youug wonau uanec \aceieiue. ue was a
µiaywrigbt auc sbe au aetress iu bis reµertory. Cue uigbt \aceieiue
was taleu iron Vietor |y a ereature - a Denori, wbo eaiiec binseii
Arinau. Lvii iuearuate.`
"iuter stoµµec bin. I`ve bearc tbis story |eiore.`
Caie| regarcec ber witb iuterest. ue toic you our bistory'`
"iuter uoccec. Vietor was a nacnau. \aceieiue wasu`t taleu
- sbe ieit wiiiiugiy.`
Caie|`s eyes uarrowec auc bis voiee croµµec to a caugerous
ievei.
Vietor Bouuaire was a great nau. ue was eboseu |y Coc
uinseii to ric tbe woric oi tbis evii. "e are µrouc to |eioug to bis
iiue.` ue giaueec over at bis tbree sous. Danieu auc \areus
uoccec iu agreeneut. It nigbt bave ouiy |eeu "iuter`s wisbiui
tbiuliug - tbe nenory oi bis story aiieetiug ber jucgeneut - |ut
8an seenec to iael tbe eouvietiou oi bis |rotbers. 1bat cistur|iug
iool oi iauatieisn sbe eouic see iu tbeir eyes was nissiug iron bis.
uow stroug Vietor`s batrec nust bave |eeu to survive tbrougb
tbe years auc |e µassec cowu to bis ceseeucauts. Caie| tailec
a|out evii auc nousters, |ut "iuter eouicu`t beiµ |ut see bis
byµoerisy. A iatber grooniug bis sous to |e liiiers iron |irtb,
|raiuwasbiug tben to earry ou bis vioieut eause, ro||iug tben oi aii
iuuoeeuee or tbe ebauee oi a uornai iiie - tbis was noustrous. 1bis
was evii.
Lveu ii you`re rigbt,` "iuter eouuterec, eveu ii Arinau was a
nouster - wby µuuisb Biale'`
Caie| resunec bis iusiueere exµressiou oi µateruai iucuigeuee.
\our Biale is every |it tbe nouster bis iatber was.`
"iuter was aireacy sbaliug ber beac. Biale`s uot a nurcerer.
\ou`re wroug.`
An I'` Caie| reµiiec. ue uoccec at bis niccie sou. Briug iu
tbe eonµuter, 8an.`
8an steµµec out oi tbe roon auc bis iootsteµs reeecec iuto tbe
bouse. Caie| µressec bis sleietai iiugers togetber as be regarcec
ber tbougbtiuiiy. \ou reaiiy |eiieve Biale eares ior you, cou`t
you'`
"iuter cicu`t resµouc. 8be cicu`t ueec to. 1bis nau luew
uotbiug a|out ber reiatiousbiµ witb Biale. ue was a nurcerous oic
iooi. 8an returuec aiter a iew niuutes witb a iaµtoµ, wbieb be
baucec to Caie|. Caie| iiiµµec uµ tbe sereeu auc tyµec iu a iew
ley|oarc eonnaucs. "beu be was satisiiec witb wbat was
cisµiayec, be siic tbe iaµtoµ aeross tbe ta|ie towarcs "iuter.
lerbaµs you`ii iiuc tbis oi iuterest.`
8usµieious oi Caie| tryiug sone liuc oi triel, "iuter µuiiec tbe
eonµuter eioser. "bat eouic µossi|iy |e ou bere tbat wouic
ebauge tbe way sbe ieit towarcs Biale' 1bere was a ioicer iistiug a
cozeu or so giris` uanes iu aiµba|etieai orcer.
"bat is -'`
Cµeu oue oi tbe iiies. Auy oi tben,` Caie| µronµtec ber.
Lsiug tbe touebµac, "iuter eiielec ou Caroi Cates`. Aiter a
iew seeoucs oi ioaciug, au inage iiiiec tbe sereeu - a uewsµaµer
eiiµµiug, seauuec iron tbe kentwocth chconìc/e. 1be artieie was
catec : Juue 1vvv, auc was oi bigb euougb çuaiity tbat "iuter bac
uo µro|ien reaciug tbe text. uer eyes traveiiec over tbe artieie,
wiceuiug iu sboel as tbe inµiieatious |eeane eiear.
Io/ìce o//ìcecs dìscoveced the lod; o/ seventeen-;eac-o/d
caco/ Oates ìn the gu//; lehìnd !o·ton Lì// /ust le/oce
dawn thìs oocnìng. 1he teenagec had leen oìssìng /oc two
da;s a/tec /aì/ìng to cetucn hooe /ast Icìda; nìght. ßhat
was ¡actìcu/ac/; dìstuclìng alout Ms Oatess death was the
state ìn whìch hec lod; was /ound. Ðetectìve Meceson o/ the
kentwocth count; Shecì// s Ðe¡actoent was ¡uoted as
sa;ìng. She /ooked ouch o/dec than hec seventeen ;eacs
wou/d suggest. addìng that ì/ ìt wecent /oc denta/ cecocds
ìndìcatìng that ìt was Ms Oates. the; wou/d have assuoed
the lod; to le that o/ a wooan aged ovec sì·t;. ßhì/e the
e·act cause o/ death ìs stì// unknown. Ðetectìve Meceson ìs
con/ìdent that a /u// auto¡s; wì// cevea/ how and when the
gìc/ was oucdeced. In the oeantìoe. authocìtìes seek to
¡uestìon a ;oung oan seen wìth Ms Oates outsìde the
cìneoa on óeocge Stceet. Le ìs le/ìeved to le one o/ the /ast
to see hec a/ìve.
"iuter ioolec uµ at Caie| auc cenaucec, "bat is tbis
suµµosec to µrove' \ou cou`t luow it was Biale -`
Caie| µoiutec at tbe iaµtoµ. 8eroii cowu to tbe |otton.`
uer seuse oi uuease growiug, "iuter cic wbat be saic auc saw a
graiuy, |iael-auc-wbite µbotograµb oi Caroi Cates. rext to ber
µbotograµb was a iiueiy cetaiiec µoiiee sleteb. "iuter reac tbe
eaµtiou |eiow tbe crawiug witb a siel ieeiiug growiug iusice ber.
1he alove sketch was oade wìth the he/¡ o/ caco/ Oatess
/cìends. who saw the two togethec on the nìght she dìed. ~n;
ìn/ocoatìon cegacdìng hìs whecealouts ìs to le dìcected to
the kentwocth count; Shecì// s Ðe¡actoent. whìch can le
contacted .
It was Biale - tbe artist bac eaµturec bis ieatures µerieetiy.
"iuter µusbec tbe iaµtoµ away iron ber, twistiug it arouuc to iaee
Caie|.
1bere are otber artieies, otber giris.`
"iuter sbool ber beac, ieeiiug as ii sbe`c |eeu lielec iu tbe
stonaeb. I cou`t waut to see auy nore.`
8be was aµµaiiec to reaiise tbere was a snaii µart oi ber tbat
wasu`t eonµieteiy eertaiu oi Biale`s iuuoeeuee. ue`c acnittec bow
stroug tbe buuger was tbat griµµec bin aiter usiug bis µowers - was
it uutbiula|ie tbat be`c giveu iu to tbis buuger agaiu, aiter Liisa|etta'
Caie| eiosec tbe iaµtoµ auc baucec it |ael to 8an. It`s uot
your iauit, "iuter. 1bis cevii bas a way a|out bin tbat nales youug
woneu iorget tbenseives. uis iatber bac it too.`
"iuter starec cowu at ber baucs, as ii boµiug to iiuc sone
auswer tbere tbat wouic nale seuse oi aii tbis. 8be eouicu`t -
wouicu`t - aeeeµt tbat Biale was resµousi|ie ior tbe ceatbs oi aii
tbose giris. Ii be was a liiier, wby bacu`t be taleu acvautage oi aii
tbe tines tbey`c |eeu aioue togetber' 1bere bac to |e auotber
exµiauatiou.
thaµter s4
Caie| stooc uµ auc wailec arouuc tbe ta|ie to wbere "iuter was
sittiug. ue |eut cowu to ber ievei auc µut a bauc geutiy ou ber
sbouicer.
"e ueec you to beiµ us, "iuter. "e ueec you to beiµ us stoµ
bin.`
uer tbroat ieit very cry. "beu sbe sµole ber voiee eraelec.
uow'`
Danieu novec to wbere tbey were sittiug auc croµµec Biale`s
ueeliaee outo tbe ta|ie iu irout oi "iuter. 1be greeu erystai - tbe
iocestoue - giiutec iu tbe iigbt.
Caie| giaueec over at Danieu witb iuterest. Does it worl'`
Danieu uoccec. I rau tbe auaiysis, leeµiug a snaii µart ior tbe
ioeator sbouic we wisb to trael it. It`s ceii-uiteiy iron kryµtbia.`
"iuter`s ears µrielec uµ at tbe neutiou oi kryµtbia. 8be bacu`t
|eeu eertaiu oi tbe exteut oi tbe Baue`s luowiecge, auc was
surµrisec tbey luew tbe uane oi tbe eity at tbe beart oi tbe Deac
Laucs. 8be was nore iuterestec iu Danieu`s aiiusiou to tbe ioeator
auc bow it reiatec to tben traeliug cowu Biale. As sbe was nuiiiug
tbis over, Caie| turuec bis atteutiou |ael to ber.
Lse it to eaii bin, "iuter.`
I cou`t luow bow to,` sbe reµiiec, ioweriug ber gaze so tbat be
eouicu`t see tbe ceeeit iu ber eyes.
8be`s iyiug: Let ne nale ber use it,` \areus suaµµec.
"iuter swaiiowec iu iear. 8be bac uo cou|ts tbat ieit to bis owu
ceviees \areus wouic iile to burt ber.
Be çuiet:` Caie| suaµµec.
uis eicest sou eiosec bis noutb, iiusbiug iuriousiy.
8igbiug witb irustratiou, Caie| saic, I`n sorry, "iuter. \areus
bas a çuiel tenµer. I uucerstauc tbat you`re stiii eouiusec. \ay|e
we eau beiµ you witb tbat'` ue stooc uµ auc novec away to tbe
|ael oi tbe roon. Danieu - sbe`s aii yours.`
keaiiy'` Danieu saic, tbe exeiteneut iu bis toue irigbteuiug
"iuter nore tbau \areus`s tbreats oi µbysieai vioieuee.
Caie| uoccec eueouragiugiy.
Cutstauciug:` Danieu junµec uµ auc ieit tbe roon. "iuter
cicu`t luow wbat be was goiug to co to ber |ut sbe bac a ieeiiug it
was goiug to |e |ac. 8be turuec inµioriugiy to 8an. 8an, µiease
cou`t iet tben co tbis:`
8an ioolec µast ber, as tbougb asbanec to neet ber gaze. 8be
eouic teii |y tbe regret iu bis voiee tbat be cicu`t waut tbis to baµµeu
auy nore tbau sbe cic, |ut was µoweriess to stoµ it. \ou sbouic
bave beiµec us.`
Danieu returuec witb a snaii wooceu |ox. ue sat oµµosite ber
at tbe ta|ie auc iiitec oii tbe iic. "iuter eouicu`t see wbat was
iusice, |ut wasu`t sure sbe wautec to luow. uer inagiuatiou
exµiocec witb a cozeu µossi|iiities oi wbat liuc oi torture ceviee
Danieu nigbt |e a|out to use ou ber - aii oi tben irigbteuiug. 1o
ber surµrise, iusteac oi tbun|serews or ueecies, Danieu witbcrew
a eireuiar necaiiiou, its eeutre acoruec witb a tiuy ru|y.
Lower tbe iigbts,` Danieu saic as be eiosec tbe |ox auc beic
tbe necaiiiou iu bis baucs.
8an cinnec tbe iigbts uutii tbey eouic |areiy see eaeb otber.
1be ouiy souree oi iigbt sµiiiec iu tbrougb tbe baiiway. "iuter
|raeec berseii ior wbatever was goiug to baµµeu to uext.
I was exeitec to see your ueeliaee, "iuter, |eeause I`ve ouiy
ever seeu oues iile it iu |ools. I wasu`t sure tbey eveu existec,`
Danieu saic, sniiiug at ber iu a nauuer wbieb be µro|a|iy tbougbt
was irieuciy |ut just eane oii as uusettiiug. I`n a eoiieetor oi rare
stoues, you see. rot cianoucs or saµµbires - |ut otber stoues
nueb nore µreeious. \ueb nore µoweriui.
1bis bere is a very sµeeiai arteiaet. It`s eaiiec a "itebiug
8toue,` be eoutiuuec, iettiug tbe necaiiiou swiug iu tbe air iile a
µeucuiun. 1bere coesu`t aµµear to |e auytbiug renarla|ie a|out
it, |ut ii you iool eioseiy at tbe ru|y you eau see a iigbt bicceu iu its
ceµtbs. Cau you see it, "iuter'`
"itbout luowiug wby, "iuter ieit eonµeiiec to stucy tbe ru|y iu
tbe eeutre oi tbe necaiiiou as it swuug |ael auc iortb. 8be ieauec
iorwarc, iaseiuatec |y tbe way tbe iaeets oi tbe gen reiieetec ber
iaee . 1bere was a iigbt: 8be eouic see it iiasbiug iu tbe ceµtbs oi
tbe ru|y, snaii |ursts oi erinsou iigbtuiug sµiceriug uµ auc cowu
tbe iuterior oi tbe tiuy µrisn.
Cau you see it' Cau you see tbe iigbt'` Danieu aslec ber iu
soit, sootbiug toues.
\es,` "iuter bearc berseii auswer. 1be ru|y seenec to iiii ber
eutire iieic oi visiou, |ioeliug out Danieu, Caie|, tbe roon -
everytbiug. 1bere was just tbe rec iigbt auc Danieu`s voiee,
eonµeiiiug ber to o|ey.
\ou`re goiug to beiµ us, "iuter.`
\es,` sbe bearc a voiee say agaiu cistautiy. It souucec iile ber,
|ut it eouicu`t bave |eeu, |eeause sbe bacu`t ieit ber noutb nove.
I waut you to µiel uµ tbe iocestoue tbat Biale gave you. I waut
you to µiel it uµ auc use it to - ob ny Coc . I cou`t |eiieve it:`
"bat is it'` Caie| aslec, noviug aeross to bis sou. 1beir
eouversatiou souucec cistaut, as tbougb tbey were stauciug iu
auotber roon.
8be`s a key.`
\ou`re sure'`
I tbiul so. Ii everytbiug iu Aiistaire`s Crinoire is true, tbis giri is
a key.`
Vagueiy aware oi tbe exeiteneut iu Caie|`s voiee, "iuter
eouicu`t nuster auy euriosity over wbat tbey were tailiug a|out.
rotbiug seenec nore inµortaut tbau tbe "itebiug 8toue, swiugiug
iron Danieu`s bauc.
ro woucer be wautec ber. I`n surµrisec tbe giri is stiii aiive.
1bis ebauges everytbiug. "bat co you suµµose -`
A coor|eii ebinec iouciy tbrougb tbe bouse.
Dannit:` Danieu eursec, ioweriug tbe necaiiiou. Cuee it was
bicceu iron sigbt, "iuter |egau to eone |ael to berseii. 8be sat
|iiuliug iu tbe gioon, sboelec to see tbat sbe was boiciug Biale`s
ueeliaee iu ber baucs. 8be cicu`t renen|er µieliug it uµ.
1be coor|eii ebinec agaiu.
Irritatec, Caie| irowuec at bis tbree sous. "ouic auy oi you |e
exµeetiug guests at tbis tine oi uigbt'`
1be tbree ioolec at eaeb otber auc sbruggec iu eouiusiou.
Ciosiug bis eyes, Caie| µiuebec tbe |ricge oi bis uose tigbtiy, as
tbougb tryiug to reiieve tbe µressure oi a |ucciug beacaebe.
\areus, go see wbo it is.`
Aiter \areus bac cisaµµearec iuto tbe baiiway Caie| wailec
over to Danieu auc µoiutec at "iuter. Is sbe stiii uucer'`
Danieu sbool bis beac. ro, I`ii bave to start agaiu.`
Caie| ioolec steruiy at "iuter. liease cou`t craw auy atteutiou
to yourseii. I`c bate to bave to gag you.`
8tiii eouiusec |y wbat bac just baµµeuec, "iuter µielec uµ
reierten oii tbe ta|ie ior eoniort. ßhat was wcong wìth hec`
"by cic sbe ieei so . vioiatec' "iuter ioolec ceeµiy iuto tbe
ta||y`s eyes, tryiug to iiuc sonetbiug tbere tbat wouic nale seuse
oi tbe situatiou.
8be bearc tbe irout coor oµeu at tbe otber euc oi tbe bouse,
ioiiowec |y tbe soit nurnur oi voiees. A niuute iater, \areus
returuec.
It`s sone giri ior 8an,` be toic bis iatber, iooliug at 8an witb
|enuseneut. 8an`s ebeels recceuec.
I`n sorry, latber, I cicu`t -`
Caie| stoµµec bin. Just get ric oi ber.`
8an µusbec µast bis snirliug |rotbers auc out iuto tbe baiiway.
Aiter be`c goue, Caie| ru||ec tbe |ael oi bis ueel a|seutiy. I
aµoiogise ior tbe cistraetiou. "e`ii eoutiuue as soou as we eau.`
Coutiuue' "bat were you coiug to ne'` "iuter aslec, tryiug
to eiear ber beac oi tbe strauge iog tbat eioucec it.
