The second week in January the temperatures ranged from the high 40s to the low 50s. Plenty of sunlight fell upon Brewster Harbor. Niles spent much of his time following threads of evidence and relationships; blood, business, and social. He wanted to understand loyalties, feuds, and alliances.
Niles sat at his desk filling out reports for the town’s files. His thoughts drifted to the case and he stopped to ponder the progress and setbacks.
“I want to make sure the switch flipped is the right light,” Niles thought. “It would be a terrible thing to flip the switch that leads to a bare electrical wire laying in a puddle of water that I happened to be standing in. The Mancuso murder about 10 years ago; at first they thought it was suicide. I’m thinking, with his hat and coat still on?”
His phone buzzed and interrupted the train of thought.
“This is Steve, I thought you’d like to know the Davenports just appeared in the harbor.”
“Thanks, Steve,” Niles said and hung up.
Niles removed his pistol from the shoulder holster and gave it a quick check. He went to the weapons’ locker in the room with the cot and removed another pistol. He loaded it and stuffed it into his side jacket pocket.
Niles locked the office. He called Tom on his cell.
“Tom, this is Niles, remember the Davenports I briefed you and Sid about?”
“Yeah,” Tom said.
“They just sailed into the harbor,” Niles said. “In fifteen minutes I want you and Sid to be in The Beacon’s office watching what happens at Ye Ole Stomping Grounds. I want your eyes peeled on me. If I reach inside my jacket for my weapon or my side pocket come running with your weapons ready. Have you got that?”
“Got it,” Tom said.
Niles hung up. He climbed into the jeep and drove slowly toward Ye Ole Stomping Grounds. He parked on the street and waited. The Davenports walked across the street, each with a backpack.
Niles walked in right behind them. He thought, “I know they don’t know me and I hope the dip behind the counter is oblivious as she looks.”
They stepped to the counter and ordered two coffees and sat the backpacks beside the counter. They grabbed their coffees and sat at a table. Niles ordered his coffee and sat at a counter facing the street.
He sipped and listened. The conversation between the Davenports seemed mundane; the trip, weather, healthy eating, and workouts.
The barista, a mid-20s tattooed girl bolted from behind the counter with two backpacks. “You guys left these.”
“Oh thank you,” Val said.
Niles stood with his coffee and sat next to Vance. “Hi folks,” Vance said. “God, you must be nervous right now.”
They said nothing.