Something Suspicious in Sask

Something Suspicious in Sask by Dayle Gaetz Read Free Book Online

Book: Something Suspicious in Sask by Dayle Gaetz Read Free Book Online
Authors: Dayle Gaetz
Tags: JUV000000
fancy dives. “I hope they have a high board,” she said. “I could use a diving lesson.”
    GJ looked surprised, and then a little guilty. “Uh, I’m not coming with you, Katie.” He hesitated. “I need to drive into Saskatoon today. There’s someone I need to meet.”
    â€œWho do you know in Saskatoon?” Katie demanded. What she really meant was, Who could be more important than going swimming with your granddaughter on her twelfth birthday?
    GJ’s eyes shifted to Gram and back to Katie. “Just, uh, a couple of people I’ve known for a long time. Sorry, Katie, but this is the only day I can go, and it’s important to me.” He glanced at his watch and stood up. “I need to get going right about now.”
    Katie ate a third cinnamon bun on the screened porch while GJ’s truck rumbled down the driveway. She watched brown dust settle behind the truck and wished she was at home in Victoria.
    The day didn’t turn out to be a total loss, even though Megan, with an indifferent shrug, agreed to come along. By the time Katie and Rusty were ready to go, Megan was seated in the backseat of Aunt Margaret’s ancient little car.
    â€œYou get the middle seat,” Katie whispered to Rusty.
    â€œNo way!”
    â€œYes way. It’s your turn to bond with our dear sweet cousin. Besides, it’s my birthday, so I get to choose.”
    Rusty groaned and slid into the car.
    The long drive wasn’t completely horrible. Megan actually said a word or two without being forced into it and her usual scowl relaxed into a mild pout.
    In fact, the closer they got to Humboldt the more Megan began to behave like a real human being. So much so that Katie decided to risk asking a question.All along the roadsides she noticed swampy, ditch-like wetlands filled with tall brown grasses. Red-winged black birds flitted back and forth. Perched on posts above the shallow water of almost every slough, was one or two of those cylindrical structures, the size of rural mailboxes. Katie wondered what they were. So, when one came up on Megan’s side, Katie gathered her courage. “See that mailbox-sized straw thing stuck on a post? What is it anyway?”
    Megan looked out the window but didn’t answer. Between the two girls, Rusty pulled a face at Katie. His meaning was clear. Why didn’t she keep her big mouth shut? Why did she have to stir up trouble?
    Slowly Megan’s head began to turn. Katie cringed. Rusty leaned toward her, away from Megan. But their cousin smiled. Actually smiled. “They’re nest baskets,” she said. “We make them for mallards and pintails and teal, but half the time those moronic Canada geese take over.”
    â€œHa!” Rusty said. “I’d like to see a Canada goose squeeze into one of those things! It would have to be as scrawny as…” He leaned further away. “Uh, it would…”
    Megan rolled her eyes. “They sit on top.”
    â€œYou make them?” Katie asked, trying not to look as surprised as she felt.
    Megan shrugged. “Used to.”
    â€œBy yourself?”
    Megan’s scowl returned. She sank back on the seat and turned away.
    â€œMegan belongs to the Wildlife Federation,” Aunt Margaret explained. “She and Scott built several nest baskets and placed them in sloughs near our fields. But since Scott left…” Her voice trailed off.
    Megan slouched back against the seat and stared out the window.
    Silence gathered inside the little car, relieved only by the high-pitched whine of the engine and the rumble of tires on a gravel road.
    Katie chewed her lip. She stared out at the fields they were passing and the faraway horizon. She wanted to ask what Scott stole and how they knew it was him, but decided to wait for a better time. Megan had smiled once today. Who knew? It could happen again. The good news was that Megan didn’t come swimming with

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