Good Morning Ted and Jody:
Thank you for coming to visit. Nancy and I enjoyed it immensely. Come back soon. I was glad to get your call when you got to the strawberry pancakes but did have a bit of trouble hearing the call. I really ought to have my ears checked to make sure they are phone ready.
After we dropped you off at the airport, we turned around and headed right back. We did stop for gas about 7 miles north of PDX, but I have to tell you that the southbound lane on I-205 we have just traversed to get to PDX was backed from the bridge over the Columbia all the way north to where we got off; and, we found it was backed up 11 miles north after we got back on I-205. So, we got lucky in our getting you to the airport just before the real morning rush hour traffic.
When we got home, Chole sat at the door after we came in waiting for more people. She apparently adopted you. After a while, she came in and sat and looked at me as if to ask, “OK, what did you do with Ted and Jody?” Nancy and I feel the same hole.
I saw a report yesterday of a leak about Russian Hacking of state-level voter registration lists just before the election. Then I saw a story about how the pestilences’ reaction would tell a lot about his potential “guilt.” I got to thinking about it and the pestilence’s reaction will tell absolutely nothing as he will react from his self-centered way of looking at the world and see it as a threat to the “glorious victory” he orchestrated over the evil Hillary Clinton (who probably was born in Kenya like the Irishman, “O’Bama” was). Then I saw this morning that the contractor who leaked the document (which the pestilence saw four days before he fired Comey). Ironically, even though the report is all over the news and published, it is still classified. That technically means Comey cannot talk about it in his testimony tomorrow. I am still having a great deal of difficulty understanding how such a high percentage of Americans can still support the pestilence (especially the right wing who have stood staunchly against Godless Russians even when they were Communists and truly Godless).
I do hope you recover from your TSA screenings and your long fights.
Warmest regards, Ed
042 The Treasure Hunt Resumes
Fiction in 1558 words by T. Edward Westen, 2017
“I doubt they will dig up a pirate,” said Captain Batan.
Detective Philipson looked skeptical. “You were on the right angle to find the treasure. Wasn’t it common for pirate captains to bury the men who buried their treasure with the treasure?”
“Or, is that just the embroidery added by novel writers or movie script writers?” asked Edith Gunderson.
“I honestly don’t know,” replied Captain Batan. “However, pirates did not have pocket watches; and, a pocket watch showed up on the radar’s screen. ”
“A pocket watch,” said Edith Gunderson. “Does that rule out robbery?”
Detective Philipson laughed and said, “You have been waiting for a long time to use that line, haven’t you?”
“Sorry, but after seeing so many detective television shows and films, it just came out,” said Edith Gunderson.
“If it is a cheap pocket watch, no. But . . .”
The sheriff’s deputy interrupted the banter when he approached and said, “It looks like Old Jim Farthing. He has been missing for a couple of weeks. How did you know to look for him at all? There was no missing person report.”
“We didn’t, ” replied Captain Batan. “On a long shot from another case, we decided to try to follow a lead on a treasure map. That is what brought us out here. I guess you will have this beach locked down for some time. Perhaps we should come back another day to follow our long shot.”
“Do you need to look in the area where you found the body?” the Deputy Sheriff asked.
“No,” replied Captain Batan. “We now need to look,” pointing to the left of the crime scene, “over there and,” pointing farther down the beach, “over there.”
“Have at it,” said the Deputy. “We owe you for finding Old Jim” The Deputy turned and started to walk away. He stopped, turned back around and said, “Could you give the Sheriff a demo on that thing?”
“Be happy to, bring him over when I start scanning again.”
The Deputy saluted and hurried off to the area roped off by the crime scene unit.
Captain Batan turned to Detective Philipson. “Your turn.” Picking up a stick, “I’ll draw a line in the sand at the right angle for the search. It will keep you,” he rubbed his neck, “from getting a kink in your neck like I did.”
Detective Philipson said, “You should have said something.”
Captain Batan replied, “It is not the sort of thing you think about until it happens.” He then dragged the stick in the sand got to the far end and decided to bring the line back a bit to the east of where he had drawn it. Returning to where Detective Philipson was standing with the radar unit he said, “I think those two lines outline where we should use the radar.”
Detective Philipson pulled the starter coil on the unit and began his sweep.
“I would have thought those would have a battery start.” said Edith Gunderson.
“We have a unit that does,” said Captain Batan. “When I was in the search division we used this unit and one with a battery start. The extra weight hauling it to areas we want to search is simply not worth the effort. Now if we had them on trailers with a ramp that would be a different matter, but in the end, one has to manhandle them.”
“You were with the search and rescue unit?” asked Edith Gunderson.
“I started out of the academy in that unit,” replied Captain Batan. “I enjoyed it and one never . . .”
