Page 7 of Hawkes Harbor

And, in the morning, when he lay there, totally exhausted, completely over his obsession, he thought he'd never want to touch a girl again. Jamie thought he was no stranger to perversion, but sex had always been a pleasant activity—if not always accompanied by intense emotional commitment, at least a good-natured desire for mutual fun.

But now—now there would always be the whisper of violence, of hatred...

Selene staggered to her feet, picking up her robe. Jamie flinched to see the bruises and welts already rising on that perfect body, the blood on her swollen mouth.

"Thank you very much. Here." She took a few franc notes from her robe pocket and dropped them on the floor next to the bunk.

She tossed back her hair and, moving like a drunk trying to conceal that fact, stepped carefully up the narrow staircase.

Jamie was now feeling the deep scratches down his back, on his buttocks, the bites on his neck—one especially where her teeth had grated on his collarbone and he had barely felt it at the time.

He was ashamed of a night of sex for the first time in his life.

He had been used. No matter what he'd done to her, what sick intense pleasure he'd had, he'd been used.

And when the gendarmes came up the gangplank at noon, all the uneasiness, the shame, the fear crowded thought from his brain and he panicked....

"It wasn't my fault," Jamie said again, but knowing it was hopeless to try to explain it to Kell, and feeling he'd prefer being executed to trying.

Kell sighed. He didn't want to make promises. He changed the subject.

"You look like shit, lad. Is it so bad in here?"

Jamie seemed to have aged years.

"Well, there's an Algerian in here, he's got his eye on me, I can't go to sleep and I didn't sleep the night before," Jamie said. "You got something, Kell?"

He knew Kell was rarely without a shiv in his shoe. And he knew no visitor here was searched too carefully—cigarettes and drugs and money could be bartered with guards.

"Here." Kell took the long-bladed stiletto from his sock and slid it under the table. "Careful, Jamie. If you're caught there'll be nothing I can do."

"Won't get caught." Jamie put the knife in his pocket.

"Can I trouble you for one of my cigarettes?" Kell said.

Jamie tossed him one, and the matches, and bit his lip to keep from begging for help.

He'd deserved a lot of the trouble he'd had in life, but not this....

"Well, Jamie." Kell leaned back, taking a drag on his cigarette. "It must be a fine thing, to be young and handsome and have everyone who sees you, man or woman, dog or cat, looking to rape you."

Jamie stared at Kell, then burst into laughter. There was no hysteria in it at all.

Damn Kell, he was so good....

"Kellen, please." He wiped a tear from his eye, grinning at his old partner. "Get me outta here. Please. I'll do what you say from now on. I promise, I swear my solemn oath ... please. You always say you have something on at least one official in every port...."

"Ah, Jamie, I have leverage on three here, and I still may not... it'll mean calling in valuable chips, lad, remember... and money up front as'll owe me, Jamie....

"Well, I'll see what I can do.... You've a rare smile, Jamie. You should use it more often."

Train to Swiss border September 1964

"The girl has an evil reputation, Jamie. You weren't the first she's put in jail. It helped considerably."

Jamie looked out the window, took another pull on his beer. The new stitches in his cheek throbbed. His arm ached, too. The doctor had insisted on an antibiotic when he saw the festering bite—nastier than dog bites, he scolded, he must be careful. "Yeah, sure," Jamie'd said. "I won't let anyone bite me again." Already it was receding like a bad dream. He didn't want to talk about it.

"You're looking better, lad, rested. Did your amorous suitor give up his pursuit? Or perhaps you succumbed to his charms?"

"He's dead," Jamie said. "Tripped and fell on a shiv. It was real peaceful in there, after. Everybody was afraid they'd trip and fall on a shiv. Except me. I don't trip easy."

He met Kell's eyes.

"Well, I'm glad you've rested."

After a silent hour, Jamie asked for the first time, "Where we going?"

"Switzerland. I need to visit my bank."

"You make some money?"

"Some, not as much as I'd hoped—the lady's children got wind of our romance. Just as well. I don't believe I'm quite ready for marriage, after all. Not yet."

Kell paused. "And from there we're going to Liverpool. There's a ship with a special cargo ... we'll visit my homeland before going on...."

"Liverpool? Aw, man, I hate that place, you know that—"

"Well, Jamie, I did think your eternal gratitude would last longer than an hour."

