It Comes Back At You


Chapter 9


Ted and Sherry Lynch ended up bringing the four twins and Bobby to Wimpy’s as well.  As they entered the hamburger joint, Ted called out, “I’m buying!”

“Good,” Bobby answered.  “You’re the only one that can afford to feed Mart.”

“Listen, small fry,” Mart countered, “be glad you’re here.  I saw your room this morning.  When you get home, Moms will never let you leave it again.”

“Poor Bobby,” Kelly Lynch said.  “I thought only helpless princesses got themselves trapped in prison towers.”

“Nah, Bobby doesn’t live in a fairy tale,” Larry jibed.  “It’s more like a video game.  You can leave the level once you find the passcode.  The problem is, in that room, it could take him ten years to find it!”

As everyone continued to laugh and joke around, Trixie quietly stared off into space.  Tad had joined them and was seated next to her.  He nudged her with his elbow.  “I know what you need.  Come with me to the jukebox.”

Trixie shrugged half-heartedly, but she got up and went with him.  They discussed the selections, argued about a few, and kept pouring coins in.  Trixie seemed to relax after a while, and she and Tad were singing along to some of their mutual favorites.

Mart watched the exchange carefully.  He was relieved that his sister seemed more at ease.  He also found their similar taste in music amusing.  His own tastes were a little harder and louder, but Tad seemed to be right on her wavelength.

They came back to the table to eat, and Trixie seemed much more like herself.

“So, Trixie,” Diana said, “you never did tell me what Brian and Jim said about the current situation.”

Mart choked on the large bite of food in his mouth.  Trixie smirked while he tried to cough it up. 

“Geez, Di,” Trixie said, “I know you want to ditch your boyfriend, but do you have to administer death-by-choking while he’s eating with the rest of us?  Yuck!”

Di grinned wickedly.  “Well, it’s more public.  Plenty of witnesses to the accidental nature of his demise.”

Dan groaned.  “She’s starting to sound like him!”

They all laughed.

By this time Mart had recovered and was sipping his drink.  “And what time is our elder sibling scheduled to arrive?”

“He’s not,” Trixie replied defiantly.

Mart looked at her in disbelief.

“He hasn’t heard about the copperhead,” Di supplied helpfully.

Trixie rolled her eyes.  “Okay, that may change his mind.”

Tad changed the subject slightly.  “I have a question.  Was the copperhead alive?”

Trixie looked at him for a moment, then started to giggle.  The others looked at her like she was crazy.  That only made her laugh harder.  In between laughs, she explained, “Well…it was alive…when it was…put in the oven…But Moms had preheated it…for the muffins, you know…and after we found it…we didn’t think to…turn the oven off…so Sergeant Molinson…found…well-baked copperhead.”

The others laughed.

“Okay, Trix, next question,” Tad finally said.  At Trixie’s nod, he asked, “Why are you so upset?  I mean, I expected you to be upset on Thursday, but you were just mad.  In fact, I hear you told Chris that you were numb to fear because of the number of times you’d been held at gunpoint.  So what’s different today?”

Trixie looked at him sharply.  When did Tad and Chris compare notes?  That thought disturbed her more than the stalker.

She thought about his question.  Looking off into space, she answered slowly.  “Leaving things outside or at school, well, they’re public places.  And the items were intended to scare, but they couldn’t hurt anyone.”  Her blue eyes clouded.  “But this was inside my home, a complete invasion of privacy.  And that snake could have hurt someone.  I don’t always look before I stick my hand in the oven, because it’s so second-nature.  And what if it had been Moms?”  She shuddered at the thought.

“Besides,” she continued with a shrug, “I usually get into these messes because I’m trying to help someone else.  I’m not used to being the victim.”

The front door opened and Trixie glanced in that direction.  Seeing the incoming customers, she drew in a sharp breath and her face paled.  Dan heard her, and followed her gaze.  His instant flare of anger made his face and neck redden.  The others slowly caught the tension at the table, and discovered its source.

The two boys from the previous week had entered, wearing the same Croton jackets.

Buck looked around casually, until he spotted Trixie.  Then he moved boldly closer to the table, staring hostilely.

Although Tad had not seen the two boys before, the reaction of the others left no doubt in his mind who they were.  He didn't appreciate the look Buck was giving Trixie, either.

“Do you have a problem, buddy?” he asked, standing to face the large, bulky boy.

“Just with that little piece of ass,” Buck sneered.

The girls looked nervously at each other, wide blue eyes meeting frightened violet ones.  Dan and Mart stood to join Tad.

Tad took a step towards Buck.  “And what’s your problem with her?”  His tone was conversational, but his body language was clearly protective of the little blonde.