Caie| restec bis bauc µrouciy ou Danieu`s sbouicer. Just giviug
you a irieuciy µusb iu tbe rigbt cireetiou. I tbiul you waut to beiµ us,
|ut you`re boiciug yourseii |ael out oi sone ceiucec seuse oi
ioyaity to Biale. Danieu nigbt |e tbe youugest oi ny sous, |ut be`s
aiso tbe snartest. ue`s traiuec binseii iu eertaiu teebuiçues to beiµ
us get tbe iuiornatiou we ueec.`
\ou`re tryiug to byµuotise ne'`
Danieu sniiec eoeliiy. It`s a iittie nore eonµiex tbau tbat,
"iuter. 1bis is uo nere triel. It`s a eon|iuatiou oi seieuee auc
nystieisn. 1be "itebiug 8toue wou`t worl ior just auy|ocy. 1bere
are seeret -` ue |role oii, cistraetec |y tbe eonnotiou eoniug
iron tbe irout oi tbe bouse. 1be voiees were raisec, growiug nore
beatec |y tbe seeouc.
"bat is goiug ou out tbere'` Caie| aslec iu exasµeratiou.
1bougb "iuter eouicu`t nale out tbe worcs, sbe cic reeoguise
tbe iuterioµer`s bigb-µitebec voiee - sµeeiii-eaiiy tbe toue oi
outrage.
It was Jasniue:
By tbe souuc oi it sbe was |iastiug 8an witb tbe iuii iury sbe`c
giveu "iuter a µreview oi eariier iu tbe cay.
Caie| exbaiec weariiy auc turuec to \areus auc Danieu. ueiµ
your |rotber get ric oi ber.`
8tiii snirliug, tbe two o|ecieutiy weut out iuto tbe baiiway,
eiosiug tbe coor |ebiuc tben. "iuter cou|tec tbat tbe tbree Beuuet
|rotbers were euougb to cissuace Jasniue ouee sbe got berseii
worlec uµ iuto sueb a state.
Caie| sbruggec at "iuter. I sonetines iorget ny |oys bave
iives outsice oi tbe eause. 8onetines I wisb tbey cicu`t.` ue
eoelec bis beac to oue sice, stucyiug "iuter witb anusec
iaseiuatiou. Do you bave auy icea bow sµeeiai you are, "iuter'`
"iuter swaiiowec uervousiy, uueoniorta|ie witb tbe serutiuy.
I`n uot sµeeiai.`
Cb, |ut you are,` Caie| eouuterec, griuuiug iile a eat wbo`c
just eaugbt a nouse. "e`ve |eeu iooliug ior soneoue just iile you
ior a ioug tine uow. Deeaces, iu iaet. \ou bave a giit, "iuter. A
giit we eau use.`
"iuter was uo iouger iisteuiug to bin. 8onetbiug a|out Caie|`s
eyes bac eaugbt ber atteutiou. 1be sniie iacec iron bis iaee,
reµiaeec witb a irowu. "by are you iooliug at ne iile tbat'`
Bael at tbe bouse, tbe 8igbt bac iaiiec ber wbeu sbe`c reçuirec
it iu tbe uµstairs baiiway. row, it returuec uu|icceu. 8tariug at
Caie|`s gauut iaee sbe eouic see tbe Ceeuiuna, tiuy tougues oi |iue
iiane twistiug auc turuiug iu bis µuµiis.
\ou`re goiug to cie soou,` sbe saic çuietiy, nesnerisec |y tbe
iaciug |iue iire. Caie|`s irowu ceeµeuec. uis voiee tool ou a
caugerous çuaiity.
"bat are you tailiug a|out'`
keaiisiug sbe`c nissµoleu, "iuter ioolec away iron tbe iigbt iu
bis eyes. rotbiug. I`n sorry.`
Caie| eireiec tbe ta|ie, eoniug eiose to ber. 1eii ne, "iuter.
ßhat dìd ;ou see``
I cicu`t see auytbiug,` "iuter auswerec, irigbteuec |y tbe iool
ou Caie|`s iaee. "batever µreteuee oi liucuess or eiviiity be`c
sµortec bac iaiieu away, reveaiiug tbe vioieuee |eueatb. ue
gra||ec "iuter |y tbe sbouicers, sereaniug, "bat cic you see'`
reierten succeuiy ieaµt iron tbe ta|ie - a sereeebiug orauge
|aii oi eiaws auc teetb - to attael Caie|. 1be oic nau staggerec
|aelwarcs, iaiiiug to tbe iioor as tbe eat |it auc seratebec bis iaee.
"iuter cicu`t waste auy tine. 8be junµec oii ber ebair, seooµec
Biale`s ueeliaee iron tbe ta|ie auc rau to tbe wiucow. Aireacy
sbe eouic bear iootsteµs eoniug cowu tbe baiiway towarcs tbe
roon.
8be cicu`t bave nueb tine.
Braeiug ber µains agaiust tbe wiucow irane, sbe triec to µusb it
oµeu, |ut it wouicu`t nove. 1be iootsteµs grew eioser iu tbe
baiiway. "iuter eouic bear Danieu auc \areus teasiug 8an a|out
Jasniue - the; wou/d le hece an; second!
lrautieaiiy sbe triec to see wby tbe wiucow wasu`t |ucgiug auc
saw it was stiii iatebec. Iu ber baste, sbe`c iorgotteu to uuiateb it.
Caie| iet out a groau as be eoutiuuec to struggie ou tbe iioor
witb reierten. 8o;s!` be nauagec to ery out.
"iuter bearc tbe |rotbers` iootsteµs çuieleu auc triec agaiu to
sbove tbe wiucow oµeu. It iiew uµ witb startiiug ease, rattiiug iu its
irane. 1be coorluo| turuec |ebiuc ber as sbe civec tbrougb tbe
wiucow iuto tbe carl |aelyarc.
"iuter struel tbe grouuc µaiuiuiiy |ut was too irigbteuec to
eare. 8be seran|iec to ber ieet auc rau arouuc tbe sice oi tbe
bouse. Lueliiy tbere was uo sice gate |arriug ber way auc soou sbe
was iu tbe irout yarc, junµiug over tbe iiower|ec auc sµriutiug
towarcs tbe ear µarlec ou tbe eur|. Jasniue was sittiug |ebiuc tbe
steeriug wbeei oi ber \iui Cooµer, iooliug uµset. uer noutb
croµµec oµeu iu astouisbneut wbeu sbe saw "iuter strealiug
towarcs ber.
"iuter'`
Stact the cac!` "iuter yeiiec, ruuuiug to tbe µasseuger sice.
Bebiuc ber, tbe irout coor oi tbe bouse swuug oµeu auc 8an auc
bis two |rotbers |urst out. "iuter wreuebec oµeu tbe coor auc siic
iuto tbe seat.
óo, Jas:` "iuter urgec, ioeliug tbe coors.
Jasniue stiii ioolec very eouiusec, |ut tbe µauie iu "iuter`s
voiee, uot to neutiou tbe iurious naies |eariug cowu ou tben,
startiec ber iuto aetiou. 8be siannec ber ioot ou tbe aeeeierator
just as 8an got witbiu gra||iug cistauee oi tbe ear. "iuter turuec to
see tbe |rotbers ruuuiug aiter tben. uer eyes junµec to au orauge
|iur strealiug aioug tbe sice oi tbe roac - reierten: 1be eat
overtool tbe trio, struggiiug to eiose tbe growiug sµaee |etweeu
itseii auc tbe ear.
8toµ:`
"bat'`
8toµ tbe ear, Jas:`
lrowuiug, Jasniue aµµiiec tbe |rale, aiiowiug reierten to
eateb uµ. 1be eat ieaµt iu tbrougb "iuter`s oµeu coor. uowever,
tbe |riei µause bac aiiowec tbe tbree |rotbers to gaiu ou tben. 8an
was ainost witbiu au arn`s ieugtb oi tbe \iui Cooµer, bis
exµressiou tbuucerous.
Cau we go uow'` Jasniue aslec, eyeiug tbe rear-view nirror
uervousiy.
\es:`
1bey sµec oii, ieaviug 8an stauciug iu tbe iaciug giow oi tbe
taii-iigbts.
thaµter ss
Cuee tbey were iar euougb cowu tbe roac "iuter aiiowec berseii
to |reatbe agaiu. Acreuaiiue tbrunnec tbrougb ber |ocy iile
eieetrieity, naliug ber ieei eiatec auc vagueiy siel. Shed esca¡ed!
It bac baµµeuec so iast sbe stiii eouicu`t |eiieve sbe`c nauagec tbe
ieat. Ci eourse, sbe bacu`t coue it aioue. Bouueiug reierten ou ber
iaµ, sbe sniiec grateiuiiy iuto tbe eat`s |enusec iaee.
1baul you:`
ro µro|ien,` Jasniue reµiiec, assuniug "iuter`s gratituce was
cireetec at ber. uer voiee souucec a iittie µauiely. \iuc teiiiug ne
wbat tbe beii`s goiug ou, "iu' "bat were you coiug at 8an`s
bouse' "by cic tbey ebase us' "bose eat`s tbat'` 8be tool a
ceeµ |reatb. Iu ease you eau`t teii, I`n a iittie irealec out bere:`
uis uane`s reierten.` "iuter seratebec reierten |ebiuc tbe
ears. Auc be`s ny eat.`
8iuee wbeu'`
8iuee uow.` 1be eat |iiulec at ber auc yawuec, euriiug uµ ou
ber iaµ.
I`n waitiug, "iuuie.`
8be eouic see |y tbe giow oi tbe casb|oarc tbat Jasniue was
geuuiueiy uµset |y tbe situatiou. uowever, "iuter was stiii baviug a
barc tine wraµµiug ber owu beac arouuc everytbiug.
I eau`t teii you, Jas,` sbe reµiiec besitautiy, luowiug Jasniue
wouicu`t stauc ior sueb a cisnissive resµouse.
8ure euougb, Jasniue sbool ber beac, settiug ber jaw iu
ceterniuatiou. Lb-ub, you bave to teii ne sonetbiug: \ou eau`t
exµeet ne to just ceai witb tbis.`
"iuter sigbec auc rau ber bauc tbrougb ber bair, a|seutiy uotiug
bow greasy it was. 8be ueecec a sbower cesµerateiy.
Do you renen|er iast sunner wbeu you bac tbat seare' "beu
you tbougbt you were µreguaut'`
Ci eourse: It`s uot exaetiy sonetbiug you iorget iu a burry.`
lor a weel you were just noµiug a|out, uot tailiug to auyoue
- eveu ne. "beu I aslec you wbat tbe µro|ien was, you toic ne
sone tbiugs were just too |ig auc seary to tail a|out. Do you
renen|er'`
Jasniue`s noutb croµµec oµeu. Cb ny Coc, "iuter, are you
µreguaut'`
Desµite "iuter`s irustratiou, sbe eouicu`t beiµ |ut griu at
Jasniue`s eoeleyec cecuetiou. ro: rotbiug iile tbat.` 8be starec
at Jasniue as earuestiy as sbe eouic.
1bis wboie tbiug is just too |ig ior ne to ciseuss witb you rigbt
uow. I µronise I wiii wbeu I eau. Is tbat olay'`
Jasniue ebewec ber iiµ tbougbtiuiiy, eousiceriug ber µroµosai.
\ou`ii teii ne wbeu you eau'`
"iuter uoccec. \es.`
Clay, tbeu. But I`n goiug ou reeorc as sayiug tbat tbis is µretty
nessec uµ:`
Agreec.` "iuter siunµec |ael iuto tbe seat. 8be ieit utteriy
exbaustec |y tbe eveuts oi tbe µast iew bours. reierten bac iaiieu
asieeµ ou ber iaµ. It bac |eeu a tougb eveuiug ior |otb oi tben auc
sbe susµeetec tbey stiii bac a ioug way to go |eiore tbey reaebec
tbe euc.
Cau I asl oue nore çuestiou'`
"iuter ioolec over at Jasniue, au eye|row raisec.
\ay|e.`
"bere are we goiug uow'`
Iu tbe beat oi tbe noneut "iuter bac iaiiec to set a cestiuatiou
ior Jasniue. 8be`c |eeu too eburuec uµ auc grateiui to bave
sueeessiuiiy eseaµec tbat it bacu`t eveu oeeurrec to ber tbat tbey
ueecec to |e eseaµiug to sonewbere.
1be Veiaseo µiaee,` sbe auswerec çuietiy.
"by are we goiug tbere'`
1o iiuc Biale.` "iuter wasu`t sure wbat sbe was goiug to co
ouee sbe got to Biale`s bouse. 1be nysterious µroteetious` be`c
tailec a|out bacu`t µreveutec tbe Baue iron |realiug iu, |ut tbey
bac seenec to worl agaiust tbe 8livers, so it seenec tbe saiest
µiaee ior ber rigbt uow. Cuee iusice, sbe eouic use tbe iocestoue to
eaii Biale auc waru bin a|out tbe Baue. 1bey eouicu`t reasoua|iy
stay iu tbe bouse ior too ioug uow tbat Caie| auc bis sous luew
wbere Biale iivec. "iuter ouiy boµec tbat Biale bac sone liuc oi
eoutiugeuey µiau.
As tbey crove aioug iu siieuee, "iuter`s niuc turuec iuexora|iy
|ael to tbe uewsµaµer artieie a|out Caroi Cates as weii as tbe iist
oi otber giris ou Caie|`s eonµuter. 8be triec to eiear ber beac oi
wbat sbe`c iearuec, |ut tbe iuiornatiou bac taleu root tbere iile a
naiiguaut growtb, µiayiug ou ber iuseeurities auc iears.
Ii uotbiug eise, Caie| bac |eeu sueeessiui iu wecgiug a sµiiuter
oi cou|t iuto ber eouvietiou oi Biale`s esseutiai goocuess. 8be
batec Caie| ior tbat, auc ieit sone grin satisiaetiou at tbe nenory
oi reierten attaeliug tbe oic nau`s eruei iaee.
thaµter se
Biale stooc iu tbe eeutre oi tbe cais, stariug uµ at tbe µaie, soienu
iaees oi tbe \aiiaerie eouvoeatiou. 1bere were tbirteeu oi tben,
seatec iu grouµs aeross iive eurvec µiatiorns, wbieb siowiy
revoivec arouuc Biale iile µiauets or|itiug tbe suu. Laeb µiatiorn
boverec oii tbe grouuc at a ciiiereut beigbt, ceµeuciug ou tbe raul
oi tbe \aiiaeries seatec uµou it. 1be very bigbest µiatiorn iioatec
severai buucrec ieet oii tbe grouuc auc was oeeuµiec |y ouiy oue -
tbe \agister. It was to tbis |eiug tbat Biale ioolec uow, stucyiug
tbe wbite, nasl-iile visage ior a eiue to tbe ereature`s tbougbts.
ro great orator, Biale bac statec tbe ease ior "iuter`s soui as
µiaiuiy as µossi|ie, auc witbout enotiou, ior be luew it wouicu`t
serve bis eause. Lnµatby was |eyouc tbe \aiiaerie. Iusteac, be`c
coue wbat Arinau bac taugbt bin to co - oiierec tben a |argaiu.
As be stooc auxiousiy awaitiug tbe verciet, Biale ioolec
|eyouc tbe rows oi \aiiaerie to tbe iuniuous eioucs rusbiug aeross
tbe uigbt sly. ue ieit tbat ianiiiar yearuiug to tale ieave iron tbe
grouuc auc veuture uµ iuto tbat carl sly, to exait iu tbe giits be
suµµressec. ue resistec. It wouic |e caugerous to exµeuc too
nueb euergy wbiie be was bere. As it was, tbe jouruey |ael to tbe
nortai reain wouic saµ bis streugtb auc be careu`t risl iuvoliug tbe
buuger. Lsµeeiaiiy as be boµec to |e seeiug "iuter agaiu soou. lart
oi bis |argaiu iueiucec tbe µrovisiou tbat be wouic |e aiiowec to
say gooc|ye to ber.
Coutenµiatiug tbe µrosµeet oi |eiug seµaratec iron "iuter
iorever, Biale ieit a sta| oi µaiu iu bis beart. ue eoniortec binseii
witb tbe luowiecge tbat sbe wouic iive a ioug auc beaitby iiie, cie a
uaturai ceatb auc oue cay tbeir sµirits wouic eone togetber agaiu.
Desµite uot luowiug wbat iay ou tbe otber sice oi ceatb, Biale
ebose to eutertaiu tbis µossi|iiity. It warnec bis beart, naliug tbe
µaiu easier to eucure.
A eoiunu oi eneraic iigbt sbot iortb iron a weii uot iar iron tbe
cais. By its sbiitiug raciauee, Biale eouic nale out sone oi bis
jucges` exµressious nore eieariy. ue reac |enuseneut, euriosity
auc seoru etebec aeross tbeir iubunauiy exçuisite ieatures - uoue oi
wbieb sootbec bis auxiety. 1be \agister aioue renaiuec inµassive,
bis eyes eiosec.
Aiter wbat seenec au iuterniua|ie anouut oi tine, be bearc tbe
\agister`s eoic, wbisµeriug voiee iu bis beac. 1be sµoleu worc
bac uo µiaee iu tbe Deac Laucs. Biale`s |raiu µroeessec tbe aiieu
iauguage, reuceriug it iuto sonetbiug be eouic uucerstauc.
ße have conteo¡/ated ;ouc ¡co¡osa/. Ðeoocì. and have
ceached a decìsìon we ho¡e ¡/eases ;ou.
