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Camino Winds (Camino Island, #2) by John Grisham Read Online (FREE)

13.
Bruce slept for two hours on a sofa in the den and awoke with cobwebs and a stiff back. The wind was gone, the house was quiet and dark, the storm was over. He walked to a window and saw the first hint of sunlight. He put on rubber boots and walked outside where he waded through six inches of water and looked at his house from across the street. A few squares of slate were missing from the roof and a third-floor gutter had been ripped off, but the house was in remarkable shape. All of the heavy oak limbs that he had worried about were still where they should have been. Four doors down to the west, the floodwaters had made it all the way to the Keegan home but had stopped at the front steps.

 

He reached into a pocket and removed a cigar. Why not have a smoke? He clipped and lit it, and for a long time stood in muddy water in the middle of Sixth Street as the sky lightened and morning arrived. The clouds were thinning, the sun was rising, the day would be hot and humid, and there was no electricity to cool things. There were no sounds and not another human in sight. He walked south along Sixth to Ash and the water disappeared. The asphalt on Ash was visible. A door opened and Mr. Chester Finley walked onto his porch and said good morning.

“Had a little wind, didn’t we?” he said with a smile. He was holding a bottle of water.

“Just a little. You guys okay?” Bruce asked.

“We’re fine. The Dodsons took a hit but they’re not here.”

“Smart folks. I’m around if you need some help.” Bruce walked around the corner and gawked at the Dodsons’ pretty Victorian. A huge limb had sheared off from an oak in their backyard and literally cut the house in half. He walked on and stopped in front of the Vicker House, 1867, purchased by Myra and Leigh thirteen years earlier. They had painted it pink with royal blue trim, and it had survived well enough. A limb had crashed through a front window and Bruce suspected there was substantial water damage. He and Nick could handle the cleanup with the chain saw. That might be their first project.

As he was returning to Sixth Street, he heard the unmistakable thumping of a helicopter. He stopped and listened as it grew closer, and soon enough a Navy Seahawk came into view, flying low to survey the aftermath. Rescuers in uniforms had arrived, and that was a welcome thought. The chopper flew away and minutes later another one buzzed downtown. It was smaller, with the gaudy paint job of a news station.

 

14.
Mercer and Thomas sipped coffee in bed and waited for the first reports. They were in a motel near Dothan, Alabama, one that had waived the No Pets rule and allowed them and the dog to check in after dark. The traffic had been brutal and they had been forced to keep driving west to find a room. The cable stations had blacked out shortly after 10:00 p.m. when the winds became too strong, but by 6:00 a.m. they were up and running. Not long after sunrise a helicopter ran a live shot along the beach as an excited reporter on board tried to describe the damage. A large condo building was gutted. Another had partially collapsed. Roofs were missing. Some of the smaller beach houses were almost flattened. The empty parking lots were littered with debris. Naval vessels were unloading near Main Beach, the busiest place on normal days. Mercer could not catch a glimpse of Tessa’s cottage, but there was little doubt it had been damaged. Inland, thousands of trees were down, with streets blocked by limbs and entire trees. A church steeple had been toppled.