Suddenly I become aware that I am sitting down. I have absolutely no recollection of where I might be. I can’t remember where I was and what I was doing last. My eyes are still closed as I try to bring my mind into gear.
There is a pungent smell drifting into my nostrils. It is not one I find particularly pleasant. I only struggle for a couple of seconds to place it. The recognition comes to me swiftly. It is the smell of pee.
At that I open my eyes. I am on a bench in a park. I look to my left; because that is the direction the smell is originating from. Sitting next to me is a woman and she smells of pee. She is sitting maybe a foot over from me. She is looking at me with crystal clear blue eyes. Those appear to be her best asset. Her face is grubby with a mixture of ingrained dirt and exposure to the sun. Her smile is a toothy one, but I wish she wouldn’t as the teeth she does have left are stained and chipped. She is much smaller than my five foot ten inches height, but she probably matches my 200 pound weight, at a guess.
‘I see water and trees’ her words startle me as she shoots out a stubby hand, cupped for a donation.
This isn’t the first time John Ford has come to, not knowing where he is. The previous time was several years ago, after he had been knocked down by a car. He woke up in hospital not knowing who he is or why he had been to Charlottesville. He still doesn’t know. He has had to start his life afresh.
The woman sends John on a mission, apparently to try to save a homeless hostel destined to be redeveloped. The hostel was gifted by Abraham Randolph. She guides John to other people who will help him on his quest. His journey takes him from downtown Manhattan to the middle of nowhere in New England.
However there are some people who don’t want John to fulfil his quest. John starts to think his past life has caught up with him. Someone seems to be fairly eager to stop him, to the extent they want to kill him if necessary.
Everywhere John goes the woman has been before him priming people for his arrival. Each one has something that John needs to be able to unravel whatever it is he is being guided to find out.
The Randolph brothers, Abraham & Isaiah are hunters in the late 1800s. They live out in the middle of nowhere in New England. They are joined by a Norwegian, Denbac, as they try to make a good life for themselves. One of the brothers, Abraham, goes to town but does not return. He has taken all their wealth with him to exchange. They find he is not in town and has gone away.
When Abraham dies in New York, he leaves everything he has in a trust. He has bought a building and it has become a hostel for the homeless. This year the money Abraham left in trust to keep the hostel going has run out. The hostel is about to be redeveloped. Someone has other ideas about that! Who and why?
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