Chapter One Hundred Sixteen
When Blake Riley’s crew reached the area near Rattlesnake Island, Dr. Lionel Hardy was scanning the lake with a pair of high powered binoculars. He started jumping around the deck of the boat and yelled, “I see something about fifty yards away. It could be Ogopogo!”
Blake Riley was only a few feet from Lionel. “Quick! Give me those binoculars!” Blake looked through the binoculars in the direction that Dr. Hardy was pointing.
“I see it! Everyone that has a camera or camcorder grab them quickly.
By this time dawn was breaking and the darkness of the night was starting to lift. Most of the crew now had their video equipment ready.
“History shall be made this morning!” Lionel Hardy bellowed, as he paced around the boat’s deck, being unable to restrain his excitement.
As Blake’s boat moved in closer some of the crew’s excitement had turned into fear. Mike O’Grady’s model looked so authentic that it could easily be mistaken for the real thing. The model was still wet from being dunked in the water by the junior Ogopogo. Its neck was approximately eight feet long and its head resembled that of a horse. The mouth of the replica was open exposing a set of razor sharp teeth. It appeared to be at least thirty feet long.
The fake Ogopogo was soon being lit up by the flashes from all of the cameras. Two of the crew had started filming a video with their camcorders.
“I think we should stop the boat. I don’t think it’s safe to get any closer to the animal,” Monique Painchaud said.
Blake Riley ignored this warning and kept the boat moving closer to the perceived threat.
“We’re close enough now to get a tissue sample,” Blake said.
“Someone grab a harpoon and aim for the body of the creature.”
“One of Peter Mark’s men threw a harpoon against the model’s body. It stuck right into the wood.”
“This is very odd,” said the man who threw the harpoon. The animal didn’t make a sound from the pain.”
“Maybe its flesh is very thick and it has a high tolerance for pain.” Dr. Hardy said.
“I noticed that there hasn’t been any change in the creature’s facial expression. This is very strange.”
“It’s not real!” Monique cried out. “It’s just a model of Ogopogo.’’
When Blake Riley could see that Monique was right he let out a stream of expletives.
“Somebody built a fake replica of Ogopogo to fool us. This is just a prank,” Lionel said.
“Let’s tie her up and haul her in,” Blake ordered. We may be able to make some use of this thing later.”
Just after Blake said this, the boat took a heavy bump from below the surface.
Chapter One Hundred Fourteen
Blake Riley had finished speaking with Dean Anderson and Dr. Hardy. He had impressed upon them the necessity of getting out on the lake as soon as possible. Blake informed the two men that given all the recent publicity, they were likely to not be the only expedition searching for Ogopogo. He had also phoned John Richards to make sure that he and his son Ryan were ready to go. His last call was to Daniel to make sure that Peter Marks and his crew of professional divers would be joining them at the specified lake front location.
Within an hour all of Blake Riley’s crew had arrived and reported for duty. Although this expedition was supposed to be a university research exploration, it was clear who was really in charge. Blake Riley could not have succeeded in accumulating his considerable wealth unless he knew how to lead others. Blake knew instinctively how to take charge.
The university crew was the first to arrive at the lake front. This group of students including Ryan and Monique were already very excited. Dean Sanderson and Dr. Lionel Hardy were probably as filled with nervous energy as the young people were. The two men of academia were well aware that they were about to embark on a journey that could make history.
Not long after the university crew had arrived Peter Marks and his trained professional investigative unit arrived.
John Richards was the last to arrive, being somewhat delayed and upset by his recent telephone conversation with his ex-wife, Susan.
Blake Riley instructed the groups and individuals to board his cabin cruiser. To say that his boat was luxurious would be grossly understating the obvious. All that boarded the vessel were now talking about the beauty and functionality of Blake’s boat.
Once all were aboard Blake asked everyone to assemble on the main deck. With a huge smile on his face, Blake Riley began addressing all that were assembled on his craft.
