Picture Perfect 17

“Pounding the beat on a Saturday Sergeant?” Ushio said.

“I’ll pound the beat on his head.” Warszawa muttered as he shook Dan’s hand.

“He does have a point Inspector.” Dan emphasized the correct title. “Or is this a case where the beat goes on and on?”

“Not you too?” Warszawa said. “As you should remember, Dan, some job are twenty-fours, even if you aren’t being paid for twenty-fours hours. You know I have dreams about some cases.”

“I dream of cameras.” Sandy said pulling of her work gloves. “And cool hands.”

“I dream of Acid Black Cherry.” Ushio started dreamily over their heads.

“Who?” Warszawa asked.

“Japanese pop.” Dan said. 

“Oh so right, sir.” Ushio giggled.

“Lucky guess.” Dan said to Warszawa. “So what brings you in here on a Saturday. Work for me I hope.”

“Can’t I just drop by to see how you are doing?” Warszawa asked.

“Since when does a twenty-four hour man have time to just drop by.” Dan stepped away from the counter and nodded overhead to his office.

“It’ll only take a few minutes.” Warszawa said.

Dan’s office was stuffy from not having been used the past couple of days. He flipped on the air circulator.

“I’ve done some checking into that case you asked me about.” Warszawa sat in the chair facing the desk.

“Case?” Dan didn’t recall asking to have anything check into.

“Yeah, that boyhood buddy of yours who vanished.” He took some papers out his sport coat’s breast pocket. “Timothy Dunlop.”

“What! He has a rap sheet?”

“No. No. I looked into the cold case. It’s pretty much what the show reported but they left out a lot. Like Timothy’s dad swearing the boy had run off to be with his mother.”

“But he lived with his mother.”

“That was his step-mother in Stellerton. His real mother was in Newfoundland. He didn’t turn up there.”

“That seems pretty obvious.”

“Does now, but at the time he wasn’t considered one of the abducted children. It was Unsolved Cold that included him.”

“Hmm? Maybe that’s why my folks didn’t say much to me. They might have thought he was Newfoundland too. But my mother and sister both  act as if there was something else going on, you know.”

“Something else?”

“Some sort of family issue. Anything else?”

“Did he visit you in New Waterford.”

“A couple of time.”

“Actually those were also run away episodes.”

“What? I knew he didn’t like his Dad but … I didn’t realize that was why he was there. Hiding out. He said our place was his favourite hide out.”

“His Dad, on the other hand did have, as you called it, a rap sheet. You’ve watch too much bad TV since you left the force. B&E, assault, sexual assault, extortion. Finally died in a crash. Trying to outrun the RCMP on his motorcycle. He had been considered a suspect in Tim’s disappearance. Getting rid of the boy so it would look he was one of the abducted children.”

“Was he ever discounted?”

“There was never enough evidence to link him. He was in the Halifax drunk tank at the time Tim went missing.”

“And his step-mother Mrs. Dunlop?”

“She’s still alive. In Stellarton in fact.”

“Unsolved Cold seems to have left out a lot.”

“To be fair they may not have had access to our files. They just used newspaper reports and put this pieces together. Pieces we didn’t then.”

“Why not?”

“Lack of communication between divisions. Remember they we didn’t have the instant net we have today.”

“Could I see the files on the other children?”

“Now Dan you know that isn’t going to happen. What I’ve already told you is just between us. But I can tell you one thing …”

“What?” His cell rang. “Damn. …. Okay I’ll be down in five. They need me downstairs.”

“Another time then.”

“Tell me.” Dan asked as they walked down the stairs. “What was the one thing.”

“There were more.”


“Yes there were more children. The others were natives. They police themselves.”

He went to the store and there was only a handful of customers.

“Where’s the big rush?” He asked.

“Ah, Mr. James.”

He turned around and it was Hamid.

“Miss James asked me to bring this over directly when it had arrived.”

He handed Dan a box wrapped in silver foil with a tag that his name printed on it and nothing else.

“A courier brought to the store this afternoon. It was felt it would be best if we accepted it and brought it to you.”

He took the box. It was about the size of a squared off extra large coffee cup. He shook it gently by his ear. All he heard was the foil.

“There haven’t been any reports of bombs lately, Warszawa?”

“No! You think someone is out to get you?”

“After some of the appraisals I did today I wouldn’t be surprised if there were reprisals.”

The wrap was seamless. He turned it over looking for where it had been taped shut. The tag was held on by a thin chain the merged with the corner it was attached to.

“Just pull Goddamn thing.” Sandy said. “By the tag. Give it a tug.”

He put the box on the counter and held it gently with one hand while pulling the tag up with the other. Nothing happened.

“Try pulling down then.” Sandy suggested.

He did and the chain tore through the foil to the bottom of the box.

“Amazing.” Ushio leaned to look closer. “How was that made?” 

Dan was able to peel the foil off, like unwrapping a candy. Inside was a clear plastic box with a crystal bottle of amber coloured cologne. Adhering the the inside of the foil wrap was a card that said. “Ashely is thrilled with the Lyphend. Not as much as I was with your service. I  sensed that you enjoyed this scent. Jeremy.”

“Who is it from?” Sandy asked.

Dan pocketed the note before anyone else could see it. “A satisfied customer.”

“You must be selling more than cameras to get a gift like that.” Warszawa wagged his eyebrows.

Dan reddened. “Thank you Hamid. Now back to work everyone. That means you too Inspector. Unless you want to dust this for prints?’ He made as if to hand the silver foil to Warszawa.

“Only if I found it on the floor of your boudoir.” He went to the front door. “I’ll be in touch.”

The rest of the afternoon passed quickly as they appraised the usual assortment of cameras, tripods, and other such stuff. One was an electronic device none of them could figure out what the use for it was. Even the owner was unsure of what it was.

“That clears out most of our last Christmas stock.” Sandy said.

“There are a few things I can recondition.” Ushio said. “They will be better than new when I am done.”

“I’ll sort through the camera bins,” Dan looked over the boxes of trade-ins. “What we can’t reclaim we’ll pillage for parts and send the rest to Goodwill on Monday.” He knew he was looking at an afternoon’s work.

“Okay bossman. I’ll do the same with the audio equipment.” Sandy pulled on her work gloves.

“Which leaves me the particle separator diffuser.” Ushio said.

“The what!” Dan said.

Ushio held up the mystery electronic device.


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