|Paper||Sugar House Bulletin|
|Rights||No Copyright - United States (NoC-US)|
|Publisher||Digitized by J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah|
|Article Title||And be My Love|
|Paper||Sugar House Bulletin|
PEGGV DEfZN W.N.U. RELEASE ZMMU. And without waiting lor her to recover re-cover from the shock ol his quiet words and their implication, he went quietly out and the door closed behind be-hind him. She sat there for a long time after he had gone. So Amos had seen her with Tom! And Amos had told Laurence. She bent forward and put her face In her hands and was still until a soft movement behind her startled her, and she straightened with a little jerk to find Annie in the doorway door-way watching her with compassionate compassion-ate eyes. "Us didn' want to tell Mist' Laurence, Lau-rence, Miss Meggie but us had to," said the gentle old voice. "Of course, Annie," she managed unsteadily. "Ain' nobody else gwine know. Miss Meggie " "There was nothing wrong, Annie it was an accident " " 'Course, Miss Meggie us all knows dat." Annie's voice was comfortable, com-fortable, assured. "Now yo' run up- "Oh, yes, he was waiting for us," answered Laurence, "just as I had asked him to do." Bob Reynolds eyed Megan straightly and asked, "How long has Amos been working for you, Miss MacTavish?" "All my life," answered Megan quickly. "Annie came to work for my mother when she was fifteen. She and Amos were married a year or so later, and moved into that little cabin, and were there when I was born. This is as much their home, almost, as mine." Bob nodded. "Then what would you say about Amos' truthfulness? I mean is he reasonably truthful in his statements or is he given to telling tall tales?" he asked. Megan managed a little laugh she hoped did not sound too artificial or forced. "Well, I'd say that all depended, Mr. Reynolds," she confessed gaily. "If you mean when he Is explaining to Annie how it happened he's lost all his money in a crap game, I think he shows amazing imagination and inventiveness. But ordinarily. THE STORY THUS FAR: She could not believe that her father had killed Alicia, and he assured Meg that he knew she was Incapable of such a deed. And yet what might be brought out at the inquest? Distressed, Meg thought of Tom, and remembered that he had called her "darling." She felt she was falling In love with him. Laurence had come over from the county seat In connection connec-tion with the Inquiry concerning Alicia's death, and he called to talk to Annie and Meg. No trace of a weapon had been found, Larry reported. "Her husband hus-band is coming to claim the body." Yes, Alicia was married and it had been her husband who sent money each month for her to live. CHAPTER XII She had lost all interest In whatever what-ever it might be that Annie was telling Laurence. She was so shaken shak-en by the news that Alicia had a living husband, that she couldn't get her mind on anything else. Her father fa-ther had wanted to marry Alicia; and Alicia had let him think that she was free! How Pleasant Grove was going to laugh at the fool Jim MacTavish had made of himself! Because people were talking about the way he had been pursuing Alicia and now they would know that Alicia's husband cared enough about her to come east for the funeral. Megan was still sitting in the living liv-ing room when Laurence came back from his talk with Annie. His brow was furrowed a little and he looked perplexed. "That's the darndest story I ever heard," he admitted as he sat down I'd say Amos is quite truthful." "In other words, if he says he saw a ghost eight feet high hovering around in an old burying ground, then he saw something looking at least remotely like that?" suggested suggest-ed Bob pleasantly. "I feel quite sure that he did or thought he did," answered Megan promptly and honestly. Bob nodded. "That's the impression impres-sion I got from the old fellow," he admitted. He stood in thought for a moment before he looked straight at her and asked quietly, "What would be your explanation for his story, Miss MacTavish? How could you account for it?" Megan set her teeth hard for a moment and there was pure panic in her eyes, but before she could say anything, Bob went on quickly, "I mean, of course, that you are quite familiar with the surrounding territory ter-ritory it is all strange to me. Do you know of anything that could have alarmed Amos so that he would have mistaken it for an eight-foot eight-foot ghost?" "I've been trying to think," Megan Me-gan