Just a Little Bit Crazy, Chapter 13

This entry is part 13 of 19 in the series Crazy

Chapter 13

Half an hour later the couple was seated in a plush cocktail lounge in downtown Boise. Each had a tall bottle of Bud in front of them and a frosted glass in their hands.

“Sure dark in here,” Elly May whispered.

Jim took a big swallow from the glass. “Sure is.”

“Why do they keep it so dark in these places? The other night in Ontario it was the same.”

“Maybe they are trying to save energy.”

A girl in skintight slacks was hovering over them. “How are you folks doing?”

Jim picked up his bottle, which was about empty. “Bring me another. How about you Sweetie?”

The girl shook her head. She was thinking of that other night in Ontario. The air conditioner was working overtime. The place was nice and cool. For several minutes they sat there enjoying the cool air. Jim broke the silence.

“I wonder if this Rogers guy that lives at that place knew the Battens. We could go out there this evening and talk to them. Mrs. Rogers was playing golf today. At least that is what her neighbor said.”

“Maybe they will both be home this evening.”

“We can go see. And if they don’t know anything about the Battens we will keep trying. Some of the people that live around there is bound to know where we can find them.”

“That’s the way I love to hear you talk.”

“A couple of beers and I am as good as new again. In fact have another idea.”

“Tell me darling.”

Jim glanced at his watch. “It’s four thirty now and still a long time until evening. The woman that said their name was Rogers also said they had a furniture store over on Fairview. It should be listed in the phone book. We could drive out there right now.”

The girl was on her feet. Let’s go!”

“Don’t I get to finish my beer?”

“Sorry Jim.”

“Let’s do a Little planing before we go out there. We’ve got to be careful. Remember what the Doctor said?”

“Yes Darling.”

“I think we should just play it by ear. We can go out to the store and look at the furniture. We might even buy some. How about a new waterbed? We could have a lot of fun on one of theme”

Elly May smiled, “It doesn’t have to be a water bed, darling.”

He kissed her on the cheek, “You are a little rascal.”

Her arms were around his neck. “You can do better than that!”

Jim tried. Immediately, his thoughts shifted to a nice cool motel room. He would pick up a bottle of champagne.

Elly May pushed herself away from: him, “Please darling. Let’s go look at the furniture. When we get this off our mind then I’m sure we’ll find time for other things.”

Jim sighed. “Ah hell!”

“We have our whole life ahead of us, my love.”

“Okay Sweetie, one thing at a time. But look out when this is over.”

“I will be ready.”

They finished their drinks and went outside. The sun was bearing: down which was quite a contrast from the air conditioned bar. They climbed into the Buick. Jim started the motor and turned on the air conditioner.

The telephone book was on the seat beside them. Jim looked in the yellow pages under Furniture and found the address.

Ten minutes later they were in the parking lot at Rogers Furniture. They got out and walked.

It was quite a large store and everything looked expensive. The front of the store was crowded with dining rooms sets. A well-dressed young man walked up to them. “Find anything you like?” he asked.

Jim looked him over. “Are you Mister Rogers?”

“No, my name is White, Howard White.” He reached in his shirt pocket, drew out a card and handed it to Jim. “Would you like to see Mister Rogers?”

Jim nodded. “If he isn’t too busy.”

“Wait here for a minute,” said White. “I’ll be right back.” He walked up a stairway to a balcony above and disappeared.

Jim glanced at Elly May. Her face was white but she seemed to have control of herself. He was thankful for that.

The young man returned to the edge of the balcony and beckoned for them to come up the stairway. In back of the balcony was a private room. White held the door open and told them to enter.

A short heavyset young man with a black curly beard was sitting behind the desk. He was a young man and appeared to be in his middle thirties. He looked up and smiled, showing large white teeth. “Good afternoon. And what can I do for you folks?”

Jim smiled back. “We are trying to locate the Batten family. Years ago they lived where you are living now.”

The man pulled a cigarette from his shirt pocket. “And may I ask why you are looking for them?”

Jim nodded. “Sure it is no secret.” He looked toward Elly May. “This young lady is from Seattle Washington. She is visiting here. She has some relatives by the name of Batten. The last she heard from them they were living in this area. We were looking through an old telephone book it listed a S.T. Batten at the place you are now living. We thought you might know something about them.”

Rogers lit the cigarette took a deep drag and closed his eyes. He appeared to be deep in thought. Suddenly he looked up at them. “Maybe you had better sit down.” He motioned to a couple of chairs. Jim and Elly May sat down.

Rogers cleared his throat, “I have never had the pleasure of meeting the Battens, and never will. They were killed in a plane crash about two years ago. However, I do know their daughter. We were married about six months ago.”

Both Jim and Elly May were speechless. It looked like they were nearing the end of the trail.

The girl licked her lips her face was white. “Do you have any pictures of them, Mister Rogers? “

“Not here, my wife has some at home.”

“What did they do for a living?” The girl bit her lip – Jim was afraid she was going to cry.

Rogers stared at her. “He was a mining engineer. At the time of his death he was working for a big oil company. His work took him all over the world. Mostly he traveled by plane.

Usually he took his wife and daughter with him. On this last and fatal trip they left the daughter at home. Does this sound like the people you are looking for young, lady?”

“It could sure be them alright.”

Rogers got to his feet. He glanced at the watch on his wrist. “It’s five o’clock and my wife should be here any minute. She can tell you a lot more about her parents than I can.”

This is her golf day and she drives a pink Cadillac and you can’t mistake it. The back seat will be full of golf clubs. Just browse around in the show room she will come through there. She loves to talk about her folks. I know she will be glad to answer your questions. Now if you will excuse me have some work to do.”

Jim thanked him. He took Elly May by the arm and together they walked down the stairway. They went through the showroom and over to the front window. Here they could see the front parking lot. If she pulled up here they would get a good look at her.

Elly May’s face was pale her eyes were bright. “Jim, darling, we must be careful. What shall we do? We can’t come right out and tell her of our suspicions. We can’t tell her we think our parents got us mixed up.”

Jim grinned, “She could get mighty peeved alright, especially if she got a look at Seth and the boys.”

“Yes, and I know exactly how she would feel. I went through that myself.”

Jim slipped an arm around the girl’s waist, “This is surely a delicate situation. Maybe we should go somewhere and talk this thing over. Maybe we can find a better way.”

A pink Cadillac pulled up in front. The back seat was piled high with golf clubs and groceries. A young woman jumped out and started walking toward the front door.

She was wearing a short sleeve shirt, shorts, golfing shoes and sox. She also wore a cap that was pulled down low to shade her eyes. Her skin was a golden brown. Evidently she spent a lot of time in the sun.

She opened the door and stepped inside. She removed the cap and shook her head. The dark hair came tumbling down over the greenish brown eyes. She stood there for a moment as though posing for them. With one hand, she pushed the hair back out of her eyes and headed for the back room.

Jim turned to Elly May beside him. She was as white as a sheet. He took her by the arm they walked quietly out of the place. Neither of them said a word. The answer had been placed in front of them.

There was no doubt in either of their minds they had found the daughter of Seth and Martha Rotten.

Series NavigationJust a Little Bit Crazy, Chapter 12Just a Little Bit Crazy, Chapter 14

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