1be \agister oµeuec bis eyes, a eruei sniie sµreaciug aeross bis
|iael iiµs. Biale waitec inµatieutiy ior bin to eoutiuue. 1be siieuee
stretebec ou uutii Biale uervousiy µronµtec tbe \agister, I awaìt
;ouc decìsìon. Magìstec.
8tiii, tbe \agister cicu`t resµouc. Lile sone carl goc a|ove,
be giicec arouuc tbe eireuniereuee oi tbe cais, stucyiug Biale witb
ebiiiiug |enuseneut.
ßh; wont ;ou answec oe` Biale cenaucec.
row, tbe otber \aiiaerie were sniiiug, tbeir eyes giowiug witb
naiiee. ue reaiisec tbey were taliug sacistie µieasure iu bis
agitatiou.
I/ease - ;ouc decìsìon!
liuaiiy, tbe \agister ceiiverec tbe verciet. Biale`s |argaiu bac
|eeu eousicerec auc iouuc iaeliug. Iusteac be was µreseutec witb
au aiteruative. As tbe \agister`s voiee eeboec tbrougb bis niuc,
Biale uucerstooc wbat bac eutertaiuec tben so.
ße//` ßhat do ;ou sa;. Ðeoocì` Ðo ;ou acce¡t the
condìtìons`
ue iowerec bis gaze iron tbe sbiitiug µiatiorns, auc tool a ceeµ
|reatb oi tbe kryµtbiau air. Its nagie eouic co uotbiug to sootbe tbe
torneut be suiierec.
1es.
Marseilles
Iebruary, 18ve
A tbiel yeiiow iog siowiy roiiec iu over tbe water as \aceieiue
stooc ou tbe |ow oi tbe Ðeoetec watebiug tbe coel ior noveneut.
8oou tbe iog wouic eover it eonµieteiy, |ut ior uow ber view was
eiear. Ci eourse tbere was uotbiug to see, just sbacows auc
sieeµiug sbiµs, |ut \aceieiue eoutiuuec to wateb regarciess.
Arinau bac µaic tbe eaµtaiu euougb nouey to eusure tbey
en|arlec at au bour oi tbe uigbt wbeu tbere wouic |e iew to
wituess tbeir µassiug. 8tiii, it gave ber µeaee oi niuc to wateb. Cver
tbe µast eigbteeu years, watebiug ior tbeir euenies bac |eeone
ainost as autonatie as |reatbiug.
uer gaze bac noneutariiy criitec |eyouc tbe coel to tbe
twiuliiug slyiiue oi \arseiiies wbeu tbe |oarcs erealec |ebiuc ber,
auuouueiug soneoue`s aµµroaeb. 8be stiiieuec, tbeu reiaxec as
ianiiiar stroug arns eueireiec ber waist. Ii sbe turuec uow sbe`c see
Arinau, uuebaugec iron tbat iirst noneut tbey`c net iu tbe naze oi
ligaiie. 8tiii youtbiui, stiii |eautiiui - uuiile berseii. 1ine bac uot
iorgotteu ber as it bac bin, auc tbe years bac |eguu to write tbeir
µassage ou ber iiesb - a iiue bere, a erease tbere. 8onetines it burt
\aceieiue to iool at bin, bis youtbiui |eauty a reniucer oi ber owu
nortaiity. 8oou µeoµie wouic nistale ber ior bis notber auc uot bis
iover. uis giit oi eteruai youtb was \aceieiue`s eurse.
Cone cowu witb ne |eiow ceel. 1be wiuc is eoic, ny iove,`
be wbisµerec. \aceieiue sbiverec iu µieasure as be lissec ber
geutiy ou tbe ebeel. It ouiy tool a soit worc or a earess iron bin,
auc sbe iorgot ber iuseeurities. 1be way sbe ioolec bac uever
natterec to Arinau. ue saw ber, saw ber sµirit, auc bac eouiessec
nauy tines as tbey`c iaiu iu tbe carluess tbat its |eauty bac nace a
siave oi bin.
Iu a noneut, cearest. Cuee we`re ou our way,` sbe auswerec,
earessiug tbe |ael oi bis ueel as sbe tiitec ber iaee to sniie at bin.
But ber sniie nust uot bave |eeu eouviueiug, |eeause Arinau`s
eyes uarrowec, iirst iu susµieiou, tbeu eoueeru.
1bere`s uo way be eouic bave ioiiowec us bere,` Arinau
reassurec ber, gaziug iuto ber eyes. Cuee be bac tbe a|iiity to
sootbe ber iears witb sueb a iool, |ut ianiiiarity bac nace ber
innuue to bis euebautneuts. 1be ebiicreu ueec you. 1bey`re
uervous euougb witbout you stauciug wateb aii uigbt.`
1bey`re barciy ebiicreu auy nore,` \aceieiue reµiiec, |ut
reiuetautiy aiiowec Arinau to ieac ber away. It was true tbat
Ciaucette auc Biale were ueariy eigbteeu, oic euougb uot to ueec
tbeir notber. Lsµeeiaiiy Ciaucette. Aiways tbe strouger auc nore
wiiiui ebiic, sbe bacu`t bac nueb ueec ior \aceieiue wbeu sbe was
youuger, auc eveu iess so uow.
Lver siuee tbe cay oi tbe woives, \aceieiue bac watebec
Ciaucette eioseiy, stucyiug ber caugbter ior nore eviceuee oi tbat
irigbteuiug wiicuess. As Ciaucette grew iuto a youug wonau, sbe`c
watebec it sbiit auc bice |ebiuc ber eyes iile a viµer iu tbe
sbacows. Lateiy, Ciaucette bac taleu to cisaµµeariug iu tbe uigbt
wbeu sbe tbougbt ber notber was sieeµiug. It ebiiiec \aceieiue to
eoutenµiate wbat aetivities ber caugbter iucuigec iu curiug tbese
eiaucestiue sojourus.
Deeµ cowu sbe was airaic oi Ciaucette. 1be giri was as
ciiiereut to Biale as a iiou was to a ian|. 8be sbarec uoue oi ber
twiu |rotber`s geutieuess auc seusitivity. 1be iegaey oi tbe Denori
cic uot sit easiiy ou bis sbouicers as it cic witb ber. It torneutec
bin, iu iaet, bac coue so siuee tbat tragie uigbt two years ago wbeu
be iirst |eeane aware oi it. Biale bac siuee auuouueec tbat be bac
resoivec to iive a nortai iiie, tbougb \aceieiue worriec bis carler
uature wouic uot renaiu cornaut iorever. 8oouer or iater tbe
buuger wouic griµ bin auc be wouic |e ioreec to ieec. 8be ouiy
boµec Biale wouic bave tbe streugtb to renen|er binseii wbeu it
iiuaiiy cic, to renen|er tbat be was a nau iirst, auc a Denori
seeouc.
1bey were a|out to ceseeuc tbe stairease |eiow ceel wbeu
\aceieiue ieit Arinau teuse. 8be µausec, a eoic siiver oi iear
iaueiug tbrougb ber, iisteuiug. 8be bearc tbe souuc risiug over tbe
geutie iaµµiug oi tbe bar|our waves auc tbeu tbe uoise tbat bac
aiertec Arinau - borses auc tbe rattie oi earriages iu tbe cistauee.
1be eaceuee oi tbe Baue.
Arinau griµµec ber tigbtiy |y tbe sbouicers. Co to our çuarters
auc ioel tbe coor |ebiuc you. I`ii teii tbe eaµtaiu to raise auebor.`
"bat wiii you co tbeu'`
8toµ tben iron gettiug ou |oarc auy way I eau.`
Vietor wiii liii you:` \aceieiue griµµec bis sbirt tigbtiy, reiusiug
to iet go. 8tay witb ne:`
ue`ii try,` Arinau saic witb a tbiu sniie. 1bere was tbat
wiicuess iu bis eyes, tbe wiicuess be`c µassec ou to tbeir caugbter.
I`ii eone witb you, tbeu. I eau beiµ:`
\eu were sboutiug ou tbe ceel a|ove tben. 8be eouic see tbe
siibouettes oi sbiµ baucs rusbiug a|out tbrougb tbe iog, as tbey were
µronµtec to aetiou. A guu was iirec, auc tbe aeric stiul oi
guuµowcer µoiiutec tbe air.
1be ebiicreu,` be reniucec ber çuietiy. 8tiii \aceieiue eiuug to
bin, auc Arinau sbool bis beac iu geutie irustratiou. Quieliy, be
iiitec tbe iocestoue iron arouuc bis ueel auc iowerec it outo
\aceieiue`s |reast. 1be eneraic sbarc giiutec agaiust ber sliu witb
its owu çueer iigbt.
I`ii returu as soou as I eau. But ii I`n ceiayec auc tbe sbiµ sets
saii, use tbe stoue to eaii ne, just as I sbowec you.` ue ieauec
iorwarc auc lissec ber ceeµiy ou tbe noutb. 8be griµµec bin,
resistiug bis eiiorts to geutiy µusb ber away.
I`ii iiuc you, \aceieiue. I`ii aiways iiuc you.` Beiore sbe eouic
µrotest, be turuec auc rau iuto tbe iog.
\aceieiue reiuetautiy weut |eiow ceel. 1bere were nore
guusbots as sbe burriec aioug tbe eorricor to tbeir ea|iu. Cuee
iusice, sbe |oitec tbe coor auc iaeec ber ebiicreu. Biale was
iooliug at ber ior au exµiauatiou, bis iaee µaie witb iear. 1bere was
uo terror iu Ciaucette`s eyes, iusteac, tbey sboue witb tbat sane
eoic exeiteneut sbe`c cisµiayec agaiust tbe woives.
"bat is it, \otber'` Biale aslec auxiousiy. ue bac growu iuto
ainost tbe nirror inage oi bis iatber. Cuiy tbe tbiel |iael euris oi
bis bair were ciiiereut iron Arinau`s straigbter ioels, auc bis eyes,
wbiie greeu as aii tbe Denori, were oµeu auc iuuoeeut, cevoic oi
bis iatber`s nisebievous sµarl.
1bere`s uotbiug to |e airaic oi. "e`re settiug saii,` \aceieiue
auswerec, uusure wbat eise to say.
"bere`s latber'` Ciaucette aslec, tbougb tbere was uo reai
eoueeru iu ber voiee.
8µealiug to tbe eaµtaiu.`
1be iioor |eueatb tben iurebec as tbe sbiµ tuggec agaiust its
nooriugs. 1be eaµtaiu nust bave raisec auebor auc uuiuriec tbe
saiis. 1bere were nore guusbots a|ove, ioiiowec |y tbe souuc oi
eiasbiug netai.
1be Baue,` Ciaucette saic, ber eyes iiasbiug caugerousiy. I
sbouic go auc beiµ. Biale, we |otb sbouic -`
8it cowu, Ciaucette:` \aceieiue saic, nueb nore ioreeiuiiy
tbau sbe neaut to.
Ciaucette giarec at ber. But I eau beiµ:`
"e`re goiug to wait bere uutii your iatber returus.`1be
eonnotiou ou tbe ceel a|ove tben rose iu voiune. A nau
sereanec as a voiiey oi sbots were iirec.
\otber'` Biale`s gaze iiielec worrieciy to tbe eeiiiug.
"e`re goiug to |e saie,` \aceieiue saic, µuiiiug bin eiose, |ut
eveu as tbe worcs ieit ber noutb tbe souucs oi |attie grew ioucer.
1bere were iootsteµs uow, eoniug cowu tbe baiiway.
Let ne stoµ tben:` Ciaucette µieacec.
\aceieiue sbool ber beac iirniy. 8be careu`t sµeal ior iear oi
ber voiee tren|iiug. Led /ound theo! ~/tec a// thìs tìoe. ¡ìctoc
had /ìna//; /ound theo!
A iist |augec ou tbe coor.
\otber, are you iu tbere'`
8be gasµec iu sboel. It was uot Vietor - |ut tbe voiee sbarec
bis iatber`s eruei toue. It was Autoiue, tbe sou sbe`c sµeut tbe iast
two ceeaces tryiug to reeiain. ue uo iouger |eiougec to ber. Vietor
bac seuiµtec bin iu bis owu twistec inage.
Cµeu tbe coor, \otber. \ou bave uotbiug to iear iron ne.`
\aceieiue beic ber iiuger to ber iiµs as a waruiug to |otb
Ciaucette auc Biale. Ðont oake a sound!
8be bearc Autoiue eurse auc gruut to soneoue eise, Cet tbe
axe.`
8earebiug ior a weaµou sbe nigbt use to µroteet tben witb,
\aceieiue seauuec tbe roon. 1bere was uotbiug aµart iron tbeir
iuggage auc sone toru uettiug baugiug iron tbe raiters. Biale µaeec
to tbe eeutre oi tbe roon |eiore turuiug to ber auc eouiessiug
nisera|iy to au uusµoleu reçuest.
I eau`t co it, \otber. I eau`t -`
\aceieiue weut to bin auc eraciec bis iaee iu ber baucs. 8bb
. I`n uot asliug you to.` Auc sbe wasu`t. 1bougb Biale
µossessec bis iatber`s giits, be iaelec tbe exµerieuee to use tben. It
wouic |e caugerous uot ouiy ior tben |ut ior binseii to eaii uµou
tbose µowers uow.
But tbey`re eoniug: "bat wiii we -` ue was iuterruµtec |y a
ceaieuiug whack. 1be coor to tbeir roon sbuccerec |eueatb tbe
|iow oi au axe. 1bere was a noneut oi siieuee |roleu |y auotber
jarriug tbuc, auc au axe |iace sµiiuterec tbrougb tbe µaueiiiug. Au
ugiy ebeer oi triunµb raug out iu tbe baiiway.
Ciaucette erossec to \aceieiue`s sice. liease, I`n reacy.`
ro, it`s too caugerous:`
Ciaucette sbool ber beac auc sniiec erueiiy. Cuiy ior tben.`
1bere was au eageruess iu ber eyes, a buuger tbat noneutariiy
stuuuec \aceieiue - was thìs cea//; hec daughtec` - auc tbeu tbe
axe erasbec tbrougb agaiu, teariug at tbe wooc iile tbe taiou oi au
auinai.
\aceieiue ioolec at ber caugbter auc sonetbiug a|out ber
terriiiec exµressiou gave Ciaucette aii tbe µernissiou sbe ueecec to
aet. Criµµiug ber caugbter`s arn, \aceieiue µieacec, rot
Autoiue.`
Ciaucette uoccec reiuetautiy, tbeu tool a steµ |aelwarcs. 1be
atnosµbere iu tbe roon grew beavy, auc tbere was a iaiut eraeliiug
iile tbat oi a iireµiaee, wbieb siowiy rose iu µiteb. Creeu iigbt |egau
to sbinner arouuc Ciaucette, ruuuiug uµ auc cowu ber |ocy iile
water. 1bere was a ceaieuiug tbuucereiaµ auc ber caugbter was
goue, ieaviug Biale auc \aceieiue aioue.
Aiter a noneut oi teuse siieuee tbe sereaniug |egau iu tbe
baiiway |eyouc. 1be Baue bac iiuaiiy net tbe nouster tbey`c |eeu
buutiug.
thaµter s1
1bey traveiiec swiitiy tbrougb tbe eeutre oi towu, Jasniue stayiug
surµrisiugiy true to ber worc auc uot µressiug "iuter iurtber ou ber
nysterious eseaµe iron 8an`s bouse. Jasniue`s µersouaiity |eiug
wbat it was, "iuter luew bow ciiiieuit it nust |e ior ber, so was aii
tbe nore grateiui ior ber µatieuee. "biie reierten suorec soitiy iu
ber iaµ, "iuter`s niuc wbirrec witb cozeus oi iears auc eoueerus,
eaeb vyiug ior ber atteutiou.
1bey uearec tbe turu-oii to uoiioway koac auc sbe |egau to
ieei sone snaii boµe tbat soou sbe`c |e reuuitec witb Biale. 8be`c
|e saie. 1ogetber tbey`c worl out a way to eiuce tbe Baue, auc
uuiiiiy tbe tbreat oi tbe 8livers. 1beu sbe saw tbe snoly orauge
giow iu tbe cistauee, auc ieit ber boµe craiu away. 8onewbere iu
tbe woocs arouuc uoiioway koac a iire was |uruiug.
"iuter renen|erec tbe strauge ebenieai sneii tbat bac µrielec
ber uostriis wbeu 8an auc bis |rotbers returuec to tbe vau eariier iu
tbe eveuiug. It was gaso/ìne! Ii sbe bacu`t |eeu so uµset at tbe tine
sbe wouic bave reeoguisec tbe sneii auc guessec wbat tbey`c |eeu
uµ to.
Drive iaster, Jas:`
Jasniue saw tbe giow ior berseii. Dou`t worry, we`re ueariy
tbere.`
1be street sigu ior uoiioway koac ioonec out oi tbe carluess
auc Jasniue tool tbe turu at sµeec, tbe ear`s tyres slicciug ou tbe
gravei. 1bey aeeeieratec cowu tbe roac towarcs tbe iiieleriug iigbt,
"iuter irautieaiiy µrayiug tbat ber susµieious were wroug.
