Niles returned to the office and locked up for the night. However, he remained in the office at his desk, sipping coffee, munching on cookies, and sorting through Charley’s photos of the harbor. Experience dictated he examine the photos with a spyglass; what he is looking for may not appear prominent.
If not for his enjoyment of Charley’s craft and ability the exercise of examining photo after photo would have been tedious. As it stood, the pictures told an unsaid story of beauty, hard work, and visual pottery about the harbor, the men, and the town.
After a hour, a photograph caught his eye; a green sailboat approaching a dock. “That must be it,” he thought and slowly examined it through the spyglass. A slender woman in her mid-thirties appeared near the bow as if about to toss a line.
The next photo was another of the boat. However, it was from the starboard side and a slender man in his mid-thirties appeared to be steering the boat toward the dock.
It was an older elegant sailboat, most likely restored and from the looks of the detail at some expense. The couple on board appeared refined. Their clothes were for working aboard a boat, but clean and well fit.
Niles took a picture of each photograph on his phone and also scanned them into the computer. He placed the photographs back into the box and returned them to the Harbor Inn.
Charley sat at the front desk as Niles entered the inn.
“Find what you’re looking for?” Charley said.
“Yes,” Niles said and sat the box on the desk. He removed the two photographs and handed them to Charley. “Do you know this couple?”
“Yes,” Charley said. “Vance and Val Davenport, they sail into port about once a week. Sometimes they rent a room and spend the night on shore.”
“That seems peculiar to me,” Niles said. “Do you have anybody else who does anything close to that.”
“No,” Charley said. “They seem rather wealthy, I mean the type of wealth you don’t have to work anymore. You know, the types that manage the family assets and charities.”
“Ever anybody with them?” Niles said.
“No, always alone,” Charley said, “and they stay to themselves. They are very nice to Shelly and me, but not overly so. I guess you could say cordial. In a strange sort of way they kind of let you know you are not from their world.”
“Do you know where they come from and where they sail to?” Niles said.
“Vance said they spend so much time on the boat they just give that as their address,” Charley said.
“What city?” Niles said.
“Bar Harbor,” Charley said.
“Do you know where they sail to?” Niles said
“Some little place on the tip of Long Island,” Charley said. “Orient, I think that’s the name of the place.”
“Yeah,” Niles said, “I know where it is; lot of money out that way.”
“Whenever they come to town the usually go for a coffee at Ye Olde Stomping Grounds,” Charley said.. “They say it’s the best coffee on the coast.”
“Yeah,” Niles said, “but I don’t like to go into a place, you say coffee and they say what kind. When did life get so complicated? I used to go to this coffee shop around the corner from the precinct in New York; a few years back they installed this coffee bar. You had to have a degree to read the menu and they hired a bunch of purple hair tattooed moron artist types who thinks a misdemeanor is their second-grade teacher. I started going elsewhere. I didn’t fill at home there anymore.”
“Well, the gal that works at the Stomping Grounds is natural and only has a tatt on her calf,” Charley said.
“Just wait,” Niles said, “In another year it will look like a circus sideshow.”
“I’m heading home,” Niles said. “Reruns for Murder She Wrote are on tonight.”