Isabel was short, a little over five feet. Bob got up quickly to follow her because she didn't pause, as one might pause upon standing up, or pause before opening the door. Her stride was fast without being hurried, but he had to hurry a little to keep up with her. Some of the patients lingering in the halls followed along behind them. By the time she walked out a rear exit, about twenty people were with them.
Isabel walked up to a massive maple tree in the middle of the lawn, put her hands on it and then leaned forward, like a vertical push-up, pressing her right cheek against the bark and smiling.
"This is the blink of an eye," she said, displaying more affection for that tree than most people showed their mothers, at least in Bob's experience, which was vast.
"What if I told you this is the good tree and that is the evil tree?" she asked, pointing to the other massive maple tree, which seemed to become darker than the first when she pointed at it.
Isabel had a long torso and looked kind of like a ferret. Her ears were small but they stuck out. She had dirty blonde hair which had that straight, heavy look that often comes with inconstant grooming.
She pushed away from the tree in the gentle way that lovers do when they transfer their affection from bodies to eyes. Then she ran suddenly to the evil tree. Her bare buttocks showed through the gap in her hospital gown. Most of the patients wore regular clothes. The ones in hospital gowns were generally the dribbling type, and even they wore underwear.
When Isabel reached the maple, she didn't pause for a moment. She took two steps up the trunk and leapt to the lowest branch, which she easily pulled herself onto, and from which she immediately leapt to the next branch. In one motion, as one might walk across the room, she ascended nearly to the top of the tree.
Bob noticed that Dr. Hirlung was standing next to him.
"Did you see that?" he asked the doctor.
"Isabel loves to climb trees," he said like the moronic parent of a prodigy.
"So do I," said Bob, as he leapt for the first branch.
Meanwhile, at Kratzin's Restaurant
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