McKinley, at this point, was mostly unconscious. Intermittently, he let out a yelp, followed by a grunt, and then went back to being quiet. This gave Loretta and I ample opportunity to discuss the state of things. I was not in much of a position of power in this affair, but I did my best to pretend as if I was not tied up and in agonizing pain. I had to steer Loretta back on to the road, so to speak, before we crashed. Imagine you are in a guessing game with a four year old child, pretending to have no knowledge of what they are talking about, this is the charade I was putting on.
Loretta walked towards me slowly, thinking I may lash out at any moment and attack her, although I couldn’t have dreamed of being able to do so at this point. “JoJo, you must hate me,” she spoke quietly, so as not to be overheard by McKinley and his friend. “There is a good explanation for all of this. I never thought I would be capable of doing such a thing. If you knew how all this came about, maybe you could see it more objectively. You see, I was threatened. McKinley is an evil man. He…”
She stopped suddenly, struggling for words. I would like to believe she spoke the truth, but at this point, she probably would have said anything to get me back on her side. I knew that McKinley was, for the most part, incapable of causing me any MORE harm at this point, but I was unsure about the stranger that he traveled with. The man had been very quiet from the beginning and even more so since McKinley got himself trapped in the bear trap. An idea came upon me at that moment.
To be continued….