Norah McClintock presents...

The Mike & Riel series

Seeing and Believing

Vin swears he had nothing to do with the robbery, or the two people who were shot. But Sal saw Vin running from the scene. Even after Vin is arrested, Mike isn’t sure who to believe. He’s caught between his two friends — and believing one might make him lose the other . . .

Scholastic Canada Ltd.
ISBN 0-439-94608-5 PBK
224 pages
Ages 12 and up
4 3/16” x 6 ¾”


Excerpt

Sal jammed a textbook into his backpack and slammed his locker shut. “You don’t talk to Rebecca?” he said. “You don’t tell her when something happens to you?”

“Yeah, I talk to her.”

“That’s all I did, Mike. I talked to Imogen about something that happened to me.”

“You talked to her about something that happened to Vin,” I said. “And because of that, everyone thinks that Vin was involved in shooting those people. You know how it’s supposed to work, Sal. Innocent until proven guilty. Proven.”

Sal threaded his lock into the catch on his locker door. “I don’t care about Vin,” he said. “I stopped caring about Vin a long time ago. And when I talked to Imogen, it wasn’t about Vin. It was about me. I went in that store, and I saw that woman lying there in all that blood. Her eyes were open, Mike. She was staring up, but she wasn’t really staring because she couldn’t see anything anymore. There was a hole in the middle of her face. And there was stuff in the blood. Pieces of stuff that, I don’t know, I sure didn’t ask, but I watch TV the same as everyone else, so I started imagining what it was, and now I can’t stop thinking about it.” He sounded mad now and his voice was loud. “I thought I was going to be sick or faint or something. I think the only reason I didn’t was I heard that man groaning. He was still breathing and he needed help, and that got me through it. I helped him. I made a phone call and then I did everything that you’re supposed to do, you know, everything they tell you to do. That’s what I talked to Imogen about — because who else am I going to talk to about that? You?”

“What’s that supposed to mean? Why wouldn’t you talk to me about it?”

“Right,” he said. “Look at the way you’re acting. Look at the way you acted right from the start. Like you can’t believe Vin would do anything like this. Even when I tell you what I saw, you don’t believe it. When you came to talk to me on Saturday, you made it pretty clear that you think I’m the one who made a mistake, not Vin. First you think I saw it wrong, and now you think I did something wrong.”.

“I never said — ”

“I know he’s your best friend, Mike. I know it, okay? I was always the third wheel on a two-wheel bike — okay to hang around with, okay to mess up with, okay to help you out lately when Vin’s been gone, but not the same as Vin, right? Not as good as him. I always thought that and now I see I was right.”

“Geeze, Sal — ”

“I know what I saw, Mike. And I know I did the right thing. So if I want to talk to Imogen or anyone else about it, it’s none of your business.” He yanked the pull cord on his backpack and slung one of the straps over his shoulder. “I have to get to work.”

I watched him stride down the hall, taking big, angry steps, like he couldn’t get away from me fast enough. I felt like I was watching a stranger.

From Seeing and Believing. Copyright © 2006 by Norah McClintock. All rights reserved.