Are You Haunted: conclusion
“The truth is, Miss Gilshannon…”
Summers had parked on Washington. As he held the door for Isobel, he explained, throwing ahead a pointing finger, “I went up the way, over to Sycamore, that little street off Canal. The Keegans live in the first house, just at the corner, practically neighbors of Mrs. Drybrook’s. I told Mr. Keegan I was curious to know why he happened to be around the place, yesterday. We’re gonna swing by and pick him up.”
The Packard accelerated. At once Summers braked and dragged the wheel. Having navigated Canal Street’s odd angle, he pulled to the curb, where Isobel saw Keegan waiting. Keegan had that sort of face which reposed into a scowl; yet he was, from what Isobel had seen of him, an even tempered man. Weighted by the hand grasping the shaft of a sledgehammer, he stood at a lean, and toted in his other hand a wooden tool box.
Keegan called out, eager, it seemed, to continue the exchange Summers must have begun—then rushed away from—half an hour earlier.
“Mister, what you were asking about…”
“Hold up.” Summers banged out of the driver’s door; circled to lift the trunk lid. “Mr. Keegan, have a seat in the back. I want Miss Gilshannon to hear all this, too.”
“What I fixed on there,” said Keegan, “is only the cover from an old coal chute. I was keeping it special ’cause Mr. Guy been saying he worries vandals might get at the grate. But you’re right enough, Mr. Summers, that someone couldn’t get out from the inside. I got ’em both bolted down.”
“Would you say it fits snug?”
Keegan shook his head, disapproving, not denying. “Mr. Guy came by, had a look when I was finishing up, and he said, ‘Shovel some dirt on, so it don’t look like anything’.” Keegan considered, picturing his work. “I’d say tolerably snug, altogether, Mr. Summers. You want me to take that off first thing.”
“I do, Keegan. Safety first.” Summers patted his gut. “Still, that wall’s gotta come down.”
Isobel, thinking of Summers’s warning to Guy, felt sickened. “Powell must not have been inside. Would he not have heard…?”
“Well”—Summers slowed the car at the Mill Road turnoff—“I’ve seen a plan of the tunnel complex. I’ve seen most of the papers they kept copies of at the Drybrook office. I’d have to say, it depends…what Kenzie might think he was down there to be doing. But don’t overlook, ma’am, someone else could have got in.”
Are You Haunted
(copyright 2015, 2018 Stephanie Foster)