Ghost Marina on the Mississippi

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Chapter 48 – Returning Home – Modern Day

Jason arrived home late Friday night and was pleased to see that in preparation for his return, Jeannette had stocked the fridge with a few basics, bread, milk and the such. After a good night’s sleep, he was up early the next morning reading through his backlog of mail while luxuriating in the pleasure of a percolated coffee instead of the instant he had been drinking on the boat. He read the last of the backlog of almost a month’s worth of mail and decided to get cleaned up before having breakfast, which was just as well as Jeanette came bursting in during his banquet of poached eggs on toast.

Before he could rise from his chair Jeanette was embracing him in an unusual show of love and affection. She was surprised at how good he looked, he had put on a bit of weight, he had color in his cheeks and when he went to clear away his dishes she felt there was a new bounce in his step.

“Dad?” Jeanette said.

“Yes?” Jason replied.

“Are you seeing someone?” She asked him demurely.

“Ha, don’t be ridiculous!” He said.

“You are, aren’t you?” Jeannette said with a smile, wagging a finger at him. “You don’t fool me.”

“If I found somebody, you would be the first to know,” Jason said, turning away as he replied, he knew he couldn’t face his daughter when he said that, it would have been a dead giveaway.

“Fine, but before I forget, we are all having dinner at gran’s tomorrow, so you will be able to give everyone the skinny on what you have been up to and where the investigation stands.” Jeannette said, “so, tell me all about these guys you met at the marina.”

Jeannette stayed for about an hour and for the rest of the day, Jason took the time to catch up on a few things and touch base with a few of the neighbors who were outside doing chores. It felt funny, he had lived in this community all his married life but suddenly he felt he didn’t belong, and he couldn’t wait to return to the idyllic lifestyle he had been enjoying during the last few weeks, of course, a certain Miss Ashdene may have had something to do with that.

The next day he arrived early at his parent’s house with a bunch of flowers for his mother and a case of his dad’s favorite beer. He wanted to arrive early so that he could have a private chat with them, especially with his father, to explain the details of his father’s demise.

“They shouldn’t be able to get away with this!” Jason’s father retorted in anger after he had been told the details, which brought Jason’s mother running into the room where the men were seated, she was brandishing a wooden spoon she had been using to bake a cake.

“Who they? What?” Jason’s mother blurted out, quite concerned at her husband’s outburst, he was usually such a mild-mannered man. So, Jason explained his findings to her.

“But you have to keep this under your hat for now until the F.B.I. has finished their investigations.”

“What?” Jason’s father shouted, “they’ll cover it all up, as they have done for the last 70 odd years.”

“Dad, I know, that’s why I’m working with a lawyer to build a case against the government,” Jason replied, trying to soothe his father.

“You need a lot of good contacts to go after the government.” Jason’s father replied, but at least he was calming down, “is he any good?”

“It’s a she and yes, she has contacts. Her grandmother was one of the victims on the other boat.” Jason replied, “so, she also has a vested interest.”

“Hmph,” Jason’s dad replied in a huff, “well, I hope she knows what she’s doing.”

After that conversation, they both had a beer and they moved onto more mundane things, each other’s health, the current Cleveland Indian’s team and the general state of the nation.

Shirley was the first to arrive and she immediately went over to give her Dad a loving hug, then she stepped back and punched him quite hard on the arm.

“What was that for?” Jason asked, rubbing his bicep, thinking her reaction was because he had been away for so long.

“For going diving by yourself, you silly man.” Shirley replied, an avid diver herself she knew the dangers involved, “not once but twice, you should know better.”

“We would never have known the truth if I hadn’t have discovered it when I did,” Jason said in protest.

“We might never have seen you again,” Shirley replied. At this point in the conversation, Allison stepped forward and tentatively offered Jason a hug, something she had never done before, which he gladly accepted, more to ward off his youngest daughter’s playful vitriol. It wouldn’t have lasted long anyway because Jeannette and her fiancée had just arrived.

Over dinner they talked about general things, Jason’s mother positively beaming at having all the children together for dinner, although she had been terribly disappointed that neither of her granddaughters ever looked liked providing her with great-grandchildren. Inevitably, the conversation returned to the quest and Jason explained what he had uncovered in more detail. Of course, they were all horrified at Jason’s theory and insisted that something should be done. Jason reiterated the urgent need for secrecy at this stage and was about to tell them of his legal preparations when his father jumped in.

“Jason’s got some fancy lawyer working on the case, apparently she is in the same boat as him, one of the descendants from the other boat.” Jason’s father said, although Jason thought he could have chosen a better choice of words, but it wasn’t through any maliciousness.

“So that’s who it is, is it?” Jeannette said in a eureka moment looking directly at her father, while everyone else was looking questioningly at her. Jason picked up his glass of wine and took a drink then told everyone that he had a call of nature. By the time Jason had returned to the table Jeanette had shared her thoughts and now everyone was looking to Jason for more details.

“Look, despite what Jeannette has told you, her assumptions are totally unfounded, it is purely a working relationship that I have with Caroline.” Jason explained with his arms outstretched to try and emphasize the point, “so let that be the end of it.”

“For now.” Shirley added, “Caroline eh?” And they all laughed.

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