1be air |eeane tbieler witb snole tbe iurtber aioug uoiioway
koac tbey traveiiec. Jasniue`s beaciigbts reiieetec oii tbe grey
µartieies, eatebiug iiurries oi asb auc eiucers. Iu "iuter`s oµiuiou,
tbe oic bouse uµ abeac beic just as nueb siguiiieauee iu tbe towu`s
bistory as tbe iigbtbouse ou "bistier`s leal, or liigrin`s Laneut -
nore so ior tbe ebiicreu oi tbe towu. lor ceeaces it bac |eeu a
souree oi suµerstitiou, a µiaee to tail a|out iu busbec toues, a
cestiuatiou ior uaiioweeuers seeliug au iiiieit tbriii. Auc ior tbe µast
iew bours it bac |eeu |otb a sauetuary auc a eban|er oi borrors
ior "iuter.
row tbe Veiaseo µiaee was uo nore.
As tbey siowec at tbe ioot oi tbe criveway, tbe bouse was
a|iaze, its |iaeleuec sbeii |areiy visi|ie tbrougb tbe iuieruo. Beyouc
tbe siibouettec tree truuls "iuter eouic see a ioue iire eugiue. A
bauciui oi iireiigbters cesµerateiy triec to eoutroi tbe iianes |ut,
eveu iron tbis cistauee, "iuter eouic see tbat tbeir eiiorts were
iutiie. Jasniue |rougbt tbe ear to a staucstiii, auc tbe two giris
watebec iu sboel as tbe strueture |uruec.
Creat µiunes oi snole |iiiowec iortb iron tbe |roiiiug iuuarcs
oi tbe bouse, cisaµµeariug iuto tbe rec baze overbeac. 1ougues oi
iiane cartec out oi tbe wiucow auc coor eavities, iieliug at tbe air,
sµittiug en|ers.
8oou everytbiug Biale owuec wouic |e asb. lor sone reasou
"iuter eoujurec au inage oi Biale`s µaiutiug iu ber niuc, siowiy
|eiug eousunec |y tbe iianes, tbe µaiut |u||iiug auc ruuuiug, tbe
eauvas euriiug, sbriuliug iuto itseii, tbe irane carleuiug, |eeoniug
ebareoai.
Jasniue turuec to "iuter, ber iaee µaie. Biale wasu`t iu tbere,
was be'`
"iuter |egau to sbale ber beac |eiore reaiisiug sbe bac uo way
oi luowiug wbetber or uot Biale bac returuec wbiie sbe was witb
tbe Baue. ue eouic |e iu tbere uow, |uruiug aiive: 8be witbcrew
tbe iocestoue iron ber toµ auc beic it tigbtiy.
It was tine to test its µower.
Biale,` sbe eaiiec soitiy, sçueeziug ber eyes sbut.
"bat are you coiug'`
8bb .` "iuter busbec Jasniue, auc reµeatec Biale`s uane.
Aiter a iew teuse seeoucs sbe oµeuec ber eyes auc ioolec tbrougb
tbe ear wiucows ior auy sigu tbat tbe iocestoue bac worlec. Aii sbe
eouic see was a iew |uruiug en|ers iioatiug µast tbe wiucsereeu
iile iireiiies.
It cicu`t worl,` "iuter saic beiµiessiy. ßhat was she goìng to
do now`
Jasniue eriec out as soneoue luoelec iouciy ou tbe µasseuger
wiucow.
ueart iu ber noutb, "iuter wbiµµec arouuc auc ieit reiiei iiooc
tbrougb ber.
It was Biale: uer |eautiiui Biale was stiii aiive:
8be seran|iec out oi tbe ear auc tbrew ber arns arouuc bin.
Biale: I was so worriec:` Buryiug ber iaee iu bis ebest, tbe graiuy
|iael-auc-wbite µbotograµb oi Caroi Cates iiasbec iu ber niuc.
"iuter |auisbec it easiiy. lressec agaiust Biale iile tbis, ieeiiug bis
warntb, it was inµossi|ie to |eiieve be was a nouster.
Biale strolec tbe |ael oi ber beac. I`n iiue,` be saic iu eain,
reassuriug toues. "bat baµµeuec to you'`
"iuter raisec ber beac auc ioolec uµ at bin, |iiuliug |ael ber
tears. 1bey tool ne - tbe Baue. "e bave to go, tbey eouic |e ou
tbeir way |ael bere:`
Biale irowuec, tbougb be cicu`t seen as surµrisec |y tbe
iuiornatiou as sbe nigbt bave exµeetec. ue sigbec, bis gaze criitiug
µast ber to tbe |uruiug bouse. Aiter a noneut`s siieut
eoutenµiatiou, be eraciec "iuter`s iaee geutiy iu bis baucs.
Lverytbiug`s goiug to |e olay. I`ve -` ue was cistraetec |y a
irigbteuiug sbriel eeboiug iu tbe woocs uear|y. It nigbt bave |eeu a
ioou or sone otber uigbt |irc, |ut "iuter bac uever bearc sueb a
ery auc boµec sbe uever wouic agaiu. Crinaeiug, Biale`s atteutiou
sbiitec to tbe snoly woocs ou eitber sice oi tben.
"bat is it'` 8be tbougbt sbe saw a sbacow iiittiug |etweeu tbe
trees, |ut eouicu`t |e sure it wasu`t just ber eyes µiayiug triels ou
ber. 1be 8livers'`
ro. 8onetbiug eise,` Biale saic, auc tbe creac sbe bearc iu bis
voiee cic uotbiug to stiii ber iears. ue tool "iuter iirniy |y tbe
sbouicers. \ou bave to get away iron bere, "iuter. row.`
But wbere wiii I |e saie' 1be 8livers are stiii buutiug -`
I`ve taleu eare oi tbat.` uis iaee tigbteuec as tbougb tryiug to
bice sone ceeµer enotiou iron registeriug ou bis iaee.
\ou bave'` "iuter eouicu`t çuite |eiieve it. 8be`c aii |ut
eouviueec berseii tbat sbe was coonec to |e taleu |y tbe
ereatures.
\es. \ou ueec to go |ael to tbe ebureb ou tbe nouutaiu. Bael
to wbere your µatb sbouic bave eucec.` ue accec, sonewbat
besitautiy, 1beu it wiii |e over.`
I cou`t uucerstauc.`
Biale exbaiec iu irustratiou. \ou wiii. Co to tbe nouutaiu. It
bas to |e touigbt, otberwise tbey wou`t bouour tbe agreeneut. I`ii
neet you tbere.` ßhat agceeoent` ßhat was he ta/kìng alout`
Biale -`
liease, uo çuestious, "iuter. 1bere`s uo tine. Just go.` Biale
ieauec µast ber auc oµeuec tbe ear coor. 8be reiuetautiy steµµec
|ael iusice. 1bere uever seenec to |e euougb tine ior bin to
exµiaiu tbe situatiou to ber. reierten was sittiug ou Jasniue`s iaµ,
|otb oi tben stariug at ber witb |rigbt-eyec exµressious oi euriosity.
Is everytbiug olay'` Jasniue aslec. "iuter geuuiueiy cicu`t
luow bow to auswer ber.
8be wouuc cowu tbe wiucow. \ou`ii |e tbere' At tbe ebureb'`
I`ii |e tbere.` Biale nauagec a |areiy eouviueiug sniie |eiore
turuiug auc wailiug towarcs tbe woocs.
8tiii ieeiiug |ewiicerec auc searec, "iuter watebec bis iigure
cisaµµear |etweeu tbe trees, tbeu turuec to Jasniue.
\eab, yeab, I bearc bin.` Jasniue bac aireacy startec tbe
eugiue. 1be ebureb ou tbe nouutaiu. I guess it`c |e too nueb to
boµe ior a reasou as to wby we`re goiug tbere'`
"iuter acnittec, I reaiiy cou`t luow nyseii, Jas.` Jasniue sµuu
tbe ear arouuc auc tbey tore oii cowu uoiioway koac, ieaviug tbe
Veiaseo µiaee snouiceriug |ebiuc tben.
thaµter s8
As tbey crove towarcs tbe nouutaiu, "iuter ebeelec ouee agaiu
tbat tbey wereu`t |eiug ioiiowec. 1bere was uo sigu oi tbe Baue`s
vau |ebiuc tben, just au enµty streteb oi roac reeeciug iuto tbe
uigbt.
"by co you leeµ coiug tbat'` Jasniue aslec, o|serviug
"iuter`s restiessuess. Is tbere sonetbiug I ueec to luow'`
Lverytbiug`s iiue,` "iuter auswerec, auc boµec it wasu`t a iie.
Ci eourse tbere was uo way tbe Baue eouic susµeet tbey were
beacec to liigrin`s Laneut. 8be bacu`t luowu berseii uutii Biale
bac giveu ber tbe cireetiou. 8tiii, ber niuc iiasbec |ael uueasiiy to
tbe eouversatiou sbe`c wituessec |etweeu Danieu auc Caie|.
8onetbiug bac |eeu saic a|out a ioeator` |eiug leyec iu to tbe
iocestoue caugiiug arouuc ber ueel. uer iiugers weut to tbe erystai
sbarc, uervousiy roiiiug it |ael auc iortb, ieeiiug its µeeuiiar warntb.
Deii|eratiug over wbetber or uot sbe sbouic just tbrow it out tbe
wiucow - au aµµaiiiug oµtiou, bow eouic sbe tbrow away Biale`s
giit' - "iuter saw Cwi \ouutaiu iooniug iu tbe cistauee, a sbacow
agaiust tbe |iaeluess oi tbe uigbt. 8oou tbey`c |e taliug tbe roac to
its µeal, soou sbe`c |e witb Biale auc sureiy eioser to µuttiug tbis
wboie situatiou |ebiuc ber.
8be giaueec aeross at Jasniue buuebec over tbe steeriug wbeei,
ber iaee set iu a ceterniuec exµressiou. "ouceriug bow erazy aii
tbis nust seen to ber irieuc, "iuter eouicu`t beiµ |ut iove ber a
iittie.
1baul you, Jas. Ii it wasu`t ior you .`
\ou`c |e serewec. I luow. Just so ioug as eveutuaiiy you`re
goiug to teii ne wbat weut ou touigbt. `Cause I gotta teii you, "iu,
I`n a|out to ebew ny arn oii witb euriosity.`
I`ii teii you wbeu I eau. I µronise.` "beu (ii:) tbis uigbtnare
bac µassec, "iuter ioolec iorwarc to |eiug a|ie to tail to Jasniue
a|out aii tbe anaziug tbiugs tbat bac baµµeuec to ber. It nigbt beiµ
ber aeeeµt wbat sbe`c iearuec iron Biale a|out tbe iuvisi|ie woric
tbat boverec just |eyouc uornai µereeµtiou. Ctberwise, "iuter
was worriec sbe`c sµeuc tbe rest oi ber iiie as a eonµiete |aslet
ease, seeiug Ceeuiuna auc 8livers everywbere sbe ioolec.
\ou`re sure we`re uot |eiug ioiiowec'` Jasniue succeuiy
aslec aµµrebeusiveiy.
"iuter swiveiiec ber beac auc saw two beaciigbts sbiuiug iu tbe
cistauee. 1be iigbts were too iar to nale out wbetber it was a ear
or a vau.
It`s µro|a|iy uotbiug,` "iuter sbe saic besitautiy.
I boµe so, |eeause ouee we start uµ tbe nouutaiu it`s a oue-
way roac. Ii tbey ioiiow us, we wou`t bave auywbere to go. Do I
nale tbe turu-oii'` Jasniue uoccec to tbe roac abeac at tbe sigu
µoiutiug to Arebineces Drive.
"iuter was too iiusterec to auswer straigbt away. Ii it was tbe
Baue |ebiuc tben, sbe nustu`t ieac tben to Biale.
"iu'`
\es,` "iuter |iurtec, boµiug it was tbe rigbt ceeisiou.
Jasniue swuug tbe ear auc tbey |egau to wiuc tbeir way uµ Cwi
\ouutaiu. "iuter waitec auxiousiy ior tbe beaciigbts to eut tbe
carluess |ebiuc tben, µositive tbat tbe Baue was ou tbeir taii.
8eeoucs µassec auc tbe view tbrougb tbe ear`s |ael wiucow
renaiuec eiear. "iuter iet out a sigb oi reiiei. ro|ocy was
ioiiowiug. Lveu so, sbe eouicu`t sbale tbe growiug seusatiou tbat
sonetbiug was eoniug. 8onetbiug was eoniug ior ber.
"iuter giaueec out tbe wiucow, tryiug to eain ber agitatiou, auc
watebec tbe sbacowy woocs iiasb |y. 1be bigber tbey got, tbe
nore eieariy "iuter eouic see tbe iigbts oi uagau`s Biuii, twiuliiug
tbrougb tbe trees iile a snaii earµet oi stars. 8onewbere cowu
tbere Luey was iiuisbiug uµ ciuuer, auc searebiug tbe 1V ebauueis
ior oue oi ber exerueiatiug reaiity µrograns. 8be was grateiui ior
ber sister`s iguorauee. Ii Luey bac tbe siigbtest iuliiug oi tbe orceai
"iuter was suiieriug tbrougb, sbe wouic µro|a|iy bave a worry-
iucueec seizure. reierten succeuiy teusec iu ber iaµ. A iow growi
issuec iron tbe |ael oi bis tbroat.
"bat`s got iuto bin'` Jasniue aslec, giaueiug at tbe eat iron
tbe eoruer oi ber eye.
Beats ne. \ay|e -` "iuter`s voiee was iost iu tbe startiiug
roar oi au eugiue |ebiuc tben. Brigbt beaciigbts iioocec tbe iuterior
oi tbe \iui Cooµer, growiug |rigbter as tbe vau siannec iuto tbe
|ael oi tben. 8ereeebiug iu sboel, reierten weut iiyiug iron ber
grasµ iuto tbe carl eavity |eueatb tbe casb|oarc. 1be steeriug
wbeei ieaµt iron |eueatb Jasniue`s baucs auc sbe iost eoutroi oi
tbe ear, seuciug tben over tbe gutter auc iuto tbe woocs. Bouueiug
aioug tbe uueveu grouuc, tbey struel a ricge at sµeec, auc tbe
Cooµer iauuebec iuto tbe air.
Caugbt iu tbis noneut oi susµeucec auinatiou, "iuter saw
Jasniue griµµiug tbe steeriug wbeei, ber noutb oµeuec iu sboel,
auc tbeu tbey bit tbe grouuc agaiu ou a steeµ augie, |otb tbrowu
|aelwarcs auc iorwarcs iu tbeir seats iile rag coiis. 1be ear
µiougbec tbrougb tbe uucergrowtb, snasbiug tbrougb sone oi tbe
snaiier tree truuls auc |usbes, |eiore eoniug to au awlwarc rest.
"iuter sbool ber beac, tryiug to eiear tbe iuzziuess iron ber
visiou. 8be ieit as tbougb sbe`c |eeu tbrowu iuto a wasbiug naebiue
auc tun|ie-criec. 1biel wbite stean |iiiowec iron tbe sices oi tbe
erunµiec ear |ouuet auc tbere was au erratie tieliug souuc
sonewbere iu tbe eugiue. 1be wiucsereeu bac |eeu eonµieteiy
snasbec. 1bere was uo sigu oi reierten at ber ieet or auywbere
eise. Looliug aeross at Jasniue, sbe uotieec witb aiarn tbat ber
irieuc`s beac was baugiug iinµiy cowu to ber ebest. By tbe µaie
giow oi tbe iuterior iigbt sbe eouic see a tbiu trielie oi |iooc ruuuiug
cowu Jasniue`s tenµie.
"iuter uucic ber seat|eit auc sbool Jasniue geutiy.
Jas: Jas - wale uµ:` Jasniue cicu`t resµouc, |ut ber ebest
eoutiuuec to rise auc iaii reguiariy, giviug "iuter tbe boµe tbat sbe
was ouiy uueouseious auc uot seriousiy iujurec.
"iuter µusbec oµeu ber coor auc stun|iec out oi tbe ear. Iu tbe
cistauee sbe eouic bear naie voiees. 1bougb tbey were stiii iar
away, "iuter was sure sbe reeoguisec oue oi tbe voiees as
|eiougiug to Danieu. It was tbe Baue: 1be ear iigbts sbe`c seeu ou
tbe roac |ebiuc tben nust bave |eiougec to tbe |iael vau. 1be
Baue nust bave turuec oii tbeir beaciigbts auc aµµroaebec tben
uucer tbe eover oi carluess. It wouicu`t |e ioug |eiore tbey
traelec tbe µatb oi cestruetiou tbe \iui Cooµer bac ieit tbrougb tbe
iorest auc were uµou tben. "iuter çuieliy eireiec arouuc to
Jasniue`s sice auc oµeuec tbe coor. 8be giugeriy sbool Jasniue`s
sbouicers. Jas: "e bave to go: liease, wale uµ:`
Jasniue noauec soitiy |ut ber eyes renaiuec iirniy sbut.
I tbiul I see tbe vau:`
"iuter jerlec ber beac towarcs wbere sbe`c bearc tbe voiees
sboutiug. 8be eouic see toreb |eans areiug tbrougb tbe trees uot iar
away, auc bear ieaves |eiug eruuebec uucerioot. 1be Baue were
eoniug:
Jas:` "iuter saic nore urgeutiy, |ut iearec tbere was uo use.
Lveu ii Jasniue`s eyes iiutterec oµeu, ber irieuc was iu uo eoucitiou
to nale a çuiel getaway. 1be souuc oi |ocies erasbiug tbrougb tbe
uucer|rusb uear|y ioreec "iuter to nale a ciiiieuit ceeisiou. Biale
bac enµbatieaiiy statec tbat sbe ueecec to get to tbe ebureb, or risl
ber saivatiou. Ii sbe stayec bere a noneut iouger sbe wouic
jeoµarcise tbat ebauee, auc iu tbe µroeess eucauger uot ouiy ber iiie
|ut Biale`s as weii. 8be bac to go.
