This Week's Ten Word Challenge will be: handy, operation, gratitude, parallel bars, the color purple, manic depressive, Puget Sound, fragmentary, perpetual motion, secretive
Mini Challenge: sympathetic, filet of sole, mysterious stranger, elephantine, music
As always I'm too lazy to do more than the Mega.
The Puget Sound B & B, so inappropriately named, was turning out to be a great weekend retreat for the McCools and Sgt Johnson and Van. The owners had moved from the shore of Washington state and named the famous old southern mansion after their previous local as a joke and also a statement; the couples state of mind being somewhat maniac depressive after the move and remodel.
While the B & B had many handy references to the local history and attractions, it also was filled with nautical art reflecting the owner's origins. After a relaxing day by the pool, some great southern cooking at a local eatery where Thomas showed his companions the beauty of a "plate lunch", and an extraordinary dinner in Atlanta of fillet of sole and a delicious wine, the couples came back for some time to just sit and catch up.
Van and Jean took fuzzy navels down to poolside and settled in while the boys occupied the veranda sipping whiskey and smoking cigars. Paul and Tom talked about how well the B & B's owners' handled their operation as they caught fragmentary bits of conversation from the ladies beside the pool. Paul expressed his and Van's gratitude for the McCools handling the accommodations, especially since it had been done (out of necessity) in such secretive fashion. Because the paparazzi were in perpetual motion looking for new angles on the "Alley Cat" murders it had been necessary for McCool to let his friend be the mysterious stranger in all arrangements made.
Just then the owners stopped by to tell the men that they would be showing the movie "The Color Purple" in the ballroom that evening if they wished to see it. The gentlemen demurred and called down to the ladies to see if they were interested. "I guess we're sitting this one out" McCool replied. "But thanks for asking" he finished. "No problem" Harvey (the husband and co-owner) replied. As he walked away, Johnson commented on the still huge forearms of Harvey from his days as an Olympic hopeful on the parallel bars. "He's got to be close to sixty and still in good shape" the Sgt observed. "Yea, he stays that way from lifting the elephantine furniture when he and Ruth clean the public rooms" McCool said in his most sympathetic voice. "I know I wouldn't want to lug that heavy old furniture around" he concluded.
Music drifted up from the pool as Tom and Paul got down to business. "OK Paul, I've read what the newspapers have to say, but you said something about eco-terrorists; how do they fit in?" "I'm not sure they do, but here is what the evidence tells me and why I need your help on this one" the Sgt replied.
The Sgt went on to tell McCool that the fingerprints on the murder weapon in Miami had been those of a supposedly dead or at least out of circulation eco-terrorist, Claude Debaucherie. The Frenchman was rumored to have perished in 2005 during a failed attempt at bombing an offshore oil rig in the North Sea. Now his prints were on the murder weapon of the "Alley Cat" murders case.
McCool recalled the career of the Claude and his tenuous ties to the green earth and ecology movements. What few had known of Claude was that he had trained with the French secret service in the 90s and was adept with weapons, especially bladed weapons. He could have filleted a trout or a person with ease. In Thomas's opinion it was not a stretch that Claude was the murderer, but a motive was pretty hard to come by.
What the infamous Claude "the butcher" Debaucherie and the now horribly deceased "Eminem" had in common was hard to figure.
"Claude was cruel and vicious, but his attacks were usually on property with people just being secondary" McCool stated. "And they were always about environmental issues" he added. "What do you suppose is the environmental connection here?" Thomas wondered. It was still early on the west coast. McCool had some connections our there with the environmental activist crowd. He picked up his Sat-phone and dialed the first number.