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.
Charlene, and speaking to Boggs
She had been one of the few nice girls at school and we had got along better than most. Boggs had once told me she liked me but was disappointed I hadn’t noticed her. I suppose, back then, I didn’t recognize the signs, and even now, I was still all at sea with girls.
Was she Boggs’s girlfriend? If she was, it was the best-kept secret.
“Hello Charlene,” I said when she also looked up to see who had entered the room.
Before I could finish she interrupted, “I’m working in the sheriff’s office, and dad asked me to keep a watch over Boggs.”
“You don’t have to be in the room,” Boggs growled. “It’s not as if I’m going anywhere.”
It was hardly a conciliatory tone. And a mental note, Boggs was uncharacteristically angry. With her, or with me?
“My father asked me to do a job, so here I stay. It’s for your protection as much as anything else.” Then, to me, “how are you, Sam?”
“I understand you found him on the beach belonging to the Cossatino’s. Odd place to be, Sam, for you at least?”
“Nadia and I were searching the coastline for coins with metal detectors when we stumbled over a body. Thought at first it was a beached shark.”
Boggs turned his head back. “Whose idea was it?”
Curious response and I thought about telling him it was mine, but something told me to tell the truth. “Nadia. And before you ask, no, I don’t think she had any other idea in mind because as you and I both know, there’s no access from the ocean to the shore through the reef. That much I ascertained for myself, and that goes for the whole coastline of The Grove.”
If he had looked down from the top of the cliff face, at any point along the coastline he would have seen that for himself. But, that might not always have been the case because there were almost two centuries and a lot of seismic activity in between. I’d seen the big A, but no other evidence it might be the spot, but Boggs had been there, and it was likely he knew it a likely spot too.
He nodded, which meant he had checked himself, which gave him a reason for being at The Grove, but not finishing up where he’d landed. There was something else in his expression and had I not had the knowledge I had, I would have ignored it.
“Why look for coins then?”
“Something to do, I guess, since you’ve stopped asking me to help you. That and doing a little investigation on the side. I’m amazed at just how much information there is out there, and it’s a battle to sort fact from fiction. And I didn’t have the head start you have.”
“You do realize Nadia is a Cossatino. You can’t be consorting with the enemy.”
“I thought she was just someone to hang out with since we hadn’t hit it off at school. In case you didn’t notice, she hasn’t been around these parts for several years, going to Italy to get away from the family. But, I get it, she’s still a Cossatino, or so everyone keeps telling me, and not someone I should be associating with. You’re not the only one issuing dire warnings.”
“That’s your problem, Sam, you see the good in everyone, even if they’re bad.”
“Should I apply that theory to you. You don’t finish up unconscious on a beach where you’re not supposed to be. What happened?”
I could practically see the wheels turning while he formulated an excuse he thought I would buy, then said, “I slipped and fell, something that shouldn’t have happened?”
“Not unless you’d been seen and the Cossatino’s were either coming to get you or were chasing you?”
He didn’t answer perhaps knowing Charlene was there to get answers, but his expression told me it was close to the truth.
“No. Slipped, a fundamental error setting up. I was simply sloppy.”
“You were trespassing.”
“I was practicing my skills, and it’s the best rockface along the coast for exactly that. It’s not the first time I’ve tried.”
OK, we weren’t going to get past the ‘I was practicing mantra’, so I moved on to the next question, “Where have you been lately?”
“The caves in the hills, and trying a bit of climbing there, too.”
“You shouldn’t be doing it alone.”
“I wouldn’t have to if my so-called friend wasn’t cavorting with a snake.”
© Charles Heath 2020-2022