“Mex,” says Jackson. “Real little heller. Squalls morning, noon, and night! Neighbors wouldn’t even let ’em keep their windows open.”
Almost on cue, Manuel Rios begins wailing loudly.
“Do you sleep with your window closed?” asks Hall.
“No, siree Bob – fresh air fiend,” says Jackson.
Hall glances at Karen Anson, then turns back to Jackson. “Tell us what happened, Mister Jackson,” says Hall.
Jackson turns away. “I don’t want to think about it,” he says.
“You know what people will say?” says Hall. “Piedmont was bad: that’s why it was punished. First, the town went crazy, and then was destroyed.”
Anson looks on, shocked.
“You’re crazy!” says Jackson. “Folks at Piedmont was good! Decent, normal folks!”
“The man we found all dressed up in his doughboy’s uniform,” says Hall, “call that normal?”
“Pete Arnold,” says Jackson. “who worked at the store.” Jackson’s voice drops to a whisper. “It was the disease.”
“How do you know?” asks Hall.
“Cause the only thing wrong with him –” begins Jackson.