Ghost Marina on the Mississippi

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Chapter 35 – Researching – Modern Day

“They’re the jewels alright,” Archie said as he did his thing with his spectacles.

“I’d like to print a copy of that, but I don’t have a printer,” Jason said, but more to himself than the group.

“I have a printer; can you copy it somehow and put in onto a memory stick,” Dexter suggested.

“Sure,” Jason replied and opened a program that could take a screen-scrape of the photo and save it as a JPEG file. In a matter of seconds, Jason handed his memory stick to Dexter, “there you go, the file to print is called photo.jpg.”

“Not too imaginative, are you?” Dexter laughed as he took the stick and went to a room behind the bar to print off the photo. He was back with the printout and passed it to Jason together with his memory stick.

“Right, let’s see if there’s any other useful information,” Jason said and began to search through the archives. Each subsequent day there was more information regarding the search for the lost vessel and a few bios on some of the people suspected of being on board, but no further mention of Lady Ashdene. It wasn’t until Jason read one of the editions that was almost one month after the reported sinking. A decision had been made to call off any further searches and the newspaper printed a list of the known people who had perished on board the Streamer. In the list was the following item:

…….Lady Ashdene of Ladue, who leaves behind a young son

“Where’s Ladue?” Jason asked.

“That’s the expensive area of St. Louis,” Dexter commented, “that makes sense.”

“So, that’s the next step, find the address of Lady Ashdene and see if we can locate this son of hers,” Jason said, signing off the web site and closing his laptop.

“And how do you propose to find that out?” Chuck asked, “he may be long gone by now, dead even.”

“There you go again, you’re not dead yet, why should her son be?” Archie berated him, but everyone just ignored the comment.

“Well, do what David suggested, check out census data at the library in St. Louis,” Jason said. “So, who’s up for a road trip on Monday?”

“I can’t, deliveries expected all morning,” Dexter said.

“I have a doctor’s appointment in the morning,” Bill added, at which point everyone turned to look at him.

“Nothing trivial I hope,” Archie said, jokingly.

“Nah, just a checkup.” Bill replied although he didn’t sound too convincing.

“Looks like it will be just the three of us then,” Jason said.

“Wait a minute, I would like to be in on this, what about the Tuesday could we all make it then? Surely another day is not going to hurt!” Bill suggested.

“I could make the following day too, Helen could handle the bar for a day by herself,” Dexter mentioned.

“Fine, we’ll make a day of it then.” Jason agreed.

“And what will we be looking for?” Archie asked.

“Census data that would contain names and addresses for 1944.” Jason replied, “looking for any reference to Lady Ashdene, if we find any, we will take it from there.”

“Right you are son, sounds like a plan,” Archie replied.

“Maybe tomorrow you and I could take a quick boat trip to see if they have made any progress opening up the entrance from the river,” Chuck suggested.

“Good idea Chuck let’s do that,” Jason replied.

With the arrangements made for the next couple of days, Jason decided to have one more beer with the guys before heading back to his boat to make the now routine connections with his daughters. His mind was in a little turmoil, yes, he had discovered what had happened to his grandfather, but he was still disappointed that the real truth may never surface. He found that a total injustice, especially because his grandfather was serving his country at the time. What he didn’t realize was that his life was about to change, forever.

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