Little Green

Little Green by Walter Mosley Read Free Book Online Page A

Book: Little Green by Walter Mosley Read Free Book Online
Authors: Walter Mosley
I heard traffic, and so I asked him where he was. He didn’t wanna say, but finally he told me that he had gone up to the Sunset Strip to see what all the hippies looked like and met up with these people that invited him to go to this club.”
    “Which club?”
    “He didn’t say.”
    “Mr. Alexander said that it was a girl that asked him.”
    “How he know that?”
    I raised my palms and shrugged.
    “It was a girl,” Timbale agreed. “He didn’t wanna tell me at first, but after I kept askin’ he said. Her name was Ruby, but she was a white girl. I told him I didn’t want him to go, but he wouldn’t listen. He’s almost twenty years old and got a job workin’ for the Tolucca Mart grocery store on Robertson. At least, he did have that job. They told me that they had to fire him when I called to see if he had been there.”
    “Had he been there?”
    “No. Nobody done seen him since he called that night.”
    Timbale Noon had cried all her tears in an earlier life. At this late stage the best she could do was frown and shake her head over one more blow to her attempt at happiness.
    “Can you find him, Mr. Rawlins?” she asked, looking up.
    “I can sure look.”
    The smile that crossed her lips and faded was like one of those rare flowers that blossom once a year for twenty-four hours and then wither.
    Before I could ask another question the screen door flew open,followed by the clatter of feet. Two girls, a teenager and a younger one, burst into the den.
    “Hi, Mom!” the younger girl exclaimed. “Did Evy call?”
    “No, baby,” Timbale said.
    She reached out and pulled the child onto her lap. The girl was a little too old for this, maybe nine. She was lighter in color than her mother but still a strong brown.
    The adolescent girl was probably thirteen. She eyed me with some suspicion. She was already starting to have the hard visage of her mother.
    Both children were clad in simple one-color dresses, red for the small one and ocher for the older. The hems on both came down below the knee. I thought they might have had different fathers, but the imprint of Timbale was strong on both of them.
    “This is Mr. Rawlins, LaTonya,” Timbale said to the girl on her lap. “What do you say?”
    “Pleased to meet you, Mr. Rawlins.”
    “And this is Beatrix,” Timbale said, introducing me to the older girl.
    “Do you have a daughter named Feather?” Beatrix asked.
    “Yes, I do.”
    “I thought so. She’s gonna go to Louis Pasteur with me in the fall. I saw you with her once at the Christmas choral they had at Burnside Elementary.”
    “You two go on now,” Timbale said. “Me and Mr. Rawlins have to finish talking and then I’ll make you a snack.”
    LaTonya bounded off. Beatrix moved away more slowly, stopping at the doorway to the foyer, where she looked hard at me again.
    “Beautiful children,” I said when they were gone.
    “I have made a whole lotta mistakes in my life, Mr. Rawlins, but I’ve had my share of blessings. Evander was my biggest mistake and a godsend too.”
    “Does he have any good friends that might have an idea where he’s gone?”
    “He’s a real bookish boy. Most’a my friends complain about their kids bein’ on the phone day and night. Beatrix does a lotta that, but Evy ain’t never on the phone.”
    “Maybe the girls know about people he knows,” I suggested.
    “I already talked to them about it. They said that he talked about the hippies sometimes but he never went up there.”
    It would have been better for me to question the girls myself, but I could see that Timbale would not let that happen.
    I took a business card from the wallet that was still on my lap and handed it to her.
    “Do you have a picture of Evander?”
    The workingwoman put her hand in the solitary pocket and pulled out a three-by-five photograph. After gazing on it for a moment she handed the picture over to me. It was the color photo of a smiling broad-faced boy wearing a graduation cap and

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