“Your dad served in Vietnam, Frankie, and while there he was wounded in action. He received the Purple Heart. When he got home, we both worked together on Jenkins Farm, so that meant neither one of us was rich. He wanted to get us something but he didn’t have the money to do it. He went down to Barrows hardware and had old Charlie engrave that medal he earned in Vietnam. That medal meant everything to me, so after I died I kept close tabs on where it went. Kevin Bradley couldn’t sell it to anyone, so I watched as he heaved it into the glove compartment of his old Chevy. He never got rid of the car, even though he has a new one now, and that car sits up behind the Bradley garage, out in the field,” Abbott Conway replied to the young man.
“I wonder how dad could get it without breaking the law,” Frank said and scratched his head.
“I don’t have the answer, son. The rest is now up to you.”
“I guess I better get going but I do have a question before I go.”
“Yesterday, when the four of us came in here, and last week when my brother and I came in here, there was a voice that said something to us. Was that a tape recorder or something?”
“I was trying to scare you boys off. That was my voice disguised as someone else. And another thing, remember that glass you two broke trying to get out of here?”
“Yeah, the one that fixed itself after we got off the porch. I remember that alright.”
“That was me doing a little hocus pocus. It seems I do have a few powers that I didn’t have when I was alive. That scared ya did it?”
“Well kinda, yeah. We couldn’t get back to the boat fast enough. I’ve got to go. If I find out anything I’ll come back here and let you know.”
Frank heads down the stairs and was careful not to step on the second step. He jumped over it and headed for the door.
When Frank got home his dad was still at work, but his brother was around and could see that Frank was busy thinking.
“What’s up Frank?” Johnny asked as he sat down on the front steps with his brother.
“You don’t want to ask me that right now.”
“Did you go back to the Conway house, like you said you was gonna?”
“Uh-huh, I did and I learned a lot too.”
“Well did you see the ghost?”
“Yes I saw him and even talked to him.”
“And you’re still alive?”
“Duh…! I’m here ain’t I?”
Frank spent the next hour telling his brother about the events of the morning.
When his father came home, around fifve-fifteen that afternoon, Frank approached him as he got out of the car.
“Dad, can we have a talk, just you and I?” Frank asked as he neared the car.
“What did you do wrong now, Frank?” His father asked with a slight chuckle and placed his right hand on his shoulder.
“I didn’t do anything wrong, sir. Well, that’s not exactly true either. Can we go somewhere and sit down?”
“I’ll let mom know I’m home and then I’ll meet you out by the picnic table, okay?”
“I’ll be there, dad.”
Ten minutes later, with a fresh cup of coffee in his hand, Frank’s father heads out to the picnic table.
“Okay, son, now what’s on your mind?” His father asked as he took a seat.
“I know I’m going to get a scolding for what I did, but please wait until I’m done before you go and do it.”
“I can do that. Go on! He said and took a sip of his hot coffee.
Frank told him about all three trips he and the others took to the Conway house, including seeing his father’s friend’s ghost.
“Wow, where do I begin? I’ll hold off scolding you, for the moment, but I’ve got some questions I need answered young man.”
“I knew you would. Fire away!”
“How are you so sure he’s the ghost of Abbott Conway?” he asked and lifted the coffee cup to his lips.
“Does the name Abbott Constatine Conway mean anything to you?”
Barry Devers froze and the coffee cup dropped from his hand as if he’d just seen the ghost of Abbott Conway himself. “I’m the only one he told that name to, Frank. Was there anything else?”
“When you were going to be the best man at his wedding, you had your Vietnam Purple Heart engraved that you gave them as your gift for their wedding, right?”
“The only ones who knew that were Mona and Abbott Conway. Your mom and I weren’t married yet. Okay, so you’re not lying to me. What else did he say?”
Frank goes on to tell his father the rest of the story.
By six o’clock they both headed into the house for dinner but a lot weighed on Barry Dever’s mind.
“Is something bothering you honey?” Thelma Devers asked as she took a bite of her meal.
“I’ll tell you about it later, love. I’ve got to call the Sheriff and get him to come over here somehow.” Barry left the table and went to the hall phone. After looking up the number He dialed the Sheriff’s house.
“Hello!” Came a quick response after just one ring.
“Terry! This is Barry Devers. Is Chad at home?”
“One second, Barry,” she replied and went to get her husband.
A moment later, “This is Sheriff Connors, Barry. What can I do for you?”
“Chad! I need you to come over here at your earliest convenience. I’ve got information about a twenty-five year old unsolved murder case in our town.”
“That goes back before I became Sheriff here, Barry. That means it just has to be the Abbott Conway murder on Cabot Road. I’ll be there in twenty minutes,” the Sheriff replied and hung the phone up immediately.
As Barry entered the kitchen, he said, “Don’t you go anywhere, son. Sheriff Connors is on his way here.”
“What’s up, Barry?” His wife asked and ran her hands through her hair in a nervous manner.
“Frank came across some information that can clean up the murder of my dear friend Abbott Conway. He died almost twenty-five years ago when someone beat the daylights out of him.”
“How did you get that information, Frankie?” His mother asked.
“Let’s just say I did some snooping around where I didn’t belong,” Frank replied.
“I figured that much. Is he in any trouble, dear?”
“Not at the moment. If he’s right and I have no reason to disbelieve him, four men willl stand trial for the death of my dear friend.”
Five minutes later, with no lights or sirens, Sheriff Connors pulled in behind Barry’s car.
Barry met the Sheriff as he approached the porch.
“I stopped by the station and pulled the file on the Conway case. Let’s go inside and hear what you have to say,” the Sheriff said and followed Barry into the house. Barry led him into the kitchen and the Sheriff grabbed a seat across from Frankie.
“Are you sure you want your son to hear this, Barry?” The Sheriff asked as he opened the Conway file.
“It’s my son you have to listen to, Sheriff. I might add that you please listen to everything he has to say before you comment, okay?”
“I came here to listen to a what, sixteen year old boy who wasn’t even born when this guy Conway was murdered? Are you serious?”
“I’m serious, Chad. Please here what he has to say, all of it.”
“Okay Frankie, this better be darned good.”
For the next hour Frankie rehashes the events of his three trips to the Conway house and he left nothing out.
“If I go to the D.A. with this they’ll be seeking my early retirement, Barry. How the hell am I going to explain that the information came from a ghost, and that is in fact if it did. Even talking about it gives me the creeps.”
“It’s true, Sheriff, every bit of it, I swear,” Frankie insisted.
“Let’s just say you’re telling me the truth, son, I don’t have a single shred of evidence to even obtain a search warrant, let alone arrest these four men.”
“I’m just telling you what Mr. Conway told me and my dad backed up everything I said,” Frankie admitted.
“I have an idea, Sheriff,” Barry said.
“I’m game! What’s your idea?”
To Be Continued.......