I`n sorry, Jas:` "iuter saic nisera|iy auc rau iuto tbe woocs.
leeiiug iile a eowarc, "iuter µusbec tbrougb tbe tbiel
uucergrowtb, away iron tbe erasbec \iui. ßhat was she doìng`
uow eouic sbe ieave Jasniue |ebiuc' Lsµeeiaiiy aiter everytbiug
sbe`c coue ior "iuter touigbt. It was tbe worst liuc oi |etrayai.
"iuter |egau to turu |ael - nay|e tbere was stiii tine to reaeb
Jasniue |eiore tbe Baue cic'
1be succeu exeitec sbouts oi Danieu auc \areus as tbey
stun|iec aeross tbe erasb site stoµµec "iuter iu ber traels. 8be
was too iate. Crestiaiieu, sbe retreatec iron tbe uoise, tryiug to
eoniort berseii witb tbe luowiecge tbat Caie| bac uo notivatiou to
burt Jasniue. 1be Baue nigbt bave |eeu iauatieai |ut tbey wereu`t
sacists. 8ureiy tbey wouicu`t barn au iujurec giri. As soou as
"iuter was reuuitec witb Biale, tbe two oi tben wouic eone |ael
auc reseue ber. 8be eoutiuuec to boic outo tbis tbougbt iile a
taiisnau, warciug oii tbe guiit tbat tbreateuec to euguii ber.
1be souuc oi voiees wealeuec as sbe crew eioser to tbe roac,
|eeoniug iost iu tbe ceeµer busb oi tbe woocs. Ii Caie| auc bis
sous were ioiiowiug "iuter, tbey were coiug it as siieutiy as
wiiceats stailiug tbeir µrey tbrougb tbe uucergrowtb. 1be inage
nace "iuter sbiver auc sbe çuieleuec ber µaee.
thaµter sv
"iuter trucgec uµ tbe nouutaiu, naliug sure sbe leµt out oi sigbt.
8be stuel to tbe woocs just |esice tbe roac - it was aii too easy to
inagiue tbe Baue eareeuiug arouuc tbe eoruer iu tbeir beiiisb |iael
vau, eatebiug ber iu tbe beaciigbts iile a irigbteuec ra||it.
Ceeasiouaiiy tbe eioucs µartec overbeac, aiiowiug a iew rays oi
noouiigbt to seeµ tbrougb, tbougb geueraiiy "iuter was ioreec to
uavigate iu carluess. uer eyes iouuc aiarniug sbaµes iu tbe gioon.
Cuee or twiee sbe was eouviueec sbe saw a taii |iael sbacow
tbreaciug |etweeu tbe trees abeac oi ber. Ci eourse it was just ber
inagiuatiou.
It bac to |e.
"iuter reaebec tbe ueritage Ceutre iaster tbau sbe exµeetec to,
auc soou iouuc berseii wauceriug aioug tbe µatb towarcs tbe
ebureb. 1be woocs stirrec as a stroug wiuc |egau to |iow iron tbe
soutb. 1be wiuc wbiµµec "iuter`s jaelet, earryiug witb it tbe seeut
oi tbe oeeau, auc sonetbiug eise . sonetbiug eieetrie. Auotber
storn, µerbaµs, gatberiug streugtb. "iuter eouic bear tbe ieaves
wbisµeriug iu tbe wiuc, tbe souuc eaiiiug to niuc inages oi suales
siiciug tbrougb tbe uucergrowtb.
"iuter iroze at tbe souuc oi a |raueb suaµµiug sonewbere
|ebiuc tbe trees to ber ieit. Its /ust an anìoa/. sbe toic berseii iu
eutireiy uueouviueiug toues. !othìng to le a/caìd o/. kee¡
wa/kìng.
8be eoutiuuec aioug tbe µatb, ber ears straiuiug ior auy otber
souucs tbat nigbt suggest sbe wasu`t aioue. 1be Baue bac iouuc
ber ouee, it was eutireiy µossi|ie tbey`c iiuc ber agaiu. uer ouiy
boµe was tbat tbey wouicu`t luow tbe ioeatiou oi tbe ebureb.
"iuter ieit auotber sta| oi guiit as ber worriec tbougbts returuec
to Jasniue, tbe soouer sbe reaebec Biale tbe soouer sbe eouic beiµ
ber. Biale wouic |e a|ie to reseue Jasniue nueb nore a|iy tbau
"iuter eouic. Aiter aii, be was a Denori, eaµa|ie oi wiuliug iu auc
out oi existeuee at wiii. ue eouic just swooµ iu, gra| Jas auc croµ
ber oii sonewbere saie.
8aviug reierten was |eyouc Biale`s µower. Aireacy ieeiiug
iow, "iuter`s sµirits saul iurtber as sbe eoutenµiatec tbe iate oi tbe
eat. 1bougb sbe bacu`t seeu bis |ocy iyiug auywbere arouuc tbe
erasb site, it was uuiileiy be`c survivec. Botb Jasniue auc "iuter
bac |eeu weariug seat|eits wbieb bac stoµµec tben iron iiyiug
beacioug tbrougb tbe wiucsbieic. 1be eat bac uo sueb µroteetiou.
reierten bac |eeu ber guarciau auc ber irieuc, auc uow be was
goue.
uer seii-µity was iuterruµtec |y a eiouc µassiug aeross tbe
noou, µiuugiug tbe woocs iuto µiteb-|iael carluess. "iuter
µausec as irautie tbougbts exµiocec tbrougb ber niuc - what ì/ she
got /ost u¡ hece. stuol/ed ìnto the woods` 1hece wece
dead/a//s evec;whece - she cou/d. wouic, tcì¡. lceak hec /eg.
lceak hec neck! !olod; wou/d know. !olod; wou/d cooe.
8uiiusec witb tbe noou`s soit |iue iigbt, tbe µatb gracuaiiy
reaµµearec as tbe eiouc novec ou. "iuter suelec iu a ceeµ
|reatb, tryiug to eain ber raeiug beart|eat. lauieliug wasu`t goiug
to beiµ tbe situatiou. 8be ueecec to |e |rave ior Biale auc ior
Jasniue. Looliug arouuc, sbe reeoguisec tbis seetiou oi tbe woocs
iron wbeu \r Deuuiug bac taleu ber tbis way. liigrin`s Laneut
wasu`t iar.
kuowiug tbat sbe`c soou |e reuuitec witb Biale, tbe |iael
cou|ts sbe`c |eeu a|ie to leeµ at |ay siuee ber iiigbt iron tbe
Baue returuec. "iuter`s beac (or was it ber beart') aebec witb tbe
iuiornatiou Caie| bac |urceuec ber witb. 8ueb borri|ie aeeusatious
. aii tbose giris nurcerec, tbeir iiie ioree suelec cry. A eoic seuse
oi creac iornec iu tbe µit oi ber stonaeb. 8be triec to rejeet
Caie|`s worcs, cisniss tben out oi bauc, |ut bis voiee wouicu`t
ieave ber niuc. Its hìs natuce to kì// what he /oves.
liuaiiy naliug it to tbe euc oi tbe µatb, "iuter teutativeiy
steµµec iuto tbe eieariug. uer |reatb eaugbt as sbe was struel |y
tbe ebureb`s bauutec |eauty. liigrin`s Laneut ioolec iile
sonetbiug out oi a µaiutiug - tbe noou`s eoic |iue iigbt |atbec its
ruiuec iorn, ereatiug ceeµ sbacows auc strauge bigbiigbts. It
ioolec uueartbiy auc it cic uotbiug to cisµei ber seuse oi
iore|ociug.
1biuliug |ael to tbat 8uucay aiteruoou wbeu sbe`c iirst stooc
|eiore tbe ebureb iu treµicatiou, "iuter stroce ou uµ tbe eraelec
stoue steµs to tbe coors. 8be was a|ie to gaiu eutry to tbe ebureb
witb iittie ciiiieuity, as \r Deuuiug auc wbatever worl erew be`c
birec bac coue a soiic jo| oi eieariug away tbe iaiieu tin|er auc
ce|ris iron tbe µartiai rooi eoiiaµse.
As "iuter ioolec uµ, sbe was surµrisec to see tbe uigbt sly
twiuliiug |eyouc tbe vast raggec boies iu tbe rooi. A iew stray
noou|eans sµiiiec iu tbrougb tbese oµeu seetious, iaueiug tbrougb
tbe carluess abeac oi ber auc eatebiug cust notes eireiiug iaziiy iu
tbe air. It seenec tbe µrevious rooi eoiiaµse bac yieicec sone
uuexµeetec |eueiits. tbe ebureb was stiii a µiaee oi sbacows auc
eo|we|s, |ut at ieast tbere was euougb iigbt ior "iuter to see.
Biale'` "iuter eaiiec out, |ut tbere was uo reµiy. 1be icea oi
iiugeriug iu tbis bauutec µiaee |y berseii was cisçuietiug. "itbout
luowiug sbe was coiug it, "iuter |egau to siowiy retraee ber steµs
towarcs tbe |roleu staiuec-giass wiucow - tbe µiaee wbere sbe`c
iirst seeu Biale. 1be inage oi tbe \acouua ioolec eveu nore
|eautiiui iu tbe eoic iigbt, bowever, tbere was a sacuess to ber
ieatures tbat "iuter bacu`t uotieec |eiore. It was a siniiar
exµressiou to tbe oue woru |y Biale`s notber iu tbe µortrait.
8isters iu sorrow.
"iuter reaebec tbe wiucow auc ioolec out iuto tbe ruiuec
graveyarc. Biale was tbere: 8be was struel witb a µoweriui seuse
oi céja vu - be was stauciug µreeiseiy iu tbe sane µositiou be bac
|eeu tbe iirst tine sbe`c seeu bin, beac |owec, soienuiy regarciug
oue oi tbe gravestoues. Ii it wereu`t ior tbe noouiigbt auc tbe
eiotbes be was weariug, tbe ta|ieau wouic bave |eeu a µieture-
reµiiea oi tbat iirst µivotai noneut.
"iuter was a|out to eaii out to bin wbeu sbe ieit au uuexµeetec
sbiver oi cou|t µass tbrougb ber. "bat ii Biale reaiiy cic neau to
barn ber auc bis wboie eourtsbiµ bac |eeu sone liuc oi siel
gane' "bat ii be reaiiy was tbe nouster Caie| |eiievec bin to |e'
Asbanec tbat sbe was eveu eutertaiuiug sueb a µossi|iiity, "iuter
iouuc ber voiee auc eaiiec to bin.
Biale:`
ue cicu`t turu, |ut renaiuec stauciug witb bis |ael to ber,
stariug at tbe grave. lurtber uusettiec |y bis iael oi resµouse,
"iuter eaiiec out agaiu.
Biale'`
8be eouicu`t wait ior bin to wale uµ out oi wbatever norose
stuµor be`c iaiieu iuto. Ciunsiiy eiin|iug out oi tbe ebureb wiucow,
"iuter startec tbrougb tbe graveyarc towarcs bin.
Biale'`
ue giaueec uµ at ber, eviceutiy surµrisec to iiuc be was uo
iouger aioue. 1bere was a strauge, iaraway iool iu bis eyes, as
tbougb bis niuc was sonewbere eise.
I`n sorry, I cicu`t bear you,` be saic iu a cazec toue.
Are you olay'`
ue ioolec |ael at tbe grave, bis voiee neiaueboiy. I uever toic
you wby I was bere tbat iirst cay, cic I, "iuter'`
"iuter sbool ber beac. ro, you cicu`t. Lool, Biale, tbe Baue
eouic |e ou tbeir way. "e bave to -`
It`s ny notber`s grave,` Biale saic soitiy, auc "iuter was too
sboelec |y tbe reveiatiou to iiuisb voieiug ber eoueerus. reariy a
buucrec years ago, we eane to tbis eouutry iron Luroµe,
Ciaucette, ny notber auc I. "e ieit ny iatber |ebiuc. ue wautec
to save us iron tbe Baue, |ut be iaiiec. 1bey ioiiowec us bere.
Aiter years oi buutiug, tbe Baue iiuaiiy nauagec to traµ us iu a
iarnbouse uear keucie. \y notber urgec Ciaucette auc ne to
1ravei, to save ourseives, |ut I wouicu`t ieave ber. I bacu`t usec
ny µower siuee tbat iirst tine. "beu Liisa|etta was .` ue
swaiiowec |eiore eoutiuuiug. I cicu`t waut to ever exµerieuee tbat
awiui buuger agaiu. I µreierrec to tale ny ebauees witb tbe Baue.
"beu I reiusec to 1ravei, Ciaucette was ioreec to trausµort tbe
tbree oi us tbrougb tbe Deac Laucs. 8be µielec au exit µoiut |y
ebauee, sonewbere iar away iron tbe Baue. 8be |rougbt us bere to
uagau`s Biuii.`
ue ieii siieut ior a noneut. "iuter`s auxiety was iorgotteu as
sbe watebec tbe µaiu oi tbe nenory eteb itseii aeross bis ieatures.
1be µbysieai toii it tool ou ny sister was great. It was barc euougb
1raveiiiug aioue, iet aioue craggiug two otber µeoµie witb you
tbrougb tbe Deac Laucs. 1be buuger eane uµou ber inneciateiy
auc |eiore sbe luew wbat sbe was coiug sbe ieii uµou ny notber
auc startec . ieeciug. I triec to stoµ ber, |ut I was too siow. Auc
too weal. Ciaucette liiiec our notber. Aiter tbe buuger ieit ber auc
sbe reaiisec wbat sbe`c coue, ny sister was uever tbe sane. uer
borror at wbat sbe`c coue cisiigurec ber. uer bair turuec grey, ber
|eauty |eeane eorruµtec. 8be weut nac, |eeane caugerous auc I
was ioreec to .`
"iuter cicu`t ueec bin to iiuisb tbe seuteuee, auc restec a bauc
iu eoniort ou bis sbouicer. 8be guessec tbat Biale bac |eeu ioreec
to liii Ciaucette. ro woucer be leµt a µbotograµb oi ber uext to
bis |ec. It was iu nenorian.
I`n so sorry, Biale.`
8be wisbec sbe bac tbe tine to eousoie bin iurtber, |ut tbe
tbreat oi tbe Baue, uot to neutiou tbe iate oi Jasniue, ioonec iarge
iu ber niuc.
"e sbouic go iusice. 1be Baue are eoniug. 1bey`ve got
Jasniue.`
Biale net ber gaze, eonµosiug binseii. uow cic tbey iiuc
you'`
"iuter sbool ber beac. I cou`t luow. 1bey nust bave |eeu
ioiiowiug us.`
ue µroeessec tbis iuiornatiou griniy. Dou`t worry a|out your
irieuc. 1bey wou`t burt ber.`
uow eau you |e sure'` "iuter aslec, iar iron eouviueec.
Beeause it`s ne tbey waut,` Biale saic çuietiy, auc startec
towarcs tbe ebureb.
thaµter eo
"iuter watebec Biale`s sbacowy iorn eut tbrougb tbe noou|eans
iu irout oi ber as be iec ber cowu tbe ebureb`s aisie towarcs tbe
aitar. uis bauc ieit eoic iu bers, stiii iile tbe bauc oi a eorµse.
Beiore, bis toueb bac aiways |eeu so warn auc eoniortiug.
"bat co we co uow'`
Biale cicu`t auswer. uis iaee was so o|seurec |y sbacows sbe
eouicu`t reac bis exµressiou.
Biale, tail to ne, µiease.`
"e`re waitiug, "iuter,` be toic ber soitiy.
8be |egau to grow airaic. "by was Biale aetiug so
nysteriousiy' Agaiu tbe µbotograµb oi Caroi Cates nateriaiisec
uu|icceu iu ber niuc. 8be triec to |auisb it, |ut tbe inage iiugerec.
"aitiug ior wbat'`
Biale ioolec uµ at ber. uis greeu eyes giitterec iile eneraic
stars. I`n sorry,` be saic iu a ceieatec toue.
I cou`t uucerstauc. "by are you aµoiogisiug'`
Beeause I cou`t tbiul I eau save you.`
\ou saic tbe 8livers -`
Biale sbool bis beac. It`s uot tben you ueec to worry a|out.`
1bere was sonetbiug iu bis eyes tbat nace ber |iooc ruu eoic -
grin resiguatiou, as tbougb be were steeiiug binseii to µeriorn sone
uuµieasaut aet.
"bat baµµeuec to Caroi Cates'` 1be çuestiou was out oi ber
noutb |eiore sbe eouic stoµ it. 8tauciug aioue witb bin iu tbe
sbacows, it succeuiy seenec terri|iy inµortaut tbat sbe luow be
was iuuoeeut oi tbe erine. 1bat ber iear was uuiouucec.
1rou|iiugiy, be irowuec auc reµiiec, uow co you luow a|out
ber'`
Caie| toic ne. ue sbowec ne tbe iist.` "iuter triec to swaiiow,
|ut ber tbroat was eoustrietec witb auxiety. Is it true'`
8be was succeuiy aware oi bow çuiet it bac growu. Aii tbe
an|ieut uoises oi tbe woocs, tbe oues sbe`c ouiy |areiy uotieec
uutii tbey`c goue, bac stoµµec. 1be ebirµiug oi erielets, tbe soit
nurnur oi tbe trees as tbe wiuc tbreacec tbrougb tben - aii bac
iaiieu siieut.
