Did the clues lead to Africa or New Mexico?
November 24, 2013
A VG Serial: Dark Continent Continental
Captain Sullivan raked his hand over his gray-tipped flattop, then, he stood at almost military attention to speak to the four people assembled in his office. “Dave, Justy, I want to thank you both for apprehending these two fellow officers as they appeared to be trying to remove valuable office equipment from headquarters. Detectives Carlyle and Sherwood, step forward, please.” Angus and Skeeter each took a step forward. “Angus Carlyle and Skeeter Sherwood, you are both suspended from duty without pay until an internal investigation can be completed in this matter. I will need typed statements from all by the end of the day, and I anticipate the suspension and investigation to last two weeks. I am terribly backlogged with other cases, so I am sorry it will take so long to complete the internal investigation and accompanying paperwork. Your suspensions start at the end of the day and you four are all free to go now.”
* * *
“Unbelievable!” Angus exclaimed under his breath to Skeeter. “Plus it was sheer genius on Sullivan’s part!” He called across to her desk. “Look out Africa, here we come!”
Skeeter turned sideways in her chair and giggled. “I’m not completely ready for this, are you?”
“No. We have a lot to do. Arrange airline tickets—I guess we should go right to Kenya, but, where in Kenya and how?”
Skeeter answered. “Yeah, Kenya, but not to a real large city—something close to the largest clumping of Masai tribes. Quick research is in order. We will have to fly there from a southern European city, probably, then, arrange some other type of transportation from there.”
“The other type of transportation is going to be of the squirrelly variety…” Angus was interrupted when his phone rang. “Hello, Laroux. How are you doing? It sounds like you are making steady progress. Skeeter and I are getting ready to go to Equatorial Africa, Kenya—is there anything you want to tell us before we go? We are going to try to mosey on down to New Orleans, sometime when we get back. Very good! I am writing that down. Don’t worry about it. It will improve, I am betting on it. Wish us luck! We are going to need it—and thanks for the tip. This could lead to a big break.” Angus folded the note and put it in his pocket.
Skeeter was just getting off another phone at the same time. “Cooper has been in surgery for five hours. The whole surgical process could take twelve hours, they are telling me.”
Angus answered, “It’s a shame we couldn’t go—he needs the support, but he would want us to go on to Africa, under the circumstances. Okay, Skeeter. When we leave today to start our suspension, let’s go to the airport to buy our tickets to Europe somewhere, make a list of things we will need for traveling light, and go buy those items, and figure out what we are going to do for money exchanges. Travelers’ checks?”
“What did Laroux have to say?” Skeeter was most curious.
“It is foggy—she is emphasizing—but she does have one clear clue and here it is.” Angus retrieved the folded piece of paper from his pocket and unfolded it. “Here it is.”
Lab. It was short. It was sweet. Skeeter raised her eyebrows.
* * *
Dave wandered up and placed himself between Angus and Skeeter’s desks. He barely fit in the space. “I have something to tell you two criminals. It just came in over the wire.”
“And what would that be, Dave? Is there an APB out on me and Skeeter already?” Angus snorted.
“No, but I could arrange that, probably. What I am coming to tell you, and what you don’t want to know, is that they have found three more brainless bodies.”
Skeeter perked up and she and Angus both gave a long, hard stare at Dave until he coughed up what they wanted to know. They didn’t want to go to Africa if the brainless bodies were local.
Dave responded. “Taos, New Mexico.”
Chapters of Dark Continental by Sara Marie Hogg will be published on Saturday and Sunday.