"This project and that, one thing or another.
He had a good imagination but it was hard for him to finish things."
It sounded like Frankie Two-Shoes' description
of his own inventor father, who'd drawn plans for a failed remote
control bell cow. Frankie had later sold the blueprints to Jim Sloan.
Prospecting on a creek on the Lemon Ranch, Frankie had seen the Night
Slayer's silent, deadly craft, smelled the odor of fresh blood and
found the hooves and eyeless head, the killer's gruesome calling card--
Now Beulah neatly folded her napkin.
"At first I thought he was just a shy, lonely
ranch kid. You know, too little stimulation. He was in ag, maybe ag
mechanics, he was always building things. Then one day after class
he asked me if Macbeth were like Oedipus. It made me stop and think.
After that we were friends."
was something fine, I thought, to be a friend of Beulah's.
what else did he talk about?" Glad pursued.
"Machines. His latest project, what he planned
for the future," she said hopefully.
"What kind of machines?" probed Glad.
She leaned forward, extending a tanned slender
arm, then slipped a dropped slice of lettuce onto her empty plate.
"I remember he built a chicken house, it was
on exhibit at Public Schools' Week. It was really something. All the
eggs rolled down conveyors and fell into cartons. Everyone was excited,
people crowded around, waiting for him to throw the switch--"
"Sounds pretty scientific," Glad said.
Beulah frowned, moving a shapely finger around
the edge of her glass.