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  • Discovery at Little Hog Island

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    Chapter 5, p 2 (27)

    *
    "I am not a detective," Dana snapped. "I am a kindergarten teacher, for God's sake, and a biology student. I don't even like detective books or movies. I don't even have a TV."

    "Goodness, Gracious, I'm sorry!" Dorothy said, taking a step backwards.

    Then, after a pause, she took a step forward again and looked Dana in the eye. "If you were a detective, you might not tell the truth about it it."

    "If I were a detective, what would I be looking for? What is the mystery? What are you all hiding? I came here to study terns and be on vacation. I wasn't looking for trouble, I was just curious. I'm still not looking for trouble. But I feel as if there is some trouble that you all don't want to have looked at, and I can't figure out what it is."

    "You are a detective." Dorothy said, flatly

    "Whatever." Dana replied. "Wait, who's paying me? If I'm going to be detecting something, shouldn't someone hire me, give me a retainer? I haven't seen any greenbacks yet."

    "Are you for sale?" Ross asked.

    "Listen, Bucky," Dana said, emphasizing the Bucky, "I need to work on my tern research. I have a lot to do if I want to get my research done before the end of the summer semester, which I do. Sleuthing isn't something I really have time for."

    "Detectives often have a cover identity," Dorothy said.

    "You guys are both crazy," Dana said. She returned to pawing through the pile of paintings. She was feeling unaccountably annoyed at the false accusations. She took a couple deep breaths. Imperturbability! she chanted over and over to herself as she flipped through the unfinished paintings and mistakes, not fully focusing on them them.

    When she got to the last painting, she drew in a breath. It was striking. It was the only picture in the bunch that was framed, the only one that looked finished. The colors were dramatic and the frame was a thin dark platinum metal that seemed to complement them.

    Dana drew it out and held it up to study it. It was a sailboat on dark water under billowing skies with lightning flashes. The colors were threatening mustards, terra cottas and dark slate blues. Dana turned the painting over. Lettered neatly on the back were the words "Final Crossing, by Dorothy Butler Dennison."

    "Let me guess," Dana said. “Yvonya was killed in a sailing accident and this painting mourns that loss."

    Dorothy and Ross turned toward each other and nodded their heads sagely.

    "OK, for God's sake," Dana snorted, "you don't have to be a detective or a rocket scientist to make a wild guess based on previous information."

    "Who are you, really?" Dorothy asked.

    Dana slipped the painting back to the back of the pile, took her beat up wallet out of the back pocket of her jeans and spread her ID out on the lip of one of Dorothy’s easels. Dorothy and Ross bent over to study them. Dana looked too.

    Her driver's license showed a pretty red-haired woman years younger than Dana, tanned and smiling. "In New York," she said, "they let you renew your driver's license for several years without getting a new picture taken.”

    “Yeah, yeah,” Ross said, but he sounded cheerful. “That’s what they all say.”

    “How many of them have you encountered?” Dana asked. No one answered

    "Fake ID?" Dorothy asked Ross. Ross smiled enigmatically.

    Dana said, "Do you want me to leave?”

    “No, stay. You’re an invited guest in my home, I've made you a lovely dinner, and I should be treating you with more hospitality,” Dorothy said, smiling graciously. “But I am keeping an eye on you. A very close eye.”


    *


    This is the second section of chapter 5 of my serial novel hopeful, Discovery at Little Hog Island, and I just wrote it tonight (9/25/12), so it's a very rough first draft.

    Links for the published “stories” that make up the serial novel hopeful, Discovery at Little Hog Island. As of this morning, I am caught up with the basic section links through this "story" or installment.

    Image: By me, painting for Dorothy and Yvonya, "Final Crossing."
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