said thoughtfully. "There are some old fruit trees around that place. Pear trees in full bloom look ghostly in the dark only it's too early for them to be blooming. I can't remember whether the trunks of any of the trees have been whitewashed white-washed lately. They are not on my opposite Megan and folded his arms across his chest. "I don't know what to make of it but Annie's not the imaginative sort. She has always al-ways seemed so sensible and levelheaded, level-headed, such good sound common sense you wouldn't expect her to believe in ghosts, would you?" "What on earth are you talking about?" she asked. "Annie's just been telling me a yarn I told her that I'd have to go to Squire Ethridge and pass it on to him, because he's nominally in charge of the case here, though of course the bright boys from the county seat will want a share in it. But anyway, this is what Annie told me." He leaned forward and looked at her straightly. "I suppose you know about that little old family burying ground at the foot of the Ridge, just at the top of your pasture, west of the rock that you always occupy on your walks?" he began. "Yes, I know the place, of course," Megan answered, waiting; tensely, little prickles of chill run ning jup and down her spine like icy fingers. "Well, it seems that Amos was I f 'So you are investigating our ' gedy, Mr. Reynolds?" sxaihs an' fix yo'self up all purty 'fo' Mist' Larry gets back an' us has suppeh," urged Annie, and vaguely land, you see, and I haven't noticed them recently." Bob nodded, his eyes intent 'A tree trunk whitewashed half way up is a rather spooky looking thing in the dark. And I suppose there would comforted by Annie's matter-of-fact-ness, Megan heaved herself to her feet and went upstairs. She grimaced a little as she looked at herself in the mirror. She was white to the hps, there were shadows beneath her dark eyes, and her hair was untidy. She showered and donned fresh things, a soft green jersey dress the shade of the first new green in spring that has almost a tinge of yellow in it. She brushed her hair until it gleamed and crackled beneath be-neath the vigorous onslaught of the brush. Laurence came back a litle later, but he was not alone. With him was a stocky young man whose face looked like that of a man in his early thirties, but whose hair was thickly streaked with gray. He had a pleasant, friendly manner, yet one felt instinctively that he could be tough should occasion require it. Laurence performed the introductions, introduc-tions, saying casually, "Meggie, this is Bob Reynolds. He's a detective from the county police who's looking into this business." "Hello," said Bob Reynolds, with a friendly smile and a firm, pleasant handclasp. "This is quite a yarn your handyman's been spilling, Miss MacTavish. I'd like to talk to him if I may." coming home night before last a bit late from a lodge meeting," said Laurence, smiling. "It seems that he'd had some luck with the 'galloping 'gallop-ing dominos' and he knew that Annie An-nie wouldn't shoot him on sight for getting home so late. Anyway, it was somewhere around midnight, or a little later; Amos was passing the little burying ground when suddenly he saw something that froze him In his tracks and may make him avoid 'galloping dominos' in the future, fu-ture, though that's a lot to hope for." "You can't possibly mean that he thought he saw the usual wavering white figure" Megan almost laughed. Laurence nodded. "Nothing less," he told her solemnly. "It was, he claimed, at least eight feet tall and it didn't have any shape to it, just sort of like it was being poured, he expressed it. There was something shiny about it the moon was not quite full, but the light was good in the meadow. He says the ghost-he's ghost-he's quite sure, of course, that it was a ghost floated along the meadow fence and then went towards the rusty iron fence. It had something some-thing in its hand, although he couldn't see what it was. But he stood still in the shadow of a tree, and watched because he was too paralyzed para-lyzed with fear to try to run. And he thought that if he didn't interfere be Spanish moss on the trees? In the moonlight, with a slight wind stirring thai; " He was obviously thinking aloud, and his brows drew together in a puzzled frown. "Still, Amos is so sure that the 'spook' went inside the gate and bent above one of the old mounds " He broke off, grinned and said briskly, "Oh, well, we'll have to wait for daylight to make an intensive search of the