Pumpkin took time before answering.
She sipped her drink, surprised to find it really was her favorite, a pumpkin spice latte.
Sprinkled in the assortment of oldies were a few exceptions—two couples both named Dawkins, and Pumpkin Green, a young man taking a break from his cross country hike to California in support of the homeless, or so he claimed.
Not the case with Pumpkin Green.
There was a four foot wide Double Christian Door, Indian Shutters and "Pumpkin Pine" colored wide board flooring.
Dean wondered if Bird Song could afford the food bill as he sat down and joined Pumpkin for a cup of coffee.
Dean was in front of Bird Song, trying to mow the lawn, still blanketed with the moisture of the now-ended drizzle when he remembered his promise to pick up Pumpkin Green and whoever else needed chauffeuring from the pool.
After leaving the church, amid handshakes and greetings from town friends, the couple was surprised to meet Pumpkin Green.
"I'll tell Billy you want to talk to him, when I see him tomorrow—if he's still talking to me," Pumpkin said.
On the way to the pool, with Pumpkin and the Texas widow as his passengers, Pumpkin told Dean that Langstrom had recruited him for the Fourth of July water fight.
It was Pumpkin Green's third day since arriving with an overladen shopping cart he insisted on lugging to his second floor room.
He slapped Pumpkin on the shoulder and winked.
"He's been busy shooting hoops with Pumpkin Green," Dean said.
"The theater stuff sounds cool," Pumpkin said.
"Pumpkin Green," Dean said.
Pumpkin looked at the picture of Randy Byrne, one leg up on a boulder, an I-own-the-world smile on his young face and Jen smiling at him with a look of love.
Pumpkin held up the hanger, his outfit draped like black robed judge.
Pumpkin trotted off, bouncing on legs Dean would die for.
Pumpkin said, as he strolled up the walk.
Instead, he rose—a suggestion they go inside—but Cynthia and Mrs. Lincoln were content together, as if oblivious to Pumpkin and Westlake.
She turned away from Dawkins, and with a forced smile at Pumpkin and Westlake, left the porch.
Dean spotted Cynthia waving from the corner, just as Pumpkin shocked her with a stream of liquid.
He'd be at the head of the hose, like Pumpkin and Billy Langstrom over there.
Do you think Pumpkin bought the liquor for Billy?
No. Pumpkin told me Billy asked him to buy booze, but he refused.
Pumpkin is a bit kooky, but I believe him.
Westlake practically camps on it and even Pumpkin Green's has gotten in on the act, Dean said.
Pumpkin and the Westlake fellow are over with Mrs. Langstrom, or at the funeral home.
"I doubt it was Pumpkin who left the money," Dean said.
In addition to the four Dawkins, there was Pumpkin Green, the grocery cart vagabond, and old Brandon Westlake, camera buff supreme.
"What do we know about Westlake and Pumpkin Green, for instance?" he asked.
Dean was surprised, but made a note to seek out Pumpkin, and talk about more than the rent.
"Pumpkin Green was a fan of heavy metal music," Cynthia offered.
The trio had pretty much dismissed Pumpkin Green's involvement in spite of his connection with the play.
Yes, Pumpkin had been there and Westlake had spoken to him briefly.
Pumpkin and some of Billy's friends thought there might be more to the young man's death than reported.
That's about the only connection Pumpkin might have, and none that I can see to the bones.
He'd always known Pumpkin was a flake, but he honestly liked the young man and flakiness wasn't the worst trait carried by the young and the restless.
While Pumpkin Green was not at this week's mass, or probably any other service within miles of Ouray, Billy Langstrom's partner in love Melissa attended.
When the old man tried to engage him in further conversation—this time about Pumpkin Green and the general irresponsibility of today's youth—he excused himself on an important errand and left Westlake standing in the hall.
Reminded of Pumpkin Green, he wondered where the young hiker had spent the cool night.
He was happy to be out of the dining room where Brandon Westlake and Pumpkin Green, both distraught over Billy Langstrom's death, were pressing Dean for details.