Wilson stood and shook Phil’s hand. “I had some good friends back in the day,” Wilson said. “I got to move on. I have a stop in Montana, a lawyer who defended me. They say I killed somebody, but were unable to prove it. That usually means, they didn‘t have the proof or I had a darn good lawyer; that’s what I want to find out.”
Phil stood and hugged Wilson. “You be careful now, will ya?”
“Thanks, Phil,” Wilson said.
Wilson drove Mathias back towards Hecla. They were half way back before a word was said.
“This is how you were the last time,” Mathias said.
“What do you mean?” Wilson said with his attention on the road.
“You went quiet on me,” Mathias said. “It was like you were someplace else.”
“Or someone else,” Wilson said.
“This is where it happened,” Mathias said. “wasn’t it ?”
“What?” Wilson said.
“When we were in Fargo the last time you had no clue who you were,” Mathias said.
Wilson swerved off the road and quickly adjusted back on the road.
“We got up one morning,” Mathias said. “You told me to take off back to Hecla and you’d catch up with me later. You said you wanted to check the town out; you were thinking of finding a job.”
“Yes,” Wilson said. “I remember that, but not you. I recall walking away from the motel clueless as to who I was. I wandered for a while. I ended up in Atlanta a month or so later.”
“Is that where you took on your new identity?” Mathias asked.
“Yeah,” Wilson said. “I got a job at a used car lot washing cars. The name Charles Abbot popped in my head. I got a phony birth certificate and social security number under that name. I talked the guy into letting me open a lot that had all used cars for under $500. In no time I was selling more used cars than anybody in the south. I bought a small new car dealership that was about to go belly-up.” Wilson chuckled. “Everybody I sold a used car to we found them and offered them what ever it was they paid for the car that I sold them as a trade-in for a new car.”
“What motivated you?” Mathias said.
“Fear,” Wilson said. “Fear of finding out who I was. I thought the more successful I was as Charles Abbot what ever I was would be to ashamed to show up.”
“You remember that?” Mathias said.
“Yeah,” Wilson said. “All I new is that I was running from someone, myself. Ain’t that a kick in the pants.”
“I think you will eventually figure it all out,” Mathias said.
“I know I’m looking for something terrible,” Wilson said. “It’s like opening the door to a dark room.”
It was near sundown when they arrived in Hecla. Wilson spent the night and was on the road by sunup the next morning.