Jed Hatton Rides Again
by Sara and Allyson
It was a beautiful week, it was sunny and warm. Rosa was going to go out in the woods and camp for a few days. While after she left Andi was standing at the corner of the barnyard and she saw a horse running to the ranch, it made its way straight to Andi like he was meant to go right to her.
Andi saw the horse first, everyone else was around doing ranching. As the horse got closer she saw a piece of paper tied to the saddle horn. She untied it and read it. “Andi, come to the shack in the woods, you know where it’s at. Come as soon as possible please! -Rosa ''
Andi decided to go, right then and there. She was not going to wait around, Rosa needed her! She dashed off in the woods and for some reason the horse followed. She kept going for a long while. The shack was pretty far, farther than she thought it was. She was getting tired, she saw the horse was still following her so she decided to mount the horse and ride on, after a bit she knew she was getting close.
Suddenly her hand slipped down a little bit, she felt mud and dirt. She halted the horse and looked at it, there was mud put on the saddle, someone had put it there! She scraped it off and one word caught her eye, Jed. She froze, Jed? How? She quickly read what else it said, “Happy birthday my son, Jed Hatton.”
Jed Hatton?! How could it be him? Suddenly behind her she heard a gun cock. Andi froze in fright. She slowly turned around, sure enough it was Jed Hatton! “Nice meeting you again, Miss Carter ,now, don’t move, hold yourself still.” He said.
“It’s not nice meeting you again, Jed Hatton! Where is Rosa?” Andi demanded.
“You’re still feisty I see.”, Jed chuckled.
“Where is Rosa?”, Andi asked again.
“Calm down, little lady. She’s fine. You know I’d never hurt her.”
“My scar on my head says something different.”
“I never meant to shoot you, it was an accident. Now come inside, we have business to discuss.”
When Andi took no step towards the shack Jed told her, “Your friend is inside.”
Andi and Jed walked into the shack. Rosa cowarded in a corner. When she saw Andi she ran to her talking in rapid Spanish.
“Sit down both of ya.”, Jed interrupted.
“Don’t worry, Rosa, everything will be fine.”, Andi assured her friend as the two sat down. A chill went up Andi’s back as her hand brushed against her scar.
“Now, little lady, I need your help. I escaped from prison, and I need you to hide me somewhere till the posies get tired of looking for me.”, Jed explained. “You don’t know of a good place to hide me, do ya?”
Andi was determined not to help him, and also resolved to tell Justin and the sheriff of her discovery as soon as possible.
“Remember, till you hide me real good…my hostage will be your little friend here.”, Jed broke into Andi’s thoughts.
“The loft.”, Andi whispered. “Our barn loft.”
“Do you think I’m a fool? I can’t walk onto your property, let alone hide there!”, Jed exclaimed.
“I’ll leave the shack and head back home. I’ll tell Justin and Mother that I want to camp out with Rosa. Since it’s Friday, and no school tomorrow I’m sure they’ll agree. I’ll come back, and when it’s dark we’ll sneak you up to the loft. No one goes there, but me.”, Andi told him.
“Hmm…” Jed said thinking. “I guess that will work. Come back here as soon as possible. Got that, girl? If not,” and he said, warningly motioning to Rosa.
“Fine. I will be here soon. But, by now my family will be looking for me.” Andi said.
“You can go. Make sure to come back. And, don’t you tell them anything. Understand?”
Andi nodded and fled.
The next morning she went to school and got home as fast as possible. As much as she tried to hide her feelings she couldn't. Her family knew something was up.
Right after she got home she was going to stay the night at the shack, she just had to get there. “Mother? Can I go and stay a few nights out at the shack with Rosa?”
“What shack Andi?” Her mother asked, as far as she knew there was no shack in the woods.
Andi paled, she had not meant to say anything about the shack. “Un, I mean, un, a little um place in the woods Rosa made!” She blurted out.
“I will talk it over with Justin. Ok?”
Andi nodded, now how was she going to get out there?! A few minutes later her mother came back, “Justin thinks you should stay, so do I. Besides, you have been acting a bit strange the last day.”
