Gary skidded down the railroad bank and then the bank of the river. Pot was scraping the flat metal grill used to cook the fish.
“Pot! Pot!” Gary said quietly. “She’s on the tracks coming this way.”
“Who?” Pot said.
“Old Black Maggie,” Gary said. “She’s out to get me.”
“Go over there, boy,” Pot said flinging his hand at the tall grass and weeds just beyond his shelter. “Hide in there!”
Gary hid in the grass and weeds.
“Keep your head down, boy,” Pot said. “I’ll tell you when the coast is clear.”
Gary laid flat. His heart pounded and his hands quivered nervously. He parted the grass with his shaking fingers to see. He watched the bridge over the river. Old Black Maggie slowly appeared ambling along. She stopped in the middle of the bridge and looked down at Pot’s camp.
“How ya doin’ Madame,” Pot said.
She said nothing.
“Fish are bitin’ pretty good,” Pot said.
Old Black Maggie spit into the river. She scowled at Pot and continued her way.
“Have yourself a nice day ma’am,” Pot said.
Old Black Maggie moved on as if nothing had been said.
Pot stretched his neck until Old Black Maggie was out of sight. “Come on out, boy.”
Gary slowly climbed from the grass and weeds.
“Was that her?” Pot said.
“Yes, it was her,” Gary said with wide eyes and trembling. “Now what do you think? How did she know I was here?”
“We can’t be sure of anything,” Pot said. “If she called out your name or something we might have something to worry about, but I’ve seen her walk down these tracks before, it’s just a coincidence.”
“Pot,” Gary said. “I’m scared to death.”
“Look, boy,” Pot said. “Just give this some time. Don’t do anything foolish.”
“Now I’ve put you at risk,” Gary said.
“Don’t worry about me,” Pot said. “I can take care of myself. Now you better get out of here. There’s a path along the river. Follow it, it will take you to the park.” Pot pointed to the path. “Here’s some advice; keep people around you. Now, get goin’!”
Gary hunched down and walked briskly along the path watching for Old Black Maggie. He reached the park and made his way home. The advice given him by Pot seemed logical. He determined to start hanging around his friends again, especially Beez; he knew and understood.
The next couple of days he spent with his friends. He saw Beez at the drugstore and they talked at length about travel and mentioned very little about Old Black Maggie.
Best of all, there were no sightings of Old Black Maggie.