Come home, p.17
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       Come home, p.17

           Sheila Jecks
 
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  Both men got out of the car and approached the apartment door. Bill Majors tried the knob and sure enough, it opened. He turned to his friend and said, “come on in, you remember ‘Betty’? This is his place and I know he won’t mind. The shower is just inside the bedroom door; go ahead. I’ll see if I can find you some clean clothes.”

  The grimy man looked at the closed bedroom door; a terrible feeling in the pit of his stomach started to churn. “Don’t think I’ll have that shower, Bill, can’t do those small spaces anymore.”

  “I think I have to leave now,” he said, opening the outside door and tumbling through it. He was on his feet in a moment and heading towards the lake.

  The Mountie stood by the door with his mouth open; now what?

  Then he sprinted after the running man.

  * * * *

  The smell of onions frying and hamburgers cooking made Harry McKinnon’s mouth water; everyone was there except Sergeant Majors. We should order now he thought, as he smelled the yummy fresh cut fries bubbling away in the boiling oil.

  “Bill said he’d be here, we have to wait,” said Barry Adler, “first we eat; then we talk.”

  It sounded like a good idea, and they all started looking at the menus. They wanted to be ready with their orders when everyone was there. Carol and Rikki were comparing calories. Barry was busy checking out the largest burger offered.

  Richard Kullman sat beside Barry Adler, watched the group and thought, this case was going to get him the Porshe 918 Spyder he had his eye on, Archie J. said money would start to roll in now; so much he would never be able to spend it all.

  Harry, facing the big outside window was watching the town folk as they went about their business while he waited for the others to make up their minds. He knew what he would have even before he got here. His favorite was Buffalo Burger and fry’s, and was surprised ‘Betty’ made them, especially way up here.

  Here comes some action, he thought, look at that guy run.

  “That’s Sergeant Majors running after him,” said Harry, as he jumped up and dashed for the door. He was a Fast Track runner; he’d catch that guy for the Mounties.

  Jack McKinnon was not aware Bill Majors was following him.

  Bill Majors was not aware Harry McKinnon was following him.

  The teenager was the better runner, but he had to watch the road. Finally, he knew where they were headed, the dock at the foot of the lake.

  The man in front started to slow down, not enough stamina to maintain the fast pace for long. As he pulled up in front of the Merriweather grocery store door, he stopped, and looked back and let the Mountie catch up. They both bent over, holding their knees, catching their breath with big gulping gasps when the teenager caught up to them.

  He wasn’t out of breath.

  “Hey, Sergeant Bill, I was going to help you catch this guy, but I see you did it yourself,” said Harry McKinnon.

  Both men turned to face the young teen. One smiled in recognition, and turned to shake hands, the other stood with his mouth open.

  “Jack,” said Bill Majors, “I’d like to introduce you to this young man, he’s here with his mother, Rikki, they’re trying to figure out how to find his father. He’s been gone for seven years now and she was advised by the Insurance people to have him declared dead.

  “But she never gave up waiting.

  “Jack McKinnon, meet Harry McKinnon.”

  Just then, a panting Barry Adler came running up with his wife and Rikki. ‘Betty’ brought up the rear.

  The lawyer stayed at the cafe.

  They all stood in a circle and looked at the panting man.

  Sergeant Majors was standing behind him, making sure he couldn’t bolt away again.

  “Mom,” said Harry, “meet dad, Sergeant Bill said so.” Then he moved beside his mother to catch her when she fainted.

  “JACK!” shrieked Rikki, “where have you been, I’ve been looking all over for you, all these years! Are you all right?”

  “Rikki,” he said, “I never thought I’d ever see you again. I had to work so hard to forget. He said you’d die if I remembered, but your memory kept coming back. Are you just a figment of my longing, or are you real?”

  “Sweetheart, this is as real as it gets,” and she grabbed him, and hugged him so hard he could hardly breathe.

  Chapter 54

  Six months later...

  “I’d like to call this meeting to order,” ‘Betty’ said, clinking his spoon on his coffee cup, “I want to thank the Adler’s for inviting us into their home, I know Langley is closer to everybody than Merriweather.”

  Everyone around the table started talking; they all had catching up to do before they ate.

  With the new, Sergeants Major Bill Major, leading the conversation they managed to fit everything leading up to this dinner into its right place.

  Jack McKinnon was able to speak now that he was no longer under the influence of the renegade shaman.

  “I didn’t know,” he said, “that I was a direct descendant in the Little Bow Clan on my father’s side. My dad never told me any of our history, and I never knew my mother while I was growing up. He kept in touch with people from the north end of Andover Lake, but he never took me along when he went to see them. I guess that’s why I was able to get the property that was so close to the Ancient Indian Burial Ground.

  “While I was ‘gone’, my dad began to fail, and the doctor recommended a nursing home. I’m sorry I wasn’t there. It makes me feel bad that strangers had to look after him. Six months ago when I started to remember, Rikki and I went to the Home to ask my dad if he knew why all this happened to me, he didn't know me anymore, he just kept saying he was sorry.”

