After the straight to the point speeches by Sheriff George Anderson and William Everett, there wasn’t too much for Elaine Tanner to say to the audience. After Elaine’s brief speech, the crowd started to disperse. Elaine and the other organizers had set up both a literature table and a refreshment booth covered by a bright yellow canopy. As it was very warm this afternoon several participants in the demonstration made their way over to the refreshment stand to buy themselves a soft drink.
Garry Hardy was one of the first people to buy himself a coke that was poured into a plastic cup by one of the volunteers. He turned around rather quickly and bumped into Stephanie Richards who was standing just a couple of feet behind him. Stephanie was deep in thought and was not watching out for Garry. When Stephanie and Garry collided with each other, some of Garry’s soft drink splashed on Stephanie’s tee shirt.
“Oh, I’m so sorry,” Garry said as he started to blush. I’ll get you a towel to dry you off.”
Garry would have dried off Stephanie’s shirt himself but most of his drink had spilled on Stephanie’s chest and modesty and decency were what was called for in this situation.
Garry was able to borrow a towel from one of the volunteers and handed it to Stephanie.
“Well, seeing that I kind of wrecked your tee shirt, the least that I can do is buy you a new tee shirt and pay for your soft drink. What kind of pop would you like?”
“You don’t need to buy me a new tee-shirt, man, but I would like an Orange Crush to drink,” Stephanie answered. Even though Garry’s clothes appeared to be rumpled, Stephanie found that she was somewhat attracted to the young man. She had always appreciated males that demonstrated good manners as Garry did.
“Did you come with anyone?” Garry inquired.
“No, I just came on my own to see what all the excitement was about. Plus, I wanted to get away from my Aunt Meg’s house for a while. I’m kind of having a rough day.”
“What’s making it so rough? Oh, by the way. I guess that I should introduce myself. My name is Garry Hardy.”
“And I’m Stephanie Richards. To answer your question it’s been a difficult day for me because I wanted to go on a research expedition to look for Ogopogo. My dad, my brother and his girlfriend are all going, but Dean Sanderson said they won’t have room for me. I’m really bummed out about it.”
Garry started to pull the tab off of Stephanie’s Orange Crush can and poured it into a plastic cup.
“I’m also going on an expedition to look for Ogopogo. In fact, we started on our first trip on the lake yesterday. My friend Wally and his grandfather, Winston took a boat ride out around Squally Point and Rattlesnake Island. It was awesome. We got a real close up look at Ogopogo and were able to take some pictures and to capture the creature on video,” Garry said.
“You’ve got to be kidding me!” Stephanie said. You actually saw Ogopogo and took pictures of it?”
“Every word is the truth,” Garry answered, removing his Vancouver Canucks baseball cap. “Winston said that we had done enough work for one day and was concerned about our safety, so he turned his cabin cruiser around and we rode back to his house.”
“What did the creature look like? Up close I mean?” Stephanie asked.
“It was like something right out of a horror movie. In fact I had a nightmare about Ogopogo last night,” Garry said.
“How would you describe the creature?” Stephanie asked.
“Well, we only got a good look at its head and neck. Its neck was very long, thick and muscular. It was at least the width of a telephone pole. It was a dark greenish color with a horse shaped head and a beautiful mane of emerald green hair running along the back of its neck. It had large amber eyes. The expression on its face was very ferocious,” Garry answered stopping to take a sip of what was left of his Coke.
“Why don’t I take you to see Winston Standfield. I’m sure he would let you join our expedition,” Garry offered.
“I would love to!” Stephanie said almost spilling her Orange Crush.