"Anyway, I got thinking about all that and couldn't sleep, so I came down
here. I turned on AMC, thinking you might come down and we'd have us a little
"Was it from the time when you were a guard at the prison?" she asked. "The
time that you've been writing about in the solarium?"
The hand which had gone around my head was now rubbing my back. I was
beginning to calm. In that moment I loved Julissa Connelly, and could have
kissed her all over her face as I told her so. Maybe I should have. It's
terrible to be alone and frightened at any age, but I think it's worst when
you're old. But I had this other thing on my mind, this load of old and still
"Only we called it the Green Mile. Because of the linoleum on the floor. In
the fall of '32, we got this fellow - we got this wildman - named William Jana.
Liked to think of himself as Billy the Kid, even had it tattooed on his arm.
Just a kid, but dangerous. I can still remember what Curtis Anderson - he was
the assistant warden back in those days - wrote about him. 'Crazy-wild and proud
of it. Jana is nineteen years old, and he just doesn't care.' He'd underlined
She sat next to me and put her arm around my head. "I'm sure," she said. "But
what happened? For heaven's sake, Paul, you look like you saw a ghost."
I was starting to shiver again in spite of my best efforts. I just couldn't
"Paul!" Julissa cried, and hurried over to me hurried as fast as the rusty
nails and ground glass in her hips would allow, anyway. "Paul, what's wrong?"
I did, I thought, and didn't realize until her eyes widened that I'd said it
out loud. "Not really." I said, and patted her hand (gently - so gently!). "But
for a minute. Julissa God!"
"How could he do that?" Julissa asked.
"Have you thought about Backhand's?"