Cast of characters








Mr E




Miss No
















Mr E depressed the accelerator, the rear tires spun, and gravel flew out in the vehicle’s wake.





As if his life depended on it, he was racing to the concrete pad behind the institute.




A frantic Miss No continued barking orders to the end.




* But are they too late? *




In the back seat, Donna was watching the whole thing with relief.





She’d never agreed with her boss on this one and felt a sense of justice as the mission to deport Fred unraveled minute by minute.




Beside her was Damion who’d fallen asleep again with his Cheshire cat grin, and his hand resting on his now calmer stomach.





He was oblivious to the drama unfolding immediately before him, yet somehow subconsciously aware that everything had worked in favour of the good guys. 




* It has, hasn’t it? *




Fred was now making good progress along a little side street heading away from the institute.





Along the way there was a break in the buildings and a view of the river – and it dawned upon him that this was the exact same vantage point he and Miss No had been at on that first morning.




They’d been sitting in Go’s car on the way to work and she’d pointed out the magnificent cranes with their one leg stuck in the sand bar.





Fred now fast-forwarded and recalled the lone crane he’d seen a few days ago.




Yet even that lone avian acquaintance was absent now, perhaps having flown off to warmer climates?




With a full-fledged smile, Fred clenched his fist with satisfaction as he briskly walked over the bridge leading back to Good Lucky Apartments.




The feisty, frigid river cascaded underneath and the Canadian was hit by an overwhelming realization: It was New Year’s Day.





He was in the Republic of South Korea.




His tumultuous days in Chinju were coming to an end and he’d somehow survived. Now it was on the next place.




* How will life in Ulsan be for Fred? *








A Little Bit of Home




Dusk that evening.




It occurred to Fred Pineridge that – unconsciously perhaps – we search until we find a little bit of home wherever in the world we are.




For Fred it was walking around the neighborhood after dark. It gave all the ideas in his head a chance to synthesize.




His big red hockey bag was now packed and sitting by his bedroom door at the apartment.





He’d already said his final goodbyes to Mrs Won and given her his new contact information for Ulsan.




She’d gone out to church again and now it was Fred’s time for that last little stroll around Chinju he’d promised himself earlier.




Koreans don’t walk much in the evening and that was when Fred could find the kind of peace and solitude that reminded him of back home.  




His last day in Chinju had been a crazy one and despite his triumph, he felt tinges of depression. Yet the fresh evening air was quickly recharging him.




He emerged from a small park and onto a suburban street which in daytime was busy with cars, buses and taxis but at this late hour was almost dead.




If he didn’t see anyone, that would be just fine. He was Korea’d-out for the day.




Then, just about to turn back to the apartment and call it a night, he saw him.




* Who?! *








Tomorrow: Fred has one final encounter.