Ghost Marina on the Mississippi

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Chapter 33 – Killing Time – Modern Day

Jason did indeed get the point, he couldn’t say he hadn’t been warned by the old sea-dog, Jeremiah, but it certainly appeared that nothing detrimental to the government would ever be disclosed. In the SUV during the trip back to his boat he decided he would remain in the area for a couple of more days before returning home. In fact, Chuck was right, he had fulfilled his objective, he had discovered what had happened to his grandfather, he felt he had gone about as far as he could with his investigations. That was until the next morning when Chuck greeted him as Jason was sitting on his boat, relaxing and drinking a coffee.

“Ahoy there Jason, what say you?” Chuck hailed.

“Hey Chuck,” Jason responded, “do you want a coffee?”

“We don’t have time lad.” Chuck told him with a big smile on his face, “David the jeweler just called. He’s got some news for us, come on, let’s go.”

“What now?” Jason asked, taking a quick gulp of his coffee.

“Yes now, time for coffee later, or something stronger if the news is good,” Chuck told him. Jason took another quick gulp, tipped the remains of his cup over the side of the boat, placed the cup on the seat and proceeded to climb onto the dock.

They walked briskly up the hill to the jewelers where the same young lady repeated the same process to let them into the store. David, immaculately dressed, as usual, was there to greet them.

“Ah, Chuck, Jason, good to see you both again,” David said as he held out his hand to shake theirs. “I think I have great news for you.” He added as he opened a file containing a single copy of an email. “The firm that took over from Raymons has replied and informed me that the collection in question was sold to a Lady Ashdene in July 1940.” David passed the copy to Jason for his perusal.

“So now all we have to do is find out where this Lady Ashdene lived,” Chuck said.

“Where do we start with that one?” Jason asked rhetorically.

“Well, we know she was in St. Louis in 1944,” Chuck replied.

“May I suggest the St. Louis Post-Dispatch or even census statistics.” David offered.

“Yes, but where do I start?” Jason asked, “I can’t just start looking through archives of old newspapers from 1940 onwards.”

“You don’t necessarily have to,” Chuck said, “from what you have discovered, the elite of St. Louis was on the Streamer when it sunk. Bet your bottom dollar that would have been reported, then you can take it from there.”

“Good point,” Jason agreed. “So, I need to do some more research.” Then turning to David, “would you mind taking care of the jewelry for a little longer?”

“My pleasure,” David replied with a smile before adding, “bye the bye, if you ever wish to place these items on the market I would be more than happy to help you fetch the best prices possible.” Yes, thought Jason and you would also be happy to fetch the best commission possible. Then he thought again, well, of course, he would, that’s his business, why wouldn’t he? After all, to date, he had been very accommodating, providing all his assistance at no charge, why shouldn’t he have a little of the action?

The men exchanged their farewells, Jason thanking David for all his help then Chuck and Jason returned to the marina where they were greeted by an agitated Charlie. “I’m glad you’re back, the F.B.I. have been here,” Charlie said

“Well, you knew where we were why didn’t you come and get us?” Chuck asked with some frustration at his grandson’s apparent incompetence.

“They weren’t interested in talking to you,” Charlie said, quite upset, “there were four of them, I tried to stop them, but they brushed me aside, they just wanted to search Jason’s boat and his truck.”

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