They had reached Florida, the train would stop soon. Aunt Minerva and Ralph would reach their destination in a short while. It was there that she would finalize her plan. It was also the place Minerva intended to kill Ralph Hearns, and where he planned to escape.
It was a risk, but he had to take it. He had ran out of time. He had seen the telegram that Minerva thought she had hid so cleverly. Ralph’s courage was weak, but his will to live was stronger. He jumped from the train as it crossed the bridge.
He hit the water hard, and dove as deeply as he could. He had to get as much distance as possible before he surfaced. They would think he committed suicide, especially after finding the note.
When he did surface, the train was almost out of sight. Ralph was still careful to only be above water enough to breathe. When it was finally out of sight, he drug himself out of the water, and headed in the opposite direction.
“She took the news well. Although I did see a tear or two. I wonder who will take care of the poor old woman now?” The porter said to the engineer. Minerva had shed a crocodile tear or two, she could always manage them when it suited her.
When she was alone, she laughed. “Oh the boy is smart. Faking a suicide to escape death. I have to admire that boy. I’ll let him get a few towns away before I kill him. It’s a shame, but it has to be done.”