home | login | register | DMCA | contacts | help | donate |      

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


my bookshelf | genres | recommend | rating of books | rating of authors | reviews | new | | collections | | | add



ten

This Reverend Dawn Navarro was a cute girl, younger than Raylan had expected, say around thirty, her dark hair parted in the middle and hanging past her shoulders. She said, Dont tell me why youre here, all right? The reason might be different than you think and it could confuse my reading.

She sat him on an old mohair sofa, brought over a card table and a straight-back chair for herself, saying she would use psychometry, read him through touch, and once she was seated, placed slender fingers on his coal-miner hands resting flat on the table. Closing her eyes she said, Do you have a feeling someone wants to contact you?

Not that I know of, Raylan said, sitting forward on the edge of the sprung sofa; he had to look up at her in the straight chair.

I mean from the other side, the spirit world, Reverend Dawn said. As you came across the yard I saw a presence with you dressed in black, wearing a long cape with folds in it. Her fingers stroked the veins on the back of his hands.

Raylan said, A presence?

Someone whos left this earth plane. I dont mean this particular entity represents death and is after you. No, youre still full of energy, I can tell. I see you working outdoors rather than in an office.

Without telling her anything Raylan said he was outside quite a bit.

Reverend Dawn told him the presence she saw out in the yard with him was a spirit guide, like a protector, to make sure he got here okay. She said they sometimes wore capes like that-the idea, to wrap it around you if need be. She said, Wait now, whoa, Im starting to feel another presence, and then smiled, still with her eyes closed. Its the gray wolf; he came in the house with you.

Raylan looked over his shoulder, to one side and then the other, not expecting to see a wolf but checked anyway.

He was in the street as you got out of your car, Reverend Dawn said, and I thought he was just some stray I hadnt seen before. Uh-unh, its a beautiful gray wolf, another kind of spirit guide. You know the senses of a wolf are very keen. Hes telling me, hes letting me know it isnt someone anxious to contact you, its the other way around. You need to talk to somebody, get a certain matter settled.

Raylan said, A person in the spirit world?

No, its someone close by, though I dont see him yet.

Reverend Dawn Navarro, Certified Medium& Spiritualist on her business card, would look up with her eyes closed and shake her head to one side, a quick little move to get her hair out of her face. The way her hair was parted in the middle and hung long and straight made Raylan think of how girls looked back in the days of hippies and flower children. Otherwise she seemed to have no particular style, wearing jeans and a loose white T-shirt. He believed her eyes were green and would check it out when she opened them again. He had already decided she was good-looking enough to be in a pageant or have a job on TV pointing to game-show prizes. The only thing that bothered him about her, looking at her hands resting on his, she bit her fingernails as far down as he had ever seen fingernails bitten.

Did you know, Reverend Dawn said, you have psychic powers of your own?

He thought of Joyce accusing him of it.

All that energy in you.

Is that right?

You like to help people, she said. I see you taking someone by the arm.

Raylan didnt comment. Then she didnt speak either, her head raised as though listening for something. The house was quiet, this little stucco place full of old furniture and knickknacks sitting on shelves.

The message Im getting, Reverend Dawn said, theres an individual youre having a disagreement with and you want to get it settled. Now what Im getting-she paused-yes, it could be someone whos gone over to the other side.

Raylan gave it some thought and said, Did I harm this person in any way?

She shook her head, eyes still closed. Im not getting any kind of vibes like that. I think its something that was left undone, something thats been bothering you and you want it cleared up. Thats the message Im getting. There was some kind of disagreement between you and this person?

Well, theres one I can think of.

Raylan paused and Reverend Dawn said right away, Thats who it is, the first one who comes to mind.

Raylan paused again. I was responsible, you might say, for his death.

This time Reverend Dawn said, Oh, and opened her eyes. They were green. Your fault-youre not talking about an accident, like a car wreck, something you caused.

Nothing like that, Raylan said. But see, the thing between us was settled. There isnt anything left has to be done.

She kept staring at him now as she said, Youre positive of that? Not sounding as psychic as she did before, telling him about earth planes and spirit guides. She said, What about a relative?

