Gone Gull | Chapter 35 of 42 - Part: 1 of 3

Author: Donna Andrews | Submitted by: Maria Garcia | 1889 Views | Add a Review

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Chapter 30

Spike had jumped off the bed and was running back and forth across the floor of the caravan, still growling—but it wasn’t his usual confidant, forceful growling. It was a higher-pitched, anxious growl, more bravado than confidence. Not a sort of growling I’d often heard from the Small Evil One. I’d heard him growl like that once when by some oversight he’d managed to slip past us into the bear’s den at Grandfather’s zoo. And once again when he’d taunted a cousin’s Rottweiler mercilessly until the larger dog, ordinarily quite calm and placid, became annoyed and responded with a growl so deep you felt more than heard it. Not happy memories.

“Shut up, Spike,” I said, almost automatically.

For once he obeyed. Then he gave one soft bark, sat down in the middle of the floor, and looked up at me with a more familiar expression. The expression that said, “I am displeased with my present circumstances, and I expect you, lowly human, to do your job and fix things.”

“Working on it,” I muttered.

I crawled to the far side of the enormous bed and peered through the curtains that covered the narrow little window there. The caravan was hitched behind a large pickup truck, and was now moving rather rapidly. Rapidly backward, I thought, irrationally—the detachable shafts that you could use if you wanted a horse to draw the caravan were on the front end, the end with the door, while the permanently installed (though discreetly camouflaged) trailer hitch was on the back, or bed end of the caravan. From what I could see, we were rattling downhill on the gravel lane that led from Biscuit Mountain to the main road. Going a bit faster than I’d have wanted to go on this road, which made the caravan lurch and pitch. But still not going all that fast, probably because the road just wouldn’t allow it. Though no doubt the fact that the truck didn’t have its headlights or taillights on also discouraged the driver from speeding.

“Sorry, Spike,” I said. “You were trying to warn me and I was telling you to shut up.”

His look suggested that he’d consider accepting my apology when I’d gotten us out of this mess.

And it was definitely a mess. I couldn’t think of a plausible reason for anyone to be hauling the caravan off in the middle of the night unless they were trying to kidnap my boys.

A surge of anger swept through me at that thought. The would-be kidnapper was in for a nasty surprise if I had anything to do with it.

But first I needed to escape.

No, first I needed to figure out who was doing this so I could report them. Then escape. And then sic law enforcement on my kidnapper.

Speaking of law enforcement, how had the officers patrolling the ground missed seeing someone hitching up the caravan to his truck and then hauling it off?

Probably during the thunderstorm. I wouldn’t have blamed them at all for taking shelter for a few minutes during the height of the downpour. And even without the thunder, the noise of the heavy rain would have disguised whatever sounds the kidnapper made while hitching up the caravan.

Still—surely sooner or later someone would notice the caravan’s absence and come looking for it, wouldn’t they?

Well, unless whoever was currently patrolling that part of the grounds was one of the newcomers who didn’t know the lay of the land that well.

I’d worry about that later.

I peered out the window again, trying to see if I could read the truck’s license plate. Unfortunately, while my perspective through the window was inconveniently low, it was still above the raised bed, which meant from the outside it was too high for me to see down as far as the truck’s license plate. And the lack of any illumination meant I couldn’t see even the silhouette of the driver.

I glanced at my watch. Four thirty. Later than I expected. So late it was almost early. But not late enough that even the earliest risers would be out.

I took a couple of pictures of the truck anyway. They just looked like dark blurs to me, but maybe Horace or one of Rob’s techs would have a way of lightening them to make out any useful details. Though what those details might be I had no idea. It was an ordinary truck, dark blue or black. Nothing in the truck bed. No distinctive marks that I could see. No visible dents or damage. No stickers on the back window of the cab. Nothing memorable about the truck at all.

Well, except for the fact that it was driving too fast down a narrow mountain road with its headlights off, towing a gaudily painted Gypsy caravan.

So, call 911 first or escape from the caravan? I peered out one of the side windows. All I could see was trees, scrolling past the window and sometimes brushing it. Which meant we were still on the lane leading up to Biscuit Mountain. Probably a good idea to escape before the truck hit the main road, where it could pick up speed. And luckily, since the door was on the opposite end from the truck, I could probably do so without the kidnapper seeing me.

I slid off the bed and crawled to the door end of the caravan—given how badly it was lurching, crawling seemed a lot safer than walking. My plan was to open the door, wait until the truck slowed down a bit—going around a curve, perhaps—then throw Spike out and jump after him.

I made sure my phone was in my pocket.

“Here, Spike,” I called softly.

He stared at me and continued sitting on the floor.

Comments

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Alice
Great book, nicely written and thank you BooksVooks for uploading

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