The next morning I slept late due to exhaustion. Part of it was due to Guy staying so late, which was well worth the loss of sleep, but I was also tired from the events of the previous day and working so hard not to receive messages from Guy’s brain. There’s no greater mood killer than realizing your date isn’t being completely honest. My experience has taught me that all people lie and they do it quite often, but it’s particularly hard when the lie is presented to me.
By the time I did my doggie duty and got myself showered, it was almost eleven o’clock. I called the Ford dealership and learned my Explorer was ready. It was a beautiful late spring day so I decided to walk to pick up my vehicle. As I passed Bernie’s ice cream shop I noticed a sign for picnic lunches. Obviously, picnic lunches were intended for tourists who wanted to spend the day on the road system or visiting parks like Ft. Abercrombie, the Buskin River, or Pasagshak River. I had a different plan for a picnic lunch.
I ran across the street, paid my car repair bill, and retrieved my keys. Then I returned to Bernie’s and ordered one chicken salad sandwich made with grapes, apples and pecans plus a black forest ham with Grafton cheese. For sides I chose a fruit cup and a macaroni salad. I was feeling pretty clever about my idea to surprise Guy with a picnic lunch on the boat. Hopefully he was on the boat. If not, I would have two fat and happy rat terriers.
As I was parking in the boat harbor lot I saw a city police officer and a state trooper talking to a fisherman. I pondered how I would get past the officers to get down the ramp and find Guy. When I was about ten yards away I realized it was Guy talking to the officers. About that time another police car arrived and this one had its lights flashing. What was going on? Why were they talking to Guy? Suddenly I started to feel my surprise picnic was a silly idea and I was too embarrassed to go through with it. I turned on my heels and headed back to my car sure that Guy had not seen me.
I went home, ate the chicken salad sandwich, gave the ham and cheese to the ratties, and waited an hour before I called Guy’s cell phone. He didn’t answer and I was conflicted about leaving a message. I thought we had a great time on our date and felt he was interested in seeing me again; however, was calling him so soon, much less showing up with lunch, borderline stalker? I left a benign message thanking him for a nice evening,
Almost immediately the phone rang but it wasn’t Guy. It was Ginger asking me if I heard about anything going on at the boat harbor. “I saw some police officers at the harbor ramp after I picked up my car” I explained. I didn’t want to tell her they were talking to Guy because I had the feeling that she wasn’t on board with me seeing Guy. She has once described him as scruffy and non-dimensional.
“Well I heard that it’s another missing person. Can you believe we might have two missing people in one week?” She sounded more excited than scared.
“Do you have any idea who?”
“I will have to call you back” she responded. “I have another call coming in”.
Before Ginger could call me back with the identity of the missing person, Guy called with startling information – the missing person was Aunt Cecil. What was even more shocking is that she was missing from his boat.
“On my God” I responded to his news. “Are you OK?”
“I’m in shock Brinkley. We were out for a boat ride; I was in the wheelhouse while she sat on the back deck. I went out about three miles, stopped the boat, and went to offer her a bottle of water and she wasn’t there. I searched everywhere on and in the boat but no Aunt Cecil. I was screaming for her thinking she might respond when it hit me that if she fell from the boat she could be anywhere. I radioed for help. The Coast Guard responded very quickly. They are continuing the search but the State Police asked me to return to the harbor. Obviously, they wanted to search my boat”.
“This is just awful. What can I do?” My words sounded so useless.
“Sorry, I gotta go. They want to talk to me again” and he hung up.
The afternoon passed slowly. I wanted to go down to the harbor and be there for Guy but I couldn’t get in the middle of a police investigation. Police investigation! That reminded me of John Sinclair’s comments. I’d been so busy with my own personal life that I had forgotten about poor Libby. I jumped in the Explorer; it started right up thank you, and headed to the City police department. Luckily, Kelvin was there.
“I want to make you aware of a conversation I heard at The Café yesterday” and I explained about the slander John Sinclair had conveyed regarding his wife. I went on to explain that I knew he was lying and how angry he had been when I confronted him about it. When I finished my recap Kelvin Bishop stared straight at me with his mouth slightly open. I believe I really could have knocked him over with a feather.
“Brinkley you cannot go around accusing people of murder, especially those that the police are already questioning” his words were scolding. “You believe he is lying and trying to drag Libby’s name through the mud, well he can say the same about you. And, let’s say you are right, then you have just agitated someone capable of murdering his wife”.
Since I couldn’t explain about my unique talent, I decided it was time to play my trump card. “He was so angry and off guard that he referred to Libby in the past tense. He said if you” knew my wife” instead of “know my wife” and when I called him on that he got very angry.”
“What, specifically, was his response?” he asked.
“He told me to screw myself. That’s when I told him that the police might find his language choice interesting”
The police officer looked surprised for the second time. “And….”
“I noticed his hand turn into a fist but he backed off and left”.
“Brinkley you are really lucky. If you believe John is capable of a crime, you don’t want to antagonize him. It’s time you let us do our job. Think about it.”
I left feeling I didn’t do a good job of convincing him that John was involved in my friend’s disappearance. What I had no way of knowing is that Kelvin went straight to his superiors and I had helped the investigation.