Speeding around the curve, I passed Egypt Hollow Road. Twenty minutes to go—less, if I took the road at a reckless pace. I moved my foot to break. It wouldn’t help anyone if I ended up in a ditch. And, of course, I’d be the fool if all that greeted me was a hot meal, a happy dog, and Chaz back to crabby. Most likely, it was nothing. Just one of his sentimental, sullen moods when he dwelled on the past and told me stories about everyone he missed. That mood. It happened on occasion. After a bit, he’d drift back into his old self.
The truck bounced as I pulled into his drive. It was weed covered with plenty of chuckholes and little gravel. Chaz stopped his regular routine of yard maintenance over eight years ago, and I had little time to help. Once the truck ground to a stop, tires hit the railroad tie put there to block anyone from driving closer. I jumped out and landed with both legs running toward the door.
“Uncle Chaz! Opal!” I bounded up the stairs and shoved the door open. “Oh, my lord.”
I hurried to the wheelchair. Chaz’s body was slumped over. Reaching down, I placed two fingers on his neck and found a pulse, weak but still there. Blood trickled down the back of his neck. I winced when my fingers located the lump on the top of his head. “What happened to you, Uncle?” I whispered.
At the sink, I wet a towel to clean the wound. Without giving too much thought to the idea, I reached for the bottle of Wild Turkey and poured some onto the towel and then applied it to his head.
“Ouch! What in holy saints are you doin’? That burns like Hades,” Chaz growled and sat up straight.
“Oh, thank you, God.” My legs gave way and I landed in the chair next to him. My eyes widened. The table was empty, cleared of all his papers and books. “What did you do? Clean house?” I stared, baffled. “What’s going on?”
“I was robbed, that’s what.” He touched the top of his head and grumbled a few expletives.