Far off a lion roared, breaking into the stillness of the moonlit night.
He turned to leave the scene of the tragedy and nearly stumbled into Jeremy.
“Oh, heavens!” he exclaimed.
Jeremy was standing rooted to the spot, ashen and in a state of severe shock. Danny grabbed him by the shoulders and shook him hard.
“Jeremy! Jerry! Snap out of it!” he shouted at him. “Do you hear me? Come on, come! Jeremy!”
The young man’s eyes were beginning to register, slowly turning towards his uncle.
“I saw it all…saw you on the bridge and followed…oh, man! No! This…did you see that?” He started shaking violently. “It was the most terrible – oh, such amour!”
He turned to the side of the path and started vomiting fiercely with sobs tearing through his body in between the bouts. Danny rubbed the hunched shoulders and when the boy went down on his knees he lifted him up.
“Let’s go walk. We need to talk. It is not good that you saw what you saw. Want to wash you face in the first ablutions we come to?”
Jeremy nodded and Danny squeezed his shoulder, affectionately giving his nephew a hug from the side.
They had gone back round the shop and walked onto the road towards the camping sites, had covered some distance before Jeremy dazedly started coming to his senses.
“That guy was crazed with love!” he remarked in wonderment. “If I find such excellent love one day…”
“Play it when you get there, Kid. But yes, he was in too deep. You haven’t seen the half of it. I’ve been following them around all afternoon.”
“Really? Gee, Danny! Do you see this kind of stuff, ghosts, a lot?”
“Too often. I never take it as an example to live by though, but as a lesson of life. Every time.”
“How wise. Man! I’ve never seen such a thing before in my life! Imagine me seeing such specters where-ever I go one day, doing archaeological excavations in North Africa, the ruins of Irish castles, paved alleys in Rome, sidewalk cafes in France, sailing the seven seas, wild exotic islands…”
Danny laughed. “That’s enough roaming to keep you busy for years. What an imagination you have!”
“I haven’t even gotten to America’s prairies, the bridges of Venice, Australia’s Outback…”
“Awe, come off it, crazy kid! Here we are. Go wash your face!”
“Lay off my hair, Danny!” Jeremy warned as he received another ruffling on the head.
Put fancy, romantic daydreaming on Jeremy’s list of traits too!
· * * * * *
Diane was fast asleep.
“Too exciting a day,” whispered Jeremy. “It’s beginning to catch up with me too.”
Danny left him and stepped outside again. He strolled across the lawn, sighed heavily when he let his worn-out body down on a bench overlooking the river.
Tomorrow he wanted to go buy that little ornament of the Bateleur Eagle for Kathleen. The Bateleur, acrobat of the skies. Kath was as much of a free spirit as he. She’d love that.
Sooner or later he was going to start fighting for her love. Well, right, she had already confessed to that part. He had to win her completely. Make her understand how he needed her. His body needed her, his soul needed her, this very heart of him needed her. The very man he was WANTED her! He wanted to share a powerful love with her as the love he had witnessed today. They could make magical moments together…
And he would also never let her go. Only not in such a drastic and severe way. He would always fight for her, keep her!
First he had to build up strength and enjoy this visit with his mother.
Then he was going to hunt Kathleen down and bring her home.
A cricket screeched somewhere behind him, Egyptian wild geese were making a noise below by the river.
He looked up.
In the shadows of a thorn tree stood a figure in filmy white garments staring silently out over the lawns.
Danny came to his feet and walked away. He didn’t want to see the story playing off all over again. Much too heartbreaking.
“Mitch…I’m so sorry…My Poet…”
The whispery words of the lovelorn woman were carried away as a sigh on the breeze.