My dads over there, Raylan said. Died of black lung before his time. Id just as soon leave him rest in peace.

I mean a relative of the one you had something to do with his passing over, Reverend Dawn said. A person that might be holding a grudge against you.

Raylan shook his head. I doubt it.

Reverend Dawn seemed to study him, thinking, making up her mind. Finally then she closed her eyes again and raised her face as though to stare off past him, a really nice-looking girl, while her figure remained a mystery beneath that loose T-shirt.

The gray wolf is trying to tell me something. She paused and said, Youre a teacher, arent you?

Raylan said, Youre kidding, and thought too late, Wait a minute. Before being assigned to Miami he was a firearms instructor at Glynco, a training center for federal agents. He let it go as not important, or not the kind of teacher she meant. With her eyes closed he could stare, look at her closely. She seemed to him too young and attractive to be stuck in this place telling fortunes.

She said, You are in a profession. I want to say lawyer, even though I know that isnt it.

Raylan kept quiet.

She said, Coming across the yard you had your hat off, but as you reached the door you put it on.

I guess I did, didnt I?

You were being I want to say official, and your hats like a badge of office. You like to set it forward a little, close over your eyes.

Ive had that hat eight years, Raylan said. I never thought I wore it any special way, I just put it on my head.

Reverend Dawn surprised him this time saying, Youre from either West Virginia No, youre from Kentucky. You worked in coal mines at one time, but havent done that for a while now, its way in your past. You still think of yourself, though-not all the time but once in a while-as a coal miner. Dont you?

Its what all the men on both sides of my family did, Raylan said. Today he was wearing a blue-and-white sport shirt with sailboats on it and jeans with his hat and cowboy boots, not wanting to give her any idea of what he did for a living.

Her hands moved on his, fingertips brushing his knuckles, it seemed needing only a light touch to read him. She said, Youre looking for someone, a man.

When she paused Raylan said, If you mean on this earth plane, yes, I am.

The one youre having this disagreement with.

That wasnt exactly true. He said, We-

And she cut him off. Its not an argument exactly, its just, theres something about him that bothers you.

I guess you could say that.

Well, that bothers me, too, a lot. I wont allow myself to be an instrument in this matter if you intend to do him harm, or anyone else.

Id never do him harm.

But hes on your mind all the time?

Not him, no. Someone else is.

She opened her eyes, stared at him and said, Now youre talking about a woman, arent you?

Raylan nodded and she closed her eyes again to get back into it, her expression, he noticed, more at peace.

Reverend Dawn said, Okay, theres a woman and said, Wait a minute, I see another woman. You have a situation here I didnt sense right away, this man being on your mind. Okay, now therere two women. Youre married

I was.

I see children, a couple of little boys.

How are they?

Theyre fine. Living with their mother

Ricky and Randy. I wanted to call them Hank and George, after Hank Williams and Ole Possum, George Jones? But Winona got her way, as usual. Yeah, theyre with her up in Brunswick, Georgia.

She divorced you, Reverend Dawn said, to many a man she met. She paused. But he isnt the one youre looking for.

There was a time I almost went after him.

Because of your boys, not so much over his taking Winona from you.

Raylan said, Thats right, even though he believed it was Winonas idea to start something with the real estate man whod sold their house, Gary Jones, and not a matter of her being stolen away.

Reverend Dawn was saying, You met this other woman.

Thats right, in Miami Beach.

You and she are close, Reverend Dawn said. Ill go so far as to say intimate.

Raylan wasnt sure that was still true. You shared a frightening experience

She waited, but Raylan didnt help her.

That part isnt too clear, but theres someone else, a man. He stands in the way of you and this woman planning a life together.

Raylan said, Thats pretty good.

Hes an older man.

Raylan waited.

But not her father.

You dont see him, huh?

Not too clearly.

Im surprised, Raylan said. He was here just the other day, Friday afternoon.

He waited for Reverend Dawn to open her eyes and look at him. When she did she stared without speaking and he was aware of how quiet it was in the house.

