I helped Harry, Grace and Mary
gather what we would need for the next few days. They have the horses. Mother and I are to meet up with them in a day’s time. This will give them a head start. They should be able to stay safe this time even if we get caught. We decided on just the horses. We would be faster without the wagons, the horses only carrying us and a minimal amount of food and other supplies. For our plan to work, we must be fast. We took a horse for each of us. They took mother’s horse with them, and I steer my horse back into town and stop at the bank. It seems rather quiet, so I can tell that mother has probably already started robbing the bank. Huh, we are robbing a bank. I try to push the nagging voice warning me of danger in my head away again.
I put on a disguise, like we planned on for mother to give us anemity and help us escape. I walk into the bank slowly so mother would not spook on me. She had taken the sheriff’s weapon when she was searching his unconscious body to help with the heist. When I walk in my mother turns and sees me.
“What are you doing here,” she yells without saying my name. She knows it’s me.
“I told you I would do this alone. I don’t matter remember.”
“We are in this together, ok?” I tell her. “Besides, now is not the time to argue about this. We need to get out of here. Quickly.”
With a sigh, she turns back to the teller who is putting money into a bag for my mother. The bank is almost empty with only a few employees behind the counter, which is lucky. It is easier to avoid the magnitude of what we are doing if you don’t have to look anyone in the eye.
“That is all there is,” the teller says quietly as she hands my mother two large bags full of money.
My mother looks the teller in the eye and says, “If you wait to get help until we are out of town, I will give you each a handful of this. It should be more than they are paying you here. I don’t need all of it. We are just paying back an old friend.”
I look away from watching the door to look at the women behind the counter all nod their heads to my mother. Slightly confirming Mary’s theory that no one in this town is truly innocent. She gives them each their share and moves towards me at the door. “Let’s get out of here,” she says.
We strap the money over the horse, a bag on each side to distribute the weight, and both jump on. I urge the horse toward the town limits. My mother is holding tight to me. As we pick up the pace, my mother says right into my ear making sure I can hear her, “No matter what, do not stop. Do not try to save me. You must take care of my grandchild. It is your priority now. Promise me!”
Unsure of why she was saying this now, I hesitate for a moment. We have done it. We are on our way to freedom, and we will see Robert and father again soon. My mother prompts me again. “Promise me!”
“I promise,” I say while nodding my head so she knows I agreed.
Just then I hear voices, and they are shouting at us. Before I could even comprehend what was happening, my mother jumped off the horse. She tumbled to the ground and rolled. From there I could hear her yelling at me, “Keep running!”
I turn to see the sheriff approaching her. Thinking to myself, I turn to ride on faster. I can go get Mary, and we will come back for her. We can put together another plan. Our plans never seem to work out the way we plan, but we will try. We will not leave my mother with that man.
I glance over my shoulder once more, and that is when I see my mother raise the gun she had stolen from the sheriff and point it right at the very same man. Everyone he had with him stopped where they were, unsure of what she was going to do. All the men slowly surrounded her and raised their guns toward her. She has successfully distracted them in forgetting about me. Then, I hear a shot, and moments later I hear several more shots.
As I continue to look behind me, tears beginning to well in my eyes, all I can see through the circle of horse legs is a body collapse to the ground. My mother’s lifeless body contorted in the dirt. No movement. As the horses disperse, I see that her body is not the only one lying on the ground. Only a few feet away from my amazing mother, lies the body of the horrible thieving sheriff.
I force myself to look away and push my horse harder and faster. As the tears escape running down my cheeks unable to stop the sadness, something unexpected happen. I smile. My mother did it. She probably eliminated the one person who would have cared enough to come looking for us. She saved us, but now she is gone.
Next Time: The Conclusion to Second Chance