(Previous chapters for this story and previous stories can be found on my home page under 20/20 Investigations, Inc. So, grab a cup of coffee and thank you for reading!)
It’s already late so we call it a day and head off to bed. I carry Muffin into our bedroom and put her on the bed up close to the pillow, she likes that spot, and she quickly falls asleep. Not me however, I can’t stop thinking about all this mixed up case. I’m still trying to figure out what is going on around here. If Bill is alive, then why is he staying here? In that small town he would be recognized right away. Or is all this just part of a plan between him and Jessica? Part of the plan could be that Jessica finally gets scared enough that she decides to leave after getting the insurance money. Then her and Bill could meet somewhere and go off to live in a different area, maybe even a different country. Really, that seems like the most logical idea at the moment. But, Jessica seems so genuine, is she really such a great actor?
Then there is Trish, the woman who owns the other hotel, where does she fit into all of this mess? That part of it is out of place, just doesn’t make sense. If this is an insurance scam then it just isn’t wise to involve other people, you would just be inviting problems. Someone could have seen Trish come out here the other day and…wait a minute, Muffin didn’t see any vehicles come to the hotel and we never passed anyone coming out here as we left. That is very odd. How come I never thought of that before? Is there actually another way out here? And how did Trish and Bill know we would be in town? Questions, and more questions. Hmm…after a while I drift off to sleep, still thinking.
I wake up to Muffin swatting my nose lightly with her paw. Meow, meow!=Wake up, no time to sleep! Well Muffin, you seem to be full of energy this morning. Meow, meow!=Right, time to look for ghosts, let’s go! You actually want to look for the ghosts now? Meow, meow.=If ghost can carry stick, I can hit ghost with my muffins. Hey, that’s good thinking Muffin. But wait a minute, we have to eat breakfast first. Meow!=Great idea! I talk some things over with Muffin, then off we go to the kitchen. Jessica does like making a big breakfast. This is country living, she said, a big breakfast is a must out here. What was that loud thump I heard? Oh, that, I was just checking to see if Muffin can still use her slingshot even though she is a bit sore. Can she? Oh yes, perfectly. Meow!=That right!
After breakfast Muffin and I look around the hotel together. Then we head back down to the cellar. I push open the boxes again and that door is still on the far wall. I was wondering if I had really seen it or not. But it’s there. I try the door, but it’s locked. Poor lock on it though and I have it open quickly. I shine my flashlight down a very long narrow tunnel. How odd. Why build a tunnel to the mine? Unless perhaps it goes somewhere else. Meow?=We check? No, not now Muffin. There’s something else I want to do first. We go back upstairs after I lock the door again and tell Jessica we need to make a trip to town. Why? I need to pick up some things at the store. Okay, she said, anything you need, I’ll pay for it. I try to argue that point since this stuff is more for me, not her, but she insisted.
Do you think it’s safe to leave Muffin behind?, asks Jessica. I think so, she is well equipped with her slingshot and I gave her specific orders to follow. If anyone comes around she is supposed to hide. That’s good, said Jessica, I don’t want her getting hurt again. She seemed to really be concerned for Muffin. But is it genuine, or does she know something is going to happen? Turn around and go back, I said. What? Now? Yes, now! So she did, somewhat reluctantly, and as we drove into the yard…the hotel, screamed Jessica, it’s on fire!
To be continued.
Steve and Muffin.
© 2020 Steve McLeod.