I've got to get to the switch! The boy stumbled desperately over boxes toward the radio gear. Just as he reached it, Nick saw him, grabbed the pistol from the Inspector and aimed it straight at Trans' head. The thundering of the discharging pistol drowned the clack of the unlocking door and in seconds the room was filled with officers.
Chapter Seventeen: In the Nick of Time
A Character story about trust.
Trans was petrified. Now the crooks knew he was in the room and, though he was invisible, there was no way out. He thought for sure the men could hear his heart throbbing. Trans prayed again that his father had heard the distress call and was rushing in his direction as he stood there stiff with fright.
"How can we find him?" Nick asked in a coarse whisper. "If we can't see him, we can't find him."
"He may be invisible, but we can still feel him," Art answered. "He can't get out with all the doors locked."
The three men began walking around the room waving their hands back and forth. They fanned out making it nearly impossible for Trans to slip around them. Anyway, if he moved, Trans reasoned, they may hear him and follow the sound. Maybe he could take his shoes off and not be heard moving. But as the boy snatched off his left shoe, the men began moving in his direction. In desperation, Trans flung the shoe into the greenhouse area. The noise sent all three shuffling in that direction.
"Now we know he's in this part of the building," the Inspector muttered. Sweat rolled down the boy's face now. The tunnel, he thought but at that moment Art slammed and locked the tunnel entrance. Just then the verse his mother shared with them before leaving came to mind. Psalm 50:15. "Call upon me in the day of trouble and I shall deliver thee." Lord, this is a day of trouble, and I'm calling! His mind flashed back a few hours when his father again read from Joshua chapter one the promise of the Lord's presence. His heart was again encouraged and a deep peace settled over him. Somehow, he knew that God would take care of this whole thing.
But his tranquility was short-lived, for as he raised his arm to wipe the sweat from his forehead, he gasped. He was beginning to become visible, not completely, but outlines of his coat and features could been seen! The chemical must be wearing off, he thought, shaking all over. And just at the wrong time! The chemical explosion flashed through his mind again. If it hadn't been for that night, he wouldn't be facing death at any moment! Trans moved closer to the door, hoping the urgent help would arrive any minute. By now the men turned and began in his direction.
"Look! There he is!" the Inspector cried, pointing. Trans jumped up to the door, yanking down the light switch and plunging the room into darkness. After some shuffling and muttering, a small lamp appeared by the radio gear. Now Trans could see the Inspector and Art had automatic pistols in their hands. The poorer light made it much more difficult to see the increasingly visible form of the boy. As the men drew closer, Trans panicked. When Nick was within six feet, Trans pushed a pile of boxes over him. Trans stood in shock as bundles of ten dollar bills spilled onto the floor.
"Hey, where did these come from?" the Inspector demanded.
"Oh, uh . . . hey, Art, look here," Nick stuttered, rising from the floor and brushing himself off. "There was a whole lot of money in one of them boxes. I wonder where-"
"So, I was right. You guys have been holding out on me. How many other jobs have you cheated on me?" The Inspector snarled.
"Honest, Marty, last night was the only one. We was gonna give it to you later, honest."
A suddenly loud knock fastened all eyes on the door. "Open up! This is the FBI."
"Now you got us into a real mess, Inspector," Art sneered.
"Quick! Make for the secret tunnel," Nick snapped and the three darted toward the greenhouse corridor. But Trans slammed into another pile of boxes, toppling the three to the floor. The knocking repeated. The switch, he thought. I've got to get to the switch! The boy stumbled desperately over boxes toward the radio gear. Just as he reached it, Nick saw him, grabbed the pistol from the Inspector and aimed it straight at Trans' head. The thundering of the discharging pistol drowned the clack of the unlocking door and in seconds the room was filled with officers.