Note from Dana: We are a day late here because Sharon and I were busy going through proofs of our new Beyond mystery novel –Beyond Faith. But I really have to leave the rest of that for now and see what’s what with Carla Dugan, David’s teacher. So it’s back to late fall 1999.
Dana: You better come in. And David, we’ll talk later.
Dana takes Ms. Dugan and David upstairs to the Attic Investigative Agency office and after introductions with Bast are made, gets right on it.
Dana: Okay, Ms. Dugan why did you take my son out of school?
David: Mommy. I took her out. She looked sad so a recess I asked her what’s wrong and said my mommy and Uncle Bast could fix it.
Dana: Hm. Very well…for now. So tell me about your brother Wayne.
Ms. Dugan: He didn’t do those break and enters. He wasn’t even in town when some of them happened.
Dana: Then why do the police suspect him?
Ms. Dugan: Because the suspects are his friends.
Dana: So guilty by association?
Ms. Dugan: I suppose that’s what the police think.
Dana: Well, that is often true.
Ms. Dugan: Not if you don’t see them anymore.
Dana: Wait a minute. You just said the other suspects were his friends and then insinuated they are not. I’m confused.
Ms. Dugan frowns: Oh all right. They are three old school friends of Wayne. Back in high school they were known as the Four Avenging Amigos because they used to help people, well, their friends in trouble. That wasn’t always exactly legal. Well…they were teenagers.
Dana: Did that help include any break and enters?
Ms. Dugan shrugs: Sort of. One or two when one classmate stole something belonging to another, they would break into the thief”s house and get the item back. And sometimes if they thought parents were being er, unreasonable, they broke in and did a little vandalism. But they didn’t take anything.
Dana: So that makes it all right?
Bast: Dana, let Ms. Dugan finish…
Dana: Fine. Go on
Ms. Dugan: Not much else except Wayne hadn’t seen these friends for a few years. He’s been living in London Ontario and had just moved back to Thurston for a new job. He has been staying with me until he gets his own place. Money, you know.
Dana: I see. So tell me about this screwdriver business outside the hardware store.
David: Ms. Dugan’s brother was buying them to fix a door.
Dana: David, what did I say?
David: Mom. Okay. Keep quiet.
David makes the zip-the-lip motion.
Ms. Dugan: The screwdrivers were really to fix a door hinge. It still needs fixing as the cops took the ones Wayne bought. We were only getting new screwdrivers because mine seem to have disappeared.
Bast: Disappeared? Just recently?
Ms. Dugan: I don’t know. I don’t do my own home repairs.
Bast: Then, who does.
Ms. Dugan: Stan, my next door neighbour. But he’s in hospital now so I asked Wayne to fix the door. It is off one hinge and when you open and close it, I’m afraid it will fall off on someone.
Bast: Which door is that?
Ms, Dugan: The front screen door of course.
Dana: You were in a bit of trouble last month, when that maniac tried running you off the road. (See * below after this post).
Ms. Dugan: I was a victim.
Dana: I know. I saw it happen when I was picking David up from school. Remember?
Ms. Dugan: Right. And you two did find out who the culprit was. That’s why I’m here… and at David’s insistence, too.
Dana: I was wondering if all this pointing the finger at you and possibly Wayne has something to do with that.
Ms. Dugan: Oh, so you will take my case?
Bast: Let’s say we’ll give you the benefit of the doubt for now.
Dana: But we will look at all possibilities. Now, we will need to speak to Wayne and we will need the contact info for his friends to talk to them, too.
Ms. Dugan: Okay, Wayne is of course..
A loud sound like a thump comes from downstairs. Then the sound of glass breaking.
Bast: Stay here. Dana, call 911.
Dana grabs her cell. As the twins head for the main stairwell, they hear footsteps coming up the other stairway – the one for the Attic Agency. And footsteps right behind them.
TO BE CONTINUED
*From “Road Raging” in Beyond the Tripping Point (Blue Denim Press, 2012). Ms. Dugan and the TD bank manager were targetted for allegedly causing an accident which rendered a five-year old girl a vegetable existence.
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