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By Larry Watson

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But none of the previous impressions I had of Louisa Lindahl, none of the intriguing ambiguities or puzzling paradoxes, could possibly match the salient facts of this day: Tarpaper shack. Lester Huston. Gunshot wound. Dr. Dunbar led the way into the room, and we arranged ourselves at the examination table, the doctor on one side, Johnny and I on the other, and the unconscious Louisa Lindahl between us. “This young lady,” Dr. Dunbar said, “should be rechristened. A more appropriate name for her would be Lucky Lindahl.

Finally, when we were sixteen, we were allowed to take part in the competition. In truth, however, those pickup games were far more recreational than they were competitive. What would have landed a player in the penalty box in a real hockey game was likely to be accidental and followed by an apology on our rink. Body checks were more like the suggestion of what an actual check might be, and there was never an occasion when players were tempted to throw down their gloves and square off. And Dr. Dunbar and the Burrows brothers, Stan and Don, were the only players who wore hockey gloves or pads.

I had no doubt that his question was directed to me. I had no reply. ” Of course I wanted to see the patient, but Dr. Dunbar knew this about me before I knew it myself. “Oh, Rex,” said Mrs. ” “Let’s leave it up to them. ” He turned to us. ” I was instantly ready to say yes, but I knew Johnny had to answer first. “Is she ... ” he asked. Dr. Dunbar reached inside the sleeve of his white coat and readjusted a cuff link. “She is now,” he said succinctly. ” “All right,” said Johnny, looking at me. ” Apprehension flickered in his eyes.

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