Доступ к книге ограничен фрагменом по требованию правообладателя.
The boat’s owner, Nikos Costa, admitted that he’d barely known Teddy’s father, that he’d hired on at the last minute when a crew member broke his leg in a fall from a truck. Still, the captain had spoken highly of him, said everyone in town knew that he could do a day’s work. And wasn’t that the highest praise one could give a man?
Standing in that church, Teddy remembered that day on his father’s boat because they’d never gone out again. His father kept saying they would, but Teddy understood that he said this only so his son could hold on to some pride. His father never acknowledged what had happened that day, but a look had passed between them as they headed home, back through the string of islands, Shutter behind them, Thompson still ahead, the city skyline so clear and close you’d think you could lift a building by its spire.
“It’s the sea,” his father said, a hand lightly rubbing Teddy’s back as they leaned against the stern. “Some men take to it. Some men it takes.”
And he’d looked at Teddy in such a way that Teddy knew which of those men he’d probably grow up to be.
TO GET THERE in ’54, they took the ferry from the city and passed through a collection of other small, forgotten islands—Thompson and Spectacle, Grape and Bumpkin, Rainford and Long—that gripped the scalp of the sea in hard tufts of sand, wiry trees, and rock formations as white as bone. Except for supply runs on Tuesdays and Saturdays, the ferry ran on an irregular schedule and the galley was stripped of everything but the sheet metal that covered the floor and two steel benches that ran under the windows. The benches were bolted to the floor and bolted to thick black posts at both ends, and manacles and their chains hung in spaghetti piles from the posts.
The ferry wasn’t transporting patients to the asylum today, however, just Teddy and his new partner, Chuck Aule, a few canvas bags of mail, a few cases of medical supplies.
Teddy started the trip down on his knees in front of the toilet, heaving into the bowl as the ferry’s engine chugged and clacked and Teddy’s nasal passages filled with the oily smells of gasoline and the late-summer sea. Nothing came out of him but small streams of water, yet his throat kept constricting and his stomach banged up against the base of his esophagus and the air in front of his face spun with motes that blinked like eyes.
The final heave was followed by a globe of trapped oxygen that seemed to carry a piece of his chest with it as it exploded from his mouth, and Teddy sat back on the metal floor and wiped his face with his handkerchief and thought how this wasn’t the way you wanted to start a new partnership.
He could just imagine Chuck telling his wife back home—if he had a wife; Teddy didn’t even know that much about him yet—about his first encounter with the legendary Teddy Daniels. “Guy liked me so much, honey, he threw up.”
Since that trip as a boy, Teddy had never enjoyed being out on the water, took no pleasure from such a lack of land, of visions of land, things you could reach out and touch without your hands dissolving into them. You told yourself it was okay—because that’s what you had to do to cross a body of water—but it wasn’t. Even in the war, it wasn’t the storming of the beaches he feared so much as those last few yards from the boats to the shore, legs slogging through the depths, strange creatures slithering over your boots.
Still, he’d prefer to be out on deck, facing it in the fresh air, rather than back here, sickly warm, lurching.
When he was sure it had passed, his stomach no longer bubbling, his head no longer swimming, he washed his hands and face, checked his appearance in a small mirror mounted over the sink, most of the glass eroded by sea salt, a small cloud in the center where Teddy could just make out his reflection, still a relatively young man with a government-issue crew cut. But his face was lined with evidence of the war and the years since, his penchant for the dual fascinations of pursuit and violence living in eyes Dolores had once called “dog-sad.”
I’m too young, Teddy thought, to look this hard.
He adjusted his belt around his waist so the gun and holster rested on his hip. He took his hat from the top of the toilet and put it back on, adjusted the brim until it tilted just slightly to the right. He tightened the knot in his tie. It was one of those loud floral ties that had been going out of style for about a year, but he wore it because she had given it to him, slipped it over his eyes one birthday as he sat in the living room. Pressed her lips to his Adam’s apple. A warm hand on the side of his cheek. The smell of an orange on her tongue. Sliding into his lap, removing the tie, Teddy keeping his eyes closed. Just to smell her. To imagine her. To create her in his mind and hold her there.
