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After a night in the softest sheets he'd ever slept in, Jake took a tip from the bellboy and headed to Aroma Cafe in San Rafael for an egg number called a shakshuka. He had trouble pronouncing it, but it sure was good.

On the way to Bolinas, Sir Francis Drake was clogged with bicycle enthusiasts—a real Tour de France scene. But it was smooth sailing after that, the Roadmaster lapping up the Shoreline Highway like a kitten drinking milk. Nice country, Jake thought, as the dark redwood forest gave way to ocean vistas. The kind of place a person could lose himself in.

Case in point, he realized after half an hour, he'd missed the turnoff to Bo-town.

Cursing his sloppy work, Jake pulled off the road to ask directions at a tidy little farm. Looking around for an Old MacDonald–type, he was surprised to find a bearded fellow in white spaceman rags walking toward him, like some kind of beatnik Flash Gordon.

"Hey, mac," Jake called out. "Is this the road to Bolinas?"

"Yep. Keep on this road, it's about 10 miles south of Point Reyes Station."

"I just came from there. I didn't see any sign for it."

"Oh, you didn't see it, all right," the farmer said with a laugh. Bees were buzzing his head like Spitfires, but he didn't seem to notice. "The locals take down the sign on the highway every time they put up a new one."

"Are you blowing smoke?"

"It calms the bees."

Jake narrowed his eyes. Farmer Flash was savvy. "I get the picture," Jake said. Could be worse than beach bums and nature freaks, he thought. Sounds like Molly Pemberton had gone surfing in some murky waters.

Jake nodded toward a greenhouse. "Say, what's this outfit here?"

"This is Heidrun Meadery. Come on, I'll give you a taste."

What the hell, it was almost noon. "Not bad," Jake said, draining the glass. "What d'ya know—honey, with a kick." That reminded him, there was a honey-blonde dame who needed finding. "Thanks for the hooch, chief."

When Jake finally pulled into Bolinas, he circled through town and spied a likely place to start asking questions—some longhairs playing guitar on a dock. Just as he got out of his car, two dames in a Volkswagen bus zipped by in front of him, headed out of town. On the roof was a surfboard—mango orange. . . .

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