Chapter Six

Fortunately for Luke, his second cry for help was heard. A couple of men he knew from the neighborhood heeded his call and came running. They soon realized they’d arrived too late. The men found the children kneeling between their dear mother and older brother. “Oh, my! What happened?” asked the elder of the two men. The ladies shortly filled them in. The more nervous of the two women said, “Luke went around the back. No more than two minutes ago or so. Hurry on and go help the poor man! Will ya?” Then the little girl spoke out earnestly, “Daddy’s in there, too!” By now she was thoroughly shaking and trembling in her fright. The pastor’s youngest son sat in shock and disbelief, fighting back tears and trying to act like a big boy.

The men dashed on and away to the rear of the church. They could tell the fire had reached its peak, and weren’t sure if they’d go in there or not for any reason. It was a death trap. That much was for certain. No one in there could be alive. Luckily for them, they were too late, and didn’t have to make the choice. They found an unconscious Luke lying on his belly, far too close to danger. The full moon was bright up above them that night, and they could plainly see the blood on the palms of both his hands and on his pants from the knees on down. By the looks of him they could tell he’d just come out from inside the place. Seeing him there like that scared the living daylights out of the two of them, and they feared the worst. “Luke! Luke! Wake up!” Each of the men grabbed an arm. They lifted him halfway off the ground, and started dragging him away to safety.

Next thing Luke knows, two men are pulling him along on the ground. He started coughing and gagging again. “It’s alright, Luke! We got you,” said the young man fervently. “Are you alright?” Groggy and delirious Luke replied in a rough and barely audible voice, “Preacher man…in there…gotta get ‘m out.” The older man firmly spoke, “It’s no use, Luke. It’s too late. You’re lucky you made it out alive. No one’s going in there now. I won’t allow it. It’s over. You did all you could. Those two kids out front are alive because of you. Thank God for that!” Turning to his younger companion, he proceeded to bark out an order.”This man needs a drink. Go get him some water. Pronto!”

October 31st, 1869

Luke woke up in bed the next morning after a restless night’s sleep. Every move he’d made during his rescue mission kept flashing through his mind in off-sequence bits and pieces. He began to ponder over the stranger. “What was his motive for committing such a horrendously bloody murder?” Then it occurred to Luke that he didn’t have to tell everyone about everything he’d seen. He thought, “Wasn’t it enough that the pastor’s throat had been slit? Why put their kids through all that senseless rigmarole? What difference does it make anyway?” He knew he’d have to visit the deputy that day. Luke’s conscience notified him that he was now considering keeping this terrible secret to himself. Then a quiet voice reminded him that withholding information is seldom a good idea, and it might be something he’d often remember for the rest of his life. Luke shook off these pestering thoughts as he got up and out of bed. Somewhere deep down in his soul, he just knew he’d make the right choice when the moment of decision presented itself.


14 thoughts on “Chapter Six

  1. I shudder to think what conclusion Deputy Dawg will come too.

    Fascinating tale, Uncle, I admire your laying your own life on the line with this.


  2. Deputy Dawg is a puss, Ed, as you shall soon see.
    Thanks for letting me know that you are following along!

    Now that I’ve missed my deadline, I may as well take the time
    to do this right. My chores around the house had been put on
    the back-burner, and I’ve got some catching up to do. Laundry,
    balancing my checkbook, grocery shopping, etc., etc., you know.

    I shall continue, and finish what I’ve started. A word of warning…
    the rest of the story may contain scenes where it will be necessary
    for you, and the rest of my dear readers, to suspend your disbelief.

    A supernatural fairy tale allows for the magic stored in our imaginations.
    Retrieving that information, and putting it into words takes forever.

    I appreciate your support, and thank you for giving me your time! 🙂

  3. Same goes for you, Dusty.

    I thank you for the compliment, and for giving me the time of day!
    This has been a lot of work, and it’s not getting any easier.

  4. No problems with disbelief, Keith. You’ve really grabbed me now.

    I did worry that my ‘Deputy Dawg’ inference might be considered interference….phew!

    Okay, I’ll go set the washing machine in motion and think of you!


  5. Good, Stuart. The secret is Luke’s version of The Tell-Tale Heart.
    I’m sort of going to give the pastor’s heart some kind of sacred
    and mysterious power…without saying so. Keep that in mind.
    Morality is one of those flexible ideas that can change under stressful
    circumstances and/or conditions. Luke will be challenged by his own.

    Only changed a couple of things whilst editing this part this morning.

  6. I know one thing about wild events that have happened to me. I replayed the events over and over in my head. Some times I would be awakened just as the event was about to end and I would rise out of bed and wonder if I dreamed the event happened or lived through it. Reality always set in after my wits focused though… they usually subside after a week or so but every once in a while I come up out of bed in a fit of terror or rage (mostly after eating pizza).
    That last paragraph lends to the burden of the secret in a very realistic way.

  7. Glad to know you understand my secret effects. Pizza, eh? lol!
    Of course, we know Luke ends up telling Matt his secret.
    Otherwise, how would I know? I never say when
    he spills, or have yet to. May not need to.

    A little of what I know about the burden of keeping terrible secrets
    comes from reading a few of Carl Jung’s works. He heard a lot of confessions in his day, probably more than mosts priests.

    Back when I was 19, I was going to go to college and work at Kaw at the same time. I got as far as enrolling…wanted to get a major in psychology. My first wife was then offered a scholarship to a private art school. I decided to support her, and allow her to go to school first. After she graduated, she was supposed to get a job and support me. Well, that didn’t happen, obviously. She divorced me instead.

  8. LOL! sorry had to chuckle I’m on wife number 3. Seems like a familiar tale. My 1st one got her first job and ran of with a 41 year old bald headed security guard that worked there too. Sad but true these thing generally happen for the best but you can’t tell a heart that when it’s breaking. College can actually be fun for older people we see thing so much differently than the ones fresh out of high school…they stress over everything and can’t believe the things I’ll say when I need to speak up. They are fun to watch because they don’t even realize they are adults yet!

  9. Wife #1 couldn’t have kids after her first one, my step-son.
    So things worked out for the best. Yes, I do believe.
    She was 6 years older than me, too. That was part of it…

    I can bet you’re having fun at college, lucky dog!
    Lots of cute little women running around, I’m sure. 😉

  10. Yeah…I’m the grandpa around this college but that’s okay I’m making my own way and I don’t care what they think about it.I get to laugh at their dumb ass moments and tell them just how the cow ate the cabbage! It is pretty fun.

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