The Cadillac Diaries: Episode 32

 

A few minutes later, Ray was seated on a bench in the waiting room of the sanitarium while the police checked for physical evidence and questioned witnesses. He tried to relax, catch his breath, while one of the nurses helped Herbert Hayes back to his room.

“Every joint in my tired old body aches,” Ray told himself.

Detective Richard Clay came over and sat down by Ray.

“How’s it going, old man?” he teased.

“I’m getting too old for this stuff. There I said it,” Ray replied.

“Some of the guys down at the precinct would agree, but I think you’re doing pretty good,” Richard reassured him.

“I didn’t do that good,” Ray said. “I forgot to grab a gun. And if it hadn’t been for your dad, you’d never have found this place.”

“We would have. . .eventually,” Richard said.

“Sure. Eventually. But I don’t know how long I could have lasted. I was lucky,” Ray said.

“You do have some skills that don’t come from driving a cab, but since you’re my father-in-law, I’ll respect your privacy,” Richard said.

“Thanks, son,” Ray answered.

“Look on the bright side, Ray. If the night staff hadn’t been on the other side of the hospital playing an illegal poker game, they might have been killed. For once, breaking the rules was a good thing,” Richard said.

“Well there you go,” Ray managed to smile.

The two men sat in silence until Tyler Clay walked over and stood in front of them.

“How bad is it?” Ray asked.

“I’ve seen worse,” Tyler said.

Ray let his head hang and let out a long sigh.

“You drove off by yourself, Ray,” Tyler said.

“And you went in unarmed,” Richard added.

“Someone died,” Tyler pointed out.

“You’re clearly exhausted,” Richard added.

“You’re risking your life,” Tyler said.

“You were lucky this time,” Richard said.

“You’re going to get yourself killed,” Tyler said.

“Then who will take care of Pete? Poor fella’s out there in the Cadillac. Won’t come near the place,” Richard said.

“I think it’s time you leave this case to the professionals, Ray,” Tyler said.

With his head still hanging, Ray asked,

“Deborah said all that?”

“Yes, Dad,” Deborah answered.

Ray looked up to see his daughter standing next to Tyler, her arms crossed and a scowl on her face. He wanted to defend himself, but from one angle she looked like a little girl stomping her feet. From another, like Margaret looking down on him.

Ray smiled, “You are so adorable when you’re mad.”

“Come on, Daddy. We’re going home,” Deborah insisted.

“But—” Ray began in protest.

“No!” Deborah interrupted. “You are going home to bed! It’s late and you’re clearly exhausted. I won’t let you kill yourself because you miss Mom. I miss her too. Now come on.”

Ray looked at his beautiful daughter then slowly stood up.

“Sorry, guys,” Ray said. “I’ve got to go home.”

As he plodded toward the Cadillac, his feet felt like dead weight.

“No, Daddy. I’ll drive you home. Tyler can follow in the Cadillac.”

“He can?” Ray asked confused, looking back at Tyler who shrugged his shoulders in surprise.

When Deborah spun around and glared at Tyler, Richard immediately looked away and Tyler raised his hands in submission.

“Yea, sure thing, Deborah.  I’d. . .I’d be glad to.”

“Daddy,” Deborah said, “give him the keys.”

“They’re in the Cadillac,” Ray answered.

As they walked back to Deborah’s car, Pete began barking, wondering why Ray was leaving him behind. When Tyler opened the door to the Cadillac, Pete jumped out. Ray climbed into the passenger seat of Deborah’s car as Pete hurried to catch up.

After Deborah started the engine, she said,

“I’m not going to lecture you, Daddy. I just want you home where you’re safe. Richard has agreed to call you if they have a question, but he won’t let you back on this case until I tell him it’s okay.”

Ray didn’t have the energy to fight back. He quickly fell asleep, his head lolled back on the seat with Pete curled up in his lap.

Deborah shook her head and softly said,

“He’s really fighting me, Mom. You were right. He is going to be a handful.”

When they reached Ray’s house, Deborah helped him into bed. Then she locked the doors behind her and drove away, satisfied that her father was getting much needed rest with faithful Pete at his side.

 

 

*          *            *

Late into the night, Pete’s head popped up from the bed. He looked toward the bedroom window and let out a low growl. But when he heard movement from somewhere inside the house, his head jerked from the window to the hallway leading off the bedroom. The fur stood up on his back, bristling as his growl grew louder.

“It’s okay, boy. Just a cat,” Ray mumbled without opening his eyes.

Pete slowly stood, moving to the edge of the bed as he continued to growl.

Ray turned over onto his other side and shoved the pillow over his head.

As Pete began barking sharp and loud, Ray desperately tried to cling to the few shards of sleep that remained, but they quickly slipped out of his head like water down an open drain. Frustrated, he threw aside the pillow and grumbled,

“What is it?”

Then he saw him. Standing in the doorway, gun raised, was the axe man. Just before Pete leapt off the bed going for the figure, Ray yelled,

“Pete, stay!”

Pete stood still as he snarled, bearing his teeth.

With his eyes fixed on the ax man, Ray said,

“He means well. Promise me you’ll spare him. He has nothing to do with this.”

The axe man looked at Pete, a courageous little dog protecting his master, and nodded yes.

“It’s over after this, right?” Ray asked. “No reason to go after anyone else.”

The ax man shook his head no.

“Good,” Ray said.

He didn’t want to go out this way, but at least it was over. As the ax man raised the pistol in his right hand, Ray took a last look at Margaret’s picture on the nightstand and closed his eyes.

Advertisements
Published in: on September 13, 2012 at 2:07 pm  Leave a Comment  

The URI to TrackBack this entry is: https://themasthead.wordpress.com/2012/09/13/the-cadillac-diaries-episode-32/trackback/

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: