Chapter 13 The Bus

Susan had been making phone calls too and found the bus but had no way to find me but she knew Rowan and found her way there. When I got to Rowan’s Susan was there in the bus and had a fire going in the stove and a pot of beef stew. Was I glad to see her! I was damp and shivering.

“Susan?” asked Agnes. Pouring more wine for both of us.

“You remember. I met her when when she lived in the rooming house in Seattle?”

“The one who came to visit the farm?”

“Yes, her. My steady date in the city. She had run the mail boat out to one of the outer islands. She was big, sexy, smart and beautiful. I loved her.”

“That sounds like a movie in itself.” said Agnes.

“More like the coda after the second ending of the Viet Nam Suite,” I said.

Agnes looked puzzled.

“Music. Thats how they write music to save paper and so the conductor doesn’t have to turn another page in the score.”

Agnes now looked positively baffled.

“You don’t read music, do you. I figured a sophisticated, educated lady like you would have musical education too.”

“Don’t be mean. I stopped piano after the fourth form.”

“Well, never mind. I was just trying to be clever. Let’s just say that period was about the bottom of the slide. It was mostly up from there.”

“But about the bus…….I want to know about living in the bus. Did you live with Susan?” prompted Miss Yen.

“No. She only visited from time to time. I have to back up a bit for the bus story. You remember Halftrack Mike?”

“Yes. I met him and I heard more about him. He worked for Mr. Shackley didn’t he?”

“He never would admit to that that but he seemed to be around Shackley’s operations a lot. Did you know Shackley?”

“Not really. He had an office down the hall from Col. Suel and I had a few conversations with him and Col. Suel.”

“Really, that’s interesting. I didn’t know you even knew Col Suel.”

“Yes, through my father. Father got me the job with the 126th because he knew the Colonel.”

“So why were Shackley and Col. Suel interested in you?”

“I’m not sure they were. I’d gone to see Col. Suel about you. That was after you’d gone. I asked but they wouldn’t tell me why you’d gone. Suel said something about a bureaucratic snafu. I didn’t believe him.”

2 thoughts on “Chapter 13 The Bus

  1. Nice!

    Copy edit comments –

    Second paragraph – those short sentences should start with capitals. After the farm? You lived in the woods … trees?

    Missing closing quotes on several paragraphs.

    Possessive of Agnes is probably Agnes’ ; at least that is what I always use for proper nouns ending in s. It gets the job done without fancy flourish. One Web site notes Apostrophes for Names Ending in “S” This situation can get a little tricky, because there is actually no hard-and-fast rule about apostrophe use for nouns ending with “s.” Some people hold that only the apostrophe should be added, without the extra “s,” like in “Charles’ book.” Others say to add the “s,” so that it reads “Charles’s book.” Still others differentiate by the sound of the final letter, adding only the apostrophe if the letter makes a “z” sound — James’ or Lourdes’ — and using both the apostrophe and the “s” if the letter makes the “s” sound — Lucas’s or Agnes’s. A good rule of thumb is to pick one system or the other and to use it consistently throughout, and check with your teacher or supervisor to see which form is the preferred one.

    Hyphen in long-haul probably shouldn’t be there, I’d use long haul. There are no good rules on this, so I go by most common usage, and that reduces to using google on long-haul then long haul and see where I get most hits. Then, sometimes specific hits or contexts contravene my rule. E.g., real-time has been used with hyphen since I’ve been into computers, but Real Time with Bill Maher I would take to be correct also.

    There are style guides to help with all this. Might have to pay for one but an author should have one. Better yet would be a program that scans your document for style, e.g. AP Style Checking Tools. I have not found the MS Word grammar checker to help much, but then I haven’t used it in a long time, but then that’s because it was just getting in the way.

    Which Style Guide Is Best for You? The Associated Press Stylebook (AP style) The Chicago Manual of Style (Chicago style) The MLA Handbook from the Modern Language Association of America (MLA style) The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA style)


    1. Tommy, thanks for the copy edit comments. WordPress doesn’t always pick up punctuation, particularly quotes when one pastes in large amounts of copy. I try to catch them when I’m posting but I miss stuff. I have several style guides and use whichever is required for the job at hand. Sometimes it’s the GPO, sometimes it’s Chicago. Generally if there’s no requirement I go with NYT. It seems to get the least push back. When I worked at Microsoft they required the use of their style guide which I and many other writers took great issue with. As in “Who the hell are you to rewrite the English language.” But it’s a losing battle as Word is what everybody uses nowadays.


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