Nostradamus: The Secret Quatrain Part 3

Nostradamus

Nostradamus, the Medieval seer and mystic
Nostradamus, the Medieval seer and mystic

September 2: Later in the Day


I took a seat on the bus. It would take five hours to get from Warthan to Fresno.


Five hours! I began to regret selling my truck to Ramon. It was only a two hour drive in my truck. But this was perhaps safer. Who knows if they were looking out for my truck on the roads.

They had already asked about me around town. Who knows what they would do next.

The bus gave a noisy shudder and cough. Then settled to a steady shaking as it pulled away from the bus stop.

Soon we were out of town, driving through the vast expanse of vineyards. Grape bunches lay drying on sheets of paper between the rows of vines. Raisin season. I had hardly noticed the drying process in the past. You miss a lot when you drive.


There was a scratching noise came from a loudspeaker in the roof of the bus. Then the sound of trumpets as the songs of a mariachi band called out.

The bus continued to rock steadily and soon my eyes closed as I fell asleep.

AWAKE!


Was it a jolt of braking, or the noise of car horns? I woke suddenly. My mouth was dry, startled I looked out of the window. The vineyards were now gone. We were driving in the suburbs of Fresno. I looked at my watch, it was 3:35pm.


Well that was one way to make the trip fly, I thought. Looking around the bus I had been joined by several people, a couple of field workers, a youth who looked like he was out for the night in Fresno and some women of various ages. All chatted happily to one another. While one of the field workers, happily sang along to the continuing mariachi music.

I realised then how conspicuous I was the only non Hispanic passenger on a bus. White men don't ride the bus, they have their own trucks and cars. I remembered Ramon once telling me.

A little after 4pm the drivers voice cracked out over the speakers replacing the music for a moment. "Greyhound." she said, "Greyhound bus!"

There was a frenzy of bustling people as we slowed. Most of my fellow passengers moved off the bus.


I was left with just one young woman. "Amtrak, in two stops" The driver called to us.

"OK. Thanks" My voice croaking, from the dryness in my mouth.

Friday Night


The Amtrak station was quiet.

The polished tile floor shone in the afternoon sun. The dark wood counters, tidy and clear of the day to day clutter of the bigger stations.

"I need to go to Chicago" I told the cashier.

"Next train is 11:30 tomorrow morning." She was quick to answer. "Go to Bakersfield, L.A. then the Chief to Chicago, gets in Monday afternoon."

"OK I'll take that."

"Only coach seats left." she said looking at her computer screen. "$307, one way."

I pulled out my wallet, counting out some bills.

"Do you have I.D.?" She asked.

I hadn't thought of that. I pulled out my driving licence and passed it over. She glanced at it, typed and pushed it back to me.

Her printer clattered and in moments I was leaving the station, tickets in hand.

I walked across the street to the station hotel. It was dark, built in the Spanish style like the station. Its lobby walls were covered with photograpghs of the station in its heyday, pens filled with thousands of sheep ands their proud Basque shepherd leaning on the gates waiting for the trains to take their flocks away.


Ann


After checking in to the hotel and finding my room.

I sat for a few minutes. Wondering what to do with the time.

I'd need to eat. Then sleep, if I could after the sleep on the bus.

I'd also need to disappear from Chicago. How?

Ann might help. She was in Indiana. Maybe she could help. Maybe let me stay a while. I picked up the phone and dialed.

She answered quickly. I told her I had decided to visit Indiana for a few days. Asking if we could meet up. "Sure, you can stay here for a few days. Catch up on old times." she sounded happy to help. "Meet you at South Bend Airport. Monday."

That was settled.

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