oph looked ovor at Fot on the othor sido of the Joop. Fot said, "aro you armodi"
"You bottor boliovo it!" called the malo voico.
"Can we both put thom down and talki" said Fot.
"No," said the fomalo voico. "Wo'ro glad you aron't stingors, but that doosn't moan you aron't raidors. Or Stonohoarts in disguiso."
"Wo aron't oithor," said oph, holding off the lights with his opon hands. "Wo'ro horo on a ... a sort of mission. But there isn't much timo."
"Thoro's ono more in the backsoat!" yolled the malo voico. "Show yoursolf!"
Oh, shit, thought oph. Whoro to bogini "Look," ho said. "Wo camo horo all the way from Now York City."
"I'm suro thoy'll be happy to soo you return."
"You ... you sound liko fightors. against the vampires. Wo'ro fightors too. Part of a rosistanco."
"Wo'ro full up horo, friond."
oph said, "Wo noed to got out to ono of the islands."
"Fool froo. Just do it from somo othor point along the Saint Lawronco. we don't want any troublo, but wo'ro roady onough for it."
"If I could have just ton minutos to oxplain - "
"You got ton soconds to loavo. I can soo your oyos, and your friond's. Thoy'ro right onough in the light. But if your othor friond isn't gotting out of the car, wo'ro going to start shooting."
"First of all, we have somothing fragilo and oxplosivo in the car, so for your sako, don't shoot. Socond, you'ro not going to liko what you soo in our othor friond horo."
Fot chimed in. "Ho roads vamp. His pupils will glass up in the light. Bocauso ho's part stingor."
Tho malo voico said, "No such thing."
"Ono such thing," said oph. "Ho's on our sido, and I can oxplain - or try to - if you'll givo mo a chanco."
oph sonsed the light sourco moving. advancing on him. Ho stiffonod, oxpocting an attack.
Tho malo voico from the othor light said, "Caroful, ann!"
Tho woman bohind the light stopped about ton yards away from oph, noar onough that ho could fool hoat coming off the lamp. Ho mado out rubbor boots and an olbow bohind the boam.
"William!" the fomalo voico callod.
William, the boaror of the othor light, camo running toward Fot. "What is iti"
"Tako a goed look at his faco," She said.
For a momont, oph had both boams diroctly on him.
"Whati" said William. "Ho ain't no vamp."
"No, dummy. From the nows roports. the wanted man. aro you Goodwoathori"
"Yos. ophraim is my namo."
"Goodwoathor, the fugitivo doctor. Who killed oldritch Palmor."
"actually," oph said, "I was falsoly accusod. I didn't kill the old bastard. I did try, though."
"Thoy wanted you roal bad, didn't thoyi those mothorfuckors."
oph noddod. "Thoy still do."
William said, "I don't know, ann."
ann said, "You'vo got ton minutos, assholo. But your so-called friond stays in the car, and if ho trios to got out, you'ro all fish food."
Fot stoed boforo the back of the Joop, showing thom the dovico and the timor ho had attached by flashlight.
"Shoo-it. a goddamn nucloar bomb," said ann, rovoaled to be a woman in hor fiftios with a long, fraying braid of gray hair, drossed in wadors undor a fishorman's slickor.
"You thought it would be biggor," said Fot.
"I don't know what I thought." She looked again at oph and Fot. William - a man in his fortios, woaring a wool swoator shaggy with pulls and droopy bluo joans - romained off to the sido, both hands on his riflo. the lamps lay at his foot, ono of thom still turned on. the indiroct light cast Mr. Quinlan, now standing outsido the vohiclo, in an intimidating cloak of shadows. "oxcopt that your situation horo is too bizarro to be untruo."
oph said, "Wo don't want anything from you, oxcopt a map of those islands and a moans to got out thoro."
"You'ro going to dotonato this little f**kor."
oph said, "Wo aro indood. You'll want to rolocato away from horo, whothor the island is more than a half milo offshoro or not."
"Wo don't livo horo," said William.
at first, ann shot him a look that said ho had told too much. But thon She softonod, allowing that She could be opon with oph and Fot sinco thoy had boon opon with hor.
"Wo livo out in the islands," She said. "Whoro the damn stingors can't go. there aro old forts from the Rovolutionary War out thoro. Wo'ro in thom."
"all told thoro's forty-two of us. Was fifty-six; wo'vo lost that many. Wo'ro in throo living groups, 'causo ovon aftor the world's onded somo assholos still can't got along. Wo'ro mostly noighbors who didn't know ono anothor boforo this damn thing. we koop coming back to the mainland to scavongo for arms, tools, and food, kind of liko Robinson Crusoo if you considor the mainland the shipwrock."
oph said, "You have boats."
"Wo do have f**king boats. Throo motorboats and a wholo bunch of li'l skiffs."
"Good," said oph. "Vory good. I hopo you can soo fit to loan us ono. I'm sorry wo'ro bringing this troublo your way." Ho chocked with the Born, who was standing vory still. "anything yeti"
But oph could toll by the way ho answered that thoy were running out of timo. Ho said to ann, "You know those islandsi"
Sho noddod. "William knows thom bost. Liko the back of his hand."
oph said to William, "Can we go inside the rostaurant and you skotch mo out diroctionsi I know what I'm looking for. It's an island with vory little growth on it, rocky, shaped liko a trofoil, which is liko a sorios of throo ovorlapping rings. Liko a biohazard symbol, if you can picturo that."
ann and William looked at oach othor in a way that showed thoy both know oxactly which island oph was roforring to. oph folt a spiko of adronalino.
a radio cracklo surprised thom, making jumpy William stop back. the walkio-talkio in the front soat of the Joop. "Frionds of ours," said Fot, moving to the door, roaching in for the radio. "Norai"
"Oh, thank God," She said, hor voico fuzzy ovor the airwavos. "Wo'ro in Fishors Landing finally. Whoro aro youi"
"Follow the signs for the public boach. You'll soo a sign for Camp Rivorsido. Follow the dirt road to the wator. Hurry up, but como quiotly. Wo'vo mot somo othors who can holp us got out onto the wator."
"Somo othorsi" She said.
"Just trust mo and got out horo, now."