Recap: While Yishai is visiting and his brother is away, his sister-in-law goes into labor and Yishai has to go out in a snowstorm to get the midwife. Miriam gives birth to a baby girl. Yishai is still trying to find a way to talk his brother and sister-in-law out of following Aaron Burr and his notorious scheme, but they are still set on following him.
I yawned and stretched. “I’m getting tired.”
“Me, too,” Miss Gross said.
“Whoever was here, he’s gone. When you opened the door, it appears to have scared him off.”
We headed upstairs to go to sleep.
I lay down and said Sh’ma with special kavanah. The window shade was opened and moonlight streamed through the window.
I slept soundly until, in the middle of the night, I woke with a start. I heard a rustling noise. What was that? I listened. The alarm clock on the shelf ticked. The window was slightly opened, and I heard the distant caw of birds.
I turned over. It must just be my imagination.
Old houses have noises, Aba had said.
I cowered under my covers and listened.
My neck muscles tightened.
“Thump.“ It sounded like something dropped in the attic.
I slid out of bed, put on my robe, and scurried across the hall to Grandma Henny’s room. I knocked softly. “Miss Gross,” I whispered. Miss Gross whispered back, “Come in and close the door.” She was sitting up in bed. “Yehudis, did you hear that?”
“Creak, creak, creak.”
“It sounds like someone’s in the attic,” Miss Gross’ voice cracked.
“You think someone’s up there?” I gasped.
She nodded slowly, her eyes wide.
We heard the creaking sound of footsteps again.
She grabbed her phone from the night table. “I’m calling the police.”
She called 911. “What’s the address?” she asked.
I whispered, “118 Harman Drive.”
I was shaking. Miss Gross spoke quickly.
The creaking continued.
“What’s in your attic?” she whispered.
I felt like I was in a nightmare and some scary person was going to come and kidnap me. Miss Gross put her arm around me, and I heard her murmuring T’hilim. I did the same.
Time ticked slowly. My heart was thumping against my chest.
I tried not to think about who was up there or what was going to happen.
Suddenly, I heard a siren. The police were here. They banged on the door. Miss Gross received a text. “Where are you?”
She texted back that we were locked in the upstairs bedroom on the left-hand side. The intruder is in the attic.
We heard police officers stomping into the house. We heard them march up the stairs. A policeman knocked on Grandma Henny’s bedroom door. Miss Gross opened it. Two officers headed up the attic steps.
They came down. “We think someone was there. He held up a red bandanna.” You recognize this?”
We both shook our heads.
“The front door was wide open. Looks like someone may have broken in with a credit card. You need to get a bolt for the lock.” He spoke to Miss Gross.
She nodded. “I don’t live here but I will tell the owner of the house.”
The officer asked more questions and wrote down Miss Gross’ answers.
“We’ll have a surveillance car riding around here tonight. You don’t have to worry about this guy bothering you anymore tonight.”
Miss Gross explained that my father was away, and he would come tomorrow to the station to file an official complaint.
“We’ve had a lot of complaints at this house over the past year. Not sure what it is that’s attracting intruders here.”
To be continued…
By Susie Garber