The Cadillac Diaries: Episode 27

As the afternoon wore on, thick, heavy storm clouds gathered, darkening the skies and casting an eerie glow. The rumble of thunder shook the small room where Herbert Hayes sat motionless, his eyes fixed on Ray.

“The ax man has returned, Herbie,” Ray said.

Herbert Hayes resumed rocking, mumbling the same nursery rhyme.

“Herbie?” Ray asked.

“He has come back for those who escaped,” Herbert said as he rocked.

“What you can tell me about the day I found you and brought you here,” Ray asked.

“My father died,” Herbert said.

“Yes, Herbie, your father died in an explosion. What else happened that day?”

Herbert rocked in silence.

“Herbie?” Ray prompted.

“It was an accident,” Herbert said. “Father only wanted to hurt the axe man.”

“That’s right, Herbie. Can you tell me anything else? What happened after the axe man left?” Ray asked.

“He burned his hand,” Herbert said.

“Who did?” Ray quickly asked.

Herbert gave no response.

“Herbie?” Ray prompted. “Who hurt his hand?”

“The axe man burned it in the fire,” Herbert said.

“Which hand did he burn, Herbie?” Ray asked.

“Left hand,” Herbert said after a moment.

Tyler turned to Ray and said, “That may help. If the axe man burned his hand bad enough, he would have needed a doctor. I can check around and find out who was practicing medicine at the time.”

“Sometimes Herbert gets his left and right mixed up, so keep that in mind,” Diane suggested.

“Herbie, can you tell us anything else about the axe man?” Ray asked.

Herbert mumbled as he shook his head.

Ray stood up and turned to Tyler and Diane.

“That’s not much to go on, but it’s something,” Ray said.

“Nurse!” Herbert called suddenly.

Diane moved over beside Herbert and gently laid her hand on his shoulder.

“Yes, sweetie?” she asked.

“Allison. Nurse Allison,” Herbert said.

“Who is Nurse Allison?” Ray asked Diane.

“I don’t know. We have an Allison on staff here at the hospital, but she works in the kitchen,” Diane answered.

“Nurse Allison told me she was sorry,” Herbert said.

Ray moved closer to Herbert.

“Why did she say she was sorry?” Ray asked.

“Just said she was sorry then ran away,” Herbert said.

“What was her last name, sweetie?” Diane asked.

Herbert just mumbled.

“Can you remember Allison’s full name?” Ray asked.

“Allison,” Herbert said. “Allison Booth.”

“Why would some random nurse apologize then leave him?” Diane asked Ray. “Why leave a young boy alone?”

Ray shook his head, “No idea. Guess I’ll have to find her and ask.”

“I remember that name,” Tyler said suddenly.

“Who is she?” Ray asked.

“Allison Booth was a nurse on staff at the prison when the ax man escaped. She was one of the people we were going to question,” Tyler answered.

“But why would she apologize to Herbert?” Diane asked, still puzzling about her own question.

“None of this explains where the axe man has been all these years,” Tyler said.

Ray looked back to Herbert and asked,

“Was anyone else there, Herbie?”

Herbert shrunk back at the question.

“Who else was there, Herbie?” Ray asked.

Herbert gave no answer.

“I can’t stop him if you don’t help me,” Ray said.

Herbert turned his head away and covered his face.

“Please, Herbie. Who else was there?” Ray prompted.

“He doesn’t want to answer, Ray,” Diane said. “If you push too hard, we could lose him.”

Ray nodded, “All right, Herbie, but if you don’t help me, I can’t to do much to stop him.”

Herbert mumbled something Ray could not understand.

“What’s that, Herbie?” Ray asked, leaning in.

Herbert turned his head slowly toward Ray and whispered, “Joseph Cook.”

“Who was Joseph Cook?” Ray asked.

“He was older than me. He wanted to know all about the axe man,” Herbert said.

“The axe man had a fan?” Tyler asked.

Diane said, “Some people have strange interests.”

“We need to find this Joseph Cook,” Ray said.

“I want to know why Allison Booth apologized to Herbert but didn’t stick around for questioning,” Tyler said.

“What should I do?” Diane asked.

“Keep an eye on Herbert,” Ray said. “If the axe man is back, he may be going after loose ends. That might lead him here.”

Ray handed her a card and said, “This is my personal cell. Call me if there’s a problem.”

“I will,” Diane promised.

“Looks like the storm’s rolling in pretty fast. We should go before it hits,” Tyler said glancing out the window.

“Please be careful,” Diane said.

“Of course,” Ray said smiling.

“Thank you, Herbie, for your help,” Ray said as he turned to leave.

As Diane tended to Herbert, Ray and Tyler headed for the exit.

“That was odd,” Tyler said.

“Yea,” Ray responded. “Poor Herbert hasn’t been the same since the fire.”

Pete started barking excitedly when he saw Ray walking toward the Cadillac.

“He always seems surprised when I come back out,” Ray said, smiling.

“Maybe he sees something you don’t,” Tyler suggested.

When Ray climbed into the Cadillac, Pete’s wet tongue went to work, as though determined to remove Ray’s face one lick at a time.

“All right, boy. I’m back. Calm down,” Ray laughed, patting Pete on the head.

Tyler stopped at the side of the car and looked at Ray.

“There’s something I don’t understand.”

“What’s that?” Ray asked.

“If two different people knew Herbert survived the fire and the axe man found out about it, how come he never returned for him?” Tyler asked.

“Don’t know. I’ve been wondering that myself. Maybe the ax man didn’t care.”

Ray started up the Cadillac and said, “Let’s go talk to this Allison Booth and see if she’s got some answers.”

Published in: on April 7, 2012 at 9:53 pm  Leave a Comment  

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