As soon as the sun rose from the horizon the heat began, cutting short the cool freshness and the summer morning songs of birds. Kenny Veech, walking in on the highway north of the village, took off his coat and slung it over his shoulder. One of his shoe soles had come loose at the toe, and when he walked it made a scuffling, slapping noise against the concrete. He walked with his shoulders hunched and his head down, half asleep from the warmth of the sun and the rhythmic sound of his flapping shoe sole.
The village lay down the road in front of him. Above the green crowns of trees rose two pointed church steeples and a...