The Id and The Odyssey; Episode 69

Rich Clears His Conscience 

“I don’t know, but we’ll know it when we see it,” Rich said. “Let’s look along the grass line.” He pointed Dave to the right and Rich walked to the left. Rich removed the sketch from his pocket, bent down, and placed it under a rock with a corner sticking out. “I don’t see anything over here. You see anything?”
“No,” Dave said exasperated.
“Let’s switch places. Maybe a fresh set of eyes will uncover something.”
They switched places and continued searching.
“Oh my,” Dave said with phony surprise. “Look what I have found. It appears to be a clue.”
Rich walked back to him and Dave said, “You know who Peg is.”
“Yeah,” Rich said.
“Are there any other clues out here?” Dave said.
“There doesn’t appear to be,” Rich said.
They walked back toward the beach.
“You can get yourself into some serious trouble,” Dave said. “That’s tampering with evidence.”
“You don’t know when I got this,” Rich said. “I could have gotten it on a previous visit. Which a previous visit can be verified.”
Rich told him about being out to the island last summer and why. He also told him about the confrontation with Peggy at the lighthouse.
“I don’t think she’s a suspect,” Dave said. “Did you tell the husband about the affair.”
“No,” Rich said.
“It would take a pretty calloused person to frame a wife,” Dave said. “Is he that sort, do you think?”
“Dennis is small and almost frail. He’s a writer,” Rich said.
“I think this guy died in a struggle,” Dave said as they splashed back to the boat. He stopped. “By the way, are you sure there isn’t any more evidence?”
“Yes,” I said. “There is no more.”
“Anyway,” Dave continued. “He had a couple of cracked ribs too. He was a little over six feet and a wide frame. He was strong. I don’t think some sissy writer could have done that or a female artist.”
“Yeah everybody knows that all writers are sissies,” Rich said. “Like Hemingway.”
“I was thinking a long the lines of Capote,” Dave countered.
“The guy in the sketch was the guy on the beach?” Dave said. “Looks like the same height and build.”
“It could be, but I’m not certain,” Rich said. “It was moonlight and I was up there,” Rich pointed back to the rocks overlooking the beach. “The hair, though, that guy had a thick head of hair and he was built.”
“Anything else?” Dave asked.
“A lobster boat with red trim was anchored in the on the north side of the island,” Rich said.
“How long?” Dave asked.
“Forty foot at the most,” Rich said.
Dave got aboard the boat and Rich pushed it around to head it out.
Dave pushed the throttle to only quarter speed on the way back to Rockland Harbor. Dave stood at the helm deep in thought.
Rich stood beside and talked just above the hum of the engine.
“Are you going to talk to Peggy,” Rich asked.
“You know something,” Dave said. “It doesn’t bother me one bit to screw up people’s lives in an investigation, but I have found that if you walk delicately at first you get cooperation. You want cooperation through the whole thing, right up to and after the trial. It’s nothing more than decency and I expect that from myself and the same from the press, be decent.”
Rich reflected for a moment watching the boat push through the water. “Do you think I was decent keeping the information from the police.”
“First of all you kept nothing from the police,” Dave said. “You got that straight?”
“Yeah,” Rich said.
“I wanted you to go back out there and retrace your steps so I could make sure that you did not disturb anything and as a result I found further evidence,” Dave said. “That’s the story. That was a decent thing for you to do, all the way around.”
“Are you going to question Peggy?” Rich asked.
“I don’t even know who Peg is,” Dave said. “But when I find out I will question her without anybody knowing. If she isn’t decent than neither can I. It might be smart to inform someone to be decent.”
“Sure,” Rich said.

But for now I’m going to look for repossessed boats and recent transfers of title and it would help if I had a name,” Dave said. “Tell Peggy I’ll be on the 9:30 ferry to Vinalhaven tomorrow morning. We can talk there.”