Chapter 67

the sound: Jeff Healey Band – Cruel Little Number, Jeff Healey – I’m Tore Down, Jeff Healey – When Night Comes Falling, Jeff Healey Band – I Think I Love You Too Much, Jeff Healey Band – Roadhouse Blues, Jeff Healey Band – Angel Eyes

While Robert was getting out of jail, Barry was getting out of ICU and we were all able to go see him.

I rode in with Boomer, and Bald J and Little Man…and when we arrived at the hospital I was surprised to find that security was a little tighter. Tighter in that there were several police officers in Barry’s room trying to convince him to testify against his brother. Barry looked weak and anemic and to my eyes as helpless as a new born kitten.

Sitting in the corner of his room, facing the bed and the door in a large arm chair was Mrs. K furiously crocheting doilies but looking calm.

“You must work with my Séamas” she said to the officers in the room. “He’s the good boy young Séamas”.

“Séamas?” I thought “who the hell is Séamas?” and then watched Barry’s eyes twinkle as the police officers in the room asked what I was thinking.

“Mama calls us all by the names she gave us…we use the American versions when she’s not listening” Barry offered.

“Ah – now that makes some sense”

Mrs. K then spoke “surely you’re not thinking that this was more than an accident? My Roibhilín wouldna hurt his brother a purpose” she said with such firm conviction that I almost forgot I’d been there and seen the whole thing. I smiled watching her hands move over the crafting in her lap at the speed of light. Only a person that knew Mrs. K would know that she was unsettled as was reflected in her doily making extraordinaire.

Mrs. K got up to walk the police officers to the elevator and Barry shifted uncomfortably in the bed…”come fluff my pillows Baby” he whined. “I’m so completely bored…and I sure would love a beer”

As I stepped up to fluff the pillows Boomer leaned over and whispered that he and Bald J had a treat for Barry but it’d have to wait till Mrs. K went home for the day.

Mrs. K came back into the room to inform us that she and I would be heading back to the farm and that ‘those boys’ had just best leave Barry alone. I thought at first she meant police but then decided that she was talking about Boomer and Bald J. I suggested that I might stay with the boys but she allowed as how I should be thankful that she’d taken me ‘under her wing’ and she’d book no countenance but that I was to leave with her.

I was miffed…but I left with her. When she and I left the hospital we found Grey waiting out front in a large white Cadillac. He loaded his mother in the back seat on his side of the car and when he walked around to my side he asked quietly if I’d seen anything ‘suspicious’ while inside.

“Suspicious? Uhhhh…no? why?”

“Nothing” came the reply as we headed back to the farm.

I woke 3 hours later to the insistent sound of the phone in the farmhouse. It was Grey demanding that I get my ass up to the big house and stay with Mama.

“why? What’s going on?” I asked….only to be told that I needed to ask no questions…just get to the big house and to keep Mama away from the windows – to lay low until Robert or he arrived.

I made quick work of getting myself through the field and made it through the gate without notice. As I ran up the hill I heard the unmistakable sound of motorcycles entering the field from the far side. I slowed to a walk thinking that it was likely Grey and Robert and that I’d just let them catch up and explain what was going on. I’d almost stopped walking when the gunfire started.

I heard the sound of shots fired more shots than I could count. I heard screaming and swearing and then the sound of motorcycles approaching. I booked the last bit to the garden and then on to the big house. When I got there Mrs. K was standing on the veranda in a long blood red velvet dressing gown, as she stepped towards me I saw glimpses of pristine white satin lining. Her long white hair flowing in a mane down her back and she had all of her jewelry on.

She also had a shotgun in each hand. I came to a screeching halt on the top stair and she blinked once or twice before motioning me towards her. She handed me a shotgun and pointed to a box of shells on the table behind her….”I’ve just to close the last 2 of these shutters” she said to me as she strode back towards the windows.

“What’s going on?” I asked, too scared to be worried about how my cool factor seemed to have left the building with the firmness of my voice.

“Hopefully, nae more than we canna ‘andle child” she replied as she ushered me into the house bolting the door.

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