The restaurant, with its dark, old-fashioned decor, gave off a gangster feel that left both Jenny and Maggie skittish. Gramps, Kitty and Diego sat on one side of the semi-circle booth, heads huddled together whispering. Finally the girls realized the gravity of the situation they were in and they held hands under the table to keep calm.
Out of the darkness of the dining room, a couple stormed up and plunked a package down on the table. The woman snarled, “Kitty, you can have these drugs if they mean that much to you. We have found our own source that is better than yours. And we flew down here in Richard’s plane, so getting in and out of the country will be a snap for us. Good luck with those little girls doing the smuggling for you. How can you use your own grandchildren?! Diego, I see that gun you’re hiding and I am not impressed. Amateurs!”
As the woman and her husband turned to walk away, Kitty grabbed Diego’s gun and pointed it at her.
Shirley turned back around just as Kitty fired. Screams erupted through the restaurant, and in the ensuing chaos, Jenny and Maggie slipped out of the booth and ran for the door. Once outside, they sprinted for a side street then hiding in the dark between two buildings.
“Jesus, Maggie! We are in so much trouble! What are we going to do?,” Jenny cried.
Breathing hard, Maggie whispered, “I. Don’t. Know! Let’s just walk away from this place as quiet as we can, staying out of the light. We have to think of something! We need to find a phone or a police station or… or… I don’t know! Something!”
Across town, Matthew and John drove through the checkpoint from the U.S. into Mexico in John’s Ford Bronco. They had realized that something was off when their daughters, Jenny and Maggie, had not called home as instructed two days earlier. They had suspicions that their parents were up to something and were afraid that the girls might be in danger.
The brothers had been to Matamoros many times and knew all their parents’ favorite restaurants and bars. They struck out at the first three establishments and on the way to the next one, they encountered a large commotion outside Kitty’s favorite chophouse. An ambulance and police cars blocked their way, so they parked and walked over to the nearest officer.
John asked, “Hey! ¿Qué está pasando? ¿Habla usted Inglés?”
“Si, a little,” the policeman answered. “A woman was shot in the restaurant. The woman who shot her, and her husband tried to get away, but we have them both. Americanos.”
“Were there two girls with them?”, Matthew asked, looking around frantically.
“No, no. No girls. Just the old couple.”
John announced that he would look for their parents, almost certain they were old couple involved. Matthew jumped into the SUV and headed toward the hotel, hoping that Maggie and Jenny were still there. Because the emergency vehicles were blocking the front of the restaurant, he drove around the back and took the side streets.
About a block from the hotel, he looked in the rearview mirror and saw the girls running toward him. The sounds of “Uncle Matt!” and “Dad!” got louder, and he stopped and jumped out just as the girls reached the SUV.
Swooping them both up in his arms, he said, “Oh, thank God you’re both ok! Get in. We’ll stop by the hotel and get your stuff. It looks like Gramps and Kitty are in some kind of trouble.”
“Dad?” Jenny squeaked out. “Kitty shot some lady. Is she dead?”
Taking a couple of deep breaths, Matt answered, “Damn! No. Well, I don’t really know about that woman. Maggie, your dad came down with me, and he’s trying to find out what happened. He’s meeting us at the hotel. Then we’re heading home and y’all can tell us everything that happened. For now, your adventure is over.”