Page 4 of Hawkes Harbor

Jamie looked up at the stars. He liked the way they changed positions in different parts of the world.

Well, not many men had a chance to hold millions. He lay his head on his arm. He was content with being alive.

Terrace View Asylum, Delaware January 1967

"So it's very unusual, for a shark to strike without biting?" Dr. McDevitt asked, in Jamie's next session.

"Yeah. Very. They'll bump you, but always bite. It was a lucky day, all right."

Jamie was quiet. The bright morning light came in the window. Then he said, "I haven't had one in a while."


Terrace View Asylum, Delaware April 1967

It began to bother Dr. McDevitt that Jamie Sommers had no visitors. That was pretty much the norm for Eastern State, especially the wing for the criminally insane, where he'd been kept. But if someone cared enough to foot the expenses at Terrace View, they usually cared enough to visit, if only to see how the money was being spent.

The sad thing about mental patients, the doctor often thought, was as they improved, they became worse; as they became more aware of where they were, why they were there, depression, if it was not present before, set in. If it had been present before, it worsened.

Jamie was no exception. While much less agitated during the day, he was much less animated also. He no longer bothered getting dressed—just put on a robe over his pajamas. He had to be asked to bathe and shave, reminded he had to eat. Some days he couldn't leave his room, could barely leave his bed.

He never had interacted much with the other patients; now, in his sessions with Dr. McDevitt, his hesitant voice seemed rusty from lack of use.

Left in the rec room, he would slowly work jigsaw puzzles by the hour. Many times they would find him on the landing to the third floor, where the window viewed the sea.

But there were some signs of improvement.

He was becoming clearer about his time in Hawkes Harbor— he had worked in an old house, he said, where there were no lights but candles. He had to get firewood ...

If Dr. McDevitt steered the conversation to the times he roamed the sea with Kell Quinn, he picked up a little; he had no compunction about reciting the most chilling criminal activities as if they were boyish pranks—if Dr. McDevitt understood him correctly, he once confessed to a cold-blooded murder.

That was why Dr. McDevitt tended to believe him when he still insisted he was innocent of any wrongdoing where Katie Roddendem was concerned.

They didn't broach that subject often—it always made Jamie cry.

Perhaps if Jamie had something to jar his memory ... and a visitor to improve his spirits ... In one of Jamie's progress reports to Louisa Kahne, the doctor mentioned that if Mr. Hawkes, his former employer, could perhaps take the time...

Louisa wrote back that Mr. Hawkes was a very busy man, very pressed for time; maybe someday ... she herself was acquainted with Jamie, she'd try to get up there soon....

Dr. McDevitt sighed over the letter. He'd see Jamie in a few minutes—he had wanted so much to promise a visitor.

Not that Jamie ever asked for one. Or seemed to notice when other patients had them.

Dr. McDevitt decide to go after Jamie himself, instead of sending a nurse. No doubt he'd be on the third-floor landing.

On the way, the doctor passed another patient of his, eagerly peering out the windows in the lobby. A young math professor, whose foray into a new field of physics—chaos theory—had proven overwhelming for him.

The young man was waiting excitedly for his wife—she'd asked for and received permission to bring their dog.

Dr. McDevitt smiled at his happiness. This one would be able to go home soon, though it was still doubtful if he'd ever be able to resume his studies.

And glancing out the front window with him, he saw that Jamie was sitting on the long lounge sofa on the front porch.

He had permission to go outside, though he never left the porch, always came in at twilight. So far, Jamie had been on two field trips to the small neighboring town, neither a success. On one, he'd become convinced a storekeeper was not speaking English; an unfortunate choice of movies ruined the other.

Jamie was not to see police movies again.

Dr. McDevitt seated himself on the lounge. As good a place to talk as any.

"Hello, Jamie."

"Hey, Doc," Jamie replied, without turning to look at him.

Dr. McDevitt was relieved that Jamie seemed to know who he was—occasionally Jamie called him "Captain." Once, while he sat at the rec-room table to watch Jamie work on a puzzle, Jamie said, "Captain, you know when we'll be sailing? This place is starting to get on my nerves."

Dr. McDevitt felt vaguely flattered to be called "Captain." Perhaps because he couldn't have manned a rowboat. He answered gently, "Not for a while yet, Jamie," and Jamie had sighed....

"So how are you feeling today, Jamie?"

"All right," he answered, staring across the grounds, into the forests. He had deep-set eyes; they always sought the horizon.

A family pulled up in a station wagon, a carload of visitors for someone. Jamie focused on them for a moment and Dr. McDevitt couldn't help it, he said, "Would you like to have a visitor, Jamie?"

Jamie said, "Nobody hardly ever gets visitors in jail. They're scared they won't get back out."

"This isn't a jail, it's a hospital."

Jamie gave him a long look, then sighed. "Anyway, who'd—" Then he grinned. "I take that back."


"Kell visited me in jail. I have to give him that..."

Saint-Tropez, French Riviera September 1964

Jamie had no idea what was going to happen to him when the guards took him from the large holding cell he shared with seven other prisoners—none of them American—to the small room that held two chairs on either side of a small table.

For all he knew, it was the first stop on the way to being put up against the wall and shot.

It had been hard enough to keep the American laws straight—once Jamie started shipping out on foreign vessels, he paid little attention to laws except for the basics. Some places frowned harder than others on drugs, some disliked their natives being beat up by Americans, some were unbelievably picky about papers. Jamie had both legitimate papers and very good forgeries, tried to think twice about fights, and unless getting paid top dollar for smuggling, left drugs alone.

But now, without the excuse of poor papers, no recent fights, and a long abstinence from drugs for personal use, much less distribution, here he was.

And here he might stay. For a long, long time.

He sat in the small room, shivering slightly—he'd been running a fever since the gendarmes roughed him up, arresting him. He shouldn't have tried to run. Easy to say, now.

He didn't expect to see Kell Quinn being ushered in as a visitor. He hadn't seen Kell in months.

And he didn't expect to be so glad he could have burst into tears.

And so mad he could have slugged him. But mostly, and for the first time in the twenty-four hours since the arrest, hopeful.

Kell sat across the table from him.

To break the silence, but especially to keep Kell from saying, "I told you so," Jamie said. "Got a cigarette?"

Kell took a pack and a matchbook from his blazer pocket and tossed them.

Jamie lit up and offered the pack back. Kell shook his head.

"Keep them." He paused, knowing almost anything he said would make Jamie angry, but he was angry himself ... fool kid.

"Well, Jamie, this is a mess you've got yourself into. A diplomat's daughter, a count's fiancée, and not out of her teens. You might try keeping your brains where you don't have to unzip your pants to get at them. It's wonderfully convenient."

"Not my fault," Jamie said sullenly.

"Sure it's not, lad. The lady raped you, instead, is that what you're sayin' now?"

Jamie knew it sounded ludicrous. "Yeah, that's about it."

Kell almo

st got to his feet and left—he wasn't in the mood for nonsense.

But poor Jamie looked so miserable....

"You're needing stitches in that." Kell gestured toward the split on Jamie's cheekbone.

"It don't matter," Jamie said.

"Resisting arrest on top of everything else."

Tags: S. E. Hinton Fantasy