Lady Justice and the Ghostly Treasure (8 page)

BOOK: Lady Justice and the Ghostly Treasure
3Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub



    I had to admit, it was an intriguing question.

    Kevin was beside himself. “Treasure map! Gold coins! Haunted hospital! I’m in!”

    “Me, too!” Mary declared. “Think about it. Old Cyrus at the hotel scaring the bejesus out of everyone so we’d have a vacancy for James. Then James giving me Momma’s diary. Now we read about some old dude giving Momma a gift for her progeny. Unless I’m mistaken, that progeny is Martha, James and me. This can’t be a coincidence. I say we gotta look!”

    I was surprised at the usually stoic Professor’s reply. “While I’ve never held much stock in the paranormal, I’ve been around long enough to know you don’t dismiss anything out of hand. There are many things still beyond the comprehension of mortal man.”

    With that, everyone’s eyes were on me. I think they were expecting me to be the voice of reason, but I have never been a big believer in coincidence either.

    “Okay, I’m in too, but we have to do it right. We can’t just go traipsing into the old hospital. We’ll have to get permission.”

    That sounded good to everyone, and naturally, I was elected to obtain said permission.

    The first thing I did was read everything I could find about the Odd Fellows home and the current winery. As the old saying goes, ‘knowledge is power,’ and I figured the more I knew, the better my chances of getting into the place.

    I soon discovered that tales of hauntings had been around for decades. Given the fact that over 10,000 people died there over the years, there was ample opportunity for a few of those lost souls to be hanging around, if such a thing was actually possible.

    In fact, the evidence of paranormal activity was so abundant, it got the attention of two different investigative groups.

    In 2012,
CREEPZ Ghost Commandos
toured the property, and in 2013,
Ghost Hunters
from the
Syfy Channel
spent several nights there. I actually watched the videos of their encounters on YouTube.

    Figuring I had enough information, I called the winery.

    “I’d like to speak to the person in charge, please.”

    “Certainly. Hold, please.”

    Moments later, a man’s voice came on the line. “May I help you?”

    “My name is Walt Williams. I’m a private investigator. I’d like to talk to you about permission to tour the old hospital.”

    “Sorry, I’m afraid that’s not possible. Liability issues. I’m sure you understand.”

    “I know several other groups received permission to do video tours of the property.”

    “That’s correct.
Ghost Hunters
toured the second and third floors of the winery, the hallways of the Old Folks Home and parts of the Nursing Home.
CREEPZ Ghost Commandos
went into the main hallway of the old hospital, but no further. Of all the buildings, it is in the worst condition. It is unstable. I don’t like going there myself. Sorry I can’t help you. Stop by sometime and taste our fine selection of wines.”

Well, crap!
I thought, as I heard the ‘click’ on the other end of the line.
Denied permission and they don’t have anything that tastes like Arbor Mist.



    When I reported the discouraging news to Kevin, he wasn’t a bit surprised. “Figured as much. So we go with Plan B.”

    “I didn’t know we had a Plan B.”

    “Sure we do. We wait till it gets dark and then go in.”

    “That’s your Plan B! Sneak in after dark! I think I read somewhere they have a night watchman to keep people like you out.”

    “They do, and knowing you’d be pissing in the wind trying to get permission, I went out and watched the watchman. He’s some old guy, probably making a few extra bucks to supplement his Social Security. He walks around the complex every hour on the hour. The rest of the time he holes up in the winery building. We watch, and when he passes, we’ll have an hour. Probably more if we need it. I’ve never seen him enter even one of those creepy old buildings.”

    “But if we get caught ---.”

    “Remember the old saying, ‘it’s easier to get forgiveness than permission.’”

    “Heaven help us.”

    We stopped by the hotel to bring Mary up to date.

    “Okay by me,” she said, enthusiastically. “When do we go?”

    “There’s no ‘we’ Mary. This is an operation for Kevin and me.”

    I should have been ready for her reply, but I wasn’t.

    “Kevin and me, my ass!” she bellowed. “If you think I’m stayin’ behind, you must be smokin’ something. My dead Momma hid that note and I’m gonna be there when we find it. Case closed!”

    I looked at Kevin. He just shrugged his shoulders.

