Whispers on the Wind

Whispers on the Wind by Judy Griffith Gill

Book: Whispers on the Wind by Judy Griffith Gill Read Free Book Online
Authors: Judy Griffith Gill
simply Jon.”
    “Jonallo?” The emphasis was on the middle syllable. When he said it, it came out like a phrase from a song. When she did, it sounded like...like some kind of skin preparation to take care of itching.
    “That is correct. My parents, Attana and Ling, named me so. It means Bold One. And you are Lenore.”
    Had she told him so? Had she called him by his name since arriving in the cave? Obviously, she must have, but she didn’t remember. A vague memory surfaced, of the voice in her living room using her name. She shoved it away.
    “All right Jon,” she said, refusing to try again—or for that matter—buy into the ‘Jonallo’ name he wanted her to believe, or the names of his supposed parents. What kinds of names were those, anyway? Ling? He certainly lacked any visible connection to the Chinese race. He was going to great lengths to confuse her and she recognized a snow-job when she saw one. He reminded her of the many people she had met who pretended to be so open and above-board that no one, not even the IRS, could possibly doubt the veracity of their tax returns. She’d learned to watch out for them—they could be dangerous to her professional integrity. They were the kinds of people she insisted reveal every detail of their taxable transactions. Luckily, in her profession, she was allowed a reader that could delve more than just superficially into any client’s chip. If any refused to cooperate with her, she refused to work for them. Too bad she didn’t have it with her in this cave. Or even in the log house down the mountain.
    She’d simply have to rely on her own instincts.
    “Now, let’s have the truth,” she said. “Let’s start with the basics. What are you doing in this cave, without your clothes?”
    “I am a mountain climber,” he said. “I was climbing in the nude for a photographer who sells the pictures to a...company that makes postcards. People from foreign... He pursed his lips before going on, as if he were searching for an unfamiliar word again. “Foreign...nations buy them.”
    Lenore put even greater distance between them. She stared at him through the heat shimmer as she crouched to lay another few chunks of poplar on the fire. Had she been talking aloud during her speculations? It wouldn’t surprise her. She’d been babbling to herself all week.
    “I see,” she said. “And where is the photographer?”
    “I do not know.”
    “Where is your climbing gear?”
    He blinked, looked thoughtful and then shrugged those magnificent shoulders. His abdomen rippled above the silver fabric of the sleeping bag. “Perhaps...up there,” he said.
    He glanced at the cleft in the rocks where the smoke wafted away.
    “I was up there and fell, uh, through.” His tone was bright, as was his smile. His expression was one of pride. “I slid down that chimney and crawled to where I now lie.”
    “Yes,” she said, narrowing her gaze at his handsome, ingenuous face. “Where you now ‘lie’. Lie, as in ‘tell untruths’.”
    Again, he looked so guilty she wanted, inanely, to laugh. “I have no wish to tell you untruths, but...”
    She glared at him in irritation, paced back to stand at the bottom of the ledge, her eyes on a level with his as he sat leaning on her pack. “But what? That story about the climbing, about the photographer, it’s too pat, Jon,” she said. “Too much an almost verbatim repetition of what you must have heard me saying while you pretended to be unconscious, and I don’t accept it now any more than I did then. I was merely speculating in the absence of any concrete evidence.”
    He looked perplexed, charmingly so, much too charmingly so. “I did come through that chimney. Or perhaps just...near it.”
    “No damn way!”
    Snatching up the lightcell, she rushed to the back of the cave, crouched, narrowed the beam and shone it upwards. She turned back to him triumphantly. “As I thought. It hasn’t enlarged itself miraculously over the past

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