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titel-schutz > Witch Water > Part 2
"Thanks very much-" A tip jar with several dollar bills in it sat on her booth shelf. Fanshawe put in a ten.

"Why bless you, sir, and thank you from the bottom of my heart! A pleasure it's been a-meetin' you, and may it be a lovely day the Lord 'as comin' your way."

"The pleasure's been mine," and Fanshawe headed away. That woman is a TRIP, he thought. I'll bet the accent is fake, she's probably from Jersey. He laughed when he thought one of the Revolution soldiers flinched, then he found himself looking again at the palm-reader's parlor. It was just a narrow rowhouse of old, faded brick, with interesting pediments and stone sills. He wondered what the palm reader looked liked-Probably older than Mrs. Anstruther-then he ground his teeth when he glanced up the store front to the second floor.

Windows, always windows...

He scanned the map some more, then pa.s.sed the Travelodge, the two-story structure forming an L-shape. A splash turned his gaze. Bright beneath the summer sun extended an outdoor swimming pool. It was mostly older children wading around with their parents, tipping over rafts or volleying inflatable b.a.l.l.s. A tanned, muscular lifeguard sat bored up in his chair: The Thinker in swim trunks with a whistle around his neck. Fanshawe noticed a fair number of attractive women in hats and sungla.s.ses, stretched out on lounge chairs, all agleam in suntan oil. He gave them a bland glance, but then caught himself looking much more intently at the rows of sliding-gla.s.s doors facing the pool. He barely heard the sound of frolic from the water.

d.a.m.n it. There I go again. He could not resist roving his gaze across all those windows. Then his eyes locked on. In one window, a woman crossed his view in a spare, orange bikini...

He winced and pulled his gaze away.

He stalked off fast, crossed the cobble road as the British woman had instructed, then loosened in relief. SCENIC NATURE PATH, the sign read with an arrow pointing.

He followed the arrow.

He tried to ignore the guilt that came along with him, like another stroller several steps behind. The Travelodge had bothered him, and so had the immediacy with which he'd scanned all the tempting windows. In New York, after a year of therapy, he never succ.u.mbed to the same temptation. Why here? Why now? He walked faster, lengthening his strides as if to out-pace his disarray. Soon his outrage at himself bled over into despair, and he felt lost.

I am NOT going to relapse...

But he felt better the more he walked, through winding gravel paths up into low hills. It was a smorgasbord of natural beauty for as far as he could see. b.u.t.terflies floated over the high, sweeping gra.s.s. Wild flowers of every color seemed to s.h.i.+ft with some manner of sentience, begging his eyes to appreciate them. Fanshawe walked for some time, each step loosening another tight st.i.tch in his malformed mood...

The paths, he saw, comprised a web-work about the hillo

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