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 Daily Courier that was printed near the bottom of the front page. He dialed the number and a receptionist put him through to Bobby O’Connor.
“Hey, Bobby. It’s Jack Kimberly, man.”
“Jack Kimberly? I haven’t heard from you since high school,” Bobby said, 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?” Jack asked.
“Not the greatest. The last decade or so, hasn’t been very kind to him,” Bobby replied.
“Geez, I’m sorry to hear that. What’s been giving Mike trouble?” Jack inquired.
“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,” Jack remembered.
“Mike also has emphysema, but he still smokes like a chimney,” Bobby continued. “Because of his poor health he now collects a disability pension. He also makes a little money on the side repairing computers for a few clients and doing some photography.
“Have you ever heard of a guy named Blake Riley?” Jack asked. 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,” Bobby said, 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 worn out and always had holes in them.
“Now I’m starting to remember,” Bobby said, slightly surprised.
“When I interviewed Blake on the phone I never made the connection. Blake didn’t stay long in our class, as I recall,” said Blake, 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,” Jack said.
“Poor kid,” Bobby said.
“Don’t feel too sorry for him,” Jack said, 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,” Bobby recalled while 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 an expensive pair of dress pants. I asked him about his life after he left our grade six class,” Jack said.
“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 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,” Jack said angrily.
“So, the jerk double crossed you,” Bobby said.
“That’s a huge understatement. Blake was disloyal to me and almost ruined me financially,” Jack replied.
Jack was starting to get red in the face and his blood pressure was starting to spike. Even telling Bobby 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?” Bobby asked, 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,” Jack answered.
“And how do you plan to accomplish that?” Bobby asked.
“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,” Jack stated.
“Of course, I wrote several articles about it,” Bobby said.
“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.”
“You’ll be the first to know, but first I have to run my ideas past Mike. Have you got his number handy?” Jack asked.