The cave was up early the next morning. It seemed as though everybody had some task to complete, some job to fill the day.
The open space of the large limestone cave accommodated all the people and all the supplies and possessions they had accumulated over the short period they had been together. Now it also held the first truck that Bob and Tom were going to convert. Everybody found a reason to stop and look at what they were doing as they went about their chores.
Bob and Tom would be left behind for the next several days as the others continued to search out items on Jan’s lists as well as a few parts Bob and Tom had been unable to find.
Mike was working on getting some coffee into him when Tim and Annie came back into the cave in a hurry, looking around. When Tim’s eyes fell on Mike he headed straight for him. Mike glanced from Tim and Annie to the covered entrance way but no one else came through it. “Ronnie wants you,” Was all Tim said. His frightened eyes said more than his words. Everyone had seen Tim and Annie rush into the cave and they looked at Mike now, wondering what had caused them to hurry in. Mike shrugged his shoulders and headed for the entrance way, Candace and Patty behind him. Everyone else paused in what they were doing; waiting to learn what was going on.
Mike stepped outside into the early morning quiet. Ronnie,
Nell and Sandy were staring down the river road toward the old restaurant that graced the end of the street. Mike walked up, but before he reached them, a volley of gunshots reached his ears. It sounded to him as though they had come from lower State Street, just off the square, very close by.
The sound of a revving engine reached his ears at nearly the same time, and a speeding truck raced by the end of the road about a quarter mile away. The shots came heavy and hard. It sounded like a war zone.
“How long’s this been going on?”
“About fifteen minutes or so. That’s the third truck that’s gone by the end of the street,” Nell said.
The gunfire sounded even louder if that were possible. Squealing tires on pavement, straining engines. … …
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