Книга The Dead Zone. Содержание - CHAPTER TWENTY-FIVE
So there you are. I would write more, but football practice is coming up. This weekend we are scheduled to be trounced by the Barre Wildcats. I just hope I survive the season. Keep well, my man.
From the New York Times, March 4, 1978:
Special to the Times-Edgar Lancte, 37, a ten-year veteran of the FBI, was apparently murdered last night in an Oklahoma City parking garage. Police say that a dynamite bomb wired to the ignition of his car exploded when Mr. Lancte turned the key. The gang-land-style execution was similar in style to the murder of Arizona investigative reporter Don Bolles two years ago, but FBI chief William Webster would not speculate on any possible connection. Mr. Webster would also neither confirm nor deny that Mr. Lancte had been investigating shady land deals and possible links to local politicians.
There appears to be some mystery surrounding exactly what Mr. Lancte's current assignment was, and one source in the Justice Department claims that Mr. Lancte was not investigating possible land fraud at all but a national security matter.
Mr. Lancte joined the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1968 and…
The notebooks in Johnny's bureau drawer grew from four to five, and by the fall of 1978 to seven. In the fall of 1978, between the deaths of two popes in rapid succession, Greg Stillson had become national news.
He was reelected to the House of Representatives in a landslide, and with the country tending toward Proposition 13 conservativism, he had formed the America Now party. Most startling, several members of the House had reneged on their original party standing and had “joined up”, as Greg liked to put it. Most of them held very similar beliefs, which Johnny had defined as superficially liberal on domestic issues and moderate to very conservative on issues of foreign policy. There was not a one of them who had voted on the Carter side of the Panama Canal treaties. And when you peeled back the liberal veneer on domestic positions, they turned out to be pretty conservative, too. The America Now party wanted bad trouble for big-time dopers, they wanted the cities to have to sink or swim on their own ('There is no need for a struggling dairy farmer to have to subsidize New York City's methadone programs with his taxes,” Greg proclaimed), they wanted a crackdown on welfare benefits to whores, pimps, bums, and people with a felony bust on their records, they wanted sweeping tax reforms to be paid for by sweeping social services cutbacks. All of it was an old song, but Greg's America Now party had set it to a pleasing new tune.
Seven congressmen swung over before the off-year elections, and two senators. Six of the Congressmen were reelected, and both of the senators. Of the nine, eight had been Republicans whose base had been whittled away to a pinhead. Their switch of party and subsequent reelections, one wag had quipped, was a better trick than the one that had followed “Lazarus, come forth!”
Some were already saying that Greg Stillson might be a power to be reckoned with, and not that many years down the road, either. He had not been able to send all the world's pollution out to Jupiter and the rings of Saturn, but he had succeeded in running at least two of the rascals out-one of them a congressman who had been feathering his nest as the silent partner in a parking-lot kickback scheme, and one of them a presidential aide with a penchant for gay bars. His oil-ceiling bill had shown vision and boldness, and his careful guidance of its passage from committee to final vote had shown a down-home country-boy shrewdness. Nineteen-hundred eighty would be too early for Greg, and 1984 might be too tempting to resist, but if he managed to stay cool until 1988, if he continued to build his base and the winds of change did not shift radically enough to blow his fledgling party away, why, anything might happen. The Republicans had fallen to squabbling splinters, and assuming that Mondale or Jerry Brown or even Howard Baker might follow Carter as president, who was to follow then? Even 1992 might not be too late for him. He was a relatively young man. Yes, 1992 sounded about right…
There were several political cartoons in Johnny's notebooks. All of them showed Stillson's infectious slantwise grin, and in all of them he was wearing his construction helmet. One by Oliphant showed Greg rolling a barrel of oil marked PRICE CEILINGS straight down the middle aisle of the House, the helmet cocked back on his head. Up front was Jimmy Carter, scratching his head and looking puzzled; he was not looking Greg's way at all and the implication seemed to be that he was going to get run down. The caption read: OUTTA MY WAY, JIMMY!
The helmet. The helmet somehow bothered Johnny more than anything else. The Republicans had their elephant, the democrats their donkey, and Greg Stillson had his construction helmet. In Johnny's dreams it sometimes seemed that Stillson was wearing a motorcycle helmet. And sometimes it was a coal-scuttle helmet.
In a separate notebook he kept the clippings his father had sent him concerning the fire at Cathy's. He had gone over them again and again, although for reasons that Sam, Roger, or even his father could not have suspected.
PSYCHIC PREDICTS FIRE. “MY DAUGHTER WOULD HAVE DIED TOO,” TEARFUL, THANKFUL MOM PROCLAIMS (the tearful, thankful mom in question had been Patty Strachan's). Psychic Who Cracked Castle Rock Murders Predicts Flash Fire. ROADHOUSE DEATH-TOLL REACHES 90. FATHER SAYS JOHNNY SMITH HAS LEFT NEW ENGLAND, REFUSES TO SAY WHERE. Pictures of him. Pictures of his father. Pictures of that long-ago wreck on Route 6 in Cleaves Mills, back in the days when Sarah Bracknell had been his girl. Now Sarah was a woman, the mother of two, and in his last letter Herb had said Sarah was showing a few gray hairs. It seemed impossible to believe that he himself was thirty-one. Impossible, but true.
Around all these clippings were his own jottings, his painful efforts to get it straight in his mind once and for all. None of them understood the true importance of the fire, its implication on the much larger matter of what to do about Greg Stillson.
He had written: “I have to do something about Stillson. I have to. I was right about Cathy's, and I'm going to be right about this. There is absolutely no question in my mind. He is going to become president and he is going to start a war-or cause one through simple mismanagement of the office, which amounts to the same thing.
“The question is: How drastic are the measures that need to be taken?
“Take Cathy's as a test-tube case. It almost could have been sent to me as a sign, God I'm starting to sound like my mother, but there it is. Okay, I knew there was going to be a fire and that people were going to die. Was that sufficient to save them? Answer: it was not sufficient to save all of them, because people only truly believe after the fact. The ones who came to the Chatsworth house instead of going to Cathy's were saved, but it's important to remember that R. C. didn't have the party because he believed my prediction. He was very upfront about that. He had the party because he thought it would help me have peace of mind. He was… humoring me. He believed after. Patty Strachan's mother believed after. After-after-after. By then it was too late for the dead and the burned.
“So, Question-Could I have changed the outcome?
“Yes. I could have driven a car right through the front of the place. Or, I could have burned it down myself that afternoon.