Jones of Old Lincoln (Chapter 5, page 2 of 17)


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Chapter 5

Later that day I reviewed my research on Mr. Jones. I had returned to Bill's Pool Hall for a bowl of their popular, homemade stew: chunks of beef roast, potatoes and macaroni in a great tomato sauce. Trying to be a native, which in actuality I was, although I'd been a pilgrim offering prayers at many different shrines for nearly forty years, I added three good shakes of Louisiana Tabasco red-hot sauce to my stew. The grilled cheese sandwich that I'd also ordered was the only thing that rescued my assaulted taste buds. That, along with two large swallows of milk, treated my hurt. I suppose my Scottish, German, English, and Cherokee heritage excludes any appreciation of extreme spices. Shepherd's pie, boiled potatoes, pinto beans, or fry bread suit me just fine.

Salt and sugar are my favored flavorings. I had needed to relearn that from time to time and had no reason to think my taste would change. Perhaps my liberal use of Tabasco on this occasion was delusion, or denial, or both.

When I'd gotten out of bed before dawn, Mr. Jones' comments about his being my obsession were on my mind. His professed ability to be with me, not only face to face, but also with me in my mind when my thoughts were on him, offered me a certain flexibility. I decided he'd find me when he wished. I need not wait for him at the pool hall, the shelter, or anywhere. He would come to me. Besides, I needed to examine some of the 'bones' of his life. I decided the day would be a day of study. When he appeared, we could visit. Needing to persuade him to offer more than an uncomplicated tour of his life, I felt it would be best to be prepared.

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