Thank you for joining us for Devil at Dusk – Installment Seventeen!
After Jerry left, I spent the rest of the day with Will, we played some board games and then I made us some lunch. Later we went and saw a double feature at the movie theater, after that we went to the diner and got burgers, fries and chocolate malts. I basically spoiled him, he was a good kid. I felt he deserved to be spoiled every now and then, especially under the circumstances. Deputy Hill told me (before he left my cottage) that Sheriff Holifield thought it was a good idea for me to spend some time with Will rather than join in on the search party today. If it was necessary to have the search party a third day they would have me be a part of it.
Right after Will came over to my place (the day before) when he realized his mom was missing, I contacted Bet’s father and mother. I let them know what was going on with Bet. I called over there again today to let them know that we still had not found her. I made arraignments with them to have Will spend the night at their house, that way they could get him ready in the morning for school and I would be available if needed to be a part of the search party. Later on in the day Deputy Hill came to my cottage and let me know, they had not found anything. He said he was going to go home to sleep for a few hours and then he would be back out there ready to search some more. He told me to plan to be ready to go to search the next morning, unless of course I heard otherwise. He said they would all be meeting at the stables at 6:00 in the morning. I told him I would be there.
I touched base again with Will’s grandparents to let them know I would be bringing Will over to spend the night. I had him pack a few things in an overnight bag and I drove him over to his grandparent’s house. We got to the house and knocked on the door; Robert Lee, Will’s grandpa came to the door and let us in. He asked me if I wanted to come in for a moment, I said yes just to be polite even though I always felt uncomfortable in his presence. He told me he was going to get Peggy, that she was in her sewing room. Peggy emerged from a room down the hallway and told me to have a seat and she would bring me a cup of coffee plus some homemade chocolate chip cookies and milk for Will. Peggy came back with the refreshments and at that time Robert Lee also joined us in the living room. Peggy asked me if the search party had found anything at all. I said so far no, they had not come up with anything. We chatted for a few more moments and I told them I had better get going because I had to be up very early the next day. I gave Will a big huge hug, told him to be strong and to do well in school tomorrow. Will looked up at me with his little freckled face, big blue eyes and his tousled strawberry blond hair, he told me he would be strong for both of us. He said thank you Aunt Brooksie for such a fun day. I told everybody good bye and went out to my car to go home on the way home I started to cry, I was so worried about Bet.
The next morning I was up really early and out the door, I made it to the stables at 6 am. Deputy Hill was there and he nodded to me so I stood next to him. The search party was forming; Sheriff Holifield said he would give it 10 more minutes to see if anyone else came. Nobody else did, there were a total of eight people, Sheriff Holifield said we would all break up into pairs, that way two people can go to a big area and search it together. Deputy Hill (Jerry) asked me if I wanted to search with him and I said sure. After we all got into our pairs then Sheriff Holifield showed us where he wanted each pairing to go. Jerry and I headed off to our location together.
We searched for hours and about mid day we took a break. We sat down for a moment and took our sandwiches and thermoses out. We had a little picnic however it is too bad it was not a real picnic. Jerry and I were able to share a lot about one another in the last few hours, I was really starting to like him, and he seemed to be a great guy. Plus he was good looking too which is always nice if you have to spend hours with a person. After we were done we set out for more searching. We searched for hours again, it started getting later in the day. Jerry asked me if I wanted to go for another couple hours and after that call it a day. I told him that was a good idea. Then he asked me if I wanted to go to Ling’s Garden with him for dinner. I told him that I would love to as long as he gave me time to go home to get ready. He said no problem; I will pick you up at 7pm.
A couple of hours rolled on by so we stopped. We made it back to the stables, Jerry headed off and I went to my cottage. Sure enough at 7pm there was Jerry pulling into my gravel driveway, he parked his car and walked up to my door. He knocked on my door and I was ready to go. He pulled a small bouquet of flowers from behind his back. I said wow what a nice surprise! I told him they were lovely and thanked him. I went back into the house and found a vase, filled it with water and put the flowers in it. Then we walked out to the car and proceeded to go to Ling’s Garden.
To be continued…..
This concludes this week’s installment of Devil at Dusk!