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.
When I woke the next morning, it was to the sound of voices in the front of the house. One of the voices was my mothers. The other I had trouble placing, and I initially thought it was Benderby, calling in on the way to work.
When I threw on some clothes and came out, still a little bleary-eyed, I found it was the Sherriff. It seemed, all of a sudden, my mother had become the most popular girl in town.
The thing is, I knew little of the history of what went on in my mother’s time in a city where she had been born, raised, and remained. Married and divorced her high school sweetheart, there was talk of her being one of the popular girls at school, coincidentally the same school I went to, and there was evidence everywhere of her there.
I had not lived up to the family name.
Not that she expected me too, nor did she acknowledge those wild and hazy days where she had not been weighed down by a useless drunken husband, and struggle to pay the bills, hold onto the house, and both work and be a mother. Life had not gone the way she had expected.
But curiously those times were also those of Sherriff Johnson, in the same grade, along with Benderby, a few years ahead, and both Boggs’ mother and father who were contemporaries along with others including Nadia and Vince’s mother. They had been friends once until she married Cossatino and she ‘changed’.
Now they were an ocean apart on the social or any scale.
“Ah, Sam. How are you now?”
“Better. I’ll be more careful next time. Got any leads on who it was?”
“Ghosts. We have a few. Some of them are Cossatino’s, the others Benderby. Pity no one is willing to name names.”
“I didn’t see them, Sherriff. They wore masks.”
“Is there anything more about the Frobisher case?”
“You seem very interested in police matters Sam.”
“He was an antique dealer, according to the papers, and there’s a lot of talk going around about the infamous treasure maps and you can’t help but put two and two together. Especially when Rico is related to Boggs whose father was the one responsible for creating those treasure maps. You think Rico was trying to get some answers out of him?”
“Hardly the sort of thing that any sane man would kill for, don’t you think?”
I doubted he would tell me if he knew anything, but he had taken more interest in what I was saying. It was stuff he’d know, or at least should know, since he had been the one to investigate Boggs’ father’s disappearance.
“Who said Rico was sane. He was a terrifying sort of guy when he lost his temper which I’ve seen him do in front of Boggs. But you have to agree, Rico had to know about Boggs’ father’s role in creating the maps for the Cossatino’s.”
The sheriff shook his head.
“Those are not the sort of rumors you want to be spreading around town, not unless you want an army of Cossatino’s layers on your doorstep. They are just that, rumors. Nothing was ever proven, and there was no evidence that the Cossatino’s had anything to do with Boggs’ father’s disappearance.”
“Rico is a harmless fool who talks big and that’s all. He did his time for running a map scam that he claims was run by Boggs senior. No one could prove it so he copped it sweet. Now, he should know better. But I will say this, Frobisher was not here to see Rico, but Benderby. Benderby apparently had some old coins he’s scooped up off the ocean floor on a dive and thought they might be worth something. Frobisher took them to be assessed and valued but got no further than Rico’s boat. And the coins are now missing.”
“Sounds to me like there’s going to be another treasure hunt.”
There’d been another some years before fuelled by news an authentic treasure map had been found, showing the location of Captain Markaby’s plunder stashed away for another day somewhere on our shores.
It all ended with Boggs senior’s disappearance.
“It might, but we can only hope what happened to the father in the last one, doesn’t happen to the son in this one. It’s why I called in. Your mother tells me you have some influence on young Boggs. Please tell him to stop stirring the pot with this notion he has the real map. He doesn’t. No one does. The plain truth is, there isn’t one. Someone needs to get through to him before something really bad happens to him. He’s already had one close shave. I’ll deal with the Cossatino’s and the Benderby’s. I expect you to deal with Boggs. Am I clear?”
Put to me in that authoritarian voice, it was very clear. But to Boggs, it was going to be like a red rag to a bull.
I nodded and went back to my room.
How did I manage to get in the middle of this mess?
© Charles Heath 2019-2020