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Sunday Serial: Haunted Bones-Chapter 17

“Nope. I read where he died a few years ago.”

“Sorry to hear that. Tough losing old friends.”

“Yep, it sho’ is. But he was an interesting ol’ cuss.”

“How’s that?”

“Well, half of him was stoopid; the other half was smart, real smart.”

“I think they call them kinda folks a savant,” Joe replied. “Actually an idiot savant.”

“Oh no, he wasn’t an idiot,” the old man shot back. “Maybe a little on the stoopid side, but I thought he was smart.”

“Okay then, what was he smart in?”

“Science. He was real smart there. He knew all there was about science. I didn’t know anything about science. I was more of a history buff. I liked the old ancient stuff and their societies. He picked up a little on it, too, looking at some of my books and all.”

“You remember his name?”

“Jimmy. Can’t remember his last name. I used to be able to remember because it rhymed with something I could always remember, but I can’t even remember what that was any more. I might have it written down somewhere back home.”

“Where would that be?”

“Down the street a few blocks. Moved there with Momma when they closed up this place. Been there ever since.”

Joe sensed the old man was from a very rich gene pool.

“Why did they close the place?” Joe asked.

“I don’t know. I just remember Momma telling me we had to move. Don’t know the reason. Just had to move.”

“Your father?”

“Killed in the war. His ship blew up.”

“I’m sorry.”

“No need to be. That was a long time ago. I vaguely remember him.”

“And your friend? Where did he move?”

“Oh, I don’t remember. I just remember him telling me he, his sister, and Momma were moving to some big house with lots of rooms. Said his momma would never have to cook again. Don’t know where the house was. Never did find out. But I think they were rich.”

“What made you think that?”

“Because they had the whole top floor of the building and a fancy car.”

“That right?”

“Yes, sir. But they had to move, too. Everybody had to move.”

“You ever see your friend again?” Joe asked.

“Occasionally at the library. He used to go there a lot. He liked to read science books and look at science pictures.”

“And you?”

“Oh, just liked to pick up a novel every now and then. I don’t read like I used to. Usually fall asleep after a few pages.”

“Yes, I understand that.”

“So, you’re from the city, huh?

“Uh, yes sir.” Joe didn’t want to go any further.

“Here to check on the work, are ya?” the old man asked. “Inspector fellas, are ya?”

“Uh … yeah. Just wanted to stop by and see how things were going with the demo work. Everything looks good.”

“That right?”

“Yes sir, that’s right. Say, what’s your name?”

“Bobby Proctor. Yours?”

“Just call me Joe.”

“Okay, Joe. Well, I better start moving along before the ol’ arteries start to setup. Not ready just yet to start pushing up daises.”

“Oh, no sir. Say, you take care, okay?”

“Thank you, I will. Oh, and by the way. My friend’s last name. It was Fry. It just came to me.”

Danny had already finished his conversation with Lieutenant Hastings while Joe was still in the midst of his conversation with Bobby. Not wanting to get in on it, he moved towards Del and Martin and was chatting with them. When Joe finished, he walked over to the three men.

“Who was that?” Danny asked.

“An old timer who used to live here in this building. He was just out taking a walk with his dog and came over to talk. He seemed to be an interesting fella. No mental giant, but an interesting fella.”

“How long ago did he live here,” Danny asked.

“Back during the early war years.”

“World War Two, I assume.”

“Yeah. Said he and everybody else had to move for some reason. Didn’t know why. He and his Mother ended up moving down the street to another apartment building. Been there ever since.”

“Hmm. Wonder why everybody had to move out?”

“Didn’t say.”

“Interesting. What did Sara say?”

“She’ll call Laura and they’d be over here as soon as possible. I told her we needed to keep this quiet like last time.”

“You tell her it was another mummy?”

“Yeah. She didn’t make any comment.”

Danny turned and asked Del about using his truck again to move the body. Del let out a laugh under his breathe.

“Do I have a choice?”

“Not really. But by you helping us we can probably expedite the crime scene so you can get back to work a lot sooner.”

“Hell, anything so I can get back to work. These damn bodies are killing me. I just can’t believe this is happening. I might have to find another line of work.”

“Yeah, you seem to be a murder magnet. Hopefully this will be the last one,” Danny said with a bit of a laugh.

“By the way, how you boys doing solving those other bodies from over at the hotel?” Del asked Danny.

“We’re still working on it. Joe and I were at the office trying to put things together when you called.”

“Making any headway?”

“Yeah, some. But things just seem to have gotten a little more complicated since your call. If this was just a body you discovered, that’s one thing. Seeing how it’s a mummy, that’s another. It’s just too coincidental. Somehow, this mummy has got to be connected to the one in the hotel. Somehow, we’ve got to find the connection.”

They’d find the connection, they’ll solve the case. But, where to now?

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