A BREATH OF SPRING
Early spring in New York; warming days and cool nights. Banjoist, Dave Harding, having finished a gig at Maxies with a Dixieland band, was walking to get fresh air in his lungs. He had no intention of being a good Samaritan, but it happened when he discovered a girl lying unconscious in an alley. On rolling her over he recognized her at once: the pushy, garishly dressed young prostitute who had accosted him earlier that night. She was bloody and badly beaten. To hell with her; walk away. Yet, she reminded him of his daughter when she was hit by a drunk driver. Dave tried to get the girl to go to a hospital but she refused, staggered away and collapsed. Against his better judgment, he loaded her and his banjo in a taxi and headed for his apartment. She awoke nasty. Controlling his temper, he fed her, said she could spend the night, even have his bed. Morning found her gone along with his new expensive clock-radio. A short time later he caught up with her in the park, only she was on a guerney being placed in an ambulance. A cop asked if anyone knew her; Dave said yes. Bad move. At the hospital a doctor said she’s lucky to be alive, someone gave her an overdose, enough to kill her. She’ll need at least a month to recover. Dave offered to care for her. Another bad move. The first couple weeks proved testy, but they found common ground to communicate: he’s a writer, she wrote for her school paper. As she healed, her natural beauty began to show through. Dave warned himself; she’s here to heal -- hands off! And who wanted her dead?