I was doing internet research when Patsy came to take the ratties for their last walk of the night. While she was outside, Guy’s attorney called. He was irate that I meet with Guy under the escort of a police officer without contacting him. I deflated his hostility when I explained that I met with Guy to confirm his innocence and that I could prove it.

            “What have you got” the attorney asked eagerly.

            “I read in the paper that there was long plastic bag in Cecil’s picnic basket. Can you find out if it had a dry-cleaning ticket on it?”

            “They sent it to a lab for analysis. They probably suspected he could have used it to smother her; however, they didcould not find his finger prints on it here.”

            “Don’t worry, they aren’t going to find anything. As his attorney, can you get the information as to whether is a dry-cleaning ticket or not? Aren’t you entitled to that as part of your defense?”

            “I’ll call you right back” he said as he hung up. I had a strong suspicion he would call back to say it was either cleaned in a Texas dry cleaner or it would document the garment as a pale blue silk chiffon evening gown.

            While I waited on the attorney to call back, I read the Thursday edition of the Island Breeze. Normally on this day the big story would be the annual Crab Festival with photos of kids being carried around on the shoulders of their daddies and eating cotton candy, people eating smoked turkey legs or king crab legs, and folks racing either in the survival suit races or the Pyramid Mountain run. There would also be the more solemn images of the fisherman memorial honoring those lost at sea.

            This year’s front page was not typical; the Crab Festival shared the front page with a story of the three missing women. According to the paper, this was unprecedented except in the case of a lost or capsized boat. One comment even alluded to the possibility of a serial killer. I knew that was unlikely unless the killer was on Guy’s boat with Cecil. That thought trigged the horrible thought that maybe the police were holding Guy because they thought the cases were related. Just as I was starting to imagine the worst, the police trying to pin all three disappearances on Guy, the phone rang,

            “I have the information. The tag was from a dry cleaner in Texas and it listed a long, blue dress.” The attorney sounded surprised when I whooped it up over this news.

            “You see,” I said “this proves that Aunt Cecil didn’t intend to come back from that trip. She brought the dress!”

            “What dress?”

            “The Princess Diana dress! Now we need a copy of her will to prove it.”

            “I think you better slow down and explain.” I was so excited that I was leaving out the details the attorney needed to understand.

            I explained that according to the grapevine, Cecil had purchased a Princess Diana gown and that it was in her will that she was to be buried in it. I also explained her medical history, as I knew it, to bring him to my belief that Aunt Cecil didn’t want to face a slow death so she choose to exit her life by jumping off Guy’s boat.

I shared that I also did internet research and found that she could not have purchased any of the gowns at the original auction and all the secondary sales were accounted for except for one sold on eBay – a pale blue silk gown sold by an owner in Texas.

Between the relief and the pain killers, I should have slept well that night.


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