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 … Continue reading Excerpt 109 from The Lake Demon by Ken David Stewart
Pastor David Noble shook hands with the young, attractive social worker as she was leaving his humble, cluttered office. He was planning to return to his tattered and torn executive chair when his phone started to ring. The pastor answered the phone while standing up. When he picked up the receiver all he could hear from the other end of the line was loud wailing. David Noble recognized the mournful sounds as coming from his son, Dexter.
“Calm down Dexter. Why are you so upset?”
Dexter was able to regain just enough of his composure to answer, “Mom’s dead!”
“What!” David managed to stammer as he grabbed onto his desk for support. He was afraid that he was about to faint. His ex -wife, Melissa, had divorced David three years ago. While they had been married David Noble was the well respected pastor of a local church in Fargo, North Dakota.
To say that the last three years of his life had been tumultuous was a great understatement. David’s life had quickly begun to unravel. Melissa had exhausted all of her emotional resources by the time their marriage had finally collapsed.
Chapter One Hundred Sixty- Nine:
“There’s one thing I forgot about. If you’re carrying a cell phone, smart phone, tablet or any other electronic communication device lay it down on the deck now,” Hawk said.
Most crew members had at least one digital device. Within a few seconds they were all on the deck.
When everyone had disrobed Hawks started going through the crew’s clothing. After completing this task he didn’t find anything that wasn’t already on the deck. Hawk grabbed a canvas bag that he found on the deck and began loading it up with the electronic devices and piles of clothing.
Many of the passengers started to shiver when a cold wind came off the lake. Most were trying to cover up their genitals with their hands. Some had turned many shades of red due to their embarrassment.
Hawk tossed the canvas bag into the ship captain’s cabin. While he was in the small room he conducted a thorough search for drugs.
As Razor backed up a few steps he almost tripped over a large wooden crate.
“Hey Hawk. You should check this crate out. It’s got a padlock on it.”
Hawk took his revolver and blew the lock off. When he lifted the crate to look inside he saw that it was filled with weapons and ammunition.
“So you’re all honest citizens out on a little pleasure cruise. Hey, Razor. These people have enough weapons and ammunition to start a small war. It’s just a matter of finding the dope now.”
Hawk decided that the next place he should search is the furniture on the main deck. He took out a long, sharp hunter’s knife and began cutting the chairs and sofas to shreds. When the deck was covered with stuffing Hawk didn’t find any drugs.
“Okay passengers. The next place I’m going to check is the lower deck. If any one of you wants to tell me where the dope is you can all put your clothes back on,” Hawk said.
He waited about twenty seconds while he looked up and down the line to see if anyone was willing to give up the goods.
“All right. No one brave enough to speak up? Let’s move the line downstairs Razor.”
When everyone was on the lower deck Hawk looked at something that really shouldn’t be there. He saw the large fishing net that held captive one of the Ogopogos. Hawk stepped back a few feet.
“Razor, what in hell is in that net?”
“I have no idea. I’ve never seen a fish that looked like that. It looks more like a huge snake with flippers.”
Surprized by all the activity the creature started to twist about trying to escape from the netting. As it was squirming around it started to make a loud, squealing sound that seemed to belong in another world.
Chapter One Hundred Sixty-Eight:
“Here’s more instructions for you passengers. I want all the passengers from The Dream Catcher to start boarding The Viper. Razor, I’m going to have you keep an eye on any passengers that might not take my warning seriously. If you see any of them try anything shoot them.
“Okay passengers. First thing you’re going to do is form a line right along the railing of the deck. The next thing you’re going to do is to start taking off all your clothes including your shoes and underwear. I’m going to go through each and every item of your clothing. I want to make sure that no one is hiding any weapons or drugs,” Hawk said. “If you have any of these items I want you to slowly take them out now and put them in front of you.”
None of the passengers took anything out of their clothing.
The passengers hesitated a few seconds before starting to remove their clothing. It was as if they were all waiting for the first person to start undressing.
“I know you’re going to feel embarrassed, but I’m not fooling around here.” Hawk pointed his revolver up and down the line of passengers. Razor did the same thing with his semi- automatic.
“I’m going to count to five and anyone that has not started taking off their clothes will be shot. Do I make myself perfectly clear?”
The passengers all answered in the affirmative.
Chapter One Hundred Sixty-Seven:
As soon as the boats arrived at the shore with the two Ogopogos aboard they were met by two uninvited strangers. These two men, Hawk and Razor had been waiting for the expedition boats to arrive. They were big time drug dealers from Vancouver, British Columbia.
