Blood Lines Chapter 38

   “Did you get it sorted out,” Conor Murphy asked JT Markunas at lunch the afternoon of JT’s wedding to Kayleigh Jurgelaitis the third weekend of October. They hadn’t seen much of each other lately. They were at the Fisherman’s Wharf not far from the church. After two months of rolling in the hay JT and Kayleigh had decided there was no point in waiting. They wanted to get married outdoors on Brackley Beach where they had first seen each other but when the weather got bad towards the end of the month they changed their plans and got married indoors, in the Stella Maris Catholic Church in North Rustico. Neither of them were parishioners but both had grown up church-going Catholics and Father Arthur Pendergast had no objections to performing the service.

   Besides, he had more on his mind than joining two non-parishioners in holy wedlock. His mission that fall was to get artificial ice finally installed in the next-door North Star Arena. It was going to cost a quarter million dollars. The church had been helping with fund raising since 1986. Money hadn’t rained down from heaven, but the Rustico communities were doing their best to get it done.

   After the ceremony the small wedding party walked down Church Hill Rd. to the restaurant. The air was cool, but the sun was out, and it wasn’t raining anymore.

   “Just about, except for Monk and the two Montreal killers,” JT said. “They sorted themselves out.”

   “It was all about the money, was it?” asked Conor.

   “Yeah, that’s what it was all about. Monk had the bad cash. He killed the girl, Jimmy LaPlante’s niece, to get it. Montreal wanted it back and when that wasn’t happening, they sent the two contract killers to get it. The man and woman who attacked you, they thought Monk had hidden it somewhere on your property and believed you knew where it was.”

   Before the Fisherman’s Wharf was what it was, it was the Cosy Corner. Leo LeClair operated it on North Rustico’s main drag from the early 1960s, until he sold it to the Legion. A few years later they sold it back to Leo. He remodeled the restaurant and changed the name to Fisherman’s Wharf. He sold it to Albert Dow in 1975. Albert put up blue awnings, expanded the seating, and added a gift shop. His father was a sometime carpenter and built the gift shop.

   “I’ve never eaten here,” JT said.

   “Neither have I,” said Conor.

   “They’ve got squirters in the gift shop,” JT said.

   “It was our policy that any camping or pocket knife we sold to anyone under 16, they had to have the parent’s permission,” Albert said. “My dad wouldn’t allow any plastic play guns or water pistols that were shaped like a real gun to be sold in the gift shop, although we had tons of lobster water squirters.”

   “Why did Monk chop the girl’s arm off?”

   “We think he did that because he got mad when she didn’t want to give up the cash. He did it after the fact, though. The funny thing about it is, if he hadn’t we probably wouldn’t be talking about the facts right now. I think she would have stayed unseen and unfound in the ground.”

   “Where is Jimmy?”

   “He’s in the Provincial Correctional Centre for now. He’ll probably end up in Renous down in New Brunswick. Do you know I have his dog?”

   “No, I didn’t know,” Conor said. “I don’t know much about him, except what you’ve told me, including anything about his dog.”

   “It’s a fine young Pit Bull with one quirk. He hates guns. I have to put mine away the first thing when I get home. Otherwise, he goes ballistic.”

   “That’s not a bad thing,” Conor said. “You’ve got a companion and a bodyguard all wrapped up in one. Not only a dog, but a handsome wife, too.””

   “Kayleigh likes the fella, which is the most important thing.”

   “You sound like a married man already.”

   “It’s too bad that woman fell off the boat,” JT said.


   “You know, her body has never washed up. It’s like she just went up in thin air.”

   “Is that right?”

   “I wonder what happened to her body.”

   “That’s a good question.”

   “It would have been helpful to get her into an interrogation room.”

   “She didn’t have much to say after I shot her.”

   “Or found her remains so forensics could have a go at it.”


   “You don’t seem to care too much.”

   “I don’t care at all,” Conor said. “Besides, it’s past time I go give your wife a best man’s congratulations kiss.”

   “Don’t overstay your welcome,” JT said taking a bite on his lobster roll. “Remember, the real deal is sitting right here.”

   Just then a tall thin man wearing a mask and a red cape walked in. He strode up to JT and shook his hand. He walked up to Kayleigh and gave her a sloppy kiss. He saluted everybody else and ran out the front door.

   “What the hell was that?” JT asked.

   “The Red Rider,” Conor said. “He usually comes out after dinner, down the dump road, and roams around scaring kids. Stirling Peters was the first Red Rider. After that his brother Keith took over. After that it was different guys, like Ronnie MacDonald. I’m not too sure who it is these days.”

   “All right, but why is there a Red Rider in the first place?”

   “It’s the Crick, JT, don’t you know, the Crick,” Conor said.


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