“This is not the first time I’ve helped the police solve a murder case because of a ghost.”
“Do me a favor, Chief, and call Sheriff Connors in Hubbardston. Ask him if he knows a Frank Devers and ask him to tell you about the Abbott Conway murder from twenty-five years ago.”
“You’re serious, aren’t you?”
“One second,” Chief Talbot said and picked up the phone. He depressed a button, and then said, “Carla! Get a hold of a Sheriff Connors in Hubbardston. Let me know when you have him on the line.” While he waited, he looked at Frank, and said, “If what you say is true, young man, I still have a lot of legal problems to solve to get that tape into my possession.”
The phone rang and Chief Talbot picked up the receiver.
“I’ve got Sheriff Connors on line one, Chief,” Carla Simonds said.
“Thanks Carla,” he said and pushed the button for line one. “Is this Sheriff Connors?”
“I’m Sheriff Connors. Who’s this?” Sheriff Connors replied.
“This is Chief Talbot, in Dawson Lake. I’ve got a question for you, Sheriff.”
“Do you know a teenager by the name of Frank Devers?”
“I should say I do. If it weren’t for him I’d still have a twenty-five year old unsolved murder on my files. How do you know Frankie?”
“He just told me some wild story about a ghost who helped him solve it.”
“You better believe him, because it’s true. What’s this all about, anyways?”
“I’ve got him in my office right now with another wild story about seeing the ghost of a man who was murdered six years ago, and that case is unsolved. I laughed at the lad because the ghost supposedly gave him the name of the man who murdered him and also where the evidence is that could put him behind bars.”
“If Frankie told you that, Chief, I’d take it to the bank as being correct no matter how far-fetched the story sounds.”
“And I’m supposed to go to the D.A. with a ghost’s story as my only evidence?”
“I felt the same way. There’s something about that Devers boy. He’s either a clairvoyant, or something, but don’t take what he says lightly. He’ll make one helluva cop when he grows up.”
“Thanks, Sheriff, I owe you one.” Chief Talbot hung the phone up and looked Frank straight in the eyes, and said, “Okay, young man, so you’re telling me the truth. It’s going to take me a while to get used to the idea that we’re trying to solve this case with the help of a ghost. Where are you staying?”
“I’m staying at the Richard’s cottage up on Collins Road.”
“I know the place. Are you going to be there later today?”
“From about supper on, yeah...!”
“Do your parents know anything about this?”
“Not yet! Why?”
“You better tell them what’s going on. That way, when I show up, they won’t be scared out of their wits.”
“What do you plan to do?”
“I don’t even know at the moment. Everything’s got to be done by the books or the case could be thrown out of court.”
“Can I go now, sir?”
“Yes and thank you.”
As Frank left the office, Chief Talbot picked up the phone and punched the number for the outer office. “Carla! Get the D.A. on the phone. If Jan is not available then patch me through to the assistant D.A. Laurie Goodwyn.”
“Yes sir,” Carla replied and she set about the task.
Moments later the phone rang in the Chief’s office and he was quick to answer it.
“I have the assistant D.A. on line three, Chief,” Carla said.
“Thank you,” he replied and pushed the button for line three. “Miss Goodwyn, this is Chief Talbot at Dawson Lake.”
“What can I do for you, Chief?” She asked bluntly.”
“I’ve got a situation here at the lake and I need some help and advice. I’d prefer we meet and not discuss this over the phone.”
“What kind of a case?”
“A six year old murder and we might not get another shot at solving it.”
“How soon can you meet me at the courthouse?”
“I can be there by noon.”
“I’ll see you by the front of the courthouse at noon.”
Frank returned to the cottage and Johnny was at the dock when he pulled in. “How’d you make out?” His brother asked as he tied the boat up to the dock.
“The one thing I didn’t want to do was to tell dad and mom, but that’s what I have to do. You stay here. I want to do this alone,” Frank insisted and headed for the house
“Have fun,” Johnny chided sarcastically.
Frank went inside and both parents were watching the television. “Can I talk to you both, please?” Frank asked as he grabbed a seat at the table.
Frank’s father knew the tone of his son’s voice, as he remembered it from when he was told about Abbott. “You did it again, didn’t you?” His father asked as he got up from the couch.
“For some reason this gift I’ve got just happens, dad.”
“Let’s sit down at the table son.”
His parents joined him at the table and Frank explained everything to them.
“It seems as though the Police will be taking it from here, Frank. You did the right thing by going to them,” his father admitted.
“I’m just doing what Chief Talbot told me to do, dad, and that was to tell you two. If he comes by this afternoon you won’t have to get nervous or upset.”
“He’s a smart cop. What are your plans now?” His mother asked.
“I’d really like to go and see Simon. He’s got nobody but Cap to talk to. I told the Chief I’d be here after five.”
“Make sure you do come back here in case he shows up, his dad added and stood up at the table.
As Frank reached the dock, Johnny asked, “Where are you going now?”
“To see Simon, are you coming?”
Johnny reeled in his line and left it on the dock. He untied the boat and climbed in/ Frank started the motor and they were off to see Simon.
Chief Talbot reached the courthouse almost fifteen minutes early and waited outside for the assistant D.A. Ten minutes later he gets a tap on the shoulder.
“Are you expecting someone, Chief?” Laura asked with a smile.
“Yeah, you…! Have you eaten lunch yet, Miss Goodwyn?”
“Not yet I haven’t. Are you buying?”
“I just need you sitting down when I tell you what I’ve got. Let’s go and have lunch and we can discuss this, okay?”
“Okay, but this sounds more serious than you let on over the phone.”
“Let’s go in my car,” the Chief said as they headed that direction.
Once the two are situated in the restaurant, with their meals ordered, she asked, “Okay, so what’s this all about?”
Chief Talbot gave her a detailed report including his conversation with the Sheriff in Hubbardston.
“I’m an assistant D.A., Chief, and you expect me to believe this?”
“I really don’t have any choice, Laura.”
“Then what’s your next move?”
“I can’t get a search warrant because I don’t have enough evidence to get one.”
“I agree, but you didn’t come all the way down here just to tell me that.”
“No I didn’t. I do have a plan, but I need your input and legal advice.”
“I’m listening,” she said as their meal arrived.
Chief Talbot explained his plan, in every aspect and detail.
“Wow! Believe it or not, this plan sounds plausible, however, if he really is a murder than we are risking the life of a female officer. You can’t wire her in case he gets frisky, and after a few drinks he may just be that.”
“We could place a bug on her purse so we could hear every word. If he admits to murdering Desmond, then we have enough to break in there and arrest him. The warrant we could get later.”
“This better be by the book, Chief. No searching of the residence until that warrant arrives. Understood?”
“I understand! Do you want to be in on this?”
“I just need to be kept abreast of all the details. I’m the one who has to have a judge ready to sign the search warrant.”
When Chief Talbot returns to town, he heads straight to the Richard’s cottage. It’s almost six o’clock when he arrived outside the home. He walked around to the front of the house, facing the lake and knocked on the door.
“Good evening officer. What can I do for you?” Mr. Devers asked when he opened the door.
“Good evening. I’m Chief Talbot. Is Frankie home?”
“I’m right here, Chief,” Frank said and went through the door and onto the porch.
“I need you to get some information from that ghost friend of yours,” the Chief replied.
“What do you need, sir?”
“I need you to talk to Desmond and find out what bar Ken Haskell frequents.”
“I can’t tell you, son. You’re better off not knowing.”
“I won’t find out tonight, sir, but I’ll do it tomorrow,” Frank admits.
“If you can, son, bring that information to the station tomorrow, or call the station and ask for me.”