Terror From McKellar Forest 4
Sorry, I’m Not Convinced ...
“Calm down son, tell me what happened?” All eyes in the tavern are upon Jeremy as he tries to tell his father, then looks at Kurt and Jeffery.
“They can tell you what happened, pop!” Jeremy points at the two boys accusingly.
“OK boys, what’s the story? Is this some kind of a prank?” Chief McGuire beckoning the two lads forward. Kurt speaks first.
“Scoutmaster Henson told Jeffery and me to follow him into McKellar Forest—” One of the tavern’s patrons interrupt.
“I knew that place was dangerous.”
“Never mind, please continue Kurt.” Chief McGuire looks around to insure no one else decides to but in.
“Like I said, the Scoutmaster asked us to follow him into the woods. Well, after about 30 feet we stopped dead in our tracks.” Kurt pauses to accept a glass of tea from Kyle Russell before continuing.
“Thanks. We saw the biggest tracks I’ve ever seen. Then Scoutmaster Henson says that he don’t think we’re alone. Well, we turn around and this big shadow was on the ground in front of us.” Kurt stops to catch his breath.
“A shadow—you guys were frighten by a shadow?” Chief McGuire retorts shaking his head in disbelief.
“We weren’t about to check to see what made that shadow. We took out running. Scoutmaster Henson fell and then we heard this awful hollering.” Jeffery adds.
“Let me get this straight—you saw some big footprints, turned and saw a shadow. So the three of you took off running. Henson fell, probably sprain his ankle and you left him. Sounds like to me.” Chief McGuire summarizes.
“You should have heard the screams.” Both boys defend themselves.
“Dawson, did you backtrack to see what had happened?” Chief McGuire inquires.
“Well no. I heard the screaming as well. The boys came back as if their rear-ends were on fire and I just got the kids out of there.” Dawson replies sheepishly.
“So, you left a poor wounded man alone in McKellar Forest to fend for himself, did you?” Chief McGuire further accuses. Then, Ellen pulls out her cellphone and shows the pictures to the boys.
“Were the tracks like these?” Ellen inquires.
“They seemed even larger.” Kurt speaks up.
“What’s this nonsense?” Chief McGuire asks, taking the phone away from Kurt and looking at the pictures himself. “When and where was this taken?”
“Yesterday, outside my house.” Ellen answers, retrieving her property.
“Hmm, why wasn’t this incident reported to me or one of my staff?” Chief McGuire demands.
“Because my daughter and I were discussing the possibility of doing just that, Judd.” Justin Corbet explains.
“Justin, Emily you’re back early from your trip to Florida—how was it?” Chief McGuire says as he shakes hands with his old friends.
“Never mind that man, we have a crisis on our hands. Have you looked at the size of those footprints?” Justin asks.
“Yes, I have, and they are extremely large. Grizzlies do get pretty big, but they aren’t normally as large as this photo shows. You use a little Photoshop on these, Ellen?” Chief McGuire shakes his head in total disbelief.
“Judd, surely you don’t think that my daughter would prefabricate a hoax?” Emily replies, giving Chief McGuire a haughty look.
“Of course not, Emily. But maybe the camera distorted the lens and made the footprints look larger than they really are.” Chief McGuire offers as a suggestion.
“We can always go out to her place and find out, can’t we?” Justin is also becoming unnerved. Some of the other tavern patrons begin to murmur and nod their heads in agreement.
“Yeah, let’s see these tracks at Ellen’s place.” Someone yells out.
“Now simmer down everybody. The snow is gradually starting to melt so the tracks may not be there. At any rate, we’ve got to find out what happened to Ed Henson. Bring him home if he’s hurt.” The Chief explains.
“Or what’s left of him!” Another remarks. As if on cue, a very wet and extremely disheveled Edward Henson walks in, totally out of breath.
“You’re alive!” Dawson rushes up to him while Kyle goes to find several towels to dry him off.
“It was terrible. I thought that I was a goner. I curled myself up into a tight ball and began to roll. Luckily, there was an old widow maker nearby.” Ed explains.
“A widow maker?” Ellen questions.
“That’s an old holla tree that’s just waiting to fall down. It generally has a break in it just large enough for a man to fit in.” Someone tells Ellen.
“Go on, Ed.” Chief McGuire urges.
“I don’t know how that thing held together. That monster shook that tree eight-ways going to Sunday, but she held fast. He got mad and left. I reckoned that Louis had gotten the boys to safety, so I just struck out on my own. Found me a makeshift raft and headed to Morgan’s Bluff. It turned over a few feet from shore, so I swam the rest of the way.” Ed ends his story, happy to be alive. Everyone shows their approval.
“Did you get a good look at your assailant, Ed.” Chief McGuire questions.
“No sir, but it was big and hairy. Bigger than anything I could ever imagine.” Ed replies, drying himself off and accepting a change of shirt from Kyle. Ellen shows him the pictures on her cellphone.
“Do you recognize these footprints, Mr. Henson.” She asks.
“That’s it. That’s what me and the boys saw. Except they seemed a wee-bit larger. Yes, Elly, that’s it!” Ed exclaims and Ellen gives Chief McGuire a smug look.
‘I’m still not totally convince. I know what you’re leading to. I don’t believe in The Ripper. This just may be a rogue bear.” Chief McGuire states.
“Why don’t you go out there and ask him?” Ed replies while everyone in The Sip and Sit have a hardy laugh.”
“Chief, I think the Beef and Beer Festival should be closed or at least postponed until we find out what’s in McKellar Forest.” Justin speaks up.
“Now wait a minute there Justin. Those are some pretty strong words there. I admit that something big got ahold of poor Ed, but he’s none the worse for wear. The townspeople have prepared all year for this festival. Let’s not do anything rash.” McGuire states and there are several in agreement.
“I know, so have I. But it doesn’t mean that we serve up the townspeople as the Blue-plate Special.” Justin rebukes.
“Let’s just see what the mayor has to say on this, after all the final decision is up to him.” Everyone agrees with Chief McGuire.
To Be Continued ...
Terror From McKellar Forest
- Terror From McKellar Forest 5
Mayor Hodges refuse to believe either what witnesses tell him or pictures of footprints. The Beef and Beer Bash will continue as scheduled. Ellen is livid regarding the entire fiasco which has been broadcast live from the Courthouse.
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