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Sandr

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SANDRABROWN

FOCURIASCUNSE

~1~
FOCURIASCUNSE

Cupr
ins

Capi
tol
ul1 3
Capi
tol
ul2 16
Capi
tol
ul3 30
Capi
tol
ul4 40
Capi
tol
ul5 53
Capi
tol
ul6 68
Capi
tol
ul7 83
Capi
tol
ul8 94
Capi
tol
ul9 109
Capi
tol
ul10 121
Capi
tol
ul11 134
Capi
tol
ul12 149
Capi
tol
ul13 161
Capi
tol
ul14 175
Capi
tol
ul15 191
Capi
tol
ul16 203
Capi
tol
ul17 213
Capi
tol
ul18 228
Capi
tol
ul19 239
Capi
tol
ul20 253
Capi
tol
ul21 267
Capi
tol
ul22 285
Capi
tol
ul23 301
Capi
tol
ul24 318
Capi
tol
ul25 333
Capi
tol
ul26 343

~2~
Sandr
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Capi
tol
ul1

Cl dur asoar eluidesept embr ieer acaunat acf i


zicpent ru
t
nr acar ecobor dint r
en ngar aAust in.Obr aj
iieial bicaf ildeul
erauuor mbuj ora iic t
evauvi
edeprnegr ucaabanosul
scpau di n coculdesub pl r ie. if cea v ntcu o bat ist
dant elat nt impceseui tapr i
nmul imedupopl r i
eSi et son
fami liaridupbr batul nalt,cupr ulal b,car earf itrebui tso
poar te.
O mul i
medest uldenumer oasseadunasel agar pent ru
sosi reat renul uideami azdel aFor tWor th.Uni iimbr iauf i
ii
car ese ntor ceau,al i
i iluau r masbun del aceicar ese

mbar cau.At en i
onr ideascr iecur ndideaaveagr ijse
fceau nt r-un amest ec de engl ez ispani ol,i arui er atul
trenul uier acaoper cu iepent ruor chest raaceeadi scor dant .
Cuo ndem nar enemai pomeni t,hamal iimpi ngeaucr uci oar e
l
ungi ncr cat ecubagaj e,reui ndsocol eascf emei nv rst ,
oamenideaf aceriicopi i.
Femeimexi cane, mbr cat e nr ochi ilargiivi ucol or ate,se
plimbau pe per on v nz nd bomboane,f l
oriit otf el ulde
suveni ruritexane. Vaquer osst teaur ezema ilenedecl di r ea
gr ii
,juc ndu- secul asour i,r
suci nd i
gr isauui tndu-sel at renul

ncar eezi tausur ce,deoar ecepr efer auaer ull ibericer ulseni n
alTexas- ului.
Mul
idi nacet icowboysoobser vaser pet nr acar eseui ta
l
af i
ecar et rsur car eseapr opia.Ochi ieicenui icar e,cunumai
ctevacl ipe nur m,f useser pl inideemo ie, ncepur sse

nt unecedenel i
nitec ndmul
imease mpu i
n.Fust a if onea
ademeni tor nspat ecndmsur aper onul nlungi -nl at.Pant of ii
delica ii nchei aipnsuscunast ur ibocneaupesc ndur il
e
net edecuf iecar epas.
Unulc t
eunul ,vaquer ospor nirspr etrenulcar eur masse

nt oar c l a For tWor th.Maj oritatea imaiar uncar o ul ti


m
priviref eteicar e, n ciuda zpuel iiia vdi teiagi taiiceo
stp nea, pr eaext rem decal m.

~3~
FOCURIASCUNSE

Cuunscr
netdeo el ,unuvoideaburiunf luieratpr elung,
trenulsepuse nmi car e ncet ,l
undt rept atvi t
ez,p nc nd, n
celedi nur m, dispr ucut otul.
Per onulsegol icompl et.V nztoar elemexi cane iacoper i
r
mr f
ur i
ledi ncour i,iarhamal iiitraser cr uci oar elenumbr a
cldirii.
Fat acucost umulbl eumar in,bluzal bipl r i
ecaf eni ede
fetrur masel ngbagaj uleipr pdi t,pr ndpr si tiui t
at .
EdTr aver si eii utedi ncl di r
eagr ii
,ozr ii ,dupce i
trasevest apest ebur t, por nigr bitspr eea.
-Domni oar aHol br ook?o ntrebelpol it
icos.Domni oar a
Laur enHol br ook?
Ochi ieidescur aja isel umi narbr uscc nd iauzinumel ei
zmbi ,buzel e-iper f
ectf ormat edezvel indni tedi n imr un ii
albi.
-Da,r spunseeacur suf l
areat iat.Da,eus ntLaur en
Hol brook.Ben. ... ..domnulLocket tv- at ri
mi sdupmi ne?
EdTr avers iascunsenedumer i
reasubunz mbetl initit
or .
-Nu,domni oar Hol br ook,nut ocmai .Eus ntEdTr aver s,
admi nistratorulgr ii. mipar enespusder ucv- am f cuts
atept ai,dart el egraf ul.
..
Se ntrerupsebr usc, furiosc ncur caimaimul tceeaceer a
osi tua i
edel icat .
-Vr ogsmi er t
a icbatc mpi iicvf acsst ain
cldur .Veni icumi neiosvexpl ict ot ul,spuseel ,dupcar e

if cusemnunuihamal ,car evenif r chefsi abagaj ull ui


Laur en.
DomnulTr aver sar tspr ecapt ulper onul uiduc nddeget el e
l
amel on.Tot ui ,eaezi t
.
-Dardomnul Locket tmi -aspus. ..
-DomnulLocket taveni tsvat ept e, domni oar Hol br ook,
dars- ambol nvi tim- ar ugat ...
-Benebol nav? ntrebear epede, pl indipr inz ndu-ldebr a
sper iat.
Reac iaei lul uipeEdTr avers.Deceset otr ef erealaBen
Locket t?Ce er af ata aceea cu bt r
nul ?Er af rumoas,f r
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ndoi al.il uiBen ipl cuser f emei lent otdeauna.Toat lumea


dinTexast iacef eldecsni cieaveacuOl ivia,dar ,chi ariaa,
fataaceeaer aul uitoar e.Deundevenea,oar e?Deceveni se n
Texass- lvadpeBenLocket t?Nupr easai bmaimul tde
douzecideani ,iarBenaveavr eoai zeci .Poat eer avr eor ud.
Cusi gur annupr eaopr ostituat .ideces- if iluatBeno
amant ?Avea. .
.
-Domnul e Tr aver s,v r og,spuse Laur en,at ept
nd cu
nerbdar eunr spuns,I aracelbr batpl cuticumsecadeo
studiecuoi ntensi tatet ulbur toar e.
Fapt ulcveni sedupocl t orieobosi t
oar et ocmaidel aea
deacasdi nCar olinadeNor ddoarcasdescoper ecBennuo
ateptaer adest uldedepr i
mant .Si gur, ispusesec,dacnu
aveaspoat plecadi nCor onado, aveast rimi t
peci nevaso
atepte.
-DomnulLocket tebol nav?
-Ben? ntrebTr aver s,dupcar e idr esegl asulispuse:Nu,
nuBen.Cr edcl -at rimispeJar eddupdumneavoast r,elest e
celcar es- ambol nvi t.
Oconduceade- al ungulper onul ui innd- o ncur ajatordecot .
-Jar ed? ntrebea.
Dumnezeul e!Ni cimcarnu- lcunot eapeJar ed!Dararf ifost

ngr ozitordacaceat nr mi nunat arf iavutvr eol egturcuel .


Seg ndidi nnoul aBen.Car es- if ifostj oculdedat aaceast a?
Erar enumi tpent rugl umel el uipr oast e,car e,deobi cei,puneau

nt r
-opost urst nj eni toareper soanaceal al
t .Dar ,sf ifost n
stareBen, cuumor ulsul egendar ,sf acovi ctimdi ntr-
of at
nevinovat cadomni oar aHol br ook? ncel ec tevami nutepe
carel epet recuse mpr euncuea,EdTr aver s idduseseama
cLaur enHol brooker aext rem de ncrezt oar eidenai v,ceva
cut otulneobi nui tpent r
uacelalt rei l
eaanalsecol uluidouzeci .
-Jar edef i
ulluiBen, domni oar Hol br ook, spuseelr bdt or
.
Bennuv- avor bitni ciodat deel ?
Laur enr secudezi nvol t
ur.
- Bada.Mi -aspuscar eunf iu,darnu- miami ntescs- mif i
pomeni tnumel elui .
~5~
FOCURIASCUNSE

Zmbet uliset ransf orm ntr-oexpr esi eder eal ngr i


jorare.
-Ebol nav?
-Oar ecum,spuseTr averscuaspr ime i
nnd- oimaist r
ns
c
ndcobor rt rept ele.
Laur envzuocr u l ungopr itl ac ivayar zi nf aal or.
Vopseauaver dedepepr il
el ateraleer adecol or atisecoj ea,
i
arr oil
eer aumur dar edenor oi.Ceidoicaipt eaui arbl a
umbr aunuiar bor eimens.
Unal tcal ,depr opor i
imagni fice,eral egatdepar teadi nspat e
acr uei.iscut urm ndr ucoamabl ond,par cpr otest
ndde
i
ndi gnar ecf usesel egatdeunasemeneavehi culj alni c.
-Separ ecBenl -
at rimi speJar eddupdumneavoast r.A
sosi tasear di nCor onado.Azi -dimi nea ,cndai ei tdincur s,
m- ar ugatpemi nesvconducacas.Mt em cdr umuln- os
fi
epr eapl cut . micerscuze,daracest aaf ostcelmaibun
mi j
locdet ranspor tpecar el -
am gsi tntr-unt impat tdescur t.
-S ntconvi nscosf i
ebi ne,spuseeaz mbi ndiEd
Traver ssi m icame et enf aachi pul uieir adi osil aauzul
acel eivocibl nde.
Dupaceeasemust rpent ruf aptulcer aunbt rnnebuni
se ndrept r epedespr ecr u.C ndaj unser ,^ oaj ut peLaur en
sseaezepebanchet aubr ed. ncl i
pa ncar ehamal uli
aruncbagaj elepepodeauacr uei,eaauziungeamt nbui t
if cuochi imar isur pr i
nsc ndzr iosi l
uet l ung ntinspe
spat e.
-Domnul eTr aver s!excl amea.Egr avr nit?
-Nu,doarpu ini ndi spus.Ost r
iasc,dei , ncur nd,s- ar
put eas- idor eascsf ifostmor t.
Ulti
mel ecuvi ntel er ostisemor mindiLaur ennu nelesece
voisesspun.
Seaezc tput umaibi nepebanchet ai ncomodacr ei
pieleer acr pat i ,di nl oc nl oc,sevedeaui ei ndbuc idi n
umpl utur.Ar cur il
er ugi nitesc ri
rsubt rupuleisub ire.ia i
nti
privireaasupr adr umul ui.
-Trebui esmduc nunt ruocl ip,svor besccuaj utorul
meuipeur mospl ecm i medi at,spuseEdTr aver spor nind
~6~
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napoispr egar .
Hamal ul lurmagal e.
Laur enof t.Eh,nuepr imi real acar em- am at eptat ,dare
cevanou, ispuseea,dupcar ez mbidebucur i
ecseaf l
a n
Texasi ,deci ,apr oapedecapt ulcl toriei.Sf itrecutnumai
treispt m nidec nd lvzusepeBenul ti
maoar ?Isepr eao
veni cie.Se ntmpl aser at teadec ndacest aivizitaset utor iii

if cusei nvi t
aiadeaseduce nTexas.
Seaf laser cut o iinsal onulcaseipar ohiale.Laur ent ur na
ceai ul ,aceast af iind una di n ndat oriril
e eior ide c t e or i
rever endulAbelPr atheriso iasa, Sybi l
, aveauoaspe i
.Oameni i
veneauadesea nvi zitl aceidoiso idev r
stmi jlocie,car eo
l
uaser ngr i
jpeLaur enc ndt atlei ,car ef useset otpr eot,
mur isecuoptani nur m.i neaf oar temul tlaso iiPr ather ,dei

iddeaseamacnupr eacunot eaumul tenaf arasf er eil or.


Maj or itateavi zi
tat or i
lorer auf iealipr eo i
, f
ieenor iai .
Oaspet eledi nzi uaaceeaer adeosebi t.BenLocket tser vise n
Ar mat aConf eder alal t uridet
nr ulpr eotPr ather nul t
imi it rei
anider zboi .Fel ull ordeag ndier af oartedi fer i
t,f i
ecer a
vor badef oraAr mat eiUni oni ste,fiedepr edest i
nar e.
Dupr zboi, BenLocket t ipr si seor aulnat aldi nVi rginia

nf avoar eaunorl ocur inecunoscut edi nTexas.Er aunuldi nacei


ti
ner iambi i
oiif urioicar ecr eaui mper iidinvast elec mpi i
texane. nceipat ruzecideanicar et recuser del ar zboi uldi nt r
e
stat e, BenLocket tdeveni seunput erniccr esct ordevi te.
Acelt exanI mpunt oroi nt ri
gapeLaur en.Er a nal tizvel ti
numaiunuor nceputdebur titrdav rst anaintat .Pr uldes
ial bcazpada ier api ept natpespat els ndu-il i
ber f runt ea
l
at .Ochi ial bat ri iscl i
peauvesel idesubspr ncenel eal bei
stuf oase,depar carf if ost nper manen amuzat .DarLaur en
obser vcBener acapabi lsar unceipr i
viript runzt oar ei
recicaghea adacer anevoi e.
Vocea ierajoasical dc ndiseadr es.
- Spune- mi, domni oar Hol brook, cepr ereaidespr eTexas?
La f elca maj or i
tat ea t exani l
or,am i mpr esia c t oatl umea
trebui esf ielaf elde ndr gost it
cami nedeacest inut.
~7~
FOCURIASCUNSE

O pr i
veadesubspr ncenel el uist ufoase,darer aopr i
vir e
priet enoas.
-Nu. ..nut i
upr eamul te nl egt urcuaceast r egi une,
domnul eLocket t
,spuseeacusi ncer it
at e.Am ci ti
tdespr eAl amo
it iu c st atula f ost pe vr emur io r epubl ic. Rest ul
cunot in elormel eser ezuml acoper i
lecr i
lorpecar el evd
per af tur i nmagazi n.Descr i
uj efuiridet renur i
,f urturidevi tei
sal oon- ur i
.Nut i
udacest eodescr iereapr opi atder ealitat e
saunu.
Ben idducapulpespat eii zbucni ntr-unhohotder s.
Sunet ulacel at unt orf ceaszdr ngnef igur i
neledi npor el an
car eseaf l
aupest et ot nsal onulmul tpreaor natall uiSybi l
Pr ather .
-Bi ne,avem ij efui r
idet renur iiam f recvent atchi areu

nsumic tevasal oon- ur i,ter ogsmscuzi ,Abel .Bachi aram


fugr i
tc ivaho idevi tep n nMexi c, spuseel ,dupcar ef cuo
pauz.Poat eci magi nilepecar el e- aivzuts ntexact edi n
punct ulst adeveder e, domni oar Hol brook.
Opr ivi ndelung, dupcar eo ntreb:
-Ce- arf is vi icu mi ne n Texass vezit otulcu ochi i
dumi tal e?
Ur mar c tevaexcl ama iideui mir e.
- Ben,gl umet i,bi neneles!Ui t
asem cesi malumor uluiai ,
spuseAbel r
znd.
-Sol aspeLaur enameasmear gnTexas, undet riesc
i
ndi eni !st rig Sybi livol nael e car eiacoper eau pi ept ul
vol umi nost r
emur ar dei ndi gnar e.
-Cesugest ieabsur d!spuseWi l
liam.
Wi lliam.Da, Wi l
liam Kel lerf useseielacol o.
Laur ensecut remur ,chi ari ncl duraaceea nbui t
oar e.
Nuvoi acaami ntireal uiWi ll
iam s- ist ri
cebucur i
ar eveder iil ui
BenLocket t.
Unal tgeamt ,nso i
tdeast dat deo njurt urmor mi t,
i

nt rer upsei rulg ndur il


ori ,ovi toar e, sersucipent ruaseui ta
l
abr bat ulsuf er i
nd.Pr ivir
eaiseopr imai ntiasupr auneiei
frumosor nament at e,decor a i
uni l
ef iligranateiar gintiisclipi nd
~8~
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pepi eleaneagr .Bagaj eleeiseaf l


au nspat elecr uei,l
ng
picioar elebrbat ului.
Trebui e s f i
ef oar te nal t,ispuse Laur en ar unc ndu- i
privirear epedeasupr aacel uitr up ntins.Pr i
maeii mpr esief uc
erazvel tibi nel egat .Dupaceaapr eci eref cut n gr ab,

ncepus- lstudi ezedi nce ncemaif asci nat ,por ninddel a


cizme.
Acest eaer audi npi eleneagr if in, iaj ungeaup nsub
genunchii nel eer aubga ini tepant aloninegr iist r
m i
.
Laur en r oic nd vzu c tde per fect iveneau, mbr c ndu- i
pulpel elungiimuscul oasecaoadouapi ele.
LuiLaur en ise t ier espi rai
a c nd pr ivica hi pnot izat
umf l
tur adintreacest ea.Pant al oniist r
im iiscot eau nevi den
i idet ali
au anat omi a.Laur en,car ef usese cr escut nt r-
o
i
nt en i
onat i gnor an n ceea ce pr i
vea sexulopus,avea
i
mpr esi acer ao ndr zneal t eribil
.Cum put eaf icinevaat
tde
nonal antnl egt ur cu. ..pr opr i
a-iper soan?se nt r
ebea.
Palmel eiseumezi rsubmnui .
Sesi lispr iveascmaidepar t
e.Cmaadecul oareapi el iide
cpr ioarer av rt
negl i
jent npant al
oni ,f i
ind nchi sdoarl a
ulti
mi idoinast ur i,astfel nc tmat erialulmoal e idezvel eapi ept ul
l
atcar ese nl
aicobor a nr i
t mulr espi raiei.Eraacoper i
tcuun
prdeuncast ani udeschi scescl ipeaaur i
usubr azel esoar elui
car ept rundeaupr intrer amur ilecopacul ui.
Laur en nu maivzuse ni ciodat un br batf r
cma.
Odat ,unmembr ualcomuni tiirever endul uiPr atherf cuseo
febr put erniciea izr isepi eptul nt impceunadi nf emei le
cst or i
tecar e ist teaul acpt
il mbi ase.Bol navuler agr as,
aveaopi eletrandaf ir
ie, iarpi ept ulluier anet edil ipsitdepr .Nu,
nuar tasedel ocaa.
Laur ennghi inseci ilipim nadest omac.
Jared Locket tgemu di n nou,i area i i
nu r suf lar ea,
tem ndu- se ca nu cumva s se t rezeasc is o sur pr i
nd
privindu- lcuat taner ui nar e.Darelof t
doari idusem nal a
piept ,mi cnd-oagi t
at nai nt edear m nenemi cat .M naer a
mar eibr onzat ,cudeget eput erniceisub i
ri.Acel aiprar s
~9~
FOCURIASCUNSE

desoar ecar e iacoper eapi ept ul ierapr esr atipedosulm inii.


Laur en imut pr i
vir
ea asupr af eei,darf u ext rem de
dezamgi t,ccit r
st uril
e ier auascunsedeopl rieneagr
cubor ur imar i.Fiull uiBen ist
r neacur i
ozi tateaiarf ivr uts
vadchi pul car eapar ineaacel uit r
up.
Sr i caar sc nd lauzipeEdTr aver s.
- Cr edcacum put em spl ecm.
At tdeabsor biter adest udi er eal uiJar edLocket t,nc tni ci
nu-lauzi se nt orcndu- se.
--S nt eif oar t
edr gucf ace iast a,domnul eTr aver s.
Vocea eical m o ul ui.Fur nict uri
le di n st omac ise
rspndi ser npi epti ng tl
ej.Acel esi mpt omeer auneobi nui te
pentruLaur enHol brook, care, deobi cei,eradeosebi tdecal m.
- Nu- ini ciopr oblem, segr bisoasi gur eTr aver s.
ndemncai ii ncepusst rbat st rzilecapi taleist at ului.
ndr umull orocol i
rcr ucioar e,t rsur iicl rei.Nuexi stani ci
unaut omobi ldincel epecar el evzuse ncl torii
leeir ecent ela
Raleigh.
ipl cu s pr iveasc cl di rea Capi t
ol iul
uidi n di ver sele
unghi ur ipecar eil eof erear ut apecar eoal eseser .
- Cr edcave idecesf i
im ndr idecl direaCapi toliului.
Am ci titdespr eea.Ef oar t
ei mpr esi onant .
Tr aver sz mbi .
-Gr ani tulr oupr ovinedi nt r-
ocar i
er depi atrdel
ngf erma
Locket t .
- Keypoi nt,spuseLaur en,ami ntindu- ic tdem ndr uf usese
Benc nd ipovest isedespr ef er m.
Laur en z mbiacel eiami nt i
r iiTr aver s o pr ivicu coada
ochiul ui.Decit iadeKeypoi nt.Oar et iaici nel ocuiaacol o?
-A imaif ost nTexas, domni oar Hol br ook?
-Nu.Tocmaideaceeaam accept atbucur oasi nvita ialui
Bendeaveniial ocuiunt imp mpr euncuf ami l
ialui .
Cr u asezdr unci nc ndTr aver strasebr uscdeh uri.Avea
sst eacuei ?!ncasadi nCor onado?Saul aKeypoi nt ?Or icar ear
fifostr spunsul ,er adeneconceput .Fat aaceeaer acompl et
i
nocent .Sf innebuni tBenLocket t
?
~10~
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Ieiser di nor aise ndr ept auspr evest .C ndLaur en i


scoaseacel elungidi npl rie, Traver soaver t
iz:
-N- a scoat e-o dac a f i n l ocul dumneavoast r,
domni oar Hol br ook.Soar elenost ruef i
erbint eis- arput eas
var dnsuculst af rumos.
Laur en lascul ti iar anj di nnoupl r i
a,dar iscoase
jacheta.Adi ereauoar pr ovocat demi car eacr ueiircor ea
oarecum pi eleaumed.
Traver sse nt oar sel ag ndur i
lel ui.Slbat i
culacel adi ncr u
reprezent aunmot ivsuf icientpent ruanu ineof emei ecumi nte
subacel aiacoper icuel .
Jar edLocket ter arenumi t nt otst atulpent ruf apt ulcer aun
fustangi uic ipl ceasbeaf oar t
emul t.
Cnder amait nr ,ac i
uni l
el uier aucat al
ogat edr ept nebuni i
de-alet inereii
,dar ,dec nd mpl iniset rei
zecideani ,deveni ser
subiectdebat j
ocur pent rut oat l umea.C ndaveas nceap,
oare,ssecompor t
ecuj udecat ?Nupr eacur nd, ispuse
Traver sposomor t.
Chi arcuol un nur m,Jar edpr ovocaseunmar escandal n
garadi nRosenbur g.El mpr euncual
ic
ivaami cide- aisi ,la
feldenesbui i,seduseser nHar veyHousei ipet recuser
dup- ami azab ndij ucndj ocur idenor oc. ifcuser si m i
t
prezen a nl ocalcompor t
ndu- secani tec i
nit urba i
.Jar edi -a
fcutopr opuner ener uinat unei adi nfetelef ermect oaredel a
Harvey.Fet elecar el ucraupepostdechel neri
e nl an ulde
restaur ant e care ineau de Sant a Fe Rai lroad er au r enumi te
pentrumor alit
at eal or.Dacunbr batvoi asl epr opunceva,
erabi nesf ieocst ori
eiocsu mbr cat nvi devi e.
Cndf atai -
ar espi nspr opuner ea, Jaredadeveni tmaiagr esiv.
Conducer ealocal ul uiar eui ts- larunce nst r
ad, darnu nainte
caJar edsf acpr pddi strug ndmobi l
a,vasel eisi al a
btaiec
ivaconsumat ori.Fusesenevoi edeaseoamenipent ru
a-li
mobi l
iza.
Eh, ispuseTr avers,pr obabi lcer amaibi necf ataaceea
nu t i
ani micdespr eapuct ur ilel uiJar ed Locket t,cci ,f r

ndoi al, s-arfisper iatdemoar te.


~11~
FOCURIASCUNSE

- nt otdeaunaeat tdecal d nsept embr ie? ntrebLaur en

ncer cnds- lat rag nconver sa iepeadmi nist rator ulgrii


.
Aveaoexper i
en deanidezi ledeconver sa i
e nsal onul
soil
orPr at her .DomnulTr aver sf usese dr gucu ea,daro
st
nj eneaf runt eal ui ncruntat inedumer ireacar eiseci teape
faor idec teor iseui t
al aea.Sf if ostchi arat tdedeosebi t
def emei ledi nTexas?
- Da,r spunse el ,li
nitind- o cu z mbet ull uideschi s.De
obicei , pr i
mulv ntput ernicdi nspr enor dsesi mt epel asf r
itull ui
octombr i
e. nmaj oritateaani lor,nsept embr i
eechi armaical d
dect ni uniesaui ul ie.Totat tdecal dei n...?
Fcuopauzsugest i
vieanu ldezamgi .
- Car oli
nadeNor d.Am l ocui t-l ocui esc nCl ayton.Eun
orelnupr eadepar tedeRal eigh.inu,nuet otat tdecal d n
sept embr ie.
-Acol oi -aicunoscutpeBen? nt rebelm natdecur i
ozi tate,
i
arc nd ea ncuvi in,cont inu:ice cut a Ben n Clayt on,
Carol inadeNor d?
Laur en ispusedespr epriet eniadi ntretutor eleeiif ermi er.
-Ti mpdeanidezi leaucor espondat ,dar ,devr eozeceani ,
scrisor i
le ncepuser svi nmair ar .Tot ui ,
nt orc ndu-sedi nt r
-o
clt or i
edeaf acer il aNewYor k, Bens- ahot rtst reacipel a
vechi ull uipr i
et en.
-Dec ndl ocui et icut utor eledumi tal
e?
Oar eer apr eacur i
os?Nuvoi asoj i
gneascini ciunom

ntregl ami ntenul -arf isupr atpeBenLocket t


.Tot ui,ea i
rspunsei medi atif rtimidi tate:
-it at aaf ostpr eot.AbelPr at herer asuper iorullui.Aveam
doispr ezeceanic ndamur i
tt ata.So i
iPr atherm- aul uatat unci
l
aei .
-imama? ntrebTr aver s.
-Aveam t r eianic ndamur i
td ndnat ereunuibi eel,dar
acest aer amor t.
Vocea ise nmui ase deodat iea deveni se g nditoar e.
Traver sobser vc iat i
nseceasulbr opr insl abl uzchi ar
deasupr aumf lt uriiuoar eapi eptul ui.
~12~
Sandr
aBr
own

Mi cabr oer at otce irmsesedel amamaei .Aceast aio


fotogr af ie de nunt a pr inil
orei . ncerca n zadars- i
ami nt eascdecl ipel et riteal tur idef emei aaceeadr gu i
mr un icdi nf ot ogr af i
e, darnu iaduceaami nt eabsol utni mi c.
Laur ennut iani mi cdespr eper sonal i
t ateadedi ncol odeacei
ochit imi zisur prini nf otogr afie. nmoment edet ri
st eesau
cnd ier af oar te dorde mama pe car e nu put ea s i -o
ami nt easc,at i
ngeaceasulcuv rfuldeget elor ,depar cacest
gestarf iaj utat -
osi ntre ncont actcumamaei .Er aunobi ceide
car eLaur ennuer acont ient.
Dupmoar teat iner eisal eso ii,Ger al dHol br ooksededi case
munci it rupisuf let .St udia npr of unzi medogmar eligioasi
doct rinel et eologi ce nceasur i
lec ndnuser veacomuni t ateasau
cndnu ipr egt easl ujbelei nspi rat e.Dac ngr i
ji
r eaf i
iceil ui
czu nsar cinamenaj erei,acest aer aunuldi npr eur il
epecar e
trebui asl epl teascci nevapent rudevot ament ulabsol utf a
deCr istos.Laur ent i
ac, nf elull ui,t atleioi ubeainuo
supr af apt ulconegl ija,deisi m eaacestl ucr u, i-
arf ipl cuto
apr opi eremul tmaimar e,dart iact at leit rial aunni velmul t
mai nal t-asemeniDomnul ui.
Eaer aof atbi necr escut ,t cut il inititc ndst tea n
apr opi ereat atl uiei nt impceacest ast udia nbi bliot ec. nv
sci teascdel aov rstf oar tef raged, i
arcr ileiper sonaj el e
l
ordeveni r
t ovar i ieidej oaciceicr oral ef ceaconf iden e.
Col egi ieide cl as nu pr eau ncl ina is- oi ncl ud pe fata
preot ul ui nj ocur ilel or .Dat oritsi ngur tii,Laur en ncepuse
s-icr eezepr opr iil
edi ver t
isment e.
Cndamur itGer aldHol br ook,Laur enapr oapecni cinui -
a
sim itl ipsa.S- amut at ncasaf ami l
ieiPr atheris- aadapt at
modul uil orde vi a f r s cr
cneasc.Ceidoiso ier au
cumsecadei ,dat or itf aptuluicnuaveaucopi i
,aupr imi t-ocu
bra eledeschi se.Gener ozitateal oramer sp n ntr-acol o nc t
i
-audatl uiLaur enil ec i
idepi an.Aveat alentmuzi cal ,ast fel

nc tpi anuldevenioal tpasi une naf ardel i


ter atur .
Ni meninupl ecadi ncasaso ilorPr atherf r st iec tde
m ndr ier audeea.Nul e nel aseni ciodat ncr eder eainu i
~13~
FOCURIASCUNSE

dezamgi se,n afar de Wi l


liam. C t de nedr eaptf usese
schimbar ealordeat itudinef a
deea!Er anevi novat !
-Domni oarHol brook!spuseEdTr averspent ruat rei
aoar
i
,
nsf rit
,reuis-iat ragatenia.
-Vr ogsmi er t
a i
,domnul eTr avers.Ce-aispus? ntreb
ear oinddat ori
tfapt uluicosur pr
inseseat tdecuf undatn
gnduri.
-Am ntrebatdac nu vr eis beipu i
n ap,spuse el ,
sconddesubbanchet opl oscpecar eoumpl use naintedea
plecadi ngar .
- Ah,da,mul umesc,zi seeal undpl osca.Fi indcnumai
buseni ciodatdinaaceva, sesi m iasemeniunuipi oniercnd
l
uo nghi i
tur.
Chiar n cl i
pa aceea,cr uat recu peste o ad ncitura
drumul uiipu i
nap iczupebl uz. it
ersebr biair
se
amuzat .Darvesel i
a ifucur mat nmoment ulncar ebr batul
dinspat egemui njurf uri
os.
-Dobi tocule!

~14~
Sandr
aBr
own

Capi
tol
ul2

Lauren ntoar secapulat tdebr usc,


nc todur ug tul.Jar ed i
tr
ase pl r ia imaimul tpest ef a i ischi mb pozi ia,
cont ract
ndu- iir elax ndu- imuchi ide exi sten a cr ora
Laur enhabarnuavea.Dar ,adevr uler acni cinumaivzuse
vreodat unast feldet r up.Mi cr i
lel uileneeer aur evol t
t oare
darit ulbur toar e, nacel ait i
mp.Er acaicum arf iprivitun
zeupg ncar eer af rumoschi ari ndecder ealui.
Seui t
l aEdTr aver s, car er oidef urie.
- mi par er u,domni oar Hol brook. Nu da at en i
e
vocabul ar ului.E. .
.
- Darce- ap it?lnt rerupseea, t
em ndu-secf iulluiBenar
fiput utfigr avbol nav.
-. .
.separ ecaf cut -ol atasear .
Dndu- iseamacnu nelesese, iexpl i
c.Tr ebui asaf l
e
odat i-odat deJar ed.
- Abutpr eamul t, nuvezi ?spuseelr epede.
- S- a mbt at ?nt rebeaneveni ndu- iscread.Emahmur ?
Seui t ngr ozitl aacelom ntins.Ni ciodat nceidouzeci
deaniaiei nuvzuseunom beat .Unphr eldesher ryivi nde
Ziua Recunot ineiide Cr ciun er at otal cool ulcar e se
consuma ncasapar ohi al.
Sepr eacJar ed ipi erdusedi nnoucunot inaisf orieli
uoar eseauzeaudesubpl r i
aneagr .
- Da.Ter ogsnu- ifacigr i
ji,domni oarHol brook.Se

nt
mpl mer eu.Avem nor occn- apuser i
fulm napeelca
s-lducl a nchi soar e.Di nf er i
cireai zbutitsaj ungp n n
biroulmeuazi -
dimi nea devr emeim- ar ugatst eat eptis
vducpeam ndoil aCor onado.i -api erdutcunot inacuvr eo
or naintessoset idumneat a.
- Benmi -
aspusc,dacnupoat eveniel nsuil aAust in,
vat ri
mi tepeal tcineva. mi nchi puicJar edn- af ostpr ea ncntat

~15~
FOCURIASCUNSE

deaceast mi si une, ziseLaur en.


- I ndi fer entdacaf ost nc ntatsaunu, tiact rebuies- i
ascul tet at l. nci udaconf lictel ordi ntreei ,Jar ed ir espect
tatl.
Laur enst rmbdi nnasc ndar uncoul timpr i
virepest e
umr .
-Impr esi ameaecJar edLocket tnupr ear espect peni meni
ini mic.
EdTr aver sr seuoriocol icugr i
jc tevagr opi.
-Probabi lcaidr eptate, domni oar Hol brook.
Czuapoidi nnoupeg ndur iiconver sa ial ncezi .Laur en
studiepei saj uldi njur .
Ben ispusesecl ocuia ntr-or egi unedel ur oas, iareavedea
foar t
ebi neacestl ucr u.Erau nconj ur aidedeal ur inupr ea nalte,
acoper i
tecui arbcar edeveneamar oni enacel ezi ledesf ri
tde
var. icont inuaudr umull avestdeAust ini ,npar teadr eapt ,
un r ulest rj uitde chi par oier pui a veselpe acelpm nt
st
ncos.Vi telept eaupr i
ntrecedr i.
Pemsur cesoar el
eal unecaspr eliniaor izont ului,devenea
imaical d.Laur ensi measudoar eai roi
ndu- ipepi eleacapul ui.
Ctdemul tarf ivr uts- iscoat pl riais- il asepr ulliber
pent ruaf im ng i
atdeadi ereasl abav nt
ului.
Pruleif usese cal varulf i
ecr eimenaj er e car el ucrase
pent ru Ger ald Hol br ook.Spl area ipi eptnar ea l uif useser
mot i
veper manent edemor mi el i
.DoamnaDor ot heaHar ri
s,o
vduvf oar tesever ,car el ef usesemenaj er dec ndLaur en
aveaapt eaniip nl amoar teat atluiei ,spusesemer euc
aveaprpent ruasecopi i
.nf iecar edi minea , ifceacoziat t
dest r
ns mpl etit
e, nctochi il uiLaur enseumpl eaudel acrimi .
Tat leispuneacauncompl iment ,cevacef ceaf oart erar,c
acelprdesinegr uer acaalmameiei .Cuacestl ucr use
mndr eaLaur en nt ain.
Binen elescni cinusepuneapr obl emas- ilasepr ulliber
acum.Nus- arf icuveni tsaj ungl af ami li
aLocket tf rpl rie,
pent ruanumaivor bidepr ull i
ber .
Se ui t dezamgi tla st ratulf in de pr afde pe f ust a ei
~16~
Sandr
aBr
own

bleumar inise ngr ozic ndseg ndic tdene ngr ij


itaveas
parc ndvaaj ungel adest i
na i
e.Cevacr edeBen?Oar eavea
s-ifi
er ui necueaivar egr etai nvitaiaf cut?Laur envoi aat t
demul tsf acoi mpr esi ebunf ami l
iei.
iscut urc tput uhai nele,darpr af ulseaezl al ociea
oftresemnat .
-Eozoncam uscat icumul tpr af.Pr esupuncBena
l
udat -of oar temul tdact e-aconvi nssl aideal urilever zidin
CarolinadeNor dcasvi ip nai ci.
Cur iozi tatea l ui n pr ivina vi i
toruluist atutall uiLaur en
Holbrook ncasaf ami lieiLocket tnuf usese ncsat isfcut .
Laur enr
se.
- nt r-adevr ,mi -apovest itomul imedel ucrur idespr eTexas
inus ntdezamgi t.Emi nunat .
-C tosst aiai ci?o ntrebelneput ndu- seab i
ne.
Ea if erirepedepr ivireai i ncletpumni i
.
-Nu. ..nut iusi gur ,zi seeai ,reui nds- ist pneasc
neli
nit ea,cont inu:Vadepi ndededoamnaLocket t.O sf i
u
secretar adumneaei .
EdTr aver sf uc tpe- aiciscad.Ol iviaLocket tcusecr etar?
Ce ncer ca, oar e, bt r
nulBen?
nghi insec nai ntedeao ntreba:
-Def apt ,
ceosf acipent r uea?
-Mul ianimi -am aj utatt utor i
ic ndaveaui nvi tai.Bens- a
gnditcaput easoscut escpedoamnaLocket tdec tevadi n
acestesar cini.Deexempl u,opotaj utasscr iecor esponden a.
Durataeder i
imel evadepi ndedec tdebi neosne n el
egem i
dacosmpl acsaunu.
n t imp ce- i vor bea despr e vi i
tor ul ei, ncer ca s se
obinui ascea nsicug ndul .
Biataf at ,ispuseTr aver s.Dacer avor bacaOl ivi
eiLocket t
s-ipl ac s ai b n cas o f at t nr if rumoas,at unci
i
nocent aLaur enHol br ookaveasseur ce npr imult r
encar e
plecadi nAust i
n nor i
cedi rec i
e.Ol i
viaput eas nghe echi ari
unbr batcuochi ieiver ziir ecidecr eol.Ceaveas- ifac,
oare,acel eisr manef et e?
~17~
FOCURIASCUNSE

Laur ensesi znedumer ireal uiTr aver si ntuitiv,cciacel ai


l
ucr u lsi m i
seieac ndauzi seof er tal uiBen.Of cuseat
tde
subi tinuf usesedel ocpr egt itpent ruaaceva.
Ser vi ser l acinf ri
pt ur demi elpr eaar sil egumel i
psite
deor icegust ,m ncar eat ipicbuct rieiso il
orPr ather.Laur en
eradur er osdecont ientdem ncr urilenepl cut epecar eSybi ll
Prat herl eser veai nvitailor.Sebucur cBengol isef arfur i
a, dei
refuzpol iti
cossiseumpl edi nnou.
Dupci n,Laur enc nt lapi anpent ruoaspe ila ndemnur il
e
i
nsi st ent eal et utoril
orei .Reci talulaf ostf oar tebi nepr imi t,dar ,
cadeobi cei ,l
audel eexager ateal eso il
orPr atherost
njeni r.
Di n pcat e,gust ulvest i
ment arall uiSybi lse ext indea i
asupr acasei .Pr i
nci piuleier a: Maimul t,maibi ne. Casaer a

ntunecoasiagl omer at di ncauzabr ocar turiloricat i


felei.
Candel abr el eivazel edi nst icldecul oar e nchi s ntunecaui
maimul t,i art apet ulcu un i mpr i
meu f oar temar eicovor ul
mar on cu f lorimar ipor tocal iiigal bene se l upt au pent ru
supr ema ie.
So iapast or uluiz mbiaf ect at c ndAbel il udt randaf irii
minuna i.Spr e mar ea l orsur pr inder e,bucur ial uiLaur en i
supr ar eal uiWi ll
iam Kel ler,Benor ugpeLaur ens- iarat eacea
grdi nnemai pomeni t.
Sear af usesecal digr eier ic ntauc ndLaur en lcondusepe
Ben nmi cagr di ndet randaf iri,aez ndu- sepeobancf oarte
j
oas.
- Cr et eitrandaf i
rinTexas, domnul eLocket t?
- Bi ne neles.Am un gr di narmexi can car ear egr ij
de
terenuldi nj urulcaseidi nCor onadoicr eteni tet randaf i
rimul t
maif rumoiimaimar idec tceiail uiSybi l.Cr edcsecr etullui
ebl egar uldecal .
Ur munmomentdet cer e,cciLaur ennut iacer eac i
ear
fitrebui tsai b.Apoi ncepur sr dam ndoideodat .Ease
must rpent ruf aptulc iaccept aseaceai mpol it
e e,dar ,ntr-
un
fel
, nupr easai bi mpor tan .
-Vmul umesccm- a iinvi tatai cicudumneavoast r, spuse
ea.AbeliSybi lfacdeobi ceit otposi bi l
ulsml asesi ngur cu
~18~
Sandr
aBr
own

Wi l
liam.
-it unuvr eisr m isingur cuWi ll
iam?
-Nu, nuvr eau, spuseeacut remur ndu- se.
Wi lliam Kel lerer aunpr eotser i
os,det reizeciici ncideani ,
car eaccept asespr edice ntr-obi ser icu depel ngor aul
Clayt on.Laur en si m ea c,sub masca l uide pi oeni e,er a
ambi ios ivi clean, ncer ca t ott impuls- li mpresi oneze pe
episcop cu mor al i
tatea l uif r cusuricu dr agost ea l ui
nemr gi nitf adeomeni re.
Spr e mar ea dezamgi rea l ui Laur en,so i
i Pr at her l
consi der auuncandi datexcel entcar esoscapedef ecior i
e. i
l
udaucal i
til
el uiWi ll
iam decelpu int reior ipeziieaer a
obligat s nghit acel edozel af elcum,uneor i,et iobl i
gats

nghi iunmedi camentnepl cutl aor ef ixe.


Laur enaveadoaroi deevagdespr ei ntimiti
lepecar el e
presupunea csni cia,darnumaii deea de a mpr iaceeai
camer cupr eot ulof ceas- i nchi pui ecf ecior iaer ade
pref eratdec ts- ipet reacovi a nt reagal turideWi lli
am
Kel l
er .
Deobi cei,impr esiil
el uiLaur en nl egt urcuoameni ier au
bune,dardescoper ic Wi li
iam nu avea un f i
zic at rgt or,
i
nt elect ual ,er apl ict i
sitoriaveaveder i ngust e.Per soanal ui i
provocar epul sie.Aveaunobi ceiext r em desupr tordeanu
privi nochioper soanat uncic nd ivor bea,cidea- ifixa
piept ul.Er a nal t,cuumer i
ipu inadui ,iaveaunprmoal e,
dreptibl ondcar e icdeamer eupest eochi ii
ncolor iadumbr i
i
deni tegenel af eldei ncolor e.Nasuler aceamaipr oemi nent i
mainef ericitt rst ur a chi pul uisu.Laur en gsea c
semnaf oar temul tcuI chabodCr ane,per sonaj ulprinci palall ui
Washi ngt onI rving nLegendavi iador mi te.
BenLocket tiat rsesedi nnouat en i
adr egndu-igl asul ,dar
numaiadusevor badespr eWi lli
am.
-Cucet eocupi ,domni oar Hol br ook?o nt
rebaseel ,n
schi mb,iLaur en lpr i
viseul uit.Cuce- if acidel ucr upe- aici ?
Et ifer icit?
Ea irspunsecusi ncer i
tat e:
~19~
FOCURIASCUNSE

-So iiPr athers ntni teoamenif oar tebuniiaf ostdr gu


dinpar teal orcm- aul uat ngr ij
dupmoar teat atei.Nuaveam
nicior ud.Tat aaveaomi cr ent pecar eein- auvr utso
primeascpent rua- miacoper ichel t
uiel i
le.Sper asem spr edau
muzi casaus- invpecopi ili
ter aturigr amat icpent rua- mi
ctigasi ngur exi st en a,dareir espingcat egor ici deeadea
l
ucr a naf aracasei .
-Decil e ntr ei
ioaspe i
i.Ast a-itot ?o nt rebeli iz mbi
binevoi tor,aaceanusesi m ijignit.
-Nu e o ndel et nicire pr ea ambi ioas,nu?spuse ea cu
tri
st ee.Ah,maif ac munc de car i
tatel a bi seric,st au la
cpt
iulbol navi lor,l eaj utpepr oaspet elemamecugospodr i
a
pnsemaipunpepi cioar e.C ntl aor g nt impulsl ujbel orde
dumi nici inor el acoal adedumi nicpent rucopi i.
Chi ari nur echi leei ,acel eocupa iipr eau ngr ozitorde
plictisitoar e.
-Te- aig ndi tvr eodat saiof ami li
eat a?St ecst or eti
?
o ntrebelf i
x nd- ocuni teochial bat ript runzt ori.
-. ..nupr ea, spuseeacut imi ditatei if eriprivirea.
- Or idec teor i ncer csi auohot rreiscl ar i
ficunel e
l
ucr ur i,cl rescpel iniec t
evazi lesi ngur .mipl acesnuam
altcompani edec tcal uliMamaNat ur.
- Scl riipel inie? ntrebeacuuni nt eresdi nce nce
maimar e.
- Da.Cl r im de- al ungulgar durilorpent ruavedeadac
n-auf ostdobor tesaudi struse.Uneor i
,ho i
idevi tencear cs
fureani mal elef ami lieiLocket tsaupoat evr eunf ermiercar ear e
oivr easil eadapef r spl teasciat uncioi lesesi mtca
acaspepr opr iet at
eaLocket t.
Laur en iinur suf lar eamul tt i
mp.
-Par e.... ..foar tef rumos, primitiv,
nc nt tor.Nut iucar e
arf icuv ntulpot rivi
t.
-Toat elaunl oc,spuseelpr i
vindu- iocl ip nchei et ur
il
e
deget elor ,dupcar eo nt reb:Ce- arf isvi inTexascumi ne?
Tonull uinumaier agl umecamaidevr eme,c ndf cuse
ofer taaceea npubl ic.
~20~
Sandr
aBr
own

- Mt achi naitott impul nlegt urcuast a, domnul eLocket t,


spuseeacuouoar ndoi alngl as.
- Del oc,domni oar Hol brook.S ntdoaruncowboybt rn
carenu cr ede n pi er derea det imp it r
ecedi r ectl a mi ezul
problemei .
-Darcesf ac nTexas?
Atuncicr ezusecer aoi mposi bil
itatespor neasc ntr-o
asemeneaavent ur, darnuvoi sesr enun elai dee.
-So iameaef oar t
ei mpl i
cat nvi a asoci alaor aul ui
Coronado.Acol olocui m.Seaf ll aoj umt at edezidi st an de
Austin.Eus ntor ilaKeypoi nt,or ipl ecatcudi verseaf acer i,aa
c nu poat e cont a mer eu pe mi ne.Cr ed c o per soan ca
dumneat ai -ar f ide mar e aj utor .Aimul t exper i
en n
organizar eaeveni ment elorsoci ale.t i
isc n if oartef r
umos,
eticiti
t,l ucr uricar e i
-arput eapr indef oartebi ne.Te- aiput ea
ocupadecor esponden ial techest iidinast ea.Cezi ci?
Cndvzuceanur spunde, cont i
nu:
-Si gur ,i-am of eriunsal ari
uiocamer ncas.Fi ulmeunu
ecst or i
t,aacavem f oar t
emul tspa iucar esper m c, ntr-o
bunzi ,vaf iocupatdenepo i
.
Tcuunmoment ndel ungat ,iarc ndLaur en lpr ivi,vzuc
seui taabsentl at ufeledet r
andaf iri.Dupaceeapr usse
dezmet iceascicont i
nu:
-Avr east esi m icaunal tmembr ualf ami li
ei.nni ciun
cazn- aificonsi derat oser vit
oar e, spuseelz mbi nd.
-Bi ne,darde ce mispune imi e? S ntsi gur c,dac
doamnaLocket tarf idor itosecr etar , i-
arf iput utgsi .
Elridicdi numer i.
-ieus ntsigurci -arfigsi t,darpr obabi lcnui -
at r ecut
nici
odat pr i
ncapscaut e.Euam mot i
vel emel es- of ac, dar
i
garantezcs ntirepr oabi l
e. iz mbiiochi i ili
cr i
r cadou
l
umi nieal bst ruisubspr ncenel eal bei stufoase.
-Domnul eLocket t,apr eciezf oar temul tfapt ulcmpl cei
destuldemul tnctsmi nvitai,darl oculmeuest eai ci,spuse
Lauren.Ai ciarf ivrutt at lmeusst au.
-Tat ltuemor t,iart uet invi a,darosmor iit udac
~21~
FOCURIASCUNSE

nupl ecideai cic tmair epede.


Laur enf useseul uitc ndelser idicasebr usc, apr oapef uri
os,
isedepr tasecuc
ivapai .C ndse ntoar se,opr i
vii ivorbi
cumaimul tbl nde e.
- Laur en,spuseelieaobser vc ifolosi senumel emi c,
tiu c aif ost nv at s ascul if r s cr cnet i
.Aiun
sentimentaldat orieide- adr ept uladmi rabil.Darcr edcsesi zez

nt ineonel inite,odor in ext r


aor dinardevi a,car et rebuie
l
sat liber .Aiput easvi isst aiovr emei ,dacl ucr uril
enu
mer gbi nesaudacnu- ivapl ceaf ami liaLocket t, voiaveagr i
j
sf i
itri
mi s napoii medi at.Fr snepur tm pi c.
Cepr oast f usesecnu- iaccept asei nvitaiachi arat unci!n
schimb, cucapulpl ecat ,irspunsese ncet :
- Domnul e Locket t, i nvita i
a dumneavoast r est e
copleitoar eimi -arf acemar epl cer esoaccept ,darnupot
plecani ci eri.Am f ost nv at , ntr-adevr ,ceest esent imentul
dator i
eiialr esponsabi l
itii.Pr obabi lcvoit ri mpr euncu
soiiPr atherp nc ndacet iavormur i.Depi nddemi ne.I-a
distrugedacapl eca.
-ice- osse nt
mpl ecut inec ndorsmoar ? ncazcnu
veifimr itatcuWi l
li
am saucuunal tulcael ,cesevaal egede
ti
ne?
- S ntsi gur corsai bgr i
jsf acunel ear anjament en
ceeacempr ivet e.
Elof t pr of und i ,vz ndu- lat tdedezamgi t
,Laur en fu
aproapet entat sser zg ndeasc.Elpr uses- if ipierdut
puindi nvi t
alitate.Deodat ,v rstaiseput eaci tif oart
ebi nepe
chipi nochi ial bat r
isesi m eaor ugmi nt emut .
-Dacvaexi stavr eodat ceamaimi cposi bili
tatest e
rzgndet i
,t elegr afiaz-mii medi at.Vor besc f oart
e ser i
os.
Invit
aiar m neval abil.
-Vmul umesc,domnul eLocket t,spuseeapol it
icoasi ,
fii
ndcvoi acaels neleag, adug:Nuvr eausf i
ucaei .
Fusese ngr ozitdeacel ecuvi nt e.
-Nu, nuvr eaus. .
.
- nelegf oar tebi necevr eisspui ,domni oar Hol brook.
~22~
Sandr
aBr
own

Sntsi gurcaif oar tepu i


neg ndur inepl cut e, daraivr easai
unor i
zontmail argdec tei ,nu- iaa?
-Exact .Ast a ncer cam sspun.
-Nuui ta,dact eveir zg ndivr eodat ...spuseeldi nnou n
oapt c ndse nt orceau ncas.
Soar elear uncasul ief ierbin iasupr acr u ei.Laurendevenea
din ce n cemaiepui zat .Muchi ispat el uiiaiumer il
oro
dur eaudat or i
tf apt ul
uict rebui asst eat ott i
mpuldr eaptpe
banchet ai ncomoddepi ele.Deibuseapdenenumr ateor i
,

isi m eag t
lejulp rj
olit,i arpr afuloacoper eadi ncapp n-n
picioar e.Tocmaic ndaj unsesescr eadcnuaveausmai
ajungni ciodat l adest ina i
e,EdTr aver sf cuunsemndi ncap
ispuse:
- Cor onado.
Cr u aaj unse nvrfulunuideal ,deundeLaur enput usvad

nt reagapanor amaor aul ui ncar elocui aBenat uncic ndnu


seaf lal af erm. nt i
mpcecai icobor audeal ulmair epede,ea

nt rebcur ioas:
- C ioamenil ocui escai ci?
- Ummmm, vreot reimi i,spuseTr aver s.
- ic tdedepar tes ntem def er m?DeKeypoi nt
?
- Lavr eot reior espr evest .
Dezamgi real uiLaur enf ucompensat dei nteresulfade
Cor onado,peacr uistr adpr i
nci palmer geauacum.Obser v
coameni idepest radr ecunot eau cal ull egat n spat ele
cr u ei.Uni iuot eau nt reei ,darLaur en iignor at
tpebr batul
dinspat eleeic tipeceicar ef ceauspecul aiinlegturcu
star eaacest uia.
Si ngur ulei eler aacum dea- lrevedeapeBenideao
cunoat epedoamnaLocket t.Anal i
zndu-isent iment el
epent ru
acelom car eaj unseses nsemneat
tdemul tpent r
uea ntr-
un
i
nt er valdet i
mpat
tdescur t
,aj unsel aconcl uziacBenLocket t
repr ezent at atlpecar enu- lavuseseni ciodat ,Eler avesel ,n
ti
mpcet at leif usesesever ;eler asol idir obust ,nt i
mpce
past or ulf usesesl abinupr eaput ernic;eler acal d,nt i
mpce
Ger al dHol brookf useser ezer vat ,chiarif adepr opria-
if ii
c.
~23~
FOCURIASCUNSE

Vocea j oas a l uiBen it er i


bi lulsu si malumor ul uio
atrseser peLaur encar eacum ar deadener bdar es-lvad n
element ull ui.
Traver sm ncr u apeoal eel ar g,st rjui tdecopaci ,car e
sef ceaspr esuddi ncent rulor aul ui.Pr intrecopaci ,Laur enzr i
casacumul tnai ntecadomnulTr aver ssi ntr epeal ee.
Casaer aocapodoper acel uicar eoconst ruise.Er a nst i
l
victor i
an,darnuext r
em de ncr cat ,av nddoarmi ni
mum de
ornament e.O bal ustr
adsub i
r e,darsol id,scot ea nevi den
veranda car e nconj ur at reil at urial e casei .Pe f i
ecar e di n
colur il
e de l a et ajse af l
au camer e ci rcul are mpodobi te cu
cupol e.Fer estrel e nalte,c tet reidef i
ecar epar teaui idel a
i
nt r
ar e,er au acoper i
te de obl oane cr mi ziicar e cont rast au
super bcucul oar eacr em acasei .Uadel ai ntr areer avopsi tn
acel aimar onr ocatier a ncadr at deghi vececumucat e.
Sfritulver iinuof i
li
sepet uni i
leit randaf i
riicar ese nti
ndeau n
toatspl endoar eal or nf aaver andei .Iar badedi ncolodegar dul
def ierer a ncver deit unsper fect .
-C tedemi nunat , opt iLaur enui tndu- sel acascur espect .
Ctevacl iper masepel ocbucur ndu- sedef apt ulc,nsf r
i t
,
ajunseseacasl aBen.
Traver scobor depecapr iseduse nspat elecruei .Lu
bagaj elel uiLaur enpun ndu- l
epeal eeacar educeaspr etr eptel e
dinf aai nt rrii,dupcar ese nt oar sei ,f r ni ciunpi cde
politee,
lnghi ont ipeJar edLocket tcupumnul .
-Hai ,
Jar ed, trezet e-te.Am aj unsacas.
Laur enabi aauzimor mi tuldenemul umi rede
subpl ri
aceaneagr .Bucur iapecar eosi m il aveder eacasei

if u ntrerupt deEdTr aver scar evenisoaj utescoboar e.Se


aranj apoic tput umaibi ne,
iscut ur pu i
npr afuldeper ochi e
itocmaivoi as- ipunj achet a, c ndi ndi viduldi ncr u
cobor
,

nsf ri
t .
Seopr isseui t
el af pt uraaceeai fonat ,car eser ezema
del atur acr uei, chinuindu- ses- i incapulpeumer i
.
Nite deget e ner bdt oaret recur pr i
n pr ulcast aniu
decol or atdesoar ececdea r ebel n dezor dine.Br bat ulse
~24~
Sandr
aBr
own

ncovoi ei ispr i
ji
nim inilepegenunchi ,trg nddec tevaor i
aernpi ept .Laur enset emeacanucumvas- lvadvr snd, dar
else ndr ept ncet.Abi aat uncise ntoar seiovzupet nra
care lpr iveaf ascinat .
Umbr eledi nce ncemai ntunecat eal eami ezeio mpi edicar
s-ivadchi pulf oartebi ne.Bnuicochi iier audeocul oar e

nchi s, darf apt ulcelcl ipea ntr-unapent r


ua- ilimpezipr ivir
ea,
nuol ss- ideaseamacuexact i
tate.
Unz mbetsar cast ic iapr u ncol ulgur iisenzual e,dup
care i ndr ept umer i
i nc pu in i f cu c i
va pai

mpl et i
ci ndu- se,opr indu- se l a maipu in de un met ru de ea.
Laurener af asci natdeacelom idepur tar eal uingrozitoar e,
negsi ndput ereadeasedepr t
adeel .
Jar ed idusem na npar teast
ngapi ept ului,career agol
subcmaadeschei atibol bor osi:
-Ser vitor uldumi t
al e,domni oar Ho. ..Ho. ..Hol brook.
Se apl ec di n nou,de dat a aceast a ncer cnd s f ac o
plecci unepol iti
coas,darexecut areaacel uigest ldepii ,
spregr oazal uiLaur en, cont inusseapl ece, p ncndseag
cuam ndoum i
nil
edemi j
loculeiisespr i
jinidepi eptuleicas
nucad.Eai cningrozi tvz ndcel igsi seopozi
iepecar e
oconsi der aaf iidealpent ruodi hn.Capulisecui brintres ni
ielof tmul umi t
,f rst ieif rs- ipesedepr i
velitea
caraghi oaspecar eoof erea.I nstinctiv, minile ialunecar spr e
spatel eei ,trg nd-omaiapr oape.
Ea isi m ear suf lareaf ierbintepepi elepr inp nzasub i
rea
bluzei.Pent ruocl i
p,c ndel icuf undnasul nad ncitura
dintres ni ,Laur enavuosenza iedel ei n.imaiul uit
oar eer a
dorinaput ernicdea- iinecapulacol o,
nt res ni.
Deodat ,domnulTr aver socol icr uai lapucf ur i
osde
umer i,despr inzndu-ldeea.
-Locket t!Dumnezeul emar e, etiunani mal i
Ani mal ulpr usnubagedeseami nsul taisel ipidinnou
decr u, cuunz mbetst upidpef a.
Unmexi canveni nf ugdi nspat elecaseipent r uadaom n
deaj ut ori , naceeaicl ip,uadel ai ntraresedeschi seio
~25~
FOCURIASCUNSE

femei eieipever and.


LuiLaur en ivui acapul .Lucr uril
ese nt mpl aupr ear epede.Ar
fivr uts- lvadpeBen,f iindconvi nscpr ezen aluiarf iof erit
maimul tnor mal itateacel eisi tuaii. ipuser epedej achet a

nai nt edeapor nispr ef emei acar eopr i


veadepever and.
Laur enz mbicut imi ditat eit recudepoar t
adef ier ,nai ntnd
peal ee.Seopr inf a apr i
meit r
ept eiseui tlaf emei e.I nst inct ul

ispuneasnumaiavanseze.Si luet aaceeapr eaosant inel


careapr aundomeni uabsol uti nterzis.
-DoamnLocket t,am adus- o...
-Da,mul umesc,domnul e Tr aver s,spuse Ol ivia Locket t

ntrer upndu- lcusever i


tat e.Po igsiunl ocundes nnopt ezi ?
Tevom despgubi ,bine n eles, pent rut i
mpulider anj uldumi tale.
EdTr aver ser aexpedi atit iaacestl ucr u,ncuviin nt cer e,
darnupl ecdel ngLaur en.
-Et idomni oar aHol br ook, spuseOl ivia.
Af i
rma iaer ascur t, iarLaur en ir spunsel af el.
-Da, Laur enHol br ook.
Femei apr easf iedoarpu inmai nal tdec tLaur en.Pr uli
eranegr u,dar nj urulf e eincr un ise ntr-unmodext rem de
atrgt or.Er a sub ire,darse inea dr eapt ir igi d.Acea
ati
tudi nesever of ceaspar mai nal tdec tera nr eal it
at e.
Chipul ier aner idat ,iart enulmsl iniu.Nu iputeavedeacul oar ea
ochi lordi ncauzal umi niisl abe, darLaur ener acont ient nmod
foar tenepl cutdepr ivi r
eal ordevul tur.
Pur t
aor ochi ever dedi nt r
-unmat erialt areinus- arf ipot rivit
deloccar act er uluieidacarf iavutceamaimr unt cut ,vr eo
scamsauvr eundef ectc tdemi ccar es- ist r
iceper f ec i
unea.
Dat or i
tf apt uluicaspect uleier aat tder vit,Laur ensesi m i
extrem de dezavant aj at.Pe chi pulf emei inu se ci tea ni ci
aprobar e, nicidezapr obar ef ademusaf ir.
-Eus ntOl iviaLocket t.Pr esupuncaiavutocl t or i
el ipsit
denepl cer i.
Nuat ept ni ciunr spuns, cicont inupeacel ait onsever :
-Cr ed c s- arput ea s f if cutacestdr um n zadar ,
domni oar Hol brook.Nu- mipot nchi puidel oc ce- af ost n
~26~
Sandr
aBr
own

mi nteaso uluimeuc ndt e-ainvi t


atai ci.
Laur enf uui mi tdevor beleaspr eal eOlivieiLocket t.Undeer a
Ben?Er al impedecdoamnaLocket toat ept ase.At unci ,dece
aceaost i
litate?
-S nt .
..s ntsi gurc, dacosst m cut oiidevor b, Beno
svexpl ice...
-Jar ed e bi ne,Pepe? ntreb Ol i
via pe un t on i mper i
os,

nt rerupnd- opeLaur en.


-S ,seor a Locket t,spusecelcar esr i
se n aj utorullui
Jar edicar e nc lmaisus ineapeacest a.
-Bnui esccs- a mbt atzdr avnasear ,spuseOl ivi
ai
Laur enavui mpr esiacvedeoumbr dez mbetpebuzel eei,
dupcar edi spr uieaf usi gurc iimagi nasedoar .
Cemams- arf ibucur ats- ivadf i
ulntr-unasemeneahal ?
Cont inu ndsoi gnor epeLaur en,Ol ivi
aiseadr esdi nnou
l
uiPepe:
-Du- lngr aj dif -lsset rezeasc.
Tonuleier acaust ic.
-Domni oar Hol brook,o s t rimi tpeci neva s-
iaduc
bagaj ele.
Laur enbnuicaceeaaveasf iesi ngurai nvitaiedeai ntra

ncaspecar eaveasopr imeasc.Undesf if ostBen-l a


Keypoi nt?Deceopr siseast f
el?
ir i
di cuorf ustaiur ct rept el
ep naj unsel aacel ai
nivelcuOl ivia.Aceast aopr ivicur ceal iopr esim ir
esumbr i
secui br inst omacl uiLaur en.
Gsi ,ns, cur ajul deaspune:
- Dac- lve ichemapedomnulLocket t
,sntsi gur c. ..
- Est ei mposi bi
l,domni oar Hol brook.So ulmeuamur i
t
azidi mi nea devr eme.

~27~
FOCURIASCUNSE

Capi
tol
ul3

Laur en r mase mut de ui mi re.Oar e Ol ivia Locket ter a


nebun?Chi pulacel aaristocraticnut rdani ciunf eldeemo i
e.
-Ei mposi bil,ngimLaur en.
-Mt em cest eadevr at,domni oarHol brook.Nus- a
sim i
tbi nedec t
vat imp.C nds- a ntorsdel aNew Yor k,mi -a
spuscf usesel aunmedi cspeci al i
zat nbolidei nim.
Fcupauzocl ipiseui tspr ef iuleicar e,totsus inutde
Pepe, dispr eapedupcol ulcasei .
-Asear ,BeniJar eds- aucer tat.Dupce- apl ecatJar ed,
Benaf cutocr iz.Azi-diminea amur i
t,spuseea.
Ochi iluiLaur enseumpl urdel acr i
mi .
- mipar er u, spuseea.
Acum ceaveasf ac?
-N- am t iutni mi cdeboal al ui.Vr ogsmcr ede i,doamn
Locket t.
Oliviaopr ivist ruit
oriapoi ispusepeacel ait onpecar el
folosi sec ndiseadr esasel uiPepe:
-Put em di scut adespreast aaltdat .nurmt oar elect
eva
clipe,si mt e-tec tmaibi ne n camer at a.El ena iva st al a
dispozi
ie.Vat rebuist er ogsst ai nunt r
uc tmaimul tposibil
.
Mi -arf igreusexpl i
cmot ivulpent rucar eteaf l
iai ci.nelegi,nu?
Laur en ncuvi indoar .
ntorcndu- se,seui t
l aEdTr aver s,car er msesel
ng
poar t
,cupl rial apiept.Gur alui ntredeschisiochi imar i
i
trdauui mi reaf adevest eamor iiluiBenLocket t.
-V mul umesc pent ru ajutor ,domnul e Tr aver s.A if ost
ext rem decumsecade, istri
gLaur en.
-Vst auor icndl adispozi i
e,domni oarHol br ook.Daco
svpotaj utavr eodat,nut r
ebui edec ts- mispune i,zise
Tr aver s.
-Mul umesc, mur mur Laur en.

~28~
Sandr
aBr
own

- Doamn Locket t,cu per mi siunea dumneavoast r,voi


anun alumea nl egt urcudecesull uiBe. ..aldomnul uiLocket t.
- nmor m ntar eavaaveal ocpoi m inel aor adou.Aj ut orul
dumi tale est e nt ot deauna apr eci at,domnul e Tr aver s.Ca i
discreiadumi t
al e.
Ultimel e cuvi nte sunar ca o ameni nare. Ed Tr aver s

ncuvi ini ,pun ndu- i pl riapecap, se ntoarsel acr u.


Laur enour mpeOl ivia ncas.
Impr esi i
lepecar eil ef cu nl egt urcucasal uiBendi n
celec tevapr iviriscur t
epecar e iper mi sesl ear unceer au
foartepl cut e.Unholl ar gcucamer edeopar teideal ta inea
ctlungimeacasei .Scar aseaf l
achi ar ndr ept ului idel aint rare,
i
arsus, laet aj,hol ur il
ese nt i
ndeau nt rei direci
i.
Laur eniOl i
vi aur car, ol uar ndr eapt aiapucar peunhol
l
ung,bi nel umi nat ,cuuipef iecar epar ted nd,pr obabi l
,n
dormi toar e.ncapt ,Ol iviadeschi seoucar e,l af elcat oat
l
emnr iadi ncas,er avopsi t nal b.Laur enour m nunt rui

ir otipr ivir
ilepr incamer a ncar eaveasf iesechest rat n
urmt oar elec t
evazi le.
Eh, dact otesf iunchi s, binecemcarocel ulpl cut ,

ispuseea.Mi ca ncper eer aunadi ncel eci rcul arepecar el e


zrise de af ar,ier af oar tef r
umos mobi l
at .Podeaua er a
dintr-
un l emn pt at ,acoper it dinl oc nl oc de car pet e.O
cuver t
ur di ndant elacoper eapat uldepat rul ocur i
.Tapet ulde
peper eiaveauni mpr imeucuf l
orideungal benpaldef oart e
bungust .nunt ruseaf l
auundul ap,unl avoar ,obi bliotec,un
balansoar ,omasr ot undl
ngacest aioal tmsu l
ngpat .
Floriproaspet eseaf lau nc tevavaze mpr t i
at epr i
ncamer i,
deiper deleleer aut raseacum,Laur ent i
acsoar eledi mi ne i
i
aveasi nunde ncper ea.Ci nevai nten i
onases- ifacopr imir e
frumoas.
-Emi nunat , doamnLocket t.Vmul umesc.
-At uncin- ost eder anjezedacos-
ipet recic tevazi le
aicipndup nmor m nt are.
Laur en arf ivr uts asi stel a nmor m ntar e,darceva di n
atit
udineaf emei i iddu de nelescs- arf iopuscat egor ic
~29~
FOCURIASCUNSE

apar i
ieiluiLaur en.
-Bai a est eacol o, ispuseea ar tndu- io u. n par tea
ceal al
t maie o u,darest e ncui at n per manen .Nu
tr
ebui es- ifacigr i
jict evader anjaci neva.
Saucvoider anjaeupeci neva,
ispuseLaur en.
-Elenavavenii medi ats- iaducci na.Dacveiaveanevoi e
deceva, cer e-iei .Vaf icompl etl adispozi iadumi tal
e.
Ddusi as, darLaur enoopr i
.
-Doamn Locket t
, mipar e nespus de r u pent ru soul
dumneavoast r.Er a...
-Da, o ntrerupseOl i
via.Noapt ebun, domni oar Hol brook.
Laur en se aez n bal ansoari ncerc s anal i
zeze
eveni ment elecar esesuccedaser del asosi r
eaei .
BenLocket tmor t?Nuer aposi bil.Dec tevaspt m niivedea
mer euchi pulbl
nd nf aaochi l
ori iauzeavocear ugnd-osse
ducacol o.Acum eler amor tivi i
toruleii ncer t
.
Abiac ndseaez idduseamac tdeobosi t
er a.Zilele
nesf r
ite inop il
e chi nuitoar e petrecut e nt renur i
,dr umul
anevoi os ipl i
n de pr afdi n Aust i
n p n acol o,omulacel a

ngr ozitor , beatcr i


nt i
mpcet atlluier amor t, iapoi nt
lnirea
cu Ol ivia.Er apr eamul t
.Laur en ir ezemcapuldeper nia
ataat l aspt arulbal ansoar uluiiador mi.
Ot reziovocei nsi stent.Ci neva iat i
ngeabr aul.Pl eac, i
spuseea ng nd.Nuvr eausmt r
ezesc, pent rucs- a nt
mpl at
ceva ngr ozi tor .Nuvr eaus- miami ntesc.
Darnuf ul sat npace.C ndset rezi,vzuceimainegr ii
maiumeziochipecar eint
lnisevr eodat .Cer cet ir estulfeei.
Era ntunecat , netedif rumoas.Z mbet ulerabl ndical d,iar
voceal i
ni t i
toar ei nelegtoar e.
-Bi at a seor it
a.S nteiat tdeobosi t c a iador mi tpe
scaun.icupl ri
apecap!Fr ci n?Fr bai e?El enaosv
ajute,i ?
-El ena?Eus ntLaur en,spuseeaag
ndu- sedeat it
udinea
prietenoasaf eteicadeuncol acdesal var e.
-S nt eiat
tdef r
umoas,seor i
ta.Cr edcosf i
iimai
fr
umoasiosvsi m i
iimaibi nedupobai e.Mducs
~30~
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umpl ucada.Vdezbr ca i,si ?