One of the leaders of the gang turned to toward the crew on the boats and got right to the point.
“My name is Hawk and my partner’s name is Razor. We’re here to pick up the cocaine and heroin. Where is it? We know that you have it on board.
Blake Riley got off the boat first and without showing any fear confronted the two men.
“We don’t have any drugs on board. We’re all honest citizens.”
“I don’t believe you. We were told that you people had drugs aboard by two friends of ours, Luc and Guy. We met them in a bar and we paid them for the information,” said Hawk as he pulled out a revolver.
Razor rotated his hips and turned from side to side to point his semi-automatic machine at the passengers of The Viper and The Dream Catcher. All the crew, except for Blake Riley, put the hands up to indicate their surrender.
“I think that you boys got some misinformation. Those two guys that you met in the bar took you for marks. I assure you that we don’t have any drugs aboard our boats,” Blake said.
“Let’s search the boats said,” Razor.
“That’s exactly what we’re going to do and if we find any heroin or cocaine there will be serious repercussions for you people,” said Hawk.
“Razor, start with the boat on your left. Check all the crew for weapons. I’ll do the same for the boat on the right. If any of you people try anything stupid we won’t hesitate for a second to kill you.”
Daniel Mason had just handed his edited copy of The Kelowna Sun to his boss, Blake Riley.
“I put a large red circle around something in the classifieds that should be of particular interest to you, sir,” said Daniel as he passed the paper to his boss. It’s on page thirty-seven.”
Blake quickly turned to the page indicated by his head of security. He perused the ad placed by Dr. Lionel Phelge, the marine biology professor.
I need to get in contact with this professor immediately. I am very interested in his proposed project but there are details that I need to find out. Having a marine biologist as part of our crew will add credence to our project.” Blake reached in his pocket for his cell phone. “I’m going to call this professor right now.”
Dr. Lionel Phelge was sitting at home in his favorite chair reading the book, Devil’s Knot by Mara Leverrit when his phone rang. When Lionel read he became deeply absorbed in a book and it took him a few seconds to adjust to a disturbance of his concentration such as a ringing phone.
‘Hello, this is Dr. Loinel Phelge speaking.”
“Professor Phelge, this is Blake Riley, the entrepreneur calling. I am responding to your newspaper ad about the expedition to find Ogopogo. I understand that you are looking for financial backers”
“Yes, indeed I am,” answered Lionel. “The expedition that I am envisioning could potentially cost in the million dollar range. Some university students are presently researching all the personnel and supplies that we will need and are attempting to come up with a rough estimate of the total expenses for our project.”
“I believe that I can be of invaluable service to you in this project. I have more than sufficient financial resources to cover the costs of the expedition. I also have previous experience with this type of endeavor. A few years ago my head of security was involved with a project searching for the Lake Champlain Monster. I have also been to Scotland to look for the Loch Ness Monster. At present I have the employee I mentioned contacting the crew from the Lake Champlain Project.”
“I thank you for calling me, Mr. Riley. What you have said greatly interests me. Could we arrange to meet in person in a few days to look further into this matter?” asked Lionel.
“That would be my pleasure. Get back to me with a few dates that you will be available,” said Blake Riley.
Sheriff George Anderson sat back in his black leather office chair and stared out his window overlooking Lake Okanagan. Just then his lead deputy Bill Rollins knocked on the sheriff’s door.
“Come in, Bill,” said George.
“Have you got any special assignments for me, Sheriff?” asked Bill.
“I’ve been thinking about the Ida Rhodes case, Bill. Have we got any new leads other than what the young boys told you?”
“Not a thing. Mrs. Rhodes has one sister that I contacted. Her sister Francis told me that she had not heard from Ida in about three weeks. I told her that her sister had gone missing and asked if Ida had mentioned anything about leaving town or going on a trip.”
“What did the sister say?” asked the Sheriff.
“She told me that her sister hadn’t mentioned anything like that and was probably not in good enough shape to travel at her age,” replied the deputy.
“Mrs. Rhodes doesn’t even drive a car, does she?”
“I’ve never seen a car in her driveway.”
The Sheriff got out of his chair and stood up. “So the old lady wasn’t planning on going anywhere except to take her dog for a walk along the lake. Some young boys saw her by the lake but do not see her return. I want some missing persons posters put up around the whole area,” said Sheriff Anderson.
