- Character gives us qualities, but it is in actions – what we do – that we are happy or the reverse….All human happiness and misery take the form of action.
- – Aristotle
Today, Bast Overture the Crime Reporter turned PI interviews the last of the main characters in “For the Love of Wills.” William Clarke Jr. is a lawyer and like the general take on most lawyers he is cagey. However, William Jr. may be hiding more than most lawyers. Bast has his work cut out for him. “For the Love of Wills” is one of 13 stories in my mystery collection Beyond the Tripping Point (Blue Denim Press, 2012).
Bast sits at the table, twiddling his thumbs as he waits for his interviewee to show up. He starts rereading his questions when William Clarke Jr. enters the room.
William Jr.: Sorry, Mr. Overture, I was delayed with a client. Nice to meet you. (He extends his hand.)
Bast (standing up and shaking William Jr.’s hand): That’s okay. Take a seat and we can get started so you can get back to your valuable clients.
William Jr.: Okay, point taken.
Bast: You are the eldest child – for want of a better word – of a shall we say eccentric couple. How was it growing up with Heidi and William Sr. as parents?
William Jr.: Interesting. Never a dull moment.
Bast: Were you close to your sister Clara when growing up?
William Jr.: Until I got into my teens. Clara is four years younger than I. And to answer your other question a bit fuller. Clara and I were always getting into shall we say scrapes, often instigated by one of Mother’s weird ideas. Dad was sort of the calming factor.
Bast: Hm. What were some of these scrapes?
William Jr. (chuckling): Well, there used to be a tree house in the backyard. It’s long gone now. Clara and I used to hide up there when Mother got a little loud and unreasonable about what she wanted us to do or not do. Mother and Dad never caught on about this until one day – I was about 10 and so Clara would have been six – we stayed up there all night. Mother and Dad couldn’t find us and called in the police. They looked all over the neighbourhood and didn’t find us until Clara got the bright idea to throw rocks down into the yard. You should’ve seen their faces when they looked up. (William chuckles again.)
Bast: Was this how you got the idea to try to hide things from the police in “For the Love of Wills?”
William Jr.: What do you mean? I answered their questions.
Bast: True. But you insisted on talking to your father away from the police and you and Clara had a whispered conference away from that constable who was supposed to be keeping an eye on you.
William Jr.: Now wait a minute, Mr. Reporter…
Bast: I’m a PI now.
William Jr.: Well then, Mr. PI. Speaking to my dad was lawyer-client privilege so no cops should be present and well, Clara and I had to compare notes. Anyway that cop watching us wasn’t exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer.
Bast: Interesting that you use that analogy as the murder weapon in “For the Love of Wills” isn’t a knife but a…
William Jr.: Now, let’s not give the plot away.
(A commotion is heard just outside the door and Heidi Anastasia Clarke charges into the room).
Heidi: William, my good lawyer son. Your father, my poor Will needs your help. He’s got himself into a devil of a situation.
William Jr.: Now calm down Mother. Let’s go outside and talk. (He turns to Bast). That’s about it, Mr. PI. Duty and family call.
William smirks and leads his mother outside the room.
Bast shakes his head and mutters something about having enough of the Clarke family.
Stay tuned for next week when Bast goes into a most unsettling family problem and interviews the 12-year-old daughter from “Unfinished Business.”
You can read more about the Clarke family in my mystery short story collection Beyond the Tripping Point, (Blue Denim Press, 2012). Click on the book at the top and it takes you to my profile – including book reviews – at www.amazon.com. The book is available there in print and Kindle. For Kobo e-book go to http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/search/?keywords=Beyond%20the%20Tripping%20Point or go to any bricks and mortar store and order in a print copy.
Sharon A. Crawford