The tea kettle interrupts my internal monologue. I fix some tea and snuggled under the blanket on the sofa. I replay the events of yesterday as I drink the steaming brew.
His eyes were menacing! I wish I’d never gone there. Me and my curiosity. Momma said it’d get me into trouble and this time it did. I nearly got killed! If it hadn’t been for the cat… If only I’d stayed on the lane. It’s been years since I’ve taken the shortcut through Delany’s.
“What are you doing here?” He sneered.
His breath almost made me swoon.
“You’ll not get my treasure nor a chance to tell anyone about it either.” He squeezed tighter. Everything started to go black.
At that moment, the cat jumped on his back. He dropped his hold with a yelp. My skirt tangled up and almost tripped me as I ran faster than I ever had before. I didn’t glance back.
When I got home, I locked myself in and moved the chest in front of the door. I checked the windows and crawled into the back of my closet. I dozed off. The knocking on the door woke me. After recognizing the sheriff’s voice, I moved the chest and opened the door.
“Yes Ma’am, we caught him. We’d been tracking him, saw you running, and grabbed him as he flew out the barn coiled tight as a rattlesnake ready to strike. He robbed the train a week ago and a reward was set for his apprehension. You’ll be notified when you can retrieve it.”
“Why would I get the reward?”
“Miss Kirkpatrick, Rosalyn, it seems to me, you witnessed where he buried the money and led us to his whereabouts. I’ll write up the report from your testimony. There will be some papers to sign but other than that you won’t have to do a thing, not even testify. Don’t worry your pretty little head about anything. Well, that about covers it. I’ll let myself out now and you won’t need to use the chest against the door,” he said with a wink and a smile.
I caress the cat as it purrs on my lap. The sheriff brought the skinny cat when he put two and two together. I smile at the memory, picturing his face. He has a very nice smile.