The Id and The Odyssey; Episode 70
The Skeleton's Name
It was late afternoon by the time they docked at Rockland harbor.
Rich immediately found a phone booth and called Dennis’s and Peggy’s home. Rich chatted a few minutes with Dennis, telling him he just wondered why he hadn’t seen them around town. Dennis mentioned all the time and planning that Peggy’s showings were taking. In the course of the conversation Dennis mentioned Peggy was in town shopping for new luggage.
As soon as Rich hung up he drove down Main Street. He found Peggy on Main Street loading the new luggage in the trunk of her car. Stopping in traffic Rich pulled next to her.
“Meet me at the park outside of town,” Rich said and drove to the park.
Rich parked in the park and within a minute Peggy pulled beside him. Rich jumped in the front seat of Peggy’s car.
She smiled nervously. “What is this about?”
“You are linked to the dead man on the beach,” Rich said, “the one in the paper.”
She stared at the harbor through the trees full of autumn leaves.
Rich laid his hand gently on Peggy’s shoulder. She slumped forward with her head against the stirring wheel and started sobbing. “Is it him?“
“I think so,” Rich said.
“I had nothing to do with it,” Peggy said. “I broke it off with him the day we talked at the lighthouse.”
“Look,” Rich said. “I know you had nothing to do with it and so does the investigator, but he needs to talk to you. He will be on the 9:30 ferry to Vinalhaven tomorrow morning. You can talk to him on the ferry. Just tell him everything. He can keep you out of this.”
“How did he find out?” Peggy said.
“There was a sketch of the man found near the body,” Rich said.
She pulled her head up from the stirring wheel and looked at Rich with red tear soaked eyes. She appeared confused. “I sketched him over a year ago. The first summer we met.”
“Somebody else knows and they’re trying to implicate you,” Rich said. “That’s why you need to talk to Dave Smithson, he’s the investigator. He may be able to help.”
“I guess I have no choice,” she said reaching for a tissue in her purse.
“Something may help right now,” Rich said.
“What?” Peggy dabbed her eyes and blew her nose.
“What’s his name?”
“Gerald Dally,” she said. “He’s from Portland, but has a lobster boat on Monhegan Island. His accent is Boston, though.”
“Smithson will keep this quiet,” Rich said, “but cooperate with him, okay.”
“Okay,” she said forcing a smile and continued seriously. “Gerald was married; had two children. He loved art, but he really didn’t love me. It was excitement and a conquest for him. I don’t know what it was for me. He was exciting, spontaneous, and a little reckless. It was so unlike me to be attracted to him. Until he came along I never did anything exciting, spontaneous, or reckless. I’m a fool.”
Rich moved his hand from her shoulder. He gently touched her chin and turned her head toward him. “Do something foolish and being a fool are not the same. We all have our foolish times. This may be mine. If there’s anything I can do; I can’t turn my back on my friends. No matter what, you and Dennis will always be friends.”
Rich smiled and grabbed the door handle to leave. Peggy grabbed Rich’s arm and lunged against him wrapping her arms around his neck and began sobbing. “Dennis is so good to me. He doesn’t deserve this. This will kill him. I can’t keep it from him. I’m so sorry that you’re involved.”
Rich softly patted her on the back, “If I did not sail to the island that night I would still be involved. You are my friends. I could not help but get involved.”
“Be on the 9:30 to Vinalhaven. He’ll be the tall guy with a mustache and scar on his left cheek.” Rich kissed her on the forehead and left.
Rich reached a pay phone and after several calls caught up with Dave Smithson at the bank looking for repossessed boats.
“Dave Smithson,” Dave said.
“What’s up, Rich?” Dave said.
“The name is Gerald Dally,” Rich said. “He’s from Portland, but originally from Boston and has a boat on Monhegan Island.”
“Good job, Rich,” Dave said. “Will she meet me?”
“Yeah, she’ll meet you on the 9:30 to Vinalhaven,” Rich said.
“Thanks a lot,” Dave said. “I’ll keep you posted.”
“Exclusive,” Rich said.
“Exclusive,” Dave responded.