“Ladies and gentlemen. We are about to embark on an expedition that is going to make history. In a few short minutes we will start heading out to the area surrounding Rattlesnake Island. As our two esteemed university professors are well aware, this is the location where the most sightings of Ogopogo have been reported. Some cryptozoologists believe that Ogopogo’s lair is to be found somewhere in the underwater caverns beneath Rattlesnake Island. As is the case with most, if not all of you, I am expecting at least one close encounter with this legendary lake creature. I am expecting that we will return with indisputable evidence of the reality of the existence of this exotic animal.”
Chapter One Hundred Thirteen
Jack Kimberley was sitting in the waiting room of the emergency ward. He was feeling very guilty about what had happened to his friend, Mike O’Grady. If only he hadn’t told his crew to move the boat closer to Ogopogo.
Jack was thinking of other matters, too. The appearance and filming of the junior Ogopogo had changed everything. It forced Jack to come up with other plans where Blake Riley was concerned. Finding a real live Ogopogo would not make a fool out of Blake Riley. It proved that Blake’s plan for an expedition to search for Ogopogo was not really far -fetched at all. Their sighting proved that Ogopogo was real and Jack now had the film evidence to prove it.
The question now was what would he do with his video evidence. With Mike O’Grady in critical condition, Jack would need another photo and video technician to analyze both the still photos and video footage that Mike had taken.
If the photos and video footage turned out to be of high quality, Jack figured that he was sitting on a gold mine. In a way, he would have his revenge on Blake Riley. Jack was now the one who would get all the money and fame. Unlike Blake, Jack didn’t see the need to capture a live Ogopogo now that he had the video footage. But who knows? If what Mike had filmed was a junior size Ogopogo, that meant that the creature likely had full sized adult parents swimming living in Lake Okanagan.
Jack started to think about the possibility of upping the ante. What if he and his crew were able to capture a live Ogopogo? How much money would he be able to get from the photos and videos alone? He could sell to the highest bidder.
While Jack was thinking of ways to benefit himself, Dr. Garvey walked into the waiting room to talk to Jack and his crew. He asked the men to follow him up to his second floor office. Once there, he asked the men to take a seat.
“The first question that I need to ask is this. Were any of you able to contact any of Mike’s next of kin?”
“Unfortunately not,” Jack replied. “None of us knew Mike that well and Mike had never talked to us about his family.”
“That is indeed, unfortunate,” Dr. Garvey said.
“Why is that?” Jack asked nervously. “I mean Mike’s going to pull through, isn’t he?”
“I’m afraid not. He died on the operating table. Mike had a massive heart attack. I’m sorry,” Dr. Garvey said.
Chapter One Hundred Twelve
When Jack Kimberley and his crew arrived at the Kelowna General Hospital, Mike O’Grady’s medical condition had further deteriorated. Jack ran into the emergency ward entrance to ask if he could get some orderlies to bring a stretcher out to his truck. He told the security guard on duty that there was a man in his vehicle who was near death and required immediate medical attention. The old security guard immediately walked to the nurse’s station and advised the nurses on duty of the critical situation. The head nurse quickly found two orderlies who could take a stretcher out to Jack’s truck. She was able to find an intern who would follow the orderlies out to the vehicle. The intern’s name was Dr. Ian McLeod. He was a young man with short, sandy blond hair. A white medical coat covered Ian’s slight build.
When Dr. McLeod got a look at Mike O’Grady, he quickly determined that if Mike did not receive medical attention immediately his patient would probably die. The stump of Mike’s right arm was covered by layers of bandages that were now soaked through with Mike’s blood.
Brian Kelly, the paramedic on Jack’s crew started giving the intern pertinent information about Mike’s medical situation. He told the intern that Mike O’Grady had his right arm ripped off by a large unidentified fish that could have been a sturgeon.
