Raven’s Run 81

Raven was in danger, but I had no way to find her. No leads at all. The chances of her being in Venice were infinitesimal. Either Eric would have known that he couldn’t play here, or they would have found out immediately and left. Of course, Raven could have put her plastic to use and paid their way, but I couldn’t see Eric going for that. Nor did I think Raven would support a man for long.

I got up and paced the room. It was over. Susyn could do what she wanted, but she might as well go home and wait for a call from Raven.

Large changes were taking place in Europe that summer, especially in the Eastern bloc. By training and by passion, those events were my destiny. I had loved a woman and had lost her – nothing new in that. I had a life to get back to.

If I was out, I wanted all the way out. I took a ten minute walk to the Ferrol and a twenty minute wait in line to buy a ticket. The train was leaving at five minutes past midnight. 

I returned to the hotel. Susyn was still not back at the room. On impulse, I packed and left my backpack with the concierge.

It was past ten PM and I hadn’t eaten since breakfast. Now that I was financially on my own again, it was back to stand-up sandwiches. I went looking for one. The man behind the counter took a sandwich off the stack in the cooler and put it into one of those waffle iron heaters they only use in Venice. It came out crushed, with dark crisscross burns across the bread, and it tasted fine.

I walked back toward the hotel with a feeling of freedom. Susyn was sitting in the waiting room, angrily rolling my note back and forth between her fingers.

*       *       *

We went to an outdoor cafe where she ordered dinner and I had coffee. The note had told her I was leaving, but she had to hear it from me. 

“It’s a dead end, Susyn. They hustle street musician so fast there isn’t time for an echo. If you want to hire some local troops to sit in the train station with a photo of Raven, go ahead. But you might as well be in Munich or Copenhagen or Brussels. The only thing we know is that somebody said that Raven said that she wanted to come to Venice.”

“You said you could find her.”

“No. I said that I knew how to go about finding her. I didn’t guarantee success.”

The waiter moved in with a plate of food for her, but she only picked at it. I went on, “We did it right. We followed the only course of action that stood any chance of success. And we almost caught up with them in Montreaux. An hour earlier, and we would have made contact.”

“What am I going to tell Senator Cabral?” more tomorrow


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