Captain Dave lived above The Lobster Trap gift shop. Niles trudged up its enclosed stairway and knocked on his door.
The door opened. Dave stood dressed in pajamas and a robe wearing his captain’s hat.
“Chief Quinn,” Dave said, “what brings you here?”
“I’d like to talk for a little bit,” Niles said. “Would it be okay if I stepped in for a moment?”
“Certainly,” Dave said and stepped back from the door to allow Niles to come in.
Niles walked into a clean quaint kitchen. Not fancy or frilly, but utilitarian. It had a rugged seaman’s appearance.
“Would you prefer a seat the kitchen table or living room?” Dave said.
“Kitchen’s fine,” Niles said.
Dave pulled out a chair and gestured for Niles to sit.
“You have a nice place,” Niles said sitting. “Nice view of the harbor and the street.”
“Same as your place,” Dave said, “except I have a second story view. Before I sit, can I offer you something; coffee, tea, soda?”
“No,” Niles said.
Dave sat at the table across from Niles. “Steve, tipped me off, he said you would probably want to talk to me.”
“With the view you have of Main Street, did you see who shot Mildred?” Niles said.
‘”No,” Dave said, “I was out on my boat with two couples; one from Virginia and the other from Connecticut. You don’t think they shot came from here, do you?”
“I’m positive,” Niles said.
“Your brother says you know a lot about the lobster grounds and what goes on,” Niles said.
“They trust me,” Dave said.
“I will never ask you anything that may cause them to lose that trust, unless in concerns Brewster Harbor,” Niles said. “How those men regulate their affairs is no concern of mine, except if they break the law. I don’t want to know anything about the lobster fleet. I want to know about the Green sailboat that comes into the harbor every now and then.”
“What do you want to know?” Dave said.
“What can you tell me,” Niles said.
“Don’t let the appearance fool you,” Dave said. “In every way, they carry themselves as well-to-do. They drop names from time to time. They are fakes, phonies. They have no real breeding; only what they were able to pick up from running with the upper crust in college. Vance is from Oklahoma and Val from Mississippi.”
“How do you know that?” Niles said.
“Malcolm Winters has a summer cottage on the eastern shore of Bellamy Island, we’ve become good friends,” Dave said. “He’s a sociology professor at Harvard. The Davenport’s are all to eager to inform others of their breeding, background, and education. What are the chances of a Harvard professor living here? He did a little investigating for me. It turns out, though brilliant, the Davenports come from rather humble beginnings; wretched might be more like it. Harvard likes to toss crumbs to the poor and underprivileged, it makes them feel better about themselves. Thus, the two meet on campus and eventually get tossed from school, records sealed, but my friend thinks it has to do with drugs.”
“Can you feed me some more crumbs?” Niles said.
“They meet with a seaplane about 50 miles off the coast,” Dave said. “What they do there, I don’t know, but one does not have to possess much imagination to figure it out.”
Niles stood. “Thanks, Dave.”
“Chief,” Dave said, “my brother, Charley, and Shelly speak very highly of you. They like you.”
“The feelings are mutual,” Niles said.
“I know you’re a big city cop and all,” Dave said, “but watch yourself. I hesitated telling you anything in fear something might happen to you, but perhaps you can pass the information on to someone else.”
“I’m only interested in two murders at the present,” Niles said. “It will take the Coast Guard to stop anything else.”
“For your information,” Dave said, “the present harbormaster is the brother of the one who was here when Petit was found in the harbor.”
Niles curled his lips down. “Thanks and have a good day.”
Niles walked back to the Police Station. “Harbormaster,” he thought, “I didn’t see that one coming.”