Dr. McLeod did not waste any time getting Mike into an operating room. He asked Brian Kelly what he could tell him about Mike’s medical history. Brian told him that he did not know the patient well, but that Jack Kimberley would likely have more information. Jack told the doctor that Mike O’Grady was grossly overweight and suffered from severe arthritis in his neck, spine and knees. He also stated that Mike had COPD. Jack was not sure if Mike was diabetic or had a history of heart disease.
Dr. McCloud observed that Mike was in shock and had lost a great deal of blood. Mike’s face displayed a sickly blue pallor. A nurse hooked Mike up so that the doctor could monitor the patient’s vital signs. The young intern phoned the second floor to see if a surgeon was available and could come to the operating room immediately.
A surgeon, Dr. Phillip Garvey, arrived in the operating room a few minutes later. Dr. Garvey was in his early forties. He wore glasses with black frames that gave him a rather scholarly appearance. He asked Jack and Brian what had happened to Mike’s arm. Jack retold the story about Mike’s arm being severed by a large fish and that the fish had taken Mike’s arm below the surface of the water.
Dr. Garvey ordered a blood transfusion for his patient. He looked over at the machine that was monitoring Mike’s vital signs.
“Mr. O’Grady is in a dangerously weakened condition. I will try to stop the blood loss, but I can’t guarantee that this patient will live. His overall physical condition is very poor and he has lost a great deal of blood. After he has received a blood transfusion I will be in a better position to assess his odds for survival. For the time being I would ask that all of you go to the waiting room. I will provide you with any medical updates after we start treating Mr. O’Grady. I would highly recommend phoning his next of kin,” Dr. Garvey said.
Jack, Brian and some other crew members made their way out of the operating room.
Chapter One Hundred Eleven
Luc and Guy were able to get down the walk way to the dock without drawing the attention of the old couple.
They climbed aboard the elderly couple’s cabin cruiser and began to look around. Luc got the boat started and the two criminals started out towards Squally Point.
The old man got out of bed and looked out his front window just in time to see his cabin cruiser leaving the dock. He swore under his breath and immediately went to his phone to call the Sheriff’s Office to report that his cabin cruiser had been stolen.
Guy and Luc were having a great time sailing along Lake Okanagan. Guy found the liquor cabinet on the craft. The two thieves now had an ample supply of alcohol to help keep them entertained. They were laughing and telling jokes about how easy it was to steal the boat. Guy turned towards the back of the cruiser when he spotted lights about two hundred meters behind them. The speed boat behind them seemed to be picking up speed and was gaining on them.
“Hey Luc. There’s a speed boat coming up right behind us. It could be the Harbor Patrol.”
Luc put down his glass filled with Canadian Club, turned around and could see the lights behind their boat.
“Yeah, it’s the harbor patrol all right,” Luc confirmed.
Guy was starting to panic.
“What if they stop us and start asking questions? What if they ask us for ID?”
“Settle down, Guy. I’m good at talking to cops. I just don’t need you acting all nervous. I don’t want these guys suspecting that something is wrong. Grab a fishing rod and pretend that we’re just fishing. I’ll slow down the cruiser. With any luck we’ll just wave to them and they’ll pass us by,” Luc said.
Just after Luc said this their boat got a heavy bump from a large object. A few seconds later the men both heard and felt another heavy jar and the two men were knocked off their feet.
“Something’s attacking our boat, Luc.”
By this time the cabin cruiser was slanted on an angle and water was starting to get onto the deck. When the two criminals got to their feet a thick, long, green tail swatted them overboard and into the lake. Neither man had bothered to put on his life preserver. They were quickly pulled below the surface of the water.
By this time the harbor patrol were in close vicinity of the cabin cruiser. The two officers had seen the huge, green tail knock the two men off their vessel. When they got closer to the cabin cruiser they looked over to where the men had been knocked off their boat. They could now see the water bubble up leaving a long trail of red blood.