    Our little moonlight soiree would be a threesome.



    It was dusk. Randy and Dominick had been watching the hotel for days, waiting for their chance to get revenge for the savage beating they had taken from the old woman. They saw a car pull up to the curb. Two men got out and went to the old woman’s door. A few moments later, the two men and the woman came out, all dressed in black wearing black stocking caps pulled low on their heads. The cheekbones under their eyes were smudged in black.

    “What the hell?” Dominick muttered. “If I didn’t know better, I’d think they were pulling a heist.”

    “Wonder if Marchetti knows three old geezers are movin’ in on his territory?” Randy chuckled.

    “Speakin’ of Marchetti,” Dominick said, “You think we should be messin’ with this old bitch? I sure don’t want to piss him off.”

    “Relax. Marchetti said not to hassle Walker. He didn’t say nothin’ about her.”

    They watched the three get into the car and drive away.

    “Let’s follow them,” Randy said. “If they’re doin’ something hinky, maybe this is our chance.”

    They followed them through Midtown to the I-70 on-ramp and east to Highway 291. Just south of Liberty, Missouri, they turned onto a side road. A sign pointed the way to Belvoir Winery. The car turned off its lights and pulled to a stop at the edge of the winery property.

    “Quick!” Randy said. “Cut your lights. We don’t want them to see us.”

    Dominick cut the lights and pulled to the shoulder. “What now?”

    “Now we wait.”



    I had checked the ‘Events’ tab on the winery’s website to make sure there were no parties or receptions.

    There were no cars in the visitor’s lot and the only lights were the security lights up the driveway and around the winery. One lone light shone in the winery itself. We figured that was where the guard hung out between rounds. Other than that, all was quiet, and the three dilapidated buildings were shrouded in darkness.

    At nine o’clock on the dot, we saw a man emerge from the winery, click on a flashlight and head to the north end of the property.

    “See,” Kevin said, “there he goes. He’ll go up the sidewalk, around to the back of the buildings and then back in the winery. This is our chance.”

    We hopped out of the car and Mary flicked on her flashlight and headed to the driveway.

    “Cut that light!” Kevin hissed. “We can’t just waltz up the driveway with our flashlights. The guy may be old, but he’s probably not blind.”

    Mary dutifully turned off her light. “Okay Super Sleuth, you lead the way.”

    Kevin took off across the lawn, creeping from shrub to shrub, carefully watching the progress of the guard.

    As we crossed an open part of the lawn, I heard Mary mutter, “Well, damn!”

    When we reached the next shrub, I asked, “Something wrong?”

    “Hell yes, something’s wrong,” she growled. “I stepped in some dog poop.”

    “Good Lord!” Kevin said, gagging. “That

    “Wipe it off on the grass,” I said, “and stay downwind. Please!”

    When we were halfway across the lawn, Kevin asked, “Which building is the hospital?”

    “Far left,” I replied.

    “Perfect! It’s the farthest from the winery. Less likely the guard will see our lights inside. Let’s go.”

    As soon as the guard turned the corner, we headed up the sidewalk to the old hospital. It was pitch dark and the ambient light was barely enough to keep us on the old cracked and buckled sidewalk.

    Suddenly Mary squealed, “Holy crap!”

    “What?” I hissed.

    “Somebody’s there!” she whispered, pointing.

    I saw the figure too, and my heart did a little flip-flop. I switched on my light for just a quick look.

    It was one of the many life-size statues scattered around the grounds.

    “Would you two get with the program!” Kevin hissed.

    We made it to the entrance of the hospital without further incident.

    Naturally, the door was locked, and the words, ‘Keep out’ admonished trespassers to stay away.



    “Hold the light,” Kevin said, taking out his lock picks.

    I didn’t realize how nervous I was until I tried to hold the light. My hands were shaking almost uncontrollably.

BOOK: Lady Justice and the Ghostly Treasure
3Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

Other books

The Lucy Variations by Zarr, Sara
The Best I Could by Subhas Anandan
The Hero's Body by William Giraldi
Rebuilding Forever by Natalie J. Damschroder
Death of a Nobody by J M Gregson
Ivy Secrets by Jean Stone
E for England by Elisabeth Rose
The Shattered Vine by Laura Anne Gilman