“No problem, Boss. I’ll take care of that. I was just going to ask you one thing, sir. Has anyone reported seeing something unusual on the lake recently?”
“No, why?” asked the Sheriff. “What do you mean by unusual?”
“Well, last evening my son Jeff and his little friend Anson came to our house scared out of their wits. They said that they had been out fishing on the banks not far from where the old lady disappeared. Both boys told me that they saw a large grey hump move up and down in the water. They were probably about fifty yards away guessing by how they described the size of the object,” said Deputy Rollins.
“So want me to believe that Ida Rhodes and her dog got eaten by Ogopogo?” asked George Anderson laughing out loud.
“No, of course not, George but I believe that my son and his friend got a good fright from something they saw,” replied Deputy Bill Rollins.
As soon as Bobby O’Connor left Mike O ‘Grady’s apartment he drove over to Tim Hortons to meet Harvey Perkins, the fishermen who had called him earlier in the day. Harvey spotted Bobby immediately as he came through the coffee shop’s doors. Harvey was a sports fan and had seen Bobby O’Connor’s picture several times on the sports page of The Kelowna Sun
“I’m over here, Bobby,” said Harvey as he pulled out a chair for the reporter.
The two men shook hands. “Please to meet you in person, Harvey. I gather that you have something interesting to tell me and that it has nothing to do with sports,” said Bobby.
“You’re right about that,” said Harvey. “Like I was telling you on the phone, my partner and I spotted an unusual moving object on Lake Okanagan. Two kids, Ryan and Monique saw it also and showed us a couple of pictures they took of the creature.”
“Do you think the creature is Ogopogo?” asked Bobby.
“I’d put money on it. It’s not like anything I’ve ever seen and I’ve been a fisherman a long time.”
“What does your partner think?”
“Henry is skeptical about everything.
The creature would have to be staring him straight in the face before he’d believe in it.”
“How far way was the creature?”
“About a hundred meters I’d estimate.”
“Would you mind if your story was published in the Kelowna Sun,” asked Bobby.
“That’s fine with me. People can laugh at me if they want but I know what I saw.”
Daniel Mason, the head of security for Blake Riley Enterprises had just picked up the morning edition of the Kelowna Sun . He took it to his office to read. As part of his job duties Daniel skimmed through the newspaper underlining, highlighting or writing in the margins anything that might be of interest to Blake Riley. Blake was a voracious reader of both novels and non- fiction books, but didn’t have the patience to read the daily newspaper from cover to cover. That’s why he had his head of security search the paper for him. Blake and Daniel had many conversations in the past and Daniel had a good grasp on what might be of interest to his boss.
As he was reading through the classifieds Daniel noticed a very strange advertisement. It was posted by a marine biologist professor at The University of British Columbia. His name was Dr. Lionel Phelge and he was asking for financial sponsors for an exploratory expedition to hunt for the Ogopogo Lake Monster. As Daniel was putting a large red circle around the ad his office phone rang.
“Hi Daniel, this is Peter Marks, the captain of the boat that searched for Champ. I got a message that you might have a similar expedition in mind.”
“Yes, I do. However, I have to give my boss, Blake Riley the credit for the idea,’ replied Daniel.
“Isn’t he that eccentric billionaire who’s always seeking new adventures.
“I wouldn’t call Blake eccentric, but he is a man that is always looking for new challenges in life,” answered Daniel.
“So what does your boss have in mind?”
“He wants to head up an expedition to capture Ogopogo and keep him in his private zoo,” answered Daniel.
“What! This ups the ante considerably. So we’re expected to capture this creature?”
“That’s Blake’s goal,” answered Daniel.
“Well my crew and I are going to want much more money than National Geographic paid us. We’re also going to need to hire some additional staff for hunting and trapping this animal,” said Peter Marks.
“I wouldn’t worry about adequate compensation. My boss has pretty deep pockets and once he embraces a new project he becomes obsessed by it.”
‘Well, I still have the contact information from the old National Geographic crew and I could call them to see if they’re interested,” said Peter.
“I would appreciate that very much,” said Daniel. “Remember to tell them that getting paid generously for their work shouldn’t be a problem.”
On Tuesday morning the university students led by Kyle Winter were seated outside Dean Sanderson’s office. Ryan and Monique arrived a few minutes later. They were directed to take a seat and wait for Dean Sanderson to call them. Dr. Phelge was already in Dean Sanderson’s office seated in the red leather chair.
