Beyond The Woods 4

Samuel’s wife, Mary had stopped coming in to town. The only one who cared to notice was, Clarence Saunders, the grocer who owned the only market in town. Clarence had called me in to report her absence. He also noted that Samuel had ceased coming in to town as well. If others noticed nothing was said of it. Samuel and his wife were not popular figures as one would guess. I promised Clarence I would look into the matter, though not knowing where Samuel lived was going to be difficult.

When I informed Ranger Wilson he too told me he hadn’t seen Samuel for weeks. I then decided to visit Lucy and ask her if she had seen him. When I came onto her porch, I couldn’t help, but notice the numerous jars of honey stacked up against the wall of her cabin. I assumed she collected them for her pies.

“No, I haven’t seen, Samuel,” she scurries around nervously as she hastily cleans, leaving the cabin door open. I was able to take a glimpse inside, realizing I have never set foot inside the old cabin. It was quite a cozy place with a large metal bed in the corner, neatly made up of her satin sheets. Small cabinets hung on the other corner, a burning iron stove and many beautiful oil paintings of all sizes, framed in gold, decorated the walls. A large table in the middle of the room was covered in flour with empty bowls, indicating she had just finished baking a pie.

“Maybe, you will find him at his farm,” she suggested, trying to avoid eye contact.

“I don’t know exactly where he lives,” I said.

She looked disappointed.

“He hasn’t been here in days,” she adds quickly.

I thanked her and as I was about to leave she stops me. She told me that Samuel had been coming by every day. She didn’t mind as the roof was constantly leaking when it rained. When he finished fixing the roof he still came by to do additional repairs around the cabin. One time, she had discovered that underneath the bed there was a trapdoor. She opened it only to see the river flowing underneath her and two eyes from an alligator starring back at her. Frightened, she closed it. It wasn’t as huge as Muja, but it was large enough to to ft through the trapdoor. Everyday she would check on it and it never moved. When Samuel came by she told him about the alligator and that he rarely left his spot.

“He’s hunting you,” Samuel had told her. “Nothing good comes from an alligator that lodges in the same place day after day.”

Without hesitation, Samuel, jumped into the water. Minutes went by. She called out for him many times, but he wouldn’t surface. She was ready to get on the radio to summon for help when he floated back up with the dead alligator. It wasn’t the first time he had come to her rescue. Another time she was out fishing for small fish on her porch when Samuel suddenly appeared out of nowhere and killed a black, venomous snake that had slithered up beside her. He seem to always be there.