It was the following morning after Jeffery had caught Carter snooping around their yard. Carter sat in the middle of his driveway in the sun watching the Brockett house. He was becoming almost as obvious as Mr. Stalnaker had been.
He was almost finished organizing and cleaning the garage. It had taken him all of July and the first part of August and now he had maybe a day and half’s worth of work left. He was so close to earning that last week of summer vacation, but now the garage sat forgotten.
Clearly, Jeffery had bought Carter’s treasure hunting story. First thing that morning, Jeffery had sent home his landscaping crew and was now shoveling holes in the yard by himself. Every few minutes he would stop and shoot Carter a glare, but Carter had other things on his mind.
He was sure that Mr. Stalnaker was in trouble and just as sure that he was locked somewhere in the Brockett house. Metal music blasted from inside the house as the construction crew came in and out. He needed to find a way to sneak in.
His biggest worry was how to get past Karen and her son Robbie. If they were in the house, and he was pretty certain they were, they were sure to catch him. Too bad Mr. Stalnaker wasn’t here to tell him their schedule. He’d been watching them for weeks and would have known that. Although, now that he thought about it, he hadn’t seen Karen leave the house in weeks.
He needed to somehow create a diversion. The minutes ticked by and then the hours, but by 3:30 he still wasn’t any closer to figuring it our.
“What are you doing to my lawn!” a voice shouted from the backyard. Stomping around the holes and mounds of dirt, Karen, in her stilettos came marching around the side of house. Jeffery stopped digging long enough to look up, before ignoring her and getting back to work.
“Answer me! There are holes everywhere!”
Jeffery kept digging. Obviously attracted by the shouting, Robbie came sauntering out the front door and pulled up short after a few steps as he also caught sight of the yard.
“Looks like you’ve added a few more holes. Nice work.” Robbie smirked.
“You think this is funny?” Karen turned her anger on him.
“You hired him,” Robbie held up his hands in front of him and shrugged. “I told you not to, but you insisted.”
“Do you even have a plan?” Karen asked, looking around wide-eyed. “And where’s the rest of your crew?”
“I sent them home.” Jeffery said.
“You sent them—” she broke of her shouting when she caught sight of Carter sitting in the middle of the driveway watching them
“Backyard, both of you,” she hissed at her sons.
“Let’s discuss this inside,” Robbie said, starting to walk back to the front door.
“Not a chance. He’s covered head to toe in dirt. You are not five anymore!” she shouted the last bit at Jeffery before stalking towards the back yard. Robbie sighed and followed while Jeffery set his shovel down and meekly followed. Then he stopped suddenly, whirled around to look at Carter, before going back to retrieve the shovel.
“Now!” Karen shouted.
Jeffery stumbled over the mounds and holes with the shovel safe in hands and they all disappeared into the back.
Quite suddenly, Carter found himself staring at an empty yard with all of the occupants in the back. He waiting a moment, then scrambled across the cul de sac, up the front yard, and was about to go through the door when two of the construction workers could be heard walking down the hall towards the front door.
Carter flew into the bushes lining the front of the house and waited until they passed him. When the coast was clear he quickly and quietly slipped into the house and up the stairs.
If he had known the evening would end with the police escorting him home yet again, he might have given his plan a bit more careful thought.