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Stories by Laura Lagana
Hamish McWallace and the Leprechaun Treasure - Chapter 12

“Shut up!” Captain Malcolm yelled at King Rogan while the fluorescent light flickered on and off. He plugged both his ears with his fingertips and sang a pirate tune to drown out the kings incessant nagging.

A drunken man, who shared the cell, joined Captain Malcolm in song. Several hours passed before a police officer shouted from the doorway. “Malcolm McWallace?”

Captain Malcolm leapt to his feet and grabbed the bars. “Aye, that’s me.”

“Your bail has been posted and you’re free to go.”

King Rogan stomped his foot to demand, “What about us?”

“You’re stuck here until someone bails you out,” said the officer.

“Unacceptable. I demand to be freed this minute,” said King Rogan.

The officer peered through the bars of the cage. “Do you? I disagree. We’ve had reports of people being robbed by a group of leprechauns, ones that look just like you.” He narrowed his gaze on King Rogan. “You know what I think? I think you and your friends will be enjoying the hospitality of our jail for quite some time.”

Gobban’s restraining hand on King Rogan’s arm, kept him from further arguing with the police man.

As Malcolm was led away from the cell, he glanced over his shoulder and grinned at King Rogan, who stomped his foot on the floor.

Grams threw herself into Captain Malcolm’s arms when he joined Hamish and Finnegan in the waiting room. She fussed over his shirt and wiped at the dirt stain on his collar.

Hamish snorted as he crossed his arms over his chest. The only way Captain Malcolm’s shirt was coming clean, was when it spent several cycles in the washing machine. Standing next to Captain Malcolm, Hamish noticed how small his Grams appeared next to the burly pirate. He wracked his brain, trying to remember when she seemed taller, sturdier and healthier. Hamish fretted over her wellbeing as he grabbed her elbow and led them from the police station.

Captain Malcolm slapped Hamish on the back. “You’ve been reading my mind laddie. I’m hungry. Let’s go to McDonald’s…and as far away from those idiotic leprechauns as we can.”

Grams rummaged through her purse for the car keys. As they walked across the parking log, a light fog rolled in from the sea. Tree frogs croaked in the distance while bugs zipped past Hamish’s head. He swatted them away while he opened the car door for Grams.

“Och…this has been too much excitement for one day. I could use a spot of tea to calm my nerves,” she said.

“Do you want to go home?” Through the darkness of the car interior, Hamish stared at her pale face.

Marvin, who perched on the headrest, squawked. “Bad boy. Bad boy.”

Grams patted Hamish’s knee. “Nonsense. I’ll get a cup of tea while Captain Malcolm eats his supper.”

“If you’re sure…?”

Captain Malcolm cut Hamish off in mid sentence. “Quit your complaining. You heard her. Besides, I’m starving and if I don’t eat soon, I’ll eat Finnegan over here.”

Finnegan’s eyes glowed in the darkness, while he sneered. “Try it and see what I’m really capable of.”

A loud roar of laughter erupted from Captain Malcolm, startling Hamish. “You’re quite something Finnegan. You know that? You’re a round bellied, friendly and unassuming looking leprechaun who looks to be scared of his own shadow, but looks are deceptive. Aren’t they.”

“You try having a pirate steal your treasure and make you the laughing stock of the leprechauns. You’d be tough too.”

Captain Malcolm lowered his head with respect. “I admire you.”

“Really?” Hamish gasped from the front seat as Grams steered the car towards McDonald’s. “I thought you hated him. In fact, didn’t you say he was annoying the first time we met?”

“Just because I find him annoying doesn’t mean I don’t respect him.”

“Oh Captain Malcolm,” gushed Grams, “that is so sweet of you to say.”

Hamish crossed his arms over his chest and mumbled to no one in particular. “You are the most confusing sort of people I’ve ever met.” A small hand on his shoulder drew his attention.

“You forget yourself Hamish. I’m not a person, I’m a leprechaun.” Finnegan grinned at Captain Malcolm.

“Leprechaun…human…you’re still daft,” said Hamish.

Grams pulled the car into the parking lot and jerked to a stop. “We’re here. Now where’s that cup of tea?” She handed Hamish her overstuffed purse. “Would you be a dear and carry this in for me? I seem to have run out of steam.”

With worry marring his brow, Hamish came around to Grams’ door and held her arm while he assisted her into the brightly lit restaurant. “Here Grams, have a seat while I order your tea and fetch dinner for Captain Malcolm.” He narrowed his gaze on Malcolm and Finnegan before turning away. “Don’t tax her too much with your chatter while I’m gone. She looks tired.” With that final warning, Hamish headed to the counter to order tea and dinner for the others.

“How are you really doing you old bird?” Captain Malcolm patted Grams’ frail bony hand. “You don’t look so well.”

Finnegan whispered, “You’re not long for here…are you Grams? Even as we speak, I feel the tightness of your lungs and the pain in your back and joints. We should take you home to rest.”

“Would you both quit treating me like an invalid? You’re making Hamish nervous and I want to spend my final moments on earth with Hamish and not see the worry on his face.” She grabbed the yarn from her bag and began to knit. “A lad does love being with his grandmother you know.”

Changing the subject, Finnegan toyed with the half finished project in Grams hands. “So, what are you making?”

She held up the garment. “I’m knitting Arran sweaters. There’s one for you at the cottage in Scotland, but this one is for Hamish. Besides, it’s too warm a climate here for you to wear one.” Her eyes misted with tears. “I want Hamish to think of his Grams whenever he wears this.”

“That’s a nice gesture,” said Captain Malcolm. “Where’s mine?”

She sighed. “Since you won’t tell Finnegan where you’ve hidden the treasure, I suspect you’ll be a statue again very soon and making you a sweater would be a waste of good yarn.

Finnegan nodded. “You guessed right.”

Captain Malcolm slapped his hand on the table. “How can I convince you that I know nothing about your stupid treasure?”

Grams shushed the two of them as Hamish headed to the table carrying a tray of food. The meal was eaten without further talk of Grams health.

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