“I’m eager to meet your students Lionel. I’ve probably seen most of them in the cafeteria at one time or another. I’d like to hear what their ideas are,” said Dean Sanderson.
“I think that you will be pleasantly surprised Edward. They are a very intelligent and creative group of young people,” said Lionel.
“As I told you earlier they will be accompanied by two summer vacationers who would also like to be part of the project.”
“All right. Let’s get the young people in here and hear what they have to say,” said Dean Sanderson.
As the group of young people entered Dean Sanderson’s office he directed them to have a seat on a long maroon sofa.
“I’ve been hearing a lot of good things about you people from Dr. Phelge. I’ll first ask Kyle to explain how you guys came up with the idea for your research project,” said Dr. Sanderson.
“Well, to tell you the truth sir, we were sitting in the university cafeteria discussing how boring the articles are in the student’s university newspaper,” answered Kyle.
Dean Sanderson burst out laughing after hearing Ryan say this.
“I’m glad it was a student and not me that said it. I’ve read the student’s newspaper so I know what you’re talking about. I understand that you have recruited two extra people who are visiting form out of province,” said Dean Sanderson.
“Yes, that would be Ryan and Monique. They are here for their summer vacations and have shared some very interesting information about the Ogopogo,” said Ryan.
“Well, I’d be very happy if they shared this information with Dr. Phelge and myself. What about it, Monique?” said Dean Sanderson.
“Ryan and I had just met as we were going on a jog on a trail near Lake Okanagon. We’d just run a short distance when I turned to my right and saw something unusual on the lake. I saw a large black hump that was undulating on the water,” answered Monique.
“Then I stopped to have a look. It appeared to be a large creature of some sort but I’d never seen anything like it on the lake before. Two fishermen also saw it albeit from a much greater distance. The object submerged after a few minutes.”
“It was definitely Ogopogo you saw,” said Dr. Phelge barely able to conceal his excitement.
“I managed to take two pictures of the creature,” added Monique.
“Can we see the pictures?” asked Dean Sanderson.
“We don’t have them now,” said Ryan. “We lent them to the reporter, Bobby O’Conner. He’s taking them to a photography expert to get them analyzed.”
“Get them back immediately,” said Dr. Phelge. “Try to get a written report from the expert that analyzed the photos as well.”
“As you people know Dr. Phelge is taking a year’s sabbatical leave. He has been an excellent teacher and researcher for this university and we wanted to reward him with a year free of his teaching duties. During this time Lionel has told me that he wants to do an intensive research project about The Ogopogo,” said Dean Sanderson.
“I’m hoping to write a series of articles and perhaps a book on my research,” explained Dr. Phelge.
“We are also hoping to write some great articles about our research on Ogopogo for the university newspaper,” said Kyle.
“And we would like to join an expedition with you to search for Ogopogo,” said Ryan.
“I believe that an expedition would be a crucial part of our research on The Lake Demon. That’s what the aboriginal people called the creature. Of course, we would also be looking at any previously written articles and would want to interview people who claim to have seen Ogopogo,” said Dean Sanderson.
“We’ll need to brainstorm everything we’re going to need for this project as well as knowing who can perform each job.” said Dr. Phelge.
“Not to mention the financing for the expedition,” added Dean Sanderson.
“A project like this could cost a fortune, Lionel.”
“I’m well aware of that, Edward. That’s why I think it’s critical that we make up a wish list of all the equipment we would like to have for our expedition. From there we can do some research and get an estimate of how much money we’re looking at,” said Lionel.
“The university will give us some money but I don’t think it will be a lot,” said Dean Sanderson.
“We may be eligible for some government grant money,” said Lionel.
‘We may have to come up with the majority of the expense from private sources,” said Kyle.
“I think you’re right, but where could we find some wealthy private donors?” asked Dean Sanderson.
“I don’t know, but why don’t we put out some ads asking for financial assistance. You never know. There could be a rich eccentric entrepreneur out there somewhere who could be interested in a project like this,” answered Kyle.
“It’s worth a try,” said Ryan. “Kyle could be right about the eccentric private donor just waiting for an opportunity like this.”
“It’s also going to depend on how well we sell the expedition. Someone out there might want the fame or publicity,” said Jasmine.
“That’s what I like about working with young people. They are so creative in generating ideas,” said Lionel.
“Not to mention enthusiasm and a positive attitude,” added Dean Sanderson.