It was time for dinner after a brief nap and we were all ready to eat again. Seems like we have been doing a lot of that today. When the owner, Beth, brought our food, I showed her the note we had received earlier that day. “Oh, that is Adela,” said Beth, “she does that to all of our visitors, to scare them away. She thinks that tourists will destroy the tranquility of our little town. Her father is the mayor and he wants to bring more tourists, to help our town, or soon no one will be left here. So pay no attention to it, please.”
“Okay,” I said, “I didn’t think it really meant anything, thanks for explaining.” “That is my pleasure,” she said, “would you like some coffee?” “Oh yes, I sure would,” I answered enthusiastically. The others just laughed. The new family was already in the little dining room, but some other people soon joined us also. They must have come in while we napped. There was a young couple, probably mid twenties, and 3 men likely in their late 30’s. Those men were constantly talking and laughing. We couldn’t understand the language though so had no idea what they were talking about, but they never looked our way even once.
That young couple barely said a word, but she looked over our way quite a bit. Finally after they finished eating, they got up, he was obviously very upset and went back upstairs. She was behind him and tossed a note on our table as she passed. Jennifer was closest to it so she read it first, then handed it to me. “Please help me, I do not know this man, he is holding me prisoner. Kristina” Kat and Annelie also read the note. “Well, what should we do about that?”, asked Kat.
“Good question,” I said, “but we should probably let the police handle this one.” In a couple of minutes Beth came to clean off their table, just as another man came downstairs and joined the 3 other men. Suddenly their talking became quieter and there was no more laughing. Quite curious. I asked Beth about the police in this town. “We only have one police officer and he is on vacation for the next 2 weeks,” she answered. “What if there is a crime?”, asked Kat. “In this sleepy town?”, Beth said, “there hasn’t been any kind of crime here in nearly 30 years.” “Well,” Kat said to me, “now what?” “I guess we get involved,” I said to her.
Meanwhile, in some far off land…”Well, what have you found out about this man?”, asked the important looking man. “They are just some small time private investigators, on the surface anyway. But they have been involved in some large, important cases, drug cases mostly, even working with the police at times, though there is no record of them being members of any police force anywhere in the world,” said the second man. “So you are telling me that these people can spoil our plans in less than 24 hours, without anyone backing them in some major way?,” asked the first man, “that I find hard to believe.”
“True, and I am still checking on who they might be working with, or who is backing them,” said the second man, “but it is like their lives have been erased, like they do not exist. They just suddenly arrive to work on some case and then back home to their little lives again. But I have found out where they live, a large chateau in the east of France. But they are not home right now and I have not been able to find out where they are, it is like they have disappeared again. But, the large man is still at the chateau, I can have him killed now.”
“No, not yet,” said the first man, “perhaps he will lead you to the others. Wait for a while first and see.” “Okay, done,” said the second man, “oh, Baldwin seems to be a friend of the man we want, but it was not he that got this team started on us, but it was Stanton’s sister in law.” “You know what to do with her, and any family,” said the first man. “It’s done,” said the second man and off he went. Within an hour she and her husband were found dead in their backyard by a neighbor.
Now back to us. “Take M.C. with you,” I said to Annelie and Jennifer, “and check your room thoroughly.” Kat, Muffin and I checked our room and both rooms had listening devices and cameras installed. Those 4 men are not here for a vacation, neither is that young couple. Kat and I went to the young couples room, Muffin followed. I knocked on the door and the man slowly opened it. I could see he had a gun…
To Be Continued.
©2021 Steve McLeod.