The old woman sat in her rocking chair until the sun was setting and she could no longer see to carve. She picked up some of her things and took them inside the house. She had her tool box and binoculars which she would put away in the bedroom and then come back for her carving. The picnic basket was still sitting by the door. There was nothing in there she wanted except the fresh loaf of bread. She would make herself some bacon and eggs for supper. She couldn’t remember if there was a toaster. If not, she would just have some bread and that good chokecherry jam that Martha made.
While the old woman was upstairs, Arf and Annie came inside through the door she had left open. They decided to hide in a big downstairs coat closet and keep an eye on her for a while. If it looked like she was going to stay the night, they would go to the ranch and get Brad and Steve. It wasn’t that far away.
Upstairs, the woman couldn’t wait to get out of the getup she had on. First she took off the dress and put on an old bathrobe. Next, she removed the gray wig. Then, very carefully, she pulled off the silicone mask. Surely no one would come there tonight.
Arf and Annie didn’t recognize the person who came down the stairs, went into the kitchen and proceeded to fry eggs.
They decided this person had on a bathrobe so would most likely stay the night.
Arf: You go to the ranch, Annie. I don’t know who this person is, but we need to get Steve and Brad over here. Annie walked slowly past the kitchen and out the same door they had come in.
While Jamie was watching Jake, Brad went to his study and made another call to the Sheriff. He was only able to spare one officer and so far, he hadn’t located the old woman or her truck.
While Brad was talking, Clark walked in. He wanted to talk to Brad, but it didn’t look like this was a good time. Before he could leave, Brad covered the mouthpiece of the phone and told him to take a seat. He soon ended his conversation with the Sheriff.
“Are you okay, Clark?” Brad asked. “You look a little pale.”
“I should have told you this earlier, but I was trying to figure things out first. The thing is, I can’t. I can’t figure it out.
“What can’t you figure out, Clark?”
“When Steve and I were over at the house the woman took the kids to, we looked around some to see if she had left anything behind that might tell us who she is.”
“You and Steve both said you didn’t find anything.”
“Brad…why would that woman have my mom’s homemade chokecherry jam in her refrigerator? And there’s something else that’s been bothering me. Steve and I didn’t look upstairs.”
“Brad and Steve!” Grandma Helen yelled. “Annie is here. She looks like she has been running for miles.”