Elenasedepr tdebal ansoariat unciLaur en ivzubur ta.
Probabi lcsar cinamaiaveapu inp nl atermen.Oar eOl iviao
ascundeapeEl enaof er indu- i-oeicaser vitoare?Fr ndoi al c
star eaei ifceapemembr iifami lieissesi mt st njeniif a de
i
nvi tai
.
Elena nu avea,pr obabi l,maimul tde ai spr ezece sau
apt espr ezeceaniinu pr easo der anjezef apt uldeaf i
vzut cuat
tdepu int imp nai ntedeanat e.S nii,aicr or
sfrcurisevedeauf oar tecl ar ,er auapr oapel af eldemar icabur ta
iat r
naul i
ber isubobl uzal bbr odat .
Seduse nbai el egn ndu- se,spor ovi nd ntr-unamest ecde
engl ezispani ol.Subi ect eledeconver saiepecar el eal egea
seschi mbaul af elder epedecal imbi le.C ndse ntoar se n
dor mi t
orivzucLaur ennusemi case, ocer t.
-Seor i
ta,osser ceascapa,casnumaivor bim de
m ncar e.Hai de i
, lsa i-opeEl enasvaj ute.
Laur enf uocat c ndEl enaor sucii ncepus- ideschei e
nast uriicudeget e ndem nat ice.Arf ivr utsse mpot riveasc,
darer aat tdeobosi t , nc tni cinuput easmaivor beasc.
Elenaodezbr cr epede.
CndLaur enr masedoarcupant aloni idant elai,cor set uli
cmu a, El ena cl t in di n cap i scoase un
it de
dezapr obar e.
-Cor set!is nteiat tdesl ab.Ni cinuput eisr espi rai
,
zi
seeadesf c ndi retur ilei , ncur nd,ar t
icol ulr espect ivse
adugcel orlaltel ucr ur ilapi ci oar elel ui Laur en.
Aceast a ipr i
nse m ini l
e c nd f ata ncer c s- iscoat i
l
enj eriai nti
mii nt rr epede nbai acar eer aar anjatcuacel ai
bungustcador mi t
or ul.Seui tcur ecunot inl acadapl i
ncu
appar fumat ,i nt r
neai ir elaxt rupulepui zat .Ter mi nase
cuspl at uli,tocmaisebucur adepr imel emoment eder elaxar e
dupmul tezile,c ndEl enaddubuzna nunt ru.Laur enr mase
cugur acscat deui mi re, cci ncdel a nceput uladol escen ei
,
nimeninuomaivzusegoal .
-Seor itavr easosplpecap, si?
~31~
FOCURIASCUNSE

-Nu!pr otestLaur en, ncer cndcudi sper aresseacoper e,


i
arc ndvzuexpr esiadej i
gni r
edepechi pulEl enei ,adug
repede:Pots- ofacisi ngur .
-Dardecesof ace ic ndeus ntai ci?spuseEl ena ncntat.
SeorLocket tazi sSaigr ijdedomni oara ,iast af ac.
if cusemnulcr uci ipest epi eptulimensc ndpomenideBen.
El ena ncepusedej asscoat aceledi npr ull uiLaur en, care
nuavunevoi edeni cio ncur ajarepent ruaiser evr sapespat e
pnl abr u.Mexi canacont inusspor ovi e nt impcet urna
car afdupcar af
cuapcal dpecapull uiLaur en. ispl
pr ulf c ndu- iun masajodi hnitor.Laur en isi m iner vii
relax ndu- sesubm i
nilecapabi l
eal eElenei .
-SeorLocket tat ept a at tdemul ts veni
i.Ne- a spus
tutur ordet nraf rumoascar eosst eacunoi .Acer utsf i
e
pregt itcamer a.Aver if i
catel nsuicat otulsf ie nr egul .
nai ntecaLaur ensapucespr otest eze, El enaot raseaf ar
dincad.
Ef ortur il
el uiLaur en deaseacoper ier au zadar ni ce,dar
Elenanupr us- iobser vest
njeneal a.Cul oar eat randaf i
riea
cor pul uieisedat oranumai npar tebi ical de.
Tr ebui aneapr atsschi mbesubi ect ul,pent rucnuseput ea
gndil a Ben acum.Avea s- lpl
ng ntr-un moment de
singur tat e.
-C ndosvi ncopi lul ?o nt r
ebeapeunt onpr ietenos.
-Qui nsabe?zi seEl enar idicnddinumer i.Cndosf iegat a,
osvi n, adugeaz mbi nd.
-So ult ucuceseocup?
-Ah, eunbun vaquer ol af ermaLocket t
. lcheamCar l
os.E
om f oar tebun.
idduochi iexpr esi vipest ecapiLaur enr oii nst inctiv.Nu
voiacaEl enascont inue.
-Nuet rzi
ucasmail ucr ezi?Po ispl ecic ndvr ei.
El enar
sedi nnou.
-Seor ita,eul ocuiescai ci.Car l
osst l af er mieuai ci.Ne

nt
lni m c ndput em acasl amamal uinPuebl o.
Laur ener auluit.
~32~
Sandr
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-Bi ne, darcusi gur an ca ipr efer asave icasavoast ri


slocui impr eun!
-Si ,daram vr easim ncm.Fr bani ,nuput em sf acem
nimic, ziseeachi cot i
nd.
-n eleg, mur mur Laur en, deinupr icepeaabsol utdel oc.
Deocamdat ,nu n elegea ni mi c nl egt ur cu acel inut
necunoscutil ocui tor iisi .
Se nt oar ser ndor mi tor .Elenascoaseocmadenoapt e
din bagaj ull uiLaur en ii -ot rase pe cap.Laur en st tea n
mijl
ocul ncper iisi m i
ndu- sepi erdut ineput incioas, nt imp
ce El ena ar anj a c t
eva vase pe o t av mar e.Ni t e arome
deli
cioasei nundar ncper eac nd El enadescoper ivasel ei
Laurensi m ic- ilasgur aap.Numaim ncase. .
.dec nd?
Elena ipuse nbr aet avapecar eseaf lauof r
ipturexcel ent
fcut,car tofi,sal atidouf eluridep i
ne.Unaer acaochi fl
,
i
arceal al t,pl atir otund,t otalnecunoscut l uiLaur en.Mai
era,deasemenea, iuncast ronelcuf asoleisosder oi i
.
-Ce- iast a? nt r
ebea, ar tndspr ep ine.
-Tor ti
lla.P inedepor umb,
iexpl icEl ena.
Laur enmucpu iniobser vcnupr eaaveani ciungust ,
darEl enaounsecupu inunt ,presr unpr afdesar eior ulca
peo igar .Er adel icioas.
-Tor ti
lla?r epet Laur eniEl ena ncuvi in, btnddi npalme.
Dupaceea, Laur enar t spr ecast ronel ulcuf asole.
-Fr i
jol es, spuseEl ena.Cupi cant e.
Laur en ipi er duse t imi dit
at ea dej a il u o nghi
itur
zdravn,dari medi at , iddu seama c f cuseo gr eeal
i
mens.Gur a iluasef oc! nghi
ir epedecenuput usesscui pe,

ngr ozitcf ceaunl ucr uat tdenedel icat.El enar


deacupof t
,

nctpi ept ulibur ta it resl tau.


-Ap, ngi mLaur enibup nl af undpahar ulpecar ei -
l
aduseEl ena, dupcar emaicer uunul .
ncel edi nur m,f oculsest inse,dargust ovi t
oar edi n
toate cel elal t
e m ncr uri nainte de a mail ua o nghi
itur
seri
oas.Tot ulf udel iciosieagol if iecar evas- naf ar decel
cufr i
joles.
~33~
FOCURIASCUNSE

nci udapr ot est elorl uiLaur en,El ena impl etipr ul ntr-o
coadl ung, dupcar esegr bisdeal aopar t
ecuver turadepe
pat .
-Cul ca i
-vacum, seor ita,iodi hnii-
v.A iavutozigr ea, i?
-Da,af ostozigr ea,spuseeaur cndu-se npat ,iarEl ena
strnset ot ulpet avist inseapoil mpi l
ecugaz.
-Buenasnoches, seor ita,opt ieai einddi ncamer .
-Noapt ebun, Elena.
Laur en icuf undcapul nper n. ncaser al inite,dart ot
auzeani tevoci nbui teinedesl ui tedejos.
-BenLocket t,cum aiput uts- mif aciaaceva? ntrebea n
per nii medi atser ui ndeasemeneag ndur i.
Dupscenel e ngr ozi toar ecr oral ef usesesupus naint e
deapr siCar ol inadeNor d, fora,afec i
uneaicl dural uiBen
fuseser sal var eaei .Sper ases nceapovi anoual turide
fami li
al uiBen.Acum,t oat eacel esper aneer audi struse.Ben
mur i
se.Casa aceea spl endi d pr ea s o nghi t.if emei a
aceear eceif or mi dabi lcar eodomi na?
idduseamacvduval uiBennuar taseni ciceamai
micemo ie.Poat ecOl iviaf ceapar tedinaceioamenicar e i
expr imau dur er ea n si ngur tate. Poat e. G ndulacel a er a
tulburt or.
CeaveasspunJar edLocket tc ndvaaf lademoar tea
tatluisu?Dece,oar e,unbr batcubaniipozi i
ese mbt a
turtisef ceader
s npubl ic?EdTr aversi nsinuasecJar ed
eramer euvzut nt r-oasemeneast are.
Eh,numpr ivet epemi ne,ispuseLaur en nchi z
ndochi i
.
Nuaveasai bde- af acecuel .
Eraf oar te nal t,nu?Arf ivr utt aremul tsui tef iorulcar eo
strbt use ncl i
pa ncar e, m inil
el uiicupr i
nseser mi j
loculi i
mng iaser spat ele.Senza iapecar ei -
opr ovocaseapsar ea
capul uisupes ninuf useset ocmainepl cut.Pr ulluier ade
uncast ani u-deschi s.Oar esoar elelfceasai br eflexeaur iila
felcaacel adepepi ept ?
Laur enset rezi ncet ,dupzeceor edesomn. ncper eaer a
i
nundat der azel esoar eluicar ept rundeaupr indr aper i
il
esub ir
i
~34~
Sandr
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igal bene.
Ddul aopar teat ernut ulisedusel abai e.Dezamgi rea n
l
egt urcumoar teal uiBenii ncer titudi neacupr ivirel aviitor ul
eicont inuausr epr ezi nteopovar pent rumi nteaei .Acum nu
maiput ear m neacol o.i ,cat egor ic,nuseput ea nt oarce n
Car olinadeNor d.
Elenai nt r
chi arcndt ermi ncu mbr cat ul.
-Buenosdi s, seor ita,spuseeavesel .
-Bundi mi nea a,El ena,spuseLaur encont i
nu nds- iper ie
pr ullung, desinegr u.
-A idor mi tbi ne?o ntrebEl ena nt i
nz ndcuver tur apepat ,
apoif cu or dine n camer a aceea i macul at,ud f l
orile i
plant eleiar anj mi culdej unpeaceeait avpecar eiadusese
cinacuosear nur m.
-Da, foar tebi ne, spuseLaur en, nghi i
nd nsecc nd iami nt i
ctevavi se.
Acest eaf useser t ulbur toar e.Our mr eauni tebr bainal i
.
Unuldi neiaveapr ulal bichi pulz mbi toral el uiBen, nt i
mpce
faacel ui laltr m neaacoper it
deopl rieneagr ,darea i
recunot eaf izicul .irmseseext rem debi ne ntipr i
tnmi nte.
Dupcem ncaseat tacuosear nai nt e,nucr edeac iva
maif if oame,darf eli
iledepepenegal bener audel icioase.Bu
caf eauaf ierbint e,deiarf ipr efer atceai .O ntrebcut i
mi ditat e
peEl ena, dac, deacum ncolo, put easbeaceai .
-Ah,i ,i .Mamaebuct reas,spuseeair sec ndvzu
expr esia deui mi redepechi pull uiLaur en.Lucr eaz pent ru
fami liaLocket tncdedi nai ntesmnasceu, OcheamRosa.
-mipar enespusder uct rebui escar itavaast agr eap n
suscas- miaducim ncar ea,dardoamnaLocket tmi -aat ras
aten ia s st au c tmaimul tcu put in n camer nt i
mpul
pregt irilorde nmor m ntareic ndvi noameni i.
Pr i
virea ial unecspr ef ereast r
adeschi siunal tvalde
tri
st eeocopl ei .
-nmor m ntar eaepr ogramat t otpent rum ine?
-Si ,spuseEl ena ncet .Orsvi nf oar temul ioamenide
pest et ot.
~35~
FOCURIASCUNSE

-Pi ,pr esupuncvat r


ebuis- migsescoocupa i
e,spuse
Laur enof tnd.
Reuis iumpl etimpulci ti
ndibr odndceadusesecuea
dinCl ayt on.Nusebucur decompani aEl enei,pent rucf ata
trebui as- iaj utemamal abuct ri
e.
Ziuat recuf oar t
e ncet.LuiLaur en,car eer aobi nui t sai b
activitat eiscaut etott i
mpulc tecevadef cut,Isepr u
i
nt ermi nabi l.
Mait rziu,
ncur suldupami ezei,seopr idinci t
it,fiindcauzi
unpasgr eupehol .Per soanai ntr ntr-ocamer nai ntedea
ajunge n capt ulcul oar ului,unde se af la dor mi torulei .
Sco ndu- iochel ariipent r
ua- iodi hniochi i
,ascul tzgomot el
e
provocat edeser tarecar esedeschi deauise nchi deau,deui
aledul apul uicar eset rnteau,depant ofigr eisauci zmecar e
cdeaupepodeauadel emn.Ci neva nclatnumai nci orapii
t
riapi ci oar eledecol o-colo.
Laur en auziun cl inchetde st i
cl aezat pe st i
cl,apa
cur gnd, c tevamor mi eli,unh r
italmobi l
eipepodeauadel emn,
fonetdehai ne.
Pest ec t
evami nute,per soana iter mint oal etaii ei
.O
use nchi se ncetini tepaiseauzi rdepr t
ndu- sepehol .
Cinevaocupacamer adi npar teaceal alt
abi i.Laur ennuauzi se
peni meni acol odec ndveni se.
nsear aaceea, Laur enbr odac ndEl enal ut avadel aci ni
spusenoapt ebun.
-El ena, cineocupcamer adeal turi?ntrebLaur en.
-Ah!Ecamer aluiseorJar ed, spuseEl enaf cndochi imar i
.
Car losalmeu miat ragemer euat eniasnumapr opi ideea.
Chi cot iiaezt avacugr i
jpebur t.
-Zi ce c seorJar ed poat e s sat i
sfac or ice f emei e,
adugeai ifcucuochi ul,dupcar e nchiseua.
Ochi icenui iail uiLaur enpr ivirabsen ilapi ctur ades nge
depedeget ulei nepat .

~36~
Sandr
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Capi
tol
ul4

Soareler efuzsst rl uceasc nzi ua nmor m ntriiluiBen


Locket t.ielpr eas lpl
ngpecelcar e ipet recuseor e

nt regisubr azel el uif i


er bini,vener ndpm ntuliel ement ele
sale.
Timpdedouzi l
e,Laur enapr ivitdel af ereast rt otf elulde
oamenicar eauveni ts- iaducul timulomagi ul uiBen.Er au
oameni nst rii,l
ucr ucar eseobser vaduphai nel eimi j
loacel e
l
ordet r
anspor t.Aliipr eausf ief ermi er
i,pur tndhai necur ate,
daruzat e.So iil
el or iur mau,pr ivindcasaaceeaf rumoascu
respect .Vaquer oscupant aloni idepi elepr fui isoseaupecai
obosi ideat
tadr um.Oameni iveneausi ngur i
,per echisau n
grupur i,dar ntr-unf luxcont inuu.Laur ennui -oput ea nchi puipe
femei acar eo ntmpi nasecuat taost il
itate,pr imi ndu- icugr aie
peceimaisr acidi ntreaceivi zi
t atori.
Dri
culnegr uiscl i
pitorapr upeal ee.Cuper delu elel uicu
franjuri,cu cai impodobi icu peneicu vi ziti
ul mbr cat n
redingot icuj obenpecap,pr eamaidegr abunvehi culde
circ.Cusi gur an cBennuarf idor itunmi jlocdet r
anspor tat
t
deost entat i
vcar es- lducp nl amor m nt, ispuseLaur en,
sim i
nddi nnoudur erepent ruacel br batr obustivi r
il.
Laurenur mr idel af ereast rcum Ol iviaf uconduspeal ee
deunbr batdel ocmai naltdec tea.Di nl oculundeseaf la
Laur en,capulchelalbr bat uluipr easseaf lel aacel aini vel
cu pl ria neagr cu voal et
a Ol iviei.Hai na neagr abi a i
cupr i
ndeat orsul .iat i
nset i
mi dcot ulOl i
vi ei.Er agr eudespus
dacezi tareaaceeasedat or ar espect uluif adedur ereaeisau
fri
ciidea nu f irepezi t.At i
tudi nea l uif a deea pr ea mai
degr abser vil.
Lauren i inur espi ra iac ndvzusi l
uet adi nspat el
ecel or
doi.nlimeal uiil imeaumer il
or itrdar i dent itatea, deit ot
nuput us- ivadf aaascunssubpl r i
aneagr cubor urimar i
.
Cost umull uinegr unupr eadeosebi t.Pr ear ezer vat ,ignor ndu-i
pepr i
eteniicar elpr iveaucumi l
nt impce iur mamamaipe

~37~
FOCURIASCUNSE

acelbr batspr et rsur acar eat ept a nspat eledr icul ui.
Sicr iulf uur catcugr ijiLaur en ispusecBenarf irsde
toat pompaaceea.Er asi gur celseaf laundevai ipriveape
toicu ochi il uial bat ril i
cr i
nd amuza i.nl or ugci une
pent rusuf letullui ncl i
pa ncar edr i
culpor niur matdet oicei l
al i
.
Cndt r
sur af ami lieit r
ecupesubf ereast r
,eaobser vo
m nput ernicibr onzat spr ijinitpeuibl ngni ndu- se
negl ijent .
Convocar eaf uat
tdesubi t
, nc tLaur enni cinuer apr egt i
t.
Elena deschi sese br usc ua i ,cu f ust el
e eivi u col or ate

nf ur ndui -se nj urulpi cioar elorgoal eicus niicl t i


nndu- se
cani tef elinareag at edeunf ir,itransmi semesaj ul .
-Laseor ador et esvvadpr onto, seor ita.Repedeazi s.
Repede.EcuseorWel l
s nbi roull uiseorLocket t.
Er aext rem deagi tat , ajut
nd- opeLaur ens inchei ebl uza
pecar ei -oscosesepr egt indu- sest r
agunpuidesomn. i
strnsepr ulgr abni c ncoculobi nui t,iarEl enaseapl ecs- i

nchei enast uriipant of ilor.Laur ennuarf icrezut -


o nst arede
aceapozi i
e,darnuaveat impssemi nunezeacum.Respi ra
i
ut e,i nima ibt eacuput ereipal mel e iasudaser . nvi aaei
nuf useseat
tdeemo ionat .
Iei r, darnu nai ntecaLaur ensi aobat i
stdi ndant el.Nu
tiadacpent rua- it ergem inilesaupent ruaaveacevade
car esseaga e.iEl enapr eat ulbur atc ndocondusepe
Laur enspr escar .Cobor r
r epedeise ndrept arspr eou
mar egl isant .El ena if cuunsemnde ncur ajarel uiLaur eni

mpi nseopar teaui i.Laur ent rasead ncaer npi ept .


Pi n ncper eidi nnouf usur pr i
nsdef rumuse easi mpl
acasei . nt r-
opar teacamer eiseaf laur af tur
ipl inecucr idi n
podeap n nt avan,i ardef iecar epar t
eacmi nul uier aual te
raftur i.Pol i
aer ascul pt at cugust .Celde- alpat ruleaper et eer a
alct uitdi nf erest remar ii nalte.
UncovorAubussonacoper eamait oat podeauadi nl emn.
Fot olii de pi el e i msu e, aezat e st r
ategi c, per mi t
eau
conver sa i
i ntrepat r
uochi .Peunbuf etl ungseaf laucar afei
pahar edecr i
st al.Dr aper ii
lef useser t rasecompl et ,per mi
nd
~38~
Sandr
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astf elsoar eluideami azspt rund nunt ruisser eflect e


prinst icl.
ndr ept ulf erestrel orer aunbi roumasi vpl i
ncur egistrei
hrtiidedi ver sef orme, mr imiicul ori.Ol i
viast tea nf otoliulcu
spet eaz nal tdel abi rou,i arbr bat ulscundigr aspecar e
Laur en lvzuseal tur ideeal a nmor m ntare,peunscaun n
faabi roului.
-Domni oar Hol br ook,eo adevr atpl cere.Regr etc

mpr ejurr i
lem- au mpi edicatsvcunoscmai nai nte.Sperc
v-aisi m i
tbi nedec nda isosi t,spuseeli ,prndsnuat ept e
niciunr spuns,cont inu:Eus ntCar sonWel ls,unvechipr ieten
de-all uiBenialOl ivieii ,deasemenea, avocat ullor .ncntat .
-Deasemeni ,domnul eWel ls.
Pol i
teeal uiomail initipeLaur en.
-M- am si m itfoar tebi ne. mipar er udoarcam ni mer it
tocmai ntr-unasemeneamoment .
-Ni meninu t econdamn,spuseelcu bl nde eiea se
bucur depr ezen al ui.
Er acompl etchelcuexcep iac torvaf iredeuncast aniugr eu
dedef initdepeceaf .Capent ruacompensaacestl ucru,ni t e
favor i
ist ufoiidemoda iise nt i
ndeau p n l a c i
va
cent imet ridenasulcr nos.Ochi i ier aubl nziiz mbitor ii
pr eacont ientdesi tua iaeist
njeni t
oar e.
Ol ivianuscoseseni ciunsunet .Acum spusecuovocecal m:
-DomnulWel lsicumi neam dor isst m devor bcu
dumneat a,domni oar Hol br ook.Vr eis i eil oc?Dor etiun
sher r y?
Laur enaccept si alocpescaunulpecar ei -
lineadomnul
Wel ls,darr ef uzpahar ul'desher ry.Pozi iaOl i
viei ndr ept ul
ferest reiicont ur asi l
uet a,dar iascundeat rst uri
le.Laur ense

nt rebdacBen ii magi nasec tdeavant ajoasaveasf ie


aezar eabi roul ui pent ruper soanacar est tea ndosulacest uia.
Apr oapect rebui asf acochi imi cipent ruaovedeabi nepe
Olivia.
- O s t r ec di rectl a subi ect ,domni oar Hol brook.Nu
cunoscmot ivel epent rucar eso ulmeut e-ainvi t
atai ci.Bnui sem
~39~
FOCURIASCUNSE

c
teceva,dar ,c ndt e-am cunoscut ,mi -
am datseamacm

nel asem.
Nu iexpl icmaimul tisensulcuvi ntelorei iscpl ui
Lauren.
- nor i
cecaz,hot r
sesst aicelpu indoul uni,cont i
nu
Oli
via. nnoapt ea ncar eaavutcr i
za,nci udaf apt ul
uicse
si
m eaext rem der u, m- arugatst ei
nai ciaceast per ioadde
ti
mp.Pr ezen adumi tale naceast caser a,evident ,impor t
ant
pentruel .
Laur en iumezibuzel ener voas.Nuer asi gur cput ea
vorbi.
-So uldumneavoast rmi -aspuscv- aput eaf idef olos n
ceeacepr ivet ecor esponden a,pr egtiri
lepent r
u ntrei
ner ea
oaspe ilorial t
easemeneal ucr uri.Mi -
am nchi puitcaf iunf el
desecr etar.
Inima ibt eaat
tdet are,nc tabi aiauzeapr oprii
lecuvi nte.
Ol i
viaschi unz mbetf oar t
esl ab,iarCar sonWel lsobt upe
mnispuse ncet :
- Domni oar Hol brook,l uiBen iplceasl ef act otfelul
desur prizeoameni l
orisgl umeascpeseamal or.Ol i
viaest e
ofemei edeaf acer if oar tepr iceput iar edest uifunc i
onar iai
bnci iladi spozi i
e.Ef oarteposi bilcaBens- ifispuscso i
a
l
uiaraveanevoi edeosecr etar, dart rebuiesf ivrutal t
ceva, te
asigur .
Banc?Nut iani mi cdeni ciobanc.Seag adeunpaii
ti
af oar tebi ne, dar ngi m:
- . ..c ntl api andest uldebi ne.Poat es- ag nditcada
miciconcer tepent r uoaspe i.
Ol i
via iridi cospr ncean.
-Arf imi nunat , sntconvi ns, darni cimcarnuavem pi an.
Laur ener aul ui tinumaiaveacesspun.Seui tntila
unuliapoil acel l alt.Umi lit
pest emsur ,ilscapul nj os
iia intipr ivireaasupr abat isteiumedeii f
onat epecar e
minileeial beit remur toar eost rngeau npoal .
-mipar er u.N- am t i
utni mi cdi ntoateacest ea.Pr obabilc
vnchi pui i.
..Er am at tdesi gur ...Numi -aspus. ..
~40~
Sandr
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Lacr imi lecar e i


nt unecauveder ea iir
oi aupeobr aji.
-Nu, nu, nu-inevoi e, spuseCar sonr epede.Mt em cbt r
nul
Benavr utsf acvr eogl umcui vapespi nar eadumi tale, numai
cn- amaiapucat .Po isr m iai ciovr eme.Ol iviaicumi neo
s ncer cm s- ifacem vi zitac tmaipl cut .Hai de,numai
pl
nge.
Car sonpr easi ncerabt utiobt eapem nat tdet ar
e,

nc toust ur a.
-Dor et is i eici na cu noidi sear l a apt eij umt at
e,
domni oar Hol brook? o ntreb Ol ivi
a pe car e pr ea s o
deranj ezeaceaext eriorizareaemo i
ilor.
Laur en nelesecer aexpedi at, aacser i
di cispuse:
-Da, vmul umesc, doamnLocket t.
iadunt oat st p nir
eadesi nec nd isal utper nddi n'
capipor nispr euagl isant.Deodat , Oli
viaost ri
g.
-Domni oar Hol brook.
-Da?spuseLaur ent remur t or,
nt orcndu- sespr eei.
-Avr east i
uceva.
-Ol i
vi a,t erog. .
.inter veniCar son, darf uignor at .
-Aif ostamant aso uluimeu?
Amant !Cuv ntulacel air sunast ri
dent nur echi.Ni cidac
Oliviaarf iazv rlitcupi etre nea,nus- arf isi m itattdel ovit
.
Obr ajiiiluar foc, dart ott r
upuliser cicaghea a.
-Nu! ngi mea.Cum de. .
.?Nu, nu.
ntrebar eaaceeaoul ui
sepr eamul tpentruanega
maicat egor i
c.
-Mi -am nchi puit,fusi ngur ulr spunsalOl iviei.Nevedem l a
ci
n.
Ret rg ndu- se spr e camer a ei ,Laur en abi ar euis- i
pst rezecumpt ul.C ndaj unse,sepr buipepatii zbucni n
pl
ns.Er a ngrozi tdenai vitateaeiidebnui al aOl iviei.Mul t
prear ecentisear uncaser acel eaicuvi nteit otpenedr ept.De
ceer abnui t,oar e?
Plngea dup un om n car eavusese ncr eder eicar eo
pcl ise.Teamadeunvi it
or ngr ozi t
oromi stui a.
Doul uni !Oar eceseat ept aseBensse nt
mpl e nacel
~41~
FOCURIASCUNSE

ti
mp?i ,lacapt ulcel orai zecidezi l
e, eaceaveasf ac?
Se mbr ccugr ijpent ruci n,pur t
ndunadi ncel edou
rochi if r
umoasedi ngar der obaei .Er adi ntr-unvoall ila.Pl iseur i
del i
cat einst uraidi nper l
e impodobeaucor sajul,i argul er ul

nal t,tivitcudant el iaj ungeap nsubbr bie.Fust a icdea n


faldur imoip nl acput apant ofiloral bidi npi el e.
Elenaoaj ut.Acum isepr eacevaapr oapef iresccaf ata
aceeamexi cansoasi stec ndse mbi aise mbr ca.Laur en
fusesemait otdeaunasi ngur ,daracel eul timec tevazi leise
pr user cel e mai pust ii din vi aa ei i er a ext rem de
recunosct oar epent runouaeit ovar .
Suf rager iaer amobi latcuaceeaiel egan car esesi m ea n
totr est ulcasei .Chi ardacOl ivi asauCar sonobser var ochi i

nr oi idepl nsail uiLaur en, nuspuser ni mi cc ndseaezar l a


mas.
M ncar eaf user vitdeomexi canobezdespr ecar eLaur en
bnuicer aRosa,mamaEl enei .Def i
ecar edat c ndveneacu
cteunpl atou, seui tal aLaur eni izmbeapr ietenoas.Laur en i
zmbeaieacur ecunot in.
M ncar eaf udel icioasim ncabsol utt ot naf ar def asol e
isosulpi cant e,car epr eausf i
epr ezent el aor icemascu
excep iami cul uidej un.
Conver sa i
af ulimi tatl asubi ect eobi nui te,cot idi ene,idi n
moment ce Laur en t r
ecuse pr i
n ast f
el de moment e de
nenumr ateor i n casa par ohi al,sesi m ea nl ar gulei .Se
mi nundeabsen al uiJar edit resr ic ndCar sonser ef erilael .
Fapt ulcnuer aacol opr easnu- ipr eocupepr eamul t.Ol i
via i
spuse ntreactcJar edaveasst eal aKeypoi ntc tevazi le.
Oliviaer anc ntat svadcLaur enHol br ookaveamcar
bunemani er e.Dacveneaci neva nvi zit,nut rebui asexpl ice
prezen auneit rfepr oast eist ngace, acest af iindmodul ncar e
i-o nchi puisec ndBen ipovest isedeea.Er a,evi dent ,citit
,i ,
dup- ami az, ipst rasecumpt ul,chiardacr ecur sesel aacea
trst urf emi ni ncar eer apl nsul .
Cedul ceicapt i
vant ,ispuseOl i
viacusar casm.Car soncedase,
fi
r ete,nf a al acrimi l
or ,laf elcaor icebr bat .Nuput eaur ezista
~42~
Sandr
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uneif emeivul ner abi le.


Car son Wel ls si m i
se, ntr-adevr ,mi lf a de Laur en n
dup- ami aza aceea.Nu er a genuldef emei ei r
eat car ese
temuseelcvaf i.Seat ept asel aost r
icat car esl et r
nt easc
uncopi llau, pr etinz ndcBener at atlicer
ndogr madde
bani .
Laur en Hol brook er a o f at i nocent , o vi ctim a

mpr ej urril
or.Ol iviaarf iput utsoscut eascde nt rebarea
refer i
toar el ar el aiaeicuBen.Acest anuovoi secaamant ,
Car soner asi gurdeast a.LuiBen ipl cuser f emei ler obust e,
neast
mpr ateidur dul ii
.T nr a aceea f ragi l
icu ochide
cpr ioar arf i nmui ati nima unuibr batcu f rumuse ea ei
delicat , darni ciodat nui -arf ist
rni tpof tel el uiBenLocket t.
Ctdespr eCar son, osi ngur f emei eexi st apent ruel .Exi stase

nt otdeauna.Darni ciunbr batnuaveasoposedevr eodat .


Absol utni ciunbr bat .Tot ui,Car sonoi ubeapeOl iviaLocket t.
Dupt otacelt imp,dupt oat esuf erinelepecar eil epr icinuise,
dupcet rebui ses ndur evi nadea- if it r
datcelmaibun
prieten, Carsonoi ubea.
ncepur sdi scut edespr eaf acer iiLaur enascul taabsent ,
frs neleagpr eamul tif r soi nt er eseze. nschi mb,se

nt reb pecar escaun st tea Jar ed at uncic nd l ua masa n


suf rager iaaceea.
Cteval ucrur ir eui r,t otui ,s- iat ragat en ia.Bancadi n
Cor onado se af la n pr opr ietat ea f ami l
ieiLocket t.Acet i
a

ncer causaducl iniadecal ef eratp n nCor onado,dei


exist auunel eobst acol e.Fer maKeypoi nter aadmi nist r
atdeun
anumeMendez,cu t oat ec membr i
lorf ami l
ieiLocket tl ise
ddear aportulcupr ivirel apr ofituriipi er derip nl aul tima
cent im.
Car sonvor beaapsat .
-Tr ebui e s- li nvi tm pe Vandi verai ci ,Olivia.Elde i
nea
put erea.Fr el , nuob inem cal eaf erat.Acum, cBen. ..eibi ne,
aveni tmoment uls- labor dm di nnou.
-t iicvat rebuisaccept m chest iuni lenl egt urcuapa,
ziseOl iviacalm.
~43~
FOCURIASCUNSE

-Ast a o s- or ezolvm l a moment ulr espect iv.I mpor tant


acum esl edm de nelescs nt em i nt eresa i
.DarJar ed?
Crezicosse mpot r
iveasc?
-Jar edosf acexactceos- ispunem, ziseeacuaspr i
me.
S-arput easse mpot ri
veascpu in,dart i
acBenvoi acal ea
ferat .Cr edcast at r
ebui es- isubliniem.
Tcur c tevacl ipe,iarLaur enl epr i
vichi pur i
lecut imi dit
at e.
Am ndoi pr eauconcent rai.
Jar eder aobosi t,mur daridor eacuar doar esbeacevac nd
urc scar at
r indu- ipi cioar ele.Dr umuldel af erm f usese
par cur spr i
ncl dur ,chi ari naceazide nceputdeoct ombr ie.
Pot eci leer aupr fuite,ngr eun ndr espi raia,numaipl ouasedi n
ziua nmor m ntr ii
.Seopr ibr uscisesi l
is- ial ungeacelg nd
dinmi nt e.
Aj ung ndsus,obser vcuadi ncapt ulhol uluier auor

nt redeschi s.Fr st iedece,seapr opi edecamer al uif r


zgomot .At tde ncetpea, nctpi nteni iluini cinuzngneau.
Thor narf ifostm ndr udeel ,ispuse nsi neal ui,zmbi nd.
Seopr i nf aacamer eiipusem napecl an,darot eri
bi l

cur iozit ate lf cus- icont inuedr umulp naj unse nf a aui i
camer eideoaspe i.
Decesnuodeschi d?Pr obabi lceanuer aacol o.i ,chiar
dacer a,cenai ba?Doarer acasal ui,mpi nseua,car e,gr a ie
bal amal el orbi neunse,nuf cuni ciunzgomot .Laur enst teal a
un bi rou mi c,scr i
ind r spunsur i
lescr i
sor il
ordecondol ean e.
Insi stasepent ruast aiOl iviao nsr cinasecuaceaocupa ie
plict i
sitoar e, fr t rager edei ni misi m i
ndunoar ecar er espect
fadef at.
Iat eui t.Bt r
nulsedescur casef oar tebi ne,
ispuseJar ed.
Nuput eas- ivaddec tspat ele,darLaur en ntoarsecapuluor
apl ecndu- sedeasupr ascr isor iipecar eocompunea.
n ncper eer aol initemor mnt al,cuexcep i
asc r
it
ul ui
peni
eipe h rtie ia t i
ci tuluiunuiceasor nic pe nopt i
er .
Firioar edepr afdansau nr azelesoar eluidedup- ami azcar e
pt rundeau ncamer pi ezi.
Laur en i ndr ept umer iiuoriof t nmui ndpeni a n
~44~
Sandr
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climar a cu cer neal .Jar ed i inu r suf l


area ca s nu f i
e
descoper it,dareaseapl ecdi nnouasupr af oiideh r
ti
e.Di n
l
oculundeseaf la,Jar ednu ivedeaf a adec tpar
ial-al bi
neted, cupome iiuor mbuj or aiioper echedeochel arimi cui
sespr i
jineaupenasuldr eptidel i
cat .
Hai nel eeier aupr eadecent epent ruaf iadevr at e,ispuse
el.Bl uzaal bcugul er nal tif ustamar ons- arf ipot ri
vitmai
degr ab uneipr of esoar e.Er a at rgtorf elul n car e nast ur i
i
bluzeise ntindeaude- al unguli r
eispi nrii
,par ci nvit
ndun
brbats- il asedeget el esal unecepeacelspat egr a i
os nsus
spreg t,deasupr aacest ui af i
indst r
ns ncocunprext rem de
bogat .Doamne, cepr !Er anegr upr ecum cr bunel eicur ef lexe
albst rui.C tevauvi
escpaser di ncoci icdeaul eneepe
ceaf .Jar edse nt rebcum arf ifostsl esi mt ntr edeget e.
Er asl ab.Poat echi arpr easl ab.Sl bnoag.
Mi c ndu- se ncet nsper an adeanu- iat r
ageat en i
adec tn
moment ulpot rivit,scoasedi nbuzunar uldel api eptunt r
abuci
unchi brit. lr etezcudi n i
ii ,ar borndaer ulpecar e lar talumi i
,
scpr b uldechi bri
tdet ocului i.
Zgomot ulf ucaunbubui tdet un nl initeadi n ncper ei
Laur ensr icaar sdepescaun, l
ipindu- sebr uscdebi r
ouc nd l
vzupeJar ediduc ndu- ipumnul nclet atlapi ept .
Jar ed icobor privi reaasupr api ept uluieii imodi fi
c
primapr ere.Nu.Nuer asl bnoag.
Ea lpr ivi ngr ozit pe deasupr a ochel ar il
oriJar ed f u
moment ansur pr i
nsde nf iar eaei .Cecul oar edeochimaier a
iaceea?Al bast ru?Nu, cenui u.Lanai ba.Tr ebui asadmi tc
btrnulavusesegust .Nuer ar eadel oc.
Laur en se si m ica un ani mal ncol i
t.Jar ed iapr inse
trabucul ,f rs- ii aochi idel aea.Fumul invl uiaf aai i

mpi nse l ene pl ri


a pe spat e cu deget ular t tor ,aceast a
rm nndag atdeg tull uipr int r
-uni retdepi elesub i
re.
O pr ivicuochi ntredeschi i,insolentil asci v,exami n nd-o
dincapp n- npi ci oarep nc ndobr aji
iei deveni r
r oi icaf ocul .
Laur enni cinusemi c,ni cinuvor bi,pr i
vi ndu- llar
ndulei .
Pr ul ier acast aniu,i arc t
evauvi edecol oratedesoar e i
~45~
FOCURIASCUNSE

ofereaur eflexel eaur iipecar el ebnui se.Chi pul ier aar sde
soareiv nt,caur mar eaceasur ilor ndel ungat epet recut e naer
l
iber.Ochi i l
uier audecul oar eaambr ei ,cadout opazeper fecte.
Semnaf oar temul tcuBen,maial esf i
zi c,darpef a al uinu
sevedeani ciunpi cdi nvesel iaacest uia.At itudi neaiexpr esi
a
l
uidenot auar ogan ,
nf umur areidi spr e .
Sespr ij
inidet ocului i
, cugl eznel encr uci at e,
mbr catcam
l
af elcapr i
maoar c nd lvzuse ncr u,numaic,dedat a
aceast a,nj urulg t
uluiaveaoear f vi ucol orat .Pi nt eniide
argintaici zmel orl uiof ascinaui ipr i
viocl ip nai nt edea
aluneca ncetp nl aochi il ui,
car eer au nca i
nt i
iasupr aei .
-Domni oar Hol brook,am veni tsvof erscuzel emel e
umi l
e.Am n elesc,
nzi ua ncar ene- am nt
lnitpr i
maoar ,am
fostoar ecum i ndi spusim- am pur t
at ngr ozi t
or .
Vocea er aal uiBen.Avea acel ait imbr u cal d,darer a

ncr catdesar casm.Laur ense nt rebcef cuse,oar e,pent r


u
a-icti
gadi spr e ul.Eler acelcar emer i
tasf ier idiculizat .
- Ce- aput easf acpent rua- mi ndr ept agr eeal a?
- Pent ru nceput ,scuz ndu- tepent ruf apt ulcaii ntratn
camer ameaf r sf iiinvi tat,ziseea.
Elf usur prinsde ndr zneal aeii ir idicospr ncean.
Totui,
irevenir epedeispuse ncet ,peunt onconspi rat iv:
- M- aiinvi ta ncamer adumi tale,domni oar Hol brook?
Ea r oic nd lauziaccent und cuv ntul domni oar.
Dndu-iseamac nc imai i
neapumnull ipitdepi ept , ll
s

nj osr epede,at i
ng nd nt reactceasul .I medi atdupaceea i
scoaseochel ariicum naceal alt.Z mbi nd nf a ast nj enel i
iei,
Jared iprivim inile,
ndeosebipeceacar eacoper eaceasul .
-E ncacol o, spuseel ncet .Nus ntho .
Eaer afur ioasc iat rseseat en iaasupr at rupul uiei .
Elsedespr insedet ocului iit raver scamer acuunmer s
l
ent ,cadepi sic nai ntedeat ac.Pi nteni i izdr ngneau pe
podeauadel emn.
G t
lejulluiLaur ensecont ract compl et ncl ipa ncar eelse
oprilanumaic ivacent imet r
i nf aaei .Er amul tmai nal tdect
ea,aact rebuis- ideacapulpespat epent rua- lpr i
vi .Avu
~46~
Sandr
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nevoi edeuncur aji menspent r


uaf aceacestl ucr u,dart i
a
i
nst inct ivcarf if ost ndezavant ajuleidaci -
arf iar t atcse
temdeel .
Falsuleicur ajseevapor n clipa n car eelr idi cm na,

nt i
nz nd- ospr eea.Pr intr-
unactdevoi n, eanuse nf i
or nf aa
deget el orl ui.
-Def apt,ce- iast a? ntr
ebel nceticupr i
nsecudeget el e
ceasulpr insdebl uz.
Rsuf lareal ui imi cauorf i
reledeprcar e i ncadr au
chipul ieasi m imi rosulpt r
unzt ordet ut un.
Ell uceasul npal mi lstudi eg ndi tor,at i
tudi neal ui
cont rast nd pr of und cuexpl oziil
eput er nicecar eaveaul oc n
fii
nal uiLaur en.
Luase f oc.Fi ecar e celulat rupul uieiar dea de dor ina
nelmur i
tdeaseapr opiac tmaimul tdeacelbr batcar eo
tulbur a ngr ozi
t or.
Broaf upusl al oc, cuouoar apsar eam i
niil uiJar edpe
snuleipent ruaf isi gurcopr i
nsesebi ne.
Ctevacl i
pe,t impul ncetsmaiexi st e.Ochi idecul oar ea
ambr eise nt
lnircuceicenui iici nismulpr i
mi lorf u nl ocui t
deui mi re.Capull uiJar edcobor spr eall uiLaur eni mper cept i
bi l
.
Timpdeof raciunedesecund,eaavui mpr esiacer apecal e
sosr ut e.Buzel eeiumedesedepr tardi npr opr ievoi n .
Eanut iact ocmaiacelgesti nvol unt arlf cusser etrag

ncar apaceabat jocur i


ipecar eof oloseadr eptpr ot ec ie.I ronia
rciaceiochicar ef useser plinidecl dur iLaur enobser v
i
medi atschi mbar ea.El iapspi eptulimait ar e,darf r
tandr eeadedi nai nte.
Ea indepr tm nabr usc.
-Ces- a nt
mpl at ,domni oarHol br ook?Am vr utsvd
doarc teceasul , spuseelz mbi ndironi c.
Ea ii gnor cuvi ntele pl
ine de sar casm i ncer c s i
recapet eechi l
ibrul nl umeacar ese nv rt
ea.
-Vr og, domnul eLocket t
,am mul tt reab.
Dece ibt eai nimaat tdetare?Par codur eat otpi ept ul.Nu
semaiput eaui tani cil aacelchi pspl endi d,ni cil aochi iacei ade
~47~
FOCURIASCUNSE

uncpruiauri
u.Decenupl eca?Decenuvoi acaelsplece?
Elsedeprtpui
nit raseadncdi ntrabuculpecare,p
n
at
unci,
li
nusenmn.
-Bnuiesccosnevedem l acin,spuseelatunci
.
Nuaruncniciopri
vir
e nurmc ndse ndrept
sprecamera
l
ui.Laur
ensedusel au,ame i
t,ionchi
se.

~48~
Sandr
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own

Capi
tol
ul5

Seaf l
au cu t oiin sal onuldel
ngsuf rager i
e.Laur en l e
auzeagl asur ilent impcecobor a.Nunumaict rebui as ndur e
primaeici n npr ezen al uiJar edLocket t,darEl ena ispusese
cveni ser t reioaspe insear aaceea.Unuler adomnulWel l
s, n
compani acr ui aeasesi m eaoar ecum bi ne,ccil uaser masa

mpr eunmaimer eu.Cei lalidoier auni t eoamenii mpor tani


dinAust i
n.
Rochi a ifoneaf rec ndu- i-sedepi cioarec ndst rbtuhol ul
mar e. ier agr oazsi nt re nsuf rager i
e.Fapt ulcaveas- i
cunoascpeaceioamenii nfluen idi ncapi talast at uluieradest ul
det ul bur tor ,daradevr atulmot ivalnel ini
t iiei lconst ituia
Jar ed Locket t. ntl
ni r
ea l orde dup- ami az, n camer a ei ,o
zpci se.
Pur tceamaibunr ochi eaei ,dintr-omt asebl eu.Gul erul

nal tim neci l


est ri
mt eer aut ivitecudant elcr em.Ci ngt oar ea
erat otdecul oar ecr em ier a mpodobi tcuunt randaf irde
mt aser ozpr ins npar teast ngat al i
ei.
Rmase npr agagi t at, privindu- i
.
Ol iviaiCar soner auconcent raiasupr aunorhr
ipecar ecei
doibr baidi ncapi tall e ntinseser peomsu j oas.To i
pat rul est udi aucuf oar temar eat en ie.
Jar edst teat olnit ntr-unf ot oliu,cupi cioar elel ungi ntinse
icu gl eznel e ncruci at e.Exami nacon inut ulunuipaharde
cristalcui nteresulunuichi mi st.Li chiduldecul oar eaambr eise
pot riveaper fectcuochi ilui.
ncper eaer a ncodovadabunul uigustalOl i
viei.Er a
l
umi nat del mpidest i
clacoper itecugl obur imat e.Canapel ele
if ot oliil
e,ar anjat ear moni os,er aut apiatecudamasc ncul ori
past el at eiseasor taudemi nunecudr aper ii
le.Uncovorper san
esut n acel eainuan e de ver de,aur iu ibejexi stent e n

ncper e,acoper eaomar epar tedi npodea.

~49~
FOCURIASCUNSE

Toat e vazel e,scr umi erel


e it ablourilef useser al ese i
aranjatecuceamaimar egr i
j.Er ao ncper eplcut ,dar ,cai
femeiacar eodecor ase, duceal ipsdecl dur ivesel ie.
Car sonWel lsfupr i
mulcar eoobser vpeLaur enii medi atse
ri
dicdepeunscaun, duc ndu-sespr eeacubr aele ntinse.
-Domni oar Hol brook,ar ide- adr ept ulmi nunat nsear a
aceast a.
ntot deaunasepur tasecueacuuncaval erism car eer al af el
dedemodatideexager atcaf avori
iisi ,darLaur en iapr ecie
zmbet ul debunveni ti izmbil ar
nduleit r
emur toar e.
-Bunsear a,domnul eWel l
s.
-Vi nost epr ezintoaspe i
lornot ri,ziseel ,l
u nd-odebr ai
conduc nd- ospr eceidoibr ba icarest teau npi cioar el ng
masa l a car e discut aser mai nainte.Domni oar Laur en
Holbrook, per mi t
e-mis i-
iprezintpedomnulPar kerVandi veri
pef i
ulsu, Kur t.Domni lor,domni oaraHol brook.
Laur en isal utdi ncappef iecarec ndr spunser pr ezent rii
.
KurtVandi ver ilum na ntr-
al ui
,i-or idicisr utaer ulla
ci
vacent imet rideea.
-Est e o adevr at onoar e s cunosc o f emei e at
tde
frumoasai ci,nCor onado.Oonoar eiosur pr i
z, ziseeliochi i
albatri ilicrirnl umi nacal d.
Unzgomotgr osol anibat jocor i
torseauzideodat , dart oat
l
umea lignor .Tot uiroea adi nobrajiiluiLaur endeveniimai
puternic.
-Ne m ndr i
m cu f rumoasel e noast ret exane,domni oar
Holbrook,darse par e c t oat e au veni tdi nl ocur ipr ecum
CarolinadeNor d.Par cdeacol oaspusCar soncs nte i
,nu?
Tnr ulVandi vercont i
nuas- iinm na,dar nt i
mpceel i
fceaacel compl imentLaur eni -otraseuor .
-Da. Di n Clayt on,Car olina de Nor d. V mul umesc,
domnul eVandi ver .
-Bunsear a,Laur en.Dor et ipuinsher r
y?
Olivia ivor beapent rupr imaoar .Er a mbr cat nnegr u, cel
dint
isemn de dol iu pe car e Laur en lvzuse l a ea dup

nmor m nt ar e.Oper echedecer ceinegr ii mpodobeauur echi l


e
~50~
Sandr
aBr
own

ini temr gel et otnegr escl ipeau ntunecat edepecor sajul


rochiei.Er af r
umoas,dar nt r
-unf elpr imej di
os.Laur enopr i
vea
aacum pr ivet iof iar-cuadmi ra ie, daricupr uden .
-Da, mul
umesc. mi punsi ngur , irspunseLaur en.
-Nu,da i-
mivoi e,domni oar Hol br ook.Lua ilocivaduc
eupahar ul,spuseKur tl und- ouordecoticonduc nd- ospr e
unadi ncanapel e,dupcar ese ndr eptspr edul apulpl inde
butur iipahar e.
Laur en iar uncpr ivireaf rsvr easpr ebr bat ult olni tn
fotoli
uif ut ulbur atc nd int
lniochi iaur i
i.Ni cimcarnuse
ri
dicase c nd apr use ea.C tde nepol iticos!Pr ivirea l uier a
aproapeameni n t oar e.
iinur suf larea, tem ndu- secaelsnuf acvr eor efer i
rel a
dup- ami azaaceea, darelr idicpahar ulnl umi ni ,studi i
ndu- l
cuat enie, spuseext rem depl i
ct i
si t:
-Bunsear a, domni oar Hol br ook.
irosti numel ecapeoi nsul t.
Kur ti ntinsepahar uldesher ryieasor bipu i
n,hot r
ts
nu-imaideaat en iel uiJar ed.Kur tseaezl ngeai ncepus
ipun nt r
ebr i nl egt ur cuvi zita nTexas,Ea irspunsec t
putudevag,ccii nter esull uiof ceassesi mt st njenit.
Trupull uimasi vocupaomar epar tedi ncanapeaieat rebuis
facunef ortt er i
bilpent ruanu- lat inge.Cumul t ndem nar e,

ndepr tdi scu iadel asi ne.


-Cef eldeaf acer iface i
, domnul eVandi ver?
Par cOl iviaiCar sonf cuser r efer i
re ntr-osear lanumel e
deVandi ver ,darnu iaduceaami ntecespuseser .
-Invest i
ii.
Ea lpr ivinedumer it
ielr seuor .
-Totf eluldei nvest i
ii- ncif er at e, cher estea, vite.npr ezent
vrem saducem el ect ri
ci tatea nacest eor el e.
-neleg, spuseLaur en, deinupr icepeadel oc.
Car soncont inuconver saiaspun ndceeace
consi deraelcest eopovest eamuzant .Cucoadaochi ului,
Lauren lvzu pe Jar ed r i
dicndu- se,duc ndu- se l a buf eti
umpl ndu- idi nnoupahar ulcuwhi sky.Deodat ,Ol iviasuger
~51~
FOCURIASCUNSE

ssemear gl amas.LuiLaur enisepr ucpr opuner eaaceea


sunacaunor din.Sauoameni n are.
Seui t
l aOl iviaiovzust r
pung ndu-if iulcupr ivirea.
Inten i
onat ,Jar edddupeg tcon i
nut ulpahar uluii ipuse
altulpecar e ll u nsuf rager ie mpr euncucar afadecr istal.
Dacmaiobser vaser ial iischi mbulost i
ldint r
emamif iu,
nuoar tar.CeidoiVandi verr ser cupof tdepovest ireal ui
Car son nt i
mpcese ndr eptauspr esuf rageri
e.
OliviaiCar sonst t eauf iecar e nc teuncaptalmesei ,
avndu- ipeLaur enipeKur tdeopar teipeJar ediPar kerde
ceal alt.Jar edseaf lachi ar nf aal uiLaur en.C ndseaez i
aruncopr ivirel ene, dar ^chi pui ier acompl etinexpr esi v.

nt imp cemasaer aser vitdeRosa,car er enun asel a
fustel eeivi ucol or at eil abl uzal arg,
nf avoar eauneiuni for me
albe, Laur en istudi epeceidoiVandi ver .
Par keraveaof acer trea ,apr oapebr utal,iochi il ui
albat ript runzt or iaruncaupr iviriiu ipr i
nncper e,depar car
ficut atsecr et eascunseGl asulipur tarea ieraupol i
ticoase,
deiLaur en bnui a c r ecept a numaiceea ce consi der a
i
mpor t
antexcl uz nd cel elalt el ucr ur icar eer au spusecaf i
ind
l
ipsi tede nsemnt ate.Tr upul ier asol idigr as.M i
niledol of ane,
cudeget ecani t ec r
na it randaf irii
,il e i
nea mpr eunat epe
bur t at uncic nd nu l ef olosea.Acea at it
udi ne r elaxat er a
cont razi sdeochi iluivi oi.
Kur ter amai nal t,dart otsol id.Ochi iluieraul af eldeagr esi vi
caait atluisu,daraveadougr opi ead ncicar eapr eaui
dispr eaudupdor i
n icar eiat enuaubel igerant afe ei.Pr ul
blond,t otcaalt at luisu,er aaspr uis rmosi iacoper ea
capulcaobonet st rns.Dat or it
f apt uluicer aar sdesoar e,
spr
ncenel e ipr eauapr oapeal be.
DeiceidoiVandi vercut rst ur idet eutonif useser f oar te
politicoicu ea,Laur en er a,i nst i
nct iv,pr ecaut f a de ei ,
Compor tament ull orer apr eaci zel at,conver sa i
apr eael ocvent
iat it
udi nea l or ,pr ea umi l. nt r
eaga l orpur tar e pr ea pr ea
repet at pent r
uaf isi ncer .C nd sur pri
nse pr i
virea l uiKur t
asupr a ei,secut remur f r s vr ea.Expr esial uil acom i
~52~
Sandr
aBr
own

ami nt eadeceaal uiWi lli


am.
Jar edvor bif oar tepu in, num ncapr oapeni mi cibudest ul
demul t.Rspundeamor mi tc ndci neva,iseadr esainui nii
a
nicioconver sa ie.Laur ensesi meast njenitsubpr i
vi real ui
atent ist r ui
t oar e.Aveai mpr esiacochi iacei ai mpl acabi linu
opr si rni ciocl ipc tst tur l amas.
Dacl uiLaur enci naisepr upl ictisi
toar e, l
uiJar edisepr u
i
nt ermi nabi l. idi spr e uia peceidoiVandi veriambi ial or
acapar atoar epecar e ncer cau nzadarsoascundpr i
nt r-
o
conver sa i
eabi libunemani er e.Jar edur at oatef ormel ede
pref ct orieimi nci un.ippuaast adepor elandi nf aamea
eexper t naaceva,
ispuseelcuci ni
sm.
ncer csoi gnor epeLaur en,dar ,pnl aur m,r enun l a
acelef ortiost udi e,vr ndssedumi r
easc nl egt urcuea.
Recunoscu n si nea l uic nu er a del oc cum se at ept ase.
Absol utdel oc,il uiJar ed nu- ipl ceau sur pr izele.Deaceea
fusesef ur iospeBen nsear ac ndacest amur ise.
Nu, ref uzsmg ndescl aast a,ispuseel .
Laur enm nui at ac mur il
ecuf oartemul t
uur iniJar edf u
fasci natdem i
ni leei .Pr eaumoiidel i
cate.Deget eleer aul ungi
isub iriicuunghi ioval et randaf i
riifrumos ngr i
jite.Lacese
atept aseel ?Lal acr ou?
CespuseseBen?Ah,da.Er api ani st
.Jar edchi cot insi nea
l
uiiseg ndicuner ui nar el aoact i
vitatemul tmaipl cut
pent ruacel em ini .Apoi ,se ntrebdacf emei aaceeat i
aast fel
del ucr ur iihot r cnu. ivzuset eamadi npr iviredup- ami az,
cndoat insese.Er asi ncer .Tocmaiaceeaer apr obl ema.
Ri dicgenel ecat i
fel atecar e iascundeauochi iipr ivispr eel .
Ocl ip, isus inupr ivirea,dupcar ei -of erir epede. iddea
seamadecef usesevr j i
tBen.Unbr batseput ea neca nacei
ochidecul oar eapor umbel ul ui naint es- ideaseamacse
scuf und.it iaicum s- ifol oseasc.Nu iar uncani ciodat
opr i
vi redi rect,cinumaipef ur i
.Er adeaj unscast ef acs

nnebunet i.
Hot rcaveapr eamul tpr .Er apr eagr eupent ruf aai
trupuleidel i
cat e.Tot ui ist teabi necuacelcocdi ncr et eti
~53~
FOCURIASCUNSE

cuuvi
el ecar ei ncadr auchi pulicar epr eaumaif ragiledec t
por elanulf arfur i
ilordi ncar em ncau.
icobor pr i
vireaasupr aceasul uideaurpr i
ns npiept.Sef oi
pescauni ncomodi , f
rs- ideaseama, iumezibuzel ec nd
seui tlapi ept ulacel acar ese nl aicobor auor .I
ndifer entce
altcevaarf if ostf als nl egt ur cuea-voceabl
nd,pur tar ea
ciudat ,mot i
vulpent rucar e lur masepeBenat
tadr um -un
l
ucr uer ar eal .nc imaisi m eas nult aresubpal m.M na i
tremur uorc nd iumpl u di n nou pahar ulcu whi sky i
br b iar efuzsiser elaxeze.
Arf it rebui tspl ecei medi at .Arf itrebui ts ncalecepe
Char gerisseduc nPuebl opent r
uot vleal bun nf ncu
ot rf.Darnuvoi acuadevr atacestl ucru.t iacpr i
vireal ui
i
nsi st ent ost
nj eneapeLaur en.Chi ardacnuer aodi str ac ie
preamar e nsi ne,st njeneal aeier adeaj unspent rua-lf aces
rm n.
ntor cndu- se nsal ondupci n, Carsonspuse:
-Pcatcnuaiunpi an,Ol ivi a.Laur enne- arfipututc nta
ceva.
-Mar epcat .Mi -arf if cutmar epl cerest eaudc ntnd,
ziseKur tcar eer af oar t
eapr oapedeLaur en.
-Ceanumet e-a adus n Texas,domni oar Holbrook?o

nt rebPar kerVandi ver .di ntr-odat , dupceseaezar .


Pemoment ,Laur ennu igsicuvi ntele.iaceiochial bat ri
,
pt runzt ori,pr eausopr ovoace.
-Laur enesor aunui adi ncol egi il uiJareddel aHar vard.Jar ed
af ostl af ami li
aHol br ook ntr-unadi nvacan e, aacam vr uts
l
er spl t i
m ospi tal itatea.Di nmomentcef r
atel eeis-acst or it
,
am i nvi tat-opeLaur en.Benaadus- ocuelc ndaveni tdel aNew
Yor k.
Laur enseui tl aOl i
vi aneveni ndu- iscr eadcput eas
mi ntcuat
tauur in .Femei a iz mbii continu:
-Mi -
af ostdeunmar eaj utordec nds- ast i
nsBen.Nut i
uce
m- af ifcutf rea.
Ui mi real uiLaur en set ransf or m nf urie.Cum ndr znea
Ol i
viasmi ntast fel npr ivinaei ?Nuaveani cideces- if ie
~54~
Sandr
aBr
own

rui
ne, ni cipent rucessescuze!
-Nu- miami nt escsof ivzutl a nmor m ntare,spusePar ker
cui r
et eni e.
-Af ostcopl eitdedur ere.S- aat aatf oar temul tdeBen n
ti
mpulcl t or iei.N- af ivr utst reacpr i
nt r-unasemeneachi n,
spuseOl i
vi asi mpl u.
-Lesnede neles.ieuam si m i
tl af elc ndamur i
tmama,
optiKur tbt ndu- im nauor ,dareai -or et raser epede.
Car sonschi mbsubi ectul .
-Povest et e-nedespr ecent r
alaast ael ectricpecar evi sezi
soconst rui et i,
Par ker .
-Nu- iunvi s,Car son.Avem deg ndsoconst r
uim, ntr-un
felsaual tul.Bi ne neles,am dor isnebucur m despr iji
nul
famili
eiLocket t.
-Ceseva nt
mpl acucompani adeel ect ri
citatecar eexi st
dejaai ci? nt rebOl iviar efer i
ndu- sel aocent ralmi caf lat n
proprietat eal uiOr vill
eKendr ick.
Laur en o auzi se di scut nd cu Car son despr e acestl ucr u.
Centralaof ereael ect ricit
ateal ocui tori
loror auluiCor onado n
fi
ecar esear nt reor eleaseiunspr ezece.Dest uldeci udat ,
casaLocket tnuer a ncr acor dat l are eauael ectri
c.
-Vadaf aliment ,f r ndoi al,r spunsePar ker.Noivom
ofericur entel ect ri
cdouzeciipat rudeor edi ndouzecii
patru.Kendr icknuvaput ear ezistaconcur enei.ntr-
obunzi ,
foartecur nd, totulvaf unc i
onapebazdeel ect ri
citat
e.
Kur tseapl ecspr eLaur enio ntreb:
-Ce pr ere ai despr e cur entul el ect r
ic, domni oar
Holbrook?
Toat epr ivi r
ilese nt oarserspr eeaiezi tpu innaint es
rspund.
-Cr edceur
t.
Vz ndu- lechi pur ileocat e, segr bisexpl i
ce.
- nel eg c e nevoi e de elis ntde acor d cu domnul
Vandi vercvom devenif oar tedependen ideel ,dareuunacr ed
ceur
t .Pr ef erl umi nacal dal mpi icugaz.
-Oadevr at romant i
c, spuseKur td nddi ncapapr obat or.
~55~
FOCURIASCUNSE

-l -auzi ,i
-auzi .
Acel ecuvi ntecaust iceczur cani t epi etre n ncper e.
Toat l umeaseui tlaJar ed,car e ireluasepozi i
adi nf otoliu.
Erapr imaoar c ndspuneacevadec ndt er mi naser dem ncat .
-M- ari nteresaipr er eat anl egt urcuaceast chest iune,
Jar ed, spusePar ker.
-Pr ereameaest er mi nm cupr ost ii
leisaj ungem l a
mi ezulpr obl emei ,
domnul eVandi ver ,spuseelcudur itat e.
-icar ecr ezit uce mi ezulpr obl emei ?
Jar edser idicdi nf ot oliu,sedusel abuf et,iumpl upahar ul
cuwhi skyiabi adupaceease ntoarsespr ePar ker .Laur en
obser vc tdeper fect iveneacost umulnegr udi nl
n.Gul erul
albalcmi icont r
ast aput erniccuchi pulsu ntunecat ,car e
deveni sef oar te ncrunt at.
- Mi ezulpr obl emeie c vr eis const ruiio cent ral
elect r
iccevadi strugeaf acer eaal tcuiva.Pent rual iment area
acest eicent r
ale, ave inevoi edeap.Ceamaiaccesi bi l
sur sse
aflpepr opr ietateaf ami lieiLocket t.Pnai ciam dr ept at e?
-Rel atareat aepu indenat ur at,dar ,nl ini imar i
,acest ae
planul ,spusePar kercal m,deichi pulise nr oi sedi nnoui
deget el edol ofanepi piauf urioasebuzunr elulpent ruceascar e
ise nt indeapest ebur t
.
-Ceseva ntmpl acut o ioameni icar edepi nddeaceast
sur sdeapc ndosvi idumneat aiosr idi ciunbar aj ?Cei
dinf ami l
iaLocket ts ntf oar tegener oicuapal or .E, nt r-
adevr ,
osur sdeveni t,dar ,uneor i,tatapr imeac teunmi el,doicapl at,
alteor ichi arinumaiuncodepor umbdel avr eunf ermi ercar e
n-aavutor ecol tbun.Chi ar nai
nt ecal egi lef unci aresi ntren
vigoar eacum c i
vaani ,Benl epr omi teaf er mi er i
lorcar eaveau
animal epu i
nesl eadapepepr oprietat eanoast r.Ceseva
ntmpl acuacet ioamenic ndvorr m nef rap?
Laur en ascul t
a cur ioas.Di scur sull uiJar ed er af oar te
elocvent .Spr
ncenel eluist uf oase iami nt eauat tdemul tdeBen.
Pur tareal uinumaier adel oci nsolent .
- Domnul eLocket t..
.Jar ed,spusePar kerr bdt or ,poat ec
eu nel egl umeaaf acer i
lormaibi nedec tt i
ne. ndef initivam
~56~
Sandr
aBr
own

treizecideani npl us. nor i


ceaf acer e,uni ic ti
g, al
iipierd.Aa
eeconomi a.
-Nus nti diot ,Vandi ver .Aacnu- inevoi es- mivor betica
icum af i
, ziseJar ed.Am odi pl
om ncomer decar emamae
foar tem ndr .Ter ogscont inui.Cr edcospot i
nepasulcu
dumneat a, adugelr i
dic ndpahar ul nsemndesal ut.
-Foar t
ebi ne,at unciosvor bescdeschi s,zi sePar ker.Voi
vre iceva, noivr em ceva.Osf acem unt rg.Cal eaf eratpent ru
cent ralael ect ric.Ambel epr iorsai bext r
em demul tde
ctigat .
-Par ker, nucr edcene. ..
-Nu- lnt rerupe, Car son, spuseJar edcuaspr i
meiLaur enf u
sur prinsc nd lvzupeCar sonconf orm ndu- se.Aj ungem l a
par tea cea bun.DomnulVandi verif iul,spuse el ,r osti
nd
ultimulcuv ntpeunt oni roni c,auveni tt ocmaidel aAust incuo
schemdet aliat Tr ansPl ai nsRai lroadauneicif eratecar es
ajungp n nCor onado.
Fcuopauzil uo nghi i
turzdr avndewhi sky.
-N- avr eascr edci -aupi er dutt impul .
Laur en ur mr ea t ot ul f ascinat . De f iecar e dat cnd
deschi deagur a,br batulacel aer aimaieni gmat ic.Cowboy,
absol ventalUni versitiiHar war d, om deaf acer i?
-Vandi ver ,cont inuJar ed,Ker r vil
lear ecal ef eratdeanide
zile.Cor nfor tiFr eder i
cksbur gsntpecal edeaaveauna.Cu
vitelenoast reicucar i
er el edepi atr ,dececr ezicavem nevoi e
deaj utorul vost rucasob inem ocal ef erat?
-Tacidi ngur , Jared.Et ibeatinej ignet ioaspe i
i,sersti
Ol i
viaalcr eichi per aomascdef ur i
e.
-Nu- ini ciopr obl em, Ol i
via.Apuso ntrebar esimpl , i
areu

ivoidaunr spunsl afeldesi mpl u, zisePar kerif cuouoar


plecci unespr eea nai nt edease ntoar cespr eJar ed.Ben
Locket ta f ostun om r espect at n acestst at.Un om f oarte
put ernic.Nu- inevoi es- ispuneuast a.Tot ui,anidezi l
eaf ost
i
ncapabi lsaducocal ef er at pn nCor onado.
-Ast a pent ru c n- a vr uts- iexpl oat eze pe ceicar e i
respect au!st rigJar ed.
~57~
FOCURIASCUNSE

-Or icar earf imot iveleeecul ui ,totnuave iocal ef erat.Di n

nt
mpl ar eam omul imedepr iet eni nComi siaCi l
orFer at e.
Dacl espuncer iscantsseconst r uiascol iniep n n
Cor onado. ..
Ridi cdi numer i expr esiv.
-Pedeal t par t e, dacl espuncarf icevacar ene- araduce
mar ic tigur i,orsf ie ncnt a isapr obeconst ruireauneici
ferate.Dacunom at
tdei nf luentcat at ltun- ar eui tacest
l
ucr uf raj ut orul meu, cum aideg nds- of acitu?
Atunci ,pu indi nar ogan ai nflcr ar eal uiJar edsest inse.
ipusepahar ulpemsu i lpr ivipePar ker ndel ung.Acest a i
sus i
nupr i
virea, nmodl i
mpedeeval u ndu- idumanul .
Cal m, Jar ed ispuseapr oape noapt :
-Et iunt i
cl os.
-Da, snt ,zisePar ker ntunecatl af a.
ApoiJar ed i ndr ept pr ivirea nsuf leitdeal coolspr eKur t
,
car et cuse nt otacestt imp.
- ncazulst a,m ntrebceet it u,spuseJar eddi spr euitor,
dupcar eseui tl aLaur en, lamamal uiil aCar son.
Pe chi pull uise ci tidezgustir esemnar e nainte s se

nt oar cisi asdi n ncper e,ci zmel el uinegr eil ust r


uit e
clcndapsatpepodeauadel emn.C tevasecundemait rziu,
uadel ai ntrar eseauzit r
ntindu- se.
Dipl omatca nt ot deauna, Car sonspuse:
-Par ker ,Kur t,tr ebui esave ir bdar ecubi atul.Abi ai -
a
pierdutt at l.Moar teal uiBenl -aaf ect attar emul t.
- Dacarf iunbi at ,i-aput eat oler acompor t area,zi se
Par ker .Dareunbr batdet r
ei zecideanicar esecompor tcaun
copi l
.Ol ivia, arf ibinescl arificil ucr uril
ecuel .Dacnusepoat e
cont apespr i
jinull ui naceast af acer e,at uncinumaif acem
nimi c.Fi ult u e mot eni torull uiBen it oatl umea va f i
cur i
oassvadcum sedescur c.Dacseaudecnu- ipoat e
stp niner viiiobi cei ur il
epr oast e, ziseelar uncndopr ivir
epl in
de nel esspr ebuf et ,atuncinupotsf iudeacor dcuoaf acer en
comundet eamsnu- mipi er dcr edi bili
tat ea.
- nel eg,Par ker ,spuseOl iviaiochi ieiver zier aul af elde
~58~
Sandr
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reciidedur icasmar aldel e.Jar edvag ndicanoi ,ntotdeauna


sent mpl aa.
Laur enf uiritatdesi gur anaOl iviei.Jar eder aunom mat ur
carespuseseni t el ucr ur iinter esant e.Si m iuni mbol ddea- l
apr a,darbi nen elescnuput easof ac.
-Ar eor eput a ie ngr ozitoarepent ruact iviticarenupotf i
men i
onat enpr ezen adomni oar eiHol brook, i
nterveniKur t.
-Muenevoi es- mispune icar es ntcal it
i
lesaudef ectele
fi
uluimeu, domnul eVandi ver,ziseOl iviacur ceal .
-Nu, doamnLocket t.N- am vr utsspundec t.
..
-Cr edcart rebuispl ecm, i ntrerupsePar kerf iul.Am
avutodi scu iei nter esant .Osst udi em cuat eniepr opuner ea
iosc ntrim el ement elei mpl icat e.
Ser idicisedusel aOl i
via,lu ndu- im na ntr-al
esal e.
- imul umescpent ruosear mi nunat ,Ol ivi
a.Ci naaf ost
excel ent.Car neavi t
elorLocket tei negal abi l
.
-S ntsi gur c o s l ucr m mpr eun pe vi i
tor,Par ker.
Planur il
et alesevorput eapune napl i
car ef rpr obleme.Te
asigur .
-Sper .
Kur t iur n oapt noapt e bun l uiLaur en i,de dat a
aceast a, cnd ir i
di cm na, i-oat inseuorcubuzel eluicr noase.
Eaavunevoi edet oat st pnireadesi necasnui -ot rag
repedeir suf l
uur atc nduase nchi se nur macel ordoi
Vandi ver .
Car son,Ol iviaiLaur en seaf lau n hol .Rest ulcaseier a
cufundat nt cer e.Laur ense nt oar sespr eOl i
viaio ntreb
brusc:
-DoamnLocket t,decea imi nitnl egt ur cumi ne?M- ai
fcutuncompl icef rvoi ameal aaceast mi nciun.
Er aui mi t
depr opr ia-i ndrzneal ,darsi ncer i
tateaf cea
partedi nf i
reaei .
- Fr voi at a? ntrebOl iviaispr
ncenel eisear cui r
ca
douar ipinegr e.Aif iput utsnegichi arat unciisl espui
adevr ul .Darn- aif cut -o.Am cr ezutc i
-aidatseama c
varianta mea er a mul t mai pl auzi bil i mai pu in..
.
~59~
FOCURIASCUNSE

compr omi toar e.


Laur enseui tl aCar son, car e ipr i
veapant ofiiinu iofer ea
niciunaj utor . i ncr ucibr a elest rnsi imucbuzel e.
Primuleii nst inctf usnegedi nnoui nsi nuar eaceaiBen
Locket tarf if ostcevamaimul tdec tpr ieteni ,darseab inu.
Doul uni.Tr ebui asst eacelpu indoul uni.Apoi .
..
Sescuzr epedeiur c ncamer aei .
Car sonst tea npat ulcubal dachi niopr i
veapeOl i
viacar e
i
eideduppar avan, traver sndgoal ncper ea.
Nu ncet as- lui measc.t iact rebuiesai bvr eoci nci zeci
ici ncideani ,i arcor puleisuper b icont razi ceav r
st a.C nd i
l
spr ulpespat e ivzus niit ar iipl i
nir eflectai nogl inda
mar e mobi l
.Bur ta ier a pl at ,i arpul pel e nu aveau acea
greut atecar el esupr apemaj oritat eaf emei lor ntredouv rst e.
oldur ileier au ngust ei nt inse, iarpi eleadepef eseer anet ed
ine ncr ei
t.
De f iecar e dat c nd o vedea ast fel,eler a dur eros de
cont ientdepr opr iulsuf i
zi cdel ocat rgt or .Fr vest ast ri
mt ,
piept ulibur ta ier au l sat e,i ar pi ci oar ele scur te ise

ngr oaser cuv rsta.Car son ii nvi di antot deaunapr i


etenul ,pe
Ben,pent ru cor pull ui nal tibi ne f cut .Const r
uc ia aceea
put ernicipr uldesial bsuci ser capet elef emei l
orchi aril a
ov rstdest ulde nai ntat.
Net ulburat depr ivireal uist r uitoar e,Ol iviaseduseist i
nse
l
ampacugazdepenopt ier.Of t
obosi t
c nd icuf undcapul

nper napar fumat .