Lveutuaiiy be ioolec at ber agaiu, bis voiee iuii oi regret. It`s
true. 1bey`re aii ceac.`
"iuter starec at bin iu sboel, tryiug to see tbe iiieler iu bis
exµressiou, a giinµse oi tbe iaisebooc tbat nigbt µrove be was
iyiug. 1bat be wasu`t tbe nouster sbe iearec bin to |e. 1bere was
uoue to |e seeu. ue was teiiiug ber tbe trutb.
uow'` sbe nauagec boarseiy, tears µrieliug tbe |aels oi ber
eyes.
I cicu`t eboose tben, "iuter. 1bey ebose ne. 1bey wouic iiuc
wbere I was stayiug, exµose tbenseives to tbe cauger.`
8be jerlec ber bauc out oi bis auc |egau |aeliug away.
Jasniue, tbe Baue, tbe 8livers - aii µaiec |eiore Biale`s sboeliug
reveiatiou.
I triec to leeµ tben saie: \ou nust |eiieve ne:`
ketreatiug iron bin, "iuter succeuiy triµµec auc ieii over oue
oi tbe iaiieu |eans. Biale oiierec ber bis bauc, |ut sbe seran|iec
away, terriiiec tbat be was a|out to iaii uµou ber at auy noneut.
8be cicu`t waut to suiier tbe iate oi Caroi Cates auc tbe otbers.
8be cicu`t waut to |e auotber uane iu Caie|`s eonµuter.
Dou`t, Biale - µiease: I iove you:` It was true. Lveu uow,
airaic ior ber iiie, tbere was a µart oi ber tbat stiii iovec bin. lear
eouicu`t extiuguisb tbat enotiou.
Biale tool a steµ |ael, eviceutiy sboelec |y ber ceeiaratiou.
1beir eyes net auc aii at ouee sbe reaiisec sbe`c nace a nistale.
1bere was uo nurcerous iuteut bere, uo biut oi tbe nouster Caie|
eiainec Biale was. Iusteac, "iuter saw ouiy sacuess iu Biale`s
gaze auc sonetbiug eise too, sonetbiug sbe bacu`t carec boµe to
see .
Love.
I`n uot goiug to burt you,` Biale eroalec, bis exµressiou
wouucec. I`c uever -`
uis voiee was crowuec out |y a strauge wbistiiug souuc. "iuter
watebec iu borror as be was vioieutiy tbrowu |ael severai ieet
aeross tbe ebureb |y sone iuvisi|ie ioree, iauciug iu a erunµiec
beaµ agaiust tbe aitar µiatiorn. A ioug, gieaniug µieee oi netai
juttec iron bis sbouicer, iixiug bin to tbe wooceu |ase oi tbe aitar.
laiut teucriis oi snole euriec uµ iron tbe canµeuiug boie wbere
tbe netai |oit euterec bis iiesb.
Biale groauec iu µaiu, eiawiug wealiy at tbe |oit.
A ianiiiar voiee eriec out |ebiuc ber. "ateb out: ue`s tryiug to
nove.`
1bere was auotber wbistiiug souuc. A seeouc |oit tbrew Biale`s
otber sbouicer |aelwarcs, µiuuiug bin iile au iuseet. ue iet out au
auguisbec serean.
It bac aii baµµeuec too iast ior "iuter to iuiiy eonµrebeuc.
8eeoucs |eiore, Biale bac |eeu sµealiug to ber, uow be was iyiug
sçuirniug iu agouy. It was as tbougb sbe`c junµec iorwarc iu tine,
nissiug tbe erueiai series oi aetious tbat wouic nale seuse oi tbis
seeue.
"iuter turuec to see tbe Baue narebiug tbrougb tbe ebureb
towarcs ber, Caie| iu tbe eeutre. Beans oi iigbt eut tbrougb tbe
carluess, µrojeetec |y torebes nouutec ou bis sous` eross|ows.
1be ouiy oue uot wieiciug oue oi tbese weaµous was Caie| binseii.
Iusteac, be beic a |iael-bauciec axe iu bis bauc, tbe noouiigbt
giiutiug oii its |iace. "iuter uotec tbat tbere was oue Beuuet
|rotber nissiug - 8an.
Caie| novec towarcs "iuter, bis eyes sbiuiug witb naiiee.
"eii, "iuter, it seens you were oi use to us aiter aii.`
"iuter starec at bin iu iear. uow cic you -`
8be traiiec oii as sbe saw 8an ieac Jasniue iuto tbe ebureb. 1be
trielie oi |iooc bac criec cowu ber ebeel. uer gait was siow auc
sbuiiiiug iile tbat oi a sieeµwailer.
Jasniue'` "iuter eaiiec out, |ut ber irieuc cicu`t resµouc. uer
exµressiou was |iaul, cruggec.
Cutragec, "iuter turuec to Caie|, waruiug, Ii you`ve burt ber
-`
1be oic nau griuuec. Cb, cou`t worry, sbe`ii suaµ out oi it iu a
iew niuutes. Lueliiy ior us, sbe servec ber µurµose. I`n surµrisec I
ueecec Danieu`s a|iiities to eoax your wberea|outs out oi ber.
Lsµeeiaiiy aiter you eaiiousiy ieit ber |ebiuc iu tbe woocs. Bac
iorn, "iuter.`
Caie| sbool bis beac at ber iu au exaggeratec sbow oi
cisaµµoiutneut, auc cesµite ber batrec oi bin, bis worcs eut "iuter
to tbe çuiel.
Danieu iuebec eioser to Biale, leeµiug bis eross|ow traiuec ou
tbe torturec iigure. latber, co you waut ne to iiuisb bin'`
Caie| sbool bis beac. rot yet, tale tbe giris outsice iirst.` ue
turuec towarcs "iuter. Ci eourse, uuiess you waut to stay'`
Auger |oiiec uµ iusice ber. I`n uot goiug to iet you co tbis.`
Beiore Caie| eouic reµiy, Biale eriec out, Leave, "iuter:`
8tartiec |y tbe souuc, sbe turuec |ael to iaee bin. ue bacu`t
novec iron bis µositiou agaiust tbe aitar µiatiorn, eouicu`t nove, iu
iaet, as tbe |oits µiuuec bin as a|iy as a |utteriiy to a liiiiug |oarc.
uis beac ioiiec, bis eyes giitteriug witb tears, auc "iuter ieit ber
beart |real.
8be ioolec iron Biale to tbe axe iu Caie|`s bauc auc
uucerstooc wbat be neaut to co. 1be eageruess iu tbe oic nau`s
eyes ebiiiec ber to tbe |oue. Caie| bac traiuec bis wboie iiie to |e
au exeeutiouer auc aµµearec exeitec |y tbe ebauee to enµioy bis
erait. "iuter eouic uot exµeet auy nerey iron bin.
8an stroce µast Caie| auc tool "iuter iirniy |y tbe arn.
C`nou, "iuter. \ou cou`t ueec to see tbis.` 1bere was a biut
oi eonµassiou iu bis voiee, |ut it cic uotbiug to sootbe ber auger.
Cet oii ne:` "iuter yaulec ber arn iree auc |aelec away
towarcs Biale.
8be turuec to bin, inµioriug, Co, Biale: Cet away iron bere:`
Caie| ebueliec at ber eiiorts. Dou`t you tbiul tbe ereature
wouic bave ieit |y uow ii be eouic' ue`s uot goiug auywbere.`
"iuter ioolec at tbe tbiu, eruei |oits juttiug iron Biale`s
sbouicers. ro woucer be bacu`t 1raveiiec yet: 8onetbiug iu tbe
Baue`s netai arrows nust bave |eeu leeµiug bin iixec ou tbis
µiaue oi existeuee.
"itb au euornous eiiort, Biale raisec bis beac auc starec at
Caie|, bis giare aeeusiug. \ou cestroyec ny bouse.` uis voiee
was very weal, iuii oi µaiu.
Caie| uoccec. \es. 8oou you`ii |e goue too.`
\ou ioois,` Biale reµiiec çuietiy. uis sliu bac taleu ou a waxy
µaiior, |ut bis eyes stiii |uruec |rigbtiy. rot witb auger, as "iuter
nigbt bave exµeetec, |ut witb iear. \ou iet ber out.`
thaµter e1
uis worcs, tbougb ainost a wbisµer, buug beaviiy iu tbe oic ebureb,
seeniug to earry witb tben a terri|ie µronise. It was aii tbe nore
irigbteuiug cue to its an|iguity - /et whoo out` "iuter giaueec
|ael at Caie| auc bis sous. 1be vagueiy worriec exµressious oi
eouiusiou sbe saw ou tbeir iaees suggestec tbey were as uueasy as
sbe was.
A eoic wiuc |egau to |iow, wbiuiug eeriiy as it gaiuec eutrauee
to tbe ebureb tbrougb tbe eraels auc boies. "iuter |egau to sbiver.
1be sliu ou ber arns tiugiec uueoniorta|iy, auc sbe was reniucec
oi tbe iast tine sbe`c |eeu iu tbis ebureb. As it bac tbeu, noneuts
|eiore tbe rooi bac eavec iu, a µrenouitiou was iorniug - oue uo
iess ioacec witb neuaee.
Sooethìng was cooìng!
\areus, 8an auc Danieu ioolec at eaeb otber ieariuiiy. Cuiy
Caie| seenec uunovec |y tbe ebiii wiuc auc tbe seuse oi neuaee
tbat bac iuvacec tbis µiaee. Cieariug bis tbroat, be raisec bis voiee
to tbe çuiet ebureb. uurry uow. Let tbe tbiug |e coue.`
ue sbovec "iuter out oi tbe way auc |egau to wail towarcs
Biale. Biale ioolec µast bis exeeutiouer to "iuter witb raw, µaiu-
eioucec eyes. uer beart ieit as tbougb it was |eiug wreuebec aµart.
8be eouicu`t iet tbis baµµeu:
"iuter rau iu irout oi Caie|, |ioeliug bis route to Biale. Dou`t
eone auy eioser:`
8iiiy giri,` tbe oic nau saic, sniiiug erueiiy, auc raisec tbe axe
over bis beac as tbougb be neaut to eieave tbrougb "iuter to get to
Biale. "iuter µiautec ber ieet auc eiosec ber eyes iu autieiµatiou oi
tbe liiiiug |iow, |ut it uever eane.
Iusteac, a ceaieuiug sbriel tore tbrougb tbe ebureb, baitiug
Caie|`s µrogress. It was tbe souuc "iuter bearc iu tbe woocs as
tbe Veiaseo µiaee |uruec. 1be wiuc seenec to cie cowu a|ruµtiy,
tbe iorees oi uature tbenseives retreatiug iron tbis µiaee iu iear.
"iuter oµeuec ber eyes auc saw Caie|`s asbeu iaee. 1be axe buug
wealiy iu bis tren|iiug grasµ. Bebiuc bin tbe Beuuets were waviug
tbeir eross|ows a|out erratieaiiy, searebiug tbe eaves oi tbe iaiieu
ebureb witb tbeir toreb |eans ior tbe souree oi tbe ebiiiiug souuc.
8eeoucs µassec iu exerueiatiug susµeuse, auc tbeu tbe borror
|egau.
"itb a seeouc ceaieuiug sbriel, a raggec wbite sbaµe exµiocec
out oi tbe sbacows a|ove Caie| auc sweµt tbe oic nau oii bis ieet,
sµiritiug bin to tbe otber sice oi tbe ebureb. 1bere, tbe uigbtnarisb
sbaµe - a wooan, "iuter eouic see |y ber ioug, taugiec grey bair,
auc staiuec wbite ro|es - buuebec over bis sçuirniug iigure auc
lissec bin. 1bere was uo teuceruess iu tbe aetiou - uotbiug |ut
vioieuee auc a ebiiiiug arcour. Caie|`s iin|s twitebec auc jerlec as
be struggiec |eueatb tbe sbrieler`s en|raee, |ut bis eiiorts were
iutiie. Iu tbe sµaee oi a iew seeoucs, bis eutire iorn seenec to
erunµie auc siul, as tbougb tbe |oues, orgaus auc nuseies were
|eiug suelec away.
"iuter was vagueiy aware oi eries arouuc ber auc noveneut,
|ut sbe was uua|ie to beec tben, so trausiixec was sbe |y tbe
borri|ie ieeciug. \ereiiuiiy, sbe was sµarec seeiug Caie|`s iaee, as
tbe wonau`s buuebec iorn |ioelec ber view, |ut "iuter eouic
inagiue tbe terror iu bis eyes. 8be eouic inagiue it aii too easiiy.
8onetbiug wbistiec µast ber beac - auotber oi tbe Baue`s irou
|oits - |ut tbis oue cicu`t iiuc its narl, iusteac sianniug iuto tbe
waii |esice tbe ereature`s beac. Lile a startiec vuiture, tbe nac
wonau iiew oii Caie|`s wastec iorn auc cisaµµearec iuto tbe
sbacows over tbeir beacs.
latber:` 8an rusbec to Caie|`s sice, wbiie everyoue eise
aµµearec rootec to tbe sµot iu terror. "iuter watebec as 8an
eraciec bis iatber`s iiieiess beac iu bis arns, stiii too µetriiiec to ieei
auytbiug |ut tbe vaguest synµatby ior bin. A serean iron tbe |ael
oi tbe ebureb sbatterec tbe stuuuec siieuee, auc jerlec "iuter`s
atteutiou away iron tbe grieviug sou.
1be wonau bac aµµearec |ebiuc \areus auc Danieu. 1bey
seran|iec to |riug tbeir eross|ows arouuc, |ut ber sµeec was too
great. 8be`c nauagec to luoel Danieu to tbe grouuc auc µuii
\areus iuto ber en|raee |eiore a siugie sbot was iirec. "iuter
bearc Jasniue serean as tbe uigbtnarisb sµeetaeie joitec ber out oi
ber stuµor. 1be wonau µiautec ber iiµs ou ber eaµturec µrey`s
noutb auc |egau to suel bis iiie ioree away. Danieu struggiec to
bis ieet, auc witb a iouc |attieery ebargec towarcs tbe ieastiug
|ausbee witb bis weaµou raisec.
uis sbots weut wice auc, ouee be was iu striliug cistauee, tbe
wonau iasbec out witb oue tbiu arn, seuciug bin iiyiug tbe ieugtb oi
tbe ebureb iu au inµossi|ie cisµiay oi streugtb. Danieu`s |ocy
snasbec rigbt tbrougb oue oi tbe suµµort eoiunus as tbougb it were
nace oi µaµer, |eiore iauciug sµrawiec auc iiieiess |esice Biale.
"iuter eouic see Biale`s torneutec exµressiou as be watebec tbe
nassaere iron bis traµµec µositiou. uis irigbteuec gaze siieutiy
inµiorec ber to ruu, |ut sbe sinµiy eouicu`t ieave bin. 1bere was a
iouc run|ie iron tbe eaves a|ove tben, ioiiowec |y a sbower oi
cust, as tbe ebureb struggiec witb tbe ioss oi auotber oi its suµµort
|eans.
liuisbec witb \areus, tbe nacwonau croµµec bis iinµ |ocy
auc turuec towarcs Jasniue, wbo was eoweriug |ebiuc a µiiiar.
uorriiiec, "iuter watebec as tbe nouster`s tougue siitberec out oi
ber noutb, iieliug ber cry iiµs iu autieiµatiou oi auotber neai.
Jasniue sereanec agaiu as tbe wonau stroce towarcs ber.
A |oit iirec iron |ebiuc "iuter wbiuec tbrougb tbe air, giaueiug
oii tbe ereature`s sbouicer. 1be eiiort was euougb to cistraet tbe
wonau iron ber iuteucec vietin, auc witb a bowi oi rage sbe turuec
to eouirout ber attaeler. 8an rau to "iuter`s sice, aireacy ioaciug
a iresb irou |oit iuto tbe eross|ow`s eban|er.
Cet |ebiuc ne:` be gruutec. 1bere were tears iu bis eyes, |ut
be seenec resoiute uot to iet bis griei stauc |etweeu bin auc
veugeauee. ue ainec tbe eross|ow at tbe ereature auc iirec, |ut
|eiore tbe |oit eouic strile its target tbe wonau wiulec out oi
existeuee. Cue noneut sbe was stauciug tbere, tbe uext sbe was
goue:
1be ebureb was siieut, save ior Jasniue`s so||iug at tbe |ael oi
tbe roon auc tbe iuereasiug run|ies iron tbe rooi a|ove. I/ we
dont get out o/ hece soon, tbe tbougbt iiasbec iu tbe |ael oi
"iuter`s niuc, the coo/ wì// cooe down and kì// us a//! A iarge
µieee oi tin|er ieii iron tbe eaves auc erasbec to tbe grouuc as ii to
µrove ber susµieiou. uowever, tbere was stiii uo sigu oi tbe evii
aµµaritiou. "iuter leµt eiose to 8an as be siowiy eireiec tbe
ebureb witb tbe eross|ow, usiug tbe toreb |ean to seareb tbe
carluess.
