Owen studied the doors and windows of the Super Late as Mara pulled their unmarked vehicle into a parking space. Something was not right and Owen could not figure it out and it gnawed in the back of his mind. The agents sat in the car in silence. The last two days were long. Griswold Wilson, a suspect in a pair of murders, was still at large and nobody knew where he went.
Owen broke the silence, “What happens now?”
Mara gave a long sigh under her breath, “We return to DC as ordered. It’s in the hands of local law enforcement now.”
Owen frowned, “Is that a good idea? If that thing is as dangerous as you say, someone is going to get killed.”
Mara nodded, “I agree. I’m needed for another case and you have training in St. Louis on Monday. We’re just going to have to have faith in them.”
“I don’t like it,” Owen continued studying the motel. There was something wrong; the thought continued to vex him.
He continued, “What happens is Mr. Wilson is killed?”
“The spirit returns to its home base, the farmhouse. Ideally, we need to find the spirit’s bones and destroy them.”
“How is that coming along?”
Mara shrugged, “I’m just starting. Other than Rose’s death and being used as a makeshift hospital during the Depression, nothing stands out.”
She shifted in her seat and looked at Owen. He did not notice as he continued to watch the rooms. She continued, “He will turn up. That thing is going to come after Ms. Martin and maybe the other ghost hunters.”
Mara shook her head, “We don’t have the resources. We have someone in Morgantown and Father Brown said he’ll check on Mr. Townsend periodically.”
“That leaves Ms. Martin and Mr. Waters unaccounted for,” Owen’s eyes narrowed as he considered the window of Mara’s room, “Didn’t you leave your curtains open?”
Mara’s eyes widened as she confirmed that her curtains were closed, “I did.”
Both agents drew their handguns as they left the car. They took positions on either side of the door. Owen noticed that the door was partially open. He pointed to it and Mara nodded.
Owen kicked the door and it swung open. Mara was the first to enter the room. She swept it with her weapon as Owen checked the bathroom and closet. There were papers on the floor near the desk on which her laptop sat. Mara’s suitcase laid open on the bed with her personal effects scattered about the room.
“Is anything missing?”
“Whoever it was tried to get in my laptop, it was in my backpack with my papers.”
Mara glanced at the suitcase on the bed and her face and ears began to burn. She picked up her backpack and started rummaging through it.
“What do you think your visitor was looking for?”
“I don’t know but it was something specific.”
“Where’s that book?”
“It’s in the car,” Mara sighed as she realized something was missing, “My research on the Wellington farmhouse is gone.”
Owen’s brow furrowed, “Your research is gone? Why would someone steal that?”