Andi stared at her and ran out of the room. She was going to go! She had to, she had to get to Rosa before anything happened. Rosa was in trouble and it was up to her to get her out of it. If she told anyone Jed might hurt her. She was going to go, whether she was allowed or not.
“Howdy, Miss Carter!” Jed greeted Andi. He was sitting outside of the shack with a shotgun resting over his lap. Andi was out of breath and annoyed at Jed so she said nothing, and marched inside.
“Well?”, Jed asked, stepping inside
“I’ve kept my promise. I didn’t tell anyone.”, Andi gritted her teeth.
“Good.” Jed nodded satisfactorily. “And as you can see I’ve kept mine.”
Andi looked at Rose who was curled up in a corner.
“We’ll wait till night. And I’ll sneak you up in the hay loft.” Andi went and sat by Rosa.
“I wish you would tell me your first name, Miss Carter.” Jed told Andi.
Andi said nothing the rest of the day, except for occasional whispers to Rosa to not be afraid. Rosa remained quiet. Jed tried to make small talk, but there were no replies back to him.
Night had fallen and Andi was sure they could hide in the darkness of night even if her family had a search party out. “Alright, follow me.”, Andi told Jed.
Rosa stayed close to Andi the whole trip to the ranch. Andi tried to comfort Rosa while walking to the ranch.
When they arrived it was very dark, there were a few lights on inside but Andi paid them no mind. She had to get Jed in the barn so Rosa could come back home with her. After they got Jed in the hayloft they started to leave but Jed reached out and grabbed Rosa, “No, you must stay! He hissed.
When Andi felt Rosa let go of her hand she turned around and heard what Jed said. She gasped, she had to get Rosa out of here! She shook head. “No Jed. Rosa is coming with me. Come on Rosa!” Andi said glaring at Jed, she grabbed Rosa and pulled her down the hayloft. Jed scrabbled after them but they were already down.
Jed called after them, “No tricks, if you tell anyone you will regret it.” and pointed to the Circle C horses with his shotgun. “Don’t tell anyone about me! Got that?”
Andi gulped, she was trapped. There was no way she would put any horse in danger, Jed knew that. “Fine!” Andi yelled and dashed out of the barn, Rosa at her heels. Andi was deciding what to do, she finally decided to go back to her family and Rosa with hers and not say anything to anybody. After Andi told Rosa her plan she nodded and took off for her home. Andi watched her go and then turned and started walking to the house.
She was just stepping onto the porch when the door opened and her mother came out, her eyes were red from crying, she did not see her daughter yet. “Hi Mother.” Andi said softly. Elizabeth's head shot up, she stared at Andi.
“Oh, Andi! Where have you been! You know not to run off!” She said, hugging her. “Come inside now.” And led Andi inside. “Look who's back!” Elizabeth yelled into the house. Her whole family came running, even Justin was there, Andi dropped her head in shame, oh why had she done this!
“Andi, where in the world have you been?” Asked Justin,
Andi knew she couldn't tell so she said nothing. “Andi, where were you?” Chad demanded.
She looked up and said. “I’m tired, I want to go to bed.” and start to run out of the room. Mitch caught her arm, “Not so fast, little sis!” He said. “Where were you?”
“You can’t make me tell! No one can!” Andi yelled, she tried to get free but couldn't. She saw Chad and Justin glance at each other and she knew they would make her tell. She stopped fighting to get away and Mitch let up, she suddenly broke free and ran back outside.
“Andrea! Get back here!” Chad yelled, he was running to get her. Andi took off as fast as she could, the darkness helped her get away and Chad soon lost her. Andi broke down by a tree and cried. She had done wrong and knew it, she had to get away. She heard a noise next to her and saw Chad had heard her cry and found her, she tried to get up but she could not, she was too tired.. She fell back against the tree and stared at Chad.
He saw her fear and upsetness and sat down beside her. “What’s wrong Andi?” He said softly, his voice barely above a whisper.