  Jack looked at the table and began turning his coffee cup around and around.

  Rikki put her hand on his arm and he continued his story. “I don’t know why he felt that way; he was a good and loving father.

  “While we were there, the Director of the Home called us into her office and gave me a box. She said a woman came to see my dad a short while ago and said she was my mother. She gave her the box to keep until their son, that’s me, came to see his dad.

  “Rikki and I sat in the car and looked through it. Everything was in it, my birth certificate, my parent’s marriage certificate from a Justice of the Peace in Ferndale Washington, my original BA Certificate from UBC. All sorts of pictures of people I didn’t know, but they had names printed on the back, and they turned out to be my relatives. The most important picture was the one of my parents wedding day, they looked very happy. I always wondered who I was, now I know.

  “I’ve met my mother now; she’s been to our home several times. She says she’s proud of me for surviving everything that happened.” Jack harrumphed a few times and cleared his throat.

  “My father was a Chief in the ‘Little Bow’ clan, but he left to come to the city, he always said, education was the key to a better life. I guess he thought the best way for his son to get an education was to leave the reserve. ”

  Jack swallowed a few times, looked at the caring faces in front of him and continued his story.

  “Now I understand, when he went to visit ‘friends’; he was visiting my mother and telling her how I was doing. He always told me he was proud of me. I never understood why before. Now I know, when I finished university, I was the first one in all our extended family to do so.

  “Sorry for the long winded story, but I thought you should know why all this happened. Archie J. wanted to make a name for himself by creating an Indian Uprising. It didn’t work in Quebec, nor did it work in Carling, now he thinks by owning a casino and land in his own name he will finally have prestige in the white man’s world.

  “What I didn’t know until now, is, I’m a direct descendant of the Chief that signed the Treaty that gave that portion of the land at the north end of Andover Lake that is the Ancient Indian Burial Ground today to a white man for a hand full of beads. Archie
found out the man died soon after and the land reverted to its’ former owner, that is my family. My father is still Chief but when he passes, I’m the next Chief in line.

  “Who knew? I’m not sure how that has anything to do with anything. I don’t know if Archie J. can own a tribal casino in his own name that’s on an Indian Reserve, but he thought he found a loop hole by keeping me, the next chief, as a slave,” he said, shaking his head and taking a small drink of the cold coffee.

  “The last thing I want to talk about, is the experiences some of you had when you tried to find the cabin I slept in when the storm came up and sank my boat seven years ago. I’m not sure how Running Wolf did what he did, but he is someone you want to stay as far away from as possible. I know I’ve been talking for a long time, but I want to thank you all personally from the bottom of my heart for looking after Rikki and Harry. My family would never have survived without everyone’s help.”

  He looked up and took Rikki’s hand; unshed tears glistened in his eyes.

  ‘Betty’ was next. “I don’t have much to say, just that I’m glad it’s all over now, and we can all get back to a little fishing, and good eating at my place.”

  Everyone clapped.

  Bill Majors clinked his cup and everyone stopped talking, “I wanted you to know, our special guest, the one that gave Jack back his soul, unintentional or not, can’t be with us. That person needs to remain anonymous, but sends good wishes.”

  Barry asked the last question before desert, “Does anybody know anything about the Indian that helped Jack McKinnon out of the Great House, the night that Archie J. decided to kill him?”

  A lot of speculation was offered, none of it true.

  Carol came in with the desert, and everyone began eating.

  The question no one wanted to ask, still hung in the air.

  Was the cabin with the pushed in door and the upside down ‘soul catcher’ real, or was it just imagination working overtime?

  Everyone sat and pondered the question except the short rotund professor from UBC seated across the Adler dinning room table. He looked up at Bill Majors and winked.

  The small leather medicine bag around his neck shimmered.

  # # #

  About the Author

  My husband and I travelled extensively after we retired. I draw much of the background for my stories from the many places we visited. Sometimes the people we met turn up as well. I write about unusual or unexplained events. I enjoy writing a story that can be, almost true.

  If you like ghostly adventure, you may enjoy, “The Baby Isn’t Dead”.

  This story is about an immigrant family that falls from wealth and position around the end of World War I. The Baron and his wife are forced to leave Germany. Due to stubbornness and lack of experience on the husband’s part, they sail to Canada among the poorest immigrants on an old ship.

  Life in Saskatchewan is hard, and the Baron enjoys blaming his wife and daughters for his lack of status in the community. His youngest child has a baby due to an incestuous relationship with her father and the baby is given to him to take to the Foundling Home.

  The baby never arrives.

  The father is sent to jail, serves his time and is released. He moves back into the house and ultimately dies. The family homestead lies empty until Elizabeth, the eldest daughter sends her granddaughter Samantha Baker to repair the house and sell it.

  Does the old man’s ghost haunt the house? What is the connection between Samantha’s good friend Kristi and the house? Where is all the money the old man is supposed to have hidden in the house?

  You will find this story and others about witches on my Home Page.

 
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