Hawkes Harbor Read online

  S. E. Hinton

  The bestselling author of such phenomenally popular novels as The Outsiders, Rumble Fish, Tex, and That Was Then, This Is Now, S. E. Hinton has been acclaimed as one of the most provocative writers of her generation. Now Hinton returns with a major new novel.

  Dr. Phillip McDevitt, director of Terrace View Asylum, is intrigued by his newest patient, a troubled young man recently transferred from the state hospital for the criminally insane. Jamie Sommers suffers from depression, partial amnesia, and an unaccountable fear of the dark. Dr. McDevitt is determined to help Jamie conquer his demons, but the more he probes the young man's fractured memories, the stranger his case

  An orphan and a bastard, Jamie grew up tough enough to handle almost anything. Taking to the sea, he found danger and adventure in exotic ports all over the world. He's survived foreign prisons, smugglers, pirates, gunrunners, and even a shark attack. But what he discovered in the quiet seaside town of Hawkes Harbor, Delaware, was enough to drive him almost insane—and change his life forever.

  Hawkes Harbor is a compelling and unpredictable new novel by one of America's most honored storytellers.

  Hawkes Harbor

  S. E. Hinton

  A Tom Doherty Associates Book New York

  This is a work of fiction. All the characters and events portrayed in this novel are either fictitious or are used fictitiously.

  HAWKES HARBOR Copyright © 2004 by S. E. Hinton All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof, in any form.

  This book is printed on acid-free paper.

  Book design by Mary A. Wirth A Tor Book Published by Tom Doherty Associates, LLC 175 Fifth Avenue New York, NY 10010


  Tor is a registered trademark of Tom Doherty Associates, LLC. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Hinton, S. E.

  Hawkes Harbor / S.E. Hinton.—1st ed. p. cm.

  "A Tom Doherty Associates book."

  ISBN 0-765-30563-1 (hc) (acid-free paper)

  EAN 978-0765-30563-3 (hc)

  ISBN 0-765-31306-5 (first international trade paperback edition) EAN 978-0765-31306-5 (first international trade paperback edition) 1. Illegitimate children—Fiction. 2. Seaside resorts—Fiction.

  3. Murderers—Fiction. 4. Monsters—Fiction. 5. Delaware—Fiction.

  6. Orphans—Fiction. I. Title.

  PS3558.1548H39 2004 813'.54—dc22


  First Edition: September 2004 Printed in the United States of America 0 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

  David, one more time

  Hawkes Harbor


  Bronx, New York August 1950

  The boy sat in the open window and watched the baseball game in the vacant lot across the street.

  He should be down there, playing, he thought. Not stuck in here.

  He'd earned the right to play. He was small for eight years old, but he'd shown them he was fast, with fighting. He'd shown them he was tough, agile, and no patsy, fighting.

  They called him a bastard and he'd shown them he didn't care, by not crying. After all, truth was truth.

  Now he was going to have to go somewhere else and show a whole new group of kids.

  Well, if that was what it took...

  He tried to ignore the conversation going on behind him in the now-empty apartment. Father Nolan and the strange nun were looking over Jamie's few possessions.

  "This is all?"

  "The girl was a stenographer. They hardly accumulate wealth." Father Nolan's voice was dry.

  "The boy—conceived in adultery, born in sin—he'll need special supervision. The sins of the father..."

  "Sister, I knew the boy's father. Both he and the mother were in my parish. He was a good, decent boy, killed in the Pacific in defense of his country. He meant to marry the girl, I know it. Wartimes aren't like other times."

  Father Nolan knew he had been too lenient with his parish during the war, but life had been harsh enough then ... surely any expression of love...

  "Sin is sin. Well, is this everything?" Her voice was brisk, businesslike.

  "Yes." Father Nolan's heart sank. He had dreaded this moment for a week now, since the visit that confirmed his worst fears—the girl wasn't sick but dying. And she was frantic at leaving Jamie.

  "Jamie. Come here, lad."

  Sighing, Jamie left the window. Time to go with Father Nolan. Jamie had known the tall, white-haired priest all his life, and he was tired of staying with the Carters next door. They were tired of him, too, Mrs. Carter had informed him.

  "It was just the Christian thing to do," she said, "while Colleen was in the hospital. And it certainly isn't permanent ..."

  Father Nolan knelt, put his hands on Jamie's shoulders. "It's time to go with Sister Mary Joseph now. You'll be with other hoys who have no parents, well-looked after, you'll go to school."

  Jamie looked from the sad dark eyes to the impatiently waiting nun. What was happening? Father Nolan was supposed look after him now.

  "But you promised Colleen you'd take care of me," Jamie wanted to say—he'd been there, he had heard. His mother had whispered, "Take care of Jamie," and Father Nolan whispered, "Yes."

  And now the priest was handing him over to this stranger.

  But Jamie's throat tightened. He would not cry again. He was through with that. He wouldn't cry again, ever.

  She had gone and died on him. After all the fights he'd had because of her—because he had no dad—and she too, had promised him, "I won't leave you, Jamie."

  Jamie stood stunned, trying to adjust to his second great betrayal that week. The two people he trusted most had lied to him.

  Father Nolan straightened. The nuns had a reputation for strictness, but surely they'd be kind to him. Jamie was an unusually appealing little boy, with his bright wheat-colored hair, his large golden-hazel eyes; very solemn for his age, quiet, but when he smiled it broke your heart, Father Nolan thought... he got that from his mother.

  Perhaps it would do him good, Father Nolan tried to reason. The boy could use a little discipline—his mother had spoiled him ... trying to make it up to him....

  "What's this?" the nun said sharply.

  She pulled at the chain around Jamie's neck, lifted it and the crucifix over his head.

  "Sister!" Father Nolan said sharply. "There's no need for such roughness!"

  "T-t-that's m-mine," Jamie choked out, his first stammer. He'd rather do that than cry.

  His mother had hung it around his neck the last time he saw her.

  "Wear it always and remember to say your prayers, Jamie. Ask our dear Lord to protect you. It's our hope of heaven, Jamie."

  He didn't want to wear it—necklaces were for girls—but he'd hid it in his shirt to please her.

  "You give it b-b-back!"

  The nun turned the crucifix in the sun.

  Small but heavy. Solid gold. Set with a diamond and three rubies.

  "Hardly a toy for a child," she said, "and when you think about how much the orphanage needs ..."

  "Sister, it was the father's grandmother's—surely it belongs to the boy."

  "It is not only traditional but necessary that all valuables be donated to the orphanage. Charities must always be accepting of any gift the Lord provides."

  She put the chain and crucifix in her small bag. Jamie watched it disappear forever.

  Father Nolan put his hand on Jamie's head. "You must be a good boy now. And mind your temper."

  Father Nolan knew the boy's reputation for fighting—if Jamie hadn't been bullied, he often thought, he would not have behaved so—

  The sailor lad, the father, had been one of the kindest boys he'd known.

  "He'll be good, all right. We'll see to t