What now? I don’t know anyone in Hazel Patch, an isolated village of about a hundred souls where mostly blacks live. Becky Myers, the home health nurse, told me their story, how they had migrated up from the southern part of the state to work the Baylor Mine near Delmont, then stayed on after the cave-in when seventeen men were killed. That was in ’21, before Mrs. Kelly and I got here. Most of those who weren’t killed won’t go back underground again and now make out a living as subsistence farmers.
But what was I supposed to say—‘Learn some manners’? It was tempting, but it wasn’t really my place.So I got a call from Logan, Jax said, his voice slicing through the awkward silence. He said he told you about Scout.
Probably after his meeting with Lawrence and before the guards. My stomach sank, wondering once again why he was there with them, buying them drinks.Thanks for taking him to the vet, I said, ignoring the pang of worry I couldn’t seem to shake. I can’t even imagine how scared he must have been.I’ll admit I was a little nervous myself, but he curled up right here on my lap the whole drive and went to the doc with no problem.
Seemed Jax had a heart in there after all.Good. He can go home tomorrow.
You need a ride to pick him up? he asked in what appeared to be a sincere, no-strings-attached offer.
Yeah, that would be great. I’m going to take him to Luke’s in the evening. He’s gonna watch him till he’s feeling better—or at least until he’s able to withstand some roughhousing with Oliver.See, and this is where Grandma and Grandpa used to live, she told him.
I stood in the doorway, watching her cook at the stove while Oliver sat on the countertop a few feet over, looking through a small stack of photos.Oh, and Grandma said this is where she used to work when she was in high school like me.
And where would that be? I asked, strolling in and plucking Oliver from the counter before he fell.Hi, Daddy. He pressed a picture to my face. See Gramma?