MAY 20, 2018



So anyway. Denby got called to the new Island-Life offices in Silvan Acres and the new Editor was wroth.

What is up with all this stuff, Mister! Poodleshoots and crossings to Hell and back, this Percy running about in an expensive antique car with a naked woman, and some character named Euphonia who apparently drowned in the Bay amid most strange circumstances and nobody went to look for her!

Ah, yes Euphonia, I remember her well, poor soul. Everyone treated here just like a machine . . . .

She WAS a machine! Nevermind. That was in 2013. Now we have this thing called Javier's Birthday coming up and I am worried about Liability issues here. It seems people always get severely injured on this event.

That is correct. If I were you I would consider a brief visit to Tenerife, the Canary Islands, or someplace equally as remote. For your health.

Bosh and poppycock! This is all rubbish! I have to rebuild some kind of news organization here and what do I have to work with, but a bunch of nincompoops, incompetents, ne'er do wells and punks!

That about sums it up, I would agree, Denby said amiably.

This is insupportable and I will enforce discipline upon this motley crew!

You know, you are a lot like your brother . . . .

Nonsense! I hate you!. That is what they said back then, but there is one important difference -- my brother was a Marine and I shall be Navy until the day they drag my rotten carcass into some kind of rotten grave. We are different, no matter what my mother ever said. Or anybody else. Where is the scotch kept around here?

Uh, whatever, Denby said. I think I would look in the lower left hand drawer of that desk. . . .

After this experience Denby went out into the Glad to face the Editor Tree. It was a breezy evening with all the branches stirring and the air getting chill. Mists began their descent through the vales and ravines that surrounded the valley that enclosed Silvan Acres.

Pahrump joined him along with Javier and Martini with a jug of cheap wine. They all sat there in the glade as the sun went down behind the ridgetop.

Denby stood up and approached the tree.

Any chance of you coming back? Like sometime in the future maybe?

The wind blew and the branches tossed, but other than the sound of wind there was no audible response. It was hard to tell if the agitation of the tree was caused by the wind or something else and Denby did not know what it meant, if anything.

The sound of the train horn keened from Oaktown across the estuary and wended its way through the fog-shrouded Northbay's well-matriculated hills and slid over the sleeping bulk of Princess Tamalpais, as it also traversed the estuary to cross the Island and die between the Edwardian house-rows as the locomotive click-clacked in front of the shadow-shuttered Jack London Waterfront, trundling past the Ohlone burial mounds to an unknown destination.