“I just don’t like the way she butts into everyone else’s business.  She should be taught to mind her own,” Buck sneered threateningly.

“What’s she ever done to you?” Tad asked, taking another step forward.  Dan and Mart moved to flank him.

“She sent my cousin to jail.  She shouldn’t have done that.”

“She’s never sent anyone to jail that didn’t deserve to go there,” Tad stated firmly.

Trixie looked toward the front entrance.  Sergeant Molinson, in street clothes, was just entering with Spider Webster.  She relaxed.  She knew the two officers wouldn’t let this go too far.

“Just what are you saying about my cousin?” Buck challenged.

Tad held his ground.  “Just that he must have done something illegal, so he really sent himself to jail.”

“You son of a bitch!” Buck yelled, and launched his fist at Tad’s face.

Dan blocked the blow and knocked Buck off balance.  He stumbled and landed on one knee, which only served to enrage him.  He roared and jumped at Dan.  Mart tripped him.  When Buck landed flat on his face, his friend threw up his fists.

“You guys want a problem?” the boy challenged.

“You two are the ones with the problem,” Molinson bellowed.  Although not in uniform, both he and Spider had their guns on them and had them drawn.  Spider held handcuffs in his other hand.

Looking at Buck, Molinson said, “I believe I just witnessed an unprovoked assault.  I think you and I should head down to the station.”

Buck finally recognized Molinson from the previous week.  Cursing under his breath, he slowly rose with his hands up.  Spider quickly cuffed him.

Grinning at Molinson, Spider remarked, “And to think we just wanted a quiet visit over lunch.”

Molinson snorted, then winked at Trixie.  “Fat chance.  Troublesome Trixie was already here.” 

Shoving Buck ahead of them towards the door, the two men stopped by the young people.  “I will talk to you later,” Molinson promised Trixie.

Spider told Tad, “You handled that well.  I’m proud of you.  All of you,” he added, nodding to Dan and Mart.

After the men left, the kids returned to their lunches.  Tad spoke quietly, “Hopefully that’s one problem put to rest.”

Di shook her head.  “That hulk couldn’t be the stealthy creature Mart chased through the woods last Saturday.  Could he, Mart?”

Mart shook his head.  He stared at his food.  He had hoped no one would think of that.

The silence dragged on, until Trixie finally broke it.  “You do realize that we still don’t know who his cousin is, right?”

Heads nodded all around.



After the skirmish in Wimpy’s Ted and Sherry Lynch had packed up the younger kids.  They planned to take Bobby home, and were going to fill Helen and Peter in on the latest trouble.  A short while later the teenagers headed out of the restaurant.

The discussion about whether to go do something else was ended by Trixie’s assertion, “Guys, I’m really tired.  I just want to go home and take a nap.”

She opened the rear door of the station wagon, then screamed and jumped back.

Di rushed to her side, while the boys rushed to see what was in the station wagon.

Trixie stood, eyes wide, both hands clamped firmly over her mouth.  She wasn’t sure what she was trying to stifle – a scream or the urge to throw up.  Di threw her arms around her as Trixie began to tremble.  Her legs turned to rubber and she sank to the ground, leaning against Tad’s car, which had been parked next to the Bob-White Bus.  She rocked back and forth while tears welled up in her eyes.

Lying on the backseat of the station wagon was a rabbit with a large butcher knife through its heart.  It had been alive when put there; blood was still gushing from the wound, and the animal’s body was still twitching.  Attached to the handle of the knife was a note:  SCARED YET?

Tad whipped a cell phone out of his pocket and pushed the speed dial for his brother.  As soon as Spider answered, Tad asked, “Are you still with Molinson?”

At the affirmative answer, Tad responded, “Then both of you get to Wimpy’s parking lot NOW!”

Mart sat down next to Trixie.  He pulled her into his lap and held her close.  She buried her face in his neck and cried.  He rested his cheek on her soft curls.

Dan was looking around for any sign of who did this.  He found a bloody smear on a nearby building, as if someone was trying to wipe off their hand.

When Molinson and Webster showed up, Mart glared at them.  Still gently rocking his sister like a baby, he hissed, “You’d better put a stop to this soon.  I don’t know how much more she can take – how much more any of us can take!”



Back Up Next


horizontal rule

Trixie Belden® is owned by Random House.

This site is not affiliated with Random House, and the characters are used without permission.

This site is hosted for the enjoyment of Trixie Belden fans and is not operated for profit.

All non-trademarked materials are copyrighted ©2004-2014 by Kaye Lodick.  All rights reserved.