"Well, there doesn't seem to be one at that time listed here, but we just got in a new schedule change. Let me check that one."
He flipped through some papers until he located the newly revised schedules.
"Ah, yes, here we go! Say, young feller! You got a crystal ball or something? How come you to come in here asking that question?"
Smiling at him, I replied, "No, sir. No crystal ball... I have a resource much better than that one! I was given instructions by a higher power. Now, I'd like to purchase a ticket for Monday morning on that bus, please. Say, you seem to know a lot that goes on in this town. I'd like to ask you about a shoot-out that took place a few years ago, where a policeman got killed and another nearly lost his life as well. What can you tell me about it?"
"Well, I know that they had a feller that robbed a place cornered, and he was the one that killed and then nearly killed the other one. The killer got away and I heard the injured one, a Sgt. Finley, was pretty well boogered up and was in the hospital for a couple or three weeks. When he got out, he was going to have to undergo a lot of therapy and he up and took his family off to somewhere in the south.
They decorated him for bravery and did a big write-up in the newspapers. It so happened that I knew the Sergeant. He was a really nice feller and came by every once in a while, checking up on people that were missing. In fact, he came in looking for you and your sister after you left town. Your Ma was that beside herself, he told me."
Looking at the old man, I realized he was a veritable fountain of knowledge and information. He wasn't just a little old guy behind the agent's window, but someone who was apparently always ready to help; he was my kind of person.
Shaking his hand, I thanked him and took the ticket, bidding him a goodbye.
It was almost time to head for Glenny's home. I put the ticket in my billfold, slipped it into my inner coat pocket and walked out into the gathering dusk. We were on Eastern Daylight Time and evening comes early in the Wintertime; the day was beginning to be chilly as well.
Walking briskly toward my old neighborhood once again, I wondered how I was going to tell Glenny, and the landlady as well, that I had changed my mind and would not be staying the month out. Well, I was sure they would most likely understand.
Just as I was within a couple of blocks, I happened to remember I should have a little gift for Glenny's mother since I was a visitor in her home. I turned aside and headed for a small flower shop I had seen while walking downtown that morning.
Arriving just before six p.m., I saw they were just about ready to close, and I quickly entered the shop.
"Hello, may I help you?" The little old lady smiled sweetly up at me. She had to tip her head back to look into my face, since I was pretty tall. I felt as though I towered over her.
"Yes, please, I'd like a small bouquet, please, perhaps of carnations, if you have them?"
"Why, yes, young man! Just give me a couple of minutes and I'll have them ready for you. Any particular color?"
"Could you just kind of mix some together? Color doesn't matter, I reckon. They are for a hostess gift."
She dimpled prettily. "A first visit, eh? Going to see your girl, maybe?"
"Just an old friend, ma'am."
Within what seemed like seconds, she had placed a number of carnations in a narrow box, and then closing it, had tied a ribbon about the box and made a beautiful bow in the ribbon.
She took a pencil from her fluffy white hair and made out a ticket.
"There you go, young man! I hope you have a lovely evening. That'll be five dollars, please. Please come back any time."
Taking the florist box from her, I thanked her, and gave her a five dollar bill. She followed me to the door and locked it behind me.
Heading back to the old neighborhood, I quickened my steps; I was going to be late if I didn't hurry.
Pretty soon, I reached my destination. I nervously cleared my throat, and headed for her front porch. I was wondering how the evening would go, and asked myself what I was actually doing there. I believed that God had clearly revealed to me that this was not to be a permanent connection for me, but I had to play it out to it's conclusion. I owed the situation that much.
I knocked on the door.
(To be continued)