Andi leaned against him, she started crying again, Chad waited till she stopped and asked again. This time Andi looked up and said “I can’t! I want to tell you but Jed will hurt our horses!” then realizing what she said she stumbled to her feet and took a few steps but it was too hard and she fell again, Chad caught her as she fell and held his sister, she blinked at him and grew limp. She had fainted.
Chad knew something was up, Andi never had fainted before. He jogged to the house carrying Andi in his arms. Their mother was waiting for their return. “What happened?” She cried when she saw Chad carrying Andi.
“I don’t know, she fainted, get her to bed
right away.” Chad said worriedly. Elizabeth had already gone inside to prepare
a bed. Chad laid his sister into the bed and she opened her eyes then closed
them and fell asleep.
The next morning Andi woke up and remembered what she had told Chad. She jumped out of bed, she had to get away before they questioned her. She opened her door and peeked out, no one was in sight. She tiptoed downstairs and opened the door when she heard Mitch’s voice saying “I don’t know what's going on with Andi.”
“I don’t know either, last night when I found her she said something about Jed? Do you think she meant Jed Hatton? I heard he broke out of jail last week.” Chad replied.
Andi gasped, they were talking about her! She flung open the door and dashed outside, Chad and Mitch heard her gasp and saw her running across the yard, “There Andi is!” Chad yelled and pointed to her and ran after her, again. He caught her easily. “Andi? Where are you going?” He asked.
Andi looked up fearfully. “I can’t say! Let me go!”
“No Andi, not till we know what's going on.” He took her back inside.
“Andi! Where were you going?” Mitch asked.
“Where outside?” Chad asked.
“To get away from you.” Andi said, staring at them. “Can you let me go now?”
“No, honey, not till you tell us where you were yesterday and where you were going.” Mitch said softly.
“Fine, Jed kidnapped Rosa when she went into the woods for her trip. I wanted to join her but Jed found me too. He kept us overnight and if we told anyone where he was hiding he would hurt our horses!” Andi blurted out, Jed said she could not say where he was but she could tell them the other part.
Chad and Mitch listened in silence. After Andi finished Chad asked, “Jed Hatton?”
Andi couldn’t tell them that so she kept quiet. “Andi?”
She decided it was time to take off. She stood and said. “I told you. You said I could go after, I’m going.” and ran outside.
Chad groaned, his sister was in trouble, but she would not tell them what could they do? He knew they had to go after her again, Mitch stood up “I’ll go. You take care of things here, ok?” Chad nodded.
Mitch found Andi standing in the middle of the yard staring at the barn, she looked fearfully at the barn. “Andi? What's the matter?” Andi turned slowly, Mitch started, there was a strange look in her eyes. “Andi?” Mitch whispered,
“You don’t give up, do you?” I’m sorry. I want to tell you, maybe I can, If you promise you won’t tell anyone.”
“Andi, I can’t keep it from Chad, Mother and the rest of the family. We want what is best for you Andi, nothing else.” Mitch said,
Andi stared over his shoulder, not even paying attention to what he said. “As I said before, Jed kidnapped Rosa and me. He took us to an old shack in the woods, a horse showed up and there was a note. It said Rosa was in danger and I knew I had to help her. He is hiding in the hayloft. If I said anything he would hurt our horses. You have to understand why I couldn't tell you. He threatened me and Rosa if we said anything.” She ended in a whisper. She turned to look at him. “Don’t say anything to anyone, Mitch.” She said, staring into his eyes,
“Andi, no. I have to tell them, who is Jed? Jed Hatton? He’s hiding in our hayloft?”
“Andi, come here.” Mitch held his arms wide, Andi ran into them. They both turned and went inside. Chad, and Mother were waiting for them. Mitch told them what Andi had said. Chad stood up, “Andi, we will get him. Don’t worry.” Chad motioned for Mitch to follow and they went outside.
A few days later everything was back to normal, Jed Hatton was captured and back in jail. Andi was safe and carefree again. She and Rosa had gone and told the whole story to the sheriff. He and a bunch of other people went and got Jed. Andi was grateful he was caught, everything was well again!