The paper contained six land transfers right after Sam’s death. They were all sold to Tom Shepherd. Within a year he sold them to six other people.
Shelly returned with the hot chocolate and sat down at the table.
The conversation hardly had time to start when the front door opened and Lute walked in. He hung his coat and Charley invited him to pour a coffee and join everyone.
As he poured the coffee and looked over the pastries on the counter Niles leaned over to Jessica and whispered, “Did you clear the screen before you left?”
“No,” Jessica said, “am I in trouble?”
“No,” Niles said. “I just want to know what Lute knows.”
All the time Lute was talking about the severity of the weather. He walked toward the table. Charley and Shelley suggested moving two tables together. After the tables were moved together everyone sat down again.
“I thought I might find you two over here,” Lute said.
“I see you checked in at the town hall,” Niles said.
“How did you know that?” Lute said.
“I had a letter on my desk addressed to you,” Niles said. “Somehow it got in my mail, but anyway I saw it sticking out your coat pocket when you came in.”
“How did I have my eggs this morning?” Lute joked.
“You didn’t have breakfast,” Niles said. “You still have sleep in your eye and you took a hungry man’s bite from that muffin.”
“I should learn to eat more discreetly,” Lute joked.
“Maybe we all should,” Steve said. “Next thing you know Izzy will be writing about it.”
“I would say that between everybody at this table we probably know about everybody in town,” Niles said.
Niles read five of the six names from the paper and everyone expressed some knowledge of them. At last, he said, “Sandra Brewster.”
“Never heard of her,” Steve said.
“Interesting,” Lute said, “Brewster Harbor and nobody in this town has the last name of Brewster.”
“That sounds like something right down Steve’s and Dave’s alley,” Shelly said and looked at Steve and Dave. “You ever wonder why.”
“Never gave it a thought,” Steve said.
“Me neither,” Dave said.
“Does anyone know?” Shelly said.
“Does anyone know how Bellamy Island got its name?” Niles asked and waited for an answer. “How ‘bout speculations?”
No one seemed to know nor care to speculate.