Chapter One Hundred Two
As soon as Jack finished his phone call with Bobby O’Connor he called Mike O’Grady.
“Hey Mike. It’s Jack Kimberly.”
“Who? Jack Kimberly?
From high school?” asked Mike.
“The one and only. Look Mike. I was just talking to Bobby O’Connor. I have a big favor to ask you. Is there any chance I can come to visit you this afternoon?”
“I don’t see why not. I hope you won’t mind a very messy apartment that doesn’t smell that great,” said Mike.
“That’s no problem. I should be at your place in less than half an hour,” said Jack.
When Jack parked his new Ford Fusion in front of Mike O’Grady’s apartment, he could see that he was definitely in an inner city neighborhood. He saw what used to be a corner grocery store with boarded up windows. An animal scurried across his shoe. It was moving too fast for Jack to see it. He shuddered and hoped it wasn’t a rat. He walked up the rickety stairs that he prayed would hold his weight. One of the handrails shook and vibrated as Jack grabbed a hold of it.
Mike O’Grady’s apartment was on the second floor. As Jack climbed the steps he could smell the faint odor of urine in the hall. He knocked on Mike’s apartment door. Mike answered the door promptly and invited Jack inside.
Mike was not exaggerating when he talked about his place being a mess. It looked like his apartment had been hit by a tornado. Mike’s dining room table was covered with computer monitors, hard drives and an assortment of old computer parts and tools.
Jack looked around the room trying to find a clear spot where he could sit down. Finally, Mike moved a box of books off an old easy chair. The chair was well worn and had an assortment of holes of various sizes. Most of the holes looked like they were from cigarette burns.
Chapter One Hundred One
“I wasn’t aware of Blake’s change in character until it was too late. It wasn’t too long after we both graduated from Business College when Blake approached me with a business proposition. Blake had a lot of charisma, and still does in a devious sort of way. I ended up joining Blake’s business venture.
At the beginning our business took off like a rocket. Within a year we were both making more money than we’d ever seen in our lives. Things went smoothly for a few years, then Blake went turncoat on me. He started having an affair with a woman who persuaded Blake to forsake the business that he and I shared and to join her in her new business venture. Blake didn’t even pay me the courtesy of letting me know what he had done. Heck, he didn’t even ask me to join the new company that he would help build,” said Jack.
“So, the jerk double crossed you,” said Bobby.
“That’s a huge understatement. Blake was disloyal to me and almost ruined me financially,” said Jack.
Jack was starting to get red in the face and his blood pressure was starting to spike. Even telling Booby about this situation caused Jack to relive it.
“So, what are you going to do about it and how does Mike O’Grady fit into the picture?” asked Bobby, becoming very intrigued with Jack’s story.
“I figure that the best way to get back at Blake is to make a total fool out of him. I want to see him totally humiliated,” answered Jack.
“And how do you plan to accomplish that?” asked Bobby.
“I’ve got a couple of ideas that I hope Mike can help me with.
“Of course you know all about Blake’s participation and funding of the university’s research project,” said Jack.
“Of course, I wrote several articles about it,” said Bobby.
“Well, I plan to make that project fall flat on its face.”
“And how exactly are you going to do that? You’ve got me really curious.”
Chapter One Hundred
“Have you ever heard of a guy named Blake Riley?” asked Jack. While he was talking on the phone Jack was staring straight ahead at one of his own abstract paintings that he had mounted on the wall in front of him. His living room was starting to smell a bit musty so Jack walked over to open up a window.
“Blake Riley? Anyone who is reading my recent articles on Ogopogo knows who Blake Riley is. He’s that rich, eccentric entrepreneur who’s funding the university’s research project on Ogopogo,” answered Bobby throwing his Danish wrapper in the plastic garbage container to the left of his desk.
“It’s a small world, Bobby. Blake Riley was in our grade six class when we were in elementary school. I don’t know if you remember him from back then. Blake was a tall, skinny kid who always looked dirty. His clothes were well worn and always had holes in them.
“Now I’m starting to remember,” said Bobby with surprise.
“When I interviewed Blake on the phone I never made the connection. Blake didn’t stay long in our class, as I recall,” now sitting up straight in his leather upholstered chair.
“You’re right about that. Blake was only in our room for about six months or maybe less. Blake was a bully who used to threaten little kids for their lunch money. Eventually, Mr. Dole, our principal, called in Blake’s mother to discuss the situation. As Blake’s mom was behind on her rent payments she took this as a sign that they should move again to a place that charged lower rent. So Blake ended up having to change schools again,” said Jack.
“Poor kid,” said Bobby.
“Don’t feel too sorry for him,” said Jack taking a sip of his coffee.
“No one in our class liked him. Blake was a bully, a liar and a thief. A lot of things went missing in our classroom during Blake’s stay with us.”
“Yeah, I recall losing my geometry set and my Batman comic books seemed to mysteriously disappear that year,” said Bobby scratching his head. He now remembered the day that the school nurse found lice in Blake’s hair.
“Life is full of surprises. I met up again with Blake Riley when I attended Business College. I couldn’t believe how different he looked. Blake now looked clean and was wearing a new sweater and a nice pair of dress pants. I asked him about his life after he left our grade six class,” said Jack.
