Finally Paul came to the cabin. “Erika said you wanted to see me,” said Paul. “I have been trying for a while to talk with you,” I said, “but you seem to be avoiding me.” “Well, there is a lot to do around here,” he said, “and not a lot of helpers.” “Maybe you should try to hire those 4 young men,” I said. “Those guys are the laziest I have ever seen,” he grumbled, “they barely come out of their cabin.”
“I have noticed that as well,” I said, “they do seem a bit strange, and they do not talk much either. Now, what is going on around here? You know more than you are telling us, and that is not good. Your brother in law is killed, your niece almost killed and you do not seem to be very upset by all this. I would think you should be wanting to give us as much info as possible.” His eyes got quite big when I mentioned his brother in law and niece.
“How did you know?”, he exclaimed. “It is right here in this photo album,” I said. “Hey, that is not supposed to leave the main lodge,” he said angrily. “Hey, I am a PI, if you will not help me, then I will find info some other way,” I said. “I am busy,” he grumbled and got up to leave, but Kristina stood in front of the door. “Now what?”, he asked, “are you going to keep me a prisoner?” “No, you can leave any time you want,” I said, “after we are finished talking, so sit down again please.”
He did so rather reluctantly. “Now, about Hermit Pete,” I said. “I do not know anything about him, not even where he lives,” said Paul. “Well, you know that Hermit Pete died a long time ago and someone is pretending to be him now,” I said, “Hermit Pete is in the photo album too.” “Well if you already know these things,” he said, “why keep asking me?” “To see what your answers will be,” I said, “because I think you are hiding something.”
Just then Jim, Erika’s husband showed up and told Paul his wife wants him. “May I?”, he asked me. “By all means,” I said. He then left with Jim. Muffin ran out the door behind them. “That was just too much of a coincidence,” said Jennifer. “That is for sure,” agreed Kristina. “Yep, I think he had a listening device on him,” I said, “and someone wanted him out before he talked too much.” “I wonder if he will be the next one dead?”, asked Jenny.
“I do not think so,” I said, “it would seem that Q does not know what this secret is, or at least does not know where it is. So they need Paul and Beth to help find it, through us.” After a while Muffin comes back meowing at the door so Kristina lets her come in. “Well, what did you find out PI Muffin?”, she asked. Meow,meow.=Find out something interesting, me think. “What is that Muffin?”, I asked her. Meow,meow.=When human Paul owner go into lodge with other man, young men come out and say they going over to parents cabin for a while.
“Well, well,” I said, “things are starting to fall into place. Those young guys are trying to act like they are not related, no wonder they do not say much, or come out much.” “But what can they be doing all day in that cabin?”, asked Kristina. “Making plans for recovering whatever this secret thing is,” I said, “which would mean those people know what it is and just have to figure out how to retrieve it without being seen.” “So it must be quite valuable,” said Jennifer.
Then there was a lot of noise outside as our girls came back…carrying Salka. We all went outside to find out Salka had been killed. Paul allowed us to use their old cold storage building to put Salka’s body. After dinner we went back to our cabins and after taking my usual army of pills, we were off to sleep. All but me that is, so I went down to the sitting area and lay on the sofa.
“Are you sleeping Steve?”, asked a voice. “What? Oh, yeah, guess I did fall asleep,” I said to Kat, ” how about you, not able to sleep?” “No,” she said, “I am scared and want to go home. Please, take me out of here, I know you are scared too.” “Yes, yes, I guess I am scared,” I admitted, “I do not know why though.” “We need to get away while we can,” she said, “in the morning tell everyone we are leaving just as soon as we can get out of here.
Tell them you are scared, very scared, and want to leave.” “Yes, I am scared, very scared,” I said, “I do want to leave.” “Good,” she said, “now, when I snap my fingers, count to one hundred, then yell and scream. You will forget our conversation.” Then she snapped her fingers and left. At one hundred I began yelling loudly and everyone came running downstairs, guns out!
To Be Continued.
©2022 Steve McLeod.