Chapter Three

On Board the Little Minnow

by Jean Darneal


Knotty and I are staring down at the scene below us as we hear Lieutenant Starboard utter, "Oh, my God, not another one."


Tears well up in my eyes. My mind is racing. Who is responsible? First, Flora found floating in the water. Now, Lucas, who was trying to tell us something important about Flora, yesterday. Something I didn't hear. What is happening?


As we stand there, we hear Johnny Starboard calling the SHPD dispatcher. “This is Lieutenant Johnny Starboard. I am at the Sloop Harbor Municipal Marina. You know where we had a dead female found floating yesterday. I've got an apparently dead male, approximately 70 or so years old, in his boat surrounded by blood from a head wound with his hands tied. We need and ambulance and forensics here as soon as possible. Boat's name is 'The Little Minnow' in slip #37."


Knotty and I can't hear the police dispatchers reply, only Starboard's acknowledgment, "10/4 and out."


"Woody," says Knotty looking a bit ashen, "what is the motive for this carnage? We have never experienced any tragedy like this before. True,  we have lost special members to accidents and illnesses over the 27 plus years of our club's history. But! But,  never to apparent murder."


I just shake my head and seek her hand to hold.


My mind is on overdrive. I am thinking about the partially consumed liquor bottle  we discovered in Flora's car.  Her erratic behavior that involved too many boats and cars,  And the angry exchanges of words between her  and the gals whose boats and cars suffered so much damage.


"It is all so confusing to me," I finally reply.


"Poor Lucas. How did he ever get involved in all of this? He was always such a friendly, helpful person. Oh, there they are" ... as the ambulance and police arrive.


Lieutenant Starboard tells us to wait nearby as the paramedics and police come on board the boat.


As we wait, Knotty and I share our thoughts. We are both still in  shock and disbelief.


Starboard returns to us and says, "Looks like we need to get all the ladies who were involved yesterday and discuss this. I am going to get in touch with your Captain, Skipper Bowline, and set this up. How do you both feel about this?"


Knotty replied, "I will help as much as I can." "Me, too", I chime in, "and I am sure you can count on the others, Sir."


"OK! then you two, I'll be seeing you soon. Thanks for your help. I realize this is very distressing for both of you. Don't worry.  We will do our best to resolve this as quickly as possible."


With that spoken, Starboard turns and heads back to those working on the boat.


Knotty and I agree to contact each other later in the day.


I head for my car and wonder... What is this craziness all about?


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