Jamie stammered lamely, "Uh, it's just so c-c-cold ... I don't mind Liverpool, Kell, honest."

"I must do my patriotic duty, Jamie, a chore for God and country. Then a trip to Boston ... I have some friends in Boston who could use a little help...."

Jamie had never understood Kell's explanation of Ireland's "troubles" or his role in it, and didn't care to.

"We ever going anywhere fun?"

"Perhaps Jamaica, or New Orleans, for a holiday, once we get things done—

"Havana," Kell said. "It's too bad you missed Havana in its heyday, Jamie. The women there are just your type."

"Not rich," Jamie said. "That's my type."

"Only in good nature, Jamie."

Jamie leaned back against the seat. It was good to be without tension, to sit and relax and listen to Kell's voice.

The first thing he was going to do in Switzerland was get shit-faced, falling-in-the-gutter drunk. He needed that.

Kell was eloquent on the charms of Cuba.

Jamie dozed, dreaming of the girls.

Terrace View Asylum, Delaware April 1967

Jamie and Dr. McDevitt sat on the porch watching the math professor play with his dog.

He threw sticks, and the dog would fetch, jumping and leaping, begging for another toss.

"You ever have a dog, Jamie?"

"No. There was a monkey ... on a freighter out of Singapore ... It did tricks."

Jamie's speech was halting, slow, the depression so obvious Dr. McDevitt made a note to try a new medication. He glanced at the long belt on Jamie's robe, and made another note.

According to his records, Jamie had withdrawn so completely at Eastern State that they'd used shock therapy. Dr. McDevitt ordered it only for the worst cases, and never if the patient was amnesiac.

Jamie swallowed, blinking back tears.

"I think Grenville forgot about me," he said.

Dr. McDevitt hid his excitement. This was the first time Jamie had shown any memory of the man who was paying the bills here at Terrace View. Grenville Hawkes.

What had triggered it?

"Why do you say that, Jamie?"

"Well, he shoulda come to get me by now."

Jamie watched the golden lab race after the stick, bring it back proudly to his master. Sometimes the man would stop to talk to his wife; the dog sat eagerly waiting.

"You think he forgot?"

"I don't know, Jamie."

"I used to work for Grenville," Jamie said. "At Hawkes Hall."

Louisa Kahne

Terrace View Asylum, Delaware May 1967

After improving for a few weeks, Jamie suddenly relapsed into a quiet stupor. Dr. McDevitt was not unduly worried; he had seen similar

behavior before. Often it was just exhaustion from beginning human interaction again.

Jamie usually responded if spoken to; he was far from catatonic. He was still brought to Dr. McDevitt's office three times a week. But if he showed no inclination for talking, even for answering yes or no, Dr. McDevitt did not try to force the issue.

Nothing irritated him more than hearing someone shout questions at a patient, as if he were deaf instead of mad.

This morning Jamie did not even nod hello but sat staring at Dr. McDevitt's desk or, more precisely, at the model ship in a bottle that ornamented it.

Dr. McDevitt said, "Good morning, Jamie," but could see that further inquiry would be useless. The doctor glanced again through Jamie's files.

Jamie had been due for release from Eastern State just before he was transferred here. Not because of any miraculous recovery, but simply because the kidnapping charges had been dropped. Lack of evidence ... the girl involved too confused to testify—

If Louisa Kahne had not intervened, Jamie very likely would have been transported to the state line and dumped there. It was not unheard of....

It was an act of kindness, generosity, from Jamie's employer, Grenville Hawkes, of course, but: "Where does Louisa Kahne fit into this?" the doctor wondered aloud.

Jamie raised his head and looked directly at him.

"Dr. Kahne better get out of Hawkes Harbor. She wants to help it, but she can't."

The doctor stared, dumbfounded, then hastily scribbled down those two sentences.

"Why do you say that, Jamie?"

But Jamie Sommers was gone again, perhaps to sea in a masted ship....

Dr. McDevitt looked at the note. Dr. Kahne? Surely Louisa wasn't trying to pass herself off as a physician. She had left med school without the degree. Then he remembered her degrees: history, anthropology, specializing in myth and folklore. Of course, technically she could use the title, but still...

What was it she couldn't help? Jamie had phrased it so oddly, as if ... Yes, the way he said "it." As if "it" were a title, or as if "It" was a name.

Tags: S. E. Hinton Fantasy