Good Morning Ted and Jody:
The latest weather report for the weekend has the temperatures reaching into the 70s now. They say it will be dry beginning around noon tomorrow. So far, the wet we have has barely made a notch in the rain gauge (.04 inch) and it started yesterday evening. So, I am guessing it will indeed be dry when you arrive.
Yesterday morning I got a call from a podiatrist’s office regarding the referral made last week when I went to see the doctors in the practice I go to for an infection in my two big toes. The antibiotics apparently worked or the infection found greener pastures and just left. To make a long story short, he trimmed the ingrown part out and sent me on my way. No blood, no pain, he did a good job. Now the trick is to see if I can persuade my nails to grow properly. I suppose I will have to sit down and tell them good stories every day to keep them on the straight and narrow path (a Bible Study perhaps?). So far, no impact on my walking. I am thinking of starting again sometime next year. However, the stationary bike is still possible.
I have learned that one can avoid most of the speculation if one switches channels when the talking head panels appear on the television screen. This takes one into drama shows about 5 minutes in.
See you tomorrow afternoon at PDX.
Warmest regards, Ed
A Note to Readers. I will not be posting until June 6th as Ted and Jody will be visiting here this weekend. We will go back to the story then with an episode dealing with Captain Batan, Detective Philipson, and Edith Gunderson still on the treasure hunt.
041 Agent White Stirs the Pot
Fiction in 634 words by T. Edward Westen, 2017
Otis Claymore Pogue shook his head in disbelief. “You are persistent, Agent White. However, you are barking up the wrong tree.” He chuckled. “I still have that pill stuck in me, unless you were bluffing. What can I tell you this time?”
Agent White bestowed her brightest smile on Otis Claymore Pogue and handed him a small container. “A peace offering.”
Otis Claymore Pogue took the small container and said, “Thank you. This is more like a bribe.”
Agent White laughed. “What could I possibly get by bribing you?”
Otis Claymore Pogue slapped his hand on his thigh and said, “Anything within my power. I do love this artificial roe. I believe it has been close to a month that my last partner brought me some.”
Agent White said, “I would like to pick your brain.”
“Surprisingly I still have one,” replied Otis Claymore Pogue. “Shoot.”
“It is a puzzle,” said Agent White. “We have for lack of a better description a master criminal who used two hapless brothers in the 21st Century, to kidnap a toddler. The ransom request was a treasure map reputedly made by Blackbird the 18th Century pirate that the child’s father had for sale in his curiosity shop. He sent his two assistants to move the treasure. I do not know what was supposed to happen next or even why the man directing this, ere, shall we say enterprise, bothered with the kidnapping given the price on the map in the shop was a pittance.
Did the assistants move the treasure?” Asked Otis Claymore Pogue.
“No,” replied Agent White. Sometime during the digging they unearthed two dead pirates. They realized that the bodies were left so no one other than Blackbeard would know where the treasure was. That got them worried about the hologram that was their boss. The did a runner.”
“Hologram?” Asked Otis Claymore Pogue. “Was their leader just an illusion?” asked Otis Claymore Pogue.
“Their leader put distance between himself and his henchmen,” replied Agent White. “I don’t know if he was afraid to be physically present, was recognizable or had some other motive for the distance. In any event, their fearless leader was represented by a hologram. The two brothers noticed and that was part of the reason they ceased working for him.
“The puzzle you are attempting to solve is why a hologram?” asked Otis Claymore Pogue.
“Not really,” replied Agent White. “That will eventually become clear. The puzzle is why did the go to the trouble of a kidnapping when he could have bought the map for pittance—I believe it was $7.99 plus tax.
“Does this hologram figure have a name?” asked Otis Claymore Pogue.
“He has revealed none,” responded Agent White.
“Humph, that rules out publicity,” said Otis Claymore Pogue. “Some of these kooks seem to seek—notoriety or publicity. I’ll think about it, but other than committing crimes just to commit crimes, would be the only thing. That’s odd though, because, the commission of a crime just to commit a crime is usually for the rush or thrill. Since this clown is working through the safety of a hologram, it has to be something really offbeat. Come back in a week or so, while I have had time to mull this over.” Otis Claymore Pogue paused for a moment, reached into his jacket pocket and produced the pill she had given him on her last visit. “Would this have really worked?”
Agent White laughed out loud. “No that was a bluff. But the beacon I planted on the floor that you picked up on the bottom of your shoe is real. See you in a week.” Agent White vanished as Otis Claymore Pogue looked at the bottom of his shoe.
“The damned thing must be rather small,” he said.