Captain Batan was interrupted by the Sherriff’s Deputy coming toward them with a middle-aged man in civilian clothes, “CAPTAIN, CAPTAIN.” When the Deputy and the man in civilian clothes arrived, the Deputy pointed to the man and said, “Captain Batan, this is Sherriff Steven Hoard. Sherriff, Captain Batan.”
Captain Batan stuck his hand out and said, “My pleasure Sherriff, Mohamad, here.”
Sherriff Hoard replied, “No, the pleasure is all mine and please call me Steve.”
Captain Batan pointed to Detective Philipson running the ground penetrating radar unit and said, “So, you want to play with our little toy.”
Sherriff Hoard laughed and said, “I know how much those things cost. My undersheriff in charge of the technical division has put in a proposal to add one to our equipment inventory. He would have a heart attack if he heard you call it a toy in my presence.”
“Come on,” said Captain Batan. “I’ll have Detective Philipson give you a quick lesson and you can run it.”
On the way over to Detective Philipson, the Sherriff asked, “How is it you are out in our jurisdiction with your, how did you put it, your little toy.”
“You probably read about the kidnapping yesterday in the papers,” replied Captain Batan.
The Sherriff nodded.
“Well,” continued Captain Batan, “The ransom was a treasure map. We got the kid back and the treasure map. Having too little information about why a treasure map was the ransom, the three of us decided to see if the map actually leads to anything. Sort of tying up loose ends. I apologize coming onto your turf without a heads up, but we assumed it would lead to nothing. We didn’t know about Mr. Farthing being missing.”
“No need to apologize,” replied the Sherriff, “I would have done the same thing. As to Old Jim being missing until you found him we didn’t know he was missing. He is the sort of character one gets used to seeing, but when gone he didn’t leave much of a hole.”
The two men had been walking at an angle to reach Detective Philipson on the ground radar unit. The Detective saw them out of the corner of his eye and stopped when they were about five feet away. Turning the machine off he turned to them and said, “Nothing yet.”
“Detective Philipson, this is Sherriff Hoard,” said Captain Batan. “Let’s show the Sherriff how this thing works and let him play too.”
Detective Philipson said, “It does all the work. You only have to start it the same way you start a lawn mower and then switch this toggle on. You use the clutch like grip to increase or decrease forward speed and turn it just like a lawn mower.”
Sherriff Hoard pulled the starting rope, flicked on the toggle switch, grabbed both handles and continued to sweep the area around him. Detective Philipson., still acting as the instructor, followed beside the Sherriff. The Sherriff shouted over the sound of the gas-powered motor, “YOU CAN SEE THE ROCKS AND OLD TIRE RIMS AND EVERYTHING DOWN THERE.”
Detective Philipson nodded in agreement.
The Sherriff continued and seemed to be enjoying himself when he stopped and shouted, “I GOT ANOTHER BODY.” He then turned the motor off.
Detective Philipson moved in and said, “Let’s turn this baby back on and see what the body looks like.” He pulled the rope, and since the toggle had not been turned off the screen showed the outline of the skeleton of a human arm and leg. Moving the unit around, Detective Philipson established there were two bodies and a collection of dense material between them. Leaving the machine off, he beckoned to Captain Batan and the Sherriff to come and look over his shoulder as he scanned the area one more time. When both men had had an opportunity to see he waved his arm for Ms. Gunderson to join him. When she got there, he shouted over the engine noise “FOLLOW ME AND WATCH THE SCREEN.” When he had scanned the five by three-foot section for the third time he switched off the machine. He smiled broadly and said to everyone, “May I present Blackbeard’s Treasure and probably two of his former associates.”
Sherriff Hoard said, “My Undersheriff is going to be very pleased, I got to get one of those toys.”
Captain Batan had a serious look on his face. “I recommend we treat this as a crime scene.”
Edith Gunderson looked puzzled, “But, I thought it was buried treasure from 300 years ago?”
Captain Batan shook his head. “Sorry, Ms. Gunderson, but it is connected to Becky’s kidnapping. Besides, it may not be the treasure at all.”
“I’ll get my people right on it,” said Sherriff Hoard.
Six hours later the crime scene unit finished their initial collection
of the bodies and the treasure. Sherriff Hoard approached and said, “Mohamad, my crew says the remains are old. Really old, so old they don’t think they will be able to extract DNA from either. However, there is a little problem of a modern 45 ACP slugs embedded in the sternum of each man. My medical examiner will be able to tell me if the ACP rounds were postmortem. If not, we have a first-class mystery on our hands.”
Captain Batan asked, “Is that mound we saw buried with them a treasure or a lot of rusting car parts?”
Sherriff Hoard shook his head. “Horseshoes, are the most valuable item in that mess. Looks like someone got Blackbeard’s treasure and took the time and trouble to replace it with rusting iron.
Frank Millard from the Enquirer walked up to the Captain and Sherriff and asked, “Any comment for the press, Gentlemen?”