The Case of the Marietta Cross- Chapter Three

Written by Cynthia L. Sperko

Editor’s Note: This chapter is part of a series. Future chapters will appear in upcoming editions of The Marietta Traveler. For past chapters, visit

Sara walked to her locker and opened it more slowly than normal. Though she was grateful that she made it home safe, she was nervous. Even a little scared.

“My dad’s deputy could be involved in the theft of the Marietta Cross. I have to tell my dad what I witnessed. And before anything bad happens to me or anyone else. Why didn’t I tell him?” Sara thought.

“I should’ve stayed home today like Carly did. I do hope she feels better. Of all times for her to get sick, it had to be today.”

Closing her locker, Sara walked down the hall and entered the history classroom. “Is it my imagination or does she look unwell?” Sara thought, taking her seat. As the bell rang for class to start, Sara observed her teacher holding a stack of papers.

“Pop quiz time everyone. You know the drill.” Ms. Harris said as she handed a paper to each student.

Sara tried to focus on the quiz, but her thoughts were elsewhere. She wasn’t surprised when her teacher asked to see her before the end of the school day.


Opening the evidence cabinet, Sara’s dad pulled out a small bag and opened it. Reaching inside, he examined the evidence his daughter gave him.

“Sara was right. It’s definitely from a pair of eyeglasses.” Sara’s dad thought. “Unfortunately, the fingerprints didn’t match anyone in the database, the license plate number was reported stolen and whoever texted Sara used a burner phone.”

Sara’s dad wondered why his deputy wasn’t at work.

He left several messages and hadn’t heard back from him yet, which was unusual. Grabbing his jacket, Sara’s dad decided to stop by deputy Adams’ home.


The few moments she had between classes were spent figuring out the code. Quinn approached Sara and tapped her on the shoulder.
“Hey, Sara. Principal West wants to see you before you leave school today.” Quinn said.

“Did he tell you why?” Sara replied.

“Hey, I’m just the messenger.” Quinn said as she walked down the hall.

“First, Ms. Harris and now Principal West. I’m batting a thousand today.” Sara thought.


Sara’s dad went up the porch steps and knocked on the door. When there was no answer, he used the key Deputy Adams had given him and entered the home.

Upon checking the entire dwelling, there were no signs that his deputy was in distress. He checked the garage next.

Knowing his deputy rarely locked it, he let himself in. Shining a flashlight around the space, Sara’s dad didn’t see anything out of place, and his car was gone.

“Did I forget that he needed off today?” Sara’s dad thought.


Jackson waited until Quinn was at her locker to approach her.”Quinn, can we talk for a moment?” Jackson asked.

“Sure…” Quinn answered, putting her school books inside the locker. “What’s up?”

“There’s no easy way to ask, so I’m just going to say it. I want to know if you had anything to do with the theft of the Marietta Cross. There are rumors that you tampered with the security cameras.” Jackson replied.

“If you must know, then yes, I’m guilty of that, and only that.” Quinn said in a whisper, closing her locker.

“Who else is involved?” Jackson asked.

“I don’t know. Someone texted me…they said if I didn’t help, my life would be in danger. They threatened to hurt my younger sister, too…they showed me a video of her…” Quinn replied.

Sara entered the history room and approached Ms. Harris.

“Sara, thanks for stopping by. Are you okay? You seemed distracted during class and you nearly failed your history quiz.” Ms. Harris asked.

“I’m fine. I’m just having a bad day.” Sara replied. “Was that all? Principal West wants to talk to me. too.”

“Yes, Sara. I won’t keep you.” Ms. Harris said.


Principal West was in his office overhearing the conversation Sara was having with his secretary. Grabbing his briefcase, he stood up and exited the small room.

“Hello, Sara. Who told you that I needed to talk with you?” Principal West asked.

“Quinn did. It sounded important.” Sara replied.

“I’m truly sorry but I didn’t need to speak with you about anything. I’m running late and I must go…” Principal West said as he pushed his eyeglasses up from his nose and left in a hurry.


“Great! I lost track of time and missed the bus.” Sara said out loud.

A quick call to her dad went straight to voicemail. She left a message and decided to wait for him a short distance from the school grounds.

While Sara was waiting, she saw Ms. Harris speaking to someone on her phone. From the look of things, it wasn’t good news.

“I hope she’s OK.” Sara thought. She was so focused on her history teacher she didn’t notice the white van pull up behind her.

However, Sara’s nose brought her back to reality. Recognizing that stale smell, she didn’t think twice before running back to the school entrance. She was almost at the door when she was pushed down on the pavement.


Jackson went inside the Municipal Office to speak with Sara’s dad. Knocking on his door, Jackson entered the room and sat down on a chair across from his desk.
“Quinn admitted to tampering with the security cameras. She didn’t tell me anything about the theft, but she said that someone threatened her sister and her.” Jackson said. “All communication was done by text. Quinn also told me that they videoed her sister.”

“Thanks for keeping me informed. I need to go…Sara missed the bus.” Sara’s dad replied.

“I should’ve waited for her. I’m sorry. My mind was on what Quinn told me. I’m coming with you!” Jackson exclaimed.

“Let’s go.” Sara’s dad replied.


Sara felt strong arms lifting her up from the ground. She screamed as loud as she could as she was being dragged away from the school entrance. Then she was pushed to the ground again.

The next thing Sara remembered was a classmate asking her if she was OK.


Sara’s dad and Jackson arrived at the school not expecting to see several police cruisers there. A member of the neighboring police force approached them as they both got out of the car.
“Your daughter is a brave young lady. Thanks to a classmate who came to her aid, she’s alright. Whoever tried to kidnap her hid his identity by wearing a ski mask…” the officer said.

“Kidnap?” Sara’s dad asked.

“I’m sorry, sir. I thought you knew. Someone tried to take your daughter while she was waiting for you.” the officer replied.

“Take me to her…” Sara’s dad said.

Sara ran into her dad’s arms when she saw him. Jackson wasn’t too far behind. She was in Principal West’s office with the school secretary.

Principal West was unreachable.

“Dad…” Sara said, tears streaming down her face. “Sara…are you OK?” Sara’s dad asked.
“I am now…I saw Deputy Adams enter the white van the other night…he saw me… I’m sorry I didn’t tell you…I didn’t know what to do…that van was here…I think he tried to take me…” Sara replied.

At that moment the police officer received a phone call. A short time later he approached Sara’s dad and pulled him away.

“There’s something you need to know, sir.” the officer said. “Deputy Adams is dead…according to the coroner he died early this morning.”

To be continued in the next edition of the Marietta Traveler!