-Aif ostgr ozav nsear aast a,dr agamea.S ntconvi nsc
etiepui zat,spuseelm ng i
ndu- ipr ulbogatcudeget elel ui
scur teigr oase.
-Ti cloi i,spuseeaf ur ioas.t iucs nt em l apm ntine
l
ovesccupi cioar elec ts nt em npozi iaast a.Dacn- af ivr ut
attdemul tcal eaf erat ,ni cin- af ist atdevor bcunemer nicul
stadeger man.
Car son er a obi nui tcu l i
mbaj ulacel a ier a bucur os c
vorbeaast felnumai npr ezen al ui.O l uadr eptunsemnde

ncr eder e.
~60~
Sandr
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-t i
u, dr agamea.Vat r
ebuidoarsj ucm dupcum nec nt
eiovr eme.Am maif ostnevoi isf acem asemeneasacr i
ficiii
altdat, dart otdeaunaam avutdec tigat .
-Aae, numaic, dedat aast a,ecevadeosebi tdesupr tor.
-Nut emaig ndil aeiacum i ncear cst er elaxezi,spuse
Car sonapr opi indu- seimaimul tdeeaim ng indu- iobr azul

nai ntedeaser idicaideaosr utauorpebuze;t i


acnu i
plceausr ut rileapsat e.
Culcndu- icapulc tmaiapr oapedealOl i
viei,Car son ils
m nasal unece nj ospeg tuleiipepi epti icupr inses nul .
Singur aeisar ci nnu inchi sesel acul oar esf r
cur ile,career au
apr oapel af eldet r
andaf iri
icaal euneif eticane.Cont inusse
bucur edecar neaeif ier binteidesf
rcur i
leeit arip nc ndea

ncepu ssemi tener bdt oar e.Agi taiaaceea iddeade

n elesct rebui ast reacl aac i


une.
Seur cdeasupr aeiinu nt
mpi nni cior ezi stenc ndo
penet rr epede.Pasi uneal uidevenidi nce ncemaimar ei
ajunse l a or gasm n c t
eva cl ipe.Ni ciodat nu ncerca s
prelungeascmoment eledepl cer e.Ol iviaf usese nvatde
mai cilaAcademi aUr sul i
nel or nor auleinat al,NewOr l
eans, c
doamnel ornul epl ceaact ulsexual ,darc ltoleraucao
dovadai ubi rii
.Car son nelegea.Daci -
arf idor i
tvr eodat s
ob i
nor eac i
emaical ddi npar teaOl iviei
,arf if osti nut i
l.
Propr ii
leluiexcl ama i
ideext azer au nbui tedeper nagr oas n
car eicuf undf aa.
Primiom ng iereuoar peumrioat i
nger eabuzel orei ,
dupcar eeasedespr i
nsedi n mbr iar eal ui. ncdi nzi ua
aceea,di nur mcudouzecideani ,cndea li nvitasecompl et
l
ipsi t
deemo ies- ifi
eamant ,nuiseper mi seseszboveasc
preamul t nunt ruleisaussebucur edegol iciuneaeidup
aceea.

nsear aaceea, cadeobi cei,easedduj osdi npatiseduse
l
abai e.Eloauzispl ndu- se.C ndse nt oarse ncamer ,er a

mbr catcuocmadenoapt eiuncapot .


-Car son, mi -aveni toi dee, spuseea, plimb ndu- se ncoacei

ncol opecovor ulscumpdel api cioar el


epat ului.
~61~
FOCURIASCUNSE

Elnuaveavoi es- ipetreact oat


noapt eacueaiur at ot
aceltimppecar eeanui -lpetrecea npat.
-Da, dragamea?spuseelr esemnat .
idduseamadupagi t
aiacar eost pneaidupexpr esia
depechi puleifrumoscer acuf undat ngndur i
.nsear a
aceeat rebuiassemul umeascdoarcuceeace iper
misese
deja.
iascul t
planuluimi t
.Era ndr zne
,pr i
mejdios,imposibili
,
tot
ui,r eal i
zabi
l.Elobi ect n pr i
vina motivelor,protest

mpot r
ivami jl
oacelor
,dar,ca ntotdeauna, f
udeacor dcui deea.

~62~
Sandr
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Capi
tol
ul6

nt impceOl iviaschi apl anulcar eaveasai buni mpact


dramat i
c asupr a vi eiil uiLaur en,f ata ncer ca n zadars
adoar m.Sef oiaagi tatimi ideg nduri ir oi
aupr inmi nte,
tulbur ndu- ipu inaseni nt at epecar ei zbutisesopst rezede
cndsosi se ncasaLocket t.
OliviaiCar sonf or mauunpuzzl ecr uianu- iput eadadecap.
Cnd avea i mpr esi a c o accept au aa cum er a,c nd avea
senza iacr epr ezent auoameni nar epent ruea.Car sonsepur ta
frumoscuea,darer ascl avulOl iviei
.I arat i
tudineaacest eiafa
deLaur ener ar ezer vat ir ece, pent ruanuspunemaimul t.
CeidoiVandi vero nspi m nt aser.Nuer aobi nui t
saud
discut ndu- seaf acer i,iar aspr imeal uiPar kero ngr ozise.Kur t
era, fr ndoi al, laf eldel acom ideambi
ioscat atllui.
Gndull at
nr ulacel aof cupeLaur enssecut remur epn
i nat ernut ulcal d.Er achi pe ntr-
unf elbr utal,darcor pull ui
solid ipr ovoca r epul sie,i arvocea l uimi eroas ipur t
area
simandi coas ist rneaunel inite.Sesi meaameni n
at deel ,
darer aal tgendespai mdec tceacar eost p neac ndseui tala
Jar edLocket t.
Jar ed.Fi ull uiBener aundest r
bl atiunt iclos,unbe ivi
unaf emei at, aac, dececont i
nuasseg ndeascl ael ?Dece
oi ntrigaat
tdemul tt rupul nal tizvel tall uiJar ed?Decesi mea
dor inadea- lat inge?
Dupcef usesei nii
at nt ainelesexul uisl ab,l av rstade
unspr ezeceani ,idupceDor otheaHar ris iexpl i
case nmod
rudi ment arf unc iuni l
et rupul uiei ,educa i
al uiLaur en nceeace
priveasubi ect ulsexual i
tiif useseext rem dei nsuficient.
Avea ci nci spr ezece anic nd i -a datseama c un l ucru
mi ster i
os,o combi na ie ci udat ,at rgea cor pur il
e br bail
or
spr eal ef emei lorii nver s.Seaf lal aunpi cnicor gani zatnpar cul
oraul ui n ci nst ea vet erani lorcar ese ntorceau di nr zboi ul

~63~
FOCURIASCUNSE

hispano-amer icandi nCuba.St ndl aumbr aunuicopacici t


ind,
aten i
ai -af ostat rasdeunt nrsol datideso ial ui.
icunot ea
peam ndoi .Secst or i
ser cunumaic tevaspt m ni
naint eca
elspl ece nr zboi .
Stteaual t uril aumbr aal t
uicopac.Nuvor beai ,totui ,
comuni cauunulcucel lal t.Sepr iveauad nc nochi .Mnat iner ei
se af l
a pe pul pa so uluieim ng i
ndu- i-
o uorcu v rfur ile
deget elor .Laur enpr ivipef uridedupochel ar i,cum el iduse
m nal abuzei isr utpal macupasi une,dupcar ei-
oaez
dinnoupepul p, aps nd- ouor .
Dintr -unmot i
vi nexpl icabi l,inimal uiLaur en ncepusbat cu
put ereisi m iunvaldecl dur nt ott rupul .Sesi zosenza ie
ciudat npar teai nfer i
oar at rupul ui,sim ifur nict uri
ns ni,iar
sfrcurileise ntr irsubcmu .Er ast njeni tir uinatc
aveaasemenear eac iinacel epr
iintimeal ecor pul ui
.
Br bat ulseapl eci iopt iceval aur echeso iei
,carez mbi
incuvi in.Apoielser idici ntinsem napent ruaoaj ut as
ser idiceiea, iosr utapsat .Laur endescoper icieragr eu
sr espi re.
Ceidoi iz mbi r
,seui tar nj uripl ecar peneobser vat e.
Nu iluar r masbundel ani meniisepr eacnumaiLaur en

ivzusepl ecnd.
Acel esenza iit ulbur t oar e,darpl cut epecar el esimisecu
ani nur mc ndasi st asel aunmomentdei ntimi tatedi nt
redoi
so ifuseser apr oapeui tate,darr eveni rcuoul uitoareclaritat e
cnd lvzuse pe Jar ed Locket tr ezematde t ocului i n
dup- ami azaaceea.Dece?
ivzusebat jocur adi npr i
vireif usesepr of undr nit.Ce
fcuse,oar e,pent rua- ist rnidi spr eul?Ni cimcarvor belepl ine
deur pecar eil ear uncaseWi lli
am nuoj igni ser at
tdemul tca
zmbet ul ironi cdepebuzel esenzual ealel uiJar ed.
Opr ivisest r uitort ott i
mpulc tdur aseci na.iKur topr ivise.
Darpr ivi reaacest uiaer ar eceical culat , nt impceochi il ui
Jar edop rjoliser asemeniunorf l
cr iaur ii.
Tott r upul itremur asubcmaadenoapt e, nchi seochi i
, dar
i
magi neal uiJar ed ier a nt i
pr itdi ncol odepl eoape.
~64~
Sandr
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Ret ricl i
pa ncar eiapsasem napepi ept ulei .isi mea
rsuf lareapef a i ncer cs- ii magi nezecum arf if osts- i
simt buzel econt opi tecual eei .Unof tatlungicut remur t ori
scpiscoaseungeamt nper n.Voi ast iecum arf ifost.
it ia c af lar ea acel uil ucr u arf idus- o pr imej dios de
aproapedei ad...saudepar adi s.
Pendul adepeper etel ebi roul uibt uor aopt .Er aadouazi
dimi nea dupci napecar eol uaser ncompani acel ordoi
Vandi ver . n ur echi l
e l ui Laur en, bt il
e acel ea r sunau
ameni n tor ,nt i
mpcest tea nl i
nit empr euncuOl iviai
Car son, at eptndu- lpeJar edsl iseal ture.
Ol ivia pr ea ext rem de hot r
t aa cum st tea r igid n
fotoliuldi n spat ele bi roul ui.Car son er a ner vos ist
nj eni
t,
tergndu- if runt eadi nc nd nc ndcuobat i
st .Laur ensor bea
delicatdi nt r-
oceacdeceai .
Set rezi sedevr emeduponoapt eext rem deagi tat.Fust a
greadecul oaremar onibl uzagl buief useserpuse ngr abi
fraj ut or ulEl enei .ipr i
nsesepr ul ntr-
uncocl aceaf i
i
ei sedi n camer .Gr abaeideaapr eal ami culdej un er a,
probabi l,i nutil
,darnuvoi assecr eaddespr eeacarf i
l
ene.
nai nt esi nt re nsuf rager ie,Car sonoopr iior ugsvi n

mpr euncuelicuOl ivia nbi roul ncar eochemaser pr ima


oar. ntot deaunaaveas- lconsi derebi roull uiBen,cciceva
dinaur aacest uiamaipl utea nc nat mosf er.
Laur en lurmpeCar son nunt rui ipuser epedeoceac
deceai , ndul cindu- lf oart emul t,ccibnui acaveasai b
nevoi edeceva nt r i
tor ncur sulacel ei ntreveder imi sterioase.
Obr ajiidol ofaniail uiCar sonr oi ser consi derabi linuopr ivi
se

nochic nd ifcusei nvi t


a ia,deiLaur ent iacnuer adel oco
i
nvi taie, ciunor din.Car son itr ansmi teanel i
niteal ui.
Cevapl utea naer .i, evi dent , oaf ect a.Darcum?Nu iput ea

nchi pui .Poat e c,dup eveni ment ele di n sear a pr ecedent ,


aveausor oagepol iti
cosspl ece.Ur mausf i
ef oar teocupa i
cuaf acer eaci ifer at einu iput eacondamnapent ruf apt ulc
nuaveaunevoi edeost r
i n nvi a alor.
~65~
FOCURIASCUNSE

Deceer anevoi e, ns,saudiJar edcesoar toat ept a?


Arf ipr efer atcaelsnuf iedef al aaceadi scu i
e,cci ,f r

ndoi al, aveassebucur edeor icenecazs- arf iabt utasupr aei ,

ispuseeacut rist e e.
Laur ent resr ic nd iauzici zmel epepar chet uldi nhol .I ntr

n ncper ei ipr ivimamaf urios.


-Arf ibi nesf i
ecevaext rem dei mpor tantdact otm- ai
trezitat tdedevr emedupceazi -noapt em- am nt orst rziuim
simt ngr ozitor .Mducs- mipunocaf ea.
Ieiini meninu scoase ni ciun cuv ntp n c nd nu se

nt oar secuocandecaf eaf ierbint edincar esor bii njur ncet


cnd if ripsel imba.
ncont rastcu inut aper fect aOl iviei,Jar eder aext rem de
nengr ijit-pr ulat en ieraci ufulit,cmaai f
onat v rt
n
grab icu negl ijen n pant aloniimot ot oli
i,ci zmel e car e
fuseser l ust ruitecuosear nai nteacum er aupl inedepr af.Se
tr
nt ipef otol i
u nt r- opozi iecare, deja,ncepuses- if i
ef ami liar
l
uiLaur en. iignor compl etpeeaipeCar son.
- Dacn- arf if ostcevai mpor tant,nut e-af ider anj at,spuse
Ol i
viacaicum t impulnuarf it r
ecutdel ocdec ndeli ntrase
primaoar iiseadr esasecugr osol nie.Car sonicumi neam
discut atf oar temul tasear duppl ecar eaVandi ver -
iloriam
ajunsl aoconcl uzi e.Am vr eas- ispunem i ieceavem deg nd
sf acem pent r uar ezol vapr oblemel ecuPar ker .
Car son it er sedi nnouf runt eaasudat i iumezibuzel e
ner vos,pr ivindu- lpeJar eddi npar t
eaceal altacamer ei.Dac
aveausr eiadi scu iaaceea,Laur enarf ipr eferatsse ntoar c

ncamer aeiisseocupedecor esponden aOl iviei.Saus- i


facbagaj ele.
- Deceam obnui alcn- os- mipl ac ceave ideg nds
face i?spuseJar edame i
t.tiif oar t
ebi necar e-ipr er eamea

npr i
vin adobi toci lorl ora.Nu- ivr eaupeni ciobuc icdi n
pm ntul nost ru.
-Ni cimi enupr ea-mipl aci -nicin- am ncr eder e nei ,dar
vreaucal eaf erat , Jar ed.iCar sonovr eai ,deasemenea, tat l
tuavr ut-o.
~66~
Sandr
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-Benn- avrut -oat tdemul t,


nctssel asepem naunuiho
caVandi ver .
-Jar ed,mamat a ncear csspunct rebui esdm pu i
n
ca s c t igm f oar te mul t,spuse Car son pr i
vindu-lapr oape
rugt or .t i
udeceezi iszgzui et ichi ariunmi cafluental
l
uiRi oCabal l
o.Uni idi nmi ciif ermier ivoraveadesuf eri
t,daro
s-iaj ut m c tosput em.N- os- il
sm dei zbel i
te.
Rsener vos, darJar ednuschi ni cimcarunz mbet .
Laur en lurmr isepeJar eddi ncl i
pa ncar e ncepusedi scu i
a
ivzupechi pull uiaceeaiconvi nger epecar eoar tasecuo
sear nur m.Maxi larulise ncl etaisedescl et a.
Apoi il scapul nj osi ncepus nvrteascl i
chiduldi n
can. lpr ivif oar t
eat enti ncr unt at.C nd i nl capuldi nnou,
chipul ier acompl etschi mbat . iprivimamaacuzat or,seui tla
Car soncudezgusti ,nf inal ,adopt unaerdet otalindif
er en.
Ridicdi numer icui nsol en .
- Face ice vr e i.Pu in mipas.S nte ini t
e par t
ener i
excel en ipent ruVandi ver .
Pusecanapemasidduspl ece, darOl ivialopri.
- At eapt ,Jar ed.Mt em cnu- ichi arat tdesi mpl u.St ai
j
os.
Ner bdar easeci teaf oar tel i
mpedepechi pull uimor ocnos,
darset rntidi nnou nf ot oliui ipr opt igl eznaunuipi ciorpe
genunchi ulcel uilalt.
- Separ ecuni idi nceicar ei nvest esc naceast cal e
ferats nt ngrij
or a inl egt ur cuat itudi neat a.Dupceosse
rspndeasc zvonuldespr ecompor tar ea t a deasear ,s nt
sigurcorsai bopr er eimaipr oast .Tr ebui essus iisau,
celpu in,sdaii mpr esi acsus i
iacestpr oiectsut lasut .i
cent r
al ael ect r
icical eaf er ataunevoi edeapr obar eat a
acum, cpr eieiaf acer ilet at luit u.
- Pr ei au?Mf acisr d, mor mielt ios.
Oliviai gnor ntr eruper ea.
- Bi ne neles,Car sonicumi nevom conducet otulp n
cndvei fi nst ares- iasumir spunder ea.Dar ,nfaaoameni l
or,
trebuiesdaidovaddeaut oritateimat uritate.
~67~
FOCURIASCUNSE

Fcuopauzpent rua- llsasdi ger eacestl ucru,dupcar e


spuse:
- Deaceeaconsi der m cart r ebuist e nsor ic tmai
cur
nd.Cudomni oar aHol brook.
Cuvi nt ele plut i
r n at mosf er ,suspendat e pe cur en i
i
palpabi l
iaidi versel orsent iment est rnite nceicar el eauzi ser.
uvoai edes ngenvl ir
ncapull uiLaur en,pr ovoc ndun
zgomoti nfernaliur echi leiochi i iar deau nt i
mpcet rupulise
acoper eadeopel iculdesudoar er ece.
Oliviar masenet ulbur atist teacal mimai est uoas,
atept ndcasupui ieis- i ndepl ineascdor i
na,pent rua- i
vedeamaidepar t
edet rebur i
.
Car sonseui t
del aLaur enl aJar ediapoil aOl i
vi a,dup
car eif ixdi nnoupr i
vir eaasupr al uiLaur en.Habarnuaveace
gndeaaceast a,cciseui tadr ept nf a, depar ci -arf ipi erdut
mi nil
e.
Reac ialuiJar ed isur prinsepet o i.Acest ai zbucnideodat

nt r-unhohotder s.Ser idi ci ncepussepl imbepr in ncper e


i
nndu- sedebur t,p nc nd,compl etepui zat ,sespr iji
nide
per vazulf erestrei.Dupcet raseaer npi eptdec t
evaor i
,spuse
peunt ondeui mire:
-Nusepoat esvor biiser i
os!Sm- nsorcudomni oar a
Hol brook!Eceamaibungl umpecar eam auzi t
-odupmul t
ti
mp.
it ersel acri
mi l
epr ovocat eder
siLaur en iaduseami nte
deBen.Doarami nt i
reaaceea istrpunsecr eier ulocat .
-Nu gl umesc del oc,Jar ed,spuse Ol ivia cal m.Vor besc
foar teser i
osicr edcosvezidece, dacml ais- iexpl ic.
-N- am nevoi edeni cioexpl ica ie,mam.Eabsur d,st rig
Jar ed, iar tcudeget ulspr eLaur en.Eoput oai c.
-Domni oaraHol br ookar edouzecideani .Mi -aspusBen.
-Numr efeream l av rst, fir
-arsf i
e, cila...
-t iul acet er eferi,spuseOl ivia.Eomar edi f
eren f a de
pr ereapecar eaiavut -
oi niialdespr eea. miami ntesccl -ai
acuzatpeBenc- iaduce ncas tr
fadi nSud .
Laur ense nfur ie ngr ozi torc ndauzicuvi nt el
enedr ept ei
~68~
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nent emei ateal el uiJar ed.Ni cimcarnuocunoscuse! naint eca


eas- ipoat umpl epl m ni icudest ulaercaspr otest eze,
Oliviacont i
nu:
-Am nscoci topovest epl auzi bil
pot ri
vi tcr eiaeaarf isor a
unuif ostcol egalt udecoal .O smaiadugm cv- ai

ndr gost it nt i
mpulunei adi nvi zit
el etal e ncasaacest uia.Tat l
tu i-
af cutsur prizadeaoaduce ncoaceit unusupor i
gndulcaeasseduc napoi .Vve icst or iimedi at.
Ridi cm napent rua- lmpi edi caspr ot est eze.
-Am dor isf i
imaidi scr etcu. ..celelal tei nt ereseal etale, dar
nuvaf inevoi es-
ischi mbi ,st il
uldevi a.Laur enest eeducat
iraf inat ivaadugaonot convi ngt oar enoi italei magi ni.
Jar edser ezemdeper etei incr uci br a el
e.
- Nune- am pur tatchi arcaoper echede ndr gost i
iasear ,
spuseeloar ecum amuzat .Cum nai bade- i nchi puicmecher i
i
iadeVandi veriorsv nghi tf arsa?
-Osspunem cLaur ennugset edecuvi i
n ssemr i
te
attdecur
nddupmoar teal uiBenicv- a icer t
at naceast
privin .A iavutone neleger eca ntre ndr gost i
i,spuseea,
dupcar eadug:Osvcst oriiimedi at .Am vor bitdest ulde
clar?
Jar ed ipr i
vimamac tevacl ipe, darc ndvor bi,oriceur mde
umor di spr u di n gl asul l ui. Vocea i er a sczut i
ameni n toar e.
-Tuail uatf i
ecar ehot rreaf urisi
tdi nvi aamea.S ntde
acor dcupl anulvost rupent r
ucal eaf erat,dar nni ciuncazn- o
sml egideonevast pecar enuovr eau, nni ciuncaz.
Oliviaz mbi .
-Bacr edcda,Jar ed.Di n ntmpl ar e,am auzi tdi scuiape
car eaiavut -ocuBen nsear adedi nai nteamor
iilui.Vr eis- i
spun domni oar eiHol brookdeceavr utBen caeasvi n

ncoace?
Jar ed pl ivi zibil
,deier a dest ulde pal id di n cauza
mahmur elii.Ochi iluipr eau ndur era i
.Se ndr ept i inclet
pumni i
, darnuspuseni mi c.
-Nu? lnt r
ebOl ivia,dupcar ese nt oar sespr eLaur en.Ei
~69~
FOCURIASCUNSE

bine,Laur en,separ ecBent e-aal espent ruJar ed.Te- aadus


aici nsper an adea- ivedeaf iulnsur atcut ine nai ntedeamur i
.
Dupaceeaiseadr esdi nnouf iuluiei :
-E o i roni ef apt ulc,pent ru pr i
ma oar ,scopur il
e mel e
coinci dcual et atluit u,nu?inumai mpot rivireat af ade
aceast cst orieipr omi siuneadea- ifaceeder eal uiLaur en
ctmai ngr ozi toar ei -a pr ovocati nf arctul.Cr ed c- idat orezi

ndepl inirea acest eiul time dor ine,nu? Se l s pe spat e n


fotol i
uleiiz mbiper i
cul os:Da, credci -odat orezi.
Maxi l
ar ull uiJar edset ransf ormase nfier.Di niiise ncletau
isedescl et au, iarpumni ifceauaceeaimi car epel
ngt r
up.
Se ntoar sespr ef er east ripr i
viaf ar cuni teochior biideo
furieneput inci oas.
DacLaur ennuarf if ostocat decel e ntmpl atenul t
imel e
ctevami nut e,s- arf isi m i
tpr ofundj ignitdef apt ulcdi scutau
despr eea ca icum arf if ostsur do- mut ,un obi ect ,nu o
per soan.Benoi nvi taseacol opent ruaomr i
tacuaceli ndivid
frval oar e!
Cum deput usesf ieat tdenemi los?I arOl iviaiJar edt i
user
tott impul ,poat eiCar son.Conspi raser cut oiipent ruao

nel a,baoiumi li
ser cubnui elilelegat edevi rtuteaei .
Ol i
via i ntoar sepr ivireadur ispuse:
-Laur en, nu i-
am auzi tpr erea.
Er aevi dentcacel ecuvi nteer auopur f ormal i
tate.Ol ivia
nuseat ept al ani ciunf elde mpot rivire.
Vz ndcLaur ener ai ncapabi l
sspunceva,Car sonzi se
ovi t
or :
-Ol ivia, poat eexager m pu in.Haisl email sm t imp. ..
-Nu,spuseOl ivia.Cuc tmaicur nd,cuat tmaibi ne.S nt
sigur c,at uncic ndLaur envaauziir est ulpr opuner i
i,vaf i
i
medi atdeacor d.
Laur en i ntlnipr ivireadi nnouisi m ipu incur aj .Femei a
aceeanuoput eaf orassemr it
e.Ni ciodat .
naint ecaLaur ensapuces- ispunvduveil uiBence
pr ereaveadespr e nt reagaf ami li
e, Oliviazi se:
-Nuneat ept m sf acit reabaast af rspr imet iceva n
~70~
Sandr
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schi mb.Nu- icer em dec tsst aicst or i


tp nsevat ermi na
const r
uc iaci if er ate.Apoi ,dupceseva nchei at ot ul,vei
put eapl ecaor i
undeveivoi .At unci ivom of eridouzecidemi i
dedol ar i
.
-Nuvr eauni ciunbandel avoi ,Ol ivia!excl amLaur enf r
s-ideaseamaciseadr esasepenume.
Acea ul tim i nsul t
er a pr ea umi litoare.De f apt ,Ol ivia i
ofer i
sebanipent ruasemr i
tacuJar ed!
Ignor r sulbat j
ocor i
torcar e se auzidi nspr ef er east r.
Privirea ier aa intitasupr aOl ivieiiopt i:
-Ei mposi bil
.Si gurnugl umet i?
Olivia isus i
nupr ivi
reacust oicism.At unciLaur enseui tla
Car son,car e it er geam inil
easudat ecubat ista.Br bat ulde
l
ngf ereast rr masenecl intitig ndi tor.O l sassel upt e
si
ngur , cndarf itrebui tsf ieal ia
i.Fur i
a iddeacur aj.
-N- osmmr itcuni meni .Nuvr eausmmr itcuni meni ,
spuse ea nlndu- isf i
dt oar e br bia.Dar Ol iviar se cu
i
ndul gen .
-Dr agameaLaur en,nuspunst emr iinsensulbi bli
cal
cuv ntului.Cst orianut rebui esseconsumeneapr at.
Dinnou, Laurenauziunsunetdi spr e uitordinspr ef ereast r.
-Cr edeam cof er tanoast ros- ipl ac.Doarnuvr eist e

nt orcii medi atlaaceacaspar ohi alamr t


,nu?C ndos
plecideai ci, veifiof emei eindependent .
-i, deasemenea, cst orit
, spuseLaur en.
Cuouoar not dener bdar engl as, Oliviaspuse:
-O cst orieneconsumat sepoat eanul ai medi at .Nut e
gndil aast aacum.Caso i
eal uiJar ed,veiaveaovi a pl cut
aici.
Ochi ieiver zise ngust arc ndo nt rebdeodat :
-Er ailegat deci neva nCar oli
nadeNor d?Vr euni ubitsf ie
mot i
vul mpot ri
viri
it ale?
-Nu,zi seLaur enisecut remur c ndchi pull uiWi l
liam i
apr u nmi nte.Nu,r epeteacuhot rrei ,sim indu- semai
cur ajoas,cont inu:Daca it iuttott impulmot i
vulpent r ucar e
Benm- aadusai ci,decenumi -aispus?
~71~
FOCURIASCUNSE

-Ast a-iol ec iepecar earf ibines- onve i,Laur en.Adun


ct
ei nfor ma iipo iipst reaz- lep nl amoment ulpot rivit.Dac
nus- arf iivitaceast ocazi e,pest edoul uniaif ifostt rimi s

napoi ,spuse ea z mbi nd ncor dat .Fr ndoi al c suf letul


romant icall uiBenasper atct uiJar edossi miiaf eciune
unulf a de cel lalt nt impulacest eivi zite.Ben a f ost

nt otdeaunaunpr ostnceeacepr i
vet east feldel ucrur i.
PeLaur enoocur adi ngl asulOl ivieiinuput udec tsse
uitel aea.
Ol i
vi aser idicit raver scamer ar epede.
-At unci ,dacnumaiavem ni mi cdedi scut at ,eumducs

nceppr egt iri


le.
Seui t
l aJar ediapoil aLaur en.Vz ndcni ciunulnu
spuneni mi c,if cusemnl uiCar sonsour meze.Acest aobt u
uorpeumrpeLaur en nai nt esi asdi nncper e.

nmi nt eal uiLaur ener aoadevr at har ababur .Decemai
stteaacol o,.
oar e,cndarf itr ebui tsseducsusis- if ac
bagaj ele?Arf it rebui tsf ugdi ncasaaceeai medi at.Pr i
vea n
gol nt impceg ndur i
lei-ol uaser r azna.
Car e ier aual t
ernat i
vel e?Nuseput ea ntoar ce nCar olinade
Nor dsdeaochicuWi ll
iam icuf ot iieit ut ori.nchei aseacel
capi tolalvi eiiei .Sau, mai preci s,fusese nchei atpent ruea.
Aveas ndur eocst or iel i
psitdedr agost eal t ur ideun
strin.Darnupent rut ot deauna.Aveasai bposi bili
tat eadea

ncepeoal tvi adupcepl ecadel af ami liaLocket tiaveas


supr avi eui ascst igmat ul uiunuidi vor .Poat eaveast reac
dreptvduvchi ar,dacsedepr tac tmaimul tdeTexas, ntre
ti
mp, aveast riascf oar tebi ne.
Ceal tcevaarf iput utf ace?Seg ndi nt r
eactl aEdTr aver si
l
a of er ta acest ui a deo aj ut a.Poat ei -arf igsi tun postde
chel ner ilaHar veyHouse.Respi nse, ns, ideeaaceeai medi at.
A nt reinec i
vaoaspe int r-unsal oonnuer aacel ail ucr ucua
l
ucr a ntr-unr est aur ant ,undet r ebuiasser veascm n-cr uride
pet vi ncr cat e.inui -arf ipl cutst r
i asc ntr-uncmi n,
undemoment eledei ntimi tat eer auf oar ter are,dacnuchi ar
i
nexi st ent e.
~72~
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Ar gument elepr oicont rase nvrteauame itor nmi nt eaei ,


darbazahot r
riieieraacel ail ucrupecar eOl i
via lfolosi semai

nai nte.Fusesedor i
nal uiBen.
Iar iseg ndil aacestl ucr u.Benoal esesepent rufiull ui .De
ce?Ochi nui aext rem demul tg ndulcnuaveasaf leni ciodat
care ifuseser mot i
vele,
Laur ener aat tdecuf undat ng ndur i
,nc tabi aacum i
ami nticJar eder ancacol o.St t ear igidl af er east r
,laf elca
mai nai nte, cuspat elelaea.Decenuspuseseni mi c?
Seui t
l aeli ncer cs- ideaseamacet rebui assi mt .
Oar ecst oriacuelaveasf i
echi arat
tde ngr ozitoare?Ol ivi
a
spusesef oar tecl arc- aveas- if iemi reasdoarcunumel e.
Avea s r m n o mi reas,f r s devi n so ie.Cciacea
cst orienuaveasf ieconsumat .I nima it resr inpi ept .Tot
nucunot eapr eabi nemecani smel eacel eii ntimi ti,dart iac
acelcuv nti mpl icaoconf i
rmar ef izicacst oriei.
Tr ebui aus- ivorbeasc. naint essedecl aredeacor dcu
acelgestabsur d,t r
ebui ast iecesi m eael .Ser idic ncetdi n
fotoliuiseapr opiedeel .idr esegl asul .
-Domnul eLocket t?
C nd iauzivocea,t rupull uise ncor daut omat ,darapoi i

ndr ept umer iiiser suci ncet .Nuspuseni mi c,cidoaropr i


vi
cur ceal .Buzel eluiplineisenzual ef ormauol iniesub i
re.
-A. ..avr east iu..
. ngi mea, darelo ntrerupse.
-Aimucatdi nmomeal , nu?Abi aat ept aiocazi aast a, nu-i
aa?At
iabani !iunso !Doamne,Doamne,cesusaaj uns
feti
abt rnapast orului.
Cuvi nt elel uier aucr udeipl ineder ut ate,r ost i
tecui nt en i
a
clardeaj igni .Ast acr edeael ?Ceat iusedepl anur i
lel uiBen?
Furiair ui nea iaduser l acr imi ncol uri
leochi l
ori lpr i
vi
i
mpl orator .
-Domnul eLocket t,trebui e...
Eloapucat uncicuam ndoum i
niledeumer i,zgl
ind- o, i
cocul ncepusisedesf ac.
Pr intredi niincleta i
,ispuse:
-Cr ed c,da tef ii
nd mpr ejur ril
e,put em sr enun m l a
~73~
FOCURIASCUNSE

domnul ei domni oar .Pemi nemcheamJar ed.Spune! i


ordonel .
M i
nilel ui ist rngeau cu put ere br ael e idi niiei i
cln neaudespai m, darr euis ngai me:
-Jar ed.
Dupcar eo l acr i
mur iaisedespr insedegeneise
rostogol ipeobr azcaomr gea.
Aceal acr im lnf uri
eimaimul tpeJar ed,car e ispuse
uier tor :
-Nut i
ucum del -aior bitil -aivr j itpeunbr batat
tde
det eptcat at a,darsnucr ezicospr ocedeziicumi nel af el
recur gndl al acr imiial tepr ef ctor i
i.Ochi it i
acenui in- ors
aibni ciunef ectasupr amea, nelegi ?spuseel scut urnd- ouor .
Sntem am ndoibga inchest iaast a.i nt e-tec tmaidepar t
ede
mi nei ,poat e,ossupor tm.Bt r
nulBener acel ebr upent ru
glumel el uipr oast eisepar ecpeul ti
mami -
af cut -ot ocmai
mi e.Agsi tnt ineunpar tenernemai pomeni t.
-Nu!st rigea.N- am t iutceaveadeg nd.Mi -
apomeni tde
ti
nedoar nt react .N- am. ..
-At unciet iimaipr oast dec tmi -am nchi puit.Cr edeaic
Bent evr eapent r
uel ?Eibi ne,at uncigl umaeval abi lipent ru
ti
ne,nu?Cut aiunsosi mpat ic,bogatibt r
ncar esf acdi n
ti
nef oar tecur ndovduvbogat .Nu- iaa?
Stri
gacest eul ti
mecuvi nte,cuf aadoarl acivacent imet ri
deaei .O ineast r
nsl ipitdeel ,ast fel nctea isim eaf iecare
muchi ncor dat .
Ochi iluicaambr al i
cr ir
ocl ipc nd ipr ivichipulat rgt or.
Ful af eldesur prinscaeac ndiddur seamaam ndoi ,n
acel ait i
mp,ct rupur il
el iseat ingeaudi ndr eptulpi ept uril
or
pn- n picioar e.
Mol iciune i t rie, sl bi ci
une i f or , femi ni tate i
mascul initat e.Cont rastuler a pr ea put er nicpent ru a put ea f i
i
gnor at.
Jarednupl nui se,nuseg ndiseni ciodat l aacestl ucr u,dar
nuseput uab inesnu- iacapar ezet ot algur aiosr ut cu
ardoar e.Voi aso i nsulte,so umi l
easc,imaimul t,s- i
~74~
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tulbur eacelcal m af urisit .Dart rupuleier a at


tdef emi ni
n,
buzel e,at tdemoi ,at
tdecal deiat tdef eci orelnice, nc tceea
cef usesedur erosibr utaldevenit andr u, cur iosii scodi tor.
Bra elel uiocupr i
nser ncet ,str
ng nd- oimaimul t.iignor
podur i
lepal melorcar e ncer cauzadar ni cs- l mpi ng.Cuo
m n icupr i
nseceaf ai i inucapulnemi catp nc ndbuzel e
eisedesf cur subapsar eaal orl ui.Deget elel uisest recur ar
i
ncont ientpr inpr ulcar e icdeal iber .
Limba iptr unse ngur aat tdedi f
eritdet oat ecel elaltepe
car elesr utase.Ost rnse nbr aeimait are,p nc nds niiei
sest rivirdepi eptull ui.Sf rcurilet ar ipecar el esi m eapr in
mat eri
al ulsub irealbl uzei int unecaj udecat a, iargur aluideveni
imail acom.
Mi ntea l uiLaur en er a ocupat cu acel e senza iinoi-
nept ur i
lebr bi icar encepusescr eascpef a al ui
, gust ulde
caf ea,ar oma vag de t utun,buzel e,di niiil imba l uicar e
expl orau, geamt ulcar eseauzi ..
.deunde?
Jar edo mpinse^deodat ,at tdebr usc, nc teaf uc tpe- ai
ci
scad. ir ecpt echi li
br uli ncer csseg ndeascl aceea
cese ntmpl ase. iduseambel em inil agur .Pedeasupr a
deget el ort remur toareseui tlaJar edcar enupr eadel ocmai
stp npesi nedec tea.
O pr ivea,r espi rndagi tat,iapoi nghi insec.C nd imai
revenipu in,seascunsedi nnousubmascadei ndifer eni
zmbidi spr euitor .
-Foar tef rumos,Laur en,dar i-am spuscn- osai bef ect
asupr amea, spuseeliz mbii roni c.Fr ndoi alc- micompar i
put ereasexual cual uiBen,adugelapoiii zbucni nr
s.S
fiualnai biidacosi aur est ur i
let atei!
Isepr uct oat evasel edes ngeisespr seser ncap, cci

nt reagaeil umeer ascl dat deof urier oi e.Sedusespr eelca


or zboi nicdor nicder zbunar ei lpl muicut oat put erea.

~75~
FOCURIASCUNSE

Capi
tol
ul7

Jar eder apr eaui mi tcasr eac i


oneze nvr eunf el.Ea l
priveacuochi imar iipi ept ul itr
eslt adeagi tai
e. nor iceal t

mpr ejurare,arf igsi tcf ur i


aeier acar aghi oasiarf ifost
extr em deamuzat ,daracum r masenecl inti
tcaost atuie,
nt imp
ceea ispuse:
-Et ingr ozitor,Jar edLocket t.Nici odat,absol utni ci odat ,
snummaii nsul
iaacum t ocmaiaif cut -o.
Dupaceease nt oarseii eifur i
oas,l sndu- lpeJar edcu
gur acscat .
Imedi atdupce nchiseuabi roului nur maei ,Laur enf ugi
spr escar i ,cuungestf oar tenepot ri
vitpent ruodoamn, i
ri
di cr ochi amaisusdegl ezneiur cr epede.C ndaj unse n
camer ,faa ierascl datdel acrimi .
- lursc!opt ieaf urioas,Eor ibi
l.To is nt,ziseeapl
ngnd
ise t rntipe pat ,cu obr azul n per nele car e iabsor beau
l
acr imi lei inbueauexcl ama ii
ledef rustrar e.
Dece! ?Dececr edeaaacevadespr eea?Cef cuse,oar e,
frs- ideaseama,
nctobnui adecevar u?Ol i
vi aiCar son
eraupej umt ateconvi niceaiBenf useser aman i
.Jar ed
trebui asg ndeascl af el,bamaii nsi nuasecarf iavuti
mot ivemat eriale.
P niAbeliSybi l
,car eoi ubiser capeof iic,cr ezuser
mi nci unile ngrozi toare al el uiWi l
liam nl egt ur cu ea.
Expr esiil
el oriniialedene ncr edereset ransf or maser naceeai

ncr unt aredi spre uitoarecar eapr useipechi pull uiJar edcu
ctevacl ipe nur m.Eanuf cuseabsol utni mi cpent ruaat r
age
asemeneabnui eli.
Wi l
li
am.Chi ariat unci ,c ndami ntireal ui ncepusesise
tear gdi nmi nte,sim idur ereacumpl itpecar ei -
opr ovocase.
nzi ua ncar eBenLocket tplecasei medi atdupmi culdej un,
so i
iPr atherhot r
ser deodat sseduc nRal eigh.Abelo

~76~
Sandr
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own

i
nvi taseipeLaur en,darper spect ivadea- ipet r
ecezi ua n
preaj mapast oruluiiaso i
eiacest uia,or ictdemul ti-arf ii ubit
,
nuer adel ocat r
gt oare.Laur eni nvocodur er edecapi irug
snu ischi mbepl anur i
ledi ncauzaei .Sybi lenumer adej a
magazi nel epecar earf ivr utsl evizi tezeinumeac teval ocuri
undearf iput utsser veascmasadepr
nz.
Laur enl ef cuvesel cum nac ndpl ecar .Er aext r em de
bucur oascaveasst easi ngur toat ziua.Tr ebuias- il i
ng
rnilepr ovocat eder enun areal aocazi adea- icr oioal tvi a.
Ziuat recumul tpr ear epede.Exer sonoubucat muzi cal
pnc ndf ucompl etmul umi t,ipet recuoor nl init e,ci ti
nd
ocar t e,darg ndur ileial unecaumer euspr eBenLocket t.Nu
avea s- lmaivad ni ci odat ,daravea s r m n veni c n
ami nt i
reaei .Fuseseat tdebun.C tdemul tidor easf if ost
itat leil af el.
lal ungpeBen nt
r -uncol ndepr t
atalmi ni
ii if cuo
oml et pent ruci n.Di nmomentceAbeliSybi laveausr m n
pest enoapt e nRal eigh,eaconsi deraacel ecl ipedesi ngur tate
dreptundarneat ept at, darbi neveni t.
Dup acea ci n uoar i ,pent ru pr ima oar ,gust oas,
tocmaivoi asseducsus,c nd auzisoner ia.Obi nui tca
oameni is- lcaut e nper manen peAbel ,deschi seuaf r s
eziteni ciocl ip.Wi lliam Kel l
erseaf la nfa aei .Pr imuleii mpul s
fus- itrnteascua nf a ,darbunel eeimani er eo mpi edi car.
Sper nd sscaper epededecompani al ui ,spuse:-Bun,
Wi l
liam.Abelnueacas.
Blocuacut r
upuleiinu lpof tinunt r
u.
Absen aso ilorPr athernuer aonout atepent r
uWi lliam,cci
Abel lsunase nai ntespl ece, nl egt ur cuunpaci entcar e
trebui avi zitat ,men ion nd nt receref aptulcLaur enr m nea
acas.
Elopr iving mf atif cuunpasspr eu.Easevzunevoi t
ssedea napoi ,altfeltrupur i
lei is-arf iatins, ceeacet rebui as
evitecuor icepr e.
-Foar t
ebi ne.Mbucurcam ocazi asst audevor bcut ine
deschi si ntrepat ruochi .
~77~
FOCURIASCUNSE

ipusepl ri
aipal tonul ncui eruldinholiapoii nt r n
salon, net ul bur atdepr i
mi reaeir ece.
Laur ennuf usesedel oc nsal on nziuaaceeaisepr eac
nimeninuf usese,ccidr aper i
ileer aut raseil uminavi oleta
amur gul uipt rundea pr in el e. nunt ru era un aer nchi s i
prezen al uiWi lli
am f ceacaat mosf er asf ieimaisuf ocant .
-Despr eceanumevr eis- mivor beti,Wi l
li
am?S ntf oar te
ocupat , spuseeacuovocet r
emur t oare.
ncl ipaaceeat iucsi ngur asenza i
epecar ei -
opr ovoca
Wi l
liam er at eama.
Erar idi col !Decesset eamdeel ?inlbr bia,nevr
nd
ca els- isesi zeze ner vozi tatea l egat de f aptulc se af l
a
singur cuel nt oatcasa.
Wi lli
am st tea nmi jlocul ncper ii
,cum inil
el aspat eicu
privireaa intitasupr aei .
-Abelmi -a datper mi siunea s-
icerm na,spuse elcu
pedant er ie. naint e s aj ungi s f iiincapabi l s r ezit i
avansur ilorunorbr ba ipr ecum acestcowboycar eaf ost n
vizitdecur nd.Am hot r
tcart rebui ..
.
Eaf uui mi tcndauziacest ecuvi nteinel i
niteaf u nlocui t
def ur ie.
-BenLocket tnumi -
af cut avansur i.Dar ,chiardacl e-a
fcutsaunu, nut epr ivet epet ine, pent r
ucn- am ni cioi nt en i
e
smmr itcut i
ne, Wi ll
iam.
Fcu o pauzpent ru a- it rager suf l
areai i ncr uci
bra ele.
-Di scu ias- at ermi nat .Teconduc.
Se nt oar seipor nispr eu,darm nal uireceopr insede
bradeasupr acot uluiior sucicuf aaspr eel .Eaf uat tde
sur prinsdeacelgest ,nc tnu ncer csseel ibereze,ci lpr ivi
nedumer it.
-Nuaar epede, domni oar .ncn- am termi natcut i
ne.
Voceal uier acaunm r
itdeani malieasedepr tsi m i
nd
repul sie.
-Poat eci -
aipr ostitpet o i
,darnuipemi ne.Cef elde
propuner e i-af cutLocket t ngr dinadet r
andaf iri
?
~78~
Sandr
aBr
own

Ea ncercs- iel iber ezebr a ul,darelost rnseimait ar e,


provoc ndu-idur ere.
-Nut iudespr ecevor bet i.M- ar ugatsmduc nTexas,
n
vizit, att
atot .
-Ah,s ntconvi ns,spuseWi lliam r
njind.Si ngur elevi zi
tepe
car el e-aifacearf indor mi torull ui.
Laur enrmasecugur acscat .
-N- am. .
.n- am ni ciceamai mi ci deedespr ecevor bet i
.
Ceeaceer af oar teadevr at.Aveadoarono iunef oar tevag
referitoar elasensulacel orcuvi nt e,dart i
ainst inctivcnuer a
cevapl cut.
Wi lli
am opr ivicuat en ie.
-Poat ecnu.Eh, atunciost e nveu.Nuunbt rnur i
a.
Gr oaza idduf or
adeaseel iber ai ncercsf ug, darelo
prinsei mediat.Br a el
el uiost rnser ca nt
r -
omenghi nio

nt oar secuf aa.Buzel eluicr noaseiumedel est ri


virpeal eei .
LuiLaur ennu iveneascr eadcese ntmpl a.i pa ng nd,

nt impcegur al uio mpi edi casof acde- adevr atelea.O


strnseimaimul t,apl ecndu- seasupr aei .Apoi ,l i
pindu- igur a
uddeur echeaei ,iopt i:
- Nut ezbat e,Laur en.Te- am vzutc tdennebuni tort emi t i
.
Pemi nenumpr ost etifc ndpedoamna.
nt otacestt imp, ea isim eam i
ni lerecideschei ndu- inast ur i
i
del aspat eaibl uzei .ip ncl ipa ncar eisimideget el epepi el e.
El inbui i
pt ulacoper i
ndu- igur acu al uidi n nou i ,
fi
indcgur aeier adeschi s,el icuf undl i
mba nunt ru.Ease
zbt uimait ar e,zg rii
ndu- ifa a,t rgndu- ldepr ,lovi ndu-l n
fl
uier el epicioarel or.Uni nst inctdeconser vareof cusr ecur g
l
al ucr uridecar enus- arf icr ezut nst are.
ier agr oazc ndseg ndeacucearf iput utcul mi naacel e
pipi elior i
bileit iacnuput eaper miteaaceva.Repul siai
spai ma iddur f or ise mpi nse n pi eptull uicu t oat
put erea.Elsecl tiniczupeunt abur etdinf a af otoliuluil ui
Sybi l. ntimpce ncer casser idi ce,Laur enluvt rai uldel
ng
emi neu.
-Pl eaci medi at, i
zbut ieas ngai me.Dac ncer cismmai
~79~
FOCURIASCUNSE

atingi ,t
eomor .
Stndacol ocuf a azg r i
at,cupr ulr vi ticuhai nel e n
dezor dine,Wi l
li
am nusemnadel occuunpr eotr i
gidicor ect
car el evor beaenor iailorsidespr econseci nelecedr iinf aa
pof telortr upet i.
-Cel e-aispuneoameni lor,scumpLaur en,c ndorsvi ni
ors- mivadcapulzdr obi t,dacveir euis- of aci ?Reput aia
i
-arf iaf ect at pent rut ot deauna.Lumeaarcr edecm- aii nvitat
aici nabsen at ut
orilort i, ziseelif cuunpasspr eeaovi tor.
Darseopr i cndear i
dicvt r
aiulimaimul t.
-Ni cieun- af icrezutcs nt nst aredecr im,darof ac,
Wi l
liam.Et iuni pocr i
tio car i
cat ur.Di spar idi nf aamea.
Imedi at!
Elr
nji.
-Nur enun ,st i
i.Pr obabi lci -aiof er i
tmar fal uiLocket t
deja.
Dupce iaruncaceaul t
imi nsul t,t recupel ngeaise
opr inholdoarpent rua- il uapl r i
aipal tonul .Laur enauziua
del ai ntrar edeschi zndu- sei nchi zndu- se ncet .Rmasecu
vtrai ulridi catp nc nd ncepur sodoar br ael eiat unci l
l
s nj os.
Semi cf oartencet ,ca ntr-
unvi s.Dupceur ct rept el eca
icum arf iavutpant of idepl umb,deschi seuacamer eieii
apoio ncui e.Sedusel amsu adet oalet isepr ivinogl ind.
Pebr bi emaiavea ncsal ival uiWi lli
am,i arpr ul ier a

nc lcit.
Sedezbr ciumpl ucadacuap.Dupaceea icl t igur a
de c t
eva or icu ant i
sept ic ii ntr n apa f i
er bi nte pent rua

ndepr taur mel enjosirii


.V ntiledepebr aeer audur er oase.
Laur enset reziadouazidi mi nea nczgudui t nur ma
exper i
en eidi n sear a pr ecedent .Pl imb n-du- se ncoace i

ncol o,ncer cs- ior donezeg n-dur i


le.Cum aveasl espun
so i
lorPar thercese nt mpl ase?Dezamgi real orcupr ivirel a
t
nr ulpast orvaf iimens.Cu si gur an cAbelaveas- l
dest i
tuiedi nf uncieis- iinterzi csmaical ce ncasaaceea
vreodat .Laur enarf ivr uts- iscut eascdeaceadur ere,darnu
~80~
Sandr
aBr
own

put east ac.Wi l


li
am Kel lerer aunom per icul os.
Nu iddupr i
ncapct utor i
ieinuaveausocr ead.
Cndacet i
asosi racas,ea intmpi nvesel .Spor ovi ala
l
uiSybi lr isipiat mosf era apst oar e di n cas,car e par c
deveni seimai ngrozi t
oar edi nsear apr ecedent .Laur enpr i
mi
ocut iecubat istedindant el.Lemul
umidi nt oat i nima nt i
mp
ce iconducea nsal on.
Tocmaiseaezaser c ndsunsoner ia.Laur enf uul ui t
c nd
auzivoceal uiWi l
li
am ncl i
pa ncar eAbelsedusesdeschi d.
Vor bir ncetc t
evacl i
pe, dupcar eAbelapr u npr agispuse:
-Doamnel or,vr ugm snescuza i,darWi ll
iam dor etes
discut ecevaur gentcumi ne.Ne ntoar cem i medi at.
Dispr u ndi reciabi roul uiiLaur enavuopr esim ir
e.Er a
agitat it emt oarec ndascul tapovest irilel uiSybi ldespr e
clt orie.Gur aiseuscideveniimaiagi tatc nddi scu i
adi n
birousepr el ungi.
Inimaisest r
nsec ndauziuadeschi zndu- seiceidoi
br ba iintr ar nsalon.Fa al uiAbeler adeunr ouf oarteapr ins.
Clt i
ndi ncapui t
ndu- sel aLaur encune ncr eder e.Wi ll
iam se
aflal ac ivapai nur mal ui .Pr easpi t, darLaur ensur prinseo
l
icr iredevi ctor i
enochil uider ept il.
- Abel ,ce. ..
,spuseSybi lsper i
atc nd ivzuso ul nst ar ea
aceea.
-Dr agamea,avr east escut escdeaaceva,darmt em
ct otvat rebuisaf limaidevr emesaumait
r ziuder uineacar e
s-aabt utasupr anoast r.
Abelt raver s nceper eacuunpasgr eoiiseaezl ng
soial ui ,lundu- im na nt r
-al ui.Wi ll
iam st teal nguist udi a
covor ulur tdesubpi cioarelel ui.
Oar ecr edeaceal epovest i
sedespr epur tareal uir uinoas
dinsear apr ecedent iveni ses- icear scuze?Respi nse,
ns,
bnui alaaceea nclipa ncar evzuexpr esi adepechi pull uiAbel .
Trist.Cer cet toare.
Of t nai ntesspun:
-Pr eacur viaeunpcatf oartegr av, Laur en.
Ea r masecu gur a cscat deui mi re,i arSybi li cnii -i
~81~
FOCURIASCUNSE

ghemuibat i
stal agur .
-Ce. ..
, ncepuLaur en, darAbelo nt r
erupse.
-Wi lliam a veni timi -a mr tur i
sitc a icedatpof telor
tr
upet idec teval uni .
Sybi lsepr buimoal eini tesuspi nesl abe ncepur s- i
i
asdepebuzel et remur toar e.Laur endeschi segur apent r
ua
protest a, darAbelo ntr er upsedi nnou.
-Pof tel eunuibr bats ntmaiput ernicedec tal euneif emei .
Chiariun br batdevot atDomnul uica Wi l
liam e supus
dorinelorcar nale.Tot ui ,zi seeliur mcuovocemaisever ,
sarcinauneif emeiedea ine nf r
uacest edor i
ne.Wi l
li
am mi -
a
spuscl -aiademeni tp nc nd,
ncel edi nur m, acedat .
Sybi lpl ngea nhohot eacum,l acr i
mi lei roindu- idinbel ug
peobr ajiidol of ani.Tots ngel edispr udepechi pull uiLaur eni
i
ni mapr usiseopr easc npi ept.
^ Probabi lcvi sez, ispuse
ea.
- nt r-unf el,noi,car et e-am i ubitcapepr opr i
anoast rf i
ic,
am datgr e.Ne- aifostl sat ngrij
devi rtuosult ut at,darnoi
am nel at ncreder eal uiexactaacum t une- ai nelati ubirea.
PeLaur enodur easuf letulvz ndu- itut oriisuf er indat
t,dar
nuf cuni ciunef or tsvor beascat unci ,ciseui t
l aWi l
liam
carecont i
nuaspr iveasc npodeacuof alspoci n.
Abel
nchi seochi iocl ip, dupcar espuse:
-Laur en,Wi ll
iam mi -aspuscnumaipoat et ridacnu
aranjeazocst or iec tmaicur ndposi bil,iofer cst oria, nu
dintr-
unsent imentdevi nov i
e,cidi ntr-odr agost epr ofund.Eu
unuls ntr ecunosct or...
Voceaisef rnsei iascunsef aa nm ini.
Vz ndu- idur erea, Laur enser idi
cdepef otoli
uiseghemui
l
ngAbel .iapsambel em i
nipeal el uiiat ept p nc nd
eliridicpr ivirea.
-Mi nt e,Abel ,spuseeaat unci.Si ngur adat c ndam f ost
singurcuWi ll
iam af ostasear .Aveni tai ci nlipsavoast ria

ncer catsmsr ut ei ,smat ing.


Lacr i
mi le iiroiaupef a nt i
mpcel epovest eapr ince
tr
ecuse.
~82~
Sandr
aBr
own

C ndt er mi n, sim im i
ni l
el uiWi ll
iam peumer itrgnd- o ncet

npi cioar e.
-Laur en,dr agamea,nut rebuiesnemaiascundem.Nu

n elegi ?Nevom cst oriivom l ocui mpr eun.Am pct uit


.
Dareu mi -am mr t urisitpcat ul nf aa Domnul ui.Dac vei
mr turisiit u, veisi m ipaceacar e-mii nundacum suf l
etul.
Easedepr t
i utedeel ,arunc ndf ulger edi npr i
vire.
- Et inebun?Si ngur ull ucr upecar eos- lmr turisesce
c-mi f
acisi l.
Wi lli
am iz mbil uiAbel .
-Mt em cepr eat ensi onat.N- avr utsaf laidespr e
relaianoast rascuns.Avr utsvcr ue.
-Bi ne neles,spuseAbelui t
ndu- sel aLaur endepar cnuar
maif ivzut -op nat unci .Cr edcnunt avat rebuisai bl occ t
maicur ndposi bil
.Laur en,apr eciezf apt ulcaivr utsnecr ui
.
Voibi necuv nt aaceast cst orie.Veif ir edat f ami li
eimel ei
fami lieiDomnul ui .
Wi lli
am c t i
gase.Cuosubt ili
tatesat anic,concepuseacel
cont raat aciceidoiPr ather lcr ezuser .Abelvor bisedet rdare,
darnuaveast iec tdet rdat sesi m eaea.
Le- arf iput utar t av ntiledepebr a e,dardecesof ac?
Dacsm na nelt or i
eiluiWi ll
iam gsi seunt erenat
tdef erti
l

nmi n i
lecel orcar earf itrebui tsocunoasciat tdebi nei
soi ubeascat tdemul tnc tsnuobnui ascdeoasemenea
mur dr ie,eanuaveaspl edeze napr areaei .Abeler asl uji
torul
l
uiDumnezeu, darnuer aDumnezeu.I arcont i
in aeier acur at.
-Nuosmmr itcuWi l
liam.Eunmi nci nos.ichi ardac
n-arf if ost ,t
otnum- af imr i
tatcuWi ll
iam Kel ler.
Sybi lscoaseun ipticzudi nnoupeper nel ecanapel ei.
-Laur en, vr eisneacoper ider uine?Copi lamea, terogst e
gndet ilanoi , dacnuvr eist egndet ilanemur ireasuf l
et ul
ui
tu, spuseAbel .
-N- am f cutabsol utni mi c.Nuvoif icondamnat l aovi a
denef ericireal t urideunbr batpecar e-ldi spr euiesc, spuseea
cuf er mi tate.Darnut rebuiesvt eme ider ui neapecar ev- ar
aduce- opr ezen ameaai ci,pent rucam deg ndspl ec.
~83~
FOCURIASCUNSE

iof cuse.Pl ecase ncur sulacel eispt m ni ,l


unddel a
bancpu ini ibanicar e iaparineau.
Tel egr amapecar ei -
ot rimi sesel uiBenLocket tadouazi
dupdi scu ial uiWi l
liam cuAbelaj unsese nm inil
emar elui
propr iet ar de vi t
e exact c nd acest a sosi se n Aust in. i
rspunsese r epede ibucur ial uivdi ti -
ar edatsper an ele.
Ctevazi lemait
rzi u,pr sicasapar ohialaso il
orPr ather ,
neier tatimar cat .Darse ndr eptaspr eTexasispr eonou
viaal t ur idef ami lial uiBenLocket t.
Fami lia uiBenLocket t
.Er apecal edeadeveniomembr a
acel eif ami lii.Oar ef ceabi ne?
Da,
ispuseea, Fceasi ngur ullucr upecar eput eas- lf ac,

naf ar deapl ecaf r ni ciunbanif rni cio i


nt.Da.Cea
maibunsol u i
eer adeasemr itacuJar ed.
Sr ut ull uioul uiseioj ignise.Darundeer adezgust ulpe
car earf it rebui ts- lsi mt ?Gr eaao i
nuset r
eaz nsear ac ndo
sr utaseWi lli
am.Decenuf usesesc rbit
degur al uiJar ed? n
l
egt ur cu sr utull uinu imaiami ntea dec ti nsi sten a
senzual a buzel or i a l imbi i i cl dur a pr otect oar ea

mbr ir iilui.
Se nt insepespat ei iacoper ifa acum i
nileder ui ne. i
plcuseacelsr ut.
inuaveas- lui teni ciodat .Oar eseput eacst or icuacel
br bat ,put eat rial t ur ideelis iami nteascmer eudeacel
unicmomentdepasi une?Pel
ngt oat ecel elaltei nsulte,put ea
st oler ezeaceaumi linsupr em,t iindcielaveas in
mi nteacelsr ut?
Pe de al t
par te,nu gsi se nc al t sol ui
e.Celpu in,
cst or indu- secuJar ed,aveasai bun eldeat ins,osar cin
de ndepl ini t.
Bani ipr eaul ipsi idei mpor tanacum,dar ,pest edoiani ,ar
fiput utf iext rem dei mpor tani.Ceidouzecidemi idedol ariarf i
put ut nsemnadi fer en adi ntreat riconf ortabi liamur ide
foame.C nt rindpr obl emanumaidi npunctdeveder ef inanci ar,
put ea ndr znisr ef uzeoasemeneaocazi e?
i, peur m, maier aibr bat ul,Jar edLocket t.Nu!Nuvoi as
~84~
Sandr
aBr
own

seg ndeascl ael ,cciier aimposi bilsr a


ioneze.Aveaus

nve est riasc mpr eun.


Acestl ucruaveasf ieor eali
zaremaj or ,daraveasavanseze

ncet ulcu ncetul.


Sehot r
.
Rest ulzilei,Laur en rmase n camer a ei,ncercnd s i
stpneasct ulburarea.C ndvenior acinei ,
ischi mbbl uzai

ipi eptnpr ul,prinz


ndu- lmaibi nedec tdimineaa.Obat i
st
receiudpecar eo i
nusepeochi ifcusesnumaif i
er oiii
umf la
idincauzapl
nsului.Sesi mear efcut ,darini
ma ibtea

ngr ozit
ordet are ntimpcecobor a.
Lamas, Olivi
aspuse nt
r-odoar :
-Laur en,nunt avaaveal ocdem ine ntr-
ospt m n.Vor
venicivainvitai
.
-Foar t
ebi ne, rspunseLaur en.
Jarednuvenil aci n,iarabsen aluinu- ifuexplicatnni ciun
fell
ogodni cei .

~85~
FOCURIASCUNSE

Capi
tol
ul8

nur mt oar elec tevazi le,Laur enf uprinsdeat teal ucruride


fcut ,
nc tnu imair maset imppent ruintrospec ie.Impor tan a
acel oreveni ment eo mpi edi casl eanal izezecu maimul t
aten ie.Er amul tmaiuorssel asedusdeval .At
tdepl i
ne i
erauzi l
el e,
nc tsear acdea npatepui zat, sperndsadoar m
repede.Numaicmi ntear efuzaacestl ucruier af oratsse
gndeascl aceeacese ntmpl ap nc nd, nceledi nur m, ochii
ise nchi deauicdea ntr-unsomnagi tat.
La nceput ,ElenaiRosaauf ostsur prinsec ndauauzi tc
seorJar ed ur ma s se nsoar e cu f rumoasa domni oar
Hol br ook.Darduppu i
nt imp,er au ncul meaf er i
ciri
iiauf ost
prinse nv l
toar e.Apr oapecoexasper aupeLaur encugr i
jal or
exager at.
Reac ial uiJar edf a deapr opi atacst ori
eer adeaccept ar e
rece.Ni cinusi mul aaf ec i
une,ni cinuot ratacuur apecar eea
tiact rebui asosi mt .Or idec teor ier au mpr eun,l iar ta
aceeaii ndi f
eren ca t uturorcel orlal
i.Er a pol i
ticos,darnu
exager at.Conver sa cu ea cand er a nevoi e,darnu angaj a
dialogur iper sonal e.
Arf iput utsoi ubeascl anebuni esausodi spreuiasc.
Expr esi al uinut rdaabsol utni mi c.
Ol i
viaar anj t otul naceaper i
oadscur t
det imp.Laur enf u
consul tatf oartepu in.Isespusecaveasf i
eocununi ecivil
restr
ns nsal onulcelmar e,dupcar esevadaor ecep ie
pent ruceic i
vai nvi tai.A douazi ,Laur eniJar edur maus
plecel aKeypoi nt, n l
unademi ere .
LuiLaur enisel uaumsur idec tevaor ipezipent r
ut rusoul
asupr acr uiaOl iviai nsistase nci udapr otestelorl uiLaur en.
Gest ulOl ivieinu er a mot ivatde gener ozitate sau de vr eun
sent imentmat ernf adeea,cidoardedor i
nacat otulsf ie
perf ectisnust rneascbnui eli.

~86~
Sandr
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Rsp ndi sezvonul nl egtur cuf ami lial uiLaur en.Povest ea


eracpr i
n iieinuput eauvenideoar ecet atleisuf ereade
i
ni minuput eacl tor i
,iarbi ataeimamaveapr eamul te
trebur i,aacOl i
viaseof eri
sesseocupesi ngur denunt .
Dacci nevabnui aceva,set emeapr eamul tdeOl iviapent ru
a-iexpr imasuspi ciunile.
DoamnaGi bbons,cr oitoreasacar ef usese nsr ci nat cu
realizar ea ntregi igar derobeal uiLaur en ntr-oper i
oaddet imp
i
mposi bil, ref l
ect aoculibucur iagener al nlegt ur cuf apt ul
cbur laculcelmai nritalTexas- ului,Jar edLocket t,fusese n
sfrit,cucer it.
Laur enf uui mi t
c ndvzucant i
tateaical i
tat eal ucr urilor
car esef cuser pent ruea.Er auf ust eibl uzedi ncel emaibune
mat erial eit oat ebl uzeleer aut i
vitecudant eledel i
cat e.Rochi i
,
attpent ru zi ,c tipent r u sear ,pel er i
ne,pal t
oane,pl rii
,
mnuier au mpr tiate pr in camer n di ver se st adi ide
execu ie.DoamnaGi bbonsl ucr a nj urull uiLaur enasemeni
unuiscul ptor nj ur uluneicapodoper e,msur nd,r suci nd,
trg nd, ntor cnd,r idicnd,ci upind imur mu-r
nd t ott i
mpul
apr eci er ilaadr esamodel uluiei .Lenj eriadecor per adi ncel emai
fi
nep nzet uri mpodobi tecupangl icidinsat inidant el.
Laur enst tea mbuj orat nt impcedoamnaGi bbons ipunea
onoucmu pent r
uaopr oba.
-S ntf oar te...sub i
ri,nu? ntreb Laur en cu t imi ditate,
privindu- is niicar esevedeaucuat tacl aritatepr inmat erial.
DoamnaGi bbonschi cotiuor .
-Domnul uiLocket tors- ipl acl anebuni el ucr urileast ea,
darosf ie,deasemenea,ner bdt orst evadf r el e.Aiun
cor pf oar tef rumos,Laur en.Dupceost evaddezbr cat ,
s-arput easnut email asest embr acini ciodat !
Laur enf u ngrozit.Er a ncal armat nl egt ur cur eac iaei
l
asr ut ull ui Jar ed.
Rosa, mpr euncual tec tevaaj utoar e,gt iser t impdezi le

nt regipent ru restr
nsar ecep i
e.Casaf u mpodobi tcuf l
orii
ferigi nghi vece.Cum dei zbut i
seOl i
viasf acsf i
eadusedel a
Aust inf r sseof il
easc,aveasr m nunmi sterpent ru
~87~
FOCURIASCUNSE

mi reas.
Pr ivii vireazor ilor, nzi uanun ii
,del af ereastradeunde,cu
numaic teva spt m ni n ur m,pr ivise pl ecar ea cor tegiului
funer arall uiBenLocket t.
-Et imul umi t,Ben? nt rebea noapt ,chi arc ndsoar ele
sei veadeasupr aor izont ul ui.
ncer csse ncr edi nezecacelr sr iter aunsemnbun.
El enavenicut avapecar eseaf lami culdej un.Agi t
aiaise
citea nochii nspor ovi al avesel .Dupcem nct otce i
put eat olerast omaculeiner vos,Laur enf cuobai eiEl ena

ncepusoaj utesse mbr ace.


Rochi ademi reasal uiLaur ennuseconf or mat r adi
ieiier a
frumoas n uni citateaei .Dant elagl bui eer adubl atdeun
fur oudemt asedeaceeaicul oar e.M neci lebuf ant eicor sajul
,
pnl apar t
eadesusas ni lor ,nuer aucpt uite.Gul er uler analt
i im ng iauormaxi lar ul.Unvol anbogat nchei afust adr eapt,
ating nduorpant of i
idi npi eledecpr ioar . iprinsese nt alie
unbuche eldevi ol etedeunpur pur i
uapr ins.Ceasul -broer a
i
nvi zibil,fii
ndpr insdecombi nezon.
Pr ul ier ast rns ncoculobi nui t,darEl enai nsi stsl ase
ctevabucl es- icad nj ur ulf eeiipeceaf .Laur enseui t
l a
fatadi nogl indise nt rebdacaceaf ptur nr ochi escump,
cuchi ppal idiochit emt or i
, erachi area.
El ena ipr i
vii dol ulcur espect .
- Seor i
ta Laur en,s nt eif oar t
ef rumoas,opt iea.Ca
Pr eaf ericitaFeci oar Mar i
a.
O sr utsf ioaspeobr aziochi ieimar iseumpl urde
l
acr imi .
- imul
umesc,El ena.Af ivr utt aremul tsf i
iacol o n
ti
mpulcer emoni ei.Et iceamaibunpr ietenamea.
-imi emi -arf ipl cut , dar ...
El enar idicdi numer i,dupcar echi cot iispuse:
- Maidegr abavr easf i
udef a nnoapt eanun i
i,svd
dact oat ezvonur il
e nl egt ur cuseorJar eds ntadevr ate.
Sezi cecemar ec tunar msar .S nteif oar t
enor ocoas, nu?
Chi cot ind ncont inuar e, o mpi nsepeLaur enuorspr escar .
~88~
Sandr
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Chi pulmi reseipl iseconsi der abil.


Sehot rsesf iecondusl aal t
ardeCar son.C ndaj unse
l
ngel ,Laur ener a ngr ozitcpi cioar elenuaveausomai
sus inmul tt imp.Car son ivor bincet ,izmbi ,obt upebr a
l
init i
toriapoiocondusespr esal onulcelmar e.
Seopr irsub ar cadit oiceiapr oxi mat ivci nci zecide
i
nvi tai,car edi scut auani mat ,i ncet arbr uscconver saiile.
Orga, mpr umut at pent r
u dup- ami aza aceea de l a biser ica
met odi st, inund ncper eacuacor dur icalde.
Erapent rupr imaoar c ndl umea, naf ardePar keriKur t
Vandi ver, ovedeapemi sterioasadomni oar Hol brookipet o i

icucer if r
umuse ea eii zbitoare,Er a uorde vzutcum de
reui sespunst p nirepei nimasl bat i
cal uiJar edLocket t.
Dacmi relenuarf iavutoexper i
en deanidezi le na- i

mpi edicamuchi ife eist rdezeor iceemo ie,arf ir mascu


gur a cscat l a veder ea mi reseil ui.Er a cat egor i
c mpot riva
acel eif ar se,darcum put eaun br batcu s nge n venes
rm ni ndifer entf adef emei acar e, ncur
nd,aveas- ipoar t e
numel e?
Lanai ba,
nal te mpr ej
ur ri,poat e...Gndur ileast ean- aur ost ,
btr
ne, ispuseel .Tot ui,nuse nt
mpl ani mi cdacopr ivea,
nu?Doarast at rebui ausf acmi r
ii.Femei acar emer geal a
bra ulluiCar son
erasuper b.Er a. .
.cum? ..
.laf elcaci ne?Cani cioal tfemei epe
careovzusevr eodat .
Opr i
vic ndseapr opi eivzucochi ieicenui ier aupl eca i
.
Ctdedi feri
ier auf adecl ipaaceea, cuc tevazi l
e nur m, cnd

lpl mui se.At unci ,ochi ieif useser deuncenui u ntunecat ,ca
niteameni n tor inor idef ur t
uncar eseadunaudeasupr a
cmpi ei.if useser l af eldeameni nt ori,det ulbur toriide

ncr caicuel ect r


icitat e.
Siluet aeisub ireer ascoas nevi den der ochi acar e i
veneaper fect.Bust ulpl i
nisezr eadeasupr ami j
locul uingust
prins nci ngt oar ea nalt.Jar edavui mpr esi acvedeni t e
umbr evagi nl ocur ileundearf itrebui tsseaf lesf rcurileacel or
snim ndr i
,dar ispusecer ao ai ur ealpr ost easci i
~89~
FOCURIASCUNSE

ncl et deget elecar et njeausat ingacel eumbr e.nghi i


nd n
sec, idespr insepr ivireadel api ept uleii if ixchi pul.
Ea ir idicochi i ncar eseci teaf oartebi net eama.Ni cidac
elarf ifostdi avol ul nper soan, eanuarf ipr utat tdesper iat.
Decesi m eadi nt r-odat dor in adeaol i
ni ti?
Car soni -odduiLaur en iar uncbr bat uluimai nv rstun
zmbett i
mi d naint ecaelsseaezel ngOl i
via,pepr i
mulr
nd
descaunear anj at et empor arpent rucer emoni e.
Jar ed nt insebr auliLaur en it recum napesubel ,dup
caream ndoiseui tar l aj udect or .Jar ednupl nui se,iarLaur en,
cusi gur an nuseat ept ase,darceal altm nal uii-oacoper i
peaei .For acal dapi eliiluicont rastacuf ragili
tat ear eceaei .
Deget ele ei iapsau m neca.Ri sc i lpr ivipr i
nt re gene,
rm nnd,t ot ui,cuochi ipl eca i.I ni ma it resr inpi eptc nd i
vzuochi iar ztor ipl inideoemo iepecar eeanuomaizr i
se
niciodat nei .Sf if ost n eleger e?Acor d?Chi aradmi raie?
Apr oapec ii magi nacel ebuzeschi
ndunz mbetsl ab.Arf i
vruts se ui t
e n cont inuar el a acelJar ed t ransf or mat,dar
judect orul vor bea.Cupr ereder u,
idespr insepr i
virea.
Cer emoni af uscur t
il aobi ect ,spr edeosebi redecel elalte
nun il acar easi st aseLaur en.Si m iouoar dezamgi re. n
timpulcer emoni i
lorof i
ci atedeel ,Abelvor beadeobi ceidespr e
caract er ulsacr ualcst orieiibi necuv nt ar eaDomnul ui ,
despr e
faptulcI susaf cutceadi nt imi nune npubl ic nt impulunei
nun i
.Daraceast aer acununi eci vil.Tot ui ,c ndj udect orul
spuse: Vdecl arsoiso ie ,cuvi nteleacel ear sunar f alsi
nuavur ni ciunsenspent ruea.
Judect orulAndr ewsf elicitcucl dur per echeadet ineri
frumoidi nf a alui .
-Po issr u imi r easa, Jar ed, ziseelz mbi nd.
Jar ed il uunaerdet aatisepr egt isosr utepe
Laur endeochi ilumi i,peobr az.Darpl anul if udatpest ecapi
stpni readesi neseevapor ncl i
pa ncar e ivzubuzel e
trandaf i
riii tremur t oar e.
iami nt idecel l altsr ut .Celcar e lzgudui sepr of und.Cel
caref usesecut remur t or nvi olen aist rl uci r
eal ui.Celalcr ui
~90~
Sandr
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i
mpactasupr al uinusczuse nc nint ensi tate.
Ami nt ireaaceeacar e iveni nmi nt enepof tit
adusecuea
at
todur erei nsupor tabi l,ctiopl cer ei mens.O cl dur
fami li
ar dej aiser sp ndi ntott rupul .Dor eanespusdemul ts
gust eacel ebuzedi nnoui ,fies- ipot ol eascf oculdi nvene,
fi
es- l nteeascat tdemul t nc tsvr eacut otdinadi nsuls- i
caut esur sais- lst i
ng. iadunt oat st pnireadesi nec nd
ot rasespr eeli il ipibuzel edecel ecar epr omi teauat
ta
dulcea .
Fusal vatdel aacelchi ndect reOl ivia, Car sonipr iet eniil or,
care er au ner bdt or is o cunoasc pe Laur en icar e i
copl eircuf el i
citr idi nt oati nima.Sesur prinsepesi nec nd i
strecur posesi vm nal uiLaur enpesubbr aulsu.
Totr est uldup- ami ezei ,fami l
iaLocket tit ratoaspe icu
mncar eibut urdi nbel ug.Cunumaiol un nur m, mul idi n
aceii nvi ta ifuseser acol opent r
ua- iaduceomagi il
el uiBen
Locket t ,car est tuse ntins nsi criuchi ar n ncper eaaceea.
Toat aceaat mosf er sumbr di spr useacum.Domi naunaer
demar esr bt oar e.
Car son i
nuunt oastipahar elecuampani eser idi car n
chipdesal ut.C nddusepahar ull abuze, Laur en ntl
nipr ivireal ui
Jaredpedeasupr acr istalului.Ochi iluiscl ipeauaur i
iier aumul t
maiame i
toridec tvi nul .Easor bimul tmaipu i
nimaidel icat
dec tel ,darc ndvr usl asepahar ulj os,eli -ldusedi nnoul a
buzeiampani a ial unecpr ing tl
ej, nt ei
ndf urnict ur i
ledi n
stomac. Sezi cecemar ec tunar msar !Sensulexactal
cuvi ntelorEl enei iscpa.Nut i
adec tc,at uncic ndseui tal a
Jared, g ndur i
le nl egt ur cuf izicull uioocauiot ulbur au.
Exactc ndelvoi asl asepahar ulj os,ci neva llovipest ecot
iampani a icur sepebr bieiper ever ulhai nei.
-Oh!excl amLaur eninuseput uab inesnur
d.
-Cr ezic- iamuzant ,nu?Saiunmi reud?spuseelz mbi nd,
dupcar epusepahar ulpeomasi iscut urm naud.
Ac i
on nd di ni nst inct ,Laur en indepr tpi ct uriledepe
reveri , ascul tnddeuni mbol di ncont ient ,iterseuorbr bia.
-Aa,acum emaibi ne,zi seeaz mbi ndi iridicpr ivi rea
~91~
FOCURIASCUNSE

spreel ,dart r esr ic ndzr incor dareadi nei .


