After breakfast we all went back to our cabin to plan the day. “We decided to go for a short hike today,” said Carine. “Oh, that sounds great,” I said. “NO!” “What do you mean, no.”, I asked Kat. “I mean you are not going on any hikes,” she said firmly, “I do not think you are well enough yet to tackle hiking in the mountains. So you and I will stay behind.”
“No”, I said, “I know you have been looking forward to hiking these mountain trails, so you will be going. I will be fine here, and the cats will be with me.” “No,” she said, “you need someone else to stay with you too.” “Okay,” I said, “there will be more hiking days, so one of the girls can stay with me each time, then everyone gets to go hiking.” “Okay, that would work,” she said, “but how do we pick who will stay?” “I will stay with Steve,” said Sigurbjorn, “next time I can go hiking.”
“Hmm, good,” said Kat, “after all that sitting yesterday Steve should have a good massage today anyway.” “I can do that,” said Sigurbjorn. So the other girls got ready and picked out the trail they would be hiking. It was only a 10 mile hike, they would stop somewhere for lunch and maybe explore a bit then come back. After they left Sigurbjorn and I checked the windows where Hermit Pete had looked in. “Well, unless Hermit Pete is 10 feet tall, there is no way he could look in that window,” I said, “and there is nothing around for him to use for climbing up there.”
Perhaps he climbed the log wall?”, suggested Sigurbjorn. “Hmm, he would need something to dig into those logs and that would leave marks,” I said, “no marks anywhere.” Then we checked the other cabin, the window there was about 8 feet high, still too high to see in without standing on something. And the girls had checked outside quickly so he would not have had time to carry anything away with him, not without making a noise anyway. I will question Paul about that.
“Now, what did you cats here that little girl say at breakfast?”, I ask the cats. They look at each other. Meow,meow.=Little girl say woman ghost come in her room last night but she not understand what woman ghost say. Then woman ghost leave bedroom and little girl follow and see woman ghost disappear in fireplace, go zip up chimelknee. “That is chimney,” I told her. Meow,meow.=I just say that.
“Um, yes, true,” I said, “but that was no ghost.” Meowr?=You can go zip up chimelknee? “Of course not,” I said, “people cannot do things like that.” Meow.=Then must be human ghost. Sigh, one of these days, I say to myself. “Well, it is time to go see the owners,” I said, “Sigurbjorn, you are now my secretary and, let me see, oh, my personal nurse so you have to be with me all the time.” Off we went. Paul and Beth were waiting for us on the deck of their lodge.
Beth brought us some nice hot coffee. We told them about what the little girl said. Paul laughed, “that little girl has come out with some fantastic story every day they have been here.” Hopefully that will help to calm the cats a little bit. I asked why they wanted to see me. Apparently they just recently inherited the resort from Beth’s parents who both died when their house burned down one night. Poor Sigurbjorn choked on her coffee.
“I’m sorry,” she said, “I must have sipped it too fast.” Sigurbjorn has lost her parents the same way, which is why she choked on her coffee. I must admit, that did seem a bit coincidental. Anyway, there is a secret about this resort that Beth’s parents never told anyone, not even Beth. But they did tell her to be careful whenever it came time for her to inherit the place. Hmm, how does one ‘be careful’ when you do not know what to be careful about.
We talked a little more but never got any more information than that from them. But they asked if we could try to find out what this might mean. “Well, that is not much to go on,” I said, “so I really do not know if we can help, but I will talk to the others and see if we can come up with anything. Now about this Hermit Pete, there is no way he could look in those windows, so what is that all about?”
Paul and Beth looked at each other. “Similar things have started to happen recently,” said Paul, “but only on nights that Hermit Pete shows up for his supplies.” “Hmm, that is kind of odd,” I said, “do you suppose we could have something to cover the windows at night.” “Certainly,” said Beth and she went to get us some curtains for the windows. Apparently she removed them because she thought it looked nicer without them. We left and went back to our cabin and just as we got inside…
To Be Continued.
©2022 Steve McLeod.