“Yeah,” Teddy said. “It’s why I don’t drink anymore, Doctor.”
“Because you know that—“
“—I’d have eaten my gun a long time ago, if I did.”
Cawley nodded. “At least you’re not deluding yourself.” “Yeah,” Teddy said, “at least I got that going for me.”
“When you leave here,” Cawley said, “I can give you some names.
Damn good doctors. They could help you.”
Teddy shook his head. “U.S. marshals don’t go to head doctors.
Sorry. But if it ever leaked, I’d be pensioned out.”
“Okay, okay. Fair enough. But, Marshal?”
Teddy looked up at him.
“If you keep steering your current course, it’s not a matter of if. It’s a matter of when.”
“You don’t know that.”
“Yes. Yes, I do. I specialize in grief trauma and survivor’s guilt. I suffer from the same, so I specialize in the same. I saw you look into Rachel Solando’s eyes a few hours ago and I saw a man who wants to die. Your boss, the agent in charge at the field office? He told me you’re the most decorated man he has. Said you came back from the war with enough medals to fill a chest. True?”
“Said you were in the Ardennes and part of the liberating force at Dachau.”
“And then your wife is killed? How much violence, Marshal, do you think a man can carry before it breaks him?”
Teddy said, “Don’t know, Doc. Kind of wondering, myself.” Cawley leaned across the space between them and clapped Teddy on the knee. “Take those names from me before you leave. Okay? I’d like to be sitting here five years from now, Marshal, and know you’re still in the world.”
Teddy looked down at the hand on his knee. Looked up at Cawley.
“I would too,” he said softly.
HE MET BACK up with Chuck in the basement of the men’s dormitory, where they’d assembled cots for everyone while they rode out the storm. To get here, Teddy had come through a series of underground corridors that connected all the buildings in the compound. He’d been led by an orderly named Ben, a hulking mountain of jiggling white flesh, through four locked gates and three manned checkpoints, and from down here you couldn’t even tell the world stormed above. The corridors were long and gray and dimly lit, and Teddy wasn’t all that fond of how similar they were to the corridor in his dream. Not nearly as long, not filled with sudden banks of darkness, but ball bearing gray and cold just the same.
He felt embarrassed to see Chuck. He’d never had a migraine attack that severe in public before, and it filled him with shame to remember vomiting on the floor. How helpless he’d been, like a baby, needing to be lifted from the chair.
But as Chuck called, “Hey, boss!” from the other side of the room, it surprised him to realize what a relief it was to be reunited with him. He’d asked to go on this investigation alone and been declined. At the time, it had pissed him off, but now, after two days in this place, after the mausoleum and Rachel’s breath in his mouth and those fucking dreams, he had to admit he was glad not to be alone on this. They shook hands and he remembered what Chuck had said to him in the dream—“I’m never getting off this island”—and Teddy felt a sparrow’s ghost pass through the center of his chest and flap its wings. “How you doing, boss?” Chuck clapped his shoulder.
Teddy gave him a sheepish grin. “I’m better. A little shaky, but all in all, okay.”
“Fuck,” Chuck said, lowering his voice and stepping away from two orderlies smoking cigarettes against a support column. “You had me scared, boss. I thought you were having a heart attack or a stroke or something.” ° “Just a migraine.”
“Just,” Chuck said. He lowered his voice even further and they walked to the beige cement wall on the south side of the room, away from the other men. “I thought you were faking it at first, you know, like you had some plan to get to the files or something.” “I wish I was that smart.”
He looked in Teddy’s eyes, his own glimmering, pushing forward.
“It got me thinking, though.”
“What’d you do?”
“I told Cawley I’d sit with you. And I did. And after a while, he got a call and he left the office.”
“You went after his files?”
“What did you find?”
Chuck’s face dropped. “Well, not much actually. I couldn’t get into the file cabinets. He had some locks I’ve never seen before. And I’ve picked a lot of locks. I could’re picked these, but I would have left marks. You know?”
Teddy nodded. “You did the right thing.”
“Yeah, well...” Chuck nodded at a passing orderly and Teddy had the surreal sensation that they’d been transported into an old Cagney movie, cons on the yard plotting their escape. “I did get into his desk.”
Chuck said, “Crazy, huh? You can slap my wrist later.”
“Slap your wrist? Give you a medal.”
“No medal. I didn’t find much, boss. Just his calendar. Here’s the thing, though—yesterday, today, tomorrow, and the next day were all blocked off, you know? He bordered them in black.” ,, “The hurricane,” Teddy said. “He’d heard it was coming.” Chuck shook his head. “He wrote across the four boxes. You know what I mean? Like you’d write ‘Vacation on Cape Cod.’ Following me ?”
Teddy said, “Sure.”
Trey Washington ambled on over to them, a ratty stogie in his mouth, his head and clothes drenched with rain. “Ya’ll getting clandestine over here, Marshals?”
“You bet,” Chuck said.
“You been out there?” Teddy said.
“Oh, yeah. Brutal now, Marshals. We were sandbagging the whole compound, boarding up all the windows. Shit. Motherfuckers falling all over themselves out there.” Trey relit his cigar with a Zippo and turned to Teddy. “You okay, Marshal? Word around the campfire was you had some sort of attack.”
“What sort of attack?”
“Oh, now, you’d be here all night, you tried to get every version of the story.”
Teddy smiled. “I get migraines. Bad ones.”