Trupull uiJar ed lt r
dase. n cl i
pa n car edeget el eei i
ati
nser f a a,sesi m it eribi ldeexci t
at .ncepusescr eadc
i
nocen aeier ar eal .Lanai ba!Ni ciof emei enuput easat ing
unbr bat,sseui tel aunbr bataacum f ceaeaf rst ie
exactcef ace.Benarf itrebui tsnusel asepcl itdej oculei .
Jareder ahot r
tsnuof ac.
-Jar ed. ..? ntrebeaovi tor.
-Art rebuisnepl imbm pr intrei nvitai,doamnLocket t
,
spuseelt i osi ,lund- odecot ,ocondusespr eungr upde
oaspe i.
Laur ensi m iost rnger edei nim.Tocmaic ndcr edeac

ncepuser s f ac pr ogr ese,adevr atele sent iment e al el ui


Jaredi eiser l alumi n.Cum aveaussupr avi euiasccel ordoi
ani?of tnsi neaei .Acum er apr eat r
zi ucasseg ndeascl a
acestl ucru.Vat rebuissedescur cecum vaput eapevi i
tor .
nzi uaaceea,nuseput eaconcent radec tasupr abr bat ului
del
ngea.Far mecull ui lfceasf ieapr oapei mposi bi lde
i
gnor at.nt r
-adevr , Jaredar t
aspl endid ncost umulnegr uicu
cma al b.Ochi iil icr eau cu scl ipir
ide ambr idi ni
i
str
l uci t
or iisedezvel eauor idec teor iar uncaz mbet e nt oat e
pr i
le,c t ignd ncreder ea t uturorcel orpr ezen i.Fer meca
femei lecuner uinar echi arsubpr ivir
il
eso il
or .Busedoarcel e
dou pahar e de ampani et radiionale if olosea cuvi nt e i
gest uriplinedeaf ec i
unec ndopr ezentpeLaur encel orpecar e

icunot ea de o vi a,accept
ndu- l
e cu apl omb gl umel e
referitoarel anor oculdeaf igsitomi reasat tde nc nttoar e.
Ent uziasmuliser edusesi m it
orc ndceidoiVandi verveni r
s if eli
cite.Laur enzr io ncletar eamaxi l
ar uluil uiJar edi i
sim itrupul ncor d ndu- sel ngalei .Fupol it
icos, darvocea ier a
l
ipsi t
deconvi nger ec ndl emul umipent rupr ezen al anunt .
-Aif cut -of oar ter epede,Jar ed,spusePar kerbt
ndu- lpe
umriLaur ensi m io ncor daresubmat eri
alulnegr u.N- am t iut
ct uiLaur enavea ideg ndsvcst ori
i.
Jar edisus i
nupr i
vireapt runzt oar efrscl ipeasc.
-Mt em ct ocmaineci ondni sem pu in.Eacr edeacnu
~92~
Sandr
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secuveneasnecst or i
m at tdecur nddupmoar teat at ei,
dar,dinf ericire, am r eui tsoconvi ng.
Ol uposesi vpedupumer iiopr iviad nc nochi ,trg nd- o
spreel . ijucar olulext rem debi ne, ispuseea.Apr opi erea
trupuluil uiiaceapr i
virei ntensof ceaus- ifiegr eusr espi re.
-Doamn Locket t,da i-
mivoi e s v ur ezmul tf er i
cir e,
spuseKur tpr ivindu- lpeJar ed pr ovocat or .Am voi essr ut
mi r
easa, nu?
Fr sat ept eunr spuns, Kur tseapl eci iapsbuzel e
groasepeal eei .Easecut remur i ,naceeaicl ip, deget elel ui
Jared ist rnser umr ulat
tdet ar e,
nc tei ivenis ipe.
Kur tar unc ncunz mbetpr ovocat orisedepr t.
Jar edseui tf ur ioscum seaezl ngunadi nf et eledi n
ora,car eer adi str usdi ncauzaacel eicst oriineat ept ate.
Ochi i n per manen at eniail uiPar ker Vandi ver vzur
animozi tateadepechi pull uiJar ed ir seuor n si neal ui,
gndindu- sec tdei nter esant eaveausf iel unil
eur mt oar e. i
plceauf oar temul tconf lictele.
Jar ednu idduseamac ist rngeaumr ulluiLaur endec t
cnd aceast a se mi c uor .At unci , ir etrase m na i ute i
mur mur :
-Ni meninu poat er ezistaf ar mecel ordumi tale,nu- iaa,
doamnLocket t?
Dupcar e, peacel ait on, adug:
-Z mbet e,Laur en.Doaret iomi reasf er icit
, nuui ta.
Unal toaspet evenil ngei ,i arJar ed ir eluaer uldemi re
i
ubi t
orcuuur i
n aunuiact orcuexper ien .LuiLaur en ivui a
capuldat orit
ef ect elorampani eiiemo i
ilorcar eocopl ei ser

ncur sulspt m niicet r ecuse.Tar emul tarf ivrutssescuzei


sser etrag nl init ear cor oasacamer eiei .Dar ,bi ne neles
caacevaarf if osti mposi bil
.
Vduval uiBendomi nacuobi nuit aei inutmai est uoas.
Eraf rumoas nzi uaaceea,dupcum obser vLaur en.uvi ele
argintiicapt aul umi nasoar eluideami az,i archi pulnet ed ier a

mbuj or atdeat t
aagi ta i
e.Laur enbnuicer amaxi mum de
feri
cirepecar eoput easi m iOlivia.Pur tar ochi edingeor get t
ede
~93~
FOCURIASCUNSE

un ver de mar in car e i nvl uia ca o cea si luet a nal t i


i
mpunt oare.
Car sonour ma nf elull uiumi lidemndemi l.Laur ensi mea
o pr of und pr ere de r u pent ru el .Nu iar tase ni ciodat
altcevadec tbunt at e,unsent i
mentf oar ter ar ntlnit ncasa
aceea.Er aj alnic ndevot ament ulluif adeOl iviacar e lignor a,

ldomi nasau lmust ra.


Privireal uiLaur enseopr i
nt
mpl torasupr al uiKur tVandi ver,
aicr uiochial bat riof ixauener vantpesubspr ncenel eapr oape
albe.I nst inctiviabsol utf rs- ideaseama, easet raseimai
mul tl ngJar ed,bucur ndu- sedesent iment uldepr ot ec i
epe
car ei-lof ereat rupull ui .
Acest ao pr i
vir epede, ntrer upndu- iconver sa i
acu so ia
unui adi ndi rector i
ibnci i,iur mr i
ndu- iprivirea ngr ozit, lzri
peVandi ver ,car est tear ezematdeper ete.I medi at,Jar ed i

nconj ur mi j
loculim naiseopr ichi arsubs n.
Gest ulnuscpneobser vatdeKur t
,car e,asemeneaunui
voyeur istpl imb ndu- sepr i
nt r
-unbor del ,il i
nsebuzel el asciv.
Laur ensecut remur ,darnut i
adacer acar eac ief ade
expr esi aobscendepechi pull uiKur tsaudat oritm iniilui
Jar edcar epr easoar dpr inmat erial ulrochi ei .Kur tif cucu
ochi ul luiJar edisedespr insedeper et e,ieindpever and.
Jar ed iLaur en nu se mi car ,i ar so ia bancher ului
cont inuasvor beasc,f rsbagedeseamdr amacar ese
desf ur anpr ezen aei .
Laur en si m imi rosulscr obel i
if olosi te pent ru cmaa l ui
Jar ed, combi nndu- seame i
torcucelalt utunul uiialampani ei.
Cnd ivor biacel eifemei ,ea isi m ivi br ai
ilevoci inpi ept .So ia
direct oruluidebancse ndepr t,darJar edcont i
nuso i
n
posesi v.M na it r
emur uorc nd imi cdeget ular t tor n
sus,m ng i
ndu- iuorpar teal ateralas nul ui.Sauer adoaro

nchi pui re a ei ? Laur en si m ic moar e di n cauza bt ilor


put erniceal einimi ii icut al i
nar ea ntr-ungeamtsl ab.
Un al toaspet e venispr e eii , ncet ,cu r egr et,deget ele
put erniceser etraser ,l sndu- iampr entaf i
er bi nt epepi eleal ui
Laur en.
~94~
Sandr
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Dup- ami aza l sase l ocul unui amur g vi olet .I nvitai


i
plecaser .Car soniOl ivi ast teaual t uri,peunadi ncanapel e.
Erauobosi iibucur oic,
nsf r
i t
, set ermi nasetot ul.
-Eh,ne- am descur catmi nunat .Toat l umeaaf ostconvi ns
ceocst oriedi ndr agost e.iosseducvest ea,zi seOl i
via

ncnt at .
- idat or m t otull uiLaur en,spuseCar soncugener ozitate.
Etiomi reasf oar tef rumoas, dr agamea.
-Da.Enevest icaper fect ,spuseJar edz mbindu- iaf ect atlui
Laur en, car eoaj ut apeRosasaezef arfurii
lepeot avmar e.
Ddupeg tunpahardewhi sky.
Ol iviat uiuorpent rua- iascundez mbet ulmal ii
oscar ei
apr upebuzef r voi aei .Er aevi dentcf i
uleinu ipl cea
soia.Ceeaceaveasf ieunmar eavant ajnvi i
tor.
-it u i-aij ucatbi ner ol ul,Jar ed, spuseea.Poar t-tef rumos
cuLaur en npubl icini menin- os- ideaseamadeni mi c.
Laur encont inus- i i
nochi ipl eca i
.Totnuf ceapar te
dintreeiinul epsac tuidepu i
ndesent i
ment eleei .
-Put eisst ailaKeypoi ntc tvr eidemul t
.Osspunem c
s
nt ei nl unademi er e.Nu- icevaf oar teieitdincomun,dar ,
dac ntreabci neva, osspunem cLaur enardeadener bdar e
svadf er ma, zi seOl ivia, nbui ndu- iuncscat .
-Foar tebi ne,r ostiJar ed.Abi aat eptsm ntor c.C ndam
plecat ..
.
- icunoat em ent uzi asmulnej ust i
ficatfadef er m, Jar ed.
Ter ogsnunepl ictiset icuast aacum, ziseOl i
viati osil enea
demai nai ntepr easf idi spr ut .
Jaredst rnsedi nbuze,dupcar espusebr usc:Laur en,os
pl ecm di s-de- di minea .t i
iscl r eti
,nu?
nt rebar easunapr oapecaopr ovocar e.
-Da,t iu s cl r esc,Jar ed,r spunse ea ielo pr i
vi

ncr unt at.


Oar earf ivr utcaeasnut ie?I -arf iplcutsgseascal t
mot ivdebat jocur ?
-At unciosmer gem cl are,spuseelner bdtor .Pepeos
neaducbagaj el ecucr u a, adugel ,dupcar eseui tl aeai
~95~
FOCURIASCUNSE

zi
secuaspr i
me:Snu- iieitoat elucrur i
le.
-Ni cinu aveam de g nd, ir spunse ea pe acel ait on,

nf uriindu- se di n cauza acel uiaeraut oritarall ui,dup car e


cont inu nci udapr i
viri
ilui ntunecat e:Di nmomentcevom pl eca
attdedevr eme,cr edcosmducsus.Noapt ebun,Car son.
Noapt ebun, Ol i
vi a.
Traver s ncper eacucapulsusispat el
edr ept ,darc nd
ajunsel au, seopr ii ipr ivisoacr a.ier agr eusspunceea
cet i
act rebui asspun.
-t iucaif cutunef ortext raordinarichel tuielicol osal e,
Olivia.Chi ardacn- aif cut -odedr agulmeu,apr eciezf oar t
e
mul tgest ul.Fl orile,m ncar ea,hai nele,t otulaf ostmi nunat .i
mul umesc.
Ceit reit cur t impdec tevacl ipeduppl ecar eaei .
Apoi ,Car sont uiispuse:
-Jar ed,st epor ifrumoscuea.Avem mot ivelenoast re,dar
eaenevi novat nt oataf acer eaast a.Fi ibuncuea.
LuiJar ednu ipl ceas- ispunci nevacum ssepoar tecu
of emei ei ,av nddeg ndsdeaor eplic,se nt oarsel
ng
buf etuldeundel uost iclmar edewhi sky, ChipulluiCar soner a
si
ncer .Nu idduseun or din,ci lr ugase.Jar ed i nbui
cuvi ntelecar eiseaf laudej apebuze,spusemor mi tnoapt e
buniur cscar a.
Stteadeoor ncamer al ui,bnd ncont inuuiascul tnd
zgomot el e uoar e pe car el ef ceau papuci ieipe podeaua
camer eial t urate.
-Pent runoapt eanun iimel e,spuseelbat jocor i
torpr ivindu- se

nogl indamsu eidet oal et.


Imagi neal ui loc.Nu iami nteac nd iscosesevest ai
haina,dar ,ar unc nd o pr i
vire pest e umr ,le vzu azv rlit
e
negl ij
entpespt ar ulunuiscaun.C nd iscosesebut oniii i
deschei asecmaa?Cuungestcar act eristic,itrecudeget el
e
prinpr .
Fr ndoi alcmi reasal uier alaf eldei macul at ical m
ca ncl i
pa ncar el -
a nt
mpi nat nfa aal tarului.Saupoat eer a

mbr cat dej adecul car e.ncedor mea,oar e? nni ciuncaz n


~96~
Sandr
aBr
own

cevapr ovocat or, ispuseeli ronic.Cevacasti .


..
Decenu?Decesnuvadcuochi il ui
?Decessuf ere
numaiel naceanoapt edei ad? ndef initi
v,er aso uleiiavea
nitedr ept ur i!
Nuhot r nmodcont i
entsoder anjeze,dar mpinsdeo
forci udat iobsedant ,set rezi nf aaui icar eledespr ea
camer ele,
Bt ucuput ere.Nupr imini ciunr spuns,darmi cri
ledi n
camer aal turat ncet arbr usc.Bt udi nnou,dedat aaceast a,
rostindu- inumel e, careseauzicaunsuspi nt r
emur tor .
idr ese
glasul, scut ur di ncapi lrepet cumaimul tfor
.Li ni
te.
-Da?
Temt or .ovi tor.
-Deschi de.
Er aunor din.Sper a.
Opauz ndel ungat .
Apoi ,nsf
rit,ea lntrebcucal m:
-Cedor eti,Jar ed?
Eli zbucni ntr -
un hohotde r s,mor mic teva obsceni ti
neinteligibi l
eir spunser idicndvocea:
-Deschi deua!
iauzipai iif onet ulhai nelorc ndeaseapr opiep nc ndel
tiucseaf lachi ardepar teaceal altaui i.
- Put em vor biiaa, Jared.
- Dacnudeschi ziaf urisit
aast adeu,odr
m,spuseel
furios.Vr eiscandal ?Mi epu i
n mipas.
Ur munscur tmomentdeezi t
ar e,dupcar echei aser suci

nbr oascar uginitdenef olosin.Cl an af uapsat iuase


deschi se.
Pr ul ier al satl iber,ncadr ndu- ichi pulntr-unnornegr ui
curgndu- inval ur igrel epespat ep nl ami jl
oc.Pur t
auncapot
rozcr oi tnf ormdeV nf a,car ese nchei acunast ur
idel a
pieptp nl agenunchi .Dant elaiser evr sapem iniledel i
cate
ti
vindm neci lelar gi .Buzel et remur toar eier auuordesf cute
pent rual sas- iscaper suf lareaagi tat,ncercazadar ni
cs- i
ascundt eama.
~97~
FOCURIASCUNSE

I magi neaei lsur pr i


nse,i arpar fumulacel af loral lame ii
maimul tdec timensacant i
tat edebut urpecar eoconsumase.
Dor eanespusdemul ts- igust epi el eanet eddel abazag tului
,
carezv cneanebunet edat or itpul sului.Arf ivr utsvadce
comor iseascundeaudi ncol odepr imulnast urealcapot ului
.
Pr intr-
un actde voi n, ir ecpt stp nirea de si ne i
spusecuungl asgr os:
-Nu- inevoi esf iiattdesper i
at ,doamnLocket t
.Nuam
deg ndst esi lescs- midaicemisecuvi ne.
Eadoar iumezibuzel ecuol imbdel i
cat it randaf i
ri
e.
Jared nghiinsec,
nbui ndu- iungeamtani mal ic,ispuse:
-Nu- icerdec tun si ngurl ucr u.Nu vr eau ui ncui at
e.
Dor mi toarelesepar atenur epr ezintcevaf oartei ei tdincomun,
daro u ncui at poat e da nat ere specul aiil
or.Ser vitori
i
brfesc,cr edct i
if oar tebi ne.Ou ncui at nt renoiit oat
farsaast aseducenai bii.Deci , niciou ncui at.Ne- am neles?
-Da, Jared, spuseeacal m.
Lanai ba!Decenust ri
gasaunul ei na?Er aat tdest p
npe
ea,c nd elst t ea acol o ca un i diotadol escent ,cu pal mel e
asudat e,cui nimabt ndput er nicicusexul nf lcr i.
Nemai avnd ncr eder e nsi ne, nchi seuar epede.Nuauzi
chei ar sucindu- se nbr oasc naint ecapai ieisse ntoarc n
dormi tor ,dar il i
psicur ajulde a apsa cl ana pent ru a se
convi ngec lascul tase.
-Pr esupunci -
am ar tatci neeef ul,se mpunelt r
ntindu-
se pe pati nt r
eb ndu- se de ce nu si m ea ni ciun f elde
satisfac i
e.
Totcesi m eaer aodor in put ernicpecar e ncercso
alungepr insomn.

~98~
Sandr
aBr
own

Capi
tol
ul9

Elena izg l

iuorumr ull uiLaur en,opt ind:-Seor a
Locket t,trezi
i-
v.Tr ebui esvpr egt i
idedr um.
Laurendeschi seochi i,darc ndvzu ntuneri
culdi nodai e,
mur mur unpr otest nper n.Nuvoi asr enun elasomndup
ceacest a sel saseat tdemul tat ept at.n celedi n urm,
i
nsi sten eleEl eneiot reziri iami ntibr uscundet rebuias
plece nzi uaaceea.Azv rliaternut ullaopar teisedduj osdi n
pat .Duppu i
nt imper acompl ett reazi ,nciudanel i
nitiin
privinal uiJar ed,ar dea dener bdar es vad f erma pent ru
primaoar .
nt i
mpceoaj utas- if act oaleta,El enaspor ovi adespr e
ctdef rumoasf usesenunt a,c tdemi nunatar t
aseLaur en n
rochi a de mi reas,c tde f rumos f usese Jar ed ic tde
nor ocoaser aLaur ensai bunasemeneaso .
Fataf usesesur prinscuc tevami nut emaidevr emec nd
bt use nual uiJar edpent r
ua- lt rezi.
-SeorJar ed,v-a itrezit?Tr ebui esvpr egti
idepl ecar e.
Seor aLaur en,mauzi i
?
Urmar c t
eva cl i
pe de l init e,pn c nd Jar ed mor mi
somnor os:
-M- am t rezit.
-Seor aLaur en, vreisvaj ut ?ntrebaseEl ena, gndindu- se
c, poate, proaspt ulsoaveaspr eiaopar tedinndator i
ril
eei .
Seauziunf onetdeat ernut ,o nj
ur turdupcar eJar ed
spuse:
-E ncamer aei.Du- t
eit r
ezet e-o.
Elenar mseseul uit nfaaui i
.
-Dar ,seor ...
-E ncamer aei,mor miel .
Acum, nt i
mpcepuneac teval ucrurideul ti
m moment n
bagaj ull uiLaur en,El ena r idic di n umer i
.Decenu dor mea

~99~
FOCURIASCUNSE

Laur en cu so ulei ? Obi ceiur i


le acel or gringoso ul uiser

nt otdeauna.
Singur ull ucr ucar eo mpi edi capeLaur enssenumeasco
mi reassr acer acost umuldecl r i
e,pecar e lprimi se ndar
del aso iiPr ather , car ei nsi staser caeasur mezeni tecur sur i
de cl rie.Cost umulal bast ru di n cat i
fea,cu f ustal ung i
j
achet a st r
mt , ivenea per fect.Ocupasef oar temul tspa i
u

nt r-unadi nval ize, darnuput user enun alacelmaif rumosl ucr u


pecar e lavea nmoment ulpl ecr iidi nCar oli
nadeNor d.
Elenapr ivicost umulcu ndoi alio ntrebpeLaur endac
nupr ef eras mbr aceunadi nf ust eledespi cat epecar eil e
fcusedoamnaGi bbons.
-Nu,spuseLaur encuhot rre, nfigndni teacel ungi n
plr i
oar acuvoal et.Vr eaucaJar edsmvadcucevace- mi
apar ine.Cevacen- af ostcumpr atdemamal ui.
Cel edouf emeit ocmai nchi deauval izelec ndPepebt u
uor nu.El ena ideschi seielf cuopl ecci une,dupcar e
spuse:
-SeorJar edvat eapt .
Lubagaj elel uiLaur enipor ni nai nteal orpescar . ipr ivi
cost umulcuscept icism imor miceva nspani ol,cltinnddi n
capnedumer it
.
Ieicuval i
zelepeuadi nf a,darLaur enf cuunocolpel a
buct r ie, undebu nf ugoceacdeceai .Di mi nea aer ar ece
iceai ul i ncl zit rupul ,darni mi cnu iput ea nclzisuf l
et ul.
ncnu lvzusepeJar edi ,dupschi mbuldecuvi ntedi nsear a
precedent , ier agr oazsdeaochi icuel .Oar e ncest arede
spiriter a?
Rosaseagi tapr inbuct r i
echi aril aor aaceeamat inal. n
ti
mpceLaur enm ncani t e tor t
illascal dedepecar epi cur a
unt ul,Rosaobser vt ri
st e eadepechi pult i
ner ei gri
nga .t iat ot
cesepet recea ncasinuer aat
tdepr oast nctscr eadc
aceacst or iesubi tsebazapedr agost e.Obt uuorpem n
peLaur en.
-Seor aLocket t,t otulosf iebi ne.SeorJar ed. ..suf er

nunt ru.Ai ci,spuseeal ipindu- im nadol ofandepi ept uli mens.


~100~
Sandr
aBr
own

Dareunom bun.Vpl acef oartemul t.


Laur endduspr otesteze, darRosacont inur epede:
-Rosa lcunoat edec nds- anscut .Vspunesi gur.
Zmbif ericit
il ini
titor ,dupcar eobt udi nnoupem n,
opt ind:
-VayaconDi os.
Pepe v rcapulpe u, idr ese gl asulispuse,par c
scuz ndu-se:
-SeorJar ed...
if cuunsemndi ncap,d ndu- ide nelesl uiLaur enc
trebui as- lur mezene ntrziat.

nai ntedeai eidi nbuct r ie,Laur eno mbr i
peRosa,
abiacupr inznd-o.El enast teal nguadel ai nt r
areiochi i i
scnteiaupl inidel acr i
mi .Laur eno mbr iat tctiper mi tea
bur tafet ei.
-Osmsuprdacbebel uulosvi n nl ipsamea.Os
manun i?Sperct otulosf i
ef oar t
ebi ne.
-Osvanun ,darnuvf ace igriji
.Ni oossenasc
bine, spuseEl enar z
nd.
-Lar eveder e,Elena.
Celedouf emeimair maser mbr i
at ec t
evacl ipe,dup
careLaur eni ei.
Jareder acl arepecal ulcelmar ecar eer al egat nspat el e
cru ei nzi uac ndsosi seLaur en.Er adi nnouun vaquer o .
Pur taoper echedeci zmenegr e nalteiobi nuii
ipant aloni
stri
m i
.O geacdepi ele lapr adef ri
gulacel eidi mine ide
octombr i
e.Pededesubtaveaocmaal bast ri ,
nj urulgtului,
aveal egat negl ijentoear fr oie.Pl ri
aneagr er at ras
foar t
emul tpeochiif umacunonal anunuldi ntrabucur ilel ui
sub iri
.
Omsur di ncapp n- npi cioar e, micndu- idoarochi ii,
n
semi ntuner iculdi mi ne i
i,expr esi anuiseput eadesl ui.Pepe
i
neaf ruluneii epe neuat e.At tiapa,c tiar msaull uiJar ed
ser idicar ndoupi cioar e,sper ia
i,ncl i
pa ncar ersulgr osal
acest uiaseauzir sun nd nl i
nit eadi mi neii
.
-Undenai bacr ezicosmer gicucost uma iaast a?
~101~
FOCURIASCUNSE

Laur ener aul uit.Cr edeacar atchi arf oar t


ebi ne nacel
super bcost um icupl rioar aasor tat.
-E. ..est euncost um decl ri
e,seb lb
ieacuungl asst ins.
-t iuf oartebi necee,zi seelcuaspr i
me.Numaicosf i
e
foar t
eamuzantsvdcum os ncal eci,at
tat ot ,adugel
r
znduor .
Laur enseui tl ai apacar epr eadest uldel i
nitit.Apoivzu
auai nghi i
nsec.
-Apr ef eraoadedam,Jar ed,spuseeacut otcur ajulpe
car er euis- ladune.
-Zu?spuse el innd t rabucul n col ulgur ii.Eh,pcat ,
pent rucn- avem dec teidi nast ea.Nupo is ncaleci ?
Dinnou iar uncamnua.
-Bi ne nelescpot ,rspunseeat ios.
-At unci ,du- teipune- iunuldi n cost umel ecel enoii .
..
mi c-
i...fundul ...repede ncoace.Pi erdem t i
mpul .
Cndeaseduse napoispr eu, eladug:
-if cevacupr ull a.Nupo is- ipuiopl riecal umea
pe...
Fcuungestdescr iptivnj urulcapul ui.
-i , dacnupor ipl rie, soareleos- iar dpi eleaast aalb,
ziseelapoiust urt or.
Laur en iridicf ustagr eaise napoi encas.El ena,care
sttuse nunt ru l ng u iauzi se t ot,o l u de br a

n elegt oar eioconduse nsuspescar .


O dezbr c nl initedecost um i ipuseof ust mar on
despi cat pecar eLaur en o consi der ar uinosdest r
mt pe
pulpeimul tpreascur t.Dupaceeaur mobl uzal bdi n
bumbaccar ese nchei a nf acaacel eabr bteti.El enai gnor
l
acr imi l
epecar eLaur enil er ei
neaiumer iitremur toripeste
car eeapuseoj achet di npi elemoal e.Oper echedeci zmedi n
pieledecpr i
oarmar on iacoper igambel eieaf ubucur oas
c iaj ungeau p n sub genunchi ,unde se mbi nau cu
pant alonai i.
Lacr imi lencepur s- iiroiascpeobr ajicndseg ndicum o
umi liseJar ed nf aaser vitorilor,apr ietenilorei ,icum iplcuse
~102~
Sandr
aBr
own

sf acast a.
nl i
nite, El
ena iscoasepl rioar a, apoiindepr tacel edin
pr ulnegr uigr eui lper ie ngr ab, mpl etindu- lntr-ocoad
car e icdeapespat ecaof rnghi edemt ase.Dupaceea, i
dduopl r i
emar on,car esemnacuceaal uiJar edipecar e
Laur eni -opusepecap,st r
ng ndi retuldepi elesubbr bie.
Apoi ,Elena idduoper echedemnuidepi ele.
Nu zbovi r n camer maimul t de zece mi nute,da
tr
ansf ormar eaer aui mi toar e.
nt i
mpcecobor au, Elenao ntreb noapt :
-Laur en, po iscl r et i?
nacel emoment edecr iz,t oat ef ormal i
t i
lesel sar lao
par te.
Laur en nghi insec.
-Nut iu.N- am ncer catni ciodat .
Elena o pr ivicu compt imi re,darpechi puleivzu doar
hot rre.Lacr imi ledispr user .
Laur eni eidi ncasf rs- iarunceni ciopr i
virel uiJar ed.Se
opr ilngi ap,dupcar ev runpi ciormi cnscar isepr i
nse
deobl
nc.Pepeoaj ut, mpi ng ndu- icel lal
tpi cior.Eaat er i
zn
aif uc tpe- acisscoat un iptc ndpul peleisel ipir
de
piele, darimedi at ireveniil uf rulpecar ei-lntinsePepe.
Jar edopr i
viiz mbisar cast ic.Aveasf i
eocl tor i
ef oarte
i
nt eresant !
Cl rir
nl inite ur m nd un dr um car e ducea spr e vest .
Laur enpr i
vi njur .
Soar eleabi aat uncir sr ea nspat elel orir azel eluilumi nau
tr
ept atacelpei sajul uit
or .Chi par oi inal icreteaupemal ullui
RioCabal lo,car ecur gea npar alelcudr umul ,npar teadr eapt.
nst ngasevedeaudeal uril
ej oasescl ipindacoper it
edebr um,
car epr eaomant i
ededi amant e nr azel esoar elui.
Stejar iiiul mi ier aupt aicunuan eler uginiial et oamnei ,i
ar
cedr iiof er
eauuncont rastput erni ccuver delel orveni c.St
ncile
albedepecoast eledeal urilorcapt aul umi nasoar eluiiame eau
ochi i.
Cl reaual tur i
,iarLaur en i ndepr tacal ulor idec t
eor i
~103~
FOCURIASCUNSE

acest aseapr opi apr eamul tdecelall uiJar ed.Plr i


a iczupe
spat eiJar ed ipr i
vicr etet ulcapul uicar eisclipea nr azel e
soar elui.
Inci udacel orspusedeea,t iacnumaicl riseast f el
niciodat .Se cam chi nui e, ispuse el .Cl r
ea bi ne,dar ,
Doamne, ceaveasomai doar mait rziu.
- Numaiar iat tdecomi cacum,spuseelr upndt cer ea.
Nuemaicomoddec tcucel lal tcostum?
- Msi mtf oar tebi ne, mul umesc.
Lanai ba! nt otdeaunaat tdest p npesi ne.S ntconvi ns
csesi mt ef oar tebi ne, ispuseel .Fundul eulacelasi mpat i
cpe
car e lobser vasec nda ncl ecatpr obabi lc ipadedur ere.De
cenusepl ngea?
Ddupi ntenical ul uisui nt en i
onat ,gr bindpasul .
Laur enf cuacel ail ucr upent rua inepasulcuelidur er ea
dinpul peiezuter aapr oapei nsupor tabi l
.Darmaidegr ab
arf imur itdec ts- ir ecunoascsuf er ina nfaaacel uiindi vid
arogantinesuf er i
t!
nci udaf ur i
eidi nce ncemaimar i
, nuput eas- iiaochi ide
l
a el .Arf ivr uts- lur asc,dar ier af oarte greu dat orit
frumuse iil ui. nni ciof otogr afienuvzuseunbr batat
tde
tulbur torcaJar edLocket t
.
Or i
ctdemul tarf i ncer cat ,nuput eaui tacum ar tasecuo
sear nai nte,cupi ept uldezgol iticupr ulciufulit,fcndu- i
i
ni masbat nval ni c. if usesegr oazsdeschi dua,dar
numaiameni nar eal uicovadr maivar i
dicat oat casa n
picioar eof cuses- lascul te.Tr ebuiasadmi t
cer acur i
oas
saf leceaveasse nt
mpl edupaceea.Si misef iorint ot
trupulc ndochi il uicadout opazeomsur aser dincapp n- n
picioar e.Laur en apr oape c inchi puic f usese el nsui
tulbur at,daracestl ucr uarf if ostneobi nui tpent ruel.
Acum pr ivicuobi ect ivit
at ecal ulicl reul.Semi cauca
unul .Pr uldeunaur iucami ereaalcal ul uiaveaapr oapeaceeai
culoar ecuacel uidepepi ept ull uiJar ed.
Soar elese nl imaisus nspat elel or,nt i
mpceei i
cont inuar dr umul . ncel edi nur m,exactc ndLaur enavea
~104~
Sandr
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own

i
mpr esi acva ipadedur er e,Jar ed ncet iniiocondusespr e
r
ulcar ecur gear epede.Seopr i
rl aumbr achi paroilorimeni .
-S ntgat asf acopauz,spuseeldescl ecndi iduse
armsar ullaap, undeacest aicobor capuli ncepusbea.
Laur en r mase nemi cat pe cal ulei . Se descur case
excep ionalp nat unci ,darnuer asi gur cput ea nclecai
descl ecaf rsai bcevasubpi cioar e.
Jaredar uncopr ivire nspat e,dupcar esedusel aeai

nt insem i
nile.Atunci ,ea it rasepi cior uldi npar teaceal alta
eiii iaez cu t i
mi di tate m inile pe umer i
il uil ai.El i
cupr insemi jl
oculior i
dic.Eanu lpr ivi,rm nndcucapul
plecatp nc ndiddudr umul .isim ear suf lareapeobr az.Era
fi
er binte.
Iapanuavunevoi edeni cio ncur ajarepent rua- lur mape
armsar ulluiJar ed l ng ap.Sco nd o pl osc di n desaga
prinsdea,Jar edodest upii -
o nt i
nsel uiLaur en.Eal u
cteva nghi it
uri,
dupcar ei -oddu napoi .
-i -ef oame? ntrebel .
-Da, puin.
ncer csnusest r
mbec ndseaez ncetir igidpeo
stncpl at.
Elscoasedi ndesagni tesandvi ur impachet atei ioferi
unul .
- Le- am f cutazi -di
mi nea ,darnu potgar anta pent r
u
calitateal or.
-Ef oar tebun, ziseLaur enmuc nddi nsandvi ulcuunc.
- Mpr icepsgt escl af oc naerl iber ,darobuct riem
facesdevi nner vos, ziseelschi ndunz mbet .
Ea nu maiconver sase cu elp n at uncidespr el ucruri
mr unte.Di nmomentceeli ni
iasedi scu ia, eador eaf oar t
emul t
socont i
nue.Or ictarf ifostde ncor dat ,er a,totui,un nceput .
- mipl ace s gt esc.Tut oriimeidi n Clayton aveau o
buct r easimenaj ercar econduceat rebur i
lebuct rieica
undespot ,
dar ,uneor i
, ml sas ncer cieuc t
eor eet.
-Poat eciGl or i
aost el asest e nvr
iprinbuct r
ie.
Dacsupor iomul
imedecopi inj ur.
~105~
FOCURIASCUNSE

-Ci neeGl or i
a? ntrebeacur i
oas.
--So ial uiRudy,zi seeli ,vz ndu- iexpr esi adenedumer ire,
adug:Rudye. ..efdeechi pl af erm.EliGl ori
al ocui esc
acol o mpr euncu. .
.mamal ui.Facc teuncopi lcam nf iecar e
an.
ZmbiiLaur enobser vcut el edi ncol urileochi lorlui.Zr i
se
c
tevaz mbet enat ur alelanunt . lfceauspar mait
nr.
-Ben. .
.,spuseeadupcar eezi t,net i
inddacs- ispun
penumesaunu.
Decesnuof ac?Cont inudeci :
-Benmi -aspuscunuldi n vaquer osei ndi an.
Jar edr se.
- Ef oar teadevr at.Pn- nv rfulci zmel or-pecar e,deobi cei,
l
e nl ocui etecumocasi nii
.Thor necoman.Tat al-agsi tcndel ,

mpr euncual ic i
vacowboy, auf cutunr aid ntr-
unsatpent ru
asal vac ivapr izoni erial bi.Thor ner apej umt atemor tdi n
cauzauneir nidegl onidef oame, iarfimur i
tcusi guran .
nghi iultimabuc icdi nsandvi ulluii iscut urm inile.
-Or i
cum,Ben l -a adus l a Keypoi nt .Thor n avea vr eo
unspr ezece,doi spr ezeceani ,bnui esc.Ast ase nt
mpl acumul t

nai nt esmnasceu.Deat unciar masacol oieunuldi ncei


maibunioameniainot ri.EliBen i
neauf oar t
emul tunull a
cell alt.Thor nobi nui asneduc-peRudyipemi ne-s
clr im pec mp.Elne- anv atsur mrim cpr i
oare,sci tim n
stele, snedm seamacum vaf ivr emea, lucr ur idinastea.
Laur ener aui mi t
,nunumaidepovest ire,ciidef apt ulc
Jar edospunea.Ni ciodat nuf useseat
tdevor br e
-Deci ,t
uiRudya icrescut mpr eun? ntrebea.
Peel lst njeni ntrebar eair spunsel aconi c:
-Da.
Ea ncer cdi nnou:
-Cr edc inut ulvost r
uef oar tef rumos, Jar ed.Si ncer.
Elopr ivici udat ,dupcar eseui tnal t par t
e.Fcuochi i
mi ci nl umi naput ernicasoar eluiiadmi rpanor amacar ese

nt i
ndea nf a alor .
-Da, ef rumos.
~106~
Sandr
aBr
own

Pr uf ur atdepr iveli
tec t evami nut e,dupcar eser idic
bruscdepar cs- arf isim i
tpr ostcvor biseat tdemul t.
-Dacainevoi e,po ist educi nspat elest
nci l
orl ora.
itrebuirc tevasecundecas neleag,dupcar eil s
capul njosi ngi m:
-Nu, mi -e...mi -ebi ne.
-At unci,t er ogsmscuzi ,spuseelcuopol i
teeexager at,
i
arear oip n nv rfulur echilor .
Elr
seisedepr t,pinteni izngni ndpepi et r
eledepemal .
Laur en mpachet r estulsandvi ul uii lpuse l al oc n
desag, dupcar er mase npi cioarelngar msar ull uiuria.O
pucseaf lav rt ntr-oteacl egat nspat eleei i.Obser vase
maidevr emecJar edpur taiunpi stol.nvi aaeinuf usese n
preajmaunorar medef ocio ngr ozeau.Tot ui, peso uleinu l
deranjasl eai bl andem n.
Else ntoar seil uh uril
ecai lor,i
areaspuse:
-Am vzutc i
vacopacidezr dci naimai ncol o.Ci neva
defrieazzonacumva?
-Nu,ast af aceRi o Cabal lo cnd se nfurie.S- a nt
mpl at
acum doianiiauf ostcel emaicumpl iteinunda iidi nul ti
ma
perioad.Copaci ,vite, case, chiaripodur i
,auf ostl uatedeap.
-Darr ulpar el i
nitit.
- ngener al ,est e.Dardacpl ouf oartemul tiseumf l
cursur i
ledeapdepedeal ur i
,at uncir
ulpoat edevenipr imejdi os,
i
a napoiopar tedi nceeaceadr uitpm ntului.
Er aof ilozof iepl indepoezi epent ruacelbr batcar e,de
obicei,eraf oar tet aciturn.
nmodaut omat ,eloaj utssesal tena.Eanu iput u
rei
neungeamt ncl ipa ncar e ireluaceapozi i
echi nuitoar e
i,pentrua- lacoper i
,
ntreb:
-Cum senumet ecal ulmeu?
-Cum senumet e?Misepar ec vaquer os ispunFl ame
dator i
tcul orii
.
-ialt u?
-Eie Char ger ,spuse elm ndr u,bt
ndu- lpe g t
.Dar n
diminea aast anupr eae napel el ui.Credc. .
.Fl ame lexcit.
~107~
FOCURIASCUNSE

Ochi iluicpr ui -
aur iialunecar spr eLaur enipr i
mi rr splata
unei mbuj orr iput erni ce.Fr svr ea,ea i ndr ept pr i
virea
spreaceapar teaar msar uluicar e iatest avirili
tat ea.
Sezi cecemar ec tunar msar !Laur enapr oapecse
sufoc ncl i
pa ncar e iami nt idinnoucuvi nteleEl enei .
Jar edi zbucni ntr-unhohotder s.
-Nut esper ia,Laur en.Epr eabi necr escutcas- o ncal ece n
public.Daro s- lst runesc, n cazc at rac i
a eiva f ipr ea
puterni c.
Opr i
ndu- sedi nr
s, spuse:
-Eunexempl arsuper b,nu?Benmil -
adr ui tc ndm- am

ntor sdi nCuba.


ntr-ocl i
p, Laur enui t
dest
njeneal isel spr adui mi r
ii.
-Ail upt at nr zboi ?excl ameasur prins,i arel ncuviin
scurt.
Er aevi dentcnu- ipl ceas- iaducami nt eder zboi .Ochi i
l
uideveni rl af eldedur iider ecicani t eagat e. ntri
stat
pentruf apt ulc ist ricasebunadi spozi i
e,ea nt oar secapuli i
ai
ntipr i
vireaasupr aor izont ului .
Maicl rirvr eoor iaj unser nv r
fulunuideal ,undese
oprir. npar teaceal alt,pm ntulse ntindeacauncast ron
mar eiad nc,of erindopr ivel i
tei ncredi bil
.Numer oasevi te,n
mar epar teHer efor d,pt eausauseaf lau nl ocur il
eundeapa
r
uluicar eer pui apepaj iteer amaimi c.C tevavi te,alcr or
prcr eir oi at i
ccont rast a cu ver delepuni i,l eneveau l a
umbr acedr ilorpr esr a inval e.
At tdemul tocapt ivasepr i
vel itea, nctnusesi zt ropi t
ulde
copitedec t ncl ipa ncar ecai iaj unser f oar teapr oapedeei .
Scoase un i
pt c nd vzu vr eo zece cl r ei,cu ear fe
acoper i
ndu- l
epej umt at efe ele, cupl rii
let rasef oar t
emul tpe
ochi, agitnd naerput iipi st oal eiur l
ndc ti i
neauput eril
e.
Veneauspr eeicut oat vi teza,apl eca i nai nte nei .Se

ntoar se nspi m ntatspr eJar ed,darr masesur pr insc nd l


vzur i
di cndu- iear far oiel af elcabandi ii
.Mair epededec ta
pututeas- iur mr eascmi cr ile,scoasepucadi nt eacio
ri
dic.Apoi ,d ndpi ntenil uiChar der , porningal opspr eat acator i
,
~108~
Sandr
aBr
own

sco ndunur l
etcomancar einghe as ngele nvene.
Bandi iitraser f ocuridear m naeri lnconj urarpe
Jared,car ef rnat tdebr usc, nctChar derser i
dic ndou
picioar e. nmodmi raculos,
ns, Jar edr mase na.
Laur ener a ngrozit.Deceopr siseJar ed?Doarnu i

nchi pui acseput eabat esi ngurcut oiaceinel egi


uii?Dupce

lomor au,ceaveasse nt
mpl e,oar e,cuea?Fl amesemi ca
agitat .Eanuseput eaconcent ras ini apanemi cat ,pent r
u
cpr ivirea ier aa int
it
asupr asceneicar eiseder ula nf aa
ochi l
or .
Jar eddescl ecief ulbandeif cuacel ail ucrucut otat t
a
uur in.Cei lalirmaser pecaiif ormar uncer c nj ur ul
conduct oruluil oriall uiJar ed,car est teauf anf a.Er ao
l
initemor m ntal.
Laur en f u ngrozi t
cnd iddu seama c aveau s se

mput er eci
pr oc.Ceidoiseaf laul ac i
vamet ridist an,cu
picioar el edepr tate,cubr ael
epel
ngt rupicut oimuchi i

ncor da i.Aveau apr oape aceeai nlime.Se pr iveau pe


deasupr aear felor.Laur en iinur espi r
aia.
Semi car am ndoicuoi u ealext raor di
nar ipi stoal ele
explodar n acel ait imp nl initea di nj ur,mpuct ur i
le
gsi ndu- iecoul ntredeal uril
edi nj ur.

~109~
FOCURIASCUNSE

Capi
tol
ul10

Orimpuct ura, or ireacial uiLaur enosper iepeFl ame, car e

ni nnebuni t,lu nd-ol agoanpest epune.Laur ener apr ea

nspi m ntat cas i


pe.Numaii nstinct ulofor sr m n na,

nt impcecal ulal er gam nc ndpm ntul.Tr opot ulcopi telorl ui


Flamef u nso itdecelalal tuical ,darLaur ennur iscsseui t e

nspat edet eamsnusedezechi li


br ezei ngr ozit decearf i
put utsvad.
Cucoadaochi ului,zr iocoambl ondcuc tevasecunde

nai ntessi mt unbr adef ierapuc nd- odemi jlocir i


dicnd- o
din a.Pi cioar eleisezbt ur n aercaal euneimar ionet e.
nchiseochi ist rnsisepr i
nsecubr aeledemi jl
oculbr bat ului
dinac ndacest aor idicaez nd-o nf aalui.
Dupceeacepr uoveni cie,ncepur s ncet ineasci ,n
celedi nur m, seopr irdet ot.I ni madi npi eptult aredesubcapul
ei ibt eaput ernic nur eche.Laur en inlpr ivireaivzu
niteochidecul oar eaambr eideasupr aear fei.
-Laur en?
Recunoscuvoceaisepr buil api eptulluiJar ed, bucur oas
cer auam ndoi nvi a.Elost r
nsemait ar eiea irezem
capulde pi eptull ui, nchiznd ochi i
.Zgomot ulunorcopi te i
tulburl init ea.Ui tasedeat acat or i
!
-E nr egul , Jar ed?
-Cr edcda.Doarpu i
nsper i
at,zi seel.Laur en,r epet apoi

ncet , i
areadeschi seochi ii nl capul .
Jared il s ear fanj os ise ui tl a ea.S f if ost

ngr ij
or ar eceeacevedeapechi pullui?Char gerscut urdi ncap
cuneast
mpr ,sco
nd- odi nst areadehi pnozpr ovocat de
aceaapr opi ereneat ept atdeJar ed.
Seui t lacel laltcl re.Semnaf oar t
emul tcuJar ed, numai
caveat enulipr ulmai nchi sel acul oar e.iel ilsase
ear fanj osiacum iz mbeapr i
etenos, Easeui tt i
mi dl at o i

~110~
Sandr
aBr
own

ceil
al
i vaquer osdi nj ur ull or .Nupr eaudel ocr uvoitori,ci
doarcur i
oiipu i
n nt r
ist ai.
- Laur en, eleRudyMendez, iaracet i
as nt vaquer osdel a
Keypoi nt-opar tedi nei .Te- am sper i
at?
Tandr eeal uiJar edoul uia.
ncuvi in der ut ati , apoi ,ami ntindu- ideduel ,spuse:
-Darv- am vzutt rg ndunul ntr-
al t
ul,
Buzel e itremur au.
Rudy ncepusr didi ni
ial bi ilumi nar chi pul ntunecat .
- Uneor i,sntdepr er ecJar edart rebui mpucat ,darc nd
nej ucm, ncer cm sgr ei m i
nt a,spuseelf c ndu-icuochi ul.
RudyMendezl adi spozi iadumneavoast r,doamnLocket t.Bun
venitl aKeypoi nt.Jar edarf itrebui tsvpr evin nlegtur cu
glumel enoast re.Comi tetulnost rudepr i
mi r
eaf cutexcesdezel
astzi.Neput e iierta?
Z mbet ull uier aat tdef ermect or,nc tLaur enz mbiiea
uorimur mur :
-Da. mipar erucv- am datat
tabt aiedecap.
Deodat ,
idduseamact rebui asar ate
groazni c.Pl ria iczusedepecapi irmsesepeumer i.
Prul iscpasedi ncoada mpl et it
ic t
evaf i
re icdeaupe
l
ngchi p.imair uer af apt ulcer a i
nut ntr -
unmodc tse
poat edenepot rivitpent ruodoamn nbr aelel uiJar ed.C nd i
dduseamac nc lmai nconj uracum ini l
e,il er etrase
i
medi at.
Darnuseat ept asecaChar gerst ropi ener bdtort ocmai
atunci .Fi ind c tpe- acis f i
et rnti
tl a pm nt ,seag cu
disper ar edeceni mer i
,at ingndcudeget eleumf lturataredi ntre
pulpelel ui.Auzio nj urt ur laur eche, dupcar eei iopti:
-Numaif aceast a,pent ruDumnezeu.Pr inde- tedemi jl
ocul
meui ine- im inileacol o.
Ea lascul t.Di nf ericire, Char gercont inuasessemi te, aa
cni meninu- iobser vasegest ulnesbui t
.Cuomi car escur t
din nchei et uram inii,Jar ed nt oar secal ul.Nuer acont i
entde
z
mbet ulst upi dpecar e laveapechi pipecar etoicei l
alil
vedeauf oar tebi ne.
~111~
FOCURIASCUNSE

Att vaquer os ,c tiRudyseui taust r uitorl ami reasal ui


Jared.Er aat
tdef rumoas!C ndseauzi sel af ermcJar edal
l
orse nsur a ngr abcuof atdi nEst ,sef cuser t otf elulde
specula iinepl cut er eferit
orl a nfiar eaei .Acum vzur dece
segr biseef ull orsoaducpef at npat ull ui.
Laur endevenidi nce ncemaist
njeni tsubpr ivirilel ori
Rudyobser v.
-N- ar e ni menit reab? i ntreb elpe vaquer os,car e

neleser al uzi ai ,unulc t


eunul ,duser undegetl apl r ie n
chipdesal ut,nt or cndu- sel aci read.Mducsvaduccal ul
,
doamnLocket t.
-Nu,Rudy,spuseJar ed.O spar cur gem r est uldr umul ui

mpr eun.I apaai apr obabi lcedej af oar teobosi t


.
-E- nr egul , Jar ed, spuseRudy.
Vaquer osf lui erar ichi ui rdupeic ndJar ed lmbol dipe
Chargercugenunchi ul, pornindsst rbat punea.
-Lanai ba, mur mur el apr oapedeur echeaei .
Oh, Doamne, ispuseelmi cndu- seicut
ndo
pozii
ec tmaicomod.
Rudycl reaal t urideeiiovzupeLaur endespr inzndu- se
uordepi eptull uiJar ed,al ecr uibr aenupr eavoi aus- idea
drumul ,darRudyl evzur elax ndu- se ncet .nt r
eceidoipr eas
existeoanumi t ncor dare.
Jaredvor bisef oar teur tdespr eaceaLaur enHol br ookc nd
venise l a Keypoi ntdup nmor m nt area l uiBen. ii nsul tase
educa i
a,i nteligen aimor alitatea.Rudy lt achi nase nl egt ur
cuea, dar ,spr esur prinder eal ui,Jar ed linfor masecni cimcar
nuovzuse.
-At uncideundet iiceat
tde ngr ozi toar e?Or icum,par c
aispusct e-aidusl aAust insoat ep il
agar .
-Am f ost !excl amaseJar edf ur i
os.Daram. .
.ah,l anai ba.
Las-obal t, da?
Rudyt iacnut rebui asi nsist e.Dupni ciospt m n,
Pepeaveni tl af er mcupr ovi ziiicuvest eacJar edse nsur a
chiarcuf at adespr ecar esus i
nusecnuovzuseidespr e
carespusese,t otui ,cer a opui cu mecher "
.Eibi ne, i
~112~
Sandr
aBr
own

spuseRudy, acum avzut -o.i ncf oar t


ebi ne.
Gl oriaimamaf useser nc ntatec ndauzi serdecst orie,
aacRudy i i
nusepr er i
lepent rusi ne.DacJar edavea
pu i
nmi nte,l ucr udecar eRudyse ndoiauneor i
,t r
ebui aso
i
n sub chei e.Er a super b,o adevr at doamn i ,dup
expr esi achi nui tdepechi pull uiJar ed,acest anuer adel oc
i
ndi fer entf adef armecel eei .Chi coti nsineal ui.Br avo ie,
Laur en!
-Gl or i
a,nevast -mea,abi a at eapt s v cunoasc,
doamnLocket t,spuseelcugl ast are.Emainer bdt oar echi ar
dec tcopi ii.
-Spune i
-miLaur en, vr og.C icopiiave i
,domnul eMendez?
-Numel emeueRudy,zi seelz mbi nd.Pi ,smg ndesc,
spuseelapoinumr ndcopi iipedeget e.Jar ed,aj ut-m.S nt
asesauapt e?
-C ndam pl ecat ,par cer auase, cunumr ulapt epedr um.
DaccumvaGl oriaanscutpr emat ur,sntsigurcl -ainceput
dejapenumr ulopt .
-Nuvor biur tnf aaso i
eit ale, lcer t
Rudy,darochi i i
l
icr eau.
Pr eacuc i
vaanimaimar edec tJar ediaveacevaf ami l
iar .
Laur ent ocmai ncer casdescoper edespr eceanumeer a
vor ba,c ndzr iferma.Er aocl dire nti
ns,cuunsi ngurni vel ,
dinbl ocur idecal caricuacoper idi ni ndril
decedr u.Pat ru
stl
pidi nl emndecedr usus ineauacoper iuldeasupr aver andei
car ese nt i
ndeapet oat l ungi meacasei .Maier auc t
evacl diri,
toat econst ruitedi nacel eaimat eriale.ar curisoli
desevedeau

nc teval ocur i.Ni tecopi icar er deaui i


pausej ucaupr i
ncur te,
singur azonacoper i
tdei ar b.Ceidoicaii ntrar ncur teise
opr ir
nfaaunuipar .Rudydescl ec.
Jar ediLaur enr maser nemi caiocl i
p,dupcar eelo
priviispuse ncet :
-Te- aisper iat.mipar eru.
Fa a ieraf oarteapr oapedeaei .Nuexpr imani miccl ar,dar
voceaer aat
tdedi fer i
tdeceapecar eof olosisep nat unci ,

nc tear masevr jit.Isepuseunnod ngtdeemo ie,dar


~113~
FOCURIASCUNSE

reuisspun:
-Nu- ini mi c.Mi -am r eveni t.
Vzudi nnouacear idi carei uteacol ur ilorgur iiluicar eput ea
ficonsi der atdr eptz mbet .
Ol udemi jloccuunbr aiol sj os.M na ial unecdepe
mi j
locspr esubsoar , i
ardeget ele iatinser uors nul .
Am ndoier auame iideacelcont act .Laur en ncer cs- i
revinar anjndu- ihai nel e.Jar eddescl ec,par ci ri
tat .Rudy,
careobser vaset otul,incl usi vreac i
ilelor , isur prinsepr ivireal ui
Jaredi ifcucuochi ul ,daracest ase ncr unt .
Uacaseisedeschi sebr usciGl oriai eir epede.Copi ii,car e

izr iser tat lipeJar ed,veni r


nf ugspr eei ,mbr indu-
l
epi cioar ele,mpi ng ndu- seivr ndcar emaidecar esl eat rag
atenia.
- Laur en,Laur en, bineai venit.Eus ntGl oria.
Femei ao mbr i
cucl dur iLaur enz mbi
cndvzuexuber an amexi canei .Er amaimar edec teai ,dei
nuaveaf rumuse eacl asi caEl enei, eraf oar tedr gu .Chi pulei
msl i
ni uscl ipeadesnt at eif ericire, acest ear ef l
ect ndu- se, de
asemenea, nochi ieinegr i.CaiEl ena,ieaat ept auncopi l
,
deit er menuleinu er achi arat
tdeapr opi at.Pur tao f ust
neagr iobl uzl argpedeasupr a.Pr ulnegr uil uci os ier a
str
nsl aspat e ntr-uncoc.
- imul umesc,Gl or ia.Mbucurf oar t
emul tcs ntai ci.
Spercvi zit
anoast rnuvder anjeazpr eamul t.
- Nu,nu.Def apt ,ast aecasal uiJar ed.Mbucurt er i
bi lde
mul tct lharulaadus, nsf r
it, omi reasai ci.Deanidezi l
em
i
ndecapull uisse nsoar e.Acum s ntf ericit
caat ept at .
Sntconvi nsciel .
Rsei lci upipeJar eddeam ndoiobr ajii
,t rebui ndsse
ri
dicepev rfuricasaj ung.Elseapl eciosr utapsatpe
gur,st r
ng nd- onbr ae.
-Dac Rudyt e-arl sa s st aimaipu in n pat ,am f ugi
am ndoi ,nu- iaa,Gl or ia?spuseel mbr i
nd-ocuput erei
dndu-iopal mpest eezut ,Darea l mpi nse,pr efc ndu- se
supr at.
~114~
Sandr
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own

-C ndaimi r
easaai ci,tust rngi nbr aeof emeiegr asi

nsr cinat!S- if i
er uine,Jar edLocket t
,spuseeaz mbindu-i
cuaf ec i
une.
At t
af ami liaritateoui mipeLaur en,dart otuloocase n
l
egt urcuobi ceiurile,celordi naceazon.Rudy mpinsecopi i
i
spreea.
-Laur en,
i-ipr ezintpeJames, John, Maria,AnaiLucy.Ci ne
l
ipset e?ntrebel .
-Consuel a,spuse o voce pi igiat de bi eel
.E mi c.
Doar me ncas,
iexpl icell uiLaur en.
-Copi i
,eaest eso i
al uiJar ed,Laur en.Aceast aseui tla
chipur i
leridicat espr eeai

nt
lnicincipr iviricur ioase.Unadi nf etie,Ana,deci nciani,opti
reveren i
os:
-Et ifoartef rumoas.
Laur enz mbii ,cobor ndu- sel ani velulcopi l
ului,spuse:
-Acel ailucr uaveam deg nds- lspuneudespr e
voi.
- Masaegat a.Hai deinunt ru,spuseGl or i
al und-odebr a
peLaur eniconduc nd- ospr ecas.
Pent ruLaur enf i
ecar epaser achi nui t
or,ccimuchi ipulpelor
iezut ulodur eau ngr ozitor.
Int r
ar ntr-o ncper espa i
oas. ntr-
uncapter aunper ete
depi atr
cuuncmi nf oar temar e. ncellaltcaptseaf laun
colpent r
user vitmasacar econ i
neaomas,unbuf etiun
dulapcupor elanur i
.I arlami jl
ocer aunl i
ving- r
oo m confortabi
l
careemanaf oar temul tcl dur .Er auc t
evacanapel el ungi
,
fotoli
i,covoar evi ucol orater spndi tepepodeauadi ndal ede
piatr,tablouri nfindaspect edincul t
uraVest ului,r
afturi
pline
decr
iiunbi rou.LuiLaur en iplceaf oartemul t.
Douhol ur ipor neau di n acea ncperef oar t
emar eiea
bnuic duceau spr e dor mi toare.O al t u,di n par tea
sufrager i
ei,tiact rebui asdea nbuct rie.Gl ori
af uext r
em
de ncntatcndLaur enof elicitpent rudecor .
-Hais- iar tcamer aluiJar ed.Am ncer catsoar anjezi
sadaugc tecevaf emi nin.t iidoarc tdegr oazni cpoat es
~115~
FOCURIASCUNSE

aratecamer aunui bur lac.


Laur enhabarnuaveacum ar tacamer aunuibr bat .Seal bi
l
af ac ndauzicuvi nt elecamer al uiJar ed .
Strbt ur hol uliGl oriadeschi seoucar eddea ntr-un
dormi t
ormar e,cu f erestrel argice of ereau pr i
velitea unor
dealuriiar uluindepr tar e.Er asuper b.
Mobi lierulconst adi ntr-
unscr incuoogl indpent r
ubr bierit
deasupr a,unf otoliucuunt abur etiundul apdehai ne,pecar e
Glorialdeschi sepent rua- iart ac mpi nseset oatelucr urilel ui
Jarednt r-opar t
e.
Lucr urileluiJar ed!
Unpatmar edemi j
locdomi na ncper eaiomsu seaf l
a
alturi
,
-Am adusast apent rut i
ne,Laur en,spuseGl ori
a.Af ostt ot
ce-am put utsgsescpe- ai ci,adugeaiar tspr eomsu
det oal
et pecar eer auunl igheanmi ci ocan.
Oglindaer apt atit ulbure.
-Pepe o s aduc al tceva c nd o s vi n ncoace dat a
vii
toare.
Ludezamgi real uiLaur endr eptnemul umi re.
-Ebi ne? ntrebeacut imidi t
ate.
- Nu! .
..adi c, da.Tot ulef oar tefrumos, Glor i
a.Te-aider anjat
foartemul tiapr eci ezmaimul tdec tipo inchipui,dar...
Tcubr usc, net i
indcesmaispuniseui t
neput i
nci oas
spreso ulei ,carer msese npr agal t urideRudy.Jar edpr ea
l
af eldeder utatcaiea.
Rudyst tea r ezematde t ocului i
,cu br ael
e igl eznel e

ncr uci
at eisedi st rater i
bil.Ochi iili
cr ircndseui tl aJar ed
ispuse;
-Gl oriaicumi neosvl sm acum svspl ai.Dup
aceeaosm ncm.t iuct rebui esf i
ilihniidef oame, darnu
vgr bii.
-Eu. .
.cr edcosmducl abar acs- isalutpebi ei.Os
msplacol o.
nainte s apuce ci neva s obi ect eze,Jar ed ieir epede,
l
sndu- inur mpeGl oriaf oar t
esur prins,peRudy,maipu i
n
~116~
Sandr
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own

surprins, ipeLaur en, car er suf l


uur at.
Lanai ba! ispuseJar ed nt impcet raver sacur tea.Nuse
gndisedel ocl ador mi toar eledel af erm.Rudyif ami l
ialuil e
ocupaupet oat e, naf ardeall ui.ipl ceacamer al ui.Nuvoi a
sr enun el aea,darni cinuaveacum s- icear r omant icei
Gloriasomut epeso i
al ui-mi reasal ui- nal t
camer .
imaiener vanter ag nduldea- ipet r ecenoapt eanaceeai

ncper ecuLaur en.Jur ase nsi neal uisnuseat i


ngdeea.
Numaiuncl ugrdenouzecideaniarf iput utsst ea ntr
-un
spaiuat
tdei nt i
m cuea, fr s. ..
Tr ebui asgseascosol uie.C tmai repede.
Duposcur tt oalet, Laur enseduse n ncper eaceamar e
pentrual ua pr nzulivzu l a mas o f emei e singur.Er a
fr
umoasideor i
ginemexi can,i arpeLaur enoui mi i
nutaei .
Eradr eapt im ndri , totui ,seni n.
Era scund icu un t rup del icat .Pr ulnegr u cu uvi e
crunt eer ast r
ns ntr-uncocl uciosl aceaf .Pur taor ochi e
neagr cugul er nalt.Ni ciobi juter i
esauvr eoal t
podoabnu
existapent rua- idi minuasever it
at ea.Chi puleiaveaoper f
eciune
decar nee.Ni tespr ncenenet edeif rumoscont uratesear cuiau
deasupr aunorochinegr iit ri
ti.Nasul ier adr eptisub ire,iar
deasupr abr bi eidelicat egur aer af rumosf or mat .
Zmbisi ncerc ndovzupeLaur en nai nt ndt imi dspreea.
-Laur enHol br ookLocket t
.Eus ntMar iaMendez.Bi neai
venitlaKeypoi nt.
-Seor aMendez, mif aceonespuspl cer esvcunosc.
Snteimamal uiRudy?
-Da,r spunseeaabsent nt impce ist udi achi pul.Et i
,

nt r
-adevr ,f r
umoas,aacum zi ceael .Dor eat aremul tst e
vadai ci.Cr edcaf cutbi nece- af cut .
-Vr ef eriilaBen?
Laur ener aui mi t
c tdemul tet iaf emei aaceea nlegtur
cupl anur ileluiBen npr ivin aei.
Femei ancuvi in.
-Mi -apovest itdet ineul t i
maoar c ndl -am vzut .
Pr easvr easspunmaimul t,dart ocmai
~117~
FOCURIASCUNSE

at unciJar edi ntrcuc teuncopi lsubf i


ecar ebr aicuunal tul
peumer i.Acest adi nur mse i
neacut oatput ereadepr ullui.
To irdeaui ipau, iarcei l
aliveneau nurmal oral ergnd.
-I a- mipemi ne, Jared!
-Nu, pemi ne.
-Ter og, Jar ed, ia-
mpemi neacum.
Glor i
ai ntrpeuadi nspr ebuct r
iebt
nddi npal me.
-Lsa i
-l npacepeJar ed.Abi aasosi t
.O save idest ul
timpsvj uca imait
rziu.Hai de ilamasinucumvasvd
vr eom nmur dar .
Copi iioascul tarf rt rageredei nimiseaezar lamas.
Jar ed it recudeget elepr inpri iar anjcmaacar eii
eise
dinpant aloni nt i
mpulh rj
onel i
i.
Laur ennui -arf inchipui tniciodatcl uiJar ed iplceas
sej oacecucopi i
i,darelr dea nt i
mpce inet ezeacmaa
pest epi ept ull at.C nd isupsebur tapent ruaov rnpant aloni,
pr ivireal uiLaur en al unecmaij os. ncer cs nghitnodul
fami li
arcar eisepusese ngt.
Jar ed i nl capulbr usciopr i
vicaicum arf iauzit
-o
str igndu- l.Ea i mpl eti
sepr uldi nnouir enun asel amnui ,
jachet ipl r i
e.Bl uzaisemul apes ni,fcndu- ispar imai
moi ,imaii spitit
oridec tal t dat .Fust a st rmt iaf i
a
femi ni tateacapeundr apel.Jar ed itersepal mel eumedede
pant aloniisesi l
isnusemaiui t
e nacelpunct ncar ese

nt
lneaupul pel eei .naintnd,bombnil aadr esasl biciuniilui
fizice.
Ochi iisel umi nar,pl inideaf eci
une,c ndozr ipeMar i
a
Mendezl amas, ierauat
tdecal zicum Laur ennu- imaivzuse
nici odat .
- Mar i
a,ce maif aci?o ntreb eli ,ocol ind masa,o

mbr i
cuput er e.
Olivieinuiseadr esaseni ciodatcuasemeneacl dur .
- Jar ed, tocmaiam cunoscut -opeLaur enicr edcmi reasa
taemi nunat .
Jar ed iar uncopr i
vireluiLaur enimur mur :
- Da. ..eh,
imul
umesc.
~118~
Sandr
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own

VeniiRudy nunt ru,i arGl oriaaduseul ti


mulpl atou di n
buct rie,aez ndu- lpe mas. ncepur s mn nce.Er ao
glgi eiozar vcont i
nuil uiLaur en ipl cuf oar temul tn
compar a i
ecumesel epl icticoasedi ncasat atluiei ,cucel e
l
ipsi tedegustimonot onedi ncasapar ohi alicucel et cut ei

ncor dat edi ncasaOl i


viei.
Toat l umeaspor ovia,povest indl ucr uridemar eimpor tan
saut otalnesemni ficative.Rudyl espusedei nci dent ul duel ului"
i
, nt i
mpcecopi iirdeaudegr eeal al uiLaur en, GloriaiMar iai
cert aupebr ba ipent r
unesbui nal or.
St teau nghesui i n ci uda l ungi mi imesei ,i arGl or ia i
aezasepeLaur enipeJar edal turi.Coat elel iseat ingeau
mer euor idec teor i ri
dicaut ac mur ilesaupahar ele.Dec tevaor i
,
genunchi isaucoapsel el isel ipeausubmas.Chi ardacci neva
obser val aunmomentdatdouf urcul i
er m nndsuspendat en
aer nai ntedeaaj ungel adougur isur prinse, nuspuneani mi c.
Rudyobser vichi cotidef iecar edat . ntreceidoiseddea
ol upt ser ioas.Aveasf i
ei nt eresantdepr i
vi t- nfrnger eal ui
Jar edcelMar edect r
eom ndef at car eabi adac- iaj ungea
pnl aumr .
Dupcet ermi nar dem ncat ,br ba i
ipl ecar sseocupede
tr
ebur i
lecar eni ci odat nusesf r
eaul aof er m.Laur en ipr i
vi

ndr ept
ndu- se spr e unuldi n arcur i
.Er au mbr caiapr oape
i
dent iciaveauacel aimer sl egnat .Am ndoiaveauumer iilai
,
oldur il
e ngust e i pi cioar e l ungi . Am ndoi i puseser
apr toar edepi elepest epant aloniimnuidepi ele.
-Di nspat es nti dentici,spuseLaur enmedi tativ.
Gl oriaseaf l
al
ngea.
-Da, cr edcor icinei -
ardaseamacs ntf rai.
Laur ense nt oar sebr usciopr i
viui mi t.
-Fr ai? ntrebea.
Gl oriaer ami rat.
-Pi ,da.Cr edeam ct i
icRudy i-
ecumnat .
Er asur prinscJar ednu ispuseseso i
eisal e
despr egr adull order udenie.
- Doamna Mendez i ..
.,opt iLaur en, nc ncer c nd s
~119~
FOCURIASCUNSE

priceap.
-Mar iaiBen, spuseGl oria nl oculei ,iarcndvzuexpr esi
a
ocat depechi pulei ,trst uril
eGl or i
eiser cirieaadug:
Nu- ijudeca pr ea aspr u.S- au i ubi tf oarte mul t.Mar iaat r
it

mpr euncuBenai ciapr oapepat ruzecideani .


