The cold air was breath taking. The leaves were snapping as I took a short walk that Monday morning. Part of me was sorry I had found the letters. They had taken so much of my attention. Was I missing the whole point of this stay. Of the reason Queenie had made the bequest. This was such a beautiful place. As the few birds flew over I felt a peace. Their flight was like music, the music of my childhood. The days of playing in the vegetable garden and nights of listening to the crickets and frogs. Mason jars with lightning bugs. My brother used to think they could electrocute him. He was always scared of the strangest things, even of pencils when he was young.
Soon the time allotted for our family's stay would be over and strangely enough I wasn't ready for it. Maybe I would talk to Daddy about John and I moving in the house permanently. We'd see.
My giddy feeling would be short lived. For as I rounded the hill I saw in the drive a car and it looked like the old guy from the library getting out. I saw him go to the door. It seemed that no one was answering, but I knew Charlotte and Ellen were at home at least. He got in his car and drove off. I was running hard to catch him, but he was gone. I was almost unable to breath by the time I got to the house. I inquired of all why they hadn't gone to the door. Must have been Ellen playing the piano and Charlotte running the vacuum. Figures crazy neat freak. I was off to the library.
I don't know why I was speeding the whole way there. He probably hadn't hardly had time to get back even if he was returning to work. Yes there was his old car. I tripped up the brick steps. Normally I would have been horrified, as a half dozen people saw me strewn out like an idiot, but I was only concerned about what this old man knew. Cal Henry had worked a t this library since anyone could remember. He was a slight old man with lots of white hair and extremely long legs for his body. He had a sadness about him although he tried hard to be the grouchy old man everybody expected him to be. Still he was pretty weird.
I lightly tapped his shoulder. "Damn Miss you scared the dickens out of me, you know I just came from your place." "Yes, sorry my sisters didn't hear the door, but I'm here now. What did you want." "Come with me." He lead me down a flight of concrete stairs down to a damp musty smelling room, where he quietly shut the door. "Now listen young lady, what I'm about to tell you can go no further, you understand." I nodded and braced myself for what might come. "Your grandmother Miss Queenie was a fine woman, one of the finest I've ever known. What makes you so interested in that bank robbery so long ago anyway?" "Well Mr. Henry you see there's this man that's been coming around Grandmother's house, since we've been staying there (everybody had heard by now of our family's bequest thing), I wonder if you know him, Rev. McDonald?" "Listen child I don't know what game you're playing, but I don't have time for this!"He started to get up, but I grabbed his arm catching his sleeve. He almost lost his balance. My face reddened. I was taking this way too seriously, coming close to making an old man fall. He sat back down and steadied himself. I tried a different approach . "I'm sorry Mr. Henry I didn't mean to grab your arm like that." "Listen here Miss I don't know who's been visiting your grandmother's house, but it ain't Rev. McDonald, he's been dead some twenty years now." My heart started to beat faster and my hands were sweating. I knew it! I knew that if Rev. McDonald had written those letters and I still didn't know if he had--that the man who had been coming around had always seemed like he was hiding way too much! And he still looked very familiar. The plot was thickening!
"Well Mr. Henry I had my doubts that the Rev. was who he said he was, I wish you could see him. You were going to tell me something though, right." Henry leaned forward."I just want you to know I don't have any proof of anything you hear me--well it starts with Rev. McDonald oddly enough."