Just an Ordinary Day – Part 3

Here is the continuation of my Genre Stretch…

**

Jamie watched Mrs. Schneider as she stood out on the porch in front of the hotel.  She would smile and nod politely at anyone who passed.  One might think that she was simply waiting for Sam and Alexander to return with her children.  However, Jamie got the idea that it was something else.

Frowning slightly, he slowly made his way down the boardwalk towards her.  “Ma’am,” he said, when she turned to look at him.

She nodded politely, as her gaze moved over him briefly.  Finally, she met his gaze.  “I don’t believe we’ve met as yet,” she said.

“No, ma’am,” Jamie said, shaking his head.  “I’m the deputy, James Connelly.  Sheriff Leonard told me who you were – that your husband is working on something and he’s… not to be disturbed.”

“Quite true,” she said, her eyes twinkled slightly as she added, “I’m making certain of that, Deputy Connelly.”

Jamie blinked and then nodded.  “I got the idea you weren’t just waiting for your young’uns to get back,” he said, his voice soft.  Frowning, he added, “We can keep him safe, you know?  It’s our job after all.”

“I appreciate that,” Mrs. Schneider said.  Then, she shrugged.  “Gilbert has a habit of getting into trouble.  I figured that more pairs of eyes wouldn’t go amiss.”

At that point, Sam and Alexander returned with her children.  Johannes bounced up the steps and threw his arm around his mother.  “We had so much fun, Mama,” he said, grinning brightly.  “We saw the – the waterhole and went out as far as Dugan’s Pass.”

“I’m glad that you enjoyed yourself,” Mrs. Schneider said, nodding.  She looked at Gretchen, who was snuggling Mischief.  “You’ve found a friend, I see.”

“She’s Mr. Montgomery’s cat,” Gretchen said, her voice soft.  “She’s been sleeping all morning, Mama.  Isn’t she sweet?”

At that moment, Mischief lifted her head and yawned.  She nuzzled against Gretchen’s chin and then squirmed until the girl let her leap down to the ground.  Then, she returned to Alexander’s side to begin winding herself between and around his legs.

“Very sweet,” Mrs. Schneider said.  She waved towards the hotel and said, “Go and get washed up.  Johannes, tell your father that it’s time for lunch.”

“Yes, Mama,” he said, as they hurried off.

Sam nodded at Mrs. Schneider.  “They’re good kids, ma’am,” he said.  “Johannes took to the saddle pretty quick.  Gretchen had a bit of trouble at first, but she warmed to it after a bit.”

“Thank you for entertaining them this morning, Mr. Waverley,” she said, nodding.  She inclined her head at Alexander and said, “And you as well, Mr. Montgomery.  Gretchen’s been saying that she wants a cat, so seeing how it is to actually have one… well, that’s a good experience for her.”

“In spite of her name, Mischief is a darling cat,” Alexander said, setting a hand on the cat’s head as she stretched herself up against his leg.  “I daresay most cats aren’t like her.”

“That’s as may be,” she replied, nodding.  “Still, she has these ideas that a cat will always do as she wishes and always be ready to play.  Seeing your cat sleep most of the day and not want to be held all the time… it’s a wakeup call for her.”

“It is that,” Alexander said.

Sam tipped his hat and said, “We’ll let you get to your luncheon, ma’am.”  When she nodded, he turned away.  Alexander and Jamie trailed after him.  Behind them, Mrs. Schneider watched them for a moment longer, before she turned around and headed into the hotel.

“What’s Dr. Schneider doing, anyway?” Jamie asked, scowling.

Both Sam and Alexander shrugged.  Michael spoke up from the porch in front of the sheriff’s office.  “Never you mind what he’s doing,” he said.  “He works for the League of Nations, so it’s classified as a secret.”

“You don’t know either,” Alexander said, smirking.

Michael grimaced.  “All that the judge said was that he came here because he needed an arid climate for whatever it is.”

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