-Bi ne,dar ...Ol iviaer aso ial ui,pr otestLaur encuungl as
stins.
Bent rise nadul ter?Benalei ?
-Aist atcuOl ivia,spuseGl oria.Aivzutcef eldef emei eeste.
ncdec ndBenaadus- odi nNewOr leans,eai -
af cutvi a
aun
calvar.A i nsi st atst r
iasc nCor onadoin- avr utsai b
nimi cde- af acecuf erma.i -aasumatr spunder eabnci i.Mar ia
eraf ii
caunui adi npr i
mi ivaquer ospecar eBeni -aangaj ats-l
ajutelaf er m.S- au ndrgost i
timedi atunuldecel lal t.
Da.Laur en iddeaseamaf oartebi necum se nt
mpl ase
acestl ucr u.Bl ndaiseni naMar iair obust ulivi r i
lulBen.Se
pot r
iveau, pr obabi l,foartebi ne.El idr uisepr otec i
eidr agoste,
i
area idr uisemul umi resuf leteasciunf i
u.Fer icire.Or i
unde
oput eaigsi .Er a, oar e,cevaat tdegr ei t
?Cuc tevaspt m ni
n
urm,Laur en arf if ostscandal izat dac arf iauzi tde o
asemeneasi tua ie,daracum. .
.
Oareacel inutaveas- ischimbeiconvi ngeril
e?
-Ceidoif iiail uiBenLocket tinf oar t
emul tunull acel lalt
,
spuse Gl or ia pr ivind pe f ereast rl a ceidoif ra icar e se

ndepr taucl are.Rudyaccept f aptulcnupoat epur tanumel e


fami l
ieiicnuest emot enitor ullegal .Benl -ai ubi tielt i
a
ast afoar t
ebi ne. nt estament ull uiBenscr iaf oartecl arc,at ta
ti
mpc tvaexi staKeypoi nt,fiiiluiRodol foMendezvor mpri
ferma nmodegalcuf ii
il uiJar edLocket t.E t rist,nu- iaa?
cont i
nueavz ndcLaur ent ace, urmr i
ndu- icupr ivireapecei
doibr ba icar edi spr urdi nr azal orvi zual.Mar ian- aput uts
seducni cil a nmor mnt are.ini cipr i
mull uif i
un- aput ut.Dar
Benaf ostai cicuc tevazi lenai ntedeamur i
.Ne- avor bitdet i
ne,
Laur en,ine- apr omi scost eaducf oartecur nd.Aceeaa
fostceadi nur mnoapt epecar eapet recut-o mpr euncuMar i
a.
Spercauf cutdr agost ep n-nzor i.Fusesepl ecatmaimul tde
~120~
Sandr
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own

oluni ,aacum lti


ueupeBen, auf cut.
-S nt...s
ntsi gur cauf cut, spuseLaur enr oind.
Glorial uf aptulcst teacucapulpl ecatdr eptunsemnde
oboseal .
-Arf it r
ebnui tsmopr etidi npl vrgeal .Pr obabi lc
etiobosit.Ce- arf ist educisdor mipu i
n?
-S ntpu i
ncam obosi t
,mr t
ur i
siLaur en.Dar imul umesc
cmi -aipovest i
ttoat eacest elucrur i
.Acum nelegt otulmaibi ne.
ChipulGl or i
eidevenidi n nou cal d if emei a o sr ut pe
Laurenpeobr az.
Aceast aseduseapoi ndor mitor ulcar eiapar ineal uiJar ed.
iapar i
nea, ntr
-adevr .Toat el ucr uril
e pur tau ampr ental ui.
Micndu-se pr in camer ,Laur en avea i mpr esi a c isi mt e
prezena.Dezbr c ndu-sencet ,apr oapecaveasenza i
ac i
scoatehai nele nf aalui.
Se nti
nsepepat ,avndsenza iaci udatcer aielacol o. i
pli
mbm napest ecuver turise ntrebc tenop iof istatchi ar

nl oculacel a.Er aung ndt ulburtor. nchiseochi iiczu ntr-


un
somnad nc, i
magi nndu-icaceiochicaambr aopr iveau.

~121~
FOCURIASCUNSE

Capi
tol
ul11

Laur enf cuobai e naintedeci n.Gl oriai -


aspuscBen
trseseapdi ntr-un r ezer vorcu c i
vaani n ur m,aa nc t
buct riaidoubiaveauapcur ent.Tot ui,nuexi staun
boiler.C t eunmangalmi cer aaezat ntr-uncol nf i
ecar ebai e,
pecar e, nper manen , seaf l
ac teooal mar edi ncupr ucuap
cald.
-Si ngur ar egul , ispuseGl oriazmbi nd, ec, dupcegol et i
oala,soumpl ilal ocpent ruur mt oareaper soan.Ah,iJar ed
m- ar ugats- idauast a,adugea ntinzndu- iost icl
mar on.
-Ce- iast a? ntrebLaur en.
-Sol uiepent ruf rec ie,rspunseGl ori
aamuzat .
Pepesosi semaidevr emeil edusesebagaj elendor mitor .
Celeal el uiJar edseaf laul ngal eei .Obser vcunadi nval ize
fusesedeschi s.Ceaveasf acdacovaur ma ncamer n
sear aaceea?Sepr eacso iiMendezseat eptaucaacest
l
ucr u s se nt
mpl e. ii mpuse s se cal meze ii nt r
n
sufr ager ie.
nmodci udati ,spr edeosebi redemasadel apr
nz,acum
eral inite.Pemasseaf laul um nri,por el
anur iicr i
staluri,n
l
oculvasel ordepm ntdemaidevr eme.
-Undes ntcopi i
i? nt rebLaur enaduc ndot avcum ncar e.
- mbi a ii npat ,spuseGl or i
aof t
nd.O ci nl initit
e
singur ulluxpecar eni -lper mi t
em euiRudy.
Jar ediRudyi ntr ardepever and,undebuser c teun
whi sky.Jar edst inset rabucul nceamaiapr opiat scr umier .Se
spl ase,sepi ept naseipur taocmacur at.Pr obabi lco
scosesedi nval izc nder a nbaie.
Rudysedusespr eGl oriaio mbr i,sr ut
nd-o ntr-
un
modcar eoui mipeLaur en. imur mur aucuvi ntecal de,fr s
sesi mt st ingher i
if a decei lalidoidi nncper e.
Jar edseui tapef er east r,cudeget el
emar iag atedegi ci l
e

~122~
Sandr
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own

pant al onilorsist rm i.Laur enst tea nmi j


loculcamer eit i
mi d
ipi pi ndu- iner voasceasuldel api ept.Vz ndu- ipeRudyi
peGl or iapur tndu- secuat taaf ec iune,set rezit njinddupo
asemeneaapr opi er e ntr eeaiJar ed.Ceva ni nterioruleiarf i
vrutsst rigel ael , sseducspr eel .
Tocmaisepr egt easf acunpasovi elnic ndi r
ec ialui,
cndMar i
a, car eapr usechi arat unci ,exclam:
-Ce- iast a?Ti ner iicst or i
isepoar tcadoist riniiceicu
maimul tvechi mesegi ugiul esccadoipor umbei ?
-Exactast avoi am sspunieu,zi seRudyveni ndspr e
Laur enil u ndu- im i
ni l
e nt
r-alesal e.Dacso ulst aalt un- ar e
deg ndst esr ut e,os- of aceu.Bunveni tnf ami li
anoast r,
Laur en, zi
seeliosr utuorpeambi iobr aji.
Sel sot cer eapst oar e.Tot ui, Jarednupr ut ulbur ati
seapr opi edemas.Cuomi carescur tdi ncap,
ifcusemnl ui
Laur ensseaezepescaunulpecar ei -ltrsese.Cuobr aji
in
flcr i,easeconf or micei lal
iour mar ,ciudatdet cu i
.
Conver sa iaf upl cut ;ceidi nf ami l
iaMendezput eaudi scuta
l
ej erdespr eor ice.Unel esubi ecteof cur peLaur enssesi mt
stnjeni t.Cast rar e,nsemnar ecuf ierul,gest a i
e.Sybi larf iavut
pal pit
a iiol un nt reag.
Laur en iGl or i
a spl ar vasel e.Aceast a di n ur m r efuz
cat egor icaj utor ulMar iei,dei imr t
ur i
siluiLaur encarf ivrut
tar emul tsai bpeci nevacar esoaj utela ngr ij
ireacaseii n
pr i
vin acopi il
or.
Cnd seal tur br bailoriMar i
ei nl i
ving- room,Laur en
obser v nc ntat cJar ednubea.Depechi pull uidi spr use
aceaar ogan ost il nspat el ecr ei aseascundea,deobi cei,ca
dupunscut .Pr ear elaxati ..
.da,f eri
cit.Er acut ot ulal tulfa
decelcar el ocui a naceacassuper b, darrece, dinCor onado.
St tea l ene ntr-un f ot oli
u,cu pi ci oarele nt i
nse.Ea il s
pr i
vireasl unecede- al ungull or ,aacum f cusepr i
maoar
cnd lvzuse, n cr u .Umf ltur a di nl oculde mbi nar ea
pul pelorcont i
nuasof ascineze. if eripr i
virear epede.
Glor iaseaezl ngMar iapeunadi ncanapel ei ncepus- i
povest eascdespr ecef cuseunuldi ncopi i
.Br ba iidiscut au
~123~
FOCURIASCUNSE

despr epr oblemel ef ermei .Neav ndcesf acal tceva, Laur ense
dusespr er afturil
edecr i. iscoaseochel ariidi nbuzunar ul
fust ei,i -ipusel aochii ncepu sl est udieze.Gsic teva
volumecar eoi nteresauil el u,aez ndu- sepeunf otoliul
ng
ol amp.
nscur tt i
mpdeveniabsor bitdeocar te ncar esedescr i
a
stiluldevi aalcomani lor .Auzicapr invi sc ndRudyser idic
ise ndr ept spr ebuct rie ntrebnddacmaidor eaci neva
caf ea.
Maici t
ic tevapagi ninai nt es- ir i
dicepr i
virea.Tr esr ind, i
ddu seama c Jar ed se ui tal a ea pr inf umulal bst ruial
trabucul ui.Nuaveaexpr esi al uiobi nui t
,r eceii mpl acabi l,ci
opr iveaapr oapecut andr eeicuunz mbetst i
nspebuze.
Seui tapoil am naei ,car em ng i
aabsent ceasul .Dece,
oar e, deget ele ei sub iri at ingeau mer eu ace ceas? Ce
semni f
ica ieaveapent r
uea? idduseamact iafoar tepu ine
l
ucr uridespr eea.
C ndo i
nusel ipitdeelpecal nzi uaaceea,avusesenevoi e
det oatvoi n aluipent r
uanu- isr utaceaf apecar eseodi hneau
ctevauvi edeprnegr ucaabanosul .Arf icl r itosut demi le
cuea nbr ae.Cedul cedur erecunoscusedef iecar edat c nd
trupul eisei zbisedeall ui.
Ami ntireaacel eiscur teat i
nger ias nul uieier avi enmi nt ea
l
ui .Se convi nse c nu o f cuse i nten ionat .Fusese ceva

nt mpl t or.Darf usesebucur osc ndi -lsi


m iset ar eipl in.Mcar
dacarf iput utvedea. ..
Devenir igid c nd iddu seama ncot ro ise ndr ept au
gndur i
le.Adu-
iami ntedoarcum aaj unsai ci,seaver tizel .Nue
del ocf loar eaf ragilinevi novat car epar ecu ochel ariii a
ridicol i
,cieot icloasmi civi clean.Ceeace- mit rebui eeo
tvl ealcuot rf
ascul ttoar e.Oper echedepul pedor nicei
desf cut einu- mivat rebuimul tsmi -oscotdi nmi ntepe
aceast f iicdepr eot.
Laur envzucexpr esi adet andr eeidi spr usedepechi pi ,
depr imat , l
scar t
eal aopar tei iscoaseochel ari
i.
-Noapt ebunt uturor, spuseMar iac ndRudyse nt oarsecu
~124~
Sandr
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ocandecaf eadi nbuct r i


e.Mducl acul car e.Laur en, ziseea
apoiopr indu- se nf aaf et eiil undu- ichi pul nm ini,mbucur
taremul tcet iai cicunoi .LuiBeni -
arf ipl cutsseaf l
eiel
alturidenoi .Def apt ,cr edcaif ost .
Osr utpeobr azisedepr t ncet.
-Ossuf ere nt otdeaunadi ncauzapi erder iilui
, spuseRudy
cndsi l
uet aeidi spr u.
- Aae, ziseiGl or iaof tnd.Mducieul acul car e, adug
eaapoiise ndr ept spr ef ot oli
ull uiRudy.
Sespr iji
nipeambel ebr a eal ef otoli
uluiielput us- ivad
sni
imar icar eabi aput eauf ireinu idecmaadesubbl uz.Se
srutar ndel ungiel i cupr insemi j
loculngr oat .
- ncl zet e-mil ocul .Vi nieupest ec tevami nute, ispuseel
cndsedespr i
nse, nsf r it,di nmbr iare.
-Nu- linemul tpeJar ed.Nuui tacel unal uidemi ere,zise
eai canat or.
Jar edsemi cuor nf otoliull ui.
-Nu- iniciopr obl em, Gl or i
a.Osmducsj ocopar t
idde
pokerl abar ac.C ivabi eim- aui nvi t
atit iicpar tideleast ea
potsdur ezeionoapt e nt reaguneor i
.
ncer cspar vesel ,darnur eui .
-Opar tiddepoker !excl amGl or i
a.Cenai ba. .
.
Opr ivireaspr di npar teal uiRudyof cust ac.
Seui tlaLaur en, car est tear i
gid numbr l ngu.
-Laur en,o s t e conduc n camer ,spuse Gl oria cu
compt imi re ngl as.
- Noapt ebun, doamnel or ,spuseRudycubl ndee.
-Noapt e bun,Rudy.Noapt e bun,Jar ed,opt iLaur en
rgui t
.
-Noapt ebun, Laur en, ziseJar edcunonal anst udi i
ndu- i
ounghi e.
Gl ori
a iar unco pr i
vi reuci gt oar ecumnat ul
uieiiapoi
plec mpr euncuLaur en.
Laur ense ntor ceac ndpeopar tec ndpeal ta npat ulcel
mar edec tevaor e. lauzi sepeRudyi ntrnd ncamer adevi zavi
ioapt acal daGl oriei nai nt ecaels nchi dua.Acestl ucru
~125~
FOCURIASCUNSE

se nt mpl asecumul ttimp nur m,i ar ncaser al ini


t e.Luna
strlucea, nvl uinddor mi tor ul ntr-ol umi nnepm ntean.
Tresr ic nd auzini te paiapr opi indu- se ncetde ua
camer ei.Se ntoar secuspat ele, pr efc ndu- secdoar me.
Tott rupulise ncor dac ndJar edi nt r ncamer .Ri di cuna
din gen ilecar er mseser n mi jl
ocul ncper i
i,cciauzio
catar amzngni nd.C tevami nut enusemaiauzini miciapoi
geant af ul sat di nnouj os.
Elseapr opi epenesi m i
tedemar gineapat ul ui
.Laur ensi mi
unvagmi r
osdet utunidepi elec ndseapl ecdeasupr aei .
Stt uast felc tevacl i
pedechi n,necl intitit cut .Laur ener a
cont i
ent def iecaresuf lar eal ui.Si m iapoiat inger eauoar a
deget elorpeobr az.G t
lejulisest r
nseii nima ibt eaat tde
tare,
nc tavui mpr esiac ivaspar gepi ept ul.ncel edi nur m, el
se ntoar se, ilubagaj eleii ei ,nchi z ndua ncet.
Mi rosur il
er maser cas- itor turezesi m uril
e.
-Apl ecat ?
-Da,Laur en.Apl ecat nai ntedei vireazor ilor,spuseGl oria
privind- ocumi lpepr oaspt a, eicumnat .
Iser upeai nimapent ruf ataaceeaalcr uisosepur taat
tde
groazni ccuea.C ndRudyi ntrase ncamer cuosear nainte,
discut aser despr er elaiaci udat di nt reJar ediso ialui.Pr ea
sf if ostocst oriedeconveni en,darRudynu iput eada
seamacar eer aumot i
vel e.Nut iadec tct rebuiausf ieal
naibi ideesen i
al epent r
uvi aal uiJar eddacacest asel sase
convi nssse nsoar e.
-Undeapl ecat ? ntrebLaur encr eiaisest r
nsesei nima
cndGl or i
a ispusesecJar edl uasecuelpr oviziicts- iaj ung
pent ruc tevazi le.
-S- adussr ezolveni tepr obl eme npar teavest icaf ermei.
S-aauzi tcni t er
ineuci dvi tele.Nu- if acegr ijipent r
uel ,
Laur en.Osse ntoar c ncur nd, sntsi gur .
Nu ispusecor icaredi n vaquer oscar elucr aul aKeypoi nt
arf iput utsr ezol veacel et rebur i
.
-Da, s ntsi gur ,mur mur Laur en.
Cuc tevazi l
e nur m, ifusesegr oazs- lvadpeJar ed,iar
~126~
Sandr
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own

acum,g nduldeanu- lvedeat ott impulisepr ea ngr ozitor


.Ce
se ntmpl a cu ea? Se si m ea r espi ns,abandonat .Aceea
tr
ebui asf i
el unaeidemi er e!
Frec ianu- ial ungaset oat dur er eadi npi cioar eidi nfese,
dar ,cndRudyo nt rebdacnuarf ivr utscl reasc ndup-
ami azaaceeacuel ,ear spunseaf ir
mat iv.Vi aadel af ermer a
excel ent .Voi a s- icunoasc t oat e aspect el
e,s- isavur eze
ener gia,vi goar ea.Acel a er a pm nt ull uiBen.Keypoi nter a
crea i
al ui .i ,laf elcaei ,er apl indevi a.LaKeypoi nt ,Lauren
sesi m eaimaiapr oapedeomulcar eoaduseseacol ocu
dor i
n acaeasdevi nopar t edi nf erm.
Dinmomentceabsen al uiJar edsepr elungi,ea if cuun
obiceidi nacl ri mpr euncuRudysaucuc iva vaquer os
dup-ami aza.Di mi nea asej ucacucopi iicel ordoiMendez, car e
onv auspani ola.I zbucneau nr
set ecr i
st ali
neor idec teoriea

n elegeauncuv ntgr eitsau ier agr eus- lpronun e.Uneor ile


cit
ea nai nt edecul car e.LuiLaur en ipl cea,deasemenea,s
stea ncompani aGl orieii , ncur
nd,cel edouf emeideveni r

prietenef oar tebune.Laur enavuseseat tdepu inepr i
et ene,nct
preuiaf oar temul taceanour elaie.

ipl ceau imoment elepecar eil epet recea cu Mar i
a
Mendez.Aceast ast teamait ott impul nchis n camer aei ,
obiceipecar e lluasedupmoar teal uiBen.Chi ariat uncic nd
eraal t ur ideei ,pr ear etras,ca nt r-unvi s,rupt der eali
tate.
Laur enaveai mpr esi ac, nacel ecl i
pe,pr eaext rem del ini
tit

ii nchi pui achi arc,pr obabi l,comuni cacuBenpeunt rm
undeni meni altcinevanuput eapt runde.
Primaspt m nt recur epede.I nimal uiLaur ent resr eade
fi
ecar edat c ndauzeat ropi tdecopi te,darcont i
nuasf ie
dezamgi t.Tott impulscr ut aor izont uldupar msar ulcelmar e
icl re ull uicupl riecubor ur imar i,dar nzadar .
Seobi nuicuvi aadel af ermat tdemul t
, nctGl ori
ai
Rudyer auul uii.
Vaquer os iscot eau pl rii
le nf aa eicu r especti
mur mur au:
-Bun di mi nea a,doamn Locket t
.I area l er spundea,
~127~
FOCURIASCUNSE

spun ndu- l
ef iecr uiapenume.To iopl ceauior espect au.
ntr-ozif uopr itcut imidi tatedeuncowboymexi can,car e
aveani teochinegr i,jucui .
-Seor aLocket t,eus ntCar losRi vas,so ulEl enei ,spuseel
rsuci ndu- isombr er o-ulnm ini.
-Mbucurt aremul tst ecunosc, Car los!excl amLaur en.Ce
maif aceEl ena?
-Cr edecpest epu i
nt i
mposvi ncopi lul.
- Te r og s m anun ic nd se va ntmpl a.Tr ansmi te-
i
salut r idinpar teamea.
-Si seor a.
lvzu,de asemenea,ipe eni gmat i
culcoman,Thor n.
Acest anu- ivor bi
seni ciodat , dar iscot eapl riaor idec teori
sevedeau.Pechi pull uinuseci teani ciodat ni mi c,darLaur en
aveai mpr esi acochi iluinuscpauabsol utni mi c.Sper ac
pr ereal uidespr eeaer abun.Oi nt i
mi dacuchi pull uint unecat
isevericucozi leacel eal ungii mpl etit
e,deii nst inctuli
spuneacer apr ieten.
Lazecezi l
eduppl ecar easa,Jar edse ntoar se.Apr untr-o
sear chi ar naintedeci n,obosi timur dar .Erapl i
ndepr afdi n
vr
f ulci zmel orp nl apl r i
e.
-Eh,i at eui t
ci neaapr ut,spuseRudyst ndcum i
nil
e n
oldur iiui tndu- sel aJar eddepar carf ifostcevar espi ngtor .
-Am aj unsl at imppent ruci n?Am cl ritcanai baul ti
mel e
ct
evaor e.M- am st uratdem ncar ea naerl i
ber .
-Te at ept m,Jar ed.Du- te ispal -te nt
iil as- lpe
Char ger ngr ijacui vadel agr ajdur i,ispuseGl oriacur ceal ,iar
elseui tper
ndl aacel ef eecar e lpr i
veaucur epr o.
Laur enni cimcarnuseui tal ael, cist teacucapulpl ecat.El
sesi m eacauni nt rus.
-M nt orcI medi at,mor mielii ei .
Inimal uiLaur enbt eacuput ere.Deielni cinupr ivise n
direc ia ei ,ea isi m ise pr ezen a ca icum arf iat i
ns-o.
Conver sa i
acont inu nj ur ulei nt i
mpce lat ept aucut oi
ipe
Jar ed.
Acest ase ntoar sedupce iscoseseapr t oarel e,vest a
~128~
Sandr
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depi ele,ear faipi nteni i.Pur taocmacur atipr ul ier a

ncumeddupbai apecar et ocmaiof cuse nbar ac.


Traver s ncper easpr eMar i
a,pecar eosr utpeobr az.Ea
fusingur acar elsal utcucl dur .Sr utulpecar einten ionase
si -
ldeaGl ori
eipeobr azsf riundeva naer ,cciea ntoar se
capuli ute,i arRudy ist rnsem na,f rs- ltachinezecade
obicei.Elseaezapoil al ocull ui,l
ngLaur en,iabiaat uncii
seadr es:
-Bun, Laur en.
- Bun, Jared.Cl tor iat a...s-abucur atdesucces?
-Am mpucatdoir
iiam t recutpel ac
ivadinf er mi er i
^
croral eper mi tem sf oloseascapanoast r. ngener al ,af ost
l
ipsit
deeveni ment e.
Pr ea s nu maif ie ni mi c de spus,aa c ncepur s
mn nce.DarLaur ener aagi tatiner voasi ,cndunuldi n
copiist rig di n dor mi tor,ea se r i
dic r epede de l a mas,
nerbdt oar e s se depr teze c t maimul t de per soana
domi nantdel ngea.
-Nut iuceosf acem c ndLaur enospl ececut i
ne napoi ,
Jared.Am aj unss inem cut o i
iat
tdemul tlaea,spuseGl oria
creiaiveneas- ideaopal mc ndlvzur idicnddinumer icu
i
ndiferen, darcont inunet ul bur at:Copi iioador ine- aaj ut at
foart
emul tpe-aici,nu- iaa, Mar ia?
-Eof atmi nunat ,Jar ed.Aimar enor occBenaadus- o
aici
.
Jaredscoaseunmor mi t.
Rudyr seuor .
- Cunosccelpu inoduzi ndet i
picar es- arbucur at ar emul t
dacaiaveaunacci dentmor tal,Jared.Arsuf la-octaizi ce
pete.
Jared lpr i
vi ncrunt at.
-C ndnai bas- aaf latea npr ezen avr eunui vaquero ?
- nf iecar ezic nd i eses cl reasc.Habarn- aic tde
dornicieraus- ir spundl a nt rebr i
.Eof atcar envaf oar te
repede.
-S ntconvi ns, mor miJar edcugur apl in.
~129~
FOCURIASCUNSE

Laur ense ntoar sei ir elul ocul .Rudyser i


dics- i i
n
scaunul ,nt impceJar edpr i
veamor ocnosvasulcucr izant eme
dinmi j
loculmesei .
-Unl ocpecar eLaur ennul -avzutePecanCr eek.Aiput ea
s-oduciacol ontr -
ozip nnuser cet evr emeapr eat ar e.
Gloria n eleseundevoi asbat Rudy.
-Ce- arf isvduce ichiarm ine?A iput easvl ua ide
m ncar eispet receic t
evaor e ndoi .
-Nucr edc. ..ncepuLaur en.
- Num ine, o ntrer upseJar ed.Am pr eamul tt r
eabpeai ci
.
-Pr ost ii;i nterveniMar i
a,ccinuaveadeg ndsst eacu
m i
nile n s n isvadcum unuldi ntrecel emaist rluci te
planur ial el uiBenseduceader pdi ncauza ncp nr i
il ui
Jar ed.Aif ostpl ecatapr oapedouspt m ni.Mer i
iit uozi
l
iber .O s pl eca i n zor iio s supr aveghez per sonal

mpachet ar eam ncr i


i.t iuexactcevpl ace.Aigr ij
si eii
saculgr os ncar esadunial une.Orsnet rebui ascdeZi ua
Recunot in eiideCr ci unpent rupr ji
tur i
.iaduciami nt ecum
vt rimiteam pet i
neipeRudy nf iecar et oamn?Benvddea
cteunbnupent ruf iecar eal unpecar eoaducea i.Auf ost
vremur if r
umoase,spuseeacumel ancol iei ,dr egndu- igl asul ,
adug:Da, osvduce im ine.
Chest iuneapr eaar anj at.Jar ed iar uncl uiRudyopr ivire
ucigt oar e,daracest az mbi ,pr
ndi nocen a nt ruchipat .Mar i
a
iGl oria iz mbi rconspi r
ativ,i arLaur enm ng i
aceasul ,car e
tremur apepi ept ulei .
-Lanai ba,ce- aif ivr utsf ac,Rudy?Am ncer catt otul .Eivor
cent ralael ect ricinoivr em cal eaf erat.Neaul am n.
-Nu t iu,dart rebui esf aciceva!Ben arf inceputmai
degr abunr zboidec ts- ilasepet i
cloi iiapepm nt ul ui.
Femei le,car eseaf lau n ncper eaceamar e,sepr i
vi rc nd
auzi rgl asur ilef ur i
oasedepever and,undeJar ediRudyse
retrseser dupci npent r
uaf umac teunt rabuc.Mar ial s
deopar tecevacecosea, Gloriaseopr idina ni rani temr gel e
pea pent r uLucy,i arLaur enl scar teapecar eoci teas- i
cad npoal .
~130~
Sandr
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Numaieat i
acesubi ectpr ovocaseoasemeneai zbucni r
edi n
parteacel ordoif r ai
.Gl asur i
ledeaf ar r evenirl anor mal ,iar
femeile ireluar act i
vit ile.Di nc nd nc nd,cteuncuv ntsau
ofrazt otmair zbeaup nl aea.
CndRudyiJar edse nt oar ser ncas,pr eauposomor
i
.
Am ndoiseui tari medi atl aLaur en,Jar edcuost i
litate,Rudycu
cevaasemnt orcumi l
a.
Deci ,izi seea,Jar edi -adezvl uitf rateluisu mpr ejurri
le

ncar ene- am cst or i


t.O cl i
pset emucRudyaveas- i
schimbepr er ea,caveasocondamnepent ruhot r
reape
careol uase.Darchi pull uideschi s,pr i
et enosicompt imitoro
asigurcnuer avor badeaaceva.
-Dact r
ebui espl ecm l aPecanCr eekm ine, sf iigat adis-
de-diminea , ispuse,i arJar edi ei ,dupceiseadr esl ui
Laurencuent uziasmulunuipr izoni ercar eiat eapt execu ia

n zor i.Ni meninu se mai nt reb unde avea s doar m n


noapteaaceea.
GloriaiRudyseduser ncamer al or.Laur enpusecar t
eal a
l
ocper af ti ,sco
ndu- iochel ar i
i,sedusel af ereast r.Vzu
sil
ueta naltizvel t
ndepr t
ndu- sespr ebar ac.
Nu idduseamacMar iaer a nspat eleeidec tncl i
pa n
careaceast a icupr i
nsemi jloculsub ire.
-Bens- a mpot ri
vitiubi riipent rumi necaunnebun,Laur en.
Am ndois ntdur iiput erni ci.Tandr eeanu- ist nf ir
el uiJar ed.
Nicipoliteea.Fi irbdt oar ecuel .
Laur ennuput easvor beascdet eamsnupl
ng.Se

ntoarseio mbr i
r epedepeMar i
a,dupcar eser etrase n
i
ntimitateacamer eiei.Camer al uiJar ed.
Gloriaoaj utpeLaur ens i mpl eteascpr ul nf elulcu
careseobi nui sedej a.Pur taacel eaihai neca ndi mi neaa n
careeaiJar edveni ser l aKeypoi nt .Cost umulcar eat unciise
pruse scandal os de i ndecentacum er a chiarcomod.Se
obinuisecumul teschi mbr i
nvi a aei .
Mar ia er a n buct r i
e inndu- se de pr omi siune i
pregtindu- legust ril
e.Jar edi ntri ,f r sspununcuv nt,
i
ddul uiLaur enoear fbl eumar i
n.Eaol ui lprivinedumer it
.
~131~
FOCURIASCUNSE

-Ecur at , ispuseelcuaspr ime.Am mpr umut at-odel a


unuldi nnumer oiit iadmi rat oriiam spl at-ocum namea.
S-arput easainevoi edeeaast zi.
Eal uear f
aio mpt uri nf ormdet ri
unghi , dupcar ei -o
pusel ag ti ncer csol egel aceaf ,dardeget el e ier au
ciudatdene ndem nat ice.
-Las- mpemi ne,spuseelexasper ati iddum i
nilel ao
par te.
Venil ngeai nnodcapet eleear fei
. nci uda ndem nr i
i
l
ui ,pr usdur ezecevat impp nr euisf acacestl ucr u.Se
apr opi eimaimul tdeeaideget elel uiconsi derarcer a
necesars- iat ingpi eleacal didel i
cat ag tului nt i
mpce i
aranj aear fa.
-Mul
umesc,spuseeac ndelsedepr t, nsf
rit,darel
ri
di cdi numer idoar .
Dupunmi cdej unl uat ngr ab,eaiJar edpl ecar .Laur en
l
ef cucum na,Gl or ieiiMar iei,carest teau npr ag.Fl ameer a
cunoscutacum caf ii
nd cal uldoamneiLocket ti,
ntreLaur eni
i
ap,pr eassef i nfiri
patol egt ur.Jar edf uuorsur prins
cnd iddupi ntenil uiChar geriovzupeLaur engal op nd n
r
ndcuel , frni ciunf eldeef ort.Eh, anv atceva,
ispuseel
mor ocnos. ipi er duseipal oar easpeci f
icEst ului,iar.chi pul
eicpt aseost rluci resnt oas.
Nuaveasr ecunoasc nf aani mnui ,ni cichi ar nf aal ui,
c ifusesedordeeac tf usesepl ecat .Nuvoi asdef i
neasc
sent iment ulcar e lst p nise nc di n moment ulpl ecr ii.Pe
pm ntulf ami l
ieiLocket tsemaiaf l
au mpr t iatec tevaf erme
aleunorcr esct orideoipecar eel ivi zit
,i arf ii
celeacest ora
erauadesea ncntat espr imeascopal mpest eezutsauc t e
unsr utpef ug.Dedat aaceast a, ns,f useser 'dezamgi te,
cciJar ed ipet recuset impulst
nddevor bf oar t
eser ioscu
br ba i
i.Nuevi tasef emei le nmodcont i
ent ,ci ,purisi mpl u,
acest eanu linteresau.
Noapt ea,
nf ur at npt uri, se nvrteac ndpeopar tec ndpe
alta,chi nuindu- sesscapedet otf eluldeI magi nit ulburt oar e.
Laur en n capot ,cu pr ulcz ndu- iliberpe umer i
.Laur en
~132~
Sandr
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dor mind npat ull uil af erm,cuobr ajiim ngiaidel umi nal uni i
.
Laur enconcent rndu- seasupr auneicr iicuochel ariipenas.
Laur en.Laur en.Laur en.
S-anj ur atpent rufapt ulcer aunpr ostat uncic ndi magi na i
a
i
-al uat -
or aznais- a nchi puitr idic
ndu- iouvi deprdepe
umrisr ut ndu- i
-o.im ngiaobr azull i
pi tdeper nal ui.iscot ea
ochel ariipent ruaosr uta.
Somnul locol ea sear de sear .St tea nf aaf ocul ui
apr oapest insf um ndt rabucur iibl estem ndu- i ngrozitoar ea
nelinitef izi cipef ptur aaceeavi cl eancar e isuci secapul
tatluisuicar e ncer caacum s- if acacel ail ucruil ui.Ei
bine, alnai bi isf iedacaveas- ol ase!
Darc ndseapr opiedeKeypoi nt nsear aaceea, bt ileinimi ii
se nteiri lf cusepeChar gersal er gecaunnebun.Jar ed
j
ur acner bdar eal uideaaj ungeacasnuaveani ciol egt ur
cuf emei apecar eol saseacol o.Acum, pr ivind-odesubbor urile
plr i
ei,nuer achi arat tdesi gur .
Clrir nt cer ejumt atedeor .Jar ed ncetinimer sull ui
Char ger ise ndr ept spr e mal ulr ului,unde r dci nile
chipar oilorer pui aupepm nt, mpl etitecani tef r
nghi i.Pe
mal ulcel l al talr ului,ct evast ncif or mauunzi d naltdevr eo
cincisprezecemet r
i.Pel aj umt ate, i
ei nd naf arazi dului,seaf l
a
ceamaici udat const ruciepecar eLaur enovzusevr eodat .
Era un f elde col i
b di nl emn de c i
va met riad nci me.
Printr-unconegr udemet ali eeaunf iri
orsub i
redef um.
Singur au,
nmi jloculconst ruc i
ei,er adi nsc ndur iiaveadeo
par teideceal al tc teof ereast r
pt r
at . ndr ept ulacest ora
fuseser pr insepi eidevi t,car ef l
utur auuorl aceamaimi c
adier edev nt .Di versecor niedecer biidevi te mpodobeau
pere i
iext er ior i
.Mi casupr afadi npi at r
pecar eseaf lacol i
ba
eral atdoarc tsai bl ocosi ngur per soan,darer aplincu
totf elulde ust ensi le:l ope i
,ci uber e,f ri
e,hamur i
,f rnghi i
,
plugur inst arej al nic,ogr maddepi eideani mal eiobi ect e
demet alpecar eLaur ennul eput eai dent i
ficadel adi st ana
aceea.
-Ce- iast a? lntrebeapeJar edul ui tc ndelopr ical uli
~133~
FOCURIASCUNSE

descl ec.
-Rm iai ci.Nust m dec tocl ip.LuiCr azyJacknu- ipl ac
oaspe ii.
-Ci .
..
-St ailini tit
, Laur en, spuseelapsat .
lvzul u ndunpachetdi nspat el eei iipor nindspr emal .Se
l
spevi nei nghi ic tevagur ideap, dupcar epusepachet ul
pe o pi atr net ed ise nt oar se l a Char ger ncl ecnd cu
nonal an .
Laur en i nfrncur i
ozi tat ea nt impcese ndepr tarde
acell occi udat nl inite.Maiar uncoul t i
mpr i
virepest eumr
acel eipr ivel i
t istrani i.
Dupcepar cur ser vr eomi l
,Jar ed ndr ept di nnoucai i
spr eRi oCabal lo,dedat aaceast al s ndu- isseadape. inti
nse
l
uiLaur enopl osciei iapr inseunt rabuc.
-Ceer acasaaceea,Jar ed?Locui et eci nevaacol o? nt r
eb
eaf r s- imaipoat r e i
necur iozi tatea.
-Da, spuseelcal m.Senumet eJackTur ner ,
dart oat lumea

ispuneCr azyJack.i -
aconst ruitaceladpostpent rual ocui n
el.Eunpust ni cinu- idel ocnebun.
-Pust nic?excl amea.Dec ndl ocui et eacol o?Deundea
veni t?Eper icul os?
Cu o ncet i
neal supr t oar e,Jar ed l u pl osca napoi ,o
ast upit r asecupof t di nt rabuc nai ntedear spunde.
-Jackif ratelel ui ,Bi ll,auveni tdi nTexasl asf
ritulani lor
cinci zecideDumnezeut ieundeis- aui nst alat ntr-ocol ib
mi c,pr si t .N- auavutor iini i
at iv,or icapi talpent ruapune
pepi cioar eof erm.Fceaudi versel ucr ur ic ndaveaunevoi ede
bani ,al tmint erier auf oar ter etrai .Locui t oriideor igineger man
depe-ai cier auat
tdes rgui nci oi ,nc ti ndepr taupet o icei
car enuaveauaceeai ncl ina iespr emunc.
Semi cuor nait rasedi nnoudi nt rabuc.
- n1872,comani iauat acatf er mel emaimi ci.JackiBi l
l
auf ostcapt ur aiicol ibeiis- adatf oc.Auf ost i
nu ipr i
zoni eri
vreoasel uni ,dupcar eJackaf ostsal vat .Daceiarf ifost
singur i
iost at eci,nimeninus- arf isi nchi si t,darmaif useser lua i
~134~
Sandr
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own

if emeiicopi i
.Ast fel nc ts-af ormatun gr up desal var e.
Frat el
eBi llfuseseuci sdei ndieni.Torturatiuci s.Jackaf ost .
..
rnit..
.i,cndar eveni tns nulcivili
zai
ei,af ostbat j
ocoritdet oi
veci ni
iluicretini.
Schiunz mbeti ronic.
-Jacki -aconst ruitunadpost npet eraaiai ,deiseaf l

pepm nt ulnost ru,Benn- azi snimic.Jackt aiectedouvi t
e n
fi
ecar ean,darnus ntni ciodat dincel emaibune.Fol oset e
fi
ecar ebuc icdeschel et. iaducem mat eri
alelaf i
ecar ecteva
l
uni .Nuvr eadec tsf iel sat npace.Casal uieunf elde
fortrea.NumaiDumnezeut iecum i ntricum i ese.Pois
fi
i sigurcne- am af latnr azaput i
iluiimedi at
.
Laurent cuocl ip, gndindu- selaceauzi se.
-Deceaf ostevi tatdet oat lumea?Doarn- avr utsf ieluat
dei ndieni.
Isef cusemi ldeacelpust nicexcent r
ic.
-I -
aut iatnasuliur echi l
e.Ast ai-auf cuti ndienii
,iarpe
frateleluil -aumut i
latil -auuci s.Nuof eropr ivel
itepr ea
plcut ioameni inusupor ts-lvad.

~135~
FOCURIASCUNSE

Capi
tol
ul12

Laur en ipusem inil


el agur .Chi nur i
lelacar el-ausupus
comani ipe Jack Tur nerer au de ne n el
es,darsuf erinele
pricinuitedesemeni iluiauf ostimaicumpl i
te.BeniJar ed i
artaser bunt ate. icobor pr i
vireaispuse ncet :
-Faciungestf oartecar it
abi l
,Jar ed.
-Nu- iungestdecar itate.Pest evr eozi ,douosgsi m pe
verandunvascuwhi skyf cutdeel .lpuneacol odef iecar e
dat c nd iducem c teceva.Bi nen elescn- abeaaaceva
pent runi mi c nlume.Eopor crie.Darni cinupots- lignor .
Dec ndset i
a, Ben idusesepr ovi ziiluiCr azyJack.Pr obabi l
cacest aaveavr eoapt ezeciicevadeaniacum.
-M ntrebdacot icBenamur it,spuseel .Pr obabi lc
da.Cr edct ietotcesepet r
ecepe- ai ci.
Aruncmucul trabucul uii iv r
di nnoupi ci orulnscar .
-Gat a?
Laur en ncuvi in ipor nirdi nnoul adr um.Jar ed ir idic
ear fai if cusemns- iur mezeieaexempl ul.C ndse
depr t
ar der u,por iunilecui arbdeveni r dince ncemair are
ipm nt uler amaiuscat ,cai ist
rnindnor idepr af.Laur en ifu
recunosct oarel uiJar edcseg ndi ses- iaducoear f.
Pu i
nmait
rziu,Jar ed ncet i
nipasuli ntrndnt r-opdur icede
aluni.Copaci ibt r
niimasi vi ipi er deau f runzele dat or i
t
anot impul ui .
nacelpunct ,ruler al at.Mal ulspr ecar eeloconduseacum
era acoper itcu i arb i , n apr opier ea apei ,er a pr esr atcu
pietricele,car eset ransf ormau nni t est
nciur iaeial bece
i
eeau asemeniunormese net ede di nr
u.Apa t recea cu
repezi ciunepest eel e,cr i
stal i
nicl ipoci nd.
-C tedemi nunat !excl ameaisr iimedi atdi naal erg nd
pemal .
npar t
eaceal alter aunzi ddepi at rf oarteasemnt orcu

~136~
Sandr
aBr
own

cel n car e iconst ruise casa Cr azy Jack.Dat or


it acel ui
par avannat ur aliadpost uluipr otect oralal uni l
or,decor uler a
i
ntim isuper bnci udapr imi tivismul uisu.
Nu idduseamacJar eddescl ecaseiveni se nspat el e
eidec tc nd lauzivor bind.
-S ntc teva i zvoar e subt erane ai ci.De aceea e at
tde
l
impedeapa.Vi no.
Fusur prinsc ndol udem niot rasepest
nci l
ecar e
i
eeaudi nap.Mnui ledepi el epecar el epur t
auam ndoinu
dimi nuaudel ocf i
er bi n ealam iniicar eo ineast rnspeaei .
Pi r mpr eunpebol ovani ial bi,net eziideapacar et recea
pest eeine ncet at.C ndaj unser npunct ulundeapacur gea
repedepest eost nc,Jar edsel s nj os.Laur enf cuiea
acel ailucr ui ,
sco ndu- imnui l
e, vrm na nap.
-Ah, cer ecee, excl amear znd.
-P nt eobi nui et i,spuseelz mbi nd.C ndeuiRudyer am
mici ,veneam ai cis not m.Ne- aadusBenp nam f ostdest ul
demar i nctsavem gr i
jdenoi ni ne.Vezit u,c ndpl ou,
acestaf luentall uiRi oCabal lodevi net orent .Loculst aundene
aflm acum eacoper itdeapacar evi nedepedeal uri.
ilsaser nj osear feleieapr i
vicum br bia im ng i
a
acelmat er ialmoal e nt impcevor bea.
-Pr imvar atotular atal tfel.Al bst r
eleleacoper deal ulca
uncovor .
Ea ascul t cu at en i
e i ipr i
vim i
nile gest iculnd.Rost i
numel el uiBenf rs- iapar pechi paceaexpr esiendur erat
pecar eoaveaor idec teor ier avor badet atllui .
Fcum inilecuibupu inap.Aveaungust ngrozitor
desl ciu.Nut iucsest r
mbasedec tc nd lauzipeJar ed
r
znd.
-Ar eungustnepl cut ,nu?Apaecur at ,dart r ebuief il
trat
princr bunepent r uaf ibundebut ,iexpl icel .Veziunde
bolbor oset e sub pi at ra ai a? o nt reb elar t
ndu- ipunct ul
respect iviea ncuvi i
n .Acol oeunuldi nizvoar e.
Se napoi arpemalcl cndpepi etre, reveni ndlngcai icar e
pt eaul init i
i.
~137~
FOCURIASCUNSE

nt impceJar edscot eam ncar ea,Laur enur cp n nv rful


colinei .ntreagaval eise nfia nai nt eaochi lor ,ofer indu- io
privel i
tespl endi d.
- Masaeser vit,doamn, ist rigelf cndopl ecci une
adncdeasupr apt uriicar eser veadr eptmas.
Sim indu- sel iber inest ingher it,eaal erg napoi .Al unel e
ifrunzel eczut esesf r
mar subpai i ei.
Mar i
a mpachet asem ncar ec tsaj ungpent ruoar mat ,
darLaur enf ubucur oasvz ndc,pent rupr imaoar ,nuexi st
a
fasol e.Fel i
isub iridef ri
pturdevi t
r ece,sal at decar tofi

nt r-unbor can, pinepr oaspt , tor ti


llasipr j
itur ifceaupar te
dinmeni u.M ncar di nf arfuri
idet abl degenulcel orfol ositede
br ba icndpl ecaul adr um.Mar i
amai mpachet aseier vet e
albedep nz.
-E f oar tef rumos ai ci,Jar ed,spuse ea dup o pauz

ndel ungat , ncar eseconcent raseasupr am ncr ii.


-Da, spuseelmest ec ndobucat dep ine nai ntesadauge:
Aiciavr easconst ruiescocas nt r-obunzi .Chi aracol on
vrfulcol inei,zi seelar tndl oculpr intr-omi car eabr bi ei.Vr eau
sam veder espr eval ei ,asta, spuseelf c ndungestl ar g,os
fi
ecur teadi n spat e.Chi ardacr
ulsevaumf la,casavaf i
apr at .
-Arf iper fect ,spuseeaent uzi asmat .Mi -arpl ceaf oar te
mul tst riesc nt r-unast feldel oc.
Imedi atcer ost i
seacel ecuvi nt earf idator icepent rual e
retrage.El nt oar secapulbr usciost rpunsecupr i
virea.Eanu
voisesi nsi nuezecaveausf ie mpr eun.Vor bise,puri
simpl u,retor i
c, il scapul nj os ngr ozi t.
Fiecar eer adur er osdecont ientdecel laltidef apt ulc
erausi ngur i.Lini teaer apal pabi l.Fol osi ndt onuldeconver sa ie
pecar eldob ndi sedupanidezi lede nt reinereaoaspe i
lorn
salonulso ilorPr at her ,Laur en lnt reb:
-Decenumi -aispuscRudyef rat elet u?
ntrebar ea ll u cu t otulpr in sur pr i
nder e ise opr idi n
mest ecat .ncel edi nur m, nghi i,luogur deber edi ntr-una
dinst i
clelepusedeMar i
aiapoispuse:
~138~
Sandr
aBr
own

-Arf icont at?


-Fapt ulcenel i
gi t
im?
Elopr ivicuaspr i
me, darvzunumai neleger e nochi iei.
-Nu, ast anucont eazpent rumi ne, Jared.
-Pent rumul tlumecont eaz.Ast aif apt ulcepej umt ate
mexi can,spuseelcuamr ciune.Ni meninu n elegel egtura
dintr eBeniMar ia.
-Euo n eleg.
lsur prinsesedi nnouiopr i
viocl ipnaint esseui tenalt
par te.Sespr i
jinintr -
uncoti i nt i
nsepi cioarel e.Laur en i
ami nt idepr imaoar c nd lvzuseiarf ivrutsf istatncapul
oasel or.if ugr eusnuseui t
el at r
upull ui,of eri
tpr i
vir
iicuat
ta
ner ui nare.
Pent r
ua- iacoper ifstceala, spuse:
- ntotdeauna ispuit atluit upenume.Dece?
Pr ui ritatpemomentdemul imeade ntrebr ipecar eil e
punea, darapoi r
se ncet .
-Aa ispuneat oat l umea,zi seelr i
dicnddi numer i
.Nu- i
plceaut itluril
e.N- aveanevoi edeel e.ieuam si m i
tlaf elcnd
m- am ntor s di n Cuba i m- am t r
ezit deodat c er am
l
ocot enent ulLocket t
.
Muchi iise ncor dar .
-Tr ebui esf ifost ngrozi tor,spuseea ncet .Am ci ti
tc
armat anoast r
s- al upt atf oar t
emul tcucl ima.
-Ef oar teadevr at .C tam f ostacol o,n-am t r
asaer npiept
cal umeani ciodat .Af ostor i
bil.Or ictdemul tncer caist r
agi
aerull agr eu npi ept ,nuer adeaj uns.Maj oritateadi ntr
enoi
ne-am mbol nvi tdemal arieipor neam l aat acchi nuiidef ebr
iat tdesl bii
, nc tneer acumpl itdegr eusneit
rm.
Ajunsesesnu-mimaipesedaccucer eam af urisitadecol in
saunu.
-Er aof atacascar eer amr i
tat cuunsol dat ,unpuca
mar in.Ne- am r ugatpent rueliam f ostbucur oic nds- antors
doarcuor anuoar lapi cior.
idezl ipipr i
vireadecat aramal uii ncepussej oacecu
ervet ulcar eer ant i
nspest epul peleei .
~139~
FOCURIASCUNSE

Privirea l uio msur di n cr et etulcapul uip n n v rful


cizmel or.
-Dart u, Laur en?Tunuat ept aicusuf letullagur vreuni ubi t
sse ntoar cl at ine?
Ear oidat or it
pr iviriiluist r uitoar eicuvi nt elorpecar el e
rost i
se.
-Nu,spuseeapr ivind npoal .N- am avutni ciadmi rator i
,
nici..
.ni mi c.i ,peur m, eram pr eami cpeat unci .
-Ah,darmait rziu?N- a ncer catni ciunbi ats-
ifureun
srutpedupuabi ser icii?Ni cioh r
joneal npodulcor ului?
nt impcevor bea,m na ial unecspr epi eptuleiideget el e
l
ui ndem natice ideschei ar nast ur iijachet ei .Ei iveni
ame ealc nd isi m ipi pindu- inst ur aii-
per l
aibl uzei,deinu

ncer cs- ideschei e.


-Cu si gur an cci nevat r ebui es-
if ifcutavansur i
,o
tachinel .
Nuaveadeundest i
ecvor bel el uiir e nviauami nt i
ri
oribil
e nlegt urcuWi lli
am Kel ler .nchi seochi ist r
nsiscut ur
dincapcuput ere,
ncer cndsal ungeacel eimagi nigr oaznice.
Jar ed se sper ie.Voi se s o scoat doardi n calmulei
supr tor, darr eac i
aeif usesemaivi ol entdec ts- arfiatept at.
iopr im na, darnui -or et r
ase.Ea ir evenincet ulcu ncetuli ,

ncel edi nur m, ir i


dicpr ivireaspr eel .
-Nu, opt iea, n-am avutni ciuni ubi tniciodat.
Dinpr opr i
a- ivoi n, m na ial unec nsus, aa nctdeget elei
seopr ir
uorpeobr azulei .Er a,purisi mpl u,i mposi bilsf ie
cinevaat
tdei nocentcum pr easf i
eea.Ni ciof pt urattde
naivnuarf ipr sitsi guran auneicasepar ohi alepent ruo
avent ur nTexasal tur ideunbr bat ,unst rin,at tdevi ri
lca
BenLocket t.
De ce veni se,t otui ,cu Ben? Er a ctpe- acis- ipun

nt rebar eaaceea,darseab inu.Poat ecni cinuvoi asaf le


rspunsul .G ndulcadevr ularf iput uts- doar lfcusse
simt f r
ust rat. i ndepr tpr ivireadel aaceiochicenui icar e
acum,seui taul aelcuat enie.Nuaveascadcaunpr ost n
faapui cu eibt r
nul ui . it rasem nabr usccaicum arf i
~140~
Sandr
aBr
own

nt i
ns- ospr ecevaf r
umosii -adatseamapr eat rziucacel
l
ucr uer aput redi ngr ozi tor.
Laur en isim iimedi atst ar eadespi ri
t.Cursulpecar elluase
conver saial orer at ulbur tor ,darer atot ui
,oconver sa i
e,iea
nuarf ivr utsr enun e.Cut oat eacest ea,sebucur cnuomai
atingea.C ndf ceaacestl ucr u, orictdeuor ,istr
near eaciiatt
alarmant e,c tist njenitoar e.
-Art rebuis ncepem sst rngem af ur
isitelealeadeal une,
spuseel ncor datisedusespr eChar gerpent r
ual uasaculpe
car eladusese nacestscop.
Laur enpusel al ocvasel e ncar em ncaser dupce, mai nti
,
l
e spl nr u,iapoi mpachet m ncarea r mas.Jar ed
umpl usedej aj umt atedesacc ndseapl ecieacas- lajute.
-Pots- of acisi ngur ,zi seel mbuf nat.N-ar eniciunsenss
temur dr et i
.
Ea ir idic ncetpr ivireaspr eochi iaceiacaambr acar eo
fi
xauf ur i
oi.Cef cuse, oar e, de- lsupr ase?
-Vr eaust eaj utieu, spuseeasi mpl u.
- Tr eabat a, rspunseelcui ndi feren ise ntoar se, cut
nd
dinpr ivireozoncar enuf usesecul eas.
Cndse nt oar se nl oculundeol sase,vzucadunaseo
grmaddeal une. i i
nusaculdesf cutpent r
ual edadr umul

nunt ru.
-Gat a,spuseeavesel ,scut ur
ndu- im inil
ei ,dupce i
umezibuzel e,ntreb:Cr ezics ntdeaj uns?
Elnu r spunse.Er a pr ea capt ivatde l imba aceea car e
umezi seni t ebuzei ncredi bi ldesexyiapoidi spr usedi nnou

ndosull or,ascunz ndu- sedeel .Sedepr tbr uscdeeai i


spusepest eumr :
-Oscobor m pepar teaceal alt.Nu- il
af eldef rumosiva
tr
ebuist r
ecem pel
ngar zt oriidecr bune,dardr umulemai
scur t
.Mi -eteamcnepr indev nt ulf rhainemaicl duroase.
Mer ser de- al ungulaf luent uluicar ecur gea r epedepest e
pietredecal carp nc nd,l apoal eledeal ului,sevr sa nRi o
Cabal lo.
Laur enadul mec naerisi m imi rosdef um.C ndocol i
run
~141~
FOCURIASCUNSE

cot,ot abr ur tcar et ulburaspl endoar eapei sajului,leapr u

nf aa ochi lor.Cor t
uriibr ci ntr-o st arej alnic se af lau
rspndi te nj urulunorgr opidi ncar eieeaunf um negr u.Copi i
zdren r oial er gaupr intref ocur icuo ndr zneal ul uit oar e.
Nitec inii ei r
di ndi verseadpost uri,ltrndzgomot os.C
iva
brba imur dariimust cioiapr ur di nopr oanepent rua
vedeaci neer aui nt ruii
.
Femei le,mur dar eil af eldezdr en roasecaicopi i
i,se
uit
au ncr unt at el aLaur en, stnd nj urulf ocur il
oriamest ec nd n
oale cu un con inutur tmi rosi tor.Unuldi n br bai
iceimai
mur dar isedespr i
nsedecei l
al
iiveniagal espr eei .Laur en
bnuicmer sull uil egnatinonal anter a neltor.Ochi ilui,
cadevul tur ,nupi erdeauabsol utni mi cier auscl i
pi torisub
sprncenel est uf oase.
Jar edseui tl aeacucoadaochi ului,f rs- lpi ardpe
brbatdi nochi .
-Or ices- ar ntmpl a, nudescal eci.
Abi adeschi sesegur apent r
uar ostiacel ecuvi nte.
Opr ical uli lat ept sseapr opie.Br batuler ascundi

ndesat ,cubr aecepr eauput erniceipr eal ungipent rut r upul


su,f aptce lf ceassemenecuomai mu .Pur taosal opet
mur dar ipet icit,pe sub car e avea numaio per eche de
i
ndispensabi l
iroi i,decol orai.Laur ense nfiordedezgustc nd
vzupet eledet ranspi raiedel asubsuor i.Nusebr bier isede
ct
evazi le, iarpr ulnegr uigr as ier alipitdecapc ndiscoase
plri
auzat nt r-ungestdef alsumi lin.
-Ei ,iat eui t,echi ardomnulJar edcar enef aceovi zitcu
noual uidoamn.
Din iiier augal beniispar i
,acoper iidenegr eal
.Laur en
numalvzuse nvi aaeiof ptur at tder espi
ngt oar e.Sau
ameni n t oar e.
-Duncan, spuseJar edscur t.
- Ne- a pr utf oarter u c nd am auzi tde t atldumi tale,
domnul eJar ed.Mar epcat ,nu?
Jar ed iignor cuvi nt el
e.
-Cum mer gt rebur il
e?
~142~
Sandr
aBr
own

-Eh, ntot deaunael ocidemaibi ne,zi seomulpeunt on


plngr e.Dacne- ail sasl ucr m opar t
edi npm ntulpecar e
stauaf urisii
ii adeoi er i
,ne- am descur caimaibi ne.
-t iicpm nt ull aei nterzispent ruvoiiaaosf i
e
mer eu.St aipemal ulst aalr uluisauosf iial unga idefinitiv,
ain el
es?
-Eh, domnul eJar ed, nune- aial ungadumneat a.
Cuf ami liicut ot ,ziseeliscoaseceeacearf ivr utsf ieun
zmbetor i
bil.N- aimaiput eas- ovezipeJune.
Jaredsr idi nair mase nf aaomul ui,cut rupull af elde

ncor datca alunuiar pe gat a de at ac.Numair ai


unea i
conseci neleunuiast f eldegest l mpi edi car s- itragun
pumn nf ai nsol ent uluiDuncan.
Acest a isesi zezi tar eaicont inusr njeasc.
-N- aiui tat -opeJune,nu,domnul eJar ed? nclincapuli
Laur enseui t ndi r
ec iai ndi catdeel ,vz ndot nrr ezemat
deuauneibar ci.Chi puleier al af eldei nsolentcaalbr bat ului.
Se despr inse de u ivenispr e el ,l egn ndu- iol dur il
e
sugest i
v.Er adescul ipi cioar ele ier aumur dar edenor oi.
Rochi aabi adac iacoper eagenunchi i,iarcor sajul ieral i
pitde
sniicar esebal ansau.Laur en idduseamacer agoal pe
subr ochi aaceeasub i
r edi nbumbacif uul ui tc ndvzuat ta
i
ndecen .Pr ul ier a apr oape al b iochi ide un al bast ru
pt runzt or.Arf iput utf idr gu ,bachi arf rumoas,dacnuar
fiavutgur aaceeaposac,al ecr eicol
ur ier aul sat e njos,i
dacarf ifostmai ngr i
jit.
Cont inundu- imer sull egnat ,aj unsel ac i
vacent i
met ride
Jar ed,cr uia ispusecuovocer gui t:
-Bun, Jar ed.
Acest aser suciisedusespr eFl ame.
- Eaeso i
amea,spuseelr idicndgl asulipun ndom n

nmnuat pepul pal uiLaur en,car e,dacnuarf ifostat tde


sper iatdet abr aaceeaci udat ideoameni iacei acani te
i
ganicar elocui auacol o, s-arf intrebatdecet remur aiset opea
subat inger eal ui.Dacci nevadi nt abr aast aseapr opiedeea
vreodat ,lomor .Snuzi ceicn- aif ostaver tizai.
~143~
FOCURIASCUNSE

Poat e c a f ostde vi n numaii magi na i


a ei ,dara avut
i
mpr esi aci -
aapsatpi cior ulpu i
nmaimul tnai nt edea- ida
drumul , dupcar esedusel ngChar geri-lncl ec.
-. ..domnul eJar ed,ne ntr
ebam ce- osse ntmpl ecu
toiaf ur i
si i
iiadeoi eric ndoszgzui
ir ul,spuseDuncan
stndcupi ci
oareledepr tate,cum i
nilenol dur iicubr bi
a
scoas naf ar
.Nusemaivedeani ciur mdi nat itudineaumi l

pecar eoavusesel a nceput .
Jar ed iaintipr ivireaasupr alui.
-Undenai baaiauzi taaceva?
-Nu- miami ntescexact ,spuseomulscr pinndu- se ncapcu
opr efcut ui mi re,i arl uiLaur enisef cugr ea c ndvzu
pduchi imi unndu- ipr inpr .Ci r
culzvonul ,at
tat ot .
-Eibi ne,nu-idec tunzvon.Ai n eles?Nuvr eausmaiaud
asemeneal ucruri.
-Daceiorssemu te, osput em sl ucr m noipm ntul?
-Os- ospun ncodat ,zi seJar edcuovocedur ical m,
darext rem de t ioas.Lucr a inumai nl ocur ile n car e v
spunem eusauRudy.Ni ci eri nal tpar te.ior iceal t
cevase

nt mpl pepm ntulf ami lieiLocket tnuvpr i


vet epevoi .
ispr i
jinimnauorpepi st ol.
lmbol diapoipe Char gercu genunchi i,i arLaur en f cu
acel ail ucr ucuFl ameipr sir
t abr a ncet ,deieaarf i
pref eratssedepr teze ngal op, attdecumpl iteer aupr ivir
il
epe
car eil ear uncaJune.C ndt r ecusepel ngea, oauzi seui er
nd:
-C ea!
Cndt abr armasemul t nur mal or,Jaredseopr iiascul t

ocl ip nai ntedeavor bi.
-Cr edcacum e nr egul .
-Cenai baeacell oc?Mi -af ostngr ozit
ordef ric.
-imi e,spuseelr
z nd.Zdr en roiii as ntar ztoride
cr bune.WatDuncaneunf eldel i
derall or .Benaf cuto

n eleger ecueicuani nur m nsensulcpott i acedr iis- i


transf or me ncr bune.Exi st opi a pent ruaaceva nSan
Ant onio. lf ol
osescpent r upur if
icar eaapeiipent r ua- idaun
gustmaibun.
~144~
Sandr
aBr
own

Laur en iami nt igust ulamr uialapeiiexpl icaiadat de


Jar ed nl egt ur cuf i
ltr areaacest eia.
- il sm s- ipst reze pr of i
turile i,n schi mb,eit aie
sur plusuldecedr i.Si ngur apr oblemecs ntr i,neci nst i
ii
compl etamor ali.
Laur enseui tl aelc ndopt i:
-Fat aer adr gu , nt r
-unf el.
Unz mbetapr upebuzel el uicndopr i
vi.
- ntr-ozi ,nt iner eeameanesbui t,Benne- asur pr i
nspe
mi neipeJunepr ed ndu- ner ecipr ocol eciedebi ol ogieimi -a
trasobt aiesor cumoar t
ea.Deat uncinum- am maiapr opi at
deea,maial escelmi -aspusf oar teclarceisepoat e nt
mpl a
unuit
nrcar ese ncur ccuasemeneamui eri.EaiWatt rebui e
ssef isi m i
ti nsul tai, pent rucelnupi erdeocazi ani ciodat de
aami nt ideea nf aamea.
-S ntr ude?
-Da.Esor al ui,spuseelif cuopauz.i perecheal ui.
LuiLaur en ise f cu r u,daro ndemn pe Fl ame s
por neasc ngal op nur mal ui.
Seaf laul anumaic tevami ledecas,c nd,deodat ,unv nt
rece iizbiobr ajiiluiLaur eniochi i ncepur s- ilcr imeze.
Jar ed ist rigs- iacoper ef a acuear fa,cael ,aceast a
ofer i
ndu- ictdec tpr ot ec i
e mpot rivav ntuluitios.
Maicl rirc tevami nute, dupcar eifcusemns- lur meze
ise ndr ept spr eungr updest nci, i
ntr
nd ntr-unf eldeadpost
creatdeacest ea.
Laur ent remur adef rig,darcelpu i
nacum numaier aubt ui
de v nt ulacel a ngr ozi tor.Jar ed venil
ng Fl ame i ntinse
bra elepent ruaoaj ut asdescal ece.Ea ipusem inilepe
umer iiluiieloaezuorpepm nt .
Laur enf u nc nt atdecl dur abr ael
orl uicar eo nconj urar
ovi toar e.Pl r ia ial unecdepecapc nd il i
piobr azulde
piept ull uit are. ir i
di cpr ivireai ncepusr dc nd iddu
seamacear fa nc imai acoper eaj umt atedef a.
Darse opr ibr usc di nr s c nd ntl
niochi il uiJar ed pe
deasupr aear feil ui.Si m eacost rpungecui ntensi tateaacel ei
~145~
FOCURIASCUNSE

privir
i.Spr ncenel e ier au ntunecat e,i arcut ele din col uril
e
ochi l
orer aual be,dat oritf aptuluicst
ndcuochi intredeschi i
din cauza soar elui,locur iler espect ive nu se br onzaser ca
restulf e ei.Irisurilecpr uier aupt at ecuaur i
u.Ambr sau
topaz.

ncet ,el itraseear fa njos.Er aom ngiere.Apoi iplimb
deget ulmar epest ebuzel eei.Abi aat unci idespr i
nsepr ivirea
deochi ieii istudi ebuzel ent impcedeget eleluilecont urau,
minun ndu- se de mol i
ci unea l or.Tr emur a sub at inger ea l ui.
Mic ndu- sef oar t
e ncet,
ils nj osiear fal ui.
Easer ezemdeelc ndost rnseimait arei ,insti
nct iv,
minileinconj ur armi jlocul.
Buzel el uisecobor rf oarte ncetspr eal eei .Abiaat i
ngndu-
l
e, opti:
-Laur en.
Apoi,gur il
el isecont opir.Buzel el uisemi caucupr iceper e
iconvi ngt oare, i
arlimbal ei canp nl ef cussedepr teze

ncetil i
mbaeiseat insedeal ui.Ungeamtsl abscpdi n
gt
lejull uiiol ipiimaimul tdeel .Deget el eieraur sfirate
pest e muchi i spat elui. Pi erzndu- i t oat t i
mi dit
atea, ea
deschi segur a nf aarugmi nil
orl uinf omet ate.
-Eh, ast adapr i
veliteemo ionant , spuseRudyr znd.

~146~
Sandr
aBr
own

Capi
tol
ul13

Laur eniJar edt resr ir


at
tdevi olentl aauzulacel eivoci
amuzat e,
nc tsesper i
aricai i.
-Vsi m i
ibine? ntrebRudycunevi nov ie.
ivzusecl rindspr eadposti iur mase.
-LuiLaur en ier af r
igimi -am ami ntitcavem unponcho

ntr-odesag.Tocmaivoi am s- lscot , spuseJar ed, darse nfurie


pesi necddeaexpl icaiipent ruacel sr utcauncol arvi novat .
-Da,o ncl zeaif oar tebi ne:isepar ec it ut ecam

nf i
erb ntasei .
LuiRudyi -arf iplcuts- lmait achi nezepeJar ed, darLaur en
eraceacar esuf ereacelmaimul t,aac,vz ndu-ist njeneal a,
renun .
-Arf ibi ne s mer gem acas.Gl or i
aa nceputs se

ngr i
jor ezedi ncauzav ntuluiim- at rimi sdupvoi .
Jar edscoseseunponchodi nl nuzatii -lt rasepecapl ui
Laurenf rni ciunf eldecer emoni e.Dupce itrntipecap
plria, ncl ecdi nnou.Ea idduseamacer af uri
osdup
fel
ulr igid ncar ese i
nea na.Pr obabi lcer asupr atpeea.
Rudyicuea lur maudel adi stan .Cumnat uleiiar uncun
zmbetl init i
tor .Jar edcl ocoteadef ur ie.Nu lsupr af apt ulc
Rudy lsur prinsese ntr-
unmomentdet andr e e.Nuer ar uinos
dinf i
re.Elic i
vaami cide- ailuichi ar mpr iser acel eait r
fe,

ncur ajndu- seunulpeal tulpr inchi ot e.Ceeace lder anj aer a


faptulcRudyf usesemar t
orulneput in eiluidea- irezi stal ui
Lauren.
Aceast a lademeni se,f cndu- lsosr ute.Acel orochiat t
deat rgt or i
,pl inidel acr imil
epr ovocat edev nt ulrece,ni ciun
brbatnul eput ear ezista.uvi
eledeprcar e ibiciuiauobr aji
i

mbuj or aidat oritef or t


ul uideacl r it njeausf i
em ng i
ate.
Trupulacel acar e lchi nuiset oat zi uacuapr opi ereasaf usese
i
mposi bi ldel satodat cesel ipisedeei .

~147~
FOCURIASCUNSE

Maipr esusdet oat e,nuput eas- isuf er es ngel er ece. i


pst racal muli ndiferentcei is-arf int
mpl at.Nui nt r
ase npani c

nt abr a ar zt oril
orde cr bune.Nu ise f cuse r u c nd i
povest i
sedespr eor or i
lesuf eritedeCr azyJack.Toat l umeade
l
af er moador a.Sepot riveaper f
ect .
Afur i
sitsf ie!
nt i
mpulci neif ul init e.Gl or i
a,Mar i
aiRudyt iaucJar ed
era ntr-opr oast di spozi iei ivorbeaucugr ij
acui vacar ecalc
peunst ratsub i
redeghea .Ell erspundeamor mi t.
Laur ener acompl et nchi s nsi ne.Nuvor beacuni meni ,cu
excep iac t
eunui ter ogsau mul umesc .Cndseduser n
l
iving-r oom,dupci n,st t ucucapulpl ecatim ng ieceasul
absent ,gestcar e iaduceaal i
nar ecadef iecar edat nast felde
moment edet ensiune.
Vntulsuf l
acuput er e,i arf oculdi ncmi n,or i
ctdeveselarf i
fost ,
nuput ea nclziat mosf era.
-Am avutvi zitator iast zi ,Jar ed,spuseRudycupr uden .
-Peci ne? ntrebelpr ndext rem depl ictisit
.
-PeVandi veri.Tat lif iul.
-Lanai ba!Ce- auvr ut?
Rudy iatrseseat en ia.
-Auzi scauf ostsvadl oculundeosseconst r
uiasc
nouacent ralel ectriciaut recutipe- aicisnesal ut e.
-Lanai ba.Cent ral ael ect ri
cosf iel aci ncispr ezecemi l
e
distan de- aici,spuse Jar ed r i
dicndu- se iduc ndu- se lng
emi neu.
Priviflcr i
lec tevasecunde, dupcar eseui tl aLaur en.
-Pcatcn- am f ostai ci.Laur ensesi mt ef oarteat rasde
Kur t.
Cuvi nteleacel eaer aui nt en i
onatpr ovocat oar e.
Ea i nlcapulbr usci intl
nipr ivireasf i
dt oar e.Eaf u
primacar eseui tnal tpar te,furioascer aat tdel ainu i
rspundea.
n ncper esel sot cer est
njenitoar ecar edur c t
eva
mi nute.Ti cit
ulpendul eir sunzgomot osil emnel edi ncmi n
semi car azv r
lindopl oai edesc nteiasupr aci zmel orl uiJar ed,
~148~
Sandr
aBr
own

carenusecl i
ntidi nloc.
Aruncmucul nf lcr ii ,dupce il ucoj oculdi ncui er,
mur mur un noapt ebunmor ocnos.
- Jar ed, acol oef ri
g.Decenudor mi ncas nnoapt eaast a?

nt r
ebGl oriasupr at cpl anuleidea- iunipeceidoit impdeo
zint reagnudobor sebar iereledi ntreei ,cipr easf iridicati
maimul te.
- Dacmi -ar ecpt acamer a,af ibucur ossr m n.Dar
aa,potsdor mf oar tebi neacol o. ncazcl uiLaur enos- ifie
fri
g,s ntsi gurc unuldi n vaquer osarf i nc ntats o

ncl zeasc.
At unci ,Laur en nidi nf ot ol
iu it raver s camer a at
tde
repede, nctea nsir masesur pr i
nsc ndset rezi nf aal ui
Jared, tremur nddef urie.
Ri di cm napent ru a- llovi,darat i
tudi neal uiar ogant o

mpi edi c.Opr ovocainuvoi as- ideasat i


sfac ie.i nclet
pumnul , dar lls nj ospel ngt rup.
- Dece? nt r
ebeaapsat .Dececont inuismchi nuieti
astfel ?Ni cimi enu- mipl aceacest aranj ament ,darnu- miui t
mani erel e.
Apoise ntoar seioapucpehol ulcar educeaspr edor mitor.
nci udaf urieisal e,Jar edoadmi rpent ruf elulcum i i
nea
capulsus.
Laur en isi mipi ci oarele gr ele cnd se ur c n pat .Er a
obosi t dup dr umull ung p n l a Pecan Cr eek,darer a i
epui zat psi hic.Se st urase s t ot ncer ce s se adapt eze
strilorl uiJar ed, s-ipar ezeat acur il
ever bal e.Nest atornicial uio
uluia.Er ac ndr zbunt oriabuzi v, cndpl i
ndet andr ee.
Arf ivr utssef i mpot r
ivitsr utul ui.Cecr ezuse?Ni mi c.
Tocmaiast aer apr obl ema.C nd br a
el el uio nconj ur aser,

ncl zi nd- o, ncet ase s mai g ndeasc. Lsase f r


u l i
ber
sim ur i
lor .Fuseseat tdebl nd...apr oapei ubi t
or.
i ngr opf a anper n-per nal ui-igemuc nd iami nti
cum isi m i
sel imbaf rec ndu-sedeaei ,m i
nileput ernicecar e
tocmai ncepuser s- im ng i
espat elec ndRudy intrerupsese.
Oareces- arf int
mpl atdacn- arf ifostsur pr i
ni ?
~149~
FOCURIASCUNSE

Nuaveani ciunr ostsf acspecul a i


i,cci ncnut i
asi gur
l
aceconduceausr utril
e.St
ndpel ngGl or i
aiascul tnd-o
vor binddespr er el aiaeicuRudy, Laur en ncepusespr esupun
cer acevapl cut .Ise mpot ri
visecut oat put ereal uiWi lliam.
Nu inchi puiacum arf iput utficevapl cut .
Dardacarf if ostJar edcelcar earf i ncer cats- iscoat
hainel e,cum arf ir eac i
onat ?Roi n ntuner i
c.Er aagi tati
nemul umi tf izic,i art rupul itransmi t
ea cr eieruluii mpul suri
ciudat eine ncet at e.
RudyiJar edpl ecau nf iecar edi mi nea dupmi culdej uni
se nt orceauexactl at i
mppent r
uasespl aiavenil amas,
sear a.At mosf er adi ncassemai nvesel iseoar ecum, deiJar ed
iLaur encont inuausset ratezecuoi ndi ferenpol i
ticoas.El

icer eaper mi siuneadef iecar edat c ndseducea ncamer


pent rual uac teceva.Laur ensesi m eavi novat pent ruf apt ulc

iocupacamer a,darc ndi -


asuger atGl orieis- ipun npat n
odai a unui a di n copi i,aceast aar ef uzatcat egor i
c.Ni ciun
argumentnuoput eaconvi nge, aacLaur enr enun .
Cont i
nussej oacecucopi i
iisl eci t
easc,f ermec nd-o
din ce n ce maimul t
.St tea adeseor ide vor b cu Mar i
a,
ascul tnddi versepovest i
rinl egt urcuBenicuJar edicu
Rudyc nder au mi ci.Mar iaaveagr ijsse i
ndepar tede
subi ect ulcst orieil uiLaur en. mpr ejur ril
e n car e aceast a
avusesel oco nt ristaupest emsur .
-Jar edeat tder ezervat nceeacepr i
vet ecopi lr ial ui,i
spuseLaur en ntr-obunzi .Rar eor ivor bet edespr ecoal sau
altcevadi nper ioadaaceea.Nuvr eas- mispunni micper sonal ,
spuseeaof t
nd.Am pomeni tdeCubaodat in- apr eavr uts
vor beascdespr east a.
Mar iacl tindi ncapcut r i
stee.
-Mbucurcn- aifostai cicnds- a ntor sacas.Cr edcBen
eram ndr unsi neal uicaf ost nr zboi .Ol i
vi aaf ostf urioas
ia ncer cats- lmpi edicepeJar edspl ece.Aveapr ietenide
fami li
ecar eput eaust ragsf ori,darc ndaaf l
atBen, i-ai nter zi
s
sf acaaceva.Dupr zboi ,cndt otor aulaf cutdi nJar ed
uner ou, eas- apur tatcaicum i deeaarf ifostaei .
~150~
Sandr
aBr
own

Mar i
asor bi'dinceai ulpecar ei -
lbea mpr euncuLaur enpe
verand.
-Er aof emei ef oar tet ri
stisi ngur , adugea ncet .
-S- a mbol nvi tdemal ari
ec taf ostacol o?
-Da, darpr i
nci pal al uir anaf ostpsi hi
c.Aveaunpr ietenal
cruit atar eof erml avestdeKer rvil
le.Al exCr aveniJar ed
eraupr ieteni ncdi ncopi l
r i
e.S- au nrol atnacel ait impier au

nacel aibat alion.Al exaf ostuci s.Jar edaf ostconvi nsc


moar tea acest ui a s- a dat or atuneier oride r a ionamenta
comandant uluidecompani eicpr ietenull uiaf ostsacr if
icat
i
nut il
.iacum maiar ecomar urinl egt urcuzi uaaceea.
Moar teal uiAl exl -aaf ect atpr of und,darJar ed inet otul nel.
Nu- idezvl ui enf aani mnuiadevr at uleu.
-ncepscr edcni cinuar eun adevr ateu .Or idec teori
cred c l nel eg, idescopro al tf a et eni gmat ic a
caract er ului,spuseLaur en.
Cineer aacelbr batcucar esemr it
ase?
-Eunom f oar t
ebun,Laur en. ntr-ozios- lcunot i
.S nt
sigurdeast a.
Mar i
aobt uuorpem n,dupcar eser i
diciseduse n
camer apecar eo mpr isecuBen, izolndu- sedel umeodat cu

nchi der eaui i.


