Land ...Part 49 ...Colouring Outside the Lines

Happiness: a sunny day and somewhere to go...
Just wish we weren't tracking a murderer.

Pier 5 - West Harbour

Tracking a serial killer is usually a tawdry business taking you through seedy bars and the seamier side of society.

But Ella and I were going sailing while keeping an eye on Brock Ferguson's yacht. Seemed incongruous.

Was he our guy? It looked doubtful but I made up my mind to follow wherever the evidence took me.

The sky was magnificent filled with billowing clouds performing a graceful adage above us.

"They look like girls in white dresses," Ella said, scrying the sky.

"I saw Swan Lake once―it's the same kind of enchantment."

She looked at me curiously, "I didn't figure you for attending the ballet. You do get around don't you?"

"I smiled. "It was one time. I didn't mind it."

"Curious," was all she said.

We walked along the pier until we came to Hull's Marina and were greeted by Ted, Jeb Hull's assistant who was working on the same outboard motor as from the day before.

"Your boat's moored at slip 9 and I looked it over―everything's good and ready to go."

"Thanks, Ted, looks like a good day for sailing."

"Should be fine. Keep an eye out for the big yachts on the lake―there's some kind of regatta. It's really just an excuse for the wealthy to parade their boats and have a luncheon at the yacht club."

"We'll try not to get in their way,"I laughed.

"Yeah, well I'd stay clear of one yacht―the Empire. It's owned by Brock Ferguson and he doesn't like to share the harbour."

"I'll keep that in mind."

We climbed aboard our boat and cast off. I carefully powered away from the dock until we were in open water.

Then, I cut the motor and let it drift so we could take in our surroundings.

Ella lay back in the boat and stared up at the clouds. "I thought you were going to question Ted when he brought up Brock Ferguson's name."

"I wanted to probe him for info but thought better of it. Maybe if we do this a couple of times and get to know Ted, it'll seem more natural."

"You are a cop," she laughed, "me, I would have been all over that topic the minute he mentioned Ferguson's name."

"Yeah, well it could have been a ploy."

Her eyes grew huge. "You think Ted's a plant?

"Naw, not really. I just don't want to arouse suspicion until I know specifically what information I'm after."

I was about to unfurl the sail when suddenly a large yacht began powering toward us.

"Does that yacht know we're here?" asked Ella, alarmed.

"I'm not sure," I replied, "but I'm not taking any chances."

I fired up the motor and steered the boat back to shallower waters. Five short blasts of the yacht's horn protested the owner's displeasure.

Ella looked shaken. "What do those signals mean, Scott?

"Generally, five short blasts mean danger, but whoever's on that yacht is saying they don't agree with our intentions or I'm being a bellend―take your pick."

"Did you do anything wrong?"

"No but I'd like to get a look at that boat's name or registration," I said, straining against the glare from off the lake in an attempt to read the lettering.

"Here," said Ella, handing me her phone.

"What's this for?" I asked. puzzled.

"I took a photo as it went by―maybe you can enlarge it."

I shook my head, chagrined she had the presence of mind to act quickly. Sure enough the lettering on the side of the yacht identified it as The Empire.

"That Brock Ferguson is such a controller!" Ella fumed.

"Either that, or he knew it was me and decided to run me over."

The fear in Ella's eyes made me regret that statement.

I patted her arm to reassure her. "I think we should head back to the pier and tell Ted there's too much traffic today on the harbour."

"Good idea," she muttered, "I don't want to risk him coming by again to finish what he started."

I was disappointed to have to pack it in before we really got sailing, but in a way I was glad―the incident provided me a pretext for asking Ted more details about the yacht's owner.

Maybe Ferguson was one of those men who couldn't manage to keep a low profile and if that were the case it would play into my hands and help me uncover his bad behaviour.

Wouldn't it be ironic and fitting if Ferguson's own actions betrayed his guilt? That possibility reminded me of Hamlet's words when investigating his father's murder, "For murder, though it have no tongue, will speak With most miraculous organ."

I couldn't have framed it better.

To be continued…

© 2021, John J Geddes. All rights reserved

Photo by @countrygirl

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