Two days later, Kendall heard the radio news story while he was in Florida on an emergency call to re-inspect another detainment center. A taxi driver fought his way through a torrential rainstorm as Kendall listened on the taxi’s radio to the story of two men, in their sixties, North Carolinians from their drivers’ licenses. They were shot and found floating in the Chesapeake Bay near Tilghman Island. The radio announcer mentioned no names and gave few details except that “authorities were investigating.”
“Drugs, I bet,” the taxi driver piped up. “Two old boys into selling that crap, sure as hell.”
Kendall didn’t respond. Did Deacon decide to take out the old codgers who approached Rake’s father? Kendall remembered overhearing Deacon telling Adkins to use force only if the situation called for it. Adkins’ choice was obvious.
Kendall asked the driver for some music. He wanted to dismiss the news from his thoughts. He stared blankly through the windshield, and then studied the taxi driver concentrating on the road. Kendall could barely see the road’s dividing lines through the downpour. He sat back against the seat and then escaped into his own thoughts. He could not relax. There was too much to think about now. He slapped his pocket then shut his eyes. The tranquilizers were in his suitcase. He breathed deep repeatedly and tried to force himself to drift and relax.
Minutes later Kendall stopped the driver and flung open the door. Half out of the taxi he heaved his last meal alongside the highway. The hard-hitting rain was saturating his clothes but it could not extinguish the boiler fire in his guts.
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