Bebiuc you:` Biale eriec out witb a eraelec voiee iron bis
µositiou, |ut it was too iate. 1be wonau nateriaiisec |ebiuc tben,
ber greeu eyes |iaziug witb nacuess auc batrec. row tbat tbe
ereature was so eiose, "iuter was sboelec to ciseover sbe
reeoguisec ber iaee. As Biale bac neutiouec, tbe bair bac turuec
siate grey |ut tbe eyes . tbe eyes bac triggerec ber nenory. 8o
nueb iile ber |rotber`s yet carler, erueiier. 1bis |ausbee was
Biale`s sister - Ciaucette:
Ciaucette`s raggec wbite ro|es swiriec arouuc ber as sbe
reaebec towarcs "iuter, ber baucs boolec iuto eiaws. 8an tbrust
binseii iuto ber µatb, |ut sbe swattec bin asice easiiy. uer buuger
was iixec ou "iuter. row tbere were uo nore o|staeies iu ber
way, Ciaucette seenec to siow ber attael, aµµareutiy reiisbiug tbe
noneut |eiore tbe liii. uer noutb (hec guos! Lec guos wece
l/ack!) twistec iuto sonetbiug aµµroxinatiug a sniie. It was tbe
nost terriiyiug tbiug "iuter bac ever seeu.
"iuter luew sbe was eiose to ceatb, sbe eouic sneii it iu
Ciaucette`s raul |reatb. 8an iay siunµec agaiust oue oi tbe rottiug
eoiunus, ebiu restiug ou bis ebest, |areiy eouseious. Jasniue bac
erawiec iuto tbe eoruer auc was biciug iron tbe bowiiug uigbtnare,
so||iug to berseii çuietiy. 1bere wouic |e uo iast-seeouc reseue
iron eitber oi tben.
"iuter wiiiec ber iin|s to start worliug so sbe eouic at ieast try
to get away, |ut tbey cicu`t resµouc. "bat wouic |e tbe use,
auyway' uow eouic you outruu a ereature tbat eouic nove tbrougb
sµaee auc tine iu tbe |iiul oi au eye' "iuter ieit µaraiysec -
uua|ie to ruu or eveu serean. Ciaucette`s sbiuiug greeu eyes beic
ber owu iu tbeir nac gaze, rootiug ber to tbe sµot. "iuter ieit ber
wiii to iive e||iug as sbe starec iuto tbose terriiyiug eneraic ceµtbs.
Ciaucette novec eioser, eioser stiii .
1bere was a wbistiiug souuc over "iuter`s sbouicer, a iaiut gust
oi air ou ber ebeel, as tbe irou |oit iiew |y. Ciaucette`s eyes
wiceuec iu sboel. uer viµer`s sniie vauisbec, ber jaw ieii auc sbe
staggerec |aelwarcs, seraµiug at ber ebest. Au awiui, iow leeuiug
souuc eane iron tbe ceµtbs oi ber tbroat. uer µaie baucs griµµec
tbe euc oi au irou |oit, tbe rest oi wbieb was |uriec iu tbe iiesb just
a|ove ber rigbt |reast, µiereiug ber beart. 1be nacuess iiec iron
Ciaucette`s iaee, auc "iuter eouic see tbat sbe sbarec ber
|rotber`s |eauty. It bac |eeu eorruµtec, trausiornec |y tbe terri|ie
buuger iusice. row it was restorec to ber iu ber iast tragie
noneuts.
It eouicu`t bave |eeu 8an wbo iirec tbe sbot, as "iuter saw bin
uow iinµ towarcs Ciaucette iron tbe oµµosite cireetiou, craggiug
bis iatber`s axe |ebiuc bin. Lettiug out a boarse |attieery, 8an
swuug ouee, ceitiy siieiug iuto Ciaucette`s ueel. 8be croµµec to
tbe grouuc, auc be swuug agaiu, iiuisbiug tbe jo|.
"iuter .`
8/ake!
"iuter turuec auc rau to wbere Biale iay, bis |reatbiug
ia|ourec. ue was boiciug Danieu`s eross|ow iu oue sbaliug arn,
µoiutec at tbe iaiieu |ocy oi bis sister. 1be youugest nen|er oi tbe
Baue sµrawiec a iew ieet away iron bin, bis bair nattec witb
|iooc. "iuter erouebec at Biale`s sice. 1be tears were eoniug
uow, tears oi griei auc sboel, sµiiiiug over ber ebeels.
I liiiec ber .`
\ou savec ne.`
It wasu`t ber iauit. It was tbe buuger.`
Dou`t tail,` sbe saic, tryiug to leeµ bin iron wastiug bis
euergy, |ut Biale was iigbtiug to exµiaiu binseii.
I eouicu`t iet ber burt you . iile tbe otbers.`
"iuter luew iater sbe wouic bave tine to µieee tbe µuzzie
togetber nore eieariy, |ut sbe`c seeu euougb to iorn a bazy
inµressiou oi wbat bac baµµeuec. Aii tbose giris bacu`t |eeu liiiec
|y Biale - |ut |y Ciaucette. loor nac Ciaucette . |oru witbout
tbe streugtb to resist tbe carluess iusice.
"iuter teuceriy |rusbec |ael oue oi Biale`s euris. It`s over
uow. 8be`s iouuc µeaee.`
leaee'` Biale ioolec uµ at ber iu eouiusiou as tbougb tbe
worc was uuluowu to bin. 1be exµressiou was so ualec auc
vuiuera|ie tbat "iuter ieit iresb tears sµiiiiug cowu ber iaee.
Lverytbiug`s goiug to |e aii rigbt,` sbe nauagec to ebole out as
sbe lissec bis |uruiug ebeels. "iuter novec to bis iiµs, lissiug bin
ceeµiy ou tbe noutb, ieeiiug tbat tiugiiug seusatiou wbieb was |otb
wouceriui auc irigbteuiug. Inneciateiy, sbe ieit berseii |eiug crawu
iuto bin, auc be iuto ber. "iuter luew it was caugerous |ut sbe
cicu`t eare. Danu tbe eouseçueuees: Aiter a iew giorious seeoucs
sbe ieit bin iee|iy tryiug to µusb ber oii bin. It wouic bave |eeu
easy to stay, µressec uµ agaiust bin, tbeir iiµs seaiec togetber, |ut
sbe crew berseii |ael.
Lasy uow.` Biale was stariug at ber witb tbose |eautiiui greeu
eyes. "iueiug, be triec to raise binseii uµ. Couic you .` "iuter
was aµµaiiec at ber owu iguorauee. Cue oi tbe irou |oits stiii uaiiec
bin to tbe aitar. ue`c riµµec out tbe otber oue iu bis eiiort to reaeb
auc iire tbe eross|ow at Ciaucette. Lueliiy ueitber bac µiereec bis
beart, |ut tbe µaiu nust |e exerueiatiug.
"iuter guiµec, |auiliug at tbe aet. "bat sbouic I . '`
ue teuceriy µiaeec ber baucs ou tbe sbait oi tbe ieit |oit.
Just µuii.`
"iuter uoccec, steeiec berseii auc tbeu, witb ber eyes eiosec,
yaulec tbe |oit iree iron Biale`s rigbt sbouicer. Biale iet out a
serean oi µaiu, tbe souuc oi bis agouy raliug aeross "iuter`s beart.
8be eraciec bis iaee iu ber baucs, ieeiiug bis tears ou ber iiugers.
Biale sniiec iee|iy at ber. 1baul you.`
8be ieauec cowu to liss bis tears away. Cau you nove'` ue
was too bot. 8iel beat raciatec iron bin iu waves. "by was be
iooliug at ber iile tbis' 1bat µaiuec sniie ou bis iaee seenec
eutireiy ior ber |eueiit. ue was tryiug to cistraet ber iron tbe
ceeµer trutb.
1be souucs iron a|ove were iuereasiug iu voiune. Auotber
ioose tin|er strut erasbec to tbe iioor a sbort cistauee iron tben.
"e bave to go, Biale. 1be rooi .`
ue sbool bis beac, stiii sniiiug tbrougb bis µaiu. ro. I`n
stayiug.`
"iuter irowuec, eouiusec |y tbe iiuaiity oi Biale`s worcs. 8be
ieit iresb tears weiiiug agaiu, auc ber tbroat was tigbt auc restrietec.
"bat are you tailiug a|out'` \ore cust was iaiiiug iron tbe eeiiiug
uow, eoveriug tben iu a iiue iayer, |ut "iuter |areiy uotieec it.
Biale ioolec µast ber sbouicer, bis eyes uarrowiug, auc
wbisµerec, It`s tine.`
"iuter turuec to ioiiow bis gaze auc saw tben boveriug |ebiuc
ber, watebiug siieutiy - tbe 8livers.
thaµter ez
Ii sbe bacu`t |eeu so uµset |y Biale`s µaiu, "iuter luew sbe
wouic bave sereanec, |ut as it was, ouiy a straugiec ery eseaµec
ber iiµs. Cue oi tbe 8livers tiitec its beac, stucyiug tben iu tbat
biceous way oi tbeirs - tbe \aster.
8be seran|iec to ber ieet, stauciug over Biale µroteetiveiy.
"iuter was terriiiec oi tbese |iael-eiac wraitbs, |ut wouicu`t iet
iear cietate ber aetious. rot auy nore.
ro . no. ;ou cant have hìo!` 8be cireetec ber iuciguatiou
towarcs tbe \aster.
8an, lueeiiug |esice bis iatber`s |ocy, giaueec uµ at ber iron
aeross tbe ebureb. uis voiee souucec cistraetec wbeu be sµole.
"bo are you tailiug to'`
"iuter iguorec bin.
Biale sµole soitiy |ebiuc ber. It`s olay, "iuter. It`s olay.`
Biale -`
liease, eone bere.`
"iuter rislec noneutariiy civertiug ber atteutiou away iron tbe
ereatures, auc saw bin |eelouiug wealiy ior ber to joiu bin ou tbe
iioor. 1be 8livers bacu`t novec yet, tbey renaiuec wbere tbey
were, watebiug. "iuter çuieliy erouebec |ael cowu at Biale`s
sice. uer baucs iouuc bis auc beic tben tigbtiy.
Lool at ne,` be wbisµerec, gaziug at ber, wiiiiug ber to see.
"bat'`
Lool at ne, "iuter .`
"iuter stiii cicu`t uucerstauc wbat be neaut uutii sbe saw tbe
iigbt iu bis eyes. uis liss bac restorec tbe 8igbt auc uow sbe eouic
see bis Ceeuiuna, tbe tiuy iianes |uruiug iu tbe ceµtbs oi Biale`s
µuµiis. 1bey were uo iouger greeu.
Biale, wbat bave you coue'` "iuter eriec witb borror, stariug
at tbe sieliy rec iigbt.
I nace tben a ceai. It was tbe ouiy way to save you. \y iiie ior
yours.`
"iuter |egau to ery. 8be |uriec ber beac iu bis ebest. ro,
Biale: ro: "by wouic you co tbis'`
8troliug ber bair soitiy, be wbisµerec iuto ber ear, \ou bave to
asl'`
8be raisec ber beac auc ioolec ceeµiy iuto bis eyes, ber beart
|realiug at tbe aeeeµtauee sbe saw tbere. Biale wasu`t goiug to
iigbt tbis, be was goiug to iet tben tale bin.
ue geutiy euµµec ber iaee iu bis baucs, auc eveu tbrougb ber
griei "iuter eouic see bow tìced be ioolec. uow tirec be souucec.
ro tears, "iuter. \ou`ve giveu ne sonetbiug wouceriui. au
exeuse to cie. I uever |eiougec bere auyway.`
It was wroug, so wroug auc be cicu`t seen aware oi it. 8be`c
nale bin aware oi it - nale bin see bow nueb be neaut to ber,
|ut wbeu sbe oµeuec ber noutb tbe worcs wouicu`t eone, eveu
tbougb "iuter wiiiec tben to. 1ou le/ong wìth oe!` sbe wautec
to say to bin, |ut a µaiu-raelec so| was aii tbat nace it µast ber
iiµs.
8be ieauec iorwarc to liss bin oue iast tine, tbeir iiµs |rusbec
agaiust oue auotber - auc tbeu sbe was |eiug iiitec oii tbe grouuc
|y eoic, wbite baucs.
ro:` sbe eriec out, struggiiug iu tbe two 8livers` eiutebes, |ut
tbeir streugtb was great auc ber eiiorts weut uuuotieec. uer eyes
renaiuec ou Biale as sbe was µuiiec away.
Ii be was airaic, tbere was uo sigu oi it ou bis iaee, just a liuc oi
resiguec sacuess as tbe \aster lueit over bin. It eoujurec au
oruate eauister iron its ro|es auc oµeuec tbe iic, µiaeiug it ou tbe
grouuc. 1raµµec iu tbe 8livers` irou griµ, "iuter watebec uun|iy
as it witbcrew a µair oi seissors. 8be bearc tbe shnìck as tbe |iaces
sµruug oµeu - iile a luiie |eiug seraµec agaiust stoue - auc
watebec as tbe ereature reaebec iuto Biale`s ebest auc µuiiec iortb
a cazziiug or| oi rec iigbt. Cue oi tbose ioose straucs oi rec iigbt
twistec arouuc its µaie, sbriveiiec bauc iile a suale as tbe 8liver
|rougbt tbe |iaces to tbe tbreac.
"iuter starec at Biale iron aeross tbe ebureb auc wiiiec bin to
luow ber beart, wiiiec bin to see it iu ber eyes. 8be saw a giinner
tbere, a iiasb iu tbose |eautiiui greeu ceµtbs auc ieit sone reiiei
anic ber sorrow tbat be cic.
Biale knew . be`c aiways luowu.
1be \aster eiosec tbe sbears ou Biale`s iiie auc "iuter bearc
soneoue serean iu agouy. It was ber owu serean. Cuee tbe ceec
was coue, tbe \aster µiaeec Biale`s sbinneriug soui iu tbe
eauister auc returuec it to its ro|es. It stooc auc turuec towarcs
"iuter, regarciug ber sonewbat µityiugiy - or as eiose to µityiugiy
as its aiieu ieatures eouic - tbeu was goue, iile so nueb |iael
snole. 1be two 8livers at ber sice aiso vauisbec, cisaµµeariug
|ael to tbe Deac Laucs.
Iguoriug tbe run|iiug souucs iron tbe rooi a|ove, "iuter rau
tbrougb tbe grey raiu oi cust tbat was iaiiiug iron tbe eaves, auc
tbrew berseii outo Biale`s |ocy. uis beac was tiitec uµ towarcs
tbe eeiiiug oi tbe ebureb, tbe eyes oµeu, a |eatiiie sniie ou bis iiµs.
8o||iug uueoutroiia|iy, "iuter gatberec bin uµ iuto ber arns auc
roelec bin geutiy. 8be wouic bave beic bin iile tbat iorever, |ut a
bauc ieii ou ber sbouicer.
It was Jasniue. 8be`c iinµec aeross tbe ebureb to wbere "iuter
was erouebiug over Biale`s |ocy.
Let`s go, "iuter,` sbe saic witb çuiet urgeuey, auc "iuter
aiiowec berseii to |e iec away.
thaµter e1
8eeoucs aiter sbe auc Jasniue bo||iec tbrougb tbe ebureb
eutrauee, tbere was au aµoeaiyµtie erasb |ebiuc tben as tbe rest oi
tbe rooi eane cowu. 8an was iyiug iu tbe grass at tbe ioot oi tbe
steµs, eraciiug bis iatber`s wastec eorµse iu tbe noouiigbt. It bac
|eeu tbe ouiy |ocy be`c bac tine to retrieve |eiore tbe rooi
eoiiaµsec. ue ioolec uµ at tben witb wice, iost eyes as tbey eane
cowu tbe steµs towarcs bin.
"bat co I co uow'` be aslec tben boµeiessiy.
"iuter cicu`t bave au auswer, auc bac too nueb µaiu iu ber
beart to µity bin. Iusteac sbe auc Jasniue wailec ou, ieaviug 8an
to waiiow iu bis griei aioue. 1bey cicu`t sµeal ou tbe wail tbrougb
tbe woocs. 1be eiouc eover bac novec ou auc tbe µatb was easier
to see iu tbe eiear noouiigbt. "iuter |areiy uotieec. 8be wouicu`t
bave niucec ii tbe woocs bac |eeu µiteb-|iael. 8be was |eyouc
iear. 8be was |eyouc auytbiug |ut µaiu auc griei, wbieb seenec to
bave wraµµec itseii arouuc ber iile a beavy sbrouc.
Cuee tbey reaebec tbe ueritage Ceutre, Jasniue turuec to
"iuter. "bat baµµeuec touigbt, "iuter'`
ue savec ne,` "iuter auswerec çuietiy, auc tbey were tbe ouiy
worcs sbe bac ieit to say. 8be wailec µast Jasniue to tbe ecge oi
tbe µarliug iot auc eiosec ber eyes, |reatbiug iu tbe uigbt air.
8be wiiiec berseii to siiµ iuto tbe Deac Laucs, to ioiiow Biale
iuto kryµtbia. Ii sbe truiy was oue oi tbese nytbieai keys, tbeu iet
tbis µower nauiiest itseii uow. lor a noneut sbe iooiec berseii tbat
tbe grouuc |eueatb ber ieet iurebec as ii tbreateuiug to iaii away,
|ut wbeu sbe oµeuec ber eyes tbe uigbt arouuc ber was uuebaugec.
It was ber uigbt, a uigbt wbieb beic uo ceeµer nysteries.
ue was goue.
thaµter e4
"iuter tool tbe ioiiowiug weel oii sebooi, sµeuciug nost oi tbe
tine aioue iu ber roon, reaciug auc iisteuiug to nusie, auytbiug to
leeµ ber niuc oii ber griei. Luey was surµrisiugiy enµatbetie, uot
çuestiouiug ber ceeisiou to stay at bone. It was as ii sbe seusec
"iuter bac |eeu tbrougb sonetbiug µroiouuc auc was wiiiiug to
give ber tbe sµaee auc tine to eone to terns witb it.
