“Well, would you look at that? This here beach is practically empty!” exclaimed Captain Harris as he glanced around at the nearly empty beachfront.
“Ah, yes, we practically have the entire beach to ourselves!” remarked Doctor Calvin.
“Oh, wonderful! A real vacation away from people, for once! This will be fun!” squealed Trin Thompson as she eagerly began to pick out a good spot for her chair.
David Turner laughed, “Yes, though we did tell the sheriff where we could be found in case he needed us.”
Trin rolled her eyes, “I still can’t believe you felt the need to do that. We’re on vacation for crying out loud, work shouldn’t become involved!”
“I know, but, just in case . . .”
“Listen, mate, don’t jinx it. We haven’t had a good vacation for a while. Besides, what with the sheriff keeping you so busy for these past couple of months, well, you deserve this the most.”
David smiled, “Thanks Captain, and I promise I will enjoy it.”
“Then what are we waiting for? We shouldn’t let Trin do all of the work while we’re here,” blurted Calvin as he set off to help Trin set up.
Harris clapped David’s shoulder, “Yeah, what kind of a boyfriend are you; letting your girl do all the work?” David merely grinned sheepishly before he and Harris joined Calvin and Trin. Between the four, they got the umbrella, the blanket, and all the chairs set up in a matter of minutes. When Harris was finished and satisfied with his work, he promptly whooped and dove into the sea.
Calvin laughed, “Can’t separate that man from the sea for long, can you?”
David laughed, “I don’t think so. But, I think I’ll join him, that water looks mighty nice and cool.”
“That it does, but, considering I was the last person to finish eating and it hasn’t been an hour yet, I’ll wait before I join you.”
“Alright, Doctor. Coming, Trin?”
Trin shook her head as she pulled out a book, “No thank you, not now, at least, I want to lay back and relax a bit before jumping in.”
“Alright, see you in a bit!” With that, David tore off across the sand towards the water’s edge and jumped in with a whoop.
“Looks like it didn’t take long before David joined Harris,” quipped Calvin.
Trin scoffed as she turned a page in her book, “Of course not. David might not admit it, but he’s just as enthralled by the sea as the captain, especially when there’s no mystery.”
Calvin chuckled, “That is true, and their first mystery together no doubt helped that.” Trin nodded, and the two fell into silence. Trin went back to her book while Calvin laid back and closed his eyes for a bit, listening to the crashing of the waves, the calls of seagulls, and the laughter of his two friends in the sea. It was a very relaxing moment, and he had nearly fallen asleep when a sharp scream echoed over the sand. He bolted up and joined Trin in dashing in the direction from which the scream came, followed closely by Harris and David.
“Help, help! Somebody call the police! Call a doctor!” shouted a woman’s voice as they neared the spot. A young family of six had split up; the mother was herding the children away from the beach front while the father was hovering over something.
“I’m a doctor, ma’am. What do you need?” replied Calvin in a calm voice. The woman merely pointed at her husband who waved them over to his position.
“Poor chap,” he muttered when they got close. He pointed as he back up a bit, there, a body lay mangled among the rocks and seaweed. Calvin immediately knelt down and checked the body’s pulse before rolling him over.
“He’s definitely dead,” Calvin stated grimly.
“Ach! I told you not to say anything, David! And now look what you did, you jinxed our vacation!” blurted Harris.
“Captain, please! Show some respect for the deceased! Trin, you did bring a camera with you?”
“Yes I did, Doctor Calvin. I’ll be right back,” replied Trin, knowing exactly what he needed it for, having worked with him on so many other cases.
“Doctor, how long do you say he’s been in the water?”
“Since I think he was dead long before he hit the water, probably no more than two hours, tops.”
“What’s your estimate of time of death?”
“So far, from what I can make out, I’d say . . . around one this morning.”
David turned to the father of the family, “Do you know where there’s a phone nearby?”
“Uh, uh, yes, um, b-back at the lifeguard hut.”
“Good, I want you to go and phone the police . . .”
“Simply tell them we have a body that’s washed ashore,” interrupted Calvin.
David nodded, “Right. And while he’s doing that, Captain, since you’re so knowledgeable of the sea and her ways, I need you to come with me. We’re going to find the place where he was dumped into the sea.”
Harris sighed, “Oh, alright, let’s make it quick.” He paused to glance out at the water before turning and dashing up the beach, David hot on his heels. They ran a ways before Harris slowed down, glancing at the wet sand. David too kept a sharp eye out for anything, but it was Harris who saw it first. “Look, tire tracks!” The two dashed over to the imprints.
“These look like they’re pretty fresh.”
“And this is an ideal spot for the doctor’s one hour to two hour window based on the currents.”
“Well, it looks like we’ve got something for the police to start on. But, why would the criminal leave such a clue?”
“Unless they’re putting the blame on someone else.”
“Of course, that would throw us off.”
Harris sighed, “We’re solving this mystery.”
David nodded, “Yes we are.”
Harris groaned, “Go figure.”