-Ah,nu!Ui t
ece- am f cut !excl amLaur en,car eoaj ut ape
Glor i
aspr egt eascci na.
Dupcedeschi seseoconser vder oi i
,t ocmaisepr egt ea
sogol easc ncr atiacuf riptur,c ndpu indi ncon i
nuto
stropipem nec,l s ndopat nt
unecat pemat er i
alulf i
nal
bluzei .
-Maibi nedu- teischi mb- teiadu- mibl uzas- opun nap
rece, spuseGl or ianet ulbur at.
-M ntor ci medi at ,pr omi seLaur eniseduser epede n
camer .
Abi a ideschei aset o inast uri
idel aspat ei iscosese
bluza,cauzini tezgomot e nhol .naint esapuces- ipun
cevapeea,uasedeschi sebr usciGl or i
a mpr euncuRudy l
aduser peJar ed nunt ru.
~151~
FOCURIASCUNSE

Laur enui tcer aapr oapedezbr cat ncl i


pa ncar evzu
cmaa sf iat ipl in de s nge a so uluiei .ir ei
nu o
excl ama iedegr oaz.
-Ces- a ntmpl at ?ntrebeacugr eu.
Jar edopr ivea,f i
indpr eaui mi tde nf iareaeipent rua- i
rspunde.Sauer aamor i
tdedur ere?Or i
cum,Rudyf ucelcar e
rspunse.
-Jar ed icu mi ne ndrept am ni tegar duricar ef useser
dobor te, cndunf i
rdes rmghi mpat a ni tnapoiii -
azgriat
piept ull uiJar ed.Tr ebui engr i
ji
timedi at.
-i -
am spuscn- am ni mi c,mor miJar edpecar eceidoi l

mpi nser ncamer .


-Pr ost ii,spuseGl or i
apeacel ait oncucar el iseadr esa
copi il
or .Scoat e-
icmaaieuosaducmedi cament e.Laur en,
credcart rebuis- lajui
.
Ceidoiso i iar uncar unz mbetconspi rati
v,dupcar e
Gl oriasedusesaducost i
cl dedezi nfect antini tevat .
Laur enseapr opi et imiddespat elel uiJar edi ipusem inile
peumer i
il ui. nt impceel ideschei acmaaii -
odezl ipea

ncetdepepi ept ,eai -ot raseuor .S ngel e nchegatf cuseca


mat er ialulssel i
peascdepi el e,i arc ndf udezl ipit,rnil
ese
redeschi ser ,ncep ndss nger eze.
Gl oria iar unc,pr actic,sticlal uiJar edc ndse ntoarsei ,
trgndu- lpeRudyaf ar,zise:
-Nuvgr bi i.Mar i
aicumi neospr egt im cina.Jar ed, ar
trebuist ent inzi npatst eodi hnet i.Aipi erdutmul tsnge.
Uase nchi seiceidoir maser si ngur i.
Laur enl scmaapt atdes ngescadpest eaei ,pe
car et ocmaii -oscosese,dupcar eseduser epedel adul ap,
i
nt en ion nds- ii aoal t
bl uz,pecar esi -opun. ntoarse
capuluor ,ntr ebndu- l
-Doar ef oar tet are?

i i
nur suf l
areac ndvzus ngel ecar ei roiadi n nepturi
pepi ept ulacoper i
tdepr .
-Ah,Jar ed,excl ameaduc ndu- ser epedespr eel ,frs- i
pesedi nt r-odat c,del abr u nsusnuaveadec tcmu a
~152~
Sandr
aBr
own

sub i
ret i
vi tcudant el.
Ur masesf atulEl eneii ncetasesmaipoar t
euncor setn
fiecar ezi .
-Vi no,st aij os,spuseea,l u
ndu- ldem niduc ndu-lla
msu adet oal etpecar eGl oriaoadusese ncamer aaceea
pent r
uea.Tr ebui es- isplr ni l
ent icas- midauseamac tde
gr ave.
-N- am ni mi c, spuseeldi nnouise nt rebdeceaveaovoce
at
tdesl ab.
Oar e ldur eachi arat
tdet are?
Eat ur nap nl ighenai nmui eunpr osop.Ezi t
pu i
n

nai ntes- iat ingpi eptulgol ,dupcar et rasead ncaer npiept


i nchiseochi ist rns.Apoi itamponpi el
eacupr osopulud.
-Nuvr eaust edoar , mur mur ea.
Jar edscr nidi ndi ni
, nudi ncauzadur er i
i,cidat or i
tfaptului
cer aat
tdeapr oapedeea.G tuieial bmi r
oseaal evn i
ci i
pr ovocaame eal.Sausedat orapi erder iides nge?Nuavea
i
mpor tan,r ezul t atuler aacel ai.isi m ear suf lareacapeun
bal sam r cor itor .
Fr svr ea, icobor pr ivi
reaspr es niieiist r
nsedi ndi ni
cnd ivzumi c ndu- seuorsubmat eri
al ulsub ire.Funevoi e
det oatput er eal uidest pnirecasnu ntindm naspr eei,s

ndepr teze cmu a aceea del icat is vad adevr ata


cul oareasf rcurilor ,careacum er audoarni teumbr evagii
ademeni toar e.
Dor inasaf i
zi csemani festdur eros npant aloni istr
imi.Se
uitl a m i
ni le eicar e nmui ar di n nou pr osopul n ap,
stor cndu- lapoiimur dr i
ndapacus ngel el ui.G ndete-tela
snge,
ispuseel .G ndet e-teladur ereapecar eaisi m i
t-ocnd
te-a nepats rma.G ndet e-telaor i
cenumai .
..
-Aa, cr edcdeocamdat aj unge, spuseeacuovocebl
nd,
car e im ng iaauzul . nept uril
es ntad nci .Nu aveaivest a
aceeadi npi elepecar eopor
ideobi cei?
-Nu, ziseel , bucur oscvor beau.
Or i
ceer adeaj ut or.
-Am scos- ocmi -erapr eacal d.Dacaf iavut -opemi ne,
~153~
FOCURIASCUNSE

probabi lcnum- af izgr


iat.
-O s t eust ure,spuseea ncet ,par c scuz ndu- sec nd

nmui eobucat devat ndezi nfect ant uldinst iclaal bast r.


-S ntr ezistent ,spuseelpr ivind- oi iz mbit rengr et e.
Fiecar ef uf ermecatpe momentde apr opier ea cel uilalt.
Pr i
viri
lel ise ntlnirimesaj ulpecar ei -
lcomuni car ilovi
drept ni nimi ,uluindu- icuimpact ulsu.
-O s- ncer cs am gr ij s nu t emaiust ur e,spuseea
atingndu- iunadi nr nicudel i
cat ee.
Elt raseaer npi eptpr i
nt redi ni,sco
ndunui erat.Br oboane
desudoar e iapr ur pef r
unt e.
-I art-m,spuseeat ampon ndicel elalten ept ur i
,apoi ,
spr emar eal uinc nt are,
ncepussuf lepest eele.
Dinunghi uldi ncar eopr ivea,ochi iipr eau nchi i.Umbr e
violete ipt aupl eoapel e,iargenel enegr econt rastauput erni ccu
obr azuldel icatpecar eddeaui mpr esiacseodi hnesc.Pr ivi
de-al ungulnasul uieispr egur .Buzel eier aumoi ,trandaf i
riii

nt redeschi se, n t imp ce r suf larea it recea pr intre el e,


tulbur
ndu- ipi elea nf i
erbntat . imi capr uldepepi epti i
alungasenza iaar zt oarepecar ei-opr ovocau n ept urile,dar
apr i
ndeauunf oc nal tpar teat r
upul uisu.
-Oh,Doamne,spuseelsco ndungeamtdi ng tlej,dup
car e se r idic br usc,r stur n nd t abur etul,io l u n br a e,
trgnd- o spr eelcu at
taf or, nctaceli mpacto l sf r
suf l
are.
Gur acar eseunicuaeier al acom,despr indu- ibuzel e
sur prinse cu l imba l uindr znea .Tot ui ,cnd comoar af u
descoper it,aceli nvadat ordevenimaibl
ndisavur ceeace
gsi .
M i
ni l
e ial unecar pest ebr aeleeigoal e,net edeir cor oase
casat i
nul ,iil epuse nj urulg tului .O cl ipr maser acol o
nemi cat e,l ipsitedeexper ien .Jar ed r suf l
uur atc nd l e
sim impr eun ndu- sel aceaf ideget eleeist recur ndu- sepr i
n
pr ull uidesir vi t.Ol ipiimaimul tdeelaps ndu- iuor
mi j
locul .
Laur endevenicont i
entdeot riest rincar e impungea
~154~
Sandr
aBr
own

bur taif usper iat,darii nt rigat .Inst inctiv,sef r


ecdeacel
l
ucr u isi m io cl dur ext r aor dinar r sp ndi ndu- i
-se nt ot
trupul .
Jar ed ist recur m na nt ret rupur i
lel or,iart eamaidor i
n a

ncepur ssel upt e nmi nt eaeic nd idduseama nce


direc i
ese ndr ept a.Voi acevacenuput eanumi .Oar eaveavr eo
l
egt urcum nal uicar eiseapr opiades n?
Nuaveasoat i
ng.Sauda?Nu.Nuvoi acaelsof ac.Voi a?
Da.Da, ter og, ispuseea, fr sse nt rebedeundeveni seacel
gnd, darf i
indvagcont i
entcaveaol egt ur cut riat rupul ui
l
uil ipitdemol iciuneaei .
Jar ed er a ame it.Ni ciuna nu er a ast f
el.Ni cio gur nu
avuseseungustat
tdebun. il sm nasal unecepest es nul
eiii -lapsuor .Er al afeldepl i
nit arecum i -lami nt eadi n
ziuac ndosur pr i
nsese ncamer aei .Subat i
nger eadeget elorl ui
sfrcur i
ler spunser ,ntrindu- se, dor nices nf l
or easc.
nanumi temoment e,Jar edsper asecundevaexi staoast fel
def emei e.Numaial ui.Di feritdet oat ecel elalte.Nu- ispusese
Ben. ..
Ben!Numel e irsun nmi nt e.Ben!Oar eit at lluio inuse
aa?Ear spunsesel af el,
sco ndacelt or sding t
lej ?
O mpi nse deodat cu at ta put ere, nctea czu n pat ,
privindu- lt otalnedumer it
.Pr ul iczusepest es niial bicu
sfrcur i
let r andaf i
r i
i,career auapr oapedezgol iidem ngi
er i
lel ui.
ndr ept undegetacuzat orspr eea.
-i -am spussnut eapr opi idemi ne!st rigelr espi r
nd
agitat .Et if rumoas.Recunoscast a.Et imaidel icatimai
dulce. ..
Voceaiset ransf orm nt r-ooapt chi nuit.
- Dumnezeul e!spuseeli zbi ndcupumnul npal maceal alt
.
Zvcni tur il
edi npar t
eai nf er ioar at rupul uier aui nsupor tabile.
Vz nd- o nt i
ns n pat ,privi ndu- lcu at tai nocen , isi m i
organulpul snd ngr ozitor.
Arf it rebui tsoposedeat unci ,socucer eascodat pent ru
totdeauna.Tar emul tarf ivr uts- ir idicef ust asvaddac
pulpel e ier aut otat tdenet edecum il ei magi nase.Dupaceea
~155~
FOCURIASCUNSE

s-arf i nfipt ntreel e,mpi ngndp n ipot ol eador i


n acar e l
tort
ur adeat
tat i
mp.
Daci -arfiput utghi cigndur ile,Laur enarf if ost ngrozit.
ns,vz ndu-lsuf er i
ndat
tdemul t
,nusi m idec tmi lpent ru
soulei .Ser idic ncapuloasel ori nti
nsem naspr eelcu
ti
mi ditat e, oferi
ndu- seast fels- ialinedur erea.
Elseddu napoi .
-Nuvr eauni ciopar tedi nt ine,spuseel . nelegi ?Seduse
apoil adul ap,scoaseocmacur atii eit r
nt i
nduacu
puter e nur mal ui.
Laur en czu napoi n pat i se r ost ogol i pe bur t,

ngr op ndu- ifaa nsal t


ea.Suspi nsf ietoril acr i
mi leierau
absor bi tedecuver tur.
Pl ngeapent rucosr utaseat tdej ignitorsaupent rucea i
rspunsese cu at ta abandon?Pent ru c ncet ase s o mai
srut e?Saudi ncauzacuvi ntelorl uiur t
e?Sf ifostdat ori
t
temer i
ieicelaveassesat ur encur
nddef ar saaceea,
ivada
ceidouzecidemi idedol ar
iiovaal unga?
nt rebr i
lese mbul zeau nmi nt eaei .ipent r
uni ciunanu
avear spuns.
A douazidi minea ,Laur eniMar i
ase nt orceaudupce
clriser mpr eun,c ndauzi rst ri
gt edi nt r-
unuldi n arcurii
vzur omul i
mede vaquer osaduna inj urulgar dul ui.
Laur en zr isi l
ueta nal t
izvel taso uluiei .Nu lmai
vzusedi n sear a precedent c nd i ngrij
iser nile.Dup ce
i
eiset rntindua,ear mseseovr eme npat ,r efc ndu-se
pent ruaseput eaducel aci n.Fami l
iaMendezer al amas,
atept nd- ocur bdar e.
Jar ednuaapr ut.Dupceau nceputsmn nce,Rudya
spus ncetidi nseni ncf usesenevoi edeJar edl abar ac.
Nimeninuacoment at,i
arLaur ens- apr ef cuti ndi ferent .
Dupcedescl ecar ilegar h uriledebal ust radadi nfa,
Laur en ispuseMar i
ei:
-Cr edcosmaist aupu inpeaf ar.
Cur iozitatea ifusesest
rnitdeagi t
a i
adi n ar c.
-Foar tebi ne,spuseMar iaz mbi nd.M- am si m i
tf oar t
ebi ne
~156~
Sandr
aBr
own

cut i
ne.Benicumi neobi nuiam scl r im dimineaadevr eme.
Mi-al i
psi tacestl ucr u.
-Os- of acem or idec teor ivrei,spuseLaur enbt nd-ope
bra,dupcar eMar iaur ct repteledel ai nt r
are.
Por nind ndi recia arcului,Lauren ispusecnuseducea
acolocas- lvadpeJar ed.C ndseapr opie,obser vvr eo
douzecide vaquer osduc ndunt aurspr eunj gheab.
-Cese nt mpl , Rudy? intr
ebeacumnat ulcndaj unsel a
gard.
El nt oar secapulbr usc.
-E. ... ..os. ..cast r
m t aurulsta.
-Ah,zi seLaur enr oindidduspl ece,darf umpi edi cat
deso ulei , car eapr usedi nseni nioapucasedebr a.
-Decenust aist eui
i?Di nmomentcet eintereseazt ot ul

nl egt urcuKeypoi nticumuncal af erm,sntconvi nsco


s-iplac.
-Jar ed. ..,ncepuRudy.
-Nu,Rudy.Laur enar dedecur iozit atesaf lec tmaimul t
despr evi tei vaquer os.
Cuvi nt ele ier aut ioase.Laur enidor easf ii
nt r
at ncas

mpr eun cu Mar ia.Deodat ,Jar ed o apuc de umer iio

ntoar secu f a aspr e arc, i


nnd-o cu o bl
ndee nel toar e.
Minilel ui ist rngeaubr aelecaomenghi n.
-Dece. ..dece if aceiastaunuianumi tt
aur ?
Sper ac nt rebar eavaaveaunef ectdecal mareasupr al ui.
Nuvoi ast ieni mic nl egtur cupr ocedeuli ,cusi gur an ,
nuvoi asseui te.
Jar edt r
asedi nt rabuc.
-Pi ,arput eaf iomul
imedemot ive.Car nemaibun.Sau
poat ecnumaisat i
sfacevaci le.Oripoat edoarpent ruceun
ti
closnenor oci t.
-At uncipoat ecast aart rebuis- if acem i ie,ziseRudy
c
tsepoat edeser i
os.
Nu avea de g nd s o l ase pe Laur en s asi stel a acel
spect acols nger os.
Jar ed iar unc o pr i
viref uri
oas f ratel
uisu iar unc
~157~
FOCURIASCUNSE

trabuculcuosi mpl zv cni tur am inii.


-Zu?ici nenai baos- ncer ce?
Peneat ept at e,Rudy il scapul nj osi it raseunpumn

nst omacl uiJar ed, dobor ndu- llapm nt.


Laur enr masecugur acscat isel i
pidegar d, nt i
mpceei
set vl eaupr inpr af,d nddi nm iniidi npi cioar e,cus ngele

ni nddi nbuzel espar teinasur ilezdr obi t


e.Apoiser idicar i

iddur r oat , ncor da i,c nd,deodat ,Jar edcont r


aat aci
set rntirdi nnoul apm nt. Vaquer os i ncet ar act i
vitat eai
fcur un cer cl arg nj ur ulcel ordoif raicar e se bt eau.
Singur ele zgomot e er au buf nituril
el ovi turilorigemet el e de
dur ereideef ort.
Glor iai ei nf ugdi ncas, inndu- if ust ele.C i
vadi nt
re
copi iasi stauui mi ilaspect acol .imaivzuser t atlbt ndu- se
cuunchi ulJar ed,dar ntot deauna njoac.Mi n i
lel ort iner ei
i
st ee iddur seamac, dedat aaceast aer acut otulal t
f el.
Glor ianf cunr evol verdel aunuldi ncowboy naint eca
acest asai bt impsr eac ioneze.t iindcpr imacamer a

ncr ct oruluier a ntotdeaunagoal , armdedouor iitraseun


foc naer .
Ceidoibr ba isedespr irit raser aer npi ept .Dupce i
mair eveni rc tdec t,it er ser s ngel edepef e eit r
upur icu
m neci lepr f ui teizdr en ui te.Rni l
edepepi ept ull uiJar edse
redeschi seser , pt
ndu- icmaades nge.Sepr ivirr uina i.
Jar ed iz mbil uiRudy, st rmb ndu- sededur er ec nd imi c
buzel eumf lat e.
-Exactcum mi -am nchi pui t.Te- ai nmui ati i
- aiiei tdin
form, bt rne.
-Penai ba.Pest ectevasecundemi -aif iimpl or atmi la.
Jar edser idic,secl t inuorp nc ndnumaif uat tde
ame iti int insem nal uiRudy,car ei -oapucr ecunosct ori
sescul .Sesus inur r ecipr occ t
evacl i
pe,dupcar ei zbucni r

nr
s.
To il iseal tur ar,bucur oicnuf usesedec togl um,
totui .NumaiLaur ener adeal tpr ere.
Fr sseg ndeascl aur mr i
,civr nddoarspunc tmai
~158~
Sandr
aBr
own

mul tdi st an ntreeaibar bari


iacei a,seduser epedespr e
Flame, car eer a ncl egat debal ust rad, i,v
rndu- ipicioruln
scar ,sr ina.
mbol dii apacugenunchi iit recu ngal oppel ngcei lali
,
car eopr iveaust upef i
a i
.Pl r iaial unecdepecap,cz ndl a
c
ivacent imet ridepi cioar elel uiJar ed.
-Cenai ..
.,ncepuel .
-Aif acebi nes t educidup ea,Jar ed, isuger Rudy
ovi tor.Er afoar t
esupr at.
-Dece? nt rebGl oria.
-Pi. ..Jar edavr utcaeasasi st elaocast rare,spuse
Rudy.
-Dumnezeul e!Cum det e-aiput utg ndil aaacevamcar ?

nt rebGl or iaf urioas.Duce i-vdupea.Am ndoi .


Ceidoibr ba iiddur seamaceaaveadr eptatec nd
scrut ar or i
zont uliabi a zr ir
cal ulicl re ulcar eur cau
deal u.
-Hai de, spuseJar ed ncor datduc ndu- sespreChar ger .
Rudy ncl ecieli ,
ncur nd,al ergaum ncnd
pm ntulndi r ecia ncar eapucaseLaur en.Gl oriamur mur tot
felulde l ucrur il a adr esa nesbui neibr bailor nt imp ce

ndemnacopi iisi ntr


e ncas.
Ochi iluiLaur en l cr imau di n cauza v ntuluir ece,darnu
acest aer avi novatdel acr i
mi lecar e iiroiaunest pnitepef a .
Deceaccept asedel a bun nceputs semr i
tecu Jar ed
Locket t? Er a o br ut,celmai ngr ozitorbr batpe car e l
cunoscusevr eodat .
Cont i
nuasal ergef ur i
oaspest et erenulstncos.Deobi cei,
chiariat uncic ndmer gea ngal op, sepur t
acubl
nde ecui apa,
car eer afoar teascul t
t oar e. nziuaaceea, ns, erapr eaf urat
depr oprii
lepr obl emepent ruavedeal at i
mpgr oapaf cut deun
ci
nedepr eer i
e.Copi tal uiFl amecl c neaiLaur en auzi
zgomot ulor i
bilalunuiosr uptcuof raciunedesecund naint e
deaf iazv rl
it naer .

~159~
FOCURIASCUNSE

Capi
tol
ul14

Czupespat e.St ndnemi catocl i


p, ncer cs- idea
seamadacer ar ni t
.Convi ngndu- secnuer a,ser i
di c n
capuloasel orcu gr ij
.Ni mi c nu pr ea s f i
er upt,deier a
convi nsc, adouazi ,aveasf ieplindev nti .
Auzi ndsc ncet ulj alni call uiFl ame,Laur enser i
dicise
dusespr eeaanevoi os.Ochi iiepeier aumr iidespai mide
dur ere.Laur envzupozi i
anef i
reasc ncar e ist teapi cior ul
dinf a.
-Oh,nu,mur mur Laur encz nd ngenunchiim ngindu- i
gtul.mipar eat tder u, fetio, spuseeasuspi nnd.N- am vr uts
tepedepsescpet ine.Osam gr ij
st ef acibine.Tr ebuie.
Lacr i
mi leii r
oi aupef aiil et er se, mnj i
ndu- -se.
Auzivagni tecaiapr opi indu- se,darnu iluochi idel ai ap,
aceast acont i
nu nds ipededur ere, nt impceLaur enivor bea

ncetil initit
or .
Jar ediRudyseopr i
ri iddur seamai medi atcese

nt
mpl ase.Jar ednuvr usr ecunoascni cifa desi nec tde
bucur oser acLaur ennup iseni mi c.EliRudyschi mbar o
privire i ncuvi inar n acel ait i
mp.Descl ecar am ndoi
deodat .
Laur en ir idicpr ivireac ndl evzuci zmel eapr opiindu- se
decapull uiFl ame.Sr in pi cioar e,ser epezispr eso ulei ,
apuc ndu- ldebr ae.Ochi iieraupl i
nidel acrimiii mpl oratori.
-Jar ed,af ostnumaivi namea.Acl catnt r-ogr oap.E. ..O
ssef acbi ne. .
.Aj ut-o...Ossef acbi ne.
Cuuncal m ngr ozitor, Jared iocol ipr ivi
reaiscoasepi st olul.
-Nu, ngimea ngr ozi t
.Nu!
-Rudy, spuseeldoar .
Laur ensesi m itrasl aopar teiJar edapspet rgaci .
ipet eledeagoni eal ei epei ncet ari medi at,fiind nlocuitedoar
deecoul mpuct urii.Apoiunal tiptr sun ntredeal uri.Dar

~160~
Sandr
aBr
own

Laurennui -
lrecunoscu, cisenpust iasupr aluiJar ed.
-Monst rule! Ai omor t
-o. Fi ar! Ani mal ule! Uci gaul e!
Ucigaul e,ucigaul e!
lasal t cu o pl oai e de l ovi turi n pi epti nf luierel e
pici
oar elor .Nuvoi adec ts- ipr ovoacedur ere,s- ir zbune
propriasuf eri
n ,darelr masepasi vi ipr imeapedeapsa,
frs ncer cesseaper e.
-Teur sc!st ri
gea.Et iruisl bat i
c.Cr ud.
Voceaei ncepus- ipi ar ddi nf or, l
af elcaipumni i.
-Teur sc, spuseeaacum apr oape noapt , caunsuspi n.
Sepr buil apm nt ,caoj ucr i
ecar es- ast ricatdeodat .
Suspi neput erni ceiscut ur aut rupul .
Rudysel spevi nei ipusem napeumrcompt i
mi t
or .
-Af cutceeacet rebui a, Laur en.Nuaveasensal t
f el.Jar eda

mpucat -
ocasnumaisuf ere, ispuseelivocea idevenii
maibl nd.Cr edct iiast a.
Ea ncet smaipl ng,darr masecucapulpl ecat .Rudyse
ri
dic.
-Oducacas, ziseel ncet .Tuocup- tedecal .
nvi a aluinusesi m iseat
tdeneput i
nci os.
Nut iacese nt
mpl ase nt ref rat elel uiipr oaspt al uiso ie

nul timel ec t
evazi le,dart iacsuf er eauam ndoiicelnu
puteasf acni micpent runi ciunuldi nei .
Jar ed ir i
di cpr ivirea,pecar ei -o i
nusea i
ntitasupr a
fpturiicar epl ngeal api ci oar elel ui, ispusecuhot rre ngl as:
-Nu.Enevast ameaini ciunal tbr bat nafar demi nenuo
sai bgr ij
deea.Dacmer geacas, mer gecumi ne.
Rudyseab i
nusmaispuncevac nd lvzupeJar ed
aplecndu- se,apuc ndu- opeLaur endesubsuor iit rg nd-o n
pici
oar e.Easesmucii lpr ivisf idt oar e.Apoi ,frsspunun
cuvnt,sedusespr eChar gerisr i na,under maser igi
d
cndJar ed ncl ec nspat el eei .Rudyr masepr ivi
nd nur mal or.
Clti
ndi ncapnedumer iti ntr i
st atpent ru'aceioamenil acar e
i
nea f oar te mul t.Dup aceea se apuc s adune vr eascur i
pentrur ugulf uner arall uiFl ame.
Laur enst tur i
gid na nf aal uiJar ed,car epr eal af elde
~161~
FOCURIASCUNSE

hotr tcaeasnuoat ing.Ceeacesi m ea nur maat acul uiei


rm neaunmi ster .C ndaj unser , nsf r
it, nf a acasei ,Jar ed
rostipr imel ecuvi nte.
-Lunademi er es- at ermi nat,spuseelsar cast ic.Fel i
citr i
,
Laur en.Ni menin- ar euitvr eodat ssest recoar e ntremi nei
frat
el emeu. naint esmaicauzeziial tenecazur i,avr eas
plecm de- aici .Sf i
igat adevr eme.
-Foar tebi ne,spuseeadescl ec ndii nt r ncasf rs- i
aruncemcaropr ivi
re.
Dupdespr i
rea nl
cr i
mat demembr i
if ami l
ieiMendezi
dup mbr ir i
lel orpl inedecl dur ,l uiLaur en ier af oart e
greu s se ntoar c n casa Ol i
vi eidi n Cor onado,unde nu
cunoscusedec tmoment edenel init e.Dacnuarf if ostveni rea
pel umeaf et i
eiEl enei ,eveni mentdespr ecar eCar losoanun ase
feri
ci tcuc tevazi lenur m,i -arf if osti mposi bilspl ecedel a
Keypoi nt .
Or i
c tdemi ratarf ifostdesosi real orneat ept at, Olivianu
i
-a ntr ebatni mi c nlegt ur cuvi zi
tal or.Laur ent iaacum dece
dispr e uiaat tdemul tfami li
acar et rial af er m. npr imasear
del a napoi er eal or ,Car sonWel l
so ntrebpol i
ticoscum se
sim ea.Pr easi acina nf iecaresear cuei .
Jar edf uposomor tibut ott impulci nei .Ol i
via ir i
di c n
slvipeVandi ver ipent ruf apt ulcr eui ser sar anjezecao
calef er atsf ieconst r
uitp n nCor onado.Dat a nceper i
i
l
ucr r il
oraveasf ieanun at ncur nd.
-Dacavem nor occuvr emeaicumunci torii,art rebuisf ie
gatal aanul pevr emeaast a.
-Gr ozav, mor miJar ed npahar .
-Cr edeam cosf i
incntat,
ispuseOl ivia.
El i mpi nsescaunul nspat eiser i
dicnesi gurpepi cioar e.
-O s- ispun eu ce nu m ncnt.Nenor oci i
ii a de
Vandi ver is- auf ur i
atpel aKeypoi ntacum c tevazi l
e.Eunu
eram acol o, cal t f
elni cin-arf iapucatsseapr opi e.Vr eausse
l
imi tezel azona ncar eosseconst r uiasccent r ala.Ecl ar?
Chi pul ier ar ou, iarochi iiscl i
peaul af elcaceiaiani mal elor

n ntuner ic.
~162~
Sandr
aBr
own

-Bi ne,Jar ed,osl espun.S ntsigur corsascul te,zise


Olivial inititor.
Elpuf nidoari iumpl u pahar uldi n nou,vr snd pu i
n
whi skypest em na-inesi gur.
Singur abucur iedi ncaspent ruLaur ener acopi laulEl enei.
Fcucunot i
n cuI sabelac ndf eti
at ocmaisugeal acoml a
snulpl indel apt ealmameiei .Laur enf uocat del ipsadej en
aEl eneic nd idezvel isnul ,darpr oaspt amamnuer adel oc
stnjeni t.Rosapr i
veacum ndr iedebuni c.
Pr ulI sabel eier af oar tenegr uiochi iier auumbr i
idegeneca
tciunel e.
Fet iast tea ncamer adel
ngbuct riepecar eRosao

mpr eacuEl ena.C ndaceast aaveat reabpr incas,Rosase


aflapr inapr opi erepent ruaseocupadecopi l.At tatimpc tnuo
der anj apeOl i
vi a,totuler af oar tebi ne.
PeLaur eno ntristaf aptulcf ami l
ialuiCar loser adespr i
t.
Avea de g nd s- isuger eze l uiJar ed s- il ase s t riasc

mpr eunl aKeypoi nt .Cusi gur an c,di nmomentce nfami li


a
Mendezaveasmaivi nuncopi l
,El enai -arf if ostdeaj ut
or
Glor iei.
Laur enf uul uitc ndvzucuc t
uur in ir eveni sedepe
urmanat er ii
.Mamel orpecar el engriji
se nper ioadac tlocuise

n casa par ohi all et rebui ser spt m ni ntregip n se


dduser j os di n pat ,darEl ena i -
ar eluatt rebur ilen cas
i
medi atf cndc teopauzdi nc ndnc nddoarpent ruaoal pta
peI sabel a.
Ast felc se ngr ij
orf oar te mul tc nd o gsipe El ena
spr i
jinindu- sedebal ust rad nt r
-odup- ami az, neput ndsur ce
maidepar te.
-El ena, ces- a ntmpl at?excl amead ndf ugasosus in.
-Cr edcs ntdoarpu inobosi t,spuseEl ena, darvoceaeinu
eradel ocani mat cadeobi cei .
-Ce- arfi st e ntinzipu in?Os- iexpl i
ceuOl iviei.
Ol udecotiocondusespr ecamer aei .Sesper i
eimai
mul tc ndf at anuse mpot rivi,aacum s- arf iat ept at.Frs
prot est eze, se nt i
nsepepatiLaur eno nvel icuopt ur uoar .
~163~
FOCURIASCUNSE

Fet i
ador meal i
ni tit npt uulei npar t
eaceal alt
acamer ei
,
Laur enpl ec,sper ndcRosaaveasse nt oarcr epededel a
cumpr turi,
Dupci n,Laur ensef ur i
nbuct r i
e, nt impceOl iviai
Jar ed di scut au despr e ni te af acer ibancar e.Rosa st t ea l a
mas, innd nm nr osar iul.C nduase nchi se nspat elel ui
Laur en, Rosadeschi seochi i
.
-Rosa?Ces- a nt
mpl at ? ntrebLaur enr epede.Eceva n
ner egul cuEl ena?
Femei a il uf aa npal meiddudi ncapaf ir
mat iv,i ar
l
acr imi l
e iinundar ochi idecul oar eaci ocol atei.
-Est aenf er ma.Ar ef ebr mar e.
Laur en i ntr n v r
fulpi cioar elor n camer a nvl ui t n

nt uner i
cisel s nj os,at i
ngndu- ifr
unt eaEl enei .Ar dea.Rosa
odezbr caseit nr aseaf lasubpt urnumai ncmut .
Laur en apr inse l ampa cu gaz de l ng patii medi atvzu
spuzeal a.Ni t epet er oiiiacoper eaug tulipi ept ul.Laur en i
deschei ecmr u a, dart iadej acpet elese ntinseser imai
j
os. ndur erat,se nt oar se nbuct r i
e.
-Rosa, spuseeacal m, nghi indnodulcar eisepusese ng t
.
Elenaavr satazi -noapt esauazi -di mi nea ?S- apl nsc ief ri
g?
-Si ,seor a,spuseRosacut ri
st e e.
Chi pul ndur er atalf emei iconf i
r mbnui el i
lel uiLaur en.Rosa
ti
ac tdegr aver aboal af ii
ceiei .
-Ar eg t
ulr ou?
Rosa ncuvi indoar .
Laur en nchi se ochi io cl i
p ise r ug s ai b put ere.
Urmt oar el
ec tevazi leaveausf i
eext rem degr elepent rut oi
.
Sar ci naeier anepl cut ,dart rebui asof ac.Oameni iacei a
eraupr i
et eniieiiaveaunevoi edeea.Dacnu iaj utaea, nimeni
nuaveasof ac.
nvoceaeinusesi m iniciunpi cdi npani capecar eosi m ea.
-Fni teceaii i
neceai niculcal d nper manen .Scoat e
fetiadi ncamer i medi atinul sapeni menisseapr opie.
Fier bet oateust ensi leledi nbuct r ieinumaii nt ra nodai aei .
Undeaf ostEl enaast zi?
~164~
Sandr
aBr
own

-Ni ci eri,seor a.Sesi m eapr ear ucasmaif acmul te


trebur i.Acum c tevazi leaf ost nPuebl ocasar at efet i
a,spuse
Rosaivocea itremur c nd nt reb:Ar escar lati
n, seor a?
-Da,zi seLaur enpst r
ndu- ical mul nci udacel orcese
petr eceau nsuf letuleiii ntrdi nnou ncamer ant unecoas.
Scar latin.I sabel a. ier agr oazsseui te.Ter og,Doamne,
nu.Fet iador mi sel ini titt oat zi ua.Nef i
r esc.Laur ensef or
sseapr opi edept u .Tr aseuorpt uricaiscoaseungeamt
dedur er ec nd vzu pi ept ulcopi l
ul ui nl
ndu- seicobor
nd
rapidispuzeal acar act erist i
c.
-Madr edeDi os, mur mur Rosa nspat eleei .
-Ecumvaepi demi e nPuebl o? nt rebLaur en.
-Siseor a.Mul iauf ostbol navi .El enan- acr ezutcosse
mol ipseasc.Ni menidi nf ami lienuaveaboal ac ndaf ostea.
-Du- teif ce i-am spus,Rosa.St aueucueaicuf etia
aici.
Dupcef emei aser etrase nbuct r i
e,Laur enseaezpe
mar gineapat uluiil um naEl enei ntr-aei.
Fatadeschi seochi i nceti iar uncunz mbetst ins.Vr us
spunceva, darnuscoasedec tunsunetr gui t.
-Nu ncer casvor bet i, Elena, maf luai cicast eaj utst e
sim imaibi ne,spuseLaur end ndu- il aopar t
ec t evaf iredepr
depef runt eacupr i
nsdef ebr .
-Copi l
ul ?ntrebEl ena.
-Copi l
ule. ..doar me.Tot ulvaf i nr egul .Cul c-tel al oc.O
s-idaupu i
nceaic ndosf iegat a.
Elena nchi seochi icuapat i
eipr usadoar m, imedi at.
Laur eni eidi ncamer ,st rbt ubuct riaii ntr ncet n
salonundeOl iviaiCar sonj ucaucr i.Jar edst t eat rnti
tnt r-
un
fotol i
u, cuocar af dewhi skyal t uri.
Neveni ndu- iscr eadc tcur ajavea,eal ecer uat enia,i ar
cndt o itreiopr ivirui mi i
, lepovest idespr eEl enaif etiaei .
-Nusepoat esvor bet iser ios!expl odOl i
viac ndLaur en i
expr imdor inadeal e ngr iji.
-Vor bescf oar teser ios,Ol ivi a,zi seeacal m.Aunevoi edeo

ngr iji
reper manent idi nmomentceeunuam al tcevadef cut,
~165~
FOCURIASCUNSE

sntt ocmaiper soanapot rivitpent ruacestl ucru.Am veni tdoar


svspuncpoat edor iicam ncar easf i
eadus ncas,di n
momentcebuct riaest eat tdeapr oapedecamer abol navel or.
inul sa ipeni menisi ntre ncas.Nuvduce inicier idac
nuest eneapr at nevoi e.Art r
ebuisnei zolm pent r
uanu- i
cont ami napeal i
i.
Vor bicu at ta aut or i
tate, nc tceit reir maser ului ipe
moment .Dar ir eveni rimedi atiOl ivia idezl nuif uri
a.
-Dact ucr ezicosl asomexi canipr ogeni turaeis
stea bol nave i poat e chi ar s moar n casa mea,
cont ami nndu- nepet o i
,te nel iamar nic.Jar ed, spune- iluiPepe
sl emut ei medi at .Sse ngr i
jeascsi ngur e.
Laur en se nt oarse spr e Jar ed,car e se dezmet icise
consi der abi liopr i
veacuochil impezi .
-Jar ed,dacpl eacel e,pl ecieu.i -arplceassespun
cJar edLocket ti-aal ungatso i
a nPuebl o?
Elipr ivimamair spunse, del oc napel elui:
- Laur en,oameni it ia s ntobi nui icu epi demi i
le.La
fiecare c iva ani ,morcu sut ele n San Ant oni o di n cauza
friguril
orgal bene.Puebl onuposedcondi ii
lenecesar eapr ri
i

mpot rivaacest orbol i,iodat ce ncepe, mol imaser sp ndet e


i
medi at.
-At unci ,ci nevacar ear ef oar temul
ibaniiput er
eart rebui
s mbunt eascacest econdi i
isani t
ar e,nu? ntrebeapeun
tonacuzat or .
Se ntrebdeceaceioamenioi ntimi daser vr eodat . ncl ipa
aceeasesi m eaf oar teput er nic.
Jared ncer cal tt actic.
-Eoboal f oar tecont agi oas,Laur en.Te- aig ndi tlaast a?
Pet i
necet e-ar mpi edicast emol ipset i?
Ea lprivi nochi .
-Am avutboal aast a.Lazeceani .Am f osti gnor atdeun
tat nspi m nt atideomenaj erf ur i
oaspemi nepent r
uc
i
-am cr eatat
tamunc npl us.Edemi rarecam supr avi euit
.
N- am ui tatdur er eaispai ma.Nu vr eau s- ol aspeEl enas
suf ereast fel .Deci ,ovoi ngrijiaici sau nal tpar te!
~166~
Sandr
aBr
own

Ol iviaddusspunceva, darf rs- iiaochiidel aLaur en,


Jaredzi se:
-Tacidi ngur , mam.
Ceidoisepr ivir ndel ung.Ea lapucasedebr ai lpr ivea
i
mpl orat or.
-Bi ne, spuseel ,
nsf rit.Potst eaj utcuceva?
-Nu.St aic tmaidepar tedecamer eledinpar teadi nspat ea
casei .O s- ispunRoseisdezi nfect ezet otulc tmaicur nd
posi bil.imul umesc.
Abi ac nd ncer cssedepr teze, iddur seamaam ndoi
cdeget elel uiput erni cel e i
neaupeal eeil ipit
est r
nsdebr a ul
su. nceticur egr et iddudr umul .
Eanuseui tni cil aOl ivia,ni cilaCar sonc ndi eidi nsal on.
Ajung ndsubar cad, se nt oar sei ipr ivisoul.
-Cr edcf et i
an- ost r
i asc,spuseeaielvzul acrimi
scli
pi nd nochi ieil umi noi .
Zi leinop isecont opir nt r-
oat mosf er
dedur er e,suferin
idi sper ar e.I sabel amur i ndup- ami azacel eideadouazi le.
Laur en ncer c di nr sput eris- ist recoar e ceaicu l ingur i
a
pri
nt rebuzel emi cu e,darl imbar oi eiumf latig tlej
ulbl ocat

lmpi edi causpt rund,i arf eti


af ul i
psitdel ichidel eat
tde
i
ndi spensabi levi e ii.
Laur enpr ivicum pi eptulmi csecut remurpent ruoul ti
m
oarif r sscoat ni ciunsunet ,Isabela inchei escur tul
popaspel ume.Laur enarf ivruts- iplngdi sparii
a, dart rebuia
s-iconcent rezeat en iaasupr aEl enei.
iv rpeg tcant itiur iaedeceai ,nci uda mpot rivi
riiElenei
dea- lnghi i.Li mba ier aacoper i
tdebi cueroi idur eroase,
careof ceau s semene cu o cpun.Febr a icr etea

nspi m ntt or nf iecar esear .RosaiLaur enodezbr caui i


splaut rupulcuapr ece.Nu ispuser deI sabela,iareadel ir
a
inuput eas nt rebe.
Pepe f cu un si cr i
u mi cuif etiaf u pregt i
t pent r
u

nmor m ntar edebuni caei .Car losf uchemat ,darrmase ngr ajd,
aacum ispuseseLaur en.Nunumaipent rupr ot
ec ialui,dari
pent ruacel ordel aKeypoi ntpecar eea iiubeaat
tdemul t.Pepe
~167~
FOCURIASCUNSE

transmi teanenumr at emesaj et


nr uluinel i
nititcar epl
ngea
moar teaf eti
eil uiiset emea ngr ozitordemul tpent ruvi aa
so i
ei.
Laur ennui eini ciocl ipdi ncamer abol navei .Ot rimisepe
Rosa ncamer aeiduphai necur at e,darabi adacavut imps
seschi mbe, nt i
mp ceo vegheapeEl ena.Sear a,dupce
i
zbut easopr eascf ebr a,ador meapeapucat epeunscaun
l
ngpat .Ser ugat ott i
mpulpent ruvi aapr ieteneieiipent r
umai
mul tput ere.Semair uga,deasemeneacaJar ed snu se
mol ipseasc.Cuvi nt ele iveni ser pe buze,di r
ectdi n suf let,

nai nt ecaeasl eg ndeasc.


Febr aar dea,purisi mpl u,pi eleadepepal mel e,deget el
ei
clcieleEl enei . nt i
mpceaceast ador mea, Laur enil ecoj eacu
blnde e, pent rucaEl enasnusesper i
ec ndvavedeaaceapi ele
moar tat rnndpepal mel eeicani t ep nzedepi anj en.
Laci ncizi ledupceLaur enai ntr atnodai aaceeasuf ocant ,
set rezipescaunuleiauzi ndor espi rai
enor mal nl oculcel ei
anevoi oasepecar eo ascul tasezi leinop i n i r
.Seduse
repedel ngEl enai iat i
nsef runt ea.Er ar ece.Desf cndu- i
buzel er elaxat e,vzu c l imba ier a maipu i
n umf l
at,i ar
bi cu ele di spr user compl et.Spuzeal a ncepuse s dea

napoi . ivenisr d nhohot e,darsel sscadi arpescaun


inl or ugder ecunot i
n .
Adouazidi mi nea ,cnd idduvest eaRosei ,aceast apl
nse

nhohot e.Totr estulacel eizi le,ol sar peEl enasdoar m. i


schi mbar at er nutul ,iarl apr nz, iddur cul i
ngur apu in
supdevi t
,dupcar eeaador midi nnou.Laur enst tucuea
pent ruaf isigur cnuaveasf acf ebrdi nnou.
Eraepui zat , darf ericit, cndi ntr nbuct ri
et rzi
u,
nsear a
aceea.Rmasesur prinsc nd lvzupeJar edl nguadi n
spat e,pr ivind pef ereast r.Rosa ispusesemaidevr emede

nsnt oi reaEl enei .


Se nt oar sec ndoauzii ntrnd.
-Laur en, epr eamul t,spuseelf rni cioi ntroducer e.N- os
temail assst aini ciunmi nut ncamer aai afr st eodi hnet i
pu i
n.
~168~
Sandr
aBr
own

-Mi -ebi ne,pecuv nt,spuseLaur enof tnd.Darnucr edc


Elena maiar e nevoi e de mi ne.Doarmul tel ichi de isomn.
Dimi nea os- llaspeGar loss- ovad.
-Siseor a,spuseRosai il uambel em ini, sr ut
ndu- i-lepe
r
nd.SeorJar ed, eun nger .
..
-Da,e nt r
-adevr ,un nger ,dar nclipaast aar atcanai ba,
spuseelmor ocnos.
Cut oatoboseal aei ,Laur enobser vabsent cni cielnu
artagr ozav.Er aner as, t
rasl af a icucear cne.
Rosaarf ipututs- ispunc, timpdezi l
e nt regi ,s- apl imbat
decol o- colo,a njur at,a ameni natia i mpl or at .Er a ca un
slbat i
c.Nuam ncatni mic, cidoarabutc t
eunwhi skydi nc nd

nc nd.
Laur en ncer c s if ocal izeze pr i
virea,i ar i magi ni l
e

ncepur seseest ompeze, sdevi next rem demi ciiapoisse


mr eascf oar t
emul t.Buct riase nv r
tea nj urulei .
-Jar ed...,st r
ig ea nai nte s se pr bueasc n br aele
puter ni ce ntinsepent ruaosus ine.
-A l einat ,spuseel .icr edc ieif oame,dupc tde
uoar e.Punpar iucapi er dutvr eoci nciki l
ogr ame.M ine
dimi nea ,Rosa,pr egt ete-iunmi cdej unconsi st ent ,idu- i
-ln
camer .St aicueap n nghi teiul ti
mabuc ic.Pr esupunc,

nt
ii nt
i,arenevoi edeodi hn.
Luf pt urai ner t nbr aeioduse ncamer aei ,nchi znd
uacupi ci
or ul.St tupel ococl ip, obinuindu- secu nt uner icul,
dup car e se apr opi e de pat .Pt r
undea dest ul l umi n pe
fereast rpent ruanuf inevoi tsapr indl ampa.
Laur enmur mur nei nteligibilc ndelol sj os, sus innd- ocu
trupull ui .Sel scut oatgr eut ateapeeliJar edmor mi n
l
egt ur cunebuni aeideasef iobosi tattdemul t.ncer csnu
se g ndeasc l at rupull i
pitde all ui.Cum put ea s st ea o
spt m n n camer auneibol naveisi asmi rosi nd tota
l
evn ic?Nut iacLaur enor ugasepeRosas- iaducost i
cl
decol oni edi ncamer aeidi ncar epunea napacucar esespl a

nf iecar ezi .
Nupots- olas npat ,purisi mpl u,ispuseJar ed,i ,cu
~169~
FOCURIASCUNSE

deget et remur t oare, ncepus- ideschei enast uriidel aspat eai


bluzei .Capulei iczupepi ept .Dur mul tt i
mpp naj unsel a
ulti
mulnast ure,deoar ece se f olosea de o si ngur m n,cu
ceal alt sus i
n nd-o.Deget elel ui ndem natice ipi er duser
dext er itatea.
it rase bl uza af ar di nf ust i ncepu s- idesf ac

nchi zt oar ea.Dezl egnur uril


ec torvaj upoane, nju-r ndc nd
acest ease nnodau.Deceorf ipur tndf emei leat
teahai ne,de
fapt ? se nt reb el . ntr-un t
rziu,r euis- it rag f usta i
jupoanel epest eol dur ilsndu- les- icad njur ulgl eznel orcao
spumal b.
Elf cuopauzscur t,trg ndaerad nc nt r
-unef or tdea- i
aliment acuoxi gencr eierul,car ese nvrteaasemeniunuicur ent .
Dacset rezea ncl i
paaceea,pr obabi lcarf it rezitt oat casa
cu ipet ele, ispuseelcut r
iste e.
Cuf oar temul tgr ij,ospr iji
nipeunbr ail snd- ouorpe
spat e, it rasebl uzadepeumer i
.
Gat a.Eacont inuasdoar m,i areler aasudatit remur a.O
l
ipide el ,am n nd moment ul n car e avea s se ui tel a ea,
savur ndat ept area.
ncepuapois- icaut eacel epr inpr ,sco ndu- i-le ncetdi n
pr ulceiser evr sapeumer ii nm i
ni l
el ui.At unciaacum
voisesf acdi npr imacl ip ncar eovzuse, ipl imbdeget el e
prinmt aseaaceeaneagr ,m ng i
ndu- if i
ecar euvi ,f r
ec ndu- i
bucl elemoi ntredeget e,
nc ntatdeaceasenza iel af elcum unui
avar ipl acessi mt aur ul. i ngr opf a a npr uleiiopt i
vor bedel audl aadr esal ui.
Dupaceea,o nti
nse ncetpepat , ndepr tndu- if ust ai
jupoanel edi nj ur ulgl eznel or.Eapusecapulpeper niof t
mul umi t, cupr ul rsf i
ratpep nzaal b.
Jar edseaezpemar gineapat ului,foar t
euorpent ruanuo
trezi.Dumnezeul e!Er a super b.P n icut ele pr ovocat e de
oboseal nj urulgur i
iigol uril
edi nobr ajiiddeauf rumuse e.
Genel el ungiinegr eseodi hneaupeobr aj i
ist rvezi i.icobor
privireade- al ungulg tuluip nl abazaacest uia,unde ivzu
zvcnel ilepul sul ui.Umer iiier aual biisepi erdeau ntr-unpi ept
~170~
Sandr
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per fect.
Ezi t
dar ,di npr opr i
evoi n,deget elese ntinser spr epar tea
desusacmu ei.Dezl egpangl i
casub i
redi nsat inal bast ru
car eer at recut pr i
ndant elif oar te ncet , ideschei epr i
mi i
ci
vanast uri.Di nnouvoi aspr elungeascat eptarea.
Pr i
viril
e icobor r
spr emi jl
oculsub ireiapoispr eundui rea
oldur ilor.Deobi cei,ipl ceauf ormel emaivol uptuoase,darea
era per fectpr opor i
onat ,dup cum obser v elst udiindu- i
pulpel el ungiigambel ef rumoase.
La nai ba!Ui t
ase pant ofii
.Nast uriiacei a er au apr oape
i
mposi bildedeschei atpe nt uneric,dar , pnl aur m, reui .
Dupcei -iscoasedi npi cioarel e nvl uite nmt ase,opr ivi
dinnou, nt impcedeget elel uiidesf ceau ncetcmu a.Ea
nusemi cdel oc.Pr ivireal uir t ciai urea,p nc nd,l aun
momentdat ,sef i
xasupr aei .
iimagi nasecum t rebui asar ate,darf ant eziil
el uinuer au
exact einuer apr egtitpent rupr ivelit eacar eiseof er inf aa
ochi lor.Dois ni ,perfectf or ma i
,rot unzi , nali
,t ari.Opi elelaf el
deal bcaunbobocdemagnol ie.Sf rcur i
le,deunt randaf i
r i
u
fecior elnic.Bot ti
cell
iarf iador at-o.Fr umuse ea eii real er a
categor icpot rivitquat trocent o-ului.Rosanuse nelapr eamul t.
ngol i
ciuneaeipr easf ie,ntr-adevr , un nger .
DarJar eder amur itoriodor eaaacum numaidor isepe
nimenini ciodat i ilscapul nj oscugr iji isrut g tuln
punct ulncar e izvcneapul sul.Dupaceeabuzel e ial unecar
l
eneepest es ni,muc nduoril ing nd,aa ncteasnut ie
niciodat cels- a nchi nat nf a at empl uluit rupuluiei .ier a
i
nt erzis.Er aonegar eaut oimpus, daracestl ucruof ceasf ie
imaiput ernic.
Daracum, acum. ..
inl capuliat inseunsf
rct randaf i
riu.Fr ecndu- l ncet

nt re deget e, pr i
vi f asci nat cum r spundea at inger iil ui

nt r i
ndu- sei spi ti
tor.Neput
ndsr ezist e, lcupr i
nsecugur a.Se
topipel imbal uicaobucat dezahrier achi armaidul ce.
iprividi nnouf aal inititncadr atdepr ulnegr u.
-Iart-m, Laur en, opt ielcobor ndu- igur ai ari.
~171~
FOCURIASCUNSE

C ndset rezi ,nucumul tnaint edepr nz, Laur ennu iami nti
nimi cdi nul timel ec tevazi l
esaudecedor mi seat tdet
rziu, fi
ind

mbr catcul enj eri


adecor picuci orapi i.Se nt insei ncepu
sadunef ragment edeami nti
ri
.
El ena! iaduseami ntedeboal af eteiisr iimedi atdi npat .
Decedor mi seoar epest ecuver tur?Dezor ientat ,r mase n
mi j
locul ncper i
i,cum i
ni l
el i
pitedet mpl e, ncer cndsal unge
pet elegl buicar edansaupeper deauaneagr cepr easisef i
l
satpest eochi .Secl tiname it
.Ser idicasepr ear epede
pent r ucas ngel es- iaj ungl acap.Er asl bi tdat ori
tf apt ului
c, deasezi l
e, numaim ncasecum t rebui e.
Rosaddubuzna ncamer exactc ndLaur ense ntor cea
l
ngpat .
- Seor aLaur en, v-a itrezit!A idor mi tcauncopi l.
- Cef aceEl ena? nt rebear epedeichi pulf er ici
talRosei i

ndepr tt oat et emer i


le.
- Esl bi tisomnor oasdaram ncatpu i
np inepr ji
t
azi-di minea iavor bi tcuCar los,spuseRosa,dupcar ese

nt ristuor .At rebui ts- ispunem deni aief oar tetrist.Dar


fapt ulcl -avzutpeCar l
osaf cut -ossesi mt maibi ne.Ve
recunosct oar e, seor a.ieuvmul umescf oar temul t.
Buzel e ncepur s- itremur e.
-Mbucurnespuscam put utsoaj utpeEl ena.Af ivrut
doarsf isal vaticopi lul,dei ,dupf ebrapecar eaavut -o,s-ar
put eacaI sabel asnuf ifostni ci odat vi ndecat compl et.
-isuf le eluleie nr aiacum iebi ne.Dac icunoscbi nepe
ElenaipeCar los, orsf acal tni of oartecur nd.
Z mbil ar g.
-V- am adusmi culdej un,zi seeaapoii ei nholpent rual ua
tavapecar eoaezasepeomsu .
Ar omel edel icioaseof ceaupeLaur ens- ilasegur aap.
Cndm ncaseul t
imaoar cevaconsi stent ?
-SeorJar edmi -
aspussam gr ij
sst a i npatis
m nca iabsol uttot .
-Est e...adi c,t oat l umea e snt oas? Nu i -
am vzut
apr oapedeospt m n.
~172~
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-PeseorJar edl -aivzutasear ,seor a.Nuvami ntii?


A ilei nat nbuct rie.D nsulv- aadussus nbr ae.
Camer ase nvrtidi nnoucueaiur echi lei iuiau.Sor bidi n
ceai ulf ierbi ntei ncer csnu- itremur em nac ndpuseceaca

napoipef ar furioar .
-Nu. .
.nu,eu. .
.. .
.nu- miami nt escast a.t iu c er am
foar teobosi t.
-Cr edcs- asupr atcer aiat
tdeobosi t.Vr eisf ace io
bai e, seor a?
Fr s at ept e vr eun r spuns,Rosa se duse l a bai e
l
egn ndu- se, iadun ndhai nel edpel ngpat .
Hai nel eei !Jar edoaezase npat .Jar edodezbr case!
lvi sase nsomnuleiad nc.Acum iami ntif oar t
ebi nevi sel e
acel ea.Jar der aapl ecatdeasupr aeiiopr iveacut andr e e.
Capul ier al ipitdepi eleaei .Dacbr a eleeinuarf if ostat tde
grel e,arf i ntinsm naii -arf ist recur atdeget elepr i
npr ul
decol or atdesoar ecar eig di l
ag tul. ntr-unuldi nvi se,Jar ed i
opt eacuvi ntespani ol elaur eche. nal tul
,f cusecugur aceva
ce i rsp ndeapr int rupocl dur del ici oas.
M nc ncet ,t ulbur atdeami nti
reaacel orvi se.C nd ncepu
ssedezbr ace, obser vcf undi acmu eidi spr use.Tr ebui a
s- ispunRoseisf i
emai at ent cnd ispl al enj eria.
Int r ncad,bucur ndu-sedecl dur al i
ni titoareaapei .De
zile nt reginumaicunoscusepl cer eauneibi .Fc ndm i
ni le
cu, .l
uapiot urnpet rup,dari medi atavuosenza iede
ust ur i
me.Fr svr ea,scoaseungeamt .Exami nndu- secu
aten i
e,obser v c sf
rcur i
le ier au uori ri
tat e,i arc nd l e
atingea,si m ea f urni ctur ipr i
nt otcor pul .S niiier au,de
asemenea, iritai,caicum arf ifostat inidecevaaspr u.Cearf i
put uts. ..
Fcu'ochi imar ide gr oaz iduse l a gur deget el e
tremur t oar e, l
ipindu- ledebuzel e-albedi ncauzaocul ui.
Nu!Nu!Nuseput ea.Vi sel eeiir eali
tat eaaceeanuaveau
niciol egt ur .Er adeneconceput .Tot ui,tremur g ndindu- sel a
acea posi bi l
itate. Jar ed, nebr bi erit, pr i
vind- o, at ing nd- o,
sr ut
nd- o...
~173~
FOCURIASCUNSE

Ieirepededi ncad,set ersengr abise nfur ntr-


un
halatnaintedease ntoar ce ndor mitor.
-UndeeJar ed?o ntrebeapeRosacut imiditate,ntimpce
sepr egteascoboar el aEl ena.
Voi as-levite.S- arf isim itpreaumi l
itdacarf idatochi icu
elatt
at impctaveaasemeneabnui eli
.
-Apl ecatlaAust inazi -dimi nea.Ziceacs- arput easst ea
ct
evaspt mni .Ceva nl egt urcuaf acer i
le.Al satunpachet
pent r
udumneavoast r.
Ieirepedeise ntoar sei medi atcuocut iu.
-A zi scosvt r
ebui ascdat avi it
oar ec ndosmai
mer geilaKeypoi nt.
Laur endesf cupangl ica, deschisecapaculi nunt ruvzuo
earfdemt aseal bast r
nvelit
nf oi
sub ir
e. iadusese
ami ntecaveanevoi edeaaceva.Lacr imile impi enjenir

ochi,darcont ient depr ivir
eaRosei ,v r
ear fa ntr-unuldin
sertareleculenj erie,pr efcndu- seindiferent.
-Vat r
ebuisnuui ts- imul umescc ndseva ntoar ce,spuse
ea,dupcar ei ei ,iarRosar masecl ti
nnddi ncapul ui
ti
dezgust at.

~174~
Sandr
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Capi
tol
ul15

-Aiaf latcevadel aJar ed,Olivia? ntrebCar son ntr-osear ,


l
aci n.Separ ecst neobi nuitdemul tlaAust i
n.
-Hai de,Car son,zi seOl i
viar
znd,t iidoardeceeJar ed
reinut laAust in.Mmi rnumaics- aab inutat tdemul t
.
Fapt uldeaaveaoso iedeconveni en lf acepeunbr bats
caut eocal edeel iber aref izic,nu-iaa, Laur en?
Laur ent r
ntif ur cul i
a nf arfuri
e.Cum ndr zneaf emei aaceea
sf ieat tdecr ud?
-Di nmomentceevor bade necesi t i
lef izicealel uiJar ed,
arf itrebui tspst rezi ntrebareapent ruel , r
spunseeaf urioas.
Darf uriaaceea it rdanel i
nit easuf leteasc.Pr obabi lc
soacr aeiaveadr ept ate.Deceal tcevaarf istatJar edat tdemul t
l
aAust i
n?Nu i nchi pui secaveas- ifieat
tdedordeel .Cu
ctl i
psea maimul t,cu at ttensi unea di n cas cr etea n
i
nt ensi tate.
Rut inazi lnicdi nCor onadoer adi feritdeceadel aKeypoi nt.
Elenacpt aput er e,cuf iecarezicar et recea.Dacvr emea i
per mi tea,sepl imbacuLaur enpr ingr din.V ntul
,at uncic nd
suf l
apeneat ept at edi nspr enor d,er ar eceiaspr u,ipel a

nceput ulluinoi embr ie,t i


mpdec tevazi l
e,apl ouatnecont enit
,
fcnd- opeLaur ens nnebuneascdepl ictiseal ncasaaceea
mar e.
ier adordezi lelepl i
nepet recut el aKeypoi ntmpr euncu
Rudy icu Gl oria,de cuvi ntelel orcal de ide copi iilor
neast mpr ai. ier adoridedi scu iilelinititepecar el eaveacu
Mar i
a.Cuc t eval uni nur m,Laur enarf if ostscandal izatl a
gndulcof emei eput eat ricuso ulal teia,daracum nelegea
cef eldevi aduseseMar iaalturideBen.Dr agost eal orf usese
cur at.Tol eran a einecar acteristic sedat ora n mar epar te
fapt uluict iacef eldevi a arf idusBenal tur ideOl i
vi a.
Aceast aseduceal abancapr oape nf iecar ezii ar,cnd

~175~
FOCURIASCUNSE

stt eaacas,Car sont elef onat ott impuldel abi rou.Venea n


fi
ecar e sear l a ci n iLaur en er ar ecunosct oare pent ru
prezen al uicar eemanabunvoi n.Nuarf isupor tatsf i
e
singur cuOl ivia.Aceast aopr i
veacuat taost i
li
tate,
nctLaur en
tresr eaor idec teor i isur prindeapr ivireadesmar alda int it

asupr aei .
Car soncont inuasf iesl ugar nicf adeOl ivia.Vor beau n
per manen despr ecal eaf erat ipl anur i
lelegat edecent rala
elect ric.Sepr eacor iceezi tar edi npar teaOl i
vieidease
asoci acuf ami li
aVandi ver ,numaiexi sta.Lel udaf elulhot rt
deaf iicapaci tat eadea- imanevr apecei lal
ipent rua- iat inge
scopur il
e.Ol iviapomeneaf oartedesdeKur t
,ar unc ndc teo
privire ndi rec ial uiLaur en,ceeaceof ceapeaceast asse
simt f oar t
epr ost .
ntr -osear ,l aci n,Ol ivia ist udi enor apef uri,pr intre
genel epl ecat e.Nuaveasoi erteni ci odat pent ruf apt ulc l
convi nsesepeJar edsl el asepemexi canaaceeabol navi
copi lulacest eiasr m nsubacoper iulei .Er adeaj unsde
nepl cut f apt ulc Laur en of erise adpost uneimexi cane
suf er i
nde,daradevr at a cat astrof er a aceea c t r
iumf ase
asupr aOl i
viei nt r-odi scu i
ecuJar ed.imai ngr ij
ort ordec t
atter af apt ulc lfor asepeJar edsi aohot r
re.Acestl ucr u
arf iput utpune nper icolpl anur il
eOl i
viei .DacLaur encpt a
put er easupr alui , s-arf iput utdi struget otul .
Ol i
vi eiimaidi splceaif aptulc,pent r
uasal vaapar enel e,
trebui asj oacer olulsoacr eiiubi toar e.Dumnezeul e!Pr i
et eni ii
puneaumer eu nt rebr idespr evi i
toriinepo i
.nt impce ibeau
ceai ul, spuneaumer euc tdebi nel est teal uiJar edil uiLaur en

mpr eun,i arf emei l


ecar eveneau l a banc r emar cau c tde
mi nunater ac, dupceat eptaseat t,Jar edigsi se,
nsf
rit,
par tener apot rivit.Ol ivi a ndur at otulcuunz mbetr igidicu
rspunsur i
leadecvat e.Seduceal abi ser ic mpr euncuLaur en

nf i
ecar edumi ni c.T nr ai nsi stasmear gieat iacnus- ar
ficuveni tcaso ial uiJar edsf ievzut acol osingur .
Er aevi dentcLaur enseat aasedef amili
adel aKeypoi nt.
Or idec teor iCar sonoat rgea nconver sa i
e,easf r
eapr ina
~176~
Sandr
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povest ivr eo nt
mpl areceavusesel ocl af erm.Ni ciodat nu
pomeneanume, darOl iviacunot eat oat eper sonaj elef oar tebi ne.
Atuncic ndur t ipeci nevaat
tdemul tcum iuraeapeMar i
a
Mendez,pef i
uleiif ami l
iaacest uia,aj ungis- icunot iext rem
debi ne.Deveni seoobsesi epent r ueaf apt uldeaaf laabsol ut
totul nlegt ur cuei .
Neput nds- ipedepseasc ncpemembr iifami lieiMendez
pent r
u umi lin ele pr ovocat e,gsiun ap i spi torper f ect n
per soana l uiLaur en,car ef usese nv at s- ir espect e pe
vrstnici, fami liais ndur eper secu iifr scr
cneasc.
Oliviaer asi gur caceacst orienuf useseconsumat , dei
eraext rem decont i
ent deput erniculapet itsexualalf iuluiei .
Strnsedi nbuzec nd lcompar cucelalr posat uluieiso .
Eraconvi nscor goli
ult eribilall uiJar ed l mpi edi cas
i
ubeascof emei epecar ei-oal eseset atll ui .Tot ui ,fat aavea
cevacar eOl iviat i
acof ceasf ieirezi stibi lpent rubr ba i.
Blnde eaaceea,vul ner abil
itateaaceea imi caup n nad ncul
suf letului.Eanuavuseseni ciodat aceacal itat eiodi spr euia
cndodescoper eal aal tefemei .
Ochi nui apeLaur encuf iecar epr i
vire,f i
ecar egest ,if iecar e
cuv nt.Tr ebui as- iindespr i
ipeJar edipeso ial uicuor ice
pre .O ngrozeag ndulceii -arf iput utdapl anur ilepest ecap,
dacaj ungeaussi mt cevaser iosunulpent rucel lalt.
Nuer agel ozi e,
ispuneaOl ivia,Gel ozi aer aunsent imentat
t
demr unt ,cenu i
neadel ocdedemni tat eaei ,ntr-or elaie, eanu
cer eadec tloi alitateabsol ut.
Bennu- ifusesel oial.Erahot r tcaJar edsnuf acacel ai
l
ucr u.
-Cemaif aceEl ena, Laur en?Spercbi ne.
Cinal uasesf ritiCar sonl eur masepecel edouf emei n
salonpent r
ua- ibeacut oiicaf eaua.Laur ent iac ntr ebar ea
Olivieinupor ni sedi n ngri
jor are,cier ameni tdoars- iaduc
ami ntect recusepest ecuv nt ulei .
-S- a nsnt oi t
.Moar teaf et i
eiaf ostol ovi turpest ecar e
n-ospoat t rececur
nd, daracestl ucr uef oar tefiresc.
-Mar epcatcf eti
an- asupr avie uit,Laur en.Aif cuto
~177~
FOCURIASCUNSE

adevr at mi nunesal v nd-opemam.


