Here’s the thing…
Every time I close my eyes, I see something different.
I’d like to think the cinema of my dreams is playing a double feature but it’s a bit like a comedy cartoon night on Fox.
But these dreams are nothing to laugh about.
Once again there’s a new installment of an old feature, and we’re back on the treasure hunt.
Here’s the thing. Should I tell Boggs about the Ormiston’s?
Should I tell him that there was more than one lake?
Should I wait until I’d looked at the information that had been stored away? From the way Gwen was talking, no one had looked at Ormiston’s papers since the day they were deposited in the library, except perhaps Gwen herself.
And it helped that Gwen would not give any meaningful assistance to Alex Benderby or any of his cohorts. It seemed all she had given them was the briefest outline of the Ormiston story. She obviously didn’t mention that Ormiston had left anything behind.
Two tasks that I added to a list were, firstly, to start looking at old newspaper archives in the area for anything on Ormiston’s fruitless searches for the treasure, and find out, if possible, whether he works with a map of any sort. Nadia had mentioned the possibility of the pirate captain keeping a journal. Had he seen it, even owned it one time?
There was also the impression that Boggs’ father was not the only one involved with searching for the treasure. He had a map and it looked quite old. Was it possible it had been handed down from father to son, and just to take it a little further, had Ormiston and Boggs’ grandfather been rivals or cohorts? Indeed, a question for Boggs when I saw him.
Secondly, I would have to go around the various churches in the county and see what I could find about Ormiston’s relations. I would not be the only one, Alex would have people out there now doing just that. Whilst that information would be available at the County’s capital, but I knew from experience when I was looking into my own family’s history, getting information out of them was costly and time-consuming.
That was for my own family. Looking for someone else would, no doubt, be might in impossible, considering privacy regulations. There was more chance of gleaning information from tombstones in church graveyards the getting it from the local government.
It was a thought consuming exercise, considering everything after just a short talk with Gwen, and, about to cross a road to retrieve my bicycle, two things happened. The first, I was nearly run over and had only a blaring horn scaring me half to death as a timely warning, and second, the chance sighting of what looked like a man following me. He thought he’d managed to duck out of the way quick enough, but he hadn’t. It was the red check shirt that gave him away. Perhaps if he had been dressed more conservatively, I might have missed him.
I should have remembered that Alex wanted both me and Boggs followed.
Now he would know I went to the library, and if anyone asked, I hoped Gwen would not give away what we had been talking about.
It brought up another moment, one that sent a shudder through me. Had he seen me come and go to Nadia? I hadn’t seen anyone, and I was careful in both coming and going.
Now I would have to be even more careful.
As I checked before crossing the road towards the bicycle rack, I saw the man again, not exactly trying to hide the fact he was following me. At least I now had an advantage.
I delayed the arrival home until I knew my mother would have left for work. I’d worry about explaining myself to her later.
Boggs was waiting for me, sitting on the front steps to the house, absorbed by a new game on his phone. He looked up as I dropped my bike on the ground. I’d need it soon to go to work, and it was easier just to leave it outside the front door.
He had as combative look on his face, the sort he wore when things weren’t going his way. I was not sure if there was anything more I could have done for him. For a few years now, I had tried to be the best friend I could, and in the circumstances, I tried to be there for him. It was not as if I didn’t share his situation also being without a father, but the way in which we lost him was not the same as Boggs.
Perhaps in the last few days, or weeks, I’d changed a little, getting a job, whereas Boggs had no interest in doing so, and interacting with more and different people. Even just being with Nadia, even though it was a very bad idea, made a difference.
It was time that Boggs grew up and started taking some responsibility. It was just a case of I not wanting to be the one to tell him. So, in the meantime, I would just have to tolerate his attitude.
“What was more important than going to check on the other river.”
He decided to tackle me head-on. The truth is I forgot we were supposed to be going there this morning. It would not have happened if I hadn’t stayed with Nadia, but I wasn’t going to be able to use her as an excuse.
I decided to be nice and deflect his implied criticism. “Hello, and how are you?”
“Yada, yada. Now that you have a job, we have only a few hours every day to get stuff done. I could do this on my own, but I thought you would like to be included. In fact, you said that you needed something to liven up what was a very dull existence.”
I had, but that was before I got the job.
“Maybe you should try and get a job too. I’m sure that the treasure is not likely to be going anywhere.”
“You can’t be sure that Benderby or the Cossatino’s are not hot on the trail right now. Unless you saw something last night to the contrary.”
I was hoping he wouldn’t bring that up. No such luck. “Alex is going around in circles, and I’m not sure what the Cossatino’s think because they originally came up with the idea of selling fake maps which means they have no real idea where it is, a fact you told me.”
“Be that as it may for the Cossatino’s, but Alex is no fool.”
“Alex is a fool, Boggs. He was a fool as school, and just little more than a thug in a suit now. And like the people he hangs out with, and like Vince, if you look closely, they all lack the acumen of their fathers, and they are not necessarily running point for their families, I suspect neither Alex nor Vince had told their respective fathers of what they’re up to.”
That mollified him a little, but he was still looking combative.
“We still should be concentrating our efforts.”
“Well in that respect I have been doing some digging. What do you know about a man called Ormiston?”
It was like the sun just went behind a cloud.
© Charles Heath 2020