"That's probably what the rascal wanted," my uncle snorted. "I wouldn't give him a dime!"
We had to see the game. We had put too much energy into the day, gone through too much trouble, suffered too much humiliation and embarrassment to have it all come to nothing. That would be one humiliation too many for one day. Yes, we had to see the game. And damn those sleazy scalpers. I had an inspiration. I told my uncle to wait, I would be back. By the time I returned, Linda had sung the national anthem and the game had already started. It had cost me, and I had been warned that we would have to answer for ourselves if discovered, but we got in and were able to see the rest of the game from a unique vantage point.
The Yankees won that first game in L.A., 5-3. Uncle Arbria and I took it in stride. He fell asleep on the way back to Chino. I let him off in the driveway and drove back to San Diego, too tired to hurry.
After that I lost interest in the Dodgers. After all, my soul was still back on the East Coast, and the Yankees were a colorful team. Real individualists. I had a racquetball date the day of the sixth game. Someone was singing the national anthem when I met my playing partner. We drove to the courts in her car. She didn't care about baseball. She turned on a Top 40 station and began talking about her work. I was standing by a television set, waiting for her to come down from the women's locker room, when Reggie Jackson hit his first home run of the day. We played, I showered, and was in front of the television, again waiting for her to come down from the locker room, when Jackson hit his third home run. The guys around me cursed. It was all over. The Yanks had won it all.
The game officially ended, 8-4, as I was driving home. When I got there I turned on the television. Don Sutton was being interviewed. He came across very well—likable, sincere, intelligent.
My meeting with Metzger drew nearer. I felt trapped. I had to go. I had told people I was going. It was expected. I would be alone, in a small town, calling from a pay phone, waiting for a Klansman to pick me up—blindfold me perhaps—and take me to the Klavern headquarters. Or someplace. It was a chilling prospect, but intriguing, exciting. Had I become a thrill seeker? A Grand Dragon groupie! I decided not to think about it until the day arrived. I would wake up that morning and see how I felt about it then.
Uncle Arbria made me make the decision beforehand. He, Aunt Viola and Henry stopped at my house two days before my rendezvous with Metzger was to take place. They were on their way home from a day in Mexico. Since I had last seen them they had taken in the Southern California sights: Santa Barbara, San Juan Capistrano, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, San Clemente, the mountains, the desert, the ocean, the Queen Mary, Ambassador College, and now Mexico. Uncle Arbria was tired and hungry—hadn't eaten all day. We talked for a while, but he was clearly anxious to be moving on. They had just dropped by to see how I lived.
Uncle Arbria took me aside before they left. His voice was almost a whisper. "I don't believe Don got my message. That lady on the phone, that groundkeeper fella. They didn't give Don my message. I know Don. If he knowed I was in town, had come all this way, he would get in touch with me if for nothing but to say 'Hello, Mr. Johnson.' "
"Probably so," I agreed.
"We're leaving Friday," he went on. "You can come up Thursday. Your classes are over early, ain't they? I've still got that address Don gave me. Maybe we can catch him at home."