Greetings from Canada! This week has flown by! I've been busy! On Friday my best friend and I arrived safely in Canada after a quick stop at the Geographical Center of North America. The crossing from the U.S. into Canada was very quick and easy. It is strange to see the Maple Leaf flying from polls instead of the Stars-and-Stripes!
|It's been lovely, breezy weather!|
|The Sunset Over White Water Lake|
|Here I am!|
|Coming soon on a CD near you: The Four|
Busy fixing and painting the kitchen now. We head back to the U.S. on Sunday! It's been a lovely trip out of the country and though I've enjoyed it, I know I'll be glad to get back home. (And back to writing.)
And now enjoy your story for today!
The Graham Quartet - Part 3
“Turn the light on, Selena.” Tim urged. “I can’t see a thing.”
Selena did and then gave a gasp.
“What is it, Selena?” Matt asked quickly, turning around.
There was no reply. Selena just stood as though rooted to the spot, her eyes wide and her face pale.
“Selena,” Else urged, moving up beside her, “what’s wrong?”
“Look,” Selena whispered so softly that it was scarcely audible. The hand holding the flashlight had started to shake and Matt quickly grasped it with his free hand.
In the steady beam of light, a dark spot on the floor became noticeable. “Blood,” breathed Matt, bending down for a closer look.
“What—” Tim began, but Elsa quickly hushed him.
All listened intently, straining their ears to catch the slightest sound. So intently were they listening that the falling of the snow outside seemed to be heard. Then it came. A slight rustle and a low, half suppressed moan.
Silently, Matt lowered his box to the floor and motioned the others to do the same. Taking the flashlight from his sister, he beckoned the others to follow while putting his gloved hand over the light leaving only a faint glow to follow. Tim gripped the back of Matt’s coat while Selena held Tim’s scarf and Elsa kept a hold of Selena’s hand.
Slowly, quietly the Graham Quartet moved forward through the barn in the direction of the noise. They scarcely dared to breathe so intent were they on listening for another sound.
Suddenly, when they least expected it, came a click as though as gun had been cocked and a voice called in low tones, “Stop where you are.”
Everyone froze. Who had spoken?
The voice went on. “I can see your light, so don’t try to make a sudden move. Now who are you?”
“It’s the Graham Quartet,” Matt replied in a steady voice though his heart was pounding against his ribs. “This barn is on our property. Who are you?”
A sigh sounded and the voice replied softly. “Oh, is it just the four of you?”
Another sigh, very much like a suppressed groan came before the stranger spoke again. “All right then, you can turn the light on.”
Instantly Matt flashed the full beam of the light towards the voice revealing a middle aged man lying on some straw. His face was white and his eyes closed.
“He’s hurt!” Selena exclaimed, darting forward to kneel beside the man whose left pant leg was stained with blood.
Elsa quickly joined her sister and after a quick glance looked up at their brothers. “One of you is going to have to go get Dad and call the doctor.”
“No!” the man gasped, raising his head and looking wildly about as he clutched Elsa’s arm while dots of perspiration beaded his forehead. “Can’t let others know I’m h—” His voice stopped, his eyes closed and his head dropped back onto the straw while the gun which he had clutched in his right hand fell to the floor.
“Is he dead?” Selena whispered.
Matt hastened to undo the man’s coat and leaned over him, feeling for a pulse. After putting his ear to the stranger’s chest a minute, he sat up. “No, not yet. But he might be soon if we don’t get help. Tim, run to the house and get Dad! Have Mom call the doctor!” This last was ordered loudly for Tim was already on his way to the door where the snowshoes had been left.
“But, Matt, he said not to—” Elsa began.
“I know what he said, but if he doesn’t get help he’ll die. I think he just doesn’t want lots of people to know he’s hurt.”
“Or it could be that he doesn’t want certain people to know he’s here.”
Matt and Elsa looked at Selena with surprised expressions. Selena didn’t talk much but when she did, the others listened.
“But Matt, Elsa, we have to stop this bleeding.”
By the time Mr. Graham arrived with Tim, the bleeding of the wounded leg had been checked, but the man, whoever he was, hadn’t regained consciousness. After checking him over carefully, Mr. Graham, with the help of his children, carried the man in a blanket to the house where he was established in the spare room.
“I wonder who he is and what he was doing in the barn,” Tim said to the others as they waited in the dim hallway for the doctor to come out of the room.
“He was hiding,” Selena replied.
“But from who, and—”
“Whom, Tim,” Elsa corrected.
“Whom then,” Tim repeated. “And how did he get hurt?”
Matt shrugged. “I can think of all kinds of answers to those questions and a host of others such as where did he come from, why did he have a gun, why was he hiding and why did he not mind when I told him who we were, but who knows if they would be right.”
“I hadn’t thought of that before,” Elsa mused. “He did suddenly seem to turn sort of friendly when you mentioned it was us.”
Sitting in silence for several minutes, Selena at last spoke. “I think he looked like a friendly man and I want to help him.”
The others nodded and then they waited for the doctor to come out.
When at last he did, followed by Mrs. Graham, the children sprang up eagerly.
“How is he?” Elsa asked.
“Plenty weak from loss of blood. Has a bit of a fever, but he’s conscious and wants to see the four of you. Wait!” The doctor halted the rush for the door. “What he really needs is rest, so make your stay as quiet and quick as possible. You can talk tomorrow. He’s not going anywhere for some time.”
Softly the four make their way almost on tiptoe into the room and to the side of the bed. “Don’t stay too long,” Mr. Graham whispered to them, looking at Matt and Elsa. “Doc said he needed rest.”
What do you think this stranger was doing?
Who is he?
Any thoughts, questions, comments?