place, I suppose. From the description descrip-tion Amos and Larry both have given giv-en me, I don't imagine we could accomplish much by searching tonight. to-night. I'll be over first thing in the morning, and we'll give the place a going over." He was obviously on the verge of leaving, and Megan said quickly, "Won't you stay for supper, Mr. Reynolds? We'd like having you!" "Better take her up on that, Bob. Annie's the best cook in seven states at a conservative estimate!" said Laurence lightly. Bob beamed happily. "Well, now, if you're sure it won't be an imposition, impo-sition, there's nothing I'd like better!" bet-ter!" he assured Megan gratefully. "And I'll give you a lift back to Meadersville later, Larry." "Swell!" Laurence agreed happily. hap-pily. Just as Annie came to the door to announce that supper was ready, the front door opened and Jim came in. Megan caught a glimpse of him before be-fore Laurence or Bob saw him; be looked desperately tired and forlorn, his shoulders drooping. But the next moment he became aware of the stranger in the living room. His shoulders went back and his head went up, and he came in, bracing himself, friendly, polite, hospitable, as Laurence performed the introductions. intro-ductions. Annie made her delayed announcement an-nouncement of supper, and they went in and were seated, before Jim spoke to Bob. "So you are investigating investi-gating our tragedy, Mr. Reynolds?" Rey-nolds?" "Yes," answered Bob, eyeing hungrily hun-grily the crisply browned stuffed chicken that Annie had placed before be-fore Jim. who was about to wield "Of course." said Megan, looking uncertainly at Laurence. "Shall I call him in here " "I think Amos would be more at ease if we talked to him in his own cabin, Bob. I know where it is, Meggie suppose I show Bob the way?" suggested Laurence, and Mr. Reynolds agreed that that would be best. They went out and a little later Annie came to the door and asked uneasily, "Yo' 'speck dat policeman gwine stay fo' supper. Miss Meggie? Meg-gie? Hit's mos' ready." "He's a friend of Mister Laurence's, Lau-rence's, Annie I imagine he would stay if we asked him. Suppose you set a place for him?" answered Megan Me-gan mechanically. Annie hesitated, something else obviously on her mind. But after a minute she said her expressionless with its affairs, it might not know he was around. He says It moved inside the fence, and bent down above one of the old graves and hid something. And then it stood up, and looked around and moved back out of the fence and turned away from Amos and Amos, recovering a little from his paralysis, made it home in practically nothing flat!" Megan said uneasily. "He had probably been drinking up some of that terrible 'white mule' his friend Pete whips up and he was seeing things!" Laurence nodded. "That's the line I would follow, if it were not for the fact that that night, possibly a few minutes before Amos saw the eight-foot-high ghost, a woman had been killed and the weapon has never I an expert carving knife. "And I don't mind telling you that I consider con-sider It an open-and-shut case." For the barest moment Megan -thought the carving knife shook in her father's hand; but the next instant in-stant he went on carving delicately thin slices of chicken and laying them carefully on the plate before him. "An open-and-shut case? You mean you have er an idea as to the guilty person," Jim asked, with a beautifully balanced Interest and curiosity In his voice. (TO BE CONTINUED) been found," he pointed out. Megan said swiftly, "You can't possibly think that Amos' hallucination hallucina-tion had anything to do with with that?" "I don't know, of course," Laurence Lau-rence answered. "But, of course, any unusual happening that night, at around that time, will have to be carefully Investigated." He hesitated a moment and then he said quietly, "There is no reason whatever, Megan, for anybody to know that you were on the Ridge with Fallon at the time Mrs. Stevenson Steven-son was murdered." "yessum" and her felt-soled, broad feet padded silently away. Megan felt that Laurence and Reynolds had been gone a long, long time and looked at the clock to see that barely ten minutes had elapsed since they had left the room. But It was closer to thirty minutes before they returned, and as they came along the hall, Megan heard their low-pitched, cautious voices and her nerves crisped a little. "Did you find Amos?" she asked with what she hoped was exactly the proper amount of polite inflection.