chapter  21
4 Pages

John Evans, Shadows Flying

Jacob is in love with David Runyon, and that love is, in some strange way, returned. When Runyon moves into the house that Jacob has inherited from his uncle, he asks a question that is also a statement, “You love me, don’t you, Jacob?” When Jacob makes an enthusiastic response, with tears in his eyes, Runyon says,

Well, come now, that’s fine, and I’m glad of it. But let there be an end to this misery I see in you. Love is no unhappy thing, and, besides, I can’t bear the smell of unhappiness. I am glad you love me, and I hope you will keep on. In my fashion, I suppose I love you. . . . But I must tell you now, I will not be possessed. Love me all you want, but don’t ask me to give what I do not give without the asking. (p. 19)

When Runyon suggests that Jacob accompany him on a visit to his mother and sister, Jacob is thrilled, for his meeting with Runyon’s family will surely make the union complete. The two men set off to hike the 100 miles down the California coastal range to Runyon’s family home, which is isolated and curiously built in the style of a Southern mansion.