- imul umesc,Car son,daram avutmot i
vebi ne ntemei ate.
Eram c tpe- acis- mipi erdvi a adi ncauzaacest eibol i.Af ost
singur ameaocazi edeao nf rnge.
-Pcatc mexi cani iacei a di n Puebl o nu- ipotpst ra
orel ulcur at ,spuseOl iviaichi pulier aschi monosi t
.
-S ntconvi nscf act otcepot .Nucr edcl epl aces- i
l
asecopi i
ismoar , ziseLaur en ncet ,
darcuconvi nger e.
-Pr ost i
i.Nu et iai cidepr eamul tt imp cast iic tde
mur dar isntaceioameni .Sntdezgust tor i
.
-Cum po isspuicRosaedezgust toar ei ,t otui ,s
mn ncim ncar eapecar eogt ete?Eceamaicur atper soan
pecar eam vzut -ovr eodat , spuseLaur encu nf l
cr are.
Olivia mi c di n cap f urioas.Ochi ieiver ziscl i
peau i
deget ele-isub i
rist rnseser br a elef otoli
ul uicani teghear e.
- Nuvat recemul tivom put eas- iscut im demul tegr ijipe
ceidi nPuebl o.Abi aat ept .
..
-Ol i
via!o nt rerupseCar sonbr usc.Nucr edcarmait rebui
sdi scut m despr eaceast pr obl em.Vdct et ulbur f oar te
mul t,
zi seelar unc ndu- iopr ivirepl indesub neles.
Olivia i inur suf lareaiapoioel i
ber ncet .Fusesec t
pe-acisf acogaf ier ar ecunosct oar ecf useseopr iti a
ti
mp.
-Aidr ept ate, Car son, mt ulbur .Maidor et icafea?
Laur ensescuzisedusesus.Neput
ndu- se
ab ine,seopr i nf a aui iluiJar ed,pr ivind- ost ruitor.Cese
at ept asvad?Oar e,uaaveasdi spar ,ar tndu- i
-lpeel
stnd nf otol i
uif um ndunuldi nnel i
psi telel uit rabucur i?Oar e
aveassemat erializeze nf aaeiaacum of cea nvi se
noapt edenoapt e?
Nu.Elnuer aacol o, cil aAust in, cuaf acer i.Bnui ndcef elde
afacer iaveader ezol vat ,sim iodur ereput ernic ninim.Sf i
fost ,oar e,cual t
f emei e?Cual tef emei ?Ce- ipsaei ?i ,t
ot ui ,
i
psa.
Dusem nai nst inct ivl aceasi ,frs- ideaseama, deget ele
atinser uorsf rculpr i
nbumbaculsub i
realbl uzei .Tott rupuli
~178~
Sandr
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se ncinseiea i inur suf l


areadi ncauzasenza ii
lorcar eo
asal tar.
Chi arm- aiat i
nsai ci ,Jar ed? nt r
ebea ntuner icul.
Nuvoi ast ie,nuvoi as- ipese,darnuseput uab inesnu
adauge:Cepr ere i
-am f cut ?
Suf erinaisi ngur tat eao nso ir ncamer aei .
Jar edveniacas naj unulZi l
eiRecunot inei.Laur enci tea n
camer aei .Ini ma it resr i npi eptc ndauzi nholzgomot ul
fami l
iaralci zmel orizdr ngni tulpi nteni l
or .St r
nsecar t
eal a
piept .Uacamer eil uisedeschi seise nchi se ncet ,dupcar e
auzizgomot ul nfundatalval izelort r
ntitepepodea.Elsemai
plimbunt imppr in ncper eiapoi ,launmomentdat ,pat ul
scr
isubgr eut ateal ui.Tot ulsecuf und nl inite.
Or i
ctde mul t ncer c,Laur en nu se maiput u concent ra
asupr alectur ii
.
Se mbr ccuf oar t
emul t
gr i
jpent ruci n,pun ndu- io
rochi ef oartef rumoasipant of idi npi eledecpr ioar .Pr uli
fusesespl atiper iat.Seg ndis llasel iber ,dar ,bine nelesc
arf ifostcevapr eaevi dent .nschi mb,ol speEl enasi -
l
aranj eze ntr-uncocel egant .
lauzipeJar edi ei nddi ncamer icobor ndi ,pest ec teva
clipe, lurm.Er ai ncr edi bildeagi t
at .Cum aveasdeaochi icu
eldupceodusese ncamer ,odezbr caseiopr egt isede
cul care?idac. ..
Intr nsal onii ni maisest rnsec nd ivzut rupul nal tcu
spat elel atapl ecatdeasupr abuf etul uipent r
ua- ipunecevade
but .
-Laur en,daist rluci reser ii.Cemaif aci ,dragamea?spuse
Car sonveni ndspr eeaisr utnd- opeobr az.
lpr i
vipeJar edpest eumr ull uiCar son.Spat ele ideveni
ri
gi dil uo nghi i
tur dewhi sky nai ntesse nt oarc.Eat tde
frumos,
ispuseeacut ri
st ee,i-arf iput utsupor taindi fer en ai
cruzi mea dac ar f if ostur tsau dac l -ar f iconsi der at
respi ngt or.Dar ncdel abun nceputsi m i
seoat rac ieci udat
fadeacelbr bat .
El int
lnipr i
vi reapedeasupr aumr ul uiluiCar sonir idic
~179~
FOCURIASCUNSE

pahar ul nchipdesal ut .
-Jar edpune- iunsher ryl uiLaur en,t er og,i areumaivr eau
unul .
Laur en obser vcochi iOl i
vieiscl i
peau n mod deosebi t.
Probabi lcvet ilepecar el eaduseseJar ed del aAust ino

nc ntaser .
-M bucurat tde mul tc Vandi ver iivi n m ine de Zi ua
Recunot inei.
imul umesccl e-ainm nati nvi taiamea, Jar ed.
Oliviapr i
vicuat en iec ndJar ed iddupahar ull uiLaur en.
-Cupl cer e,spuseelui tndu- selaLaur en.
Deget elel ise at i
nser pent ruof rac iune de secund.
Cont act ulf uel ect r
izantieaavui mpr esi ac iauder espi ra i
a
i
ei ndu- ii utedepebuze ntr -
ungeamtst ins.Dar ,c nd ir i
di c
privirea pent ru a- i ntlniochi ist r
l ucitor i
, ivzu r cindu- se
i
medi at .
-t iam cLaur envavr eas- lrevadpeKur t.At recutat ta
ti
mp, spuseel ncet ,doarpent ruur echi l
eei .
Decef ceaacestl ucr udi nnou?Er al afeldear ogantide
receca npr imasear c nd lvzuse n ncper eaaceea.
Toat emo iar eveder iisest i
nse pepar cur sulacel eici ne
i
nter mi nabi le.Jar edmaimul tbudec tm nc.Cese ntmpl ase,
oar e,cuaceat eribilpof tdem ncar epecar eoavusesel a
Keypoi nt ?Mar i
aiGl oria lt achi naumer eu nl egt urcuacest
l
ucr u.
Eraposomor
tiame it.C nd icr i
ticapeceidi nComi sia
Ci l
orFer atepent rui ncapaci t
ateal or,c ndmor mi avor bede
nenel es npahar .
Dupci n,Laur enser etrase nbi bliotecpent ruaci tilng
foc.Supor tase dest ul t ensi une pent r
u o sear .Cei lal
ise
duseser nbi roupent ruadi scut a nl egt ur cucl t or i
al ui
Jar ed.
Cteva or e mait rziu,Laur en er at ot n bi bl i
ot ec, ntr-
un
fotoliu ncpt or ,
cupant ofiiscoiicupi cioar el
est rnsesubea.
Launmomentdat ,lzr ipeJar ed npr ag,darnut i
adec t
ti
mp st t ea acol o.C nd ir idic pr ivirea, lvzu i ntrnd i
tr
nt i
ndu- seobosi tpeunf otoliu, l
ngalei .Capul iczupeper ne
~180~
Sandr
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own

inchi seochi i.Laur enr masenemi cat .Pemsur cet recu


timpul,eacr ezucador mi se,dar ,ncel edi nur m,eldeschi se
ochii,deinu imi cni cicapul ,nicicor pul .
-Ef oar tet rziu,Laur en.Decenudor mi?o nt r
ebelpr nd
epuizat .
- M- am l satf ur atdel ectur .Uneor icitescnoapt eap n
tr
ziudaceocar teInteresant .
Saudacnupotsmit escotdi nmi nt e,adugea ng nd.
Pr ea o f pt uri r
eal nl umi na f lcr i
lor .St rluci rea
aceast aser ef l
ect a npr uleinegr uipr eas- iapr indf iecar e
fir
.Rochi aeier adi ntr-
ol
nmoal erozcunst ur ai-per ll ag t.
Dator i
tf ocul ui,iseaccent uar oea adi nobr aj i
,despr ecar eel
tiacer aucat if
ela i
.ndosulochel arilor,ochi ieier aumar i
,
adnciil impezi .
Jar ed idr esegl asul, tr
ezi ndu- sedi nr ever i
e.
-Ceci tet i
?Par caif iunoar ecedebi bliotec,spuseel
tachinnd- ouor .
-Or i
ce, ziseeasi mindu- inevoi adeast adevor b.Cr il
eau
fostceimaibunipr ieteniaimei ncopi lrie.Cei lalicopi inuvoi au
ssej oacecuf at apr eot ului.Sesi m eaupr ost ,nelegi ?Mamaa
mur itcndaveam t reiani.
Elobser vat uncicdusesem nal aceas.
-Aacpr ieteni imeier auper sonaj eledi ncr i
.Ci tescoper e
clasice,i stor i
eif ilozofie.Dar mipl ac nmoddeosebi tDi ckens,
suror i
leBr ont eiJaneAust en.
El nchi se ochi idi n nou iea f u sur prins c nd lauzi
continu nddi scu ia.
-C nder am mi c, mipl ceaf oartemul tPoe.Benmcer t
a
mer eupent rucci team asemenea por cr i
i,cum spuneael .
Dacvr eisascul
ipovet icuf antome,pune- lpeThor ns- i
spun. ial el uiThor ner auf oar t
ebune,zi seelr znd.Mise
zbrl
eapr ulc nd mipovest eadespr el egendel ei ndi ene, tabu- uri
irit
ual ur isecr et e.
Pr i
vif lcr i
leg ndi t
oriacest eaj ucar nochi iluicaambr a.
ifr
ecpl eoapel eapoi ,obosi t.
Acum numaiam t impsci t
esc,
~181~
FOCURIASCUNSE

Eaezi tdoarocl i
p nai ntedea- lntrebacubl nde e:
-Af ostocl t orieobosi toare?
Elof tad nc.
-Da.C ivadi ntref unc ionar iipubl icisnt ngr ozitordepr oti.
M- am st ur atpnpest ecaps- itotf latez.Vr eau...
Vz ndcnumaicont inua, ea lndemnuor .
-Da.Vr ei.
..?
Deacel ndemnavunevoi epent rua- iexpr i
masent iment ele.
-Vr eaucal eaf eratpent rucesi ngur ulmod ncar epo i
aveaof ermexcel ent ipr ofitabi lnsecol uldouzeci .iBen
i-
odor eanespusdemul t,darnupotssuf rsmocupde
toat eh roagel eisam de- afacecut oiidio i
i.
Seapl ecpu in naint ei impr eunm inilentregenunchi .
Laur enr maset cut .Acel eaer aumoment ecndt rebuias
ascul te.
- Avr east riescl aKeypoi ntiscl rescde- al ungul
gar dur i
lorcaor iceal tvaquer o ,nt impceal iisseocupede
toat etrebur il
east ea.
Laur enr enun l apr uden iser idic, duc ndu- sel
ngelcu
team. ipuseambel em i
nipeumer i
iluii imasmuchi i

ncor da i.
- Poat ec,dupcesevaconst r
uical eaf erat,ospo i
faceast a,Jar ed.Sper ,pent rubi nel et u.
Else l s pe spat e di n nou,r elaxndu- se sub at ingerea
magi cadeget elorei .Dupc t
evacl ipe, easpuse:
-imul umescpent r
uear f
.Emi nunat .
El ir idicpr i
vireaspr eea.Ochi iier auobosi iii njecta
i,
darelvzu ncur ajareicompasi une ntr-aieic nd izmbi .i
acoper im nacuasaii -ost rnse.Apoii -or i
dici ilipipalma
deobr azull ui.
-Aini tem i
nif oar t
ef rumoase, Laur en.Le- am obser vat...
Tcu,t em ndu- se o cl ip s nu se f ac de r
s,darapoi
cont inu:
- Le- am obser vatdi npr imasear c ndam ci nat mpr eun.
Deget elel uisepl i
mbauuorpest eal eei .
-Pr obabi ldator it
or elor ndel ungipet recut elapi an.Tat ami
~182~
Sandr
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own

spuneacam m inil
emamei .ieac nta.
-ilipset epi anul ?
-Da,r ecunoscuear epede.Bnui escc,pent r
umi ne,muzi ca
eceepent rut i
necl r itulde- alungulgar dur il
or .
El ipr ivim nacuapr eci ereacucar euncunosct oralar tei
studi azocapodoper .Apoi ,duc nd- ol abuze, it recul imba
uorpest ef iecar ev rfaldeget elor .Laur en nchi seochi i.
Buzel el ui naint arspr e nchei etur am iniiei ,iarc ndm neca
dant elat lmpi edic, el ideschei enast urele, dezvel indu- ipielea
alb.
- Et iat tdemoal e, mur mur el ,nt i
mpcebuzel e im ngiau

nchei etur a.Facicat ot ulspar ext rem desi mpl u, de...


Cuvi nt eleisepi er dur c nd il ipibuzel edeper namoal ea
palmeiei .I nimaei ncepusbat ai ureac nd isi m icl dura
l
imbi ipepi el e.
Apoi , el inl capuli im ng ieobr azuluorcudeget ul
-Laur en, eu...
-Jar ed.
Or icearf iavutdeg ndsspun,r masener ostit,dat ori
t
apar iieineat eptat eaOl iviei.
-Car sont eat eapt pent r uavmaiui taodat peci fr
ele
acel ea nai nt esmer gem l acul car e.Laur en,dr agamea,nue
nevoi esmaist ai.
Jar ed i nclet maxi laruli ,r idicndu- sedepef ot oli
u,iei
din ncper e.
Laur en il upant of i
iicar teai ,dupcest insel ampa,se

nt oar secuf aaspr eu.Si luet a nal t


aOl ivi eisemaidesl uea

nc npr ag.C ndseapr opi edeea, Laur envzucospr ncean


eraar cui t
specul ativ.
-Noapt ebun, Laur en, spuseeacur ceal .
-Noapt ebun.
Ur cndt rept ele,Laur ensi m ipr ivireapt runzt oareasoacr ei
eist rpung ndu- ispat ele.
A douazidi mi nea ,Laur encobor labuct r i
epent r
uao

nt rebapeRosadacer anevoi esoaj utel apr egt ireamesei


pent ruZi uaRecunot inei ,darf uasi gurat ct rebur ilemer geau
~183~
FOCURIASCUNSE

foartebi ne.El enaar anjal ucr urilespl ate.C ndLaur ensepr egt i
si as,seof erisl educeasus,pent ruaoscut ipef atdea
maiur cal aet aj .
-I auil ucr ur i
lel uiJar ed, spuseeac ndEl ena ipuse nbr ae
hainel ef rumosmi r
osi toar e,lacar eseadugar cmi l
eal bei
scrobi teicel ecol oratepecar eJar edl epur tal adr um.
Laur enur cr epedeibt u nual uiJar ed, nsnupr imini ci
un r spuns.Tocmaivoi a s- lst rige,c nd auziapa cur gnd

nt r
-unadi nbi leceddeau nhol .Di nc t
et iaea,elnuf olosea
niciodat bai acar ef ceal egt ura ntrecamer el el or.
Rmasenedeci s nf a aui iluiuor ntredeschi se.Cese
putea ntmpl a?se ntrebea mpi ng nduadoarat tc ter a
nevoi epent ruaseput east recur anunt ru.
ncper eaer asi mpl umobi lat.Unpatcuot blie nal tdi n
l
emndest ejarseaf l
al ipi
tdeunper ete, iarunal tuler aocupatde
undul apmasi v.O msu cuogl inddebr bierit,li
ghenai
can,seaf la nt r-
uncol
.Si ngur aal tpi esdemobi l
ierer aun
fotoliucuspt ar nalt.
Per del elecudungul i
emar onf useser t r asepent rual sa
soar elespt r und nunt ru.Pat uler ast rnsiacoper i
tcuo
cuver tur asor tat cu per delele.Nu vzu ni ciun semn de
dezor dine nj ur ulei nt i
mpcest rbt uaceldor mi t
orext rem de
mascul in, ndr ept
ndu- sespr emsu .Pusehai nelecugr ijpe
supr afa aluci oasaacest eiaise nt oarsecug ndsi as,dar
ceva iat raseat enia,deodat .
Sepr eacJar edscoseset oateobi ecteledi nbuzunar ecuo
sear nur m, il epusesepemsu .Eal est udi ecuat en ie.Un
pieptene de buzunardi n baga.Oar e lf olosea vr eodat ?se

nt r
ebeaz mbi nd.
Monededet otf el ul.C tevabancnot e. irecunoscuceasulde
buzunarcu l n iorde aur .Tr eih rtii
,f r ndoi al
,f act uri
,

mpt urite ndou.Unl andecheicuasecheideal am.O


cutiudechi br ituri.i...
Inima istt u nl ococl i
p,i arc ndr encepusbat ,of cu
cuat
tavi olen , ncti -oacoper icum na,st r
ng ndceasulcu
deget et remur t oar e.
~184~
Sandr
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Acolo,printre celelalt
el ucrur i
,se aflaof undi
di n satin
al
bastru.Foar t
easemnt oar ecucel ecarenchei aucmu ele
pecar eil ef cusedoamnaGi bbons naint
edenunt .Foar te
asemnt oarecuceapecar eopi erdusecuc tevaspt m nin
urm,nnoapt eancar eJar edodezbr casepent rucul care.
Nu idduseamac ir osti
senumel ecugl ast aredec tn
cl
ipancar eoapt ar sun nl init
eancperii,dezmet i
cind-o.
Tocmaibi ne,ccichi ar nmoment ulacela,auzideschi z
ndu- se
uabi idepehol .ntorcndu- sebr usc,seuitlauapecar eel
urmasi ntredintr-oclip nal t
a.Nut r
ebuiasovadacol o!
Se repezil a ua car e ddea spr e baia dint r
e cel e dou
dormitoareiodeschi se.Abi aapucso nchi dc liauzi
i
ntr
nd ncamer .Fredonauor ,f rsai bniciceamaimi c
i
dee nl egturcu aval anadeemo i
ipecar el est
rnise n
sufl
etulti
nereisaleso ii.

~185~
FOCURIASCUNSE

Capi
tol
ul16

-Ol i
via,masa t a mbel ugat m ui mete ntotdeauna,
spusePar kerVandi ver,car em ncasec tevapor i
idem ncare
tradiionalpent ruZi uaRecunot i
neiiacum sedel ectacuun
ultim pahardevi n.
Stteaul afelca npr i
masear cndVandi veriil
uaser masa
cuei .Ol i
viaiCar son nc teuncaptalmesei ,Par keriJar ed
deopar te,Laur eniKur t
,deceal al t
.
-Aae, spuseiKur t
.Tot ulaf ostdelicios,cuat tmaimul tcu
ctcompani aaf ostmi nunat .
M nacar enconj ur apahar ulluiJar edse nclet,
nchei eturil
e
deget elorseal bir,i arLaur enr masesur pri
nsc ndvzuc
sticlanusespar ge.
Sedepr t
adeKur t
,acr uipr ezen lngeadeveneadi nce

ncemaii nsupor tabi l


.ncdec ndseaezaser l amas, pulpa
l
uigr oasigr easel i
pisedeaeiielnupi er
duseni ciunpr i
lej
deaseapl ecaspr eea, ati
ng nd-o nvr eunf el.
Laur ennu ipi erduseant i
pat iafadeVandi ver i.Atttatl,
ctif iulo dezgust au cu f oral orbr utalt rdatpr i
n or i
ce
mi jl
oace.Er asi gur cf ceauconver saiepol it
icoiisepur tau
frumospent r
ucur mr eauceva.
ifur ecunosct oar eluiCar sonc ndsuger ssemu tecu
toiinsal onpent r uaser vicaf eaua,nemai fii
ndobl igat sst ea
l
ngKur t.
-Ne- apr utf oar ter ucnuv- am vzutc ndam f ostl a
Keypoi nt,doamnLocket t,spuseKur tdupceseaezar cut oii
.
Laur en se aezase pe un f otoliuI ng emi neu,ocol ind
canapeauadet eamcanucumvaKur tsst eaIngea.
Laur ennuvoi asmi ntspun ndciei ipr ear u,dar
neav ndceal tcevaszi c, apel laadevr .
-Jar edicumi neam f ostl apl i
mbar e nziuaaceea.
Nimeninuobser vexpr esiaocat depechi pulOl ivi
ei,cci

~186~
Sandr
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own

Jaredspuse:
-Doarer al unanoast rdemi er e, nu?
Kur tipst rst pni readesi ne.
-Aae.V- apl cutvi a al afer m, doamnLocket t
?
-A f osto exper i
en cu t ot uldeosebi t pent r
u mi ne,
domnul eVandi ver .Mi -apl cutuni ci tateaei .
nt impce irspundeal uiKur t,
iami ntidesear aprecedent
cu mel ancol i
e.Sesi m i
seat tdeapr oapedeso uleipent ru
primaoar .Oar ecese nt mpl asedeat uncidedeveni seat tde
receidedi stant ?Dat or itf apt uluicer aozidesr btoare, se

mbr casecuor ochi enoudi ngeor get t


edeuncenui uvi olet,
ti
indcer aocul oar ecar e iscot ea nevi den ochi i.Dac
Jaredobser vasecum ar t a, nuf cuni ciuncoment ar i
u.
-i e iplacef oar temul tvia al af er m,Jar ed,spusePar ker
studiindu- lcui retenie.
-Da,r spunseelscur tiapoisedusespr ebuf et,unde i
puseunpahardewhi sky,dupcar ese ndr ept spr ef ereast r,
adopt ndoat i
tudi nedet ot al Indi feren fa det o i
.
Tot ui ,tott i
mpulci nei ,ddusesemnedef urier ei
nut ,ceea
ceosper iapeLaur en.
-Ni ciodat n- am avutt i
mps nvsmocupdeof erm.
Poat ecos- midaiceval eciintr-ozi ,Jar ed.
Acest al uo nghi iturdewhi sky.
-Nuam t i
mpdedatl ec ii
,domnul eVandi ver .Dacvr eis

nv aiceva nl egt urcumuncal af erm,vpr opuns- of ace i


l
af elcat oatl umea- ncer cndigr eind.Aaaf cutiBeni
separ ecnui -amer sr udel oc.
Se ntoar sei lpr ivipePar kerameni n tor.
-i nv ainal t
par te, nul aKeypoi nt,laver tizel .
-Jar ed,c tet idenepol it
icos! lmust rOl i
via.Acum s ntem
partener ideaf acer icuf ami li
aVandi ver ,ziseeaz mbindu- il ui
Parker .
-Nui nceeacepr ivet emuncal af erm, spuseJar edd nd
peg twhi sky- uli ntor cndu- l
espat eledi nnoupent ruaseui ta
pef ereast r.
Ot cer est njeni t
oar e nvlui ncper ea.Ol iviasor bipu in
~187~
FOCURIASCUNSE

caf ea.Car son iacoper iuncscat .Laur enseui tcut risteela


Jar ed.t iacsi mt ecf ermadel aKeypoi nt, adevr ataluii ubire,
eraameni n at deaceii ndi vizilipsiidescr upul e.
-Euunulabi aat eptf estivit
at eade nceper eal ucr ril
or,
i
nt erveniCar sonvesel .Am ar anjatt otul naaf elnc tsse
bucur ent reagapopul aie.Osf i
eoadevr atsr btoare.
-Aa,Car son,zi se Par ker .Vr em ca oameni is t ie c
aceast cal ef eratecevadecar eorsf iem ndr icut oii
.
-Ve iluapar tel af est i
vitate, doamnLocket t?nt r
ebKur t.
Laur ensef stci.
-Pi ,cr edcda,spuseea,dupcar eadug: mpr euncu
so ulmeu, bine neles.
Nimeninuavucesmaispun,aacl ini teasecobor din
nou.
-Mi -
arf acemar epl cer eopar ti
ddebr idge.Maivr eas
joaceci neva? nt r
ebOl iviaaicr eiochiver ziscl ipeauipr ea
mait
nr imaivesel caor i
cnd.
Probabi lczdr obi semul tei nimil aNewOr leans.
-Arf imi nunat .Laur en,vr eis- mif iipar tener ? ntrebKur t
duc ndu- sespr eeai ntinzndu- iom ngr su .
Fiindu- isi lsoat ing,Laur ensef er ideel .i,dec nd

ncepusesiseadr esezepenume?
Csc nd, Car son ispuse:
-Hai ,Laur en.Ol iviaosj oacecuPar ker .Mi eunulnu- mi
placebr idge- ul .
Sedusespr euispusepest eumr :
-Mduc nbi bliotecst ragunpuidesomn.Tr ezi
i-m
cndt ermi na ijocul .
Laur en seui t neput i
nci oas spr eJar ed c nd acest ai ei
valvrtejdi n ncper ef r sspunni mnuini mi c.
Olivia z mbi n si nea ei .Nu voi a s admi t c si m iseo
oar ecar e ngr ij
or arec ndLaur enpomeni sede plimbar eal or.Cu
sigur ancJar eder adest uldedet ept nc tsnusei mpl i
ce
malmul tdec ter anecesar .Dardacnuof cea,Ol i
viaaveade
gnds ngr eunezeoevent ualapr opiere,bachi arsof acs
fieimposi bi l
.
~188~
Sandr
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own

Se aezar nj urulmeseide j oc di n col


ul ncper i
ii

ncepur f oar tecur nd.Laur en jucaf r


sf ienevoi esse
concent rezepr eat ar e.Seg ndeal aJar ed,ntrebndu- seundeof i
.
Nucr edeasf ipl ecatdi ncas.Cef cea,oar e?
Partida dur or e ntregi.La un momentdat ,Car son l ise
altur i,di pl omat ic,sus inu mai nt
io echi p iapoipe
ceal alt
.
CndRosa ianun cpr egt i
seogust arer ece nsuf r
ager ie,
toipr ot estar ,dar ncel edi nur m,seduser i iumpl ur
farfurii
lecuf ript urdecur can,sal aticondi ment e.Ol iviao
rugpeRosas- lchemepeJar ed.
Se napoi ar nsal oncuf ar furii
le nm i
ni.Laur enseaezpe
unadi ncanapel elemi cidint r -uncol alncper i
imai ntunecos.
Dndu- iseamapr eat
rziudegr eeal acomi s, lvzupeKur t
veni ndspr eea.
- N- aim ncatpr eamul t,Laur en,spuseelaez ndu- sel
ng
ea.
- Nupr eami -ef oame, mur mur ea.
Apr opier eal uier adeaj unspent rua-ialungaor icepof tde
m ncar e.
- N- ail uatni ciunar deimur at, i
a, gustpu i
n, spuseell und
unar deidepef ar furieiof er indu- i-
l.
Ea iami nt ifoar tebi nedepr i
masear pet recut nCor onado
ide l egumel e ce nsoeau f asol ea icar e pr eau at tde
i
nof ensi ve.
- Nu, mul umesc.Nu- mipl ac,spusescut urnddi ncap.
- Nuedi nacei ai ui.Ef oar t
ebun.Ui t
e,zi seelimucdi n
ardei ,mest ecndl inititpent rua- idovedicnup et eni mic.Hai ,
Laur en.
Sper ndcaveasscapedeeldac ifceapepl ac,ease
aplecimucpu indi nar dei,dupcar ese ndreptise
depr tdeel .
Cndseui t nal tpar t epent ruanu- imaivedeaz mbet ul
victorios, lzr ipeJar edcar e ipr i
veadesubar cad.

i ineapumni incl eta ipel ngt r
upist r
ngeadi ndi ni
furios.Ochi iluiaveauost rl uciredi aboli
c.Ea idduseama
~189~
FOCURIASCUNSE

ctde i ntimit rebuiau s ise f ipr utea iKur t,st nd pe


canapeauaaceea nntuner ic.
-Jar ed, spuseea noapt .
Kur t nt oar secapulbr usc,ur mr i
ndu- ipr ivirea.lvzu pe
Jaredisesi zcer af ur ios. nt or c
ndu- sedi nnouspr eLaur en, o
ciupidebr bi enj oac.
-Vezi , n-af ostr u.
Ea lmpi nse,pr actic,iseduse nf ugdupJar ed,car e
i
eisedi n ncper e.
lprinsedi nur m nholi nt insem napent rua- lopri.
-Jar ed, spuseeaiapoi idr esegl asul .Jar ed,eu...
-Taci ! ist ri
gelsmuci ndu- ibr aul.
Chi puliseschi monosidef urie.Eaarf ivr utsst r
igel ael ,s-l
i
mpl or eis- lloveasc nacel ait imp.Or ice, numais- it earg
aceaexpr esi em nioasiacuzat oar edepef a.
Rosasel i
pideper ete, dor indspoat t recef rsf ievzut ,
darLaur enozr ii,tiindcer ai nut i
lsmai ncer ces- lmpace,
sedusespr eea.
-Rosa,mduc ncamer amea.Mdoar ecapul ngr ozitor.
Vreismscuzit unf a acel or lalioaspe i
?
-Si ,seor a,opt iRosa,sper ndcJar ednuaveasspun
nimic.
Nuof cu, darpr i
vim ni os nur maso ieisal ecar esedepr ta.
Jar ed iapr i
nseunal tt rabucist inseb uldechi britstnd
l
af ereast racamer eil ui.Opr iveapeLaur encar esepl imba ncet
de-al ungulgar duluicar e mpr ejmui apar teadi nf aagr di nii
.
Oarenu ier af ri
g?Bada, ier a, ispuseelvz nd-oct remur
uor.Cenai bacut assepl i
mbepeaf ar nt oi ulnopii?
Vandi ver iiplecaser , nsf rit.Jar edavusesenevoi edet oat
stpnireadesi necasnu- luci dpeKur tVandi vercum nal ui.
Nu iami nteasmaif isim itvr eodat at
taf ur ieiur doarl a
vedereauneiper soane.
naint espl ece, Kur tse nt oar sespr eJar ed, spunnd:
-O smui tdupvoil af est i
vitate.SpercLaur enseva
simimaibi nep nat unci .Mi -arpr eaf oar ter usnuvi n.
Zmbet ull uier ai roni c,i arJar ed i ncl etpumni ipent r
ua
~190~
Sandr
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nu-lpocni nfa aaceeanesuf erit


.
Apoi ,ipet recusec tevaor e mbt ndu-sedi nce ncemai
mul t.Zgomot ulpapuci lorl uiLaur enpr inhol ist rpunsemi ntea

nvl uit nal cooliascul t.


Se mi r
c nd auziua de l ai ntrare deschi zndu- se i

nchi zndu- se.Del af er east ral uiovzucobor nddepever and


i ndr ept ndu- sespr epoar tadef ier.Pur tauncapotpecar el
maivzuseipr ul icdea nval uripespat e. i ncruci ase
bra elest r
nspent r uaseapr adef ri
gulser i
idenoi embr i
e.
C eaua! ispuseelr zbunt or .Sej ucaat
tdef rumoscu
buf onull adeVandi ver .Avusesedr ept atenl egt urcuea.Er a
oint rigant ,oopor tuni st ,ot rfcar et achinaichi nui a,fr s
recunoascni ciodat .
Eh,pu in mipas, ispuseel .Dar ipsa.Tocmaiacest
l
ucr u lfr m nta. ipsai ldur eadef iecaredat c nd lvedea
pet icl osulacel adeVandi verapr opiindu- sedeea.
Jar ed o pr iviacum nl umi na l uni icar e if cea pr uls
sclipeasc.Se spr i
jinide poar t il s capul nj os,pr ul
cz ndu-ipeobr aji.Spat elesub ireier ascos nevi den de
capot ulmul atpe cor p i ,si m i
nd o dur ere acut n par t
ea
i
nf erioar at rupul ui,Jar ed iami nticum ar ta doarpar
ial

mbr cat .Luo nghi itur dewhi sky.


Dact r
ebui asai boso iedeconveni en ,decenuput ea
sf ieunaur t?Decet rebui asf ieLaur en?
Avent ur il
el uiamor oaseer aubi necunoscut e ncapi tal,ca,
deasemenea,i nal teor ae.Pr ost i
tuat el
esebt eaupent r
u
ansadea-iof eriser vici i
le, nf l
cr areacucar ef ceadr agost e
eraur mat deo nonal an car epr ovocai nstinct eleor icrei
femei .liubeaucuper ver sitat epent ruacestl ucr u.
Darc ndf usesel aAust in, nudor isesseducl ani ciunuldi n
l
ocur il
el uiobi nui te.Avea nmi nt enumaichi pull uiLaur encar e
nu mail sal ocal tor a.Tr upuleier acelpecar e lvedea n

nchi pui re,celpecar e ldor eacuar doar e.


Fur iospeexi sten adecl ugrpecar eoducea,sef orase,la
unmomentdat ,sseducl aunuldi ncel emaiexcl usive clubur i

din or a.Fusesepr imi tcu f oar temul tent uziasm.Tut ur orl e
~191~
FOCURIASCUNSE

fusese dorde el .Cst ori


a lst ri
case pe Jar ed Locket t
? l

ntrebaser .
Busewhi sky.Jucase.Dar ,cndveni sevr emeasal eago
femei ecucar esur cencamer , sepl ictisisesmaipr etindc
sesi m eabi ne.
Fc ndunef ortpentr
uaf iobi ect i
v,lest udi epecel ecar eise
pli
mbaupr i
nf a provocator.Unaer apr eagr eoaie.Al taer apr ea
obrazni c.iaamaidepar te.
n cel e di n ur m,dezgust atde acell oc ide el nsui ,
mor mi seoscuzise ntorsesel ahot el.St ndsi ngur npat ,i
dduse seama c dur erea aceea cumpl itt rebuia neapr at
ali
nat, aacapel aselaunmi jl
occar enu- imaif usesenecesar

ncdel anceput uladolescen ei.


Dupaceea, ntimpcesel saf uratdesomn,seconvi nsese
c,numaidi n nt
mpl arestrigasenumel el uiLaur en nper n n
cli
pael i
ber ri
i.
Art r
ebuispl ecchiaracum.Aput east vlescc tevat
rfe
bunep ndi mi nea .Darnuvoi apeni menial tcineva.Nu, i
spuseel .Art rebuismpor tcaunbr batis- mit vl esc
proprianevast .
Laur ensesi m i
sengrozitorc ndser etrsese ncamer aei
preti
nz ndcodur eacapul .Set rnti
sepepatipl nsese,aa
cum nu maif cuse demul t.Lacr imi le ier au amar e ise
datorauf uriei.iscldasebat i
staiper nap nc ndisecaser
toatelacr imi l
e.
Elenabt usel auiLaur enoal ungaseasi gurnd-ocse
simeamaibi neicnuaveanevoi edec tdesomn.
lauzipeJar edi nt
r
nd ncamer al ui.Casaf usese nvl ui t
n
l
initec tvat imp,c ndeasedezbr caseisev r
se nat ernut .
Somnul ,ns,nuvenea.I medi atce nchi deaochi i,vedeachi pul
l
uiJar ed.Buzel eschi monosi tededi spr eer auat tdedi feritede
celecar eosr ut
aser.Ochi icar eopr i
viser cudumni enu
fuseser acei aicar eopr i
visercut andr e epedeasupr aear f ei
roii
.
Cut
ndsscapedeacel ei magi nichi nui toar e,ipusese
capot ulii eisesi apuinaer .Noapt eaer aseni nif r
umoas.
~192~
Sandr
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Tot uler ascl dat nl umi naar gi nt


ieal unii.St elelest rluceau
apr oape.
Laur en nu t i
ac nd isef or maseacelg nd n mi nt e,dar ,
apr usedi ntr-odat .S ntndrgost itdeJar edLocket t. liubesc
peJar ed.
Pnat uncinucunoscuseni cisensulacel uicuv nt,ni ciacea
pasi unemi stui toare.
Fiecar eg ndaleisel egadeJar ed.Fi ecar ecuv ntpecar e l
spuneaer a nf unciedeceeaceaveasg ndeascel .Or ice
fcea,or ictdel i
psitdei mpor tan ,icut a nt ainapr obar ea. i
domi nag ndur i
le.Arf ivruts mpar tcuelt oat epr obl emel ei
toat ebucur ii
lel ui.Sf ifostdr agost e?Oar e nt otdeaunapr ovoca
at
tasuf er in?
liubeapeJar ed.Z mbi nd nsi neaei ,int r ncasiur c
scr il
e.
Jaredst teachi ardupu ncamer aei ,aa nc tnu lvzu
dec tdupceo nchise.ire i
nuun iptdespai m.
-Jar ed, m- aisper iatdemoar te,ngi mea i
nndu- im nape
i
nim.Cedor et i
?
Elpr eagat adeat ac.At unciobser veapent rupr imaoar c
duhneaawhi skyicochi i iscl i
peaudi abol ic.Cmaa ier a
deschei at i iat
rnapest epant aloni .
-Jar ed?spuseeat remur torif cuunpas napoi .
-Cecr ezi cvr eau, doamnLocket t?
Voceal uier agr oasiaspr ,i art onulpecar e ir ost ise
numel e, urt.Ser epezispr eea, intuind- odeper ete.

iapsbuzel epeal eei ntr-unsr utbr utalcar eof ors

ntr edeschi dgur a.Li mbal uil acomi -oi nvad nt i


mpce i
l
ipeat rupult ar edealei .Cat ar ama impungeabur ta.El i
strecur ungenunchi ntrepul pel eei ,for
ndu- lessedepr teze.
La nceput ,Laur enf uat
tdeul uit,nc tnur eac ion,dar
acum ncepusi ntr
e npani c. llovi nzadarcupumni i
, ncap
ipest eumer i,iferifaaiopt iagitat:-Nu, Jar ed.Ter og, nu!
-Nu?Decenu?mor mielpr intredi ni.Et inevast amea,
doamnLocket t.Aact rebui es- ifacidat or i
af ademi ne.
Din momentcet e-
aidr uitial t
or a,nu maiam chefsf iu
~193~
FOCURIASCUNSE

refuzat .
Ear ecunoscug ndi real i
psi t
del ogicauneimi nit ulburat e
deal cool , daropar tedi nceeacespuseseer aadevr at.Er a,
ntr-
adevr , so i
al ui.Cuvi ntelel uiir sunau nmi nte.Er aso ialui.
ncet i medi atsmaiopunr ezi sten ielf uc tpe- acis
cad.Eanuf cuni ciunef or ts- lopr easc ncl i
pa ncar ei -a
desf cutcapot ulii -asf iatcmaadenoapt esub iredel ag t
pnl abr
u.El idesf tpr ivireacus niiei ,acoper i
ndu- icu
brutalitatecum inil
eist r
ng ndu- icui nt eniadea- ipr ovoca
durer e.At eptndu- sel aor eac ie, darnevz ndni ciuna, iddu
seamadeodat ceanuopunear ezi sten .Opr i
vi nochi .
Ea isus inupr ivireacucal m,f r t eam.Er apr i
vireaunui
animalmi ccar e int indevenaj ugul arspr eat acat orncl i
pa n
care idseamacor ice mpot rivireezadar nic.
Ni cidacarf it urnatapr ecepeel ,nui -
arf istinsf ocul
pasiuni iat
tde r epede.St t ea nemi cat nf aa ei ,r espi r
nd
anevoi os.Dup c teva moment e, it r
ecu deget ele pr i
n pr ,
fcndunef ortext raor dinardea- ir ecpt ademni t
ateac tdec t
.
Ser ezemdeea, darnucupasi uneadi nur mcuc t
evacl i
pe,
iilipif runteadeper etedeasupr acapul uiei ,frecndu- i-o ntr-
o
partei nal ta,cupr i
nsdedur ere.Ea isim im inil
epes ni,dar i
dduseamac itrgeacapot ulpent rua- iacoper igol i
ciunea.
C ndr espiraia ir evenil anor mal ,elseddu napoi , i
nndo
uvidi npr ulei ntredeget e.Depr t
ndu- se, cont inuso i
n,
pnc ndf u ntinsl amaxi mum iapoi iddudr umulpu inc te
puin.Ur mr ifiecar ef i
rdeprst recur ndu- i
-sepr i
nt r
edeget ei
czndu- ilal ocpeumr .Dupaceease ntoar seii eidi n
camer ,
nchi zndua ncet nur mal ui.
Laur en se pr buil a podea i i nbuisuspi nele n
mat erialulcapot ul ui.
Adouazidedi mi nea af l
cJar edpl ecase napoil aAust in.
Ospt m nmait
rzi u,Laur enpr imiunpi anmi cu ,car ef usese
cumpr atdeunanumedomnJar edLocket t .

~194~
Sandr
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own

Capi
tol
ul17

Dat acer emoni eipent r


u nceper eaconst rucieici if erat efu
stabi li
tpent r
uci nci spr ezecedecembr i
e.Toat l umeasper ac
vremea avea s f ief rumoas.To il ocui tori
ior aul uier au
emo iona iiar deaudener bdar e.Fanf ar amuni cipal f cea
repet ii
i mpr euncu ceaal iceul ui.Or atoriiiscr iau i i
rescr iaudi scur sur il
e.Seor gani zau nt recer ispor ti
veisel uar
i
ar zi nt r
egide p nz pent ru a decor a pl at f
orma nlat n
mi j
loculpar cului.
Laur en ipet recusef oar temul tt impsi ngur di ncauzc
Jar eder apl ecat . ncnu ir eveni sedepeur maocul uisuf erit

nZi uaRecunot inei .iar tasedi nnouaceapar teacar act eului


sucar eer avi olent i nf ricot oar e.t iac, nmar epar te,
furiadi nsear aaceeasedat or asepr ezen eif amilieiVandi ver .La
aceast as- aadugatf apt ulcavzut -ocuKur tiapoicant i
tatea
deal cool consumat ir ezul tatuln- af ostpr easur prinzt or.
Laur en nc semaicut remur a c nd iami ntea chi pull ui
simul
ndpasi unea.Avusesedeg ndsopedepseascf izic,dar

ir ni sesuf letul.Dacl -
arf iput utur ,t otularf ifostmaisi mpl u.
Dar ,di nmomentce liubea, insul telel uiodur eauimaimul t.
Tandr eeacucar e iat insesepr ul nai ntespl ece nsear a
aceeaapr oapeodi strusese.Dur ereaisuf er i
napecar el eci ti
se

nochi iluif useser maimul tdec tput ea ndur a.Oar evoi ses- i
cear scuze?Or gol i
ulmascul ins- lf i mpi edicats- iexpr i
me
regr etul?
Plnsese nt imp cesedescr ca pi anul .S f ii inutl ocul
respect uluiiaf ec iuni ilui?Er aundargener osisuper b,darea
arf ipr eferatuncuv ntcal dipl indei ubi re.
Dupceseg ndiovr eme, idduseamacJar ednut ia
cum s- icear i er tar e.Ea,maimul tdec tor icine al tcineva,
ajunsese s t i
e c tde m ndr u er a.Nu i -
arf icer utscuze
niciodat ver bal ,aac it ri
mi seseacelpi anscump.

~195~
FOCURIASCUNSE

Laur enc ntal api an nf iecar ezi .Dupat


teal unidec ndnuo
maif cuse, deget ele inepeni ser i ili
pseaf l
ui di t
at eapecar e
oavusese nai nte.Exer st impdeospt m np nc ndsi mic

ir ecpt asepu i
ndi nabi litateaant erioar.
Cnt a n dup- ami aza c nd Jar ed i ntr n cur te cl are pe
Char ger. ncet inic nd auzipr i
mel e acor duri.Descl ec i

ncuvi inabsentc ndPepeveni nf ugdi ngr ajd.


Lscal ul ngr ijaluiPepeiur c ncett rept el edel aintrar e.
Nuvoi asoder anj ezeier anel init i
t npr ivinaat i
tudi ni
iei.Nu
trebui sesf or ezeni ciof emei e nvi a alui .i ncer cases- i
forezeso ia!Dumnezeul emar e!Er apl indedi spr eidedezgust
fadi nsi ne.Cevaf acec nd lvavedea?Pr obabi lcaveas- i
str
nghai nel e nj urultr upul uiisf ug ngr ozit.Nuarf iput ut
socondamne.
Intrnd ncet n holi nchi znd ua,se ndr ept n vrf ul
picioar elorspr esal oncasnuzdr ngnedi npi nt eni .
Laur en lvzu di n clipa n car eapr u sub ar cad.Ar ta
aproapel af elcaat uncic ndi ntrase ndor mi toruleipr imaoar .
Hai nel e,pl r i
a, t oculpi stolul ui,cizmel e, t
ot uler ai dent ic,
naf ar a
atit
udi niilui.At uncif usesesar cast iciar ogant .Acum pr eaun
bie elt i
mi d.I ni maiset opiiui tdeor icer ezer v.
-Jar ed!st rig ea z mbi nd f er i
ci t
i ii eir epede n

nt
mpi nar e.
imul umescpent rupi an.Ni cinupo is- i
nchi pui
ctdemul tmipl ace.
imul umesc.
Ser i
di c nv rfulpi cioar el ori lsr ut peam ndoiobr ajii
.
Elf u at tde sur prins, nctamu i,ui t
ndu- se n aceiochi
cenui iisc nt eiet ori.Nuexpr i
mauni cioacuza ie, niciunpi cde
furiesauder epul sie.Er acompl etul uit.
M inileeiisemaispr ij
ineau ncpeumer i.Par f umulpecar e
ajunseses- lasoci ezecuea lnvl ui.Chi puleier a nflcrati

mbuj orat .Buzel e ierau uor nt redeschi se,ademeni t


oarei
dor nice.Er amul tpr eamul t.
Cndot rasespr eel ,
of cucuf oar temul tpr uden , depar c
s-arf itemutsnu- lrespi ng.Gemudepl cer ec ndea il ipi
trupuldeall ui.O nconj urcubr a elecugr ij
i iascunsef aa

n pr uleibogat .C nd buzel el uil e ntlnir pe al e eier au


~196~
Sandr
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own

i
mpl orat oar e.Pr imi nd i medi atr spunsuleidul ce,cpt mai
mul t ndr zneal i icont urbuzel ecuv rfullimbi i.
-Jar ed, ngi mea naintecal imbal uilacomsor educl a
tcer e.
Osr ut nnebuni t,caunbr batcar ef usesecondamnatl a
moar teicar ef usesegr a i
atapoi .ibugur a nsetat .ncel edi n
urm, sedespr i
nser di nmbr iar e,cur egr et.
-Ce- arf is-isco ipl r i
aisst aiai cipu in? lntrebea
cuovocet r
emur t oarei iscoasepl riast rngnd- olapi ept

nai ntedeai -oda.Vr eisbeiceva?


-Nu, imul umesc, Laur en.Numi -e...numi -
eset e.
-Aivr easmauzic ntndceva?Poat ecr ezict al
ent ulmeu
numer itunasemeneapi anmi nunat .
-Te- am auzi tdeaf ar.Af ost ...C n ifoar tefrumos.
-St aij osir elaxeaz- te,
linvi teacubl
nde e ntorcndu- se
l
api an.
Elseaezpemar gineacanapel ei,cont ientdehai nelel ui
prf uit
e.Sesi meast ingheripeni bil.Cenai base nt
mpl acuel ?
Eac ntc tevapi ese,i arel ipr ivif asci natdeget elecar eal ergau
pecl ape.Spat eleeier adr ept ,capul ncl i
natic t
evauvi ede
prscpaser di n coc nt i
mpul mbr iriil orcz ndu- ipe
obr ajiipeceaf .
O cl ip,Jar edsi m icum isepuneunnod ng t
.Dacnu
plecai medi at,sef ceader s.Ser i
di cbr usc.
-E f oar tef r umos,Laur en,spuse el .C nimaibi ne dec t
oricinedi nceipecar ei-am auzi tvr eodat .
Acum t rebui esmducsussmspl .I eir epededi n

ncper e.
Deget elel uiLaur enseopr i
rdeasupr acl apel ort impdec t
eva
cli
pe,dupcar er encepusc nt e.Muzi ca lnso ipeJar edp n

ncamer .
O vor bpecar eLaur enoauzi seadeseadec ndveni se n
Texaser ac,dacexi stunl ucr usi gur nl egt urcuvr emea
dinacear egi une, acest aer acnuseput eapr evedea.Ni meninu
arf ispuscusi gur an cozidedecembr ie nCor onadoarf i

nceputseni nir ece, per fectpent r


uact i
vitilepr ogramat e.De
~197~
FOCURIASCUNSE

dragull uiCar sonWel l


s, Laur enf ubucur oasdeacestl ucr u, cci
elifcusegr i
ji,munci seipl nui set otul,aa nc t,naj unul
ceremoni ei,credeacvaexpl oda.
Fami li
aLocket tiCar sonseadunar nsuf rager iepent rua
l
uaunmi cdej unur ia nai nt edeapl ecaspr eloculundeaveas
seconst ruiascnouagar .Jar edar tasplendi dcupant al oniilui
negriist r
mibga inci zmel e nalte,cuhai naneagr pest e
cmaai macul ativest adi npi eledecul oar eaunt ul ui.Pl ri
a
neagrf usesepl iatiat rna ncui er uldinhol .Ol iviaspusecar
fipref
er atcaelspoar tecevael egant ,dareloi gnor .
Laur enpur tauncost um del ndeunr ou nchi scuobl uz
dindant elcr em pededesubt .Fust aaveaot alie nal tcar ese

nchei acuuncol chi arsubs ni .LuiJar ed ier agr eus- i


desprindpr i
vir
eadeacelpunctiarf ivrutcaeasnu- ipun
j
achet a.
Car soner aagi tatizdr ngneat acmur iep nc ndOl iviai
spusecoener va.At unci ,el icer uscuzeumi lisemail i
niti
oarecum.
Laur en ipusepl riacuvoal et.Ur moagi taie ncar ese
l
uar mnui le,hai ne n pl us, n cazcaveassuf l
ev ntul
dinsprenor d,pt ur
ii ,lainsi sten eleRosei , uncocusandvi ur i
.
nsfr
i t,plecar.
Jaredl eaj utpeLaur enipemamal uisur ce nt r
sur ,
urmatedeCar son,dupcar eel ncl ecpeChar ger ,alcr uipr
auriu scl ipea dat or i
tl uiPepe car e l esl ase cu gr ij
l a
i
nst r
uc iunileluiJar ed.
-Decenumer gi cunoi ,Jar ed?
-S- ll as pe Char ger s pi ard t oat di st rac ia? Nu,
mul
umesc, mam.
Laur enseui tlaeliel i nt
lnipr i
vir
ea.Ea i nel egeaf oar te
binemot ivul.Lear tat ut ur orc, nci udanoi iaf acer i,Jar ed
Lockett ,cait atllui,rm neamaipr esusdet oat e, unf er mier .
Pepe conduse t r
sur a pe st rzile oraul ui. nl oculunde
aveaussepunbazel enoi igr i,seadunaser dej aomul ime
deoameni ,darseddur l aopar ter espect uoipent rua- ilsas
tr
eacpeceicar ef cuser cavi suluneicif erat esdevi n
~198~
Sandr
aBr
own

realitat e.
Laur en er a cont ient de pr ivir i
lel orcur i
oase.Se si m i
i
nt i
mi dat c ndJar edvenil
ngt r
sur iol udemi j
locd nd- o
j
os,dupcar eocondusespr el oculundeCar soniOl iviase
altur aser cel or l
al idemni t
ar i.Seaf l
auacol opr i
mar ulor aul ui
Cor onado,j udect or ul ,unr epr ezent antalst atul uidi ndi strictul
respect i
v, civapr eo iiceidoiVandi ver.
Jar edo inudem nt ott impulc tvor bipr imar ul ,d ndu- i
drumuldoarc ndt rebuisar unceel nsuiol opat depm nt.
Laur ener am ndr c istteaal tur i
.ijucar olulf oar tebi ne,

ispuseeacut rist ee.Daceaer acont i


ent def apt ulc
oameni iur mr eauf iecar emi car eaf i
uluilorpr efer atiaso iei
acest uia,er asi gur cielsi m eaacestl ucr u.O t ratacuo
polite epl inder espect ,dar nochi iluicaambr asevedeao
noucl dur .Ea i nbuiungeamt ncl i
pa ncar ecot ull ui i
atinses nulc nd i inum napet recut pedupbr aullui .Seui t
l
aear epede, darnu i ndepr tbr a ul.
Duc ndu- secut oii npar c,ur car pepl atformacar ef usese

nl at n cent r ul acest uia pent r


u cer emoni a of icial.
Repr ezent ant ulst at ul ui lpr ezent pe Par kerVandi ver ,car e

ncepus inundi scur scu nflorituridespr eavant aj eleunei


comuni tideci sessedezvol teisseext ind.Cor onado,
spuseel ,eraoast f eldecomuni tate.
-Cal eaf er atvapr i
lejuidezvol tar eacomer ului,of er i
ndmai
mul teocazi iipr of i
tur it uturorl ocui tor i
loracest uior ami nunat .
Sntem m ndr icavem unmi cr ol n nfpt uireaacest uil ucr u.
Vom ur mr icumul ti nt erespr ogr esulpecar elve if ace.Am dor i
caf i
ecar edi ndumneavoast rsr eal i
zezec tdemul tve iavea
dec tigat .Vom f iimai nc ntaic nd vom venisvor bim
despr e nchei er eaconst ruci
eiacest eicif erate.
Izbucni r c tevaapl auzeiseauzi rctevar set e.
-Exi stci nevacar enuest eal t uridenoiast zi,darcar e,
sntsi gur ,arf il uatpar t
e cu bucur i
el a aceast f est ivitat e.
DomnulBenLocket tal uptatanidezi lepent ruaaducecal ea
ferat nacestor a.
Laur enr iscopr ivi respr eJar ed,alcr uichi pdeveni ser igid
~199~
FOCURIASCUNSE

caost nc.Ser ugssest p neasc.


-BenLocket tarf if ostm ndr usst eaast ziai ciisvad
roadel e ef or tur i
lorsal e.Pl ngem di spar iial uiil e s ntem
recunosct orivduveiif i
uluil ui ,car espr ijinaceast af acer e
dint otsuf letul .
Izbucni rr opot edeapl auzeiur alenci nst eal uiBenLocket t
iaf ami li
ei sale.
Dupal tec tevami nut edeor at or i
e,Par kerVan-di verl ul oc,
i
arpr imar ul iof er ipodi umull uiJar ed.Acest a,ns,r efuz
politicos.Publ iculer adezamgi t,daruni iiami nteaudezi ua
cndf usesedecor atl a ntoar cer eadi nr zboi .At uncir efuzases
vor beascdat or i
tdur eriipecar eosi m eapent r
uceicar enu
avuseser nor oculdeamaiveniacas.Seauzi rmur mur ede
apr obar e i n eleger e. Fuseser ngr ijorai di n cauza
escapadel orl ui,daror icineaveaochisvad iddeaseama
csecst orisecuoadevr atdoamn,cr eia ieradevot at.
Csni cia lpot ol i
se.Fr ndoi al.
Erabi nect o ii ndr ept aser at en i
aspr eJar ediso i
al ui,
ccidacs- arf iui tatl aOl i
via,arf ivzutexpr esiadef uriedepe
chipulei .Er asupr atpef iuleipent rucnu iludase npubl i
c
peVandi ver iiconst r
uc iaci ifer ate.
For mal i
tilese nchei arit oat l umeaer apr egtitsse
simt bi ne.But oai e de ber et receau ncr cat e n cr ue,se
organi zaudi ver se ntrecer i,iarf anf arainst al at nchi oc ncepu
s-ii nt er pret ezer eper tor i
ull i
mi t
at .
CndJar edoaj utapeLaur enscoboar edepepl atform,
unuldi nt iner iveni nf ugspr eel .Chi pul ier a mbuj or at,iar
pr uldecul oar eamor covul uiar tacaoaur eol nf lcri.
-Jar ed,Jar ed,osf i
eunconcur sdet rager el aintim- au
tri
mi sdupt i
ne.Hai de.Teat eapt t oi.
Jar edz mbic ndvzuexuber an aput iului .
-Laur en, i-lpr ezi ntpeBi llyHoi t.Billy,doamnaLocket t
.
Bi at ulddudi ncapr epede.
-Tr ager el a int , hm?cont inuJar ed.Decet e-aut r
imisdup
mi ne, Bi ll
y?
-Ah, cedr acu' , tii.
..
~200~
Sandr
aBr
own

Dndu- iseamacespusese, Bill


yr oip n nvrfulur echilori
sentoar sespr eLaur en.
-Vr ogsmI er tai
,doamnLocket t,ziseelr uinat,i
neput
ndsopr iveasc nochi ,iseadr esdi nnoul uiJar ed:La
naiba,Jar ed,t iicet icelmaibun intadepeai ci.N- osse
i
nni ciunconcur sdacnupar ti
cipi .
Era at tde emo ionat , nctcel elalte cuvi nte nepot rivit
e
scpar neobser vat e.
-Laur en, cezi ci
?Aivr easasi t il aunconcur sdet r
ager ela
i
nt?
Ea izmbi .
-Separ ect oatl umeaarf idezamgi t
dacn- aipar t
icipa.
-Os- of acnumaidacvi isasi t i.
Bill
ysemut a depeun pi ciorpeal tul
,abi a st pnindu- i
entuziasmul .
-Vr og, doamnLocket t!
-Bi ne, condu- ne, spuseear znd.
Bill
ysr i nsusiscoaseunchi ot ,dupcar edduf ugas- i
anun epecei lal
icvedet aer apedr um.
Jared ist r i
gl uiPepes- iaduct oculipi stoluldint rsur .
Laur en lpr ivipref c ndu-sesupr at.
-Ait iutt ott i
mpulcvaf iunast feldeconcur s,nu?iai
avutdeg ndspar t
ici pi.
-Eh, ebi neca, dinc nd nc nd, sf iiimplor at,
ziseelz mbi nd
fermect or .Sperdoarsnumf acder s.Eevi dentcam de
aprator eput ai
e.
Seduser spr ebr baiicar eseadunaupent ruconcur s.Uni i

iver ifi
caur evolver ele, nt i
mpceal i
ipuneaupar iuri
.Acest ea
eraunmar epar tenf avoar eal uiJar ed.
Bill
yic
ivadi nami ciiluiaezaser st i
cleicut iica i
ntepe
ungar daf latl aodi st an devr eot reizecideyar zidest ejarulcel
mar ecar eser veadr eptbaz.
Jared iscoasehai naii -oddul uiLaur en, i
arPepe iaduse
tocul.Elver ific pi stolul, nvrti
nd ncr ct oruli ncuvi i
nnd
mul
umi t.Laur en iami ntic ise spusese c vaquer os

ncr caunumaici ncicamer eal eCol t-ur i


lorpecar emaj ori
tatea
~201~
FOCURIASCUNSE

dintreeil ef ol oseau.Pr i
macamer er a ntotdeaunagoal pent ru
cauni icowboynesbui
isnuse mput esi ngur ingenunchi
sau ndeget eledel api cioar eor ipevr eunpr ieten ntr-
osi tua ie

ncor dat .
Regul ament ul f u anun at de Car son car e,dup t oat e
apar en ele, f
useseal esdr eptar bitru.
-Fi ecar ear edr ept ulst ragdet reior i.O gr eealie
descal ificat ,spuseel .
Ceizececoncur en iseal iniar.Jar eder aul ti
mul ,lzr ipe
Kur tVandi vercar est t easpr ijinitdeuncopac,darnuur mr ea
concur sul ,ciopr iveapeLaur en.Jar edseui t
spr eeaiovzu
arunc ndu- iunz mbetde ncur ajare. i ndrept at eniadi nnou
asupr a nt recer ii.
Devenipl ictisitorc ndt oisedovedi raf ini te i
ntaigr ozavi .
Dar ,ncet ulcu ncet ul, unulc teunul ,ncepur sgr eeasc.Mai
rmaser t reiconcur en i,print recar eiJar ed,i arcinevasuger
s ncer cesseni mer easct reidi ntre i
nt epr inar mr irepetat e.
Primulconcur entseduse nf aal ini
eit rasepepm nti, cnd
seddu semnal ul ,t raser api d,ar m nd pi stol ulcu dext eri
tat e.
Nimer itrei i
nt e.Aldoi leani mer idoardoust i
cl e.
Jaredseaez nf aalini ei.Scoaseunt r
abucdi nbuzunar ul
del api ept ,apr insecunonal an unbdechi br i
tpecar e l
apr opiedet rabucit rasec tevaf umur i ntimpcet oat lumea l
priveacuner bdar eicuui mi ref a decal mulsu.Pi stoluler a

nt oc,deiLaur en lvzuse ncr cndu- lnt impcet rseser


ceilali
.
-Spune- mic ndet igata, Car son, spuseelpest eumr .
-Aideg ndst ragidel aol d? lntrebCar sonui mi t
.
-Da.Spune- mi ,
zi seelcal m, deiLaur en isesi zncor dar ea.
Car sonr idicdi numer iist rig:
-Tr age!
Cu o vi tez ul uitoar e,Jar ed scoase pi stoluldi nt oc i
gloan ele
ni rat
tdei ute, nc tseauziosi ngur mpuct ur
prelungi t.C ndf umulser isipi ,toivzur c,pegar d,numai
rmsesedec tosi ngur st icl.Ni mer i
seci ncidi nase!
To iceicar easi st aser icei laliconcur en iscoaser ur al e
~202~
Sandr
aBr
own

put erni ce.Bi ll


yf ceat umbepr i
ni ar bar ece.Laur en bt u di n
pal me nc ntat, i
arJar edpr imipal mepespat ecudezi nvol t
ur .
-Omai ndet rasgl oan e, astaet i.
-Maii utedec tunar pecucl opo eitur bat.
-Am auzi tcRudyMendezel af eldei ute.S-arzi cec
ti
cl osu' deBeni -
a nv atbi nebi eii.
Laur ener aat tdeemo ionat nc tnu lobservpeKur tcar e
seaf lal
ngea.
-Pcatcnu- ipoat est p niidar ulbe ieilafeldebi ne
cum st p net e Col t-ul.Ea se r sucii mediat,furioas,dar
apr opi ereal uiJar edo mpi edicsdeaor epli
cpemsur . n
l
ocs- imaiacor deat en ie,lf elicitpeJar edi lajuts- i
punhai na.
-Jar ed, aifostext r
aor di nar.
Net ul bur at,Kur tinter veni :
-Laur en,am osur prizpent rut ine.Vi no,vreaus- iar t
ceva.
-Jar ed? ntrebear idi cndu- ipr ivirea.
Nut iacum s- lr ef uzepeKur tf r sf acoscen nf a a
tutur or.
-E nr egul ,Laur en.ieuavr easvdsur pr
iza,spuseel
l
u nd- oposesi vdebr aiur mndu- lpeKur tprinmul
ime.
Unmi cgr upseadunase nj urulunuil ucr ui,abiac ndKur t
dduoameni ilaopar tenepol iti
cos, Laur enobser vcer avor ba
deunaut omobi l.
Vzuseaaceva n Car olinadeNor d,maial es n cur sul
vizitelorf cut e nPal ei gh,darnuvzuseabsol utni ciuna n
Cor onado.Sepr eacni menial tcinevanuvzuse,ccimai na
fcusenza i
e.
-EunOl dsmobi le,unuldi nmodel eleal i
ment atecubenzi n,
sel udKur t
.Avr easf aciopl imbar ecumi ne,Lauren.
Aut omobi luler af oar tef r
umos.Ar i
pileicapot aer audeun
negr u scl i
pi t
orcu o dung r oie.Cauci ucuril
e aveau pl cile
l
at eraleal be,i arscaunel eer au mbr cat e npieleneagr .Dou
farur ideal amseaf laupepar teadi nf aamai niiit otdi n
alamer aum ner ulschi mbt or uluidevi tezeicl axonul.
~203~
FOCURIASCUNSE

-Pi .... ..
-S ntsi gurcso ult u,spuseelaccent undcuv ntui ,nuse
vasupr a.Nu- iaa, Jar ed?
Cont i
entdet o iceicar e iascul tauf iecarecuv nt,Jar ed
z
mbi .
-Cr edcl uiLaur en ivaf acef oart
emar epl cer e,spuseel .
Hai, dragamea, d- mivoi est eaj ut.
Ea ivzucut el
edi nj ur ulgur iicndour cat ent naut omobi l
.
Arf ivrutspr otest eze, dart iacnupoat e.
Kur tse duse nf a a mai ni iif cu mar e spect acoldi n
porni r
ea mot or uluicu aj utor ulmani velei
.Acest a pr i
nse vi a
sco
ndunzgomot ngr ozi tor.Dupaceeaur cl avol an,l
ng
Laur en,car e it rasef ust amaidepar t
edepul pal uigr oas.
Automobi lulpor ni.Laur en iar uncopr ivi
renel inititluiJar ed,
daracest aseui ta ncr unt atl aKur t
.
Por ni rpedr umulcar educeaspr eruiseapr opi ardemal .
Traver sar apoiunpod ngusticont i
nuar smear gpemal ul
cellalt.I eiser ,pr act ic,di nr aza vi zual,f i
ind ascunide
copaci icar e cr et eau pe ambel e mal urial er ului. n alt e

mpr ejurr i,luiLaur eni -arf ipl cutpl imbar ea,darpr ezen al ui
Kurtof ceassesi mt ngr ozi tor.
- ipl ace?o ntrebel foar teapr oapedeur eche.
-Ef oar tedr gu .
Sedepr timaimul tdeel .Mai na icont inudr umuli
Laur en f u bucur oascelnu mai ncercaso angaj eze n
conver sa i
e.
-Avr easne ntoar cem acum,spuseea.Jar edosf ie

ngr ij
or at.
Eli zbucni nr s.
-Pe mi ne nu m pr ost et e aceast aa- zis cst orie,
Laur en.Dor mi toar esepar at e,nu?
-Csni ciameanut epr ivet e, domnul eVandi ver, spuseeacu
duritateicur ceal , darobr aji
i iluarfoc.
Pr i
vi real uii roni c idemonst racnuest econvi ns.Tot ui,

ntoar semai na, tr


aver spoduldi nnouise napoi ar npunct ul
de unde pl ecaser .Mul imea er a nc acol o.Jar ed st tea
~204~
Sandr
aBr
own

spri
jinitdet runchi ulunuicopac, fum ndnepst orunt rabuc.
Numaiochi isclipitor i
it rdaum ni a.
ngr abal uideasr isoaj utepeLaur en,Kur tnumaiopr i
mot orul.Jar edseapr opi ecudezi nvol turdemai nisr ipe
l
oculel i
ber atdeVandi ver .
-Numet iast apl imbar e,Vandi ver ?spuseelibgmai na

nvi tez.
Laur en se pr inse de scaun c nd aut omobi lulpor nibr usc,
gata-gat asdeapest eKur t,caresef eridi nf aaluiexactl at imp.
Totulsepet recuseat tder epede, nc trmasecugur acscat
cnd ivzuOl dsmobi le-ulal ergndcuovi tezcucar eelnuarf i

ndr zni ts- lconduc.Mul


imeai zbucni n hohot eder spe
socot ealal ui .
Jar ed manevr a schi mbt orulde vi teze ca pe o baghet
magi c,l und vi rajele cu o vi tez ul ui toare ir eui nd s
nimer eascf iecaregr oapdepedr um.Se nvr
tirdec t
evaor i

nj ur ulpi e eidi ncent rulor aului ,p nc ndl uiLaur en iveni


ame eal .Seag asedebr aull uiJar eddet eamsnuf ie
azvrli
tdepescaun. ncel edi nur m,pr sircent rul,apuc nd
peunuldi ndr umur ilecar educeauspr ei eireadi nor a.
Vnt ul ibi ci
uiaf a a,I arpl r ia iczu pe spat e,t rgnd
durerosdeacel ecucar eer apr ins.Eai -arf iscos-o,darnu

ndr zneassedespr inddeJar ed.


Elr dea nhohot e,cauncopi lneast
mpr atcar eijucaseo
festt eribil
pr ofesor ul ui.
-I-aivzutmut ra, Laur en?L- aivzut ?Ti cl osul !
iarteucum
seconduceomai n.
Pl ria izbur asedepecapiv ntul irveapr ul.Chi puli
erambuj orat ,iarochi i i l
icreau nc nta i
.
Fr s- ideaseama, Laur en ncepuieasr d.Par cer au
doicopi iscpa ipent rupr imaoar desubsupr avegher e.Jar ed
ri
scs- iarunceopr ivi rec ndoauzir znd,dar idduseama
degr eeal c ndi ndr ept di nnoupr i
vireaasupr adrumul ui.Nu
vzuser cur bal at i
mpise ndr ept auspr ean .
-i ne- t
ebi ne!ist r
igel pun ndf rn.
Mai na ncet ini,darnuseopr i
,cciaveaovi tezpr eamar e.
~205~
FOCURIASCUNSE

Ro il
esebl ocar iaut omobi lulser sucinebunet epnc nd
i
eidepedr um ir oat a di nf a depepar tea of eruluise
cuf undp nl aj umt ate nnor oi.Jar edopr imot orul.
Am ndoicut au s- it rag r suf larea,f i
ind zgudui ipe
momentdef aptulcseaf l
aser l aunpasdemoar tesaudeaf i
rniigr av.Mai nast t ea nt r-opozi ieci udat , i
arLaur enf usese
azv r
litl
ngJar ed.
- Et iteaf r?o nt rebel .
- Da,mi -ebi ne,spuseeacur suf l
areat iat.Darnus nt
preasi gur ceval abi lipent ruOl dsmobi l
e-ull uiKur t.
ncl ipaaceea,i zbucni ram ndoi nr s.Rser cuat t
apof t,

nc tochi il iseumpl ur del acr imi .Er apr imaoar cndr


deau

mpr eun.Maiexi st aser moment ec nd cteunuldi n copi i


i
Mendez ifcuser pet o isr ddevr eoboacn, daracum er a
cut otulal tceva.Tr i au mpr eununmomentper sonal.
Laur enset er sel aochicum i
ni l
e nmnuat ei iscoase
dinpracel ecucar eer apr inspl ria.Aceast aczuicocul
greuisel s nj osaj ung ndu- iapr oapep nl aumer i
;c teva
uvi
escpar .
Vesel ial uiJar edsczu ni nt ensi tatei ,di npr opri
evoi n,
m nal ui iat i
nsecocul .Ea ir i
di cpr i
vireai ,ncl i
paur mt oar e,
seaf la nbr aelel ui.Se nt mpl nat ur al,instinctiv.Ost rnsel a
piepti iopt inumel edec tevaor iiaur eche,r suf l
areal ui
tri
mi ndu- if i
oridepl cer epr ini raspi nrii
.
Elset rase napoiicut nochi ieiunsemnder espinger e,
darnuvzudec ti nvi taie.Gur ilel isecont opi r
ntr-
unsr ut
fi
er binte.Buzel el isecut arisegsi rbucur oase.Sr utuler a
pli
ndet andr ee,darcon ineapr omi siuneauneipasi unire i
nut e.
Eracompl et,darl sal ocr ezer vei ,pr uden ei.Er aunsr utpent ru
moment .Pent ruat unci .Doarat unci .
Jar edsedepr tdeeai ist udi echi pul,uimi tdei ntensitatea
sent i
ment elorl ui.Sepr i
vir nt cer e.
-Laur en,sr ut - mdi nnou,zi seelapoicuungl asr gui t.
Sr ut- m. ..
-Laur en, aip itceva? ntrebKur tveni ndspr eei ngalop.
Seopr ichi ar nf aamai niii ,
dupcedescl ec,dduf uga
~206~
Sandr
aBr
own

spreea, nti
nz ndu- ibraele. nai ntecaeas- lasigur ecnuvoi a
s fie sal vat di n mbr iar ea l uiJar ed,m i
nilel uigrase o
apucar demi jlociot raser di nmai n.
-Laur en, et iteafr?I diot uil aarf iput uts. .
.
Scoaseuni cni tncl ipa ncar eJar ed itraseunpumn n
stomac, dupce, mai nt
ilnt orsesecuf a a.Kur tczupespat e

nani ,
nai ntes- irecapet egr aiul,Jar ediseur cpepi epti

ivreavapi stolului subnas.


-Dac vr eodat t e maiat i
ngide nevast a mea,t e omor ,
Vandiver ,spuseelpr intredi n i
,av ndf aal adoicent imetridea
l
uiKur t.Dacmcarar icaicum t e-aig ndisoat i
ngi,t e
omor .Ai neles?
-Iaaf urisitulst adepi stolde- aici,spuseKur tcuuncur aj
deplasat .Nicinue ncr cat.L- aigol i
tnul timar und.
Sechi nui sseel ibereze, darnu lput eacl intipeJar ed.
Cliculf cutdemet alpemet alc ndJar edapspet r
gaci l
convinsesr enun elaacel emi cr iinutile.
-Et isigurcegol ,Vandi ver ?ltachi naJar ed.
Kur trsener vos.
-N- aif iput utsnu- lt ragiipealasel eadi nmomentceai
armatat
tder apid.
-Aiui tatcmair mseseo int.
-Chi ariaa,i nsistKur t,deivocea ncepeas- itremur ei
asudase t ot.Toat l umea t i
e c t o icowboy- iilas pr i
ma
camer goal .
Jar edr i
dicdi numer icunonal an .
-Uni i,da.Ceicar en- au ncr eder e n ndem nar ealor.Cut oat
modest i
a, eunus ntdintreacet ia.
-Af urisit
ulst adepi stolnue ncr cat !st ri
gKur tcndJar ed

impi nse eavaimaimul tsubnas.


-Vr eispuipar i
u?
Mi cndm nauor ,trasel anumaic ivacent imetridecapul
l
uiKur t.Gl onulse nfipse ntr -
unuldi ncauci ucurilemai nii
.
Kur tpl iincepussc nceasc.
-Af iput utsni mer esciaceaul tim int,Vandi ver,dar
numaiunnebunumbl cupi stol ulne ncr cat.
~207~
FOCURIASCUNSE

Dispr euitor,Jaredser idi


cipipest et r
upulinertprbui t
l
apm nt .
-SeorJar ed!st rigPepeapr ndcl arepeChar ger,urmat
deal
icivabr bai
.S nteiteafr?Seor aet eafr
?
Oprical ulisr ilapm nt,al
erg ndspr eei .
-Da,da,s ntem t efer i
,lasigur Jar ed.Ne- am idistratde
mi nune.Deimai nanupr eaar atbi ne.Nucr edcosse
compar evr eodat cusent imentult ulbur torpecar e-
lam at unci
cnd lcl rescpeChar ger.i,cusi gur an celn- ari
ntrantr-un
an .
Rser cut oii
,bucur oicni meninup i
seni mic.Obser var
cdomnulVandi verer acam supr at,darseg ndir
c ifcea
grijinpr ivi
n amai nii.
-Laur en,spuseJar ed nti
nzndu- im na,dupcar eosl t
n
ai ncl eciel , i
n nd-ost r
ns.Pepe,po ist entorcicu
cineva npar c?
-Si, seorJar ed.
-Bi ne.Domni l
or,zi seelsco
ndu- ipl ria,pecarePepei -
o
recuper asedepedr um,dupcar e lntoar sepeChar gerise

ndr eptspr eor ancet .

