Joan thought about Vincent's remark about faerie tales. She wondered if he was thinking about Anne, and her tendency to deal with painful subjects by dressing them in faerie tale language. Maybe he was thinking more of George, how childlike he had become. When he wasn't speaking the language of cars or making intricate origami figures, he wavered between a passion for faerie tales and in-depth Bible studies that would leave a seminary professor breathless. Knowing a little more of George's past -- she would never have guessed that Vincent and George knew each other before coming to Quarry Hall -- Joan could understand a little bit the wide disparity in how the damaged, childlike man's mind and soul worked.
"Did you ever think," George said, suddenly appearing at Joan's open door, "that King Midas destroyed everything with his golden touch?"
"Uh -- in the faerie tale, he nearly starved to death because all his food turned to gold," she said, thinking quickly.
"He had to be baptized, and he nearly drowned, to wash away the curse of the golden touch." He nodded solemnly, and something flickered in his eyes, old pain and terror and what Joan feared was rage. It died before she could be sure. "I don't really think it happened yet, do you?"
"I think Midas still needs to have it all washed away. Make sure you don't get turned to gold when you hold him down in the water, okay?" He grasped her shoulder, squeezing hard enough to make her hiss.
Joan thought of the killer he had once been, code name Snow, a man who had been coming to kill Vincent before someone nearly killed him.
"Okay." She met his eyes and hated the momentary fear she felt for the old man she had always considered pitiable. Somewhere between an adorable, clumsy puppy and a slightly crazy old uncle."Make Vincent be good," he whispered, bending down to hug her hard and fast, before scampering away, back to the service pit he had emerged from nearly an hour before.