TROUBLE AT THE BEACH

Trust me, there are giggles but I have to get these people in a lot of trouble before I can get them out.

Her started towards the house, naked as usual, when he saw three figures on the beach. They were acting strangely. David said he couldn’t tell what they were up to, but it didn’t look right to him, so he turned around and went back to his office and put his shorts on.

“You walked up the beach?”

“No,” David replied, “I walked in the shadows of the trees, but when the girl started to scream I ran out on the beach.”

“Were there lights on at the house?”

“I didn’t notice if there were. Once the girl really started screaming I just ran.” Like me, he didn’t stop to think.

“What happened then?”

“One of the figures fell to the beach. The other two took off running.”

“Away from you?”

“Yes.”

“Can you describe them?”

“No. Not really. One of them had long hair. I could see that, but they were to far away to see much else and running fast.”

He’d almost reached the girl’s side when he heard me swear and the door bang. He was afraid someone was after me. When he heard me yell, he yelled back. That’s what the cop heard, and that’s when David took a shot at the fleeing shadows.

“It was a stupid thing to do, it only made them run faster. They were too far away to hit. But at the time like those you’re not always thinking straight.”

Ty grunted.

I told David about the cops and their delicate ears and he laughed.

“But one thing I don’t understand, ” David said, “is how did that cop get here so fast? Where in the hell did he come from?”

“He was staked out,” Ty said. “You must expect that. I should have warned you. Not that it would have made any difference, probably. It’s a common practice in a case like this. You can count on being under pretty close surveillance at least until after the trial.”

I couldn’t bear to think of the trial. “Spies,”I said.

“No, Karen. They’re here to protect you, too. Nuts come out of the woodwork in cases like this.”

We were quiet for quit a long time.

“I guess I’d better warn the guys in the camp,” I said.

“You never saw those people before?”

“Never,” David said.

“The cop sent the girl to the house afterwards? Alone?”

“Yes. He did. I’d forgotten about that.”

“We’d better go through that place with a fine-tooth comb. Can you think of anyone who would harm you? Make trouble for you?”

“Have you given up on the land condemnation plot?”

Ty laughed. “The plot thinens. This doesn’t smell like the State. They’re not above planting a little grass, but the rape bit is a little too far out even for them.”

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