* 29 … PICTURES DELIVERED (03/06/2012 & 03/11/2012)
Later that afternoon, the shopkeeper and his wife delivered, literally, on their promise to give the siblings two pictures to display in their business. The eldest was in the office checking paperwork when his sister popped in to let him know they had arrived. The eldest got to the front door of the business in time to see his younger brother hold the door open for the shopkeeper and his wife.
“Well, now, good aft’rnoon, folks!” The shopkeeper grinned as he entered the business. “The misses and I come bearing gifts!”
The shopkeeper’s wife handed the eldest the photos, as his sister and younger brother watched.
“These are great,” the eldest finally said, after eyeing them contemplatively. “I really like that one of the train depot with the passenger train in the shot, too. How long after that were the passenger trains moved to the new tracks?”
“Well,” the shopkeeper scratched his chin, “I’m not really sure. I’m thinkin’ it was just a year or two later.”
“That sounds about right,” the shopkeeper’s wife chimed in. She grinned and looked at the eldest. “Course, I know your favorite is the other picture.”
The eldest nodded, as he handed the photos to his brother and sister. “Yes, yes it is. And, ya know, to some extent, standing there peering through that broken train depot window seems like I did that just yesterday. But, in other ways, it seems like it was a lifetime ago.”
“Life sure flies by,” the sister remarked, “and it can sure drum up some wacky experiences.”
“Yeah, speaking of wacky alright,” the shopkeeper interjected, turning to the eldest, “them folks stop by yet today?”
“What folks?” the sister queried, looking at her brothers quizzically.
“Ah, a couple from Illinois,” the youngest brother replied. “They were at the house last night when we got back there after the meeting.”
“Oh?” prompted the sister, handing the pictures back to her older brother.
“Yeah, I’ll fill you in later,” the eldest said, taking the pictures and placing them on a small table. Then, he turned to the shopkeeper. “No, no they haven’t, yet. I thought they would’ve been here by now, but no sign of them since they left the house this morning.”
“You let ’em stay overnight?!” the shopkeeper’s wife exclaimed.
“Oh, no,” the eldest replied quickly. “They stopped by this morning, but they left when I told them I had to get some things done.”
“Wait, they stopped by this morning?” It was the youngest brother’s turn to be confused.
“Yeah, before you woke up,” the eldest responded.
“Well, if ya ask me,” the shopkeeper said, “I’d be darn careful around them folks from Illinoise. Somethin’ just ain’t right, I’m tellin’ ya.”
“Something just ain’t right about what?” asked a male voice. All five of them turned to look at the front door of the business, from where the question originated. The aforementioned couple had just entered.