A Thousand Yesteryears

A Thousand Yesteryears by Mae Clair Read Free Book Online

Book: A Thousand Yesteryears by Mae Clair Read Free Book Online
Authors: Mae Clair
arms and legs as a kid, coltish like Maggie, but the woman who’d greeted him at the house was shapely and trim. Her hair seemed lighter, still a rich chestnut that flowed around her shoulders, but threaded with gold. Had he been asked as a kid, he wouldn’t have been able to say her eyes were green, but there’d been no mistaking that vibrant color as she’d sat across from him at the dining room table. It made him wonder what Maggie would have looked like grown up.
    “Yeah. A marked change from pigtails.” He started to turn away, then stopped, a niggling thought surfacing in the back of his mind. “I know most of what Mom says doesn’t mean anything, but…” He hedged, uncertain how far to push his doubts. “Do you think she could know something about Rosie?”
    Ryan closed the door behind him and stepped onto the porch despite the fact he was dressed in boxers and a T-shirt, wearing slippers instead of shoes. He’d probably been on late shift and had only recently crawled from bed.
    “You’re still hung up on that damage at the house, aren’t you?” Ryan asked.
    “I’m not a cop—not any longer—but I’ve seen enough vandalized properties to recognize one, and Rosie’s house wasn’t vandalized. Not in the normal sense of the word.”
    “You could be a cop if you wanted to.” Ryan leaned against the railing. “Sheriff Weston would take his best sergeant back in a heartbeat.”
    “Ryan.” He didn’t want to go there, not down a path they’d trodden countless times before.
    “All right.” His brother backed away from the discussion. “What are you suggesting?”
    “Maybe Rosalind Parrish did have enemies.” Caden paused, thinking about what their mother had said. “Or secrets.”
    Ryan exhaled. “Okay, I’ll buy it wasn’t typical vandalism, but there’s not a hell of a lot to be done. There was no one to report anything stolen, and the estate was in probate. We didn’t even dust for prints.” He shifted from foot to foot. “I’m more inclined to think someone was looking for money, couldn’t find any, and made a mess to cover their tracks. Everyone in town knew Rosie was a wealthy woman.”
    Caden considered that. “When she died, an empty house became fair game.”
    Ryan nodded. “That doesn’t mean you can’t make things extra secure for Eve while she’s here.”
    “I’m way ahead of you brother. I’m taking care of that back door later today whether she likes it or not.”
    Ryan grinned. “Looking out for little sister’s friend?”
    Caden shook his head. “Looking out for Eve.”
     
     

Chapter 3
     
    Amos Carter swatted a mosquito from his arm and took a drag off his Marlboro. Still early in the morning, the hush hanging over the TNT was heavier than usual. He didn’t buy the legend of the Mothman, but sometimes the remote location gave him the creeps, even in daylight. It wasn’t that he believed a giant winged humanoid haunted the place, but the vastness of the region didn’t sit well with someone who liked noise. With over 3600 acres of nothing but overgrown trees, ponds, and old World War II ammunition igloos, it was too damn quiet, the silence broken only by the trill of a bird or the chattering of leaves.
    Shifting, he settled against his car, bracing his back against the driver’s door. The old ’72 T-Bird was a hell of a gas hog, but it got him where he needed to go. Most of the time. This morning, the Ford had sputtered and coughed even on the straight flat of Potters Creek Road. He’d pressed deeper into the TNT, eventually pulling off the narrow road at the mouth of an overgrown trail cut into the woods. Hidden behind a rusted guardrail installed by the Army decades past, a tapered rut sliced between the trees—a footpath for anyone willing to brave chiggers, ticks, and the domain of the Mothman.
    As a teen he used to get his jollies hanging out up here, drag racing or smoking weed. Then the damn creature had shown up, and suddenly there were

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