Dr. Eastbrook turned to his daughter, softened his voice, spoke to her as if they were an affectionate father and daughter at a mall food court, trying to decide what to order.
“Harriet,” he cooed. “Who knows you’re here?”
“Don’t hit me, Daddy,” she whimpered.
“I would never do that, Dear,” he cooed again. Harriet glanced over at me.
“If you say anything to her,” said Dr. Eastbrook under his breath, his back to me, “I will hit you for the last time.” I imagined his smile as he continued facing his terrified daughter.
Harriet waited, then took a deep breath and said in a loud voice: “Everyone in Ohio knows we’re here.”
Silence—except for Blue Boyle’s creature sounds behind me.
Dr. Eastbrook let out a deep sigh, shook his head, stood, made as if to turn, then whirled and slapped Harriet so hard he knocked her off her chair.
He whirled around, his face now florid with rage. He spoke to no one in particular. “We have to assume that others know they’re here,” he said. “We’re going to have to move—again.” He looked back at us, then at Blue Boyle. “Take these two over to the other side of the island”—and awful pause—“and drown them.”
As he was grabbing us and moving toward the stairs, I saw a reflection of Dr. Eastbrook in one of the windows. And he was talking with someone.
There was no escaping from Blue Boyle. His enormous strength matched his gigantic size, and as he carried us back the way we had come, one of us in each oversized hand, like dolls held by the backs of our necks, both Harriet and I tried to plead with him. He appeared to hear no sounds. And I was nearly overcome by his rotting stench. He smelled dead—long-ago dead. The crying cormorants screeched as we passed below them, their droppings splattering on Blue Boyle’s head and shoulders—and ours.
It didn’t take long to get to the eastern edge of Green Island. Harriet was sobbing. I was too. I didn’t want to. But I couldn’t help it. I was thinking rapidly of all the things I could do to help us escape … I came up with nothing. Our hands remained bound behind us. We were in the grip of something far more powerful than we were, so I thought at the time. We were helpless. Making it worse, the closer we got to the shore, the continuous humming groans of Blue Boyle grew louder, louder—soon, almost reaching the volume of a roar. The cormorants could no longer compete.
As we emerged from the woods and faced the lake, the lake where Blue Boyle would hold us under water until we were no more, he suddenly stopped his noises and froze in position. Staring. I heard a familiar, very welcome whirring sound.
I wrenched my head to the side and saw what had stopped him: Anchored right offshore was a boat, and overhead hovered a helicopter. On their sides, both said U. S. Coast Guard. They were searching, I’m sure, for two lost girls. And now they’d found us.