The Id and The Odyssey; Episode 67
“There’s a skeleton on the beach.”
“What!” Rudy said.
“A skeleton,” Rich said, “human.”
“Oh my god!” Betsy said.
“Stay with Betsy and I’ll row in and get some shots,” Rich said. “And when I come back you should have a lead paragraph.”
Rudy and Rich lowered the dingy into the water and Rich climbed into it.
Rudy shoved the dingy off and said, “Gee, Jimmy, how did you see that? Have you been sneaking my kryptonite?”
Rich pulled on the oars. “We got a radio. We’ll call the story into Sam and it will be ready for tomorrow’s edition.”
Rich rowed for about fifty yards and jumped out of the dingy and splashed up to the shore. The skeleton was unclothed with the cloths laying under the head. Beneath the skeleton was a blanket. Rich stood ten feet from it and took photographs from every possible angle. He searched around the beech and used a branch to cover his footprints. He wanted the police to think that he only snapped pictures and didn’t investigated.
There were two empty bottles of wine in the grass. Rich saw something white beneath a rock. He lifted the rock and there was a piece of paper. It was a pencil sketch of a man, probably the victim - Peggy’s lover. On the bottom right hand corner of the sketch was a signature, Peg. Rich folded it and tucked it in his pant’s pocket. He walked back toward the dingy and stopped where he believed Peggy’s easel stood. A paint brush was in the sand. He left it there and rowed back to The Odyssey.
“Let’s go below and talk,” Rich said. He cupped his hand to Rudy‘s ear and whispered, “I removed evidence.”
“You what!” Rudy said.
Rich ducked below and Betsy stood by helplessly.
“Stay on deck,” Rudy said to Betsy. “You can’t hear anything we’re talking about. That way you aren’t involved.”
Rich and Rudy went below. Rudy shut the cabin door and sat across from Rich.
“Why did you remove evidence?” Rudy said furiously. “What was it the murder weapon!”
“It’s a sketch of the dead guy by a friend of Sam’s and Katie’s,” Rich said, “and a friend of mine.”
“Who?” Rudy ask.
“Peggy, the artist out near Port Clyde,” Rich said.
Rudy slammed his fist on his knee. “This stuff is done in the movies. You have to put it back and wipe your prints from it.”
Rich told Rudy how he found out about the affair last summer. “She’s an adulterer not a murderer. She is not involved. I just know it.”
“But that’s not for us to decide,” Rudy said. “We report, not create. Sam will hang you by your nuts. That’s one of the first rules of journalism. You can’t allow friendships, or your emotions get in the way”
“Okay,” Rich said, “so I’m a lousy journalist. If we don’t let friendships and emotions get in the way we aren’t human either. Journalists do it all the time. We also have instincts and judgment.”
“You could go to jail for this,” Rudy said. “and think about the reputation of Sam and The Beacon.”
“There’s one of her paint brushes on the shore,” Rich said. “That will lead the police to her, but won’t tie the two together.”
“Sure it will,” Rudy said with a painful look on his face.
“It will prove she was their not when she was their,” Rich said.
He gave Rich a glancing look. “You read too many crime novels.”
They called the police on the short wave radio and then called Sam feeding him the story.
The police were there shortly in a single engine plane that landed on the water and taxied up to the beach. After the police conducted a brief preliminary investigation Rich and Rudy asked questions as if reporters who knew nothing.
The story was ran the next day and Rudy let Rich have the byline.