We stopped just before getting to the village. My leg was throbbing. The bullet had gone right through, just in the fleshy part of the leg, so no real damage, but…it sure hurt. Our medic looked at it again and he said it’s all okay, but I shouldn’t be giving it so much exercise so soon. Can’t do anything about that. There are no boats at the docks and no one walking around this tiny village. I don’t like that. But we went into the village, spread out a bit just in case. The store was open, but no one was there. Same with the few houses and a very small, and old, hotel. It’s like a ghost town, but with all the furniture, clothes, food left behind. While in the hotel checking it out, one of the men, named Benjamin got “stung”.
Actually it was a spider bite and medic Stan gave him a shot right away which should counteract the poison from the spider. Apparently it is a killer poison. Baldwin picked this guy to join us because of his knowledge of dangerous insects and spiders. We have to protect him. Just past the village was a trail that led to the insect man’s house. I knocked on the door but there was no answer. The door was open however so we went cautiously inside. The first room was obviously the man’s study, and that’s where we found him, dead, covered with those same deadly spiders. This was no accident. We got out quickly and I tossed a fire bomb into the house. It wasn’t long and the whole house was in flames.
Meanwhile we got out of there. Hopefully not many of those spiders left the house. Hopefully none did. I’m sure the one we found in the hotel was planted there. We still had time to get back to our hotel before dark, so off we went. I doubt our enemies would want those dangerous spiders and insects to get out either as it would be just as bad for them as it would be for us. It was nice to have a phone again, and we had a solar powered charger for the phones and other things. I called Baldwin to see if the helicopter made it back okay. It did. And Baldwin checked to make sure the doctor and staff were okay and he had guards at the rooms for Lena and Tom.
“I’m going to be straight with you Steve,” said Baldwin, “Lena was shot bad, in the chest next to her heart and in her stomach. It doesn’t look good. She’s in surgery right now.” “Thanks Baldwin,” I said kind of choked up, “keep me informed, let me know right away after her surgery.” “Maybe you should come back now,” he said. “No,” I said, “Lena wouldn’t want that, we need to catch these people. What about the guy who wanted to buy this place? And what about the real owners?”
“After the owners turned down his offer, he went and bought a different hotel,” said Baldwin, “I didn’t think he would be behind all that trouble. No one knows what happened to the original owners, but that wasn’t Jimmy and his daughter, she’s still at the university and she doesn’t know, or doesn’t want to tell, where her dad and grandparents are right now. But those two who died were also not part of the acting group.” Hmm, this is getting more interesting all the time. For now we have lost all our suspects and that’s not good.
“I have someone for you to check out for me,” I said to Baldwin, “her name is Katharina, she was from one of our past cases and was part of a big drug syndicate that we broke up. Everyone at the time was arrested, except her, but they figured it wouldn’t be long before they had her in custody. Considering what she did in that case, something like this would be just what she would like to do. I know she probably doesn’t like me too much for messing things up for her and her family.” Baldwin said he would check and now it was time for us to settle in for the night. We decided to use the owner’s suite, it was big enough for all of us, the guys just needed to bring in an extra bed. The cats checked the suite thoroughly, and the rest of us checked areas they couldn’t reach. We didn’t want any surprises.
To Be Continued.
©2021 Steve McLeod.