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In the glow of the headlights, the car swallowed the road voraciously
and they moved toward the north country - not, he noticed, on route 87.
They had not been seen leaving the city, nor had they been seen packing
the car. The garage had a door that led into the kitchen, and Nick had
laid on the back seat floorboards until they were in the country. Now,
sitting in the front seat, he wondered vaguely if Beth, in her joy at
having him home, had given herself away to her friends. He hoped not. He
glanced sidewise at her and noticed that she drove with a smile on her
"Is it far to the cabin?" He asked.
"Not now. We're almost to the turn off."
He lapsed again into silence, the old questions still whirling about in
his mind. Who were the men who were after him? What did they want? How
much had the FAA learned of the plane? Had they found something to pin
it on him? What were these tiny, fleeting thoughts that cropped up in
his mind? Was his mind trying to tell him something via the nightmares?
And what of his best friend, Nolan Brice. Where has he been? What is he
up to? It struck Nick as odd that he had not encountered the detective
yet: surely he and Beth had been close the past year. How close? Suppose
Brice stumbled upon Andy Hocum. Would the old man talk?
Feeling more helpless than he had ever felt in his life, at least the
life he remembered, Nick stared at the road until Beth turned off on
another road that was little more than a wagon track beside a small
creek. A few minutes of bouncing over ruts and stones, and she turned
off again, parking beside a grey, frame cabin.
"Here we are, darling."
They got out, each taking a box from the back seat, and Nick followed
her up the stairs to the porch. Beth set her box down and found the key.
A moment later the lock clicked and she shoved the door open.
"Wait'll I find the light, Nick," she whispered.
A moment later, the light snapped on and a soft glow filled the front
room of the cabin. They took the boxes to the kitchen and set them on
the table, then went back into the front room. Nick studied the place.
He liked the room a lot; there was a rugged manliness in the stone
fireplace and the knotty pine walls, mingled with just a touch of Beth's
femininity to make it neat. All in all, it was a well laid out place. He
was attracted to the oil paintings that hung about the walls.
"Like it?" Beth asked.
"But it doesn't bring back any memories?"
"No. Hell, honey, I can't even remember what I did for a living."
She smiled sadly. "Want to see?"
When he nodded, she motioned him to the other side of the front room and
opened the door. She flicked on the light and he stepped into a small
study filled with the trappings of an artist. Tubes of paint lay on
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