Chapter 10 - Information Central
Rick and Dusty sat in Rick's place in the back room at Linda's. No one in the place would ever sit in anyone else's chair. In fact you could always tell a stranger because they would sit in chairs that belonged to the regulars.
Jim, watching the crow and listening in as usual had turned his back just as Rick walked in, but when he turned around and saw Dusty, his face registered -- surprise and shock? No, it looked like love and joy, but before anyone noticed, he was able to get his emotions under control.
"Who's your friend," asked Linda as she pointed at the coffee pot.
"Hi Linda, this is Dusty. Her boat was damaged in the storm and she just drifted into the harbor last night." said Rick, reaching for the steaming cup.
"Well, that's a coincidence isn't it? How long ago was it that the same thing happened to you?" said Linda. Of course, you could say "yelled Linda", because when Linda talked, everyone in both rooms could hear. "Hey, Rick found a drifter -- talk about a coincidence," she repeated.
Jojo came over to the table, "Rick, where'd that bottle go? I saw it and it looked pretty old. Did you look in it."
"Well, I got pretty busy Jojo, but it looked sort of familiar to me." said Rick as he noticed Dusty hadn't tasted her coffee. "Do you want something else?" he asked.
Dusty whispered, "Tea?" while everyone strained to hear and pretended not to listen. Linda appeared immediately with a cup of hot water and a tea bag. Sometimes Linda could almost read minds and other times you didn't notice she was even there.
"Hey Linda" called Herb "what's for supper tonite? "Thought we'd have Baked Ham with Pineapple -- you guys never think about anything but your stomachs do you?"
Dusty sipped her tea and took in the room and all of the people in it. When she spotted Jim her eyes widened and her teacup began to shake.