strained to listen. Something had disturbed him. Then it came again, a loud reverberating knock. The shock of adrenalin sent his heart pounding and propelled him on cat steps toward the door.
“Matt! I know that you’re ... open up quick,” the cowboy said, drunk and fumbling with coherency.
“I got you god damned bag. Come quick afor that bitch,”
Then from further away, her voice came pursuing, “You god-damned son-of-a-bitch.”
Matt cracked the door, and two bags squirmed through.
“How do you know they’re the right ones?” Matt whispered.
“Don’t matter. If it’s wrong, trade ‘em in the mornin’. Leastwise you got chips now.” He turned and stumbled toward his pickup.
Matt watched through the crack as Janet’s form came flying forward. “You fucking tiny weenie cowboy, you stole that bag. Give it back!”
“Watch for the scorpions,” Matt warned.
She stopped, glanced toward the strange voice that came from the dark, then dismissed it and reopened her rant at the retreating cowboy. Matt closed and latched the door, putting his ear close to it.
The truck engine rumbled. The word “Bastard” resounded. A door slammed. Stephanie stirred a moment and then continued to sleep.
He was certain her leaving had awakened him. He rolled over and placed his hand on the night stand. His fingers wiggled about and clasped his wrist watch. He brought it to his face to see that it was eight o’clock.
“She probably hurried to catch the 8:30 bus,” he thought, seeing the bags gone, wondering if he had dreamed their existence.
He found her in the cafe. She was dressed in fresh blue jeans and a plaid short-sleeved blouse, a cup of coffee and a newspaper on the table in front of her, the bags at her feet.
“I wanted to go see if I could find one in the daylight,” she said, smiling. “I think I saw one, but he kind of disappeared before I could get close enough to really tell.”
“They hide fast in the daylight. I’m surprised that you even saw one.”
“I probably imagined it,” she said lowering her head with embarrassment.
“Oh, it’s possible, if you were up early enough.”