It was nearing 4:00am and Detective Bob Keller was on his way. The time passed so slowly as they waited for Bob. Howard seemed to be wearing a path across the hardwood floor and Jen rocked in her mother’s antique rocking chair, trying to stay calm. Finally, the doorbell chimed.
As Howard opened the door, a gust of wind rushed through the room. So did Spike. “Damn cat,” Howard growled. He let Detective Keller in. “That worthless damn cat.” He grabbed Spike by the scruff of the neck and tossed him out the door with a great thrust. Spike landed on his feet in the bushes about 10 feet from the house. Spike gave Howard a look that could kill… if looks could kill, that is.
“Hello, Bob. I want my daughter found and that no-good Scott boy prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law!”
“Nice to see you too, Howard,” Bob remarked. “Tell me what you think is going on.”
“Jeffrey Scott has run off with my daughter! He’s a lousy bum. All he wants is my money!” shouted Howard.
Bob wanted to slap some sense into Howard’s thick skull. Jeffrey Scott was a nice young man, with a great head on his shoulders. He was taught the meaning of responsibility by Bill and Clare Scott. He had never given his parents any reason to worry about him or mistrust him.
“When did you last see Elizabeth?” Bob asked Howard and Jen.
“The last time we saw her was around 9:45 last night. It was just after I kicked that boy out of my house!” Howard’s face was red like the hottest coal in a winter fireplace.
“And what time was it that you kicked Jeffrey out?” Bob asked as he wrote in his little notebook.
Jen answered, “It was 9:25 exactly, Bob. Poor Elizabeth. Jeffrey had just asked Howard for her hand in marriage. How romantic it should have been. The moment was ruined because my husband is worried about his money!” Detective Keller looked at her with such sadness and utter disbelief that Howard could be so cruel.
“Where did Elizabeth go after you kicked Jeff out?” Bob asked Howard, knowing that he would be fuming over what his wife just revealed. He knew that Jeff wouldn’t run off like that, and certainly not with a 16-year-old girl.
To that Howard answered, “She ran out the door. She probably went down by the lake for a walk. What the fascination is with that lake, I don’t know. I know she and that boy ran off, otherwise she would have come home by now.”
“And you haven’t seen her since the incident with Jeff, is that correct?” Bob asked seriously.
“Do you think you would be standing here if I had seen her?” Howard retorted.
Bob thought to himself, What a pompous ass! “Alright. We’ll take a look down by the lake,” he told Howard as he headed to the door. “I will keep in touch.”
“Don’t take all damn morning,” Howard ordered and was about to slam the door behind Bob when Bob turned and asked, “Did you by any chance think to go down by the lake and look for Elizabeth yourself?”
Howard slammed the door.