~208~
Sandr
aBr
own

Capi
tol
ul18

Escapadal orcr easesenza ie.Er au nt reba idenenumr ate


oricum sesi m eau,deieil espuneaumer eucsesi m eau
foar t
ebi ne.
Aezndu- selaomasdepi cni cal turideOl i
viaideCar son,
m ncar sandvi ur i
le mpachet ate de Rosa.Jar ed bu ber e

mpr euncucei lalibr ba iaduna inj ur ulbut oai el


or.Laur en l
priveadi nl oculundest tea,l ngOl ivia,if u ncntatc nd l
vzuz mbi ndu- i
. ncer cadi nr sput erisseconcent r
ezeasupr a
conver saieidi nj urisdear spunsur ipot r
ivitenenumr at elor

nt rebripecar eil epuneaudoamnel edi nCor onadodespr ecum

ipl ceanouavi adi nTexas.Dareaseg ndeal agural uiJar ed,


l
aun ipt, easr idinpat ,alar mat .
Zgomot eleveneaudi ncamer al uiJar ed.Fr smaist ea
s-ipununcapot ,traver sbai aibt uuor nuadel egt ur.
Elnu- irspunse, nschi mb,eaauzidi nnou ipt ulsugr umati
gemet e.Dac ier ar u?Si ntre?Ezi t
doarocl ip,dupcar e
deschi seuapu inipr i
vi nncper e.
Jaredsezbt ea npat ,ntorcndu- sec ndpeopar tecndpe
alta,nchi nur il
eunuicomar .Laur enseapr opier epededepati

ivzupi ept ulgol nln-du- seicobor


ndagi tatif aascl dat
desudoar e.Cuvi ntelepecar el er osteanuseput eaudesl ui,dar
trdauot ulbur arepr ofund.Mur mur amer eunumel eAl ex.
-Jared,t rezet e-te,spuseeai ,ntinzndm nacupr uden , i
atinseumr ul ,zg l
i
ndu- luor .Jar ed,t rezet e-te,ter og.Aiun
comar .
Eldeveniimaivi olent .Ddeadi nm i
nii irsuceacapul
peper n,dezvel i
ndu- idi nii
.Laur ensef er idincal eabr aelorl ui,
darr euis- ipr i
nd nchei eturilei,apl ec ndu- sedeasupr al ui ,i
l
e inudeopar teideal taacapul ui.
Elsechi nuisseel i
ber eze, dar ,
nt r-
unf el,eai zbutis-lin.
-Jared, trezet e-te.

~209~
FOCURIASCUNSE

Eldeschi seochi ii ,ca icum ci neva l -


arf it ras n sus
deodat ,se r idi
c br usc n capuloasel or.Cear ceaf ulise
ghemui nj ur ulmi jlocul ui.Oh,Doamne,er agol !obser vea.El
trasead ncaer npieptiscut ur dincapcapent ruai -llimpezi .
itrecudeget elet remur toar epr i
npr ulumedici uful i
t,dup
car eiacoper ifaa.
Laur ensedusepe nt uner i
cspr emsu adet oal et it urn
pu i
nap nl ighean. nmui eunpr osopise nt
oar sel
ngpat .
-Jar ed,aiavutuncomar ,spuseea ncetil init i
tor .Te
sim imaibi neacum?
El ncuvi in doar nt imp ce ea it ampona f runt ea cu
prosopulr ece.C nd ilsm inil
enj os,ea iter ser est ulf eei
ig t
ul.
-imul
umesc,Laur en.Acum msi mtmaibi ne,spuseel
depr tndu- sedem inileei .
-Aivi satdespr eCuba?Despr eAlex?
Elopr ivicuaspr imeiapoiseui tnal t
par te.
-Da, ziser gui t.
Tremur a?
-Aivr eas- mipovest eti? ntr
ebea noapt i ,p nc nd
nu iatinsepr ul,nu idduseamac nt i
nsesem naspr eel .
-Nu,spuseel mbuf nat ,darapoiadugdi sper at .Bada.
Laur en?

ist r
nse mi jl
oculca ntr-
o menghi n io t rase spr e el,

ngr op ndu- if aant r


es ni iei.Easel ovicugenunchi idepat .
Ezitdoarocl i
p nai ntedea- icupr i
ndecapulcubr aele.i
sim ear suf lar eacal diumedpepi elepr i
nmat erialulsub ir
e
alcmi idenoapt e.Er ar ecunosct oare ntunericul uipent ruc

iof erea c tdec tadpost .Mur mur nd cuvi ntedeal inar e,l
m ngiapecap,st recur
ndu- ideget elepr i
ntrebucl elel ui.El i
plimbm i
nil
epest espat el eei ,
de- alunguli reispi nr ii
.
Trecur c tevami nuteielt otnu- iddudr umul .Apr oape
i
mper cept i
bil,elncepus- imi tecapul ntr
es niiei ,m ng i
ndu- i
cugur a.
O dor inmaiput ernicdec toriceal tsentimentpecar el
cunoscusevr eodat ost r punsep n nad nculsuf letul ui.Si mi
~210~
Sandr
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own

unvaldecl dur ibt il


einimi iise nteir
.
Mini l
e i pi cioar ele i se nmui aser ,dar cu o f or

sur pri
nzt oar e,
it rasecapulmaiapr oape.Ungeamtdepl cere
nespus iscpdepebuzec ndel icupr insesf r
culcugur ai
trasedeeluor nai ntedea- lm ng iacul imbacal didul ce,
ud ndu- icmaadenoapt e.
Trupull uiLaur ener aasal tatdesenza iiif uc tpe- acis
cad ncl ipa ncar eel iretrasebr aelebr usc.Jar edst t eacu
genunchi ilapi ept , cucapul ntreeiicuf aaascuns nm i
ni .
-Pleac, Laur en, spuseelr gui t
, iat
tde ncet ,ncteaabi a

lauzi .
-Jar ed, eu. .
.
-Las- m, t
er og, repet elgem nd.
-Dece?Decest el as..
.acum?
Eragat adeai zbucni npl
ns.Emo i
il
e ierauat tdeput er nice,

nc tvoceaeiced.
-Pent ruc,f i
r -arsf ie,nusupor tst eam at tdeapr oape,
attdedor ni c, at tde. .
.goal ...isnu. ..Du- tenapoi ncamer a
ta, t
er og.
-Nu, Jar ed, ziseea ncet.
Elir idicpr i
vi rea.
-Nu?
Ea nghi insec.
-Vr eau. ..vr eaus-
if i
uoso ieadevr at, Jared, ziseeainu

imaiput ur einel acr imilecar e ii r


oi r
peobr aji.Vr eaus
rm nl ngt ine.
-Laur en, spuseelcl ti
nnddi ncap.Nu- idaiseamacespui .
-Ba- midauseama!Nut i
uni mi cdespr e..
.ast a.Darvr eaus
tiu.Vr eausf i
uoso iel afelcum ieGl orialuiRudy,cum i -
a
fostMar ial uiBen.
Niciunul dineinusesi zciud eniaacel orulti
mecuvi nte.
-Ter og, l
as- msr m ncut ine nnoapt eaast a.
Elo pr ivi.Lacr i
mi le iiroiau peobr aj i
iimacul ai
,pr ul i
cdeapeumer iipes niipecar et njeas- im ng i
edi nnou,
siluetasub ireisedesl ueapr incmaadenoapt esub ire, i
arel

isi m eabt ilei nimi irsun ndu-i ncap.Tr upul iardeade


~211~
FOCURIASCUNSE

dor inpent ruea, iarbr b ia ier adur erosdem ndr .


Nu ndrznis se mi te c nd ea se nt i
nse n pati ,
spr i
jinindu- im i
ni l
et imi depeumer iilui ,ilipibuzel edeal el ui
.
Elscoaseungeamtdeneput in i ,strng nd- o nbr ae, czu
peper ne.Tr gnd- osubel , osr ut cupasi une.
ideschei er epedenast ur iicmi idenoapt e.Laur ennuavu
ti
mpsser uinezedegol iciuneaei ,cciel itrasecmaapest e
capi iacoper it rupulcualsu.
Or i
cti -
arf if ostdedi ficil,sef or ssest p neasc.Aceea
nuer aot rf.CiLaur en.So ialui .Tr ebui asac ioneze ncet ,s
nuosper i
e.
Laur ensi m it rupull ungit ar ededeasupr aeir elaxndu- se
oar ecum iJar ed ncepusosr utedi nnou,dedat aaceast a
mai ncet ,caicum arf ivr uts- imemor ezebuzel e, l
imba, dini
i.
Osr ut peobr ajii imucuorl obulur echi ip nc ndea i
sim ipr opr i
ultr updeveni ndl angur osidoci lsubel .
O m nmar eibr onzat it recupest es ni,st rngndunul
uor .Sf rculse ntr isubpal macar esemi ca ncetici r
cul ar.
Luacelmugur eumf lat ntredeget ei lf recp nc ndLaur en
sim ic- ivines ipedepl cer e, opl cer edeexi sten acr eianu
tiuseni ciodat.
Apoi icupr insesf rculcugur al uiudical d,t rgndcuo
extraor dinar del icat ee.C ndsemut l acel lalts n,bar bal uii
zgriepi eleanet ed,f cnd- o sdevi nimaicont ient de
deosebi ril
ef i
zicedi nt reei .Acor daceeaiat en ieicel uilaltsn

nt i
mpcem i
nile im ng i
auabdomenul ,tulbur nd- o.
ncl ipa ncar e il scapul nj osi isr ut bur i
culcuo
gur l acomif i
er bint e,eaavusenza iacunl ichidcal dse
revar sasupr aei .Pal mal uiseopr iuorpet ri
unghi uldec rlioni
caabanosuldi ntrepul pel eeiiease ntr ebdecenusi m ea
repul siesaut eam.Sent iment eleer auat tde. ..cum?Nuavea
niciunt ermendecompar a ie.
M nal uiisest recur nt repul pe,i arLaur ensesper i
ec ndel

nt l
niun f eldeumezeal .Sepr ea,t otui ,cacestl ucr u l
bucur ,cciof tiopt i:
-Dumnezeul e, Laur en, et ipr egt itpent r umi ne.Ah, cedul ce
~212~
Sandr
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own

eti!
Mi car ea m i
niil ui ial ung or i
ce ur m de l uci dit
at e.
Expl orr i
ledel icioaseal edeget el orlui ist
rniruni nstinctpr i
mar
iea ncepus- iroteascol dur i
le.C ndos- miami ntescmai
t
rziu,os- mif ier uine,ispuseea,daracum nupotsm
abin.
O sr ut di n nou pe gur ,cu t andr ee, n pr of unzime,
mur mur
ndu- ipebuzecuvi nteengl ezet iispani ole.Apoise

ntinse deasupr a eiiea f u nc ntat de acea gr eutat e

nconj ur
ndu- lcubr aele.Genunchi il uiidepr t
arpul pel eiel
seaez ntreel e.Ea isim if oramascul i
nc ndel icut
deschi ztur atrupul ui.
Ocupr i
nsepani ca, deodat, ielsi m ii
medi atacestl ucr u. i
ri
dicpr ivireaiseui t n ochi ieimar iit emt ori,cut nd
rspunsul car esper asseaf leacol o.
-Deci ,eadevr at?N- aimaif ostni ciodat cuunbr bat ?
Tonuler ademi rar eit rdaodor i
ndeat i
.At unciea
realizdeceer aat
tdei mpor tantr spunsuleipent ruel .Ben.Nu
spuseni mi c,darbuzel e imimar cuv ntul nu"iscut ur di ncap.
-Laur en.
Toat eemo i
ilecar ealct uiausuf l
etull uiJar edLocket tse
adunar nr ost i
reanumel uiei .O sr utr epede,cuar doar ei
pasi une.
-I ar t-m.Ost edoar ,Laur en. mipar er u.
O penet r
ieaarf iipatdacelnui -arf i i
nutcapul n
scobi tur aumr ul uisu.
Dur ereaaceeaar zt oar
eosf ie.
- mipar eru, scumpamea.Rel axeaz- tec tpo i
.
Cuvi nteleer aur ostitenoapt lngur echeaeiiea ifor
muchi ideexi st enacr or
anut i
usep nat unci ,sser el axeze.
Dur ereasemaist inse, darctaveasdur eze?
Jar ednusemi ca.Ea iauzear suf larea nur echecaunv nt
puter nic.Semi cuorsubel , cut ndopozi
iemaicomod, il
auzi inndu- ir espiraia.
-Oh,Doamne,cebi nee,gemueli iaf undf aa nper n.
Attdest rmt .Per f
ect .Perfect .
~213~
FOCURIASCUNSE

ncepu s se mi te nunt rulei .Dur er ea r eveni n val uri


ri
tmi ce,darundevaexi st aiopr omi siunedepl cer e.Cuvi ntele
pecar eJar edil emur mur al aur echeer audene n
eles,dar
sensull orer acl ar .
Jar eder a nea!Er aung ndt ulbur tor-t rupull uiialeiuni te

ncelmaii ntim mod.Fr caeast ie,trupulpr eluasecont rolul


iir spundeacuacel eaimi cr i
.Deodat , ntregull uit rup
devenir igidieasesi m iinundat deopl oai edevi a .Inst inctiv

istrnseol dur i
le nt r
egenunchi .
St tu epui zatdeasupr a eip n c nd r espi raia irevenil a
normal ,i ar ea i pl imba m inil
e pest e spat el e l ui l at,
minun ndu- sedemuchi i,oasel eipi eleal ui .ncel edi nur m, se
ri
dic ncoat eiopr i
vinochi .
-Dumnezeul e, Laur en, opt ielui mi t.Cemi -aifcut ?
Ser ost ogol idepeeaiost r
nsel
ngel .
Rmaser ast felmul ttimp,f r svor beasc, ntimpcem i
nile
l
uisepl imbaul eneepest espat ele,ol dur i
leipi cioar eleei .
Loculdi ntrepul pe ier acupr i
nsdef l
cr i nc, darer amul umi t.
Oft.St recur ndu- iundegetsubbr biaei ,
idducapulpespat e
uor .
-Mi cameavi rgi n.Te- adur utt are?
-Nu, mi niea.
El ncer csnuz mbeasc,nuput uichi arncepusr
d
uor .
-Penai ba.Et iodoamn nt oat put ereacuv ntul ui,nu?
ilscapul nj osiosr utuor ,apr oapecast .
Se ddu j os di n patise duse spr e msu nest njenit.
Laur en ist udiet rupul .Ni ciunar tistnuarf iput utssur pr ind
graiasenzual amer suluisuor ipi eleaacoper i
tdeunpr
moal eiaur iu.Er aunbr batf rumosi ,nci udaexper ien einoi
pecar eot ri se, roi .
Elveni napoicuoc rpudi ,ngenunchi ndl
ngea,ddu
s-idepr tezepi cioar ele,darease mpot rivii nst i
nct iv.
-Nu- if acni ciunr u, ispuseelcubl nde e.Ost esi m i
maibi ne.
Vocea ier aat tdel initi
toar eim inileat tdebl
nde, nctl
~214~
Sandr
aBr
own

l
s s- ideschi d picioarel e is o t amponeze cu c rpa.
Ocol i
ndu- ipr i
vi rea,seui tnt avan,ui mitcseput eau ntmpl a
astfeldel ucr ur i.Ni cincel emainebunet ifanteziialeeinu i

nchi pui sec, nt reunbr batiof emei e,arf iput utexi stao
asemenea f ami liarit
ate.Sau poat e c ast felde l ucrurise

ntmpl aunumaicuJar ed. ir idi


cpr i
vireaspr eso ulei .Else
uit
al aeacaicum i -
arfiput utghi cigndur i
lecel emaiascunse.
- ipr omi tcn- ost emaidoar at tdet are,ispuseel
z
mbi ndu- iuor .Bachi aros- iplac.
- imul umesc, optieac ndeldusec rpa napoipemsu .
Se r idic n capuloasel or ,str
ngnd cear afull a piepti

ntinzndu- sedupcmaadenoapt e.
- Cef aci ?O ntrebelveni nd napoilngea.
- Cr edeam c. ..
- Cecr edeai ?o ntrerupseel ,l
undu- icmaadi nm ni
arunc nd- oundevamaidepar te,dupcar e ncepus- imut e
umr uluor ,t rg nd-o napoipeper ne.Cecr edeai,Laur en o

ntrebelcuovoce ngroat.
Buzel el ui iat ingeaus niiacum ieanumaiput ugndidel oc.
- Cr edeam c. .....
Oh, Doamne!
Elr seuor .
- Cul c- te.
Pun ndcapull
ngaleipeaceeaiper n,nchiseochi i
.i
sprij
inibr aulpebur taei,iarm naicuprinses nuluor .
Sdoar m?Nu nnoapt eaaceea.Tr ebui asseg ndeascl a
preamul tel ucr ur i
.EaiJar ed,car esecer taser ,sei gnor aser,
sej i
gni ser ,st t eauacum unull
ngal tul,compl etgoi ,npat ul
l
ui,dupcet ri ser ceamaimi nunatuni re,i arelvoi acaeas
doar m.I mposi bi l.
Nuaveasadoar m.
Darof cu, totui .
-Bundi mi nea a.
-Hmmm?
-Am spus bundi mi nea a,doamnLocket t.
Laur endeschi seunochisomnor oasivzuchi pulz mbi tor
~215~
FOCURIASCUNSE

also uluiei .ncamer er anc ntuner ic.


-Jar ed, spuseeapeunt onpl ngr e.E ncnoapt e.
iascunsef aa npi eptulluipr osicsc.
- mipl acel anebuni esmscoldi mi nea adevr eme,spuse
elr znddecuvi nteleacel eacudubl u n eles,darLaur en lprivi
nedumer it.
idduseamadi nnouc tdei nocent er a nc.
-Laur en, spuseel ,m ngindu- iobr azulisr ut
nd- ouor .
Easeghemuil api eptull uical dielt rasept ur apest eei .
Privindf pt ur aaceeadel icatl i
pitdeel ,r
secut ristee nsi nea
l
ui .Ci nearf icr ezutaacevadespr eJar edLocket t?Fapt ulc i
pet recuseonoapt e ntreagal turideof emei eer aneobi nuitn
sine. De cum i sat i
sfcea pof t
ele, er a ner bdt or s
pr seascf emei acucar ef usese.Noapt eapr ecedent voi se
sr m ncuaceaf emei e.
Cuni ciof emei enusepi er duseat tdet otalcum of cusecu
Laur en. ntot deauna if cea pl cer e act ul,bi nen eles.Dar
gndur i
le ier auadesea nal tpar te:l aopar ti
ddecr i
,la
afacer i
,laal tf emei e.
Noapt eat recut f usesecont i
entnumaidef emeiadesubel ,
car e ir spundea cu o t imiditatef eci orelni c.Par fumul ,
senza i
ile pe car e il e st r
nea,gust ulei icapt uraser t oate
sim ur i
le.
Ni cinr upt ulcapul uinuarf irecunoscutcnoapt eat recut
fusesepr imaoar ipent ruel .Erai nii
er eaei nr i
tualur il
ei ubiri
i.
Fusesevi r gin.ier apent rupr imaoar c ndJar edf usesecuo
virgin.Er aun darpecar enu s- arf iat ept atni ciodat s- l
primeascipecar eaveai mpr esi acnu lmer it
.Cut oate
acest ea,eai -lof eri
se.
Dece?Dupf elulcum sepur tasecuea,deceiseof eri
se
ast fel? il s capul nj os i isr ut f runt ea nt i
mp ce

nt rebar eaaceeacont inuas- lobsedeze.


Deget eleeinet ezircut eledi nt respr ncenel el ui
.C ndvaf i
bt rn,vorf ilaf eldest ufoasecaal el uiBen, ispuseea.Cu
douzeciipat rudeor e nur mni cinu- i nchi puisecdou
fi
ineomenet iput eauf iattdei nti
mecum f useser ei .Acum
~216~
Sandr
aBr
own

stteaucubr a eleicupi cioarel empl eti


teieanusi m eani ci
ti
mi ditate,ni cir ui ne,ni civi nov i
e.Ce se ntmpl ase cu
principiileeir igide?Nuaveai mpor tan .Nul evoi a napoi .Ba, n
clipaaceea,voi asdescoper eceal tepl cer iimaiput eaof eri
trupul lui.
-Jar ed, c
nd? .
..C t?...
Elz mbi . nl oculr spunsul uil a nt rebareapecar eeanuo
put ear ost i
,gur al uiocut peaei .Acelsr utadevr atdup
noapt eapr ecedent st rneaacel eaiemo ii
,aceeainer bdar e
fa del ucr ur i
lecar eaveau s ur meze, iper mi seun acces
nel i
mitatl at rupulei .Elgsil ocur ilesecr etepecar el em ng ie
saul esr ut, smul g ndgemet edepl cer edi npar teaam ndur ora.
La nceputt imi d, apoi ncur ajatdegemet eleluideext az, i
l
sdeget elesisepl i
mbepr i
npr uldepepi eptull ui.Pi elea i
eracal diper fect ntinspest emuchi ipecar e imasacu
deget elecar edeveni ser ,di ntr-odat,f oartepr iceput e.Aer ul i
i
eipr i
nt redi nic ndea intlnisf
rcur il
et ari.Ser et raser epede,
darm nal uioadusesel al oc.Ascunz ndu- ifaa ng tullui,eai -
l
m ngi
e cu l i
mba.C nd se apl ec deasupr al ui,m inil
el ui i
cupr i
nser ol dur i
le io t r
ase maiapr oape pent ru a- isi m i
br bia.
-Tevr eaudi nnou, Laur en.Darnuvr eaust edoar ,spuseel

noapt .
-N- osmdoar , n- osmdoar .
Ct
evauvi edi npr uleimai nconj uraug tulluiJar edc ndel
o ntoar sepespat eapr oapecubr utal i
tate.St nddeasupr aei ,o
privinochii ispuse:
-Rost et e-minumel e,Laur en.Vr eaus- lvdpebuzel et ale.
Rost et e-minumel e, ter og.
Ea im ng i
epome iiiopt i:
-Jar ed.Jar ed.Jar ed.
Ult
imasi l
aber aor ugmi nte.
Elo penet r ncet ,r idicnd- o it rgnd-o pent ru a- ipr imi
i
nvazi a subl im. Se cuf und i mai ad nc dec t nai nte,
m ngi
ndu- iper eiif emi nit i
i,poar tap nteculuiei ,r etrgndu- se
pent ruaoi canaiaot ulbur aiapoiaf und ndu-sedi nnou n
~217~
FOCURIASCUNSE

adncul ei.
Laur en isi m isuf letul nl
ndu-se ipl ut ind deasupr a
pat ului,di n ce n cemaisus,ct r
eo cul me ncnecl ari
mi ster i
oas,darat rgtoar e.Acelabi sdeasupr acr ui
apl uteao
sper iei nchiseochi istrns.
-Nu, Lauren, vinocumi ne, spuseelcur suf lareantretiat.
Vino. ..cu. .
.mi ne...
O st rnsecuput ere ncl ipa ncarepasi uneasa,depi nd
punct ulder einere,segol ini nteri
orulei,inund nd-ocuunf oc
vi
u.
Elseodi hnidoarocl ip, dupcar e,cuom nl i
pitdespat ele
ei
,se nt oarsepeopar t
e.Rm nndcapt i
v naceapet erdul ce
cami er ea, Jar edsemi ct ul bur tor.
-Msi m i,Lauren?
-Da, opt iea.Da.
-Tedoar e?o nt rebelmi c ndu-sedinnou.
Oh, Doamne!
-Nu, e...ef oartebi ne.
-At uncide ce t e-aiopr it? Erai n pr aguluneibucur i
i
i
ncr edi bi le.i-eteamdeea?
Incapabi ls- int
lneascpr i
vireacercett oar e,eancuvi i
n
cuf a aascuns nur mr ullui.
- nel eg,spuseel ncet .
ncr ezt or n pr opr i
il
e put eri,elt i
a c o put ea aduce l a

mpl inirechi ariat unci,dar idduseamacnuer apr egt i


t,

nc.Sedepr tdeea,cont ientc, nci udaf apt ul


uicnega,
tr
ebui assi mt dur ere.
iddupr ullaopar tedepet
mplei isr utfrunteai
pleoapel e.
-Haismaidor mim pu in.
Ador mi r
espi r
ndu- ipar fumulpr ului
.

~218~
Sandr
aBr
own

Capi
tol
ul19

Imedi atde cum ivzu pe Jar ed ipe Laur en apr nd

mpr eun l a masa depr nz,Ol ivia t iu c l ucr ulde car ese
temusecelmaimul tse ntmpl ase.Ser vitoriispor ovi auagi ta in
l
egt ur cuceva,dar ,cum ni ciodat nuseost enises nve e
spani ola, nul en el
egeaoapt ele.
Tot ui ,l a mas,z mbet elel orsecr ete,i gnor ar ea t utur or
l
ucr ur i
lorcar ese nt
mpl au nj urull oricear cnel e iar tar
foartel impedecum ipet recuser noapt eaJar ediLaur en.
Lanai ba!Cum desel sasef ermecatf iuleideaceaf l
oar ede
ser?Elpr efera ntot deaunaf emei l
ef oar tevesel e,cur eput ai
i
scandal oase.Ce vzuse,oar e,l a acea nt ruchi par e a vi rtuii
,
fragilicu nfiar ededoamn?Eh,nuaveai mpor tan dac
secul cacueaat
tat impc tnuse nfiripa ntreeioaf ec iune
puter nic.Sau-Doamnef erete-c teanur m nea nsr cinat .
Dinf ericire,Jar eder adest uldedet ept nc tsai bgr ijca
acestl ucr usnuse ntmpl e.
ivzuscuz ndu- seid ndsur cepent ru unpuidesomn .
-Jar en,am put easst m pu indevor b? ntrebear epede,

mpt ur inder vet ulir i


dicndu- se.I eri,nt impulcer emoni ei,am
discut atcuPar kerdespr eni tepl anur iicr edcart rebuisf i
i
itul acur entcuel e.
Jar edseui tcut ri
steel aLaur en, darseconf ormf r ni ci
ot r
ager edei nim.
-Bi ne, mam.Nevedem mait rziu,Laur en.
Dupcenor aeipr sisuf rager ia,Ol iviaipr opuse
l
uiJar edsour meze nbi rou.Dupceacest aseaezcomod

nt r
-unf otol i
udepi elei iapr inseunt r
abuc, ea ispusecar e
eraunoi lepl anur i
.
-Zuaa, Jar ed, credcaicam exager atdup- ami az.
Luauci naiOl i
vi avor beami eros,cont razi cndat mosf er a

ncr cat di nncper e.

~219~
FOCURIASCUNSE

-Apr efer a s nu di scut m af acer iacum,mam,spuse


Jar ed ncor dat .
Laur enobser vasecut risteect oat bundi spozi ial uide
dimi nea di spr use dup di scu ia cu mama l ui.St tuser

nchi i nbi roumaimul tdeoor ,i arc ndur case,Jar ednu

ncer casesovad,cisedusesedi rect ncamer aluiiapoi


plecase.Se ntor seseexact nai ntedeci n.Nu imaivzuse ntre
pat ruochidi nai nt edemasadepr nz.
-Cusi gur an cn- avem secr et ef adeLaur en,nu- iaa?

nt rebOl iviacudul cea ngl as,ar unc ndu- iopr ivirenor ei.n
def i
ni t
iv,eso iat a, Jar ed.
Laur enr oiipr i
vinf arfurie.Oar et i
adesear atrecut ?Cum
aveasr eac i
oneze?
-Cr ezicpl anur il
enoast reors- oocheze? intrebOl ivi
a
fiulcucal m.
-Fi r-arsf i
e, mam!
Cut eledi nj ur ul gur i
iluipr eauspat e nst nc,
-Vezit u,Laur en,cont inu Ol i
via,net ulbur at def ur ial ui
Jar ed,ceidoiVandi vericu mi nene- am g ndi tmaibi ne n
l
egt urcul oculundesseconst ruiasccent ralael ect ri
ci
acestl ucr uvapr esupunezgzui rear
ul uimaisusdePuebl o,
numaij os.Fi ret ecvaaf ectaf oar temul tcomuni tat ea.Ne
temem deor zvr t i
reapopul a
ieidi nmomentceoameni ivor
rm ne f r ap.De aceea,am l uatmsur i n aa f el nct
distruger eaor el uluiPuebl osf i
econsi der atobi necuv nt are.
Laur enl sasef urculi
a nf arfurieiseui tac ndl amam,
cndl af iu,t ot alnedumer it.Ol ivia isus i
nupr ivireal ini ti
t,
Jar ednuseui tl aea.
-Nucr edc neleg, spuseLaur enumezi ndu- ibuzel e.Cef el
demsur i lua i?
Nuvoi ast ie.Dart rebui a.
-Laur en,nut eamest eca.Nut epr i
vet e,spuseJar edcu
aspr ime.
-Bi ne nel escopr i
vet e,dr agulmeu.Scumpamea,ise
adr esOl iviapeunt onpl cut ,deconver sa ie,osadunm o
trupdebt ui ,mer cenari,mr og,cum vr eisl espui .Cr edc
~220~
Sandr
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own

aipr iceput .Eisevorduce nPuebl oi, dndu- sedr eptcet eniai


oraul ui,vorst rnior evolt.Vorpr imii ndi caiisi ncendi eze,s
prade,s r neasc,or ice cr ed eic arf inecesarpent ru
i
zbucni rea unei r evol te. Comuni t
at ea se va aut odi struge.
Mer cenar i
inot riovoraj ut asaj ungl aast aapr inz ndc teva
focur ibi neampl asat e.M- am g nditlat reabaast a,bi ne neles.
Par kergset ec- ioi deegr ozav.L- ar ugatpeJar edsseduc
l
aAust i
nsor gani zezeoameni i.Jar edf recvent eazast felde
l
ocur iundeasemeneaoameniarput eaf igsi i
.
Laur ensef cual bcavar ul.Nu iveneascr eadceauzea.
- Bi ne,darpotmur ioameni !igndet e-
tel at oatecmi nele
acel eacar evorf idi struse.
Oliviar i
dicdi numer i
.
-Bnui esccaavaf i
,darn- osf iecinet i
ecemar e
pierder e,nu?
-Darei nut il
!Decenupoat ef iconst ruitcent rala nl ocul
hot rtini
ial?
-Baarput ea.Numaicnuvr eaueusf ieacol o.
- At unciest e, ntr -
adevr ,inut i
l.Aidi strugeun nt r
egor a
dintr -
uncapr iciu.Dece?
Sel spespat epescauniopr iviper plexpef emei adi n
faaei .Chi pulOl ivieier aduriur t
,plindeur .Deodat ,Laur en

n eleset ot.
- Rzbunar e,opt iea. idescar ciur apent r
uof emei epeun
popor ntreg.
Oliviaopr ivifur ioas.
-Nut iucevr eisspui ,Laur en,ziseea.
-Bat iifoar tebi ne.Mar iaMendez.Nusupor igndulcBen
aiubi t-o..
.
-Taci !strigOl i
vi aibt ucupumni inmasf c ndf arfur i
il
e
ipahar eleszdr ngne.
-Nu, n-ost ac.Le- aifilsatpeEl enaipeI sabel asmoar
pest rzi.Peat unci ,am cr ezutcer aodovaddecr uzi mei
rut ate,daracum depet ichiariast a.Poat eca n elegede
cesi micum si m ifadeMar i
a, dar,i
nut i
ls. ..
-Ei nut i
ldacospuneuce,o ntrerupseOl i
viar espi rnd
~221~
FOCURIASCUNSE

anevoi edi ncauzaf ur i


ei.Nut r
ebuiesmj ust i
ficnf aat a,nici

nf aani mnui alt


cui vadepepm nt .
PeLaur enoui mipasi uneaacel eif emei .Nut i
adec ts
urasc,s di strug.Er a zadar nic s ncer cis di scu icu o
per soanat tdeobsedat .
-Nu,nut rebui est ej usti
ficinf aani mnuidepepm nt,
ziseLaur enaccent undul timulcuv nt .
tiacnuaveassemait eamni ciodat deOl ivia.Nuva
avea ncr eder e nea,ovaant i
pat i
za,darni ciodat nusevamai
temedeea.Ol i
viaer aocauzpi erdut ,darpent ruJar edmai
exist ancsper an.
nt i
mpuldi scu i
eiapr insedi ntreso i
aimamal ui,elpr ivi
se
fixf l
acr al um nriidepemas.
Laur ense nt oarsespr eel.
-Jar ed? Jar ed,nu se poat e s spr i
jiniun pl an at
tde

ngr ozitor !
-i -am spus s nu t e amest eci,Laur en,mor miel .Nu

n elegi lucr urileast ea.


-Ba nelegt otul!lest ri
gea. n elegcpl anulvost rueceva
crudicr imi nal...
Jaredsr idepescaunr sturn
ndu- livr sndost icldevi n
roupemas.
-Fi r-arsf i
e, mail sa i
-m-npace.
Por nispr euacar eddea nhol ,darLaur en lur m.Ise
aez nf a,pun ndu- iambel em inipepi ept ulluiipr ivindu-l

nochi .
-Spune- micnut eveiamest eca nt reabaast a.Ter og,
spune- miast a.
Vz ndcelnuf aceni ciomi car e, eacont inu:
-Jar ed,g ndet e-te.Exi stfami l
iicar evorsuf eri
.Elena,Rosa
iGl ori
aaupr ieteniir udecar etr iescacol o.Si gurn- aif ace
cevacar es- irneascpeacet ioameni ,nu?
naf ar deceeace icer usemamal uisf ac,numaiavea
nevoi eideast a.Nu avea nevoi eca Laur en s- lpr i
veasc
rugt oriacuzat or,nacel aitimp.
Cuonoapt e nur m, odor i
secuopasi unecar entrecuset ot
~222~
Sandr
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own

cesi m i
sevr eodat ,iarr ezul tatulf usesezgudui t
or.Ami nt ir
ea
ceasur ilorpet r
ecut e mpr eun cu ea n pat ull uinc lmai
tulbur a.
Nuaveanevoi eni cideast a.Nuvoi acaeasf i
edeosebi t.
Ssi mt aacum aj unsesessi mt f adeeaer aprimej dios n
privinaor i
cr eif emei ,darer aoadevr atnebuni esosi mt
fadeea.Veni se nTexaspent ruBenLocket t
,nupent r uf iul
acest ui a.isecst or i
secuelpent ruceidouzecidemi ide
dolar i
;f r ndoi alcaveaspl ecei medi atceospr imeasc
bani i.Pechi pull uiapr uunr
njetur ti i ndepr t
m ini
le,

mpi ng nd- ocuput er e.


-Ci nenai baet itus- mispuimi ecesf ac?Ait r
itaicit oat
viaa?Aif ostvr eodat acol ocasvezicum t riescoameni iia?
Eohazna,Laur en.Scur sur il
esoci et i
i.Trfe,car t
ofariiho i
.
Nut iicevor bet ic ndmr ogisn- of ac.
-S ntsi gur cast feldeel ement eexi st
acol o.Dars nti
oameninevi nova icar evorsuf eriinut i
l.
Pent ruai nspi ramaimul tput erecuvi ntelor,ea lapucde
bra edi nnou.
-Snucumvascr ezicpo ist eamest ecinvi aamea,
spuseelf urios, dndu- im inilelaopar te.
Gest ulluiavumaimul t
f or dec tintenionaseivzucu
regr etcum m nal uiol ovipest ebuz,pl esnindu- i
-oif cnds

neascs ngel e.
Rmaser am ndoiul uiideceeacese ntmpl ase.
Jar edf upr imulcar esedezmet iciiscoaseobat i
stdi n
buzunar uldel api ept ,
pecar ei-o ntinse.
-I art- m,Laur en.D- mivoi e...,ziseel ,vr
nds- it ear g
sngel e.
-Numat i
nge!st rigeaf erindu- sei ndepr t
ndu-im na.
Bat istaczupej os.
-Nu vr eau absol utni mic de l at ine.Et iexactca ei .
Las- m- npace.
Tensi uneadi ntr eeier acaungoli mens.Ochi ieicenui i
,

nt uneca iiost il
i,nt
lnirpr i
vireal uidur ine nduplecat.
-Bi ne,spuse el ntr-
un t rziu.N- o s t e maider anj ez
~223~
FOCURIASCUNSE

niciodat cuat i
nger il
emel e.
Eai eii medi atdi n ncper eipor nispr escar .Aj unsese
apr oapesus, cndvoceal uiJar edoopr i
.
-M inepl ecl aAust i
n.Nut iucndm nt orc.
Eapr ivinj os. nciudadezamgi ri
ipecar eosi m ea,
liubea.
nt impuldi scu i
ei,pr ull uiser visei icdeapef runt e,
acoper i
ndu- iochi i.St teacuunpi ciorpepr imat reapt icu
bra ulspr iji
ni tpebal ust r ad.Pr eaimaif rumosacum,aa
rvi t.
Inimaeist r
ig: Tei ubesc, Jared!.
Darnu ispuseni mi c.Ni cimcarl ar eveder e.
-M inepl ecl aKeypoi ntiovoil uaipeEl enacumi ne, i
spuseLaur enOl ivieinbi roull uiBen.
Luaseohot rreiacum opr ovocapeOl ivi
aspr otesteze.
-Cr edcGl oriaosai bnevoi edeaj ut orodat cunat er ea
copi lului .El enaiCar l
ost rebuiesl ocui asc mpr eun,cao
adevr at f ami li
e.Os- lr ogpeRudysl edeaunadi ncsu el e
del af er m.
-ef uldeechi pnui ahot rr
ilaKeypoi nt ,Laur en,spuse
Oliviacl ocot inddem nie.
Cum ndr zneas- ipomeneascdebast ar dulacel aide
fami lial ui ?Laur en o pr ovoca i ntenionat ,aa cum f cea de
ctevazi l
e.
Laur en i ncepusecampani achi arndi minea apl ecr iil ui
Jar ed. nai nt ecaOl i
viasaf l
eceaveadeg nd,aor gani zatun
comi tet bi ser i
cesc car e avea ca scop numai aj utorar ea
comuni tiidi nPuebl o.
Laur ennuer acucapul nnor i.iddeaseamac,dac
l
ocui tor iior aul uiCor onadoarf ifostcuadevr atpr eocupa ide
situa iasemeni lorl ormexi cani,arfifcutcevademul t.Sef olosi
dinpl i
ndenumel ecpt atr ecenticer uaj ut orcaso ialuiJar ed
Locket tpent rur eali
zar ea unuipr oiectl a car e se g ndiser .
Vict i
mel eeinuput user sr ef
uze.
lconvi nsesepePepesopl imbepest rzileor aul uii
fusese ngr ozi t
deceeacevzuse. nl umi nast r
l ucit
oar ea
soar el ui, ureniail i
psur i
leor eluluiPuebl osevedeaucani t e
~224~
Sandr
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rnideschi se.Laur en f useseocat nf a al i


pseidei gien,
srci ei,bol ilorimi zeriei.
Sub ndr umar ea l uiLaur en,doamnel e de l a bi seri
c au

ndemnatal te gr upur isoci ale s i niieze di verse ac iunide


caritate. S- au adunat i au mpr it hai ne vechi . Pent r
u
const ruc iiaf ostdonat cher est ea,deiuzat .I arLaur ena
scrisuni ver si t
iidi nAust i
n, ntrebnddacnucumvast udenii
put eauamenaj ac teval ocur ipent rut r
at areabol navi loripent r
u
adac teval ec iiel ement ar edei gi en.
Cndaauzi tdeef ortur i
leluiLaur en,del auncl i
entalbnci i
,
Oliviaabi aar eui tsaj ungacas naint esexpl odeze.
Anceputdi scu iadinbi rou, spun nd:
-Veipunecapti medi atacest uipr oiectr idicol .
Laur en nu s- a pr efcutc nu n elege.I nt rase n bi r
ou

nar mat pent ruaceaconf r


untar e.
-Nuvr eausdi scutni miccut inep nnut r
agdr aperiadin
spat elebi roul ui .
Fiecaf ostocat de ndrzneal al uiLaur en,f iecf uriaa

mpi edicat -o s obi ecteze,Ol iviaar mas t cut nt imp ce


Laur ens- adusst r
agdr aper i
ile.
Apoi ,s-aaezatpef otoliuldinf aabi roului ,spun nd:
-Deci ,Ol ivia,bnui esc c aio pr ere nl egtur cu
activitateameadi nPuebl o.
-Amest ecult uacol oecur atnebuni e!st ri
gOl ivi
a.Or i
ce
comi tet eaif i nf i
inatorsdi spar ncep ndchi ardeacum.
nelegi ?
-n eleg, darnu, niciunuldi npr oiect elepecar ele- am nceput
n-osf i
ebl ocat .
-O sam gr ijsf ie,oameni neapeunt oncar earf i
i
ntimi datmul ibr ba icur ajoi,darLaur enni cinucl ipi.
- Nucr edc- os- of aci,ziseeacucal m.Ce- arspunel umea
dac efortur ilemel enobi learf impi edicat edepr opri
amea
soacr ?
- Ni menin- ost i
e, spuseOl iviauoramuzat .
Oar ef ataaceeaer apr oast ?
- Baorst ie.Osl espuneu.
~225~
FOCURIASCUNSE

- Ah, n eleg.Aideg ndsmcompr omi


i?
- Dec ndeor ui nes- iaju isemeni i
?
Laur enconsi derdi scu ia nchei atat unciipl ec,l s nd-o
peOl i
vi asi ngur cuur aei .
Dacaceast aaveadeg nds mpi edi ceac iuni l
el uiLaur en
descoper icnuer adeaj unsdepr egt it.Laur enf cuseacest
gendel ucr ur it oatvi a a.Er aobunor gani zat oar e.Talent uldea
convingepeci nevasf accevanepl cutideal sai mpr esia
cfusesei deeal uidel abun nceputer acevaf oar terar nt
lnit.
Toat l umeaer a ndr gost i
tdecur aj oasadoamnLaur en
Locket t.Sugest ii
lesubt i
leal eOl ivi eicum cnor aeiarf if ost
pui
n cam ambi i
oas au pr ovocatdoarl aude ient uzi asm
pentrupr oiect el eei.
Cndt oat ecomi tet eleer au npl i
nact i
vitateiPuebl oddea
dejasemnede mbunt ire,Laur ensehot rsse ntoar cl a
Keypoi nt.Deocamdat ,f cuse t ot ce- ist t use n put i
n .
Ostil
itateaexi stent ncasadi nCor onadodeveni sei nsupor t
abi l.
Acum, nf runt nd- opeOl iviacuf er mi tate,f rsset eamde
rutateaacest eia,spuse:
- Am vor bi tcuJar edr eferitorl aEl enail aCar losielaf ost
deacor d.
Erapr imaoar c ndLaur enHol brookLocket tspusese
omi nci un, darpr esim eacaveasf i
ei er tat.
-i ,
npl us, dinmomentce, nicieu, niciJar ednus nt em ai ci,
sntsi gur ct epo ilipsideea.Pepenepoat educep nl a
Keypoi nt, dupcar evaaducecr u a napoi .Pr obabi lcpoi m ine
seva nt oar ce.
-Di nc tevd,t e-aig nditl at oat e.Cesper isr eal i
zezicu
aceast mi cescapad?I nt enionezisl espuiunoranumi t e
persoane de pl anur ile noast re n sper ana c acest ea vorf i

mpi edi cate?


Ochi iver zi aiOl i
vi eier aucani t epumnal e.
-Daci -aspunel uiRudy,zi seeaf cndopauzdupce
rostiacelnume,i -
apune nper icolat tpeelc tipef ami lial ui
inicinr upt ulcapul uin- af acecevacar es- iaf ecteze.
-Ceemo ionant !
~226~
Sandr
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Laur en iignor sar casmulicont i


nu:
-Nucr edcpl anur il
et al ebar bar esevorr eal izavr eodat ,
Olivia.Nucr edcJar edvapar t
ici pa.Am aj unss- lcunosci
ti
ucnu- ist nf ir
esf acunl ucr uat
tdedemndedi spre.
Pent rusuf let ultumt em, Olivia,nupent ruall uiJar ed.
Oliviar se ncnt at
.
-Cepr oast et i
!Cr ezicl -aidatpebr azd. igar antezc
arr epr ezent aopr ovocar epent ruor icemi sionar car ear ncerca
s-lsal veze,spuseea,dupcar et otamuzament ul idi spr ude
pechi pulf rumosir ece.Nucont apeJar ed. miapar i
nei

nt otdeaunavaf acece- ivoispuneeu.


Laur enser idicpl indegr aiedi nf otoliuii eicompl et
stpnpesi ne.
Ziuacar eur mf ur ece,pl oioasi nt unecat , nper f
ect
armoni ecust areadespi ri
tal uiLaur en.Rosa ilur masbun
del aEl enapl
ng nd,darf at aer aext rem debucur oas.C nd
Laur en ispusesecaveasoi acueal aKeypoi ntaa nc ts
fi
eal t urideCar l
os, Elenaf usesecopl ei tder ecunot in.Nu i
veneascr eadcaacevaaveasse ntmple, t
ot ui ,
nci uda
vremi i oribile, spor oviavesel c ndpl ecar .
Clt oriadur maimul tdec tdeobi ceidi ncauzapl oiiia
drumur i
lornor oioase.Laur en st tea pecapr l
ng Pepe,i ar
Elena, ncr u,ghemui tsubop nzi mper meabi l
.
Cndaj unser ,
nsf
rit,laf ermdup- ami azt
rzi u,leer af r
ig,
foameier auobosi te.Gl or i
al ei eir epede n ntmpi nar eio

mbr ipeLaur encapeosor .


-Ne- af ostat tdedordet ine.Mbucurnespusct evd.
UndeeJar ed?Vi nemait
rziu?
Cnd iauzinumel e,Laur ensi m iunnod ng t,darr spunse
dest uldecal m:
-Dedat aast anucr edcosvi n.Ar et reabl aAust i
n.
Glor iaarf ispusmaimul te, darevi dent aovi alal uiLaur en
deavor bidespr eso uleiof cusr enun e.Oar e ntreceidoi
l
ucr urilenuaveaussear anj ezeni ciodat ?
-Gl oria, eaest eElena, so i
al uiCar losRi vasipr ietenamea.
Am adus- ocumi necas- ideaom ndeaj utorpeai ci.Sperc
~227~
FOCURIASCUNSE

Rudyos- ipoat l sasl ocuiasc ntr-unadi ncsu e.Cr ezic


eposi bil
?
-Osf acem naaf el nctsf i
e.Bi neaiveni t,El ena,zi se
Glori
al undu- im i
nilent r-
aleei .i nem f oar t
emul tlaCar losieu
unas ntf ericitc, nsf
rit,ve ifi mpr eun.Ne- apr utf oar t
e
rucndam auzi tdecopi l
aulvost ru.Osmaj u isam gr ij

decopi i?Nummaipotdescur casi ngur cuei .
Gloriar eac i
onaexactaacum seat ept aseLaur en.El ena
aveasf i
ef er icit
acol o.Laur enof tii ntr ncaspent r ua- i
salutapecopi iipeMar i
a.Fi ecar e,c nder a mbr i
at ,avea
ceva s- ipovest easc mt ui iLaur en,i area iascul ta cu
ateni
e,gel oas pe i nocen al orl ipsi t
de gr i
ji.Puneau o
sumedeni ede ntrebr idespr eer oull or ,unchi ulJar ed,i areal e
spusecum c tigaseconcur suldet rager el a int.Ascul tar cu
ochiimar icndl epovest i
nt regulepi sodcuaut omobi lul.
Gloria it rimi seapoi n camer elel or,iarMar iaveniso

mbr iezepeLaur en, carepr imicubucur iecl duraacel orbr ae


subir
i.Dupaceea,Mar iasedepr tpu inipr i
vi nad ncul
acelorochicenui iitriti,
-Cr edcet inef ericit
, Laur en, nu?
Ea ilscapul npi epti ncuvi in cut r
ist ee.
-O svor bim mait r
zi u,ziseMar i
abt nd- opebr a ,dup
carese ntoar sespr eEl ena.
Cnd veni ,sear a,Rudyo mbr i cu cl dur i ,pr imi nd
semnal ulGl or iei,seab i
nus- ipunpr eamul te ntrebr idespr e
Jaredsaudespr esi t
ua iadi nCor onado.
Sus i
nnd c er a obosi t,Laur en se r etrase devr eme n
camer aei ,car e iami nteadur er osdemul tdeJar ed-l ucr ur i
le,
hainele,par fumull ui.Tot ulo f cea s- iaduc ami nt e de
despr i
real or .
tiacnuvoi sesol oveasc.Nuf usesedec tunacci dent .
Ceeaceconsi der aeaaf if ostot rdar eer auvor bel epl inede
rcealpecar eil ear uncase.Sf if ostel er ost i
tedeaceeai
gurcar eosr utasecuat tapasi une?Sr utr icar e,iacum,
cndiami nt ea, of ceaust remur e.
Nuaveani ciunr ostsnegesenza ii
lecar eost p neauor ide
~228~
Sandr
aBr
own

c
teor iiami nteademoment el el ordedr agost e.Tr upulise

nmui et otc nd iaduseami ntecum ot ul buraser m i


nilei
buzel el uiic tpl cere ipr oduseser .Compl exitateat rupur il
or
l
orisedezvl uisesubat inger eapr iceput al uiJar edi ,tot ui,
doreasaf l
eimaimul t.Voi assi mt di nnouacelext az
subl i
m car eo nvl uise n cl i
pa n car emascul i
nitat ea l uio
umpl use,
ntregi nd- o.
Cuvi nt eledei ubi repecar eelil eopt isel aur echeoobsedau
iibt eauj ocdeeaf c nd- ossezv rcoleascnel init i
tis
udeper nadel acr imi .
Rudyl eper mi sel uiCar losiEl eneisf oloseascocsu
afl
at l avr eomi ldi st an decasaceamar e.Bachi ar iddu
l
iberl uiCar l
osozipent ruaar anj at ot ul.Reui rsf acf oar t
e
puin,dar ,adouazi ,cndCar losol sl af erm nai ntedease
ducel al ucru,El ena r adi a def ericire.Seobi nuii medi atcu
buct r iaisepur t
acucopi iicur bdar eauneiguver nant ecu
exper ien .Acet iaoador auioascul t aumaimul tchi ardec t
pemama,pemt uaLaur enceaext rem dei ndulgent ,saupe
buni cal orpecar eoexpl oat auf r mi l
.
Laur en nu avea st ar ea de spi ritpot ri
vit sr bt or i
lorde
Crci un, daracest easosi ser t ot ui. ndi minea azi l
eideCr ci un,
JamesiJohnauf ost nc nta isdescoper ec teoper echede
bretelenoiipi stoal edej ucr iecut ocur icut ot.Fetelescoaser
exclama iidebucur iegsi ndj upoanenoiipangl icidepr n
cutiil
edel amt uaLaur en.
Er aat taagi ta i
e nj ur ulcadour il
oradusedeMoCr ciun,

nc tni meninuobser vc ndLaur ensef ur i


ncamer aei .
Di ntr -
uni mpul specar enu lput eadef ini,se ndr ept spr e
dulapi ldeschi se ncet .Seui tl ahai nel eluiJar ed ni r
at epe
umer ae:o per eche de ci zme vechizceau ar uncat e cu
negl i
jen iovest depi eleat rna nt r-uncui ninter i
orului i.
-Jar ed,opt ieai iascunsef aa ntr-
unadi ncmicar e,
deif usesespl at ,imaipst ra ncmi r
osul ,aromadet utun
amest ecat cuceaavest eidepi el e.
Suspi nc tevacl ipe nmat erialulcmi i,pnc nd, deodat ,
si
m ipeumer iat i
nger eaunorm inibl nde.
~229~
FOCURIASCUNSE

-Laur en,et ipregt itsst m devor bacum?S ntgat as


teascul tdacvr ei.
-Ah,Mar i
a,nuvr eaus mpovr ezpeni menicupr obl emel e
mel e,maial espet i
ne,car eet iiaadest ulde nt r
ist atdi n
cauzamor i
iluiBen.
Mar ia o conduse spr e pat i se aezar am ndou.
Excl ama iil
e de ncntar e al e copi il
orr zbt eau di n camer a
altur at.Mar iaobt uuorpem npeLaur en,d ndu- it impde
gndi re.
-. ..aceast cst or i
eamea. ..eof ar s,zi seea nt r
-un
t
rziuiapoi ,cuungl aspl indet ulburare, ntretiat,ipovest i
totul, ncep nd cu cl ipa n car e lcunoscusepeBen p n la

ncer careadevi olal uiWi lli


am Kel l
eriaccept areami nci unil
or
acest uiadect r
eso iiPr ather .ier ar uines- ispunMar iei
caref useser t ermeni i
n eleger i
ieicuOl ivia,dar ipovest i,totui,
evitndspomeneascdeVandi ver .
-Pr obabi lcet ingr ozitdef aptulcm- am v ndutast fel.
-Nu s nt n msur s j udec pe ni meni ,Laur en,dar ,n
acel eai mpr ejurri,af if cutabsol utlaf el .Uneor i
, nvi a,
sntem obl iga isal egem ntredour ele.Aif cutceeaceai
crezutcebi ne.Ni meninupoat est econdamnepent ruast a.i,

npl us,cr edcaiavutiunal tmot i


v naf ardedor inal uiBen
ibani i
,nu?
Erao ntrebar epecar eLaur eni -
opusesedenenumr at eor i
.
Oar ef usese ndrgost itdeJar ed ncdeat unci ?Deaceea
fusesedeacor dcui deeaaceeaneobi nuit?Ni mi cnu imaier a
clar.
-Te- aindr gost itdeJar ed, nu- iaa?o ntrebMar ia ncet ,i
ar
Laur en ncuvi i
n.iaceast cst or
ie de conveni en s- a
transf ormat nal tceva, nu?Ai ..
.fostcuJar ed?
Laur en iascunsef a anm iniispusesuspi nnd:
-Da,da.S- a ntmpl atabi aacum c t
evazi l
ei ..
.ah,nut iu,
Mar i
a.Toat vi aaam f ost nv atscr edcbr bai
if acl ucr uri
rel
e"f emei loricdoamnel esef erescdeasemeneaumi l
ine.
Chiardacs nt em cst orii,ti
ucJar ednumi ubet e.Eun
pcatssi mtceeacesi mt ?Sdescoprpl cer e..
.
~230~
Sandr
aBr
own

-Cr ezi caf ostceva ru ?


-Nu, rspunseeacuvehemen iMar ia ir einuunz mbet .
-ieuer am f oar tet nr c ndam f ostpr imaoar cuBen.
ncer cam snegbucur i
apecar emi -oddea.Dar ,cndam vzut
ctdef er i
cit lf ceam, am put utssi mtieuacel eail ucr urifr
ruinesauvr eunsent imentdevi nov ie.ieuam f ost nv at
scr edcf emei anut rebui esseat ept edec tl adur erei
degr adar edel ai ubire, darDumnezeu, nubr bat ul,af ostcelcar e
acr eatsexul ,Laur en.i ,chi ardacbr bat ul ldenat ur eazi l
foloset egr ei t,elr m ne,t ot ui,undarpent rudoioamenicar e
sei ubesc.
-DarJar ednumi ubet e.Mi -egr oazdezi uac ndseva
stur adef ar saast aimvai zgoni .
-Cr edcJar edsel upt cupr opriilel uisent iment e,Laur en.
Nus ntdepr erecarf iput utf iobligatsse nsoar ecuci neva,
i
ndi fer entcearf if ost nj oc,dacnuarf if ostat rasdef emei a
respect iv.Emul tpr ea ncp nat.imaicr edcni cipr i
ncap
nu-it recest ei zgoneasc.
Seui tl at
nr aaceea nlcrimat iisef cumi l.Benvoi se
caeisf ief er i
cii
.Sper aseat
tdemul tcar elaial orsse
transf or me ndr agost e.
-Laur en, spuseeaapoicubl nde e, nut et emes- liubet ipe
Jar ed.G ndet e- t
ecevi a ngr ozi t
oar eaf iavutdacnul -afi
i
ubi tpeBen.G ndet e- t
el anecazur il
epecar earf it rebui tsl e

ndur edeunulsi ngur .Cr ed c nu veir egr eta c i ubet iun


Locket t,laf elcum ni cieunur egr etcam f cut -o.inu- mipar e
rudec tcn- am put uts- iof ermaimul icopi i.
Laur en it rasenasuliset ersel aochicubat ist at i
vitcu
dant elpecar ei -
odduseMar i
a.
- imul umesc,Mar i
a.Du- t
el aait i...laainot ri.Vi nieu
mait
rzi u,ziseeaz mbi ndt remur tor.
Mar i
a im ng i
eobr azulscl datdel acrimiipl ec,l s nd-o
singur sse nt r
ebeundeof isr btor i
ndJar edCr ci unul.

~231~
FOCURIASCUNSE

Capi
tol
ul20

Timpdedouspt m nidupCr ci un,ceidel aKeypoi nts- au


bucur atde o vr eme neobi nui tde cal d.Ceimai n vrst
spuneauci ar na ncnut recusedacer aat tdecal dnianuar ie,
dart oatl umeasebucur acsepot oliserv nturil
eacel eacar e,
uneor i,aduceaupl oirecicaghea ail apovi .
ntr-odi mi nea ,Laur enpor nissepl imbecl aresi ngur .
Mar iaer ar ci t,i areanuvoi ses- lder anj ezeni cipeRudy,ni ci
pevr eunuldi n vaquer os .Er aui mitorc tdemul t isimeal i
psa
l
uiFl ame.Darc ndseg ndeal aea iaduceaami nteideJar ed.
Crudivi olent ial ungacel eg ndur idinmi nte.
Fr spi ardf ermadi nochiighi dndu- sedupRi oCabal lo,
urcicobor c tevacol ine, bucur oasdeacelexer ci
iu.Trecuse
vreoor dec nder apl ecat it ocmaise nt orceaacas,c nd
obser vcur echi l
ecal uluier auda tef oart emul tpespat e.Cam

naceeaicl i
p, Laur enauzio njurturmor mi tur matdeun
geamt .Opr ical uliascul tcuat enie.Geamt ulser epet ,
veninddi nspr eunp lcdecedr i
,ndemncal ulnt r
-acolo.Cnd
ajunsel ac ivapaidi stan ,di sti
nseunt r
up nti
nspepm nt
.
Descl ecpr udentif cuunpas nai nteovi toare.
-Rm iundeet i
.
Auzisunet uli nconf undabi lalunuit rgacii
nmr muri.
-Nut eapr opi a.
Gl asuler asi nist r
u,darcaicum ef ortuldeavor biarf ifost
extrem dedur er os.
-Et irni t?Te- am auzi tgem nd.
Laur en er a sper iat,darsi mea c per soana aceea avea
nevoi edeaj ut or .
-Et inevast al uiJar edLocket t?
-Da, sntdoamnaLocket t.Dumneat aci neet i?
Fcu ncunpas nai nte.
-Am spussnut eapr opii.

~232~
Sandr
aBr
own

Ultimulcuv ntf ur ost itpeunt onmair i


di catisepi erdu

nt r-unvai etpr elung.


Ls nd pr uden al a o par te,Laur en al er g spr e p lculde
copaci .Seopr ibr usci idusem nal agur pent rua- inbui
un ipt .
Br batuler azdr enrosimur dar,iargl eznaisepr insese

ngr ozi tor ntr-unf eldecapcan,s ngel ei roin-du- iprintredi n i


i
deo elcar e ist rpungeaucar nea.
Chi pul ier ahi dos.Er aCr azyJack,pust nicul .Bi etulom avea
pef a oadevr atmascamor i
i.Ni tecicat riciroiiiur tese

nt i
ndeau nl ocur i
leundearf it rebui tsf i
eur echi leidougur i
oribilesecscau nl ocdenas.
Laur enf cuunef or
tcasnuver se.
- Domnul e Tur ner, d- mi voi e s t e aj ut, spuse ea
apr opi i
ndu- seimaimul t.
Ceeace imair msesedi nf a seschi monosidedur er e.
Buzel e idezvel eauceic ivadi n i,
iarochi iier au nchii.Laur en
obser v c m na car e inuse puca er a ncl etat acum pe
picior ulrni t.Ar maf useseui tatpepm nt.
-Nuvr eauni ciunaj utor .
-Poat enu, darcr edcaiaveanevoi e.
Fer mitat eadi ngl asulei lsur prinse.Deschi seochi iiopr ivi
bnui tor,
cut ndoameni n areoar ecar e,darnuvzuni ciuna.
-Po is- misco ipicioruldi npor cr iaast a?
-Nu. .
.nut iu,spuseeaui tndu- sel aobi ectulr espect ivi
cutr emur ndu- se.Os ncer c.
-Bi ne,at uncil asvor baif -op nnu- mipi erdt ots ngel e,
mor miel .Apucdeambel epr iit r
agec tpo idet are.
-N- ost edoar c ndos- ir idicl abapi ci orului? ntrebea
temt oare.
-Bada,f i
r-arsf i
e,dariacum mdoar ecadr acu'it ot
trebui esscapodat i odat , nu?
-Foar tebi ne, spuseea, sco ndu- imnui le.
Eraevi dentcomul inten i
onasf iegr osol ancu
totdi nadi nsul .
Inima ibt eacuput erec ndsel s ngenunchil ngacel
~233~
FOCURIASCUNSE

om desf igur ati icupr insef l


uierulpicior ului ,deasupr al ocului n
carese nfipsesecapcana.Elgemuchi ariat unciiea lpr i
vicu
mi l
.
-mipar er u, tiucecumpl i
tdedur er os.
-D- idr umu' odat , spuseelr guit.
Apucdeambel epr ialecapcanei ,deier af oar t
egr eu
dat orit s ngel uicar eo f cea s f ie al unecoas. ncet -
ncet ,

ncer csodesf ac,daraceast ani cinusecl intea,i arCr azy


Jack i inur suf lareac nddur ereadeveniimai mar e.
-Mait ar e,cucoan.
Laur en ncer cdi nnoucut oatput erea.Exactc ndvoi as
renun e,si m icmet alul ncepeascedeze.Br aeleodur eau
dat oritef or tului. ncel edi nur m,capcanasedesf cu,darnu

nai nt edeamaipt rundeodat ncar neabi eteivictime.


Jackscoaseunur l
et .Di n
iicapcaneil saser gur iad nci n
j
ur ulgl eznei ,car es nger audi nabunden .Laur ensedusei
scoasedi ndesagopl oscpl incuapdi ncar et urnper ni l
e
l
uiJack.Acest aapr oapecr
deadeea.
-Apanu- ibunpent r uaaceva, cucoan. .Adupl oscaai ade
l
aauacal ul uimeu.Epe- aicipeundeva.
Eaar uncopr ivire nj urivzuunani malamr
tci ugul i
nd
i
ar bascur tdepel
ngcopaci .Seapr opi ecut i
mi ditatedeel ,
tem ndu- sesnusesper iedeoamenil af eldemul tcast pnul
su,darcal ulst tul i
ni ti
tc ndeal upl oscadel aobl nc.O
dest upii nconf undabi lulmi rosdewhi sky ilunr ilecuasal t.
Probabi lcer apoi rcadecar e ispuseseJar ed.
Ezi t
numaiocl ip nai ntedea- it
ur nal ichi dulcugener ozitate
per ni.Jacksest r
mbiochi incepur s- ilcri
meze,darnu
maiur l. if cusemns- idesf acear fadel ag tis- ilege
picior ulcuea.Aceast aer amur daripl indeunsoar e.
-Ce. ..ce- arf is-of olosi m peamea?E. .
.
Seab inusspun maicur atizi se nschi mb:
-...maimar e.
-Nuvr eauni mi cdepoman. ..
-Nu, ni civor bdeaaceva.
Nu iddut i
mpspr otestezeimaimul tiiscoaseear fa
~234~
Sandr
aBr
own

del ag t.Rost ing ndor ugci uneder ecunot inpent rucnuo


pur tapeceaal bast r
demt asepecar ei -odr ui
seJar ed,ciuna
dinbumbacpecar ei -ocumpr aseeadi nCor onado.Fr s- i
per mi t s se g ndeasc l a dur erea pe car et r
ebui a s i-o
provoacebi etuluiom, ibandaj st rnsrni l
ecuear fa.
-Aa.Ast aart rebuis i
np naj ungem l aKeypoi nti
chemm doct or ul.Po icl ri?
-St aiun af uri
sitde moment ,cucoan.Eu n- o s mer g
nicier idectl ami neacasini ciunaf urisitdet ietordeoase
nuosseat ingdevr eopr t
icicdi nJackTur ner .
-Domnul eTur ner, rnileast eas ntser i
oase.Poat ecgl ezna
er upt .
Nu lputeal sasse ntoar c npet era ncar etri afrs
fi
evzut naintedeunmedi c.
-Ter og, dacnuvr eismer gilaKeypoi nt, l
as-ms- laduc
peRudy, ltiipeRudyMen. ..
-Ladr acu' ,t i
uf oar tebineci neeRudyMendezini ciel
,ni ci
nimenial t
cinevan- os- mi ngr i
jeascgl ezna naf ardemi ne.
Am avutmaimul teoaser upt edec taniidumi t
al e.
-Poat eenevoi edecust ur i
.
Elir i
dicochi ibat jocor itorispr eeai njur ng nd.
-Ci necr ezicmi -
acusutf aac ndm- auar anj atindi enii
,hm?
Nuat eptaunr spuns, i
arLaur ener apr ea ngr ozitpent rua- i
daunul .
-Acum, hai ,terge- o.
Sechi nuisser idice,r ef uzndu- incer criledea- lajuta.Se
aplecil ucapcana,bombni ndpent rucer agoal ise

njur ipesi nepent rucni mer i


se nea.Sedusechi opt
nd
spr ecal ulsuit raseoducdi npl osc nai ntedeasesl t
a n
a.
-Vr eist eur mezp nacas?S- arput ea, totui ,sainevoi e
deaj ut or.
-Nu,doamn.L- aivzutpeJackTur nermaimul tdec torice
fi
in omeneasc de douzeci de ani ncoace. i -
a f i
recunosct ordacaiui tace- aivzut .

i ocolipr i
vireaiadug:
~235~
FOCURIASCUNSE

-Par iof emei efoar tedet reab, doamnLocket t


.
Laur ent iacnui -arf iplcutdacarf isim i
tmi l ngl asul
ei,aacspuse:
-Mul umesc.Mi -af cutpl cer e s t e cunosc,domnul e
Tur ner.
El iscoasepl riaisedepr t.Eanu lur mi medi at
pent ruanu- it ulbural initeal acar e ineaat
tdemul t.At ept
pnc ndnu- lmaivzu, dupcar e ncl ecisedusespr ecas,
oprindu- sedoarpu inlar upent rua- ispl am ini
ledes nge.
Int r
nbuct rie,umpl uuncocum ncareise ntoar sepe
mal ulr ului,nf aacaseiconst ruitenzi duldepi atr.Lscoul
pest
ncanet ed,aacum lvzusepeJar edf cnd.Nuzbovi ,
cipl eci medi at ,frspr i
veasc napoi .
Pemsur cet er menulGl orieiseapr opia,f emei lecoseau,
tri
cot au,pr opuneaunume.El enaanun f erici
t ntr-
odi mi nea
cer a nsr cinat di nnou.Er asnt oasipl indevi a,iar
Car l
osavea nper manen pechi punz mbetnt ng.Laur ener a
nespusdebucur oasdef ericireal or.
Copi lulf ami l
ieiMendezal esezi uade23i anuar iepent r
ua- i
faceapar i
ia.Gl oriaf useseagi tat ncdedi minea nzi ua
aceea.Ea,Laur eniMar iast t eau nl i
vi ng-room,l
ngf oc,b nd
ceai ,cndeast r
nsedeodat br aulfot oliului.
-Cr edcmapucdur erile.Ecam at r
eiacont rac i
eicea
maiput ernicdep nacum.
Laur enf uc tpe- acisscapeceaca,darMar i
asedusel a
noraeiaj utnd- osmear gp n ndor mi torulpecar e lmpr ea
cuRudy.
-Laur en, vreisvi isoaj u ipeGl oriasseur ce npat ?
Laur en sr isper i
at ,dar se duse n camer .Ur m nd

ndr umr il
eMar iei,
dducuver tural aopar teiMar iao nti
nsepe
Glor i
apecear ceaf .
-Laur en,euodezbr ac,i art udu- teispune- iEl eneisai b
grij
decopi it otr estulzi lei.Tr imit e-ivor bl uiRudypr i
ntr-un
vaquer o .O st ieundes- lgseasc.Peur mvi no napoi .
Sntsi gur cnevaf idef olospu inaj ut ornpl us.
Laur en i ei nf ug,bucur ndu- sedeor i
cesar cin car eo
~236~
Sandr
aBr
own

ndepr t
adepat ulacel a.Nuvoi asasi stel aritualulsecr etcare

iuci sesemama.
Elenaer ancul meaf ericiri
iioasi gur peLaur encaveas
aibgr ij
decasidecopi iicvaf ipeapr oape ncazcer a
nevoi edeaj utor ulei.Rudyi ntrval -vrtejc tevami nutemait r
ziu,
pm nt iulaf a.
-Rudy,st r
igLaur en.Cont am pet ines- mical meziner vi
i.
Credeam ct e-aiobi nui tcuast ap nacum,dart uar icaun
tticl apr imulcopi l.
Elz mbir uinat.
-Bnui esccdef iecar edat epr imaoar .Ebi ne?Potsm
ducs- ovd?
-Pi ,credcda,zi seLaur ennet ii
ndcar eer aet ichet an
astf eldesi tuaii.Ateapt pu in.
Intr ncamer a ntunecoas,undeGl oriast tear ezemat de
per neivor beal i
niti
tcuMar i
a.Laur ennuseat eptasel aaa
ceva.Cr edeacaveasogseasczv rcol i
ndu- sededur ere.
-E nregul dacvi neRudy?
Gl oriar
se.
- Di nvi nal uimaf lu nsi t
ua i
aast a,aacbnui escce

ndr ept i
t.
Rudyi ntrdupce if cusemnLaur eni ,di nt r
eipaimar i
,
ajunsel
ngpat .Seaezl ngGl oriai ipuseambel em inipe
abdomenulei .
-Car evaszi c,p ndi sear osmaiavem ogur de
hrni t.
-Euvoi ficeacar eos- lhrneascdeocamdat ,aiui tat?
-S ntconvi nscosf acif a ,zi seelz mbi ndi icupr i
nse
sniiumf l
ai.
Ea iddupest em n.
-Rudy Mendez,chi ari n ast felde moment e et iun
ner ui nat.i nf aamameit ale!
-t iecsemncut ata,spuseelr znd,dupcar eseapl ec
i isr utso iapef runt e.S ntaf ar dacosf ienevoi ede
mi ne.Tei ubesc.
Gl oria isr utam ndoum inil
e nai ntecaelsser idicei
~237~
FOCURIASCUNSE

si asdi ncamer .Ochi iluiLaur enseumpl urdel acrimiiun


nodcar eisepusese ng to mpi edi cs- irspundMar ieic nd
aceast aor ugsa ef oculdi ncmi n.
Dup- ami azat recuf oar ter epede.Dur eril
edeveni rdi nce n
cemaimar i,iarLaur enpr i
vi ngr ozi tcum pat uleraI nundatde
appt atdes nge.Cr ezucer a nner egul ceva,darMar i
a i
spusecer aabsol utnor malicbebel uulaveasvi npe
l
umecur nd.
Dupvr eoor ,chi pulGl or i
eiseschi monosidedur ere, darsub

ndemnur il
ebl ndeal eMar ieidea mpi ngemait ar e,adusepe
l
umeunbi eel .Laur enpr ivicum Mar ia ltrasedi nt rupulmamei
l
uii itiecor donul ombi licalcar e iinusel ega iunuldecel l
alt.
Probabi lcmamaeisuf erisel af elc nd iadusesepel umepeea
ipef r
i
or uleiacr uinat ereouci sese.Si miodr agost e
i
menspent ruf emei apecar enuocunoscuseni ciodat .Arf i
vruts- iaducami ntedac ispusesevr eodat coi ubea.Cu
si
gur an cof cuse.
Mar i
a nfur copi l
ulnt r-
unpl ed, cndGl or i
astrigdeodat :
-Nucr edcs- at er minat !
Mar i
aiLaur enseduser r epedel ngeaivzur unal t
cpornegr iciosapr nd ntrepi cioar eleei .
-Laur en,aj ut -o,ispuseMar iast r
ng ndl apieptbi e eluli

ncer c nds- ipot oleasc ipet ele.


Laur enpl iiddusobi ect eze,darGl oriagemudi nnoui ,
c
ndseui t
,vzucum umer iicopi lului ncer caus- ifacdr um
sprel ume.Tr emur
nd,Laur en ipr i
nsecapul nm iniaacum o
vzusepeMar iaf cndit raseuor .Copi l
ulnusemi c,dar
scoaseunur letput er nicnci udamucozi tilorcar enc imai
blocaug tl
ej ulmi cu.Laur ent r anspi rait remur a,dart rasecu
maimul tput er edecpor ulal unecos.Copi l
ulapr oapec i
ni

nbr a e.Eraof et i
.
-Ef eti
, ist ri
gear
zndipl ngndmameiner bdt oar e,
careapoiser elaxl i
ni tit
.
-I a, Laur en, inet ubi e elul, pnt aieucor donul.
Laur enpusef etiapecear ceafc ndMar iaidducel lalt
copilpent ruat iacor donulsur ioar eilui.
~238~
Sandr
aBr
own

-Gl oria,aidoigemeni .Per eche,spuseMar i


achi cotindcao
fetican.
-Spune i-iluiRudy, opt iGl oriasl bitdint r
eper ne.
Laur eni eidi ncamer ,cont inunds i
n nbr aebi e el
ul
car e if ceasi m itpr ezen a.
-Rudy, s ntgemeni !Bi e elif eti
!
Rudyvenispr eeai seui tlapr oaspt ullui fiu.
-Gemeni ? ntrebelpr ost it.
-Da,vi nosvezi ,spuseeaconduc ndu- l ncamer ,unde
Mar ia i
neaf etia.
-Gemeni !excl amelr znd, dupcar escoaseunchi otat
tde
strident , nc tcopi i
incepur s ipeimait are.
-Eh, vezice- aif cut ?imust rMar iapun ndf eti
apeumr ul
Glor iei.
Rudy il uf iuldi nbr a eleluiLaur eniseaezpepatl ng
soial ui.Am ndoiscot eauexcl ama