"A s soon as we get to town,” the kidnapper said, we’ll stop at the General Store and make the call to the Glenners.”
His accomplice looked at his watch. “It’s twenty minutes to twelve. They’ll be leaving to the park soon, with all that beautiful cash.”
“I can’t believe that girl messed up our plans. Things were going so good.” The driver hit the steering wheel in frustration, and the car swerved, almost hitting a tree.
“Keep your eyes on the road, or neither of us will be around to collect the cash.”
He straightened the wheel and continued down the road, about to drive around the bend.
*
“I hear the automobile!” Idy’s eyes sparkled. Her head tilted in thought as the sound drew nearer. “Wait a minute, Lulu, I just thought of something.”
In a flash, she spun on her heels and rushed down the small hill into the brush. She ran further and further away from the road then ducked out of sight.
A moment later, the car drove over the very spot where Idy and Lulu had been waiting.
She watched the car speed by from the safety of her hiding place, and let out a thankful breath.
Idy had realized how dirty and disheveled she and Lulu were. Anyone who saw her would plainly see something was awry. Idy couldn’t take that risk.
“I guess we’ll have to walk after all.”
When the car was no more than a dot in the distance, Idy climbed back up the incline and continued on her way. Soon the town was no longer a blur, but a reality. Idy quickened her steps. Every sight that met her eyes was a wonder to behold; the houses and stores, the horse-drawn wagons, the cars. Her head spun this way and that. The streets were empty due to the cold weather, but to Idy they were filled to capacity.
“Lulu,” she said. “We have to wash up. We can’t prance around such a grand town all muddy like this.”
Clutching the little girl to her heart more for her own security than for Lulu’s, Idy walked down the street looking for a well or a water trough, just like the one back on the farm.
A short distance away was a large store. Idy slowly read the sign. “Gen-er-al St-ore.” Other than glimpsing over Fay’s shoulder from time to time at the reader, Idy hadn’t read anything in a long while.
A flutter of excitement rippled through her as her eyes zipped from one sign to another. “Oh, Lulu! I can read them all!” She pointed. “That there says ‘b-ank’ and over there where that young boy is sitting on the bench, says ‘res-tau-rant.’” It was only for a fleeting moment that Idy wondered why the boy, clutching the white bag, was sitting outside in the cold, before she rushed across the street to the General Store, and ran up the steps. Idy pulled open the door, nearly colliding with the tall man walking out. He tipped his hat, apologized, then called for the boy across the street.
“Let’s go, Zach.”
Idy watched the boy limp down the steps from the restaurant and she instantly thought of Jacob. (Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 666)