He could still do it—close his eyes and see her. But lately, white smudges would blur parts of her—an earlobe, her eyelashes, the contours of her hair. It didn’t happen enough to fully obscure her yet, but Teddy feared time was taking her from him, grinding away at the picture frames in his head, crushing them.
“I miss you,” he said, and went out through the galley to the foredeck.
It was warm and clear out there, but the water was threaded with dark glints of rust and an overall pallor of gray, a suggestion of something growing dark in the depths, massing.
Chuck took a sip from his flask and tilted the neck in Teddy’s direction, one eyebrow cocked. Teddy shook his head, and Chuck slipped it back into his suit pocket, pulled the flaps of his overcoat around his hips, and looked out at the sea.
“You okay?” Chuck asked. “You look pale.”
Teddy shrugged it off. “I’m fine.”
Teddy nodded. “Just finding my sea legs.”
They stood in silence for a bit, the sea undulating all around them, pockets of it as dark and silken as velvet.
“You know it used to be a POW camp?” Teddy said.
Chuck said, “The island?”
Teddy nodded. “Back in the Civil War. They built a fort there, barracks.”
“What do they use the fort for now?”
Teddy shrugged. “Couldn’t tell you. There’s quite a few of them out here on the different islands. Most of them were target practice for artillery shells during the war. Not too many left standing.”
“But the institution?”
“From what I could tell, they use the old troop quarters.”
Chuck said, “Be like going back to basic, huh?”
“Don’t wish that on us.” Teddy turned on the rail. “So what’s your story there, Chuck?”
Chuck smiled. He was a bit stockier and a bit shorter than Teddy, maybe five ten or so, and he had a head of tight, curly black hair and olive skin and slim, delicate hands that seemed incongruous with the rest of him, as if he’d borrowed them until his real ones came back from the shop. His left cheek bore a small scythe of a scar, and he tapped it with his index finger.
“I always start with the scar,” he said. “People usually ask sooner or later.”
“Wasn’t from the war,” Chuck said. “My girlfriend says I should just say it was, be done with it, but…” He shrugged. “It was from playing war, though. When I was a kid. Me and this other kid shooting slingshots at each other in the woods. My friend’s rock just misses me, so I’m okay, right?” He shook his head. “His rock hit a tree, sent a piece of bark into my cheek. Hence the scar.”
“From playing war.”
“From playing it, yeah.”
“You transferred from Oregon?”
“Seattle. Came in last week.”
Teddy waited, but Chuck didn’t offer any further explanation.
Teddy said, “How long you been with the marshals?”
“So you know how small it is.”
“Sure. You want to know how come I transferred.” Chuck nodded, as if deciding something for himself. “If I said I was tired of rain?”
Teddy turned his palms up above the rail. “If you said so…”
“But it’s small, like you said. Everyone knows everyone in the service. So eventually, there’ll be—what do they call it?—scuttlebutt.”
“That’s word for it.”
“You caught Breck, right?”
“How’d you know where he’d go? Fifty guys chasing him, they all went to Cleveland. You went to Maine.”
“He’d summered there once with his family when he was a kid. That thing he did with his victims? It’s what you do to horses. I talked to an aunt. She told me the only time he was ever happy was at a horse farm near this rental cottage in Maine. So I went up there.”
“Shot him five times,” Chuck said and looked down the bow at the foam.
“Would have shot him five more,” Teddy said. “Five’s what it took.”
Chuck nodded and spit over the rail. “My girlfriend’s Japanese. Well, born here, but you know…Grew up in a camp. There’s still a lot of tension out there—Portland, Seattle, Tacoma. No one likes me being with her.”
“So they transferred you.”
Chuck nodded, spit again, watched it fall into the churning foam.
“They say it’s going to be big,” he said.
Teddy lifted his elbows off the rail and straightened. His face was damp, his lips salty. Somewhat surprising that the sea had managed to find him when he couldn’t recall the spray hitting his face.
He patted the pockets of his overcoat, looking for his Chesterfields. “Who’s ‘they’? What’s ‘it’?”