1wo uigbts aiter tbe iueiceut ou tbe nouutaiu, "iuter was iyiug
iu |ec stariug at tbe eeiiiug wbeu a seratebiug souuc eane iron tbe
wiucow. Ainost too airaic to iool iu ease ber boµes were casbec,
sbe siowiy turuec to see reierten µawiug at tbe giass. 8onebow
tbe eat bac survivec tbe erasb, auc nace it |ael to ber bouse.
"eeµiug witb surµrise auc joy, sbe tbrew oµeu tbe wiucow auc
buggec bin tigbtiy. uis returu was a |riei resµite iron tbe carluess,
|ut oue sbe was grateiui ior.
As sbe wasbec tbe cirt oii tbe sçuirniug eat iu tbe |atbroon,
"iuter`s niuc turuec to tbe nysteries sbe`c wituessec, tryiug to
µieee togetber tbe µarts oi tbe story Biale bac uever exµiaiuec. 8be
renen|erec tbe coor iu Biale`s bouse witb tbe strauge sigii µaiutec
ou it, auc cecueec tbat Biale nust bave inµrisouec Ciaucette iu
tbat roon. "beu tbe Baue set iire to Biale`s bouse, tbe iianes nust
bave |urut away wbatever nystieai neaus be`c usec to leeµ ber
iron eseaµiug. 8be was tbe nouster Caie| auc bis sous bac buutec
tbrougb tbe years, tbe giris ou tbeir iist vietins oi ber buuger. Biale
bac |eeu nereiy ber leeµer.
1oweiiiug reierten cry, "iuter watebec berseii iu tbe nirror.
At iirst aii sbe saw was ber µiaiu reiieetiou, |ut aiter a noneut`s
eoueeutratiou tbe |rigbt |iue iianes oi tbe Ceeuiuna iguitec iu tbe
ceµtbs oi ber µuµiis. Coniortec tbat Biale`s saeriiiee was uot iu
vaiu, sbe nauagec, witb sone ciiiieuity, to switeb oii tbe 8igbt. 8be
was siowiy inµroviug. 8be beic outo tbe boµe tbat iu tine sbe
wouic bave euougb eoutroi tbat it wouic ouiy arise at ber
sunnouiug. 1be icea oi aeeiceutaiiy seeiug tbe Ceeuiuna iu Luey
or soneoue eise`s eyes auc luowiug tbey were goiug to cie, or,
worse yet, |e barvestec |y tbe 8livers, was borriiyiug. Iguorauee
was |iiss.
Duriug "iuter`s weel oi soiituce Jasniue croµµec |y twiee, |ut
"iuter reiusec to see ber. 1bis was µartiy |eeause sbe bac yet to
naster tbe 8igbt auc sbe was wary oi eoutaet witb µeoµie, tbe otber
reasou was sbe eouicu`t yet |ear tbe tbougbt oi tailiug a|out tbe
tragecy. It was iile seratebiug at a iresb wouuc.
Jasniue ieit seµarate giits ou |otb oeeasious - tbe iirst was a
|ox oi earanei-iiiiec eboeoiates, wbieb sbe luew were "iuter`s
iavourite, tbe seeouc was a uewsµaµer witb a eireiec artieie. "iuter
reac tbe eireiec seetiou witb iuterest.
Iìce/ìghtecs wece ca//ed u¡on to contco/ two l/a.es ìn the
eac/; houcs o/ Satucda; oocnìng. 1he /ìcst took ¡/ace at a
¡co¡ect; on Lo//owa; koad. known /oca//; as the ¡e/asco
¡/ace. 1he second l/a.e occucced on Ow/ Mountaìn. /ust
le/ow the Lecìtage centce. on the sìte o/ the 8/u// s o/dest
chucch. Iì/gcìos Iaoent. 8oth sìtes wece coo¡/ete/;
engu//ed l; the //aoes - the ashes o/ the second /ìce ;ìe/dìng
the chacced ceoaìns o/ /ìve lodìes. as ;et unìdentì/ìed.
1hough thece was no evìdence /ìnkìng the two /ìces. ¡o/ìce
have not cu/ed out that the; wece ce/ated. 1he ¡e/asco ¡/ace
was cecent/; ¡ucchased l; Mc 8/ake Ðuchao¡. whoo the
authocìtìes ace now seekìng /oc ¡uestìonìng ìn ce/atìon to the
/ìces.
"iuter cicu`t ueec to reac tbe rest oi tbe artieie - it was too
µaiuiui. 8be susµeetec sbe luew tbe iceutity oi tbe arsouist |ebiuc
tbe iire at liigrin`s Laneut - it bac to |e 8an. lerbaµs be`c
wisbec to cestroy auy eviceuee iiuliug binseii to tbe |ocies
reeoverec ou tbe nouutaiu. Iu auy ease, "iuter iouuc eoniort iu
tbe iaet tbat liigrin`s Laneut bac |eeu recueec to asbes. It uo
iouger stooc as a nouuneut to tbat tragie uigbt oi borror auc µaiu.
As tbe seeouc weel roiiec arouuc sbe iouuc tbe streugtb to
returu to sebooi. 1bere were sone eurious iools iron ber
eiassnates as sbe µassec tbrougb tbe baiis, |ut ior tbe nost µart
uo|ocy seenec too iuterestec iu wby sbe`c |eeu nissiug ior a
weel. Lxeeµt ior Jasniue, oi eourse, wbo leµt ber cistauee iron
"iuter as tbougb worriec sbe nigbt uµset ber. Lveutuaiiy, as tbe
cay crew to a eiose, "iuter saw Jasniue µaeliug ber |ools away
iu ber ioeler auc ceeicec it was tine to tail.
uey, Jas.`
Jasniue junµec at tbe souuc oi "iuter`s voiee. 8be wbiµµec
arouuc, ber iaee iiusterec. "iu, you`re |ael:`
"iuter sniiec at ber irieuc reassuriugiy. It`s olay, Jas. I`n
coiug |etter.`
Jasniue`s |otton iiµ |egau to tren|ie auc tbeu sbe was buggiug
"iuter, |uryiug ber tears iu "iuter`s sbouicer. I was so worriec
a|out you, "iuuie: I stiii cou`t luow wbat it was exaetiy tbat
baµµeuec uµ tbere, |ut I ieei iile it was ny iauit sonebow.`
It`s uot your iauit. It bac to baµµeu tbat way,` "iuter
wbisµerec, as sbe geutiy strolec tbe |ael oi Jasniue`s beac. 8be
eouicu`t nale Jasniue uucerstauc tbat Biale bac |rougbt tbat iate
uµou binseii. 1bat it bac |eeu µart oi tbe ugiy |argaiu be`c nace iu
exebauge ior "iuter`s saiety.
1ears wet ber owu ebeels, ruuuiug cowu ber iaee, |eeoniug
iost iu Jasniue`s bair. It ieit gooc to ery, as ii sbe was µurgiug sone
oi ber griei witb tbe tears. 1be µaiu iusice ber was stiii tbere, wouic
aiways |e tbere, |ut tbis eoniort iron ber irieuc nace it |eara|ie.
Aiter tbey`c stooc boiciug eaeb otber ior sone tine, Jasniue
witbcrew iron tbeir teariui en|raee auc wiµec ber uose auc iaee.
I`n sorry, I ruiuec your sweater,` sbe saic, uocciug towarcs tbe
canµ µateb ou "iuter`s sbouicer.
I tbiul we`re eveu,` "iuter saic, iaugbiug a iittie tbrougb ber
tears auc µoiutiug out tbe staius sbe`c ieit ou Jasniue.
Jasniue eiosec ber ioeler auc tbey beacec cowu tbe baiiway
towarcs tbe µarliug iot. 1bere`s stiii so nueb I cou`t uucerstauc.
"iii you teii ne uow'` Jasniue aslec "iuter besitautiy, as tbey
steµµec out iuto tbe warn aiteruoou iigbt.
\es. I tbiul I eau.` It was sueb a |eautiiui cay, auc "iuter bac
|eeu eooµec uµ ior so ioug tbat sbe cicu`t waut to go bone just
yet. Let`s go ior a wail.`
"bere'`
"iuter tbougbt ior a noneut, |eiore ausweriug. 1be |eaeb.`
thaµter es
"iuter beic oii |egiuuiug ber strauge taie uutii Jasniue bac criveu
tben to Ligbtbouse Beaeb, auc tbey`c µarlec auc wailec cowu to
tbe sbore.
Aµart iron a iisbernau stauciug |y tbe water`s ecge, tbe two
giris bac tbe ioug streteb oi |eaeb to tbenseives. 1bey ieit a twiu
traii oi iootµriuts |ebiuc tben as tbey nace tbeir way aioug tbe
sauc, stoµµiug ouee iu a wbiie to µiel uµ a eoiourec sbeii or sliµ a
stoue. At iirst it was ciiiieuit ior "iuter to tail a|out Biale, |ut
ouee sbe startec tbe worcs eane to ber nore easiiy, auc soou tbe
story was tun|iiug out oi ber as tbougb eager to iiuaiiy |e reieasec.
"beu tbe eveuts oi ber taie tool a turu towarcs tbe
suµeruaturai, sbe was worriec tbat Jasniue nigbt iuterruµt ber witb
çuestious sbe nigbt uot bave auswers to. But ber irieuc sinµiy
iisteuec çuietiy, uocciug iron tine to tine auc ru||iug "iuter`s
|ael synµatbetieaiiy wbeu ber voiee eraelec reeouutiug Biale`s
iiuai noneuts.
Lveutuaiiy, as tbe iigbt iu tbe sly |egau to turu goiceu auc tbe
tice bac |eguu to steai tbeir iootµriuts, "iuter reaiisec sbe bac
uotbiug ieit to say. 8be sat cowu iu tbe sauc auc saw tbat tbey
wereu`t iar iron tbat nagieai sµot wbere sbe`c iirst lissec Biale.
Jasniue sat uext to ber auc tbe two giris watebec tbe waves roii iu.
"ow,` Jasniue saic, iooliug tbougbtiuiiy out at tbe oeeau.
I cou`t exµeet you to |eiieve it.`
Jasniue tool a ceeµ |reatb, ber |row luittiug as sbe eane to
sone liuc oi eoueiusiou. I co |eiieve it, "iu. It`s au anaziug
story, |ut . I |eiieve it.`
"iuter sniiec at Jasniue auc sçueezec ber bauc iu gratituce.
8be cicu`t ueec Jasniue to |eiieve ber, |ut it nace ber ieei |etter
to luow tbat sbe cic. 8be cicu`t bave to earry tbe |urceu oi
Biale`s story aioue auy nore.
"bat co you tbiul baµµeuec to 8an'` Jasniue aslec aiter a
iew niuutes oi eoutenµiative siieuee.
"iuter sbruggec. I cou`t luow. uis iatber bac coue a µretty
gooc jo| oi serewiug bin uµ.`
ue reaiiy earec a|out you, you luow.`
8an cic'` "iuter irowuec at Jasniue iu eouiusiou.
ro. Biale.` Jasniue crew a snaii eireie iu tbe sauc as sbe
sµole. 1be iirst tine I saw you two togetber I eouic ieei it. It was
iu tbe way be ioolec at you. 8onetines you eau just teii.`
"e ouiy luew eaeb otber a sbort tine,` "iuter saic cistautiy. It
bac |eeu such a sbort tine.
Jasniue sbruggec. I cou`t tbiul tine natters. \ou nigbt bave
luowu eaeb otber ior a buucrec years or a niuute auc it wouicu`t
bave ebaugec a tbiug a|out tbe way be ieit a|out you. leoµie go
tbeir wboie iiie witbout iiuciug sonetbiug tbat sµeeiai.`
Jasniue`s worcs resouatec witb "iuter. 8onebow beariug ber
irieuc tail a|out ber iove ior Biale iu sueb a sinµie auc bouest way
nace "iuter aii tbe nore grateiui ior baviug bac a ebauee to
exµerieuee it. Biale bac saeriiieec so nueb ior ber, tbe ieast sbe
eouic co was eucure tbis beartaebe ior bin.
Jasniue stooc uµ, |rusbiug tbe sauc oii ber iegs. Are you reacy
to go bone'`
"iuter sbool ber beac. I tbiul I`n goiug to stay bere auc
wateb tbe suuset. I eau wail bone. 1bauls ior iisteuiug, Jas.`
Auytine.` Jasniue sniiec at ber, tbeu startec wailiug |ael
aioug tbe |eaeb towarcs tbe µarliug iot.
"iuter watebec tbe erinsou |auc ou tbe borizou carleu as
twiiigbt stoie over tbe sly. "beu tbe iigbt bac aii |ut goue, sbe
uucic tbe toµ |uttou oi ber sbirt auc witbcrew tbe iocestoue. 8be
bacu`t taleu it oii ior a siugie noneut siuee sbe`c returuec iron
Cwi \ouutaiu. As "iuter beic tbe tiuy eneraic sbarc uµ to tbe
cyiug suuiigbt, a tbougbt oeeurrec to ber.
cou/d ìt wock`
"iuter ieit ber beart startiug to raee witb tbe tbriii oi tbe renote
µossi|iiity. 8be roiiec tbe iocestoue |etweeu ber tbun| auc
ioreiiuger, ieeiiug ior its µower - a µower sbe cicu`t luow wbetber
it µossessec auy nore.
8be bac to try:
1be uane rose to "iuter`s iiµs, tbe uane tbat bac bauutec ber
ever siuee sbe`c woleu uµ to tbose |eautiiui greeu eyes iu tbe
ebureb eieariug. 8be |egau to wbisµer it over auc over agaiu, wiiiiug
bin to returu, boµiug tbere was stiii sone nagie ieit iu tbe woric
uow tbat be was goue.
Biale'` "iuter eaiiec out to tbe gatberiug carluess. 1be tice
ereµt iu, tbe air grew eoic auc stiii sbe waitec. "aitec ior bin to
eone.
AtKSOWLLnGLMLS!8
"beu I iirst set out to write ßìntecs Shadow (tbeu eaiiec Shade) I
bac uo exµeetatious oi |eiug µu|iisbec. Aii tbe nateriai I`c ever
reac ou tbe su|jeet suggestec tbere was very iittie ebauee oi gettiug
your iirst uovei ou au ecitor`s cesl, auc eveu iess ebauee oi seiiiug
it. But I wrote auyway. Beeause tbat`s wbat writers co, auc aiso
|eeause tbe story cenaucec to |e toic. It wasu`t satisiiec rattiiug
arouuc iu tbe |ael oi ny inagiuatiou witb aii tbe otber baii-iiuisbec
auc a|aucouec µrojeets. It wautec to iive ou tbe µage, eveu ii tbose
µages wouic ouiy exist iu tbe |otton oi ny cesl crawer.
1bree-çuarters oi tbe way tbrougb tbat iuitiai crait I ceeicec to
eaii a iew iiterary ageuts. Just to see wbetber or uot ny iittie
µarauornai ronauee souucec iile sonetbiug tbey nigbt |e
iuterestec iu. lrecieta|iy tbey aii saic it wasu`t . exeeµt ior oue.
Aiter iisteuiug to ny uervous µiteb, Lyu 1rauter toic ne to seuc
ber tbe iirst iiity µages. "beu sbe iiuisbec witb tbose sbe aslec to
reac tbe rest. Lviceutiy ny nauuseriµt wasu`t çuite gooc euougb to
go out (a nassive uucerstateneut iu ny oµiuiou), |ut sbe saw
euougb µoteutiai to tale ne ou. lour or iive craits iater we bac
sonetbiug sbe tbougbt sbe nigbt |e a|ie to seii. 1urus out sbe was
rigbt.
8o ny iirst tbaulyou goes out to Lyu, ior taliug a ebauee ou a
guy witb uo µrevious writiug erecits auc beiµiug ne wbiµ ßìntecs
Shadow iuto a µreseuta|ie eoucitiou.
\y seeouc |ig tbaulyou goes to tbe tean at lau \aeniiiau,
esµeeiaiiy Aiexaucra rabious auc Joei raoun ior tbeir |riiiiaut
ecitiug suggestious auc tireiess eutbusiasn. 1be |ool you`re boiciug
iu your baucs is iuiiuiteiy |etter |eeause oi tbeir eoutri|utious.
It wouic |e reniss oi ne to overiool tbe iuµut ny various ianiiy
nen|ers bac iu ereatiug ßìntecs Shadow, so µiease iucuige ne
wbiie I get a iittie nauciiu. Botb ny µareuts reac tbe iirst iew craits
auc gave useiui story acviee, as weii as µieliug uµ ny uunerous
grannatieai errors. Dac esµeeiaiiy was resµousi|ie ior beiµiug ne
irou out sone triely uarrative liuls, auc cic bis |est to µrooireac
every siugie worc oi every siugie crait - a uereuieau tasl ii ever
tbere was oue. I wrote tbe worcs auc eveu I eouic |areiy |riug
nyseii to re-reac every crait.
liuaiiy, I`c iile to tbaul ny |eautiiui giri, Creta. rot ouiy are
you tbe iove oi ny iiie |ut tbe exeiteneut I saw iu your eyes wbeu
you iiuisbec tbose iuitiai eiunsy µages I nauagec to eburu out gave
ne tbe streugtb I ueecec to iiuisb tbe story.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful