The old man’s expression didn’t change as he watched Steve hand Clark the envelope Arf and Annie had found hidden at the bottom of the toolbox.
“Did you read it, Steve?” Clark asked.
Clark looked at the man sitting across from him and wondered why he sat there, void of expression. Was this man his grandpa? If he was, he had changed. His grandpa would have never kidnapped two little kids, but on the other hand, he would have banished himself to the hills if he thought it would have meant his grandson would no longer be punished for loving his grandpa.
If this man wasn’t his grandpa, then who was he? Clark opened the envelope and pulled out a folded sheet of paper and began to read. When he finished he placed the paper back into the envelope and handed it back to Steve.
“We better call the Sheriff,” Clark said. He looked at the old man who sat there still saying nothing.
“I’ll drive down to the neighbor’s and call the Sheriff’s office,” Steve said. “Arf and Annie will stay here with you. I’ll only be gone a few minutes.”
“You’re an imposter,” Clark said to the old man. “You took Katie and Jake because you intended to extort money. That was a ransom letter.”
The old man just looked at Clark.
“I have a question to ask you. How do you know so much about my family?”
With the help of a cane, the old man rose to his feet. Arf also stood. He was prepared for whatever he might need to do.
“I would like to change out of this bathrobe,” the old man said. “I’ll explain everything when the police get here.”
Steve had just come back…
“Arf, you and Annie go upstairs with this man and let him get dressed.” Steve hoped the Sheriff would be there soon. “Are you okay Clark?” He asked…
“I don’t know. I guess in a way, I was hoping he was my grandpa.”
By the time the Sheriff and a police officer got there, the man had dressed and Arf had led him back downstairs.
“Is it okay if we stay while you question him?” Clark asked.
“I’m sorry, son, but we’ll be taking him down to the station.”
“If you don’t mind, I would like to say a few words to this young man before we leave,” the old man said.
The Sheriff nodded.
“Your grandfather helped me when I had nowhere to go. I lived in the cabin with him for six months. That’s when I learned all about him and you. He told me all about your family situation. I betrayed a good man and I deeply regret it.”
Clark was in tears, but there was something else he had to know.
“Please tell me, sir. Is my grandpa still alive? Did my daddy tell me the truth or did he lie to me?”
(I’ve been a little under the weather for a couple of days, but I didn’t want to let too much time go by without at least adding a short one to further the story.)