She said finally, Whats his name?

Harry Arno.

Raylan kept watching her thinking shed close her eyes as she tried to recall Harry, but Reverend Dawn continued to stare at him, hard, and Raylan had to concentrate to stare back at her, not look away. He said, Harrys sixty-eight-no, sixty-nine-medium height, grayish hair, lives in Miami Beach. I imagine he told you all about himself. Harry loves to talk.

Reverend Dawn kept staring at him even as she shook her head back and forth, twice.

Raylan frowned and then tried to smile. Was she kidding? He said, You dont remember him? Harry Arno? He watched her shake her head again and said, I wonder if Harry used another name for some reason. How about, did anyone who came here Friday ask you about going back to Italy? Whether he should or not?

She said, Oh this time nodding. Parts his hair on the right side, which is kind of unusual, and touches it up to cover the gray. Drives a white Cadillac.

Thats Harry. Now Raylan was nodding. So you did talk to him.

For a few minutes, Reverend Dawn said, at a restaurant where I do readings. Nodding again. He did mention Italy. Has a house there? But I didnt give him a reading, here or at the restaurant. I offered to and he said some other time. He seemed-now that I think about it-in a hurry.

There was a silence and Raylan felt her moving the tips of her fingers over his hands. Almost, he thought, like she was tickling him.

I could let you know if I see him again, Reverend Dawn said. You have a business card?


I told her, Raylan said to Joyce on the restaurant phone, back there again, I didnt have one. I just gave her my name.

Joyce said, But if she does hear from him

She wanted the card to find out who I am, what I do.

Why didnt you tell her?

Cause Im pretty sure Harry went to see her and I cant figure out why shed lie about it.

How do you know he was there?

Its a feeling I have.

She said, Thats all, a hunch?

Joyce, I ask people questions and listen to how they answer. It wasnt she acted nervous or evasive. What it was, she sounded different after I mentioned Harry. Before that it was all psychic stuff, like she saw a gray wolf in the room with us. But she didnt know why I was there till I asked about Harry.

There was a wolf?

A spirit guide. Reverend Dawn said when I arrived a guy in a black cape walked up to the door with me. Another spirit.

Reverend Dawn?

Dawn Navarro. I didnt ask why shes reverend.

But you think shes a fake.

I had the feeling she put on some of it, talking about the spirit world and this earth plane were on. She did say I was looking for someone, but to clear up a misunderstanding. And she said I was originally from Kentucky. But mightve gotten that from something I said.

Maybe, Joyce said, Harry asked her not to tell anyone he was there.

Why would he think anybodyd care? Either he didnt go see her and took off from here on his own-

Why would he?

So youll worry about him. Or he did see Reverend Dawn and she lied to me.

You think she knows where he is?

She mightve looked at a tarot card and saw him taking a trip. He liked the idea and made her promise not to tell anybody. Or

What?

She knows where he is and has some other reason for not telling. What it could be, Raylan said, I have no idea. How about Harrys ledger-you find it?

I have it right here, Joyce said. All the ones hes checked off are the ones he saw when I was driving him around.

Any up this way, around Delray Beach?

It lists just names and phone numbers, and the amount owed. Some of the ones not checked off have 407 area codes.

Thats up here, Palm Beach County.

I know, Joyce said. And the guy who owes Harry the sixteen five? Harry has it written sixteen point five K. His name is Chip Ganz, with Cal in parens, and a phone number with a 407 area code. I could call him, find out if the money was collected.

Raylan said, Well thinking about it. Why dont you give me the number. Ill find out where Ganz lives and go see him, unless you hear from Harry. It wont be for a couple of days, though, were pretty busy.

What if I dont hear from him?

Let me know. Ill have another talk with Reverend Dawn.

What does she look like?

The way girls used to look twenty years ago. Long, dark hair parted in the middle. Thin

How old?

Maybe thirty.

Shes young.

Nice-looking, but bites her fingernails.

You want to see her again, dont you?

I may have to, Raylan said.


| Riding the Rap | eleven