Chapter 13: To dance in the pale moonlight
Jean had enjoyed the last few days. She had spent most of the time down at the beach or by the pool. She didn’t like swimming in the ocean preferring to swim in the huge pool at the hotel. It had everything she needed. There was an outdoor restaurant for her meals as well as a properly stocked bar to keep her happy. While laying in the shade she liked to read a good book, this kept people away from her. The last thing she wanted to do was get into long conversations with some old woman about all her adorable grandkids. Jean was there to be alone.
The first week of her two-week holiday was all but gone. Jean was in heaven she thought. The food was top notch, the entertainment at night was enjoyable, but most of all she was enjoying the solitude she had choose.
On the first day of her second week in paradise, it rained. They called it a tropical storm. It was quite intense. Strong winds and torrential downpours kept everyone inside. Jean actually thought to herself that it was a welcomed break from the sunny beach. She had stayed in the sun a little longer than she should have and had received a minor sunburn, and needed a little time for it to heal.
Jean had put on a very attractive sundress and made her way down to the hotel piano bar. The place was about half full of guests like Jean just looking for a place to hang out while the storm raged outside.
Sitting at a table tucked away in a corner of the room afforded Jean the opportunity to scan the guest as they enjoyed the bar. Most of them were older couples. Obviously empty nesters just looking to recapture the thrills they experienced in younger days. They seemed nice enough and sure knew how to have a good time. They seemed to know how to meet one another and before long tables were being put together as couples joined in to have a good time.
There weren’t many single people in the crowd. Beside her Jean counted another five or six men and two or three women who seemed to be on their own. There was one guy that Jean noticed sitting by himself. He would be about the same age as Jean. He was average height and a little overweight. But Jean thought there was something about him that made her watch him. Maybe it was the expressions on his face or his body language that made him such a fascinating subject for Jean to watch. In his own way he was attractive, thought Jean. For the first time during her trip she wished she could meet this other human being.
Little did she know that she was about to get her wish. The man Jean had become enthralled with had started noticing her. Before too much longer a drink arrived at Jean’s table compliments of the gentleman at table twenty. Jean looked over and saw the man of her obsession raise his glass to her and nod. At once Jean motioned for the man to come and join her.
The gentleman was not long in walking the twenty feet or so to get to Jean’s table. He introduced himself as Guy Templar. Jean returned the favor introducing herself and then motioned for Guy to take a seat.
“Thank you for accepting my drink Jean.” Guy said
“Your very welcome Guy it was my pleasure.”
“How are you enjoying the resort?” Guy asked
“Oh its wonderful. This is the first time I’ve ever gotten away to a place like this.” Replied Jean.
“Are you with family or friends, if you don’t mind me asking?”
“No I’m alone.” Replied Jean.
“Aren’t you concerned, travelling on your own Jean?” Guy asked.
“No not really, know how to take care of myself, besides how much trouble can I get into. I just go from the room to the beach.” Replied Jean.
“Well I’m going to keep my eye on you to make sure nothing nasty happens to you.” Quipped Guy.
“Ahh my night in shinning armor.” Replied Jean
The two seemed to hit it off. Jean had thought to herself that she was getting lonely and welcomed some sort of companion. Before long they had told one another their life stories. Guy seemed impressed that she was a businesswoman. Jean was just as impressed to discover that Guy was a paramedic. Guy leaned over to Jean and said
“Jean, come dance with me in the pale moonlight, let me hold you in my arms.”
After saying that Jean knew that her holiday had just turned into a true adventure. Guy had mentioned that he had just begun his two-week holiday. Jean on the other hand was in her last week. Over the next week Guy and Jean were inseparable. Before long Jean was making arrangements with the front desk to extend her stay another week. This time she would join Guy in his suite.
The couple spent their time at the resort together. They went site seeing, hiking, shopping but most of all the spent time at the beach or the pool. When the time to leave was drawing near, Guy convinced Jean to return to Montreal with him. He wanted more time with her. Jean felt the same way, She knew there was a future with this man but she had to be sure before she committed herself any further. Jean agreed to go with Guy but just for another few weeks. Then she had to return to Whitedeer. Frank had to be brought up to date on what was happening. If the truth were known, Jean needed to discuss her new situation with him. Since her friends had died, Jean was increasingly unhappy with the alterations made by Frank. It was still far too early in this new relationship to be making any kinds of plans. That didn’t stop Jean from using her imagination to look into the possibilities that the future held.
Jean ended up going to Montreal with Guy where she stayed for another month. Things went well, but Jean had to get back to the parlor.
Everything was returning to normal in the sleepy little town of Whitedeer Ontario. Jean hadn’t been heard from in over a month now, which was very odd. Frank was beginning to think something had happened to her. After contacting all of her friends that he knew of and receiving no news about her whereabouts. Frank decided to go to the police. They agreed it was unusual and took a missing person report from Frank.
The police started their investigation into the whereabouts of Miss Jean Taggart. Other police forces in nearby towns and cities were sent inquiries trying to find any information that they may be able to offer. Local detectives made the usual checks of hospitals, airports and train stations. In a normal missing persons investigation these were the first steps that had to be carried out. When a trail following the subject cannot be found the focus of the investigation turns closer to home.
Frank was re-interviewed. He told the investigators how oddly Jean had been acting the day before she left home. He told them he was concerned about how the death of her four friends had affected her. He had told her that she needed a break and to take as much time off as she needed. She hadn’t said where she was going, but Frank just assumed she would go on one of those all-inclusive holidays. Jean had lots of money in the bank so that wasn’t an issue.
In the weeks to come the rumor mill started. In a small town all it takes is one person to start a rumor and within days the whole town knows. The rumor going around was that Frank had killed his sister to take over the funeral parlor.
The police detectives continued their investigation but had no new leads. Frank didn’t know it but he was being watched. The police had put a surveillance team to work to watch Frank’s comings and goings.
Frank had been requested to go to the police station for further questioning. The police were taking a different attitude in regards to their investigation. They had heard of the rumor being circulated. This time when they questioned Frank, it was more of an interrogation. They asked him straight out if he killed his sister. When the answer was no, they pressed him harder. An hour later and the detectives were getting nowhere.
Frank left the police station under a cloud of suspicion. He was so glad that he had stopped the cremation scam. He thought to himself that if the cops dug any deeper they were sure to find out something about the shadier side of the Taggart funeral home.