We waited in silence for the cab to arrive. Silence wasn’t a good thing in a motel like that. The noises from the rooms on either side didn’t leave much to the imagination. I tried hard not to put Janie’s face in one of those rooms. Although we’d waited no more than five minutes, it seemed like an eternity and when the cab finally arrived I fled. As I left the room I looked behind me. Larry was rumpling the bed covers. “we have to make it look like we slept here at least”
I shivered, “whatever!” The thought of sleeping in that bed gave me the creeps. “Where to?” the driver asked as Larry slid in the back seat beside me.”
“Stagecoach Salon, Franktown.” Larry replied.
The cab pulled out onto the main road. “Thats a long way man, you good for the money?” Larry reached over and waved a hundred dollar bill in the guys face. “That should cover it. Keep the change.”
The city lights disappeared in the rearview mirror and the soft darkness of Douglas County swallowed us. “I hope Jacks OK”
Larry was silent. I looked at him. “He will be OK won’t he?” I asked.
“I don’t know, he’s an old guy, may have had a heart attack.
It seemed to take an eternity to get to the bar, and when we arrived, it was in darkness. I looked at Larry, he pointed to a dark shape in the gloom by the fence. It was the van. “You sure you want to be dropped off here?” the cab driver said. “Looks like its closed.”
“Yea, we’re good, thanks man.”
We watched the cabs tail lights disappear in the distance. “OK, let’s go.” Larry said. We turned to the van and the lights came on, temporarily blinding me.
“Everyone OK,”Larry asked as we slid into the front seat.
“The old guy’s a bit shook up, but I think he’ll survive.”
“How about Janie?” I asked.
“She ran, don’t know where she went!”
“When we got back here, she took off!”
Larry looked at me. “Great, we went through all of this for nothing.”
In two minutes we were at Jack’s house. He sat at the kitchen table, his face ashen. Larry’s three friends were drinking whiskey. Jack was drinking tea. I pulled a chair alongside him. “Jack are you alright?”
“Yes, I will be, got a weak heart, too much excitement for an old man.”
“You’re not that old!”
“I feel it!”
“Where’s Janie?” I asked, trying not to stress him any further.
She stood in the doorway, the passage light framing her slight figure. She held a bundle wrapped in a blanket. At first I thought she was carrying a child, my heart missed a beat. Jack made to get up, but I put my hand on his should and made him sit.
“Where’d you go?” he asked.
“Back to the barn, I wanted to grab this stuff before anyone else found it. Those guys came searching for me down here once. They might come back!”
She dropped the bundle on the floor, but held onto a small tin, the sort you got cookies in at Christmas. She placed it on the table in front of Jack. He looked up at her.