Jenny, Kristina, Muffin and I walked around the beautiful resort a bit after the girls had left. They did have a beautiful garden area to enjoy. I kept trying to think of what is the secret to this place. It must be valuable that these people are willing to kill for it. And trying to trap us, for what purpose though? It did not really make sense, unless they plan on holding us hostage to gain access to this secret.
But if Paul and Beth really do not know what the secret is, then holding us all here would make no sense. Paul does know more than he is saying however, and we have to find out what. We went to the lodge for some coffee and I asked where Paul was. The lady that works there did not know where he was, but Beth was in bed sick this morning. That does not help.
I do not want Beth anyway, she is too scared of something to talk right now. There was a nice large area to sit in nice antique chairs and look out windows giving a beautiful view. There were also shelves on one wall lined with books to read on days that were less pleasant than this one. Kristina was looking at the books though. She seemed to find one that interested her and came back to sit down and read a bit.
Jenny was busy looking through an older photo album of previous guests to the resort. She stopped and stared. “Look at this Steve,” she said quietly, and showed me a page in the album. She then pointed to one picture in particular. “That is Hermit Pete,” I said. His name was right under the photo. “But look at the date,” she said, “it is 1955. That is 67 years ago and he is old back then.”
“You are right,” I admitted, “there is no way he would be alive now, the man seen in the window was about 60 or 70.” “Right,” she said, “so it has to be someone other than the original Hermit Pete, and yet it looks like him.” “So someone is pretending to be him for some reason,” I said, “but why?” Jennifer continued to look through the album while I thought about this new interesting addition to our case. Jennifer stopped again and showed me another picture. It was the 4 seniors, but much younger.
“Looks like they must enjoy this place,” I said. “But the ladies told Kat and I that this is the first time they had been here,” said Jennifer. “Perhaps they just forgot,” I said, “it can happen.” Jenny looked at me, “not too likely anyone would forget coming here. And look what it says, they were both on their honeymoon. They were all childhood friends and got married at the same time, then came here. I do not think they would forget that.” “Hmm, guess you are right,” I said, “it is rather odd, why would they lie about that?”
Kristina came closer. “Perhaps everyone here is mixed up in whatever is going on here,” she said, “look what I found tucked in behind those big books on the bottom shelf.” It was an old diary of sorts, but really it was written as a story about this resort, starting from its very beginning. I read a few pages. “Take this back to our cabin with you,” I told Kristina. We finished our coffee and left.
I told the lady to tell Paul I wanted to see him. All she said was “fine”. “She gives me the chills,” said Kristina as we walked back to the cabin. When we got back the door was open so Jenny and Kristina went in first, Muffin stayed outside with me. Suddenly 3 shots hit the cabin right beside me and I dropped to the ground. The girls came running outside and down the stairs. I yelled at them to get down.
“It must have come from between those two cabins,” I said. Right then the two senior ladies came out from between those very cabins. The girls ran around behind the cabins while Muffin and I ran over to the ladies and asked if they had seen anyone. They said no and kept on walking over to the garden. That was all very strange. We went back inside. The girls said there was no evidence that anyone had been in there.
“They just left the door open so we would think there was someone inside,” I said, “just to separate us.” “But you were right in the open,” said Jennifer, “how could they miss?” “Because they did not want to kill me right then,” I said, “they just wanted to let me know they can do it whenever they want. That means we need to be a lot more careful.” “Yes,” said Kristina, “we are not supposed to leave you out of sight at any time.” “Well, we do not have to tell Kat,” I said. “Someone will see those bullet holes out there,” said Jenny. “Yes, I guess you are right,” I sighed…
To Be Continued.
©2022 Steve McLeod.