Frank jerked the phonebook out of his desk drawer and went to the marina section. There was no coast guard listed. He flipped to the Federal section of the white pages, found the listing, and dialed the number. When the clerk answered, Frank asked, “Hi, could you tell me how I could find a loose boat?”
The clerk replied, “Is this some kind of prank, mister?”
“I sure wish it was. This is Detective Frank Hawthorn. I’ve physically seen with my own two eyes a thirty-two-foot cabin cruiser parked at the granary docks. The boat is no longer there. This incident was reported by the owner’s father this morning. I met him there and saw for myself what he was talking about. It was the scene of some kind of altercation. The cabin was filled with splattered blood on everything. It’s gone now, and no one seems to know where it went. I was hoping you might help me find the boat.”
“Well, yes, ah, Mr. Hawthorn. Sorry about the confrontation at first. We get ’em, pranks I mean. I’ll let you talk to Post Commander Chuck Rogers. He might be of service to you.”
Frank sat waiting for almost a full minute.
“Hello, Mr. Hawthorn. My clerk said you have a problem with a missing boat?”
“Yes, sir down by the granary docks on the Mississippi River. I think the location is called . . . the Fisher granary. Mr. Fisher says his son’s boat was there last night and now it’s gone. I also found some bloodstains on the planking of the dock beside where the boat supposedly was moored.”
Frank told Chuck that he needed the expertise of the coast guard to help find the boat. The commander reluctantly agreed to help him and asked Frank to come to the compound so they could go downriver together.
After asking for directions, Frank locked up the office and headed that way. When he arrived at the coast guard gate, he found the clerk he had talked to. The clerk introduced him to Commander Rogers. After they talked for a minute, Commander Rogers picked up the phone and contacted someone located inside his facility to get the coast guard cutter ready for a river trip at once.
He said, “Come with me, Mr. Hawthorn. We’ll board the cutter out at the dock.”
Frank had always wanted to experience the ride of the big cutters. He had seen them many times when he was near the Mississippi, but he’d never been on one before. The commander told him all about the craft as they walked to the dock, where they waited for the captain to bring the cutter around.
The commander said it was constructed in 1955. It had a keel laid fifty-five feet from bow to stern, and was nine-and-a-half-feet wide. The craft was propelled by two Chrysler diesel engines, producing one thousand pounds of thrust and rated at six hundred horse power. It generated power for the light beams capable of reaching one thousand feet out into the blackness of the night to spot another craft either fleeing or in distress. It would sleep six crew members for rotating shifts on an all-night mission or provide shelter for rescued survivors as they hauled them in.
After an admiring look at the craft, they boarded the vessel just before the other four young officers climbed aboard and went to their duty stations. Frank found a position to sit comfortably, and the captain shoved off. When the way was clear, he shoved the throttle full ahead. The big cutter was flying down the river with water spraying off the bow, almost reaching the banks at some narrow points.
Detective FRANK HAWTHORN receives a call from W.J. FISHER. He said that his son Milford Fisher had disappeared. He found his boat near the Memphis, Tennessee branch of the Fisher Granary Corp covered in blood. Later that day the boat disappears as well.
Hawthorn is told that young Fisher discovered someone was stealing millions from the company and now he is missing. Everyone believes him dead except Hawthorn who has a premonition that maybe…he’s still alive.
Detective Hawthorn works his magic to solve the crime. After several incidents and mishaps, he discovers the truth and finds the guilty individuals. There is an important twist in the story and Frank Hawthorn uncovers a plot that will keep you on your toes. Frank wears his heart on his sleeve and is BLINDSIDED when he discovered the truth about the woman he loves while he searches for the truth. You’ll never guess what happens in this riveting tale.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Crime Mystery
Rating – PG