Hanson Page 9
    She crossed the room and went out the open door.     "Am I talking too much?" Glad said.
    "It's all right."
    The flower's pungent delicate flavor was gone--I'd heard of such things, a smell or taste attached to a deep memory, so either one triggered the other--
     "You like her? I do."
     "I like her," I said.
     "Where shall I put this?"
     In the doorway Beu;ah held out a blackberry pie with crisscrossed stripes of crust. Had she baked it on purpose, all day been planning to stop by?
     Again I remembered the soft richness of her voice—over drinks we’d spoken quietly and intimately like old friends as Glad made supper in the kitchen and I’d sensed the blue flower’s presence.
     “I’ll take that,” Glad said, jumping up. “I’ll serve it

with the coffee and ice cream.”
    He took the pie from Beulah and hurried from the room.
     “Betty gave me this for you,” Beulah said, sitting down.
“I’d forgotten. Until we started talking about Jim. Jack asked her to send it along.”
    She pulled an 8 x 10 black and white photo from a manila envelope and handed it to me.
    “It’s Web Olson,” Beulah said.
    Squinting, I removed the mustache, and focused on the stubby nose, the strong jaw, serious thin-lipped mouth, the sandy crewcut and wide forehead, the cool killer’s icy blue eyes, the slightly turned ears.
    Clean-cut, handsome, deadly. The perfect Marine.
    In the sunlit square my father, Lieutenant Richard Lambert, fell below the library tower in Texas, crouching over Lisa Barlow, 13.

    I turned the photo over.