THE ATONEMENT CHILD.

CHAPTER 10.

“It’s all right,” he said, sensitive to her fear. He straightened and stood aside so she could see Greg. “This is Officer Townsend, miss. He was just checking the area to see any one’s still around.” He looked at Greg.

Greg shook his head and looked past him to the young girl huddled in the covering of bushes. “Rape?”

“I’m afraid so. Better call an ambulance.”

“No,” the girl said brokenly, covering her face again.

“No, please don’t.” Her shoulders began to shake violently.

“You need medical assistance.”

“I want to go home.”

“You’re going to be all right,” he said firmly, hunkering down again, keeping his voice calm and low. “I’m not going to leave you alone.” He glanced up at Greg. “Tell them no sirens, and lights only when they need them.”

“Done,” Greg said tightly and strode off toward tge west side of the park where they had left the squad cars.

“Come on out, ma’am. You’re safe.”

She moved, scooting a little bit closer and then stopping. Sinking back, she started to cry again, her body bent over, her arms wrapped around her middle. She rocked herself slowly, head down.

A lump lodged in Frank’s throat. She didn’t look more than eighteen. “Was it someone you knew?” He wished he didn’t have to ask questions, but every minute counted if they were going to arrest her attacker.

She shook her head slowly.

“What did he look like?”

“I don’t know,” she stammered. “I never saw his face.” She tried to get up and uttered a gasp of pain. Frank reached out, but she drew back sharply, clearly not wanting to be touched.She sank down again, weeping.

“What’s your name miss?”

“Do I have to tell you?”

“I want to help you. I have to know your name to do it.”

“Dynah Carey. I live in the dorm. My roommate’s expecting me. Her name’s Janet. Janet Wells. It’s only two blocks. Can I go home now? Please?”

“Not yet. You need to go to the hospital first, Miss Carey. Just stay put. We’ll get help for you.” He hoped the ambulance crew had a woman with them.

They didn’t. Two men arrived with a gurney. The older man spike with the girl and coaxed her out of her hiding place.

Frank stood close by, watching the paramedic support the shivering girl as she lay down upon the gurney. They wrapped her in warm blankets, snapped the belts around her, and wheeled her along the park pathway to Henderson Avenue. She said nothing and kept her eyes tightly closed.

Frank’s mouth tightened when he saw the ambulance lights flashing. The woman who had call in the report was outside on her porch again. So we’re others all up and down the street.

Windows were illuminated in half a dozen houses, faces peering to save the curtains. Some, bolder in their curiousity, came out onto their lawns to watch what was going on. He had hoped to save the girl further embarrassment.

She was loaded quickly into the ambulance. One of the men went inside with her and closed the doors behind him. The other took the driver’s seat. They pulled away from the curb and we’re on their way to the hospital before Frank had reached his squad car.

Greg was waiting for him. “We patrolled the other side of the park but didn’t see anyone. No cars parked along this street or on the other side. Did she give you a description?”

“She said she never saw his face. I’ll talk to her more as soon as the doctor’s examined her.”

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