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

They parked in Bruce’s driveway and immediately ran to the kitchen for a bottle of water. The generator was rattling away on the terrace and Bruce turned it off. He had less than five gallons of gasoline. All breakers were off except for the refrigerator, freezer, and a circuit that cooled and lit the kitchen and den. The rest of the house was hot and muggy.

They unloaded the car, stashed away the food and drinks, opened three bottles of cold beer, and sat in the den for a long rest. Bob, who had slept not a wink before, during, and after the storm, soon nodded off in his chair. Nick followed him on the sofa. Bruce needed a nap too but his mind was racing. He restarted the generator and set the thermostat on 80. Tomorrow’s priority would be gasoline.

 

He left his men to their slumbers and began walking. His bookstore was only four blocks away, and as tired as he was, he needed the exercise. The floodwaters had receded to a point about a block from the harbor. Two police cars were parked in the center of Main Street. Barricades kept away traffic that did not exist.

Bruce knew one of the officers and shook hands with both of them. They passed along the latest rumors: The phone company was hard at work on a temporary cell tower. Might have service as early as tomorrow. Ten dead now, with about a dozen missing but there was no way to know if they were really missing or in a motel somewhere. A tornado did some damage ten miles to the west, but no one was hurt. The bridge was open to rescue personnel, volunteers, and supplies, but not to residents. Not sure when the islanders would be allowed to return. Electricity was a priority but would take days. Crews were arriving from as far away as Orlando. Generators were pouring in. All stores were ordered closed until further notice. Except for Kroger, which had a large generator and was open for business. More Guard units were on the way.

Bruce walked to his store and unlocked the front door with great trepidation. One day before, he and his crew had managed to move ten thousand books to the second floor, where they were now safe and dry. As were the rugs and most of the shelving. On the first floor the heart pine floors were wet and muddy and probably ruined. Judging from the stains on the wall behind the cash register, the floodwaters reached a height of exactly four and a half feet before they receded.

 

Oh well. He had plenty of insurance and plenty of money. Everything could be repaired, and before long he would be back in business. It could’ve been far worse. He climbed the stairs and walked onto the balcony where he had shared many cappuccinos and lots of good wine with friends and touring writers. He had met Nelson there, not that many years ago.