Let’s recap a little bit…
Gloria left Barbie’s house with two FBI agents who said they were taking her in for further questioning regarding her involvement in a cold case they were investigating.
Twenty years before, Brad and Barbie’s parents, who were part of a team that arbitrated disputes between countries who had trade agreements, uncovered a plan to extort money from the U.S. Government.
Each country involved in the arbitrations had a team. Gloria was part of the team from Ireland and over the years, had become friends with Barbie and Brad’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Humbolt. Unbeknownst to them, Gloria was involved in the extortion plan. When the Humbolts got too close to discovering the truth, Gloria staged an explosion in their home. She needed to feel assured her guilt would never be discovered.
Mr. Humbolt was killed in the explosion and resulting fire, but Barbie and her mother miraculously survived. At the time of the explosion, Tom, the third child, was outside mowing the lawn and Brad was on his way home from fishing at a nearby pond.
Through a series of events, Gloria wrangled herself into caring for Barbie, who lost her sight as a result of the explosion and fire, and Mrs. Humbolt who never fully recovered from her injuries. Mrs. Humbolt was in Ireland, and Gloria managed her care from Barbie’s home in the States. She never disclosed to Brad, Barbie or Tom that their mother was still alive.
Recently, Gloria began to fear that Barbie was trying to become independent of her. She and her mother had become Gloria’s whole life and now Barbie was breaking away, and Mrs. Humbolt was on death’s door. Gloria panicked and made arrangements to take Barbie to Ireland with the promise that she would be reunited with the mother she thought had died. It was then that Gloria’s plan began to unravel.
Continuing on from last chapter…
The two investigators claimed they were getting close to finding out who planned the explosion and why. They knew Gloria had something to do with it. Brad became suspicious of the men when he observed they seemed overly eager to get their hands on the key and the bag that Arf had found under Gloria’s bed. Arf was usually a pretty good judge of character and he was having none of it. He would not let either man get close to him and the bag he protected.
“I only verified you are in fact a Federal Investigator,” Brad said to Mr. Crandall. “I didn’t verify your position, Mr. Sims. Judging from your accent, you must be from Ireland. Have you been in the states long?”
“I was sent here about a month ago to help out with the investigation. Now, I’m going to ask you again, Mr. Humbolt, get that bag and key from your dog.”
“Aren’t you being a little aggressive, Joe?” Lieutenant Crandall asked? “We were sent here to question Ms. Fitzpatrick. Now that she has gone with the other two investigators, I think it’s time for us to leave.”
“I’m afraid I can’t do that,” Mr. Sims said as he reached for the gun in his chest holster. “Now, everyone, including you, Crandall, face down on the floor please.”
He then told Agent Crandall to slowly remove his gun and lay it on the floor.
Arf stood next to the bag. The key was lying on the floor beside him. Jamie began to worry that Mr. Sims would harm Arf. She knew Arf would never let that man get his hands on the bag.
She needn’t have worried. Mr. Sims must have forgotten Annie was also there. She got his attention with a low growl and when he turned to see where she was, Arf, dropped the bag and rushed him. With his body twisted and a dog lunging at him from both sides, Mr. Sims dropped the gun. Arf quickly retrieved it and took it to Brad who pointed it at the good Mr. Sims and said,”Now it’s your turn to hit the floor.” Then he turned to Jamie. “Will you show Mr. Crandall where the phone is, please? I believe he needs to make a call. He’s one of the good guys, right Arf and Annie?”
Gloria was placed under arrest for arranging the explosion that killed Mr. Humbolt and badly injured Barbie and her mother. She would also soon be charged with extortion.
Mr. Sims had come to the US under the pretense that he worked for Ireland’s intelligence agency. He claimed to have new information and wished to reopen the case concerning the explosion and what turned out to be a successful attempt to extort money from the United States. Since much of the top secret information had recently been released, it was revealed that the Humbolts had uncovered the extortion plan. Mr. Sims had reason to believe that Gloria was hiding a large amount of cash, hence the great interest in the key that was in the bag.
The end result was Mr. Sims and Gloria were both in jail awaiting a trial. Gloria had told the authorities where the safety deposit box was that indeed still held a great deal of money.
Two days later, Brad, Barbie and Tom were on an airplane that was taking them to Ireland to be with their mother. They could only pray that she wasn’t as sick as Gloria said she was. They all wanted to spend time with the mother they had been so cruelly separated from twenty years before.
Steve, had taken them all to the airport. At the last minute, Arf and Annie had jumped into the back of the truck. They were always ready to go for a ride.
After helping with the luggage and saying his goodbyes, Steve made his way back to where he had parked.The truck along with Arf and Annie had disappeared.