Instead of home, Niles walked into The Captain’s Table. A high school girl named Lucy waited tables at night and Junior ran the register and kitchen. The place barely stayed open in the winter. The only time the place appeared busy might be a Friday or Saturday nights. Junior kept it open during the week for nothing else than civic duty.
From the kitchen, Junior greeted Niles with a wave.
Niles sat at a booth overlooking Main Street.
Lucy grabbed a menu from the counter. “Do you need a menu?” she said.
“Nah, Lucy,” Niles said. “Fish and chips and a draft.”
The department’s cruiser drove up and parked in front of The Captain’s Table. Sid got out and came in with a rush of cold air.
“Want some company over dinner,” Sid said and said to Lucy coming from the kitchen, “I’ll take what the chief’s having.”
“Minus the beer,” Niles said.
“Yeah, on duty” Sid said, “just bring a coffee.”
Sid removed his coat, tossed it on the bench, and sat across from Niles. “Bitter night out there.”
“Anything going on?” Niles said.
“Wrote a speeding ticket,” Sid said, “some kid showing off with his girlfriend.”
“I remember some kid climbing the side of a building trying to impress some girl,” Niles said. “Amazing, he got up to about 15 floors and lost his grip. Fell about 10 feet from where the girl stood. Made a real impression, it will be with her the rest of her life.”
“I leaped over a car on a dirt bike to impress a girl,” Sid said. “She married the guy who owned the car.”
Niles smiled and shook his head.
“For real,” Sid said. “Sandra Flemming, it’s now Linheart; she married the guy who has the propane truck.”
“Didn’t you ticket him for speedy a month ago?” Niles said.
“Yeah,” Sid said, “he had that tanker going 50 in a 35. Justice is blind.”
“But grudges judges have their eyes wide open,” Niles said.
They chatted, Lucy brought the meals, and they talked as they ate.
“Anything new on the Mildred or Petit cases?” Niles asked.
“I got a few things I’m working on,” Niles said. “Perhaps you might be able to help. Have you ever noticed a couple with a green sailboat sail into the harbor periodically.”
“Yeah,” Sid said, “a couple of times.”
“You notice anything about them that may seem different?” Niles said.
“They seem to really be into each other,” Sid said. “They stay to themselves. Funny, they never leave the boat without their backpacks. That may mean something, right?”
“Something or nothing,” Niles said.
“Do you think the island has a drug problem?” Niles said.
“Drugs are always a problem, but not as much as other places,” Sid said, “a marijuana patch here and there. I’m sure we don’t get all of it, but there was a study a few years ago that said we have far less problems in the community and school than the rest of the state.”
“If you wanted to distribute drugs where would you most likely do it, to go undetected, in a bar or a church?” Niles said.
“So you think…” Sid said.
“Meals on me,” Nile said looking at the check and placing money on the table. “Keep your eyes open. If the green sailboat comes into harbor, let me know and pass that on to Tom, in case I forget.”