He jammed his hand in his pocket and pulled out the phone and turned it on. He clicked to open it up and his e-mail site appeared. Spam filled the screen. He closed it and hit the contact button and the phone went dead.
“Oh you stinkin’……” he started to curse just as it came on again. “Okay,” he muttered and hit the contact icon. A warning flashed that he had no signal and he flared up, angry with himself for having wasted time with the spam until he realized that it was just a leftover feed from when he had had a signal. He stuffed the phone back into his pocket.
Satisfied there was nothing in the cabin to help him out of his situation, he turned to go back to the plane and came face to face with a grizzly old man and was startled. The guy looked like a throwback from the hippie era. His beard was shaggy and his hair was wild and standing out somewhat reminiscent of an afro. James started to grin until he spotted the shotgun in the man’s hands.
“Whoa! Now…now….now hold on there old-timer,” James stammered. “My plane died and I had to land it here and…..and….and I came here and the door was open. I didn’t touch a thing and….and….and....I’m…I’m just trying to find out where I’m at so I can get help and get outta here.”
The man motioned for James to back up and he did. “There’ll be no help,” the man said and motioned for James to sit.
James sat in the furthest chair trying to put some distance between him and the barrel of the gun. “If…if…..it’s money….” James started to say when the man put his finger to his lips letting James know to shut up.
James swallowed hard. ‘What the hell had he gotten himself into?’ Flashes of “Deliverance” entered his mind and he shuddered.
The old man studied him. “What’s your name?” he finally asked.
James cleared his throat. “It’s James.”
The man toyed with his beard with one hand while balancing the gun in the crook of his arm with the other. “James what?”
James had no idea of the significance of telling this man his last name if the guy was going to kill him anyway, but he was in no position to protest or rebel. “It’s Bell,” was all he offered.
James wasn’t positive but it seemed that the old man had staggered a bit when he’d heard James’ last name. Neither man spoke for at least five minutes. The silence was like a heavy veil cloaking them, making it difficult to breathe easily.
“Where you from?” the old man seemingly choked the words out.
James studied him while debating whether to tell the truth or not. He opted for the truth. “Originally from Rehoboth, Mass, but now I live in Little Compton, R.I.”
If James didn’t know better, he’d have sworn the guy was shot by the way he reeled when he heard the information, and wondered what could possibly cause such a reaction.
The man pulled the other chair from the table and sat down. He glanced up towards the ceiling then back at James. He nodded his head a bit then said, “Your mother’s name, Delia?”
It was James’ turn to look stunned. “Yes, yes it is,” he replied, studying the man even more intently than before. “Who are you?” James asked, hoping not to anger the guy.
“What’s your father’s name?” the old man asked, avoiding James’ question.
Still trying to figure out who the old man was and what was going on, James replied, “It’s Paul. Paul Bell. Now who the hell are you?”
The old man cleared his throat. “The name’s Martin. Martin Macomber.”
Not recognizing the name at first, James dismissed it. But after mulling it over for a few minutes, the name registered in his mind. “Macomber, you’re the guy who broke into our house and tried to hurt my mother.”
The old man’s nostrils flared and he stood up, pointing the barrel of the gun at James. “I did no such damn thing.”
“My father told…….”
“Your father was a no good for nothing hood. He made that story up.”
“He didn’t make it up,” James shot back at him.
“Your father was a liar, a cheat and a two bit hood that used his connections to get me out of the picture.”
“You broke into our house, my mother identified you.”
October 30, 2014