The Forgotten Daughter - Page 59

“It’s not your girlfriend, if that’s what you’re thinking,” Clyde said.

“Then what is it?” Scooter asked.


“What kind of information?”

“You’ll find out as soon as I get there,” Clyde said. “Now where do I bring the Chevy?”

He made the decision to trust the man, even if he doubted he had any information the man could want, but Scooter pointed out, “I can’t give you a ride back.”

“I’ll arrange that. Just tell me where to meet you.”

Not sure how familiar the man was with the area, Scooter explained, “There’s a town about twenty miles south of Duluth named Cloquet, and about half a mile on the south side of town is a road that goes east. Take that one mile and turn south again...” After giving complete directions on how to get to B. S. John’s scrap yard, Scooter said, “We’ll be behind the barn.”

“Good enough. I’ll be there in an hour.”

As he hung up the phone, it dawned on Scooter that Clyde most likely wanted all the information he could gather about Francine. The man probably figured Josie had that information. He was right, but getting it out of her would be another story.

Scooter left the phone booth and met Dac halfway across the yard.

“What’s the plan now?” Dac asked.

“We go to B. S. John’s.” Scooter had done business with the man for years. Whenever anyone wanted to get rid of an old car, they called John. The man had a farm field full of everything from tractors to trucks, from horse-drawn wagons to motorbikes. He sold parts off every one of them for twice what they were worth, unless you knew him well. Even then he tried to convince you that his parts were worth more than anyone else’s. That was how he became known as B. S. John instead of just John.

“What for?” Dac asked.

“Someone I know is delivering Dave’s Chevy to us there.”

Dac looked a bit surprised, but didn’t comment. Instead he said, “You and Josie might as well ride up front. No one is going to see us between here and there.”

If anyone had been following them, they’d have caught up with them by now, so Scooter agreed. He was about to tell Dac to open the tailgate for Josie to get out when a yelp had him spinning around.

Chapter Twelve

Josie was sure she was going to fall and most likely break something in the process—an arm or leg, or both. Scooter had climbed over the side so easily she’d assumed she could, too. Then again, his shirt was tucked in. Hers hadn’t been and was now stuck on a nail. There was nothing for her feet to catch and steady herself on, and she’d tried holding on with one hand in order to unhook the cloth with the other. That hadn’t worked.

When firm hands grasped her dangling legs, she knew without looking down who held her. “My shirt’s stuck.”

“I can tell,” he said dryly.

She glanced down to give Scooter a glare when she realized her shirt was not only stuck, but her entire stomach was also uncovered.

“Oh.” She squirmed, trying to pull herself up enough to get her skin covered.

Scooter hoisted her upward so quickly the shirt came loose along with her hands. He turned around. Rather than letting her down, he lowered her so she was sitting on one of his shoulders.

Heat blazed across her cheeks. “Put me down.”

“I will,” he said. “Inside the truck.” As he marched around the vehicle, he asked, “Can’t you stay out of trouble for thirty seconds?”

“I wasn’t in trouble,” she argued.

“You weren’t?” he asked. “You were hanging by your shirt for the fun of it?”

Blowing out a heavy breath of frustration, she glanced down at the small rip in her blouse. At least it was repairable. Unlike the humiliation of him having to come to her rescue again. It was thrilling, the way he showed up right in the nick of time, but it was also becoming a bit embarrassing.

Scooter opened the door with one hand and more or less plopped her on the truck’s seat with the other. He’d bent down, too, so she sort of slid off his shoulder. She hadn’t realized just how broad his shoulders were until now, and she took another look a moment later, when both he and Dac climbed in the truck, sandwiching her between the two of them.

Settling in, she squirmed enough to shift her legs out of the way of the shifter that stuck out of the floorboards and then looked over at Scooter. “Are we going to get Dave’s Chevy now?”

He barely glanced her way. “The ‘no questions’ order still stands.”

Josie wanted to scream. She’d prided herself on her ability to keep her mouth shut her entire life, but when it came to him, her lips didn’t want to stay still. Her lips were thinking of other things, too. A couple times today she’d thought Scooter was going to kiss her. At least she’d hoped so. Her entire being had wanted that to happen again. It hadn’t. Not once. She told herself not to obsess over it. There were enough other things happening to occupy her mind for the next two years or longer.