Chapter One Hundred Ten:
George Anderson was pulling a double shift at the sheriff’s office. His regular overnight deputy had phoned in sick earlier in the evening. George had just finished catching up on his paper work and was now finding it a struggle to stay awake. He got up from his desk and was now making a fresh pot of coffee. The sheriff really didn’t mind the solitude of the early hours of the morning. As George figured that he had worked hard enough for one day he decided to catch up on his reading. He was a huge science fiction fan and especially liked reading the old classics by authors such as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Jules Verne and H.G. Wells. Tonight he was reading his favorite science fiction novel, The Island of Doctor Moreau By H.G. Wells.
George had recently rented the video version of this novel and had enjoyed it immensely. Just as he’d settled back down in his office chair and took the bookmark out of his novel, his phone began to ring. The office had been so quiet that the sheriff was startled by the ringing of the phone. George sat up straight and picked up the receiver,
“Sheriff’s Office, George Anderson here. How can I help you?”
“This is Allan Hayes, the building supervisor from The Lake Side apartment complex.”
“What can I do for you, Mr. Hayes?”
“I know that this is going to sound very strange, but a few minutes ago one of our tenants moved a rather odd object out of his apartment. It was very large and was all covered up by the drop cloths that house painters use,” Allan said.
“So what exactly did he have under the drop cloths?” the sheriff asked.
“I didn’t get a very good look at it. All I could see was the part that wasn’t covered at its back end. It looked just like a long tail that you might see on an adult size crocodile or alligator.”
“I hate to ask you this, sir, but how much have you had to drink this evening?” the sheriff asked.
“Nothing. I don’t drink alcohol. One of our tenants, Mrs. Carson, witnessed the same thing I did. She was the first one to tell me that it looked like the tail of a full grown alligator or crocodile.”
“So, where was this tenant taking this thing?”
“I don’t know. My guess would be that he and a few other men were taking it to Lake Okanagan,” Allan answered.
“Now, let me ask you a question, Mr. Hayes. How would your tenant be able to keep an adult crocodile or alligator in his apartment with no one noticing it until tonight?” the sheriff inquired.
“It beats me, but somehow he did it.”
“Well as strange as your story is, you strike me as being a little too old to be pulling a prank. I’m just here by myself tonight, but I’ll get one of my deputies to investigate this when he gets here for the day shift.”
“Thank you Sheriff. I’m just concerned that there might now be two dangerous predators in the lake,” Allan said.
“What’s the other dangerous predator?”
Chapter One Hundred Nine:
Jack’s crew made Mike O’Grady as comfortable as possible as they placed him on Jack’s speed boat. They wrapped him up in blankets to keep him warm. Jack Kimberley and the rest of the crew followed behind them in the cabin cruiser. When they got to Jack’s dock they carefully placed Mike on the back of the flatbed truck. All of the crew went for the ride to the hospital. Jack stayed right next to Mike during the whole ride and tried to speak comforting words to his severely injured friend. While the flat- bed truck was on its way to the hospital, Jack gave instructions to his crew.
“Look gentlemen. When we get to the emergency ward at the hospital the medical staff is going to want to know what happened to Mike. We are not going to tell them anything about our encounter with Ogopogo. Let me do all the talking when we get there. I’m going to tell the doctor and admitting nurse that we were all out on the lake having a fishing party. At one point, Mike spotted a large fish near our boat. He leaned over the side of the boat trying to catch the fish with a net. He lost his balance and fell into the water. We didn’t get a good look at the fish, but it was possibly a sturgeon. We heard a blood curdling scream from Mike. We looked over the side of the boat in time to watch the large predator tear off most of Mike’s right arm with its razor sharp teeth. It was too late to save Mike’s arm, but we did manage to get him out of the water and back on the boat. Now, does everyone know the story now?”
“Some of Jack’s crew said ‘yes’ while the others nodded their heads in agreement.
“And one more thing,” Jack said. “In case anyone asks, we all deny that we had an encounter with Ogopogo. Are we all clear on that?”
Once again, all of Jack’s crew nodded their heads in agreement.