“Hey, Bobby. It’s Jack Kimberly, man.”
“Jack Kimberly? I haven’t heard from you since high school,” said Bobby trying to finish chewing a piece of his lemon Danish.
Jack reached for his coffee while he sank back into his favorite black Lazy Boy chair.
“Yeah, it’s been awhile buddy. I was just thinking about you and Mike O’Grady.”
“Mike O’Grady? I just talked to him a few weeks ago. I asked him to look at a couple of photos and to tell me if he thought they were authentic or fakes,” Bobby said, finally having finished his piece of Danish. He sat back in his chair and loosened his tie getting prepared for some pleasurable reminiscing with an old friend.
“How’s Mikey doing these days?” asked Jack.
“Not the greatest. The last decade or so, hasn’t been very kind to him,” answered Bobby.
“Geez, I’m sorry to hear that. What’s been giving Mike trouble?” asked Jack.
“Well, his health hasn’t been that good. He’s got arthritis in his knees and his back and he’s really obese now.”
At least that hasn’t changed. He and I were the two fattest kids in grade five,” said Jack.
“Mike also has emphysema but he still smokes like a chimney,” Bobby continued. “Because of his health he collects disability now. He makes a little money on the side repairing computers for a few clients.”
Jack Kimberley walked over to his kitchen to make himself some coffee. He was still trying to think of a way to get back at Blake Riley. If only he could make a fool out of his former business partner. An idea occurred to Jack.
What if he could prove that Ogopogo did not exist or make it appear that Blake had really had the wool pulled over his eyes.
Then an ingenious thought crossed Jack’s mind. What if he could find a fake Ogopogo? Who did he know who could build one?
Jack realized that he and newspaper reporter, Bobby O’Connor had a mutual friend. Someone that they both knew from their high school days. His name was Mike O’Grady, the same man who had analyzed Monique Painchaud’s pictures for Bobby.
Jack remembered how Mike always liked to tinker with things when they were in school. He remembered the time that Mike had made a small scale model of Ogopogo for a science project in grade eleven. Jack wondered if Mike still had kept the model after all these years. He knew how he might find out. Jack would phone Bobby O’Connor to ask if he had kept in touch with Mike O’Grady.
Jack immediately got the phone number of The Kelowna Sun that was printed near the bottom of the front page. He dialed the number and a receptionist put him through to Bobby O’Connor
Winston Standfield was down in the boat’s lower deck thinking about what he should make for lunch. A few summers before he had taught Wally how to operate his boat.
Wally, with the wind almost blowing off his battered, old baseball cap, was enjoying navigating his Grandpa’s cabin cruiser. While guiding the vessel towards Squally Point he heard Garry calling out to him.
Garry had been looking out one of the telescopes situated on the left hand side of the ship.
“Wally, come quick! I see something. Come have a look.”
“Wally ran to the telescope nearest to Garry. As soon as he looked into the telescope he could see what his friend was talking about.
“Do you see it?” said Garry with an excited high pitched voice.
Wally could see some activity about one hundred metres from the boat. There were a flock of birds making a fast retreat from the surface of the lake. Wally could also see a large grey hump in the same area from which the birds had just made their escape.
Garry cried out, “We’ve got to tell Winston!”
“No, hold up,” said Wally. “I’ve lost sight of the hump. It appears to have submerged.”
John Richards was just getting up from an afternoon nap when Aunt Meg’s telephone rang. As he was the closest person to the phone he picked up the receiver.
“Hi, John. It’s Sue.”
“Oh, hi, Sue. How are you?”
“I’m a little worried about you guys.”
“What are you worried about?” asked John.
“Well, I’ve been reading the papers and watching the news on t.v. Apparently, there’s all this excitement about Ogopogo and I know that you’ve always been interested in this type of thing,” said Susan.
“Yes, you’re right about that. It is very exciting isn’t it?” asked John with a nervous sound in his voice. Since they had been separated he had not enjoyed his telephone conversations with Susan. It seemed that she always put him on the defensive and they would end up arguing. He had long felt that his wife did not have a lot of respect or confidence in him.
“ I’ll get right to the point John. I’ve been reading about two separate expeditions that are going to search for Ogopogo. Are you and the kids involved in these in any way?”
“Yes, we are. Ryan and his girlfriend have joined the university’s research team,” answered John getting up to make himself a pot of coffee.
“Girlfriend? Did Ryan meet somebody out there?”
“Yes, He met a very nice girl named Monique. She’s from Montreal and is staying with her mother for the summer.”
“Does it look as if it’s going to be a serious relationship?” asked Susan.
“Very much so. Meg and I were talking about this yesterday. It looks like Ryan and his girlfriend are in love,” answered John.
“Oh great,” said Susan. “Now I’ve got two problems to worry about. Ryan’s new love interest and the two of them going on that expedition.”
“There’s nothing to worry about. I’m sure that it will be a short expedition and I’’ll be right with them on the boat anyway,” said John.
“Now that really puts my mind at ease,” said Susan sarcastically.
John sighed and was hoping this conversation would soon end. He noticed that he was starting to perspire. John was also getting angry.
“Look Sue. I know you don’t have a very high opinion of me but I love my kids and would never do anything to hurt them.”
“But you don’t have any problem putting their lives in danger,” snapped Susan.