Johnny brought Mairi a glass
of water. “What a mess they’ve made of my house,” she said. “Just look at
this. They emptied my refrigerator onto the living room floor. That melted
ice cream will never come out of the carpet.”
He went into the kitchen and
found the plastic trash bags. “I’ll help you clean it all up, but first,
tell me what happened.”
“I came home from work and
the front door was wide open. Fiona said she was going to her Uncle Angus’s
house, so I knew nobody was here. When I saw this mess, I thought maybe
she’d come home early and someone had broken in and hurt her.”
“You just said you knew she
wasn’t home,” Johnny said.
“She could have come home
early for some reason. I have no idea. All I know is that someone’s been
here and decided to destroy my home.” Mairi felt the warm tears run down her
“I don’t think it was a group
of teenagers. I think this is the work of one angry person, someone who
likes to be cruel and mean for no reason.” Johnny went from room to room.
“Looks like they made a disaster of your bedroom too. Do you know of anyone
who would want to harm you?”
“Nobody in Inveralba is cruel
like this. I heard some rumors today at the bakery that there’s a thief in
town. He apparently robbed several of Elsie’s B&B guests. It might not be a
he, I suppose.”
“I think you should call the
police, Mairi and report this. Why don’t you do that and I’ll start cleaning
this up.” Johnny knelt down and picked up the rubbish.
Mairi dialed the emergency
number and within five minutes the police were standing in her living room.
“What happened, Mairi?”
Officer Anderson cleared his throat. “I’ve never seen anything like this
before here in Inveralba. What sort of sick person would do this?”
“I’d like to know that
myself,” Mairi said. She spent the next hour giving them her report and
making a list of missing items. “They didn’t take anything, which is odd.
They just made a mess. It sounds to me like it was just a bunch of
delinquent kids on drugs.”
“We’ll get back to you if we
hear anything, Mairi. In the meantime, lock your doors,” the policeman said.
“I said the same thing,
didn’t I?” Johnny dropped the full bag near the door.
“I did lock them, Johnny. He
came in through the window.” Mairi reminded him.
“It’s almost like he was
looking for something and when he couldn’t find it, he destroyed the place,”
Johnny said. “This is very curious.”
The doorbell rang. When Mairi
opened it, there stood Anne and Malcolm McAllister with Jimmy Thomson.
“We came as soon as we
heard,” Anne said. “We’re here to help clean up.” It didn’t take them too
long, with so many helping. “You’ll need some food to get you buy until you
can go shopping,” Anne said. “I’m going home to bring the leftovers from
supper. No arguing about it, Mairi.” She left and returned with plates of
food. “This will get you by.”
“Thank you, Anne. Fiona
should be home shortly. I’m glad we got this cleaned up before she saw it.
She’d be terrified.” Mairi hugged her friend.
Johnny spoke up. “If you
don’t mind, Malcolm, I think I’ll spend the night here on Mairi’s couch.
Jimmy, you go with the McAllisters. Go and enjoy the ceilidh. I’ll stay
here. In fact, why don’t you run by later and see how Angus is doing.”
“That’s very kind of you,
Johnny, but quite unnecessary.” Mairi felt her face redden.
“No arguing,” he said. “I’m
Anne and Malcolm went back to
their house and Jimmy headed to Angus’s.