The Hayes sisters had a reputation for being busy bodies, however, they did help the police solve several cases.

Clara was the older of the two and had been quite a looker in her younger days. Lena was the timid one but was also attractive.

Lena did have a lover for several years but he left one night and she never saw him again, although she still talked about his return, which Clara thought was ridiculous but Lena held fast to her hope that Roger Sims would someday come looking for her. Clara had been engaged three times in her life and broke each one. Together they made quite a pair.

Clara was 73 and Lena was 71. They both aged well and kept themselves in good shape for their ages. They both made regular trips to the Beauty Bar (the local beauty parlor) to get their hair done and have manicures and pedicures.

They knew just about everyone in Cape May and what was going on with who.

At one o’clock they arrived at the Tea Room. The lunch crowd had started to dwindle so there was no wait. The atmosphere in the Tea Room was designed like an old Victorian dining room. Ornate pictures adorned the walls. Each table was covered with a white tablecloth and there was a lit candle on each one. The dinnerware and flatware were of the Victorian period as well. The food was excellent and they did offer a four o’clock tea. The sisters were happy to see Gloria was working that day and she was their server. “Good afternoon ladies”. She placed a menu down on the table in front of each sister.

“Can I get you something to drink while you decide what you want”?

“Good afternoon Gloria, yes I will have a cup of Irish Breakfast tea please”, replied Clara.

“I’ll have the same”, said Lena.

“Cream right”, said Gloria.

“Yes, thank you”, the ladies replied.

“Gloria, have you heard about Clem Bristol”?

“Yes, it was all over the news, everyone has heard. Didn’t you ladies know”?

“We have been away for just over a week. We just got back last night and I read it in the newspaper this morning”. Clara said. “He came in here quite often Gloria, didn’t he”.

“Yes, quite often. I’ll be right back with your tea”. She turned and walked away.

“She was a bit snippy, don’t you think Lena”?

“I thought she looked sad Clara”.

“We have got to get her alone so we can question her”.

“Oh, Clara, what could she possibly know about Clem’s death”.

“Still water runs deep Lena, very deep”.


Clara continued to read. A short while later she heard Lena coming down the stairway that led to the kitchen. “It’s about time you woke up Lena”.

“It’s only eight o’clock Clara. I don’t get up with the birds like you”.

“The early bird catches the worm”. Replied Clara.

“I don’t like worms”. Lena said with a smile as she entered the kitchen.

“Clem Bristol is dead Lena”.

“What”! Lena said with a shocked look on her face.

“You heard me. Clem Bristol is dead. Seems he died while we were in Atlantic City. The newspaper said they are doing an autopsy but that he most likely died from natural causes”.

“I don’t believe that”, Lena replied. He was the picture of health”. Clara handed her the newspaper.

“Here, read it for yourself”. Lena took the paper from Clara and sat down at the table. Clara made her a cup of tea and some toast.

“It says here they are trying to get in touch with his son Jeffery. Oh, that poor boy and him an only child. Does he still live in California Clara”?

“I suppose so, but I saw him in town a day or so before we left, he was at the Tea Room having lunch with Clem. Sounded like they were having a disagreement about something but I couldn’t hear what they were saying. I only know he was staying at the Golden Lion Motel and not at his father’s house”.

“Really”? Lena looked up at her sister in surprise.

“That’s what I heard. The new waitress, I think her name is Gloria told me. Come to think of it, she was being quite flirty with Jeffery that day. Personally, I don’t think Clem died of natural causes”.

“Oh, Clara, you’re not going to start playing detective again are you”?  Acting like she didn’t even hear her sister she replied with a smile; “I think we should have lunch at the Tea Room today”. Lena just shook her head and said;

“Here we go again”.


Clara Hayes sat at her kitchen table sipping a cup of tea and reading the morning paper. She was enjoying the quiet and the sound of the waves from the Atlantic Ocean crashing against the jetty’s that ran along the beach. It was the end of April and the crowds would soon be swarming to the small town of Cape May. The peaceful town would soon be filled with people for the summer. Her sister Lena wasn’t an early riser nor a morning person so Clara had the kitchen to herself. The sisters lived in a big Victorian house left to them by their parents. Both ladies were in their seventies and had lived in the big old comfortable house all of their lives, neither was ever married, however, they were not virgins either. They just returned from a trip to Atlantic City late last evening. Both sisters liked to play the slot machines and took several trips a year to visit the casinos. It was the one luxury they allowed themselves.

On the front page, the headline MAN FOUND DEAD IN HIS HOME. Clara was shocked to read that it was Clem Bristol. She and Lena had spoken to him before they left and he seemed the picture of health. Of course, he was also in his seventies but was a bright and active man. He lived a few houses down from her and Lena. Most of the homes on Beech St. were big Victorian homes built many years before. Clem kept his home in beautiful condition as he like Clara and her sister made their additional income renting rooms to the summer stock, as they were classified. When the crowds left after the season he was known to entertain quite a few lady friends but never married after his wife Isabella passed away from Cancer. They had one child, a two-year-old son, Jeffery. Clem raised Jeffery with help from his mother Rose until she passed when Jeffery was twelve. Clara thought him quite sexy but not that good in bed.

The newspaper said an autopsy was being done but there were no results yet. The paper stated that his Handy Man found him lying on his Parlor floor when he arrived to do some work and called the police. The article said that it was probably a natural death but Clara didn’t believe that for one minute. She would discuss it with her sister when Lena woke up. Something was fishy on Beech St. and she intended to find out what.


I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of my followers a very Happy Easter.

Happy Passover to those of you that are of the Jewish faith.

Happy Spring to all who celebrate in other ways.

In our family we celebrate Easter. It is a time for joy for us. We are Italian and follow the customs of our ancestors. It is a huge holiday.

eastertreats5 This is an Easter bread made by many mothers all over the world. The egg is believed to be a rebirth of life. It is also delicious.

I will be neglecting my blog and emails so I will apologize now because I will be busy baking and cooking and be contemplating what Easter means to me. We also have baskets for the children and flowers for the moms and dads.


I look forward to celebrating with my family and those that will call from Italy and across the U.S.  I also will be thinking about all of you and wishing you all a brilliant day.

I will try to pop in tomorrow in between my baking and cooking but if I don’t I will be back on Monday to enjoy reading you posts and sharing your stories.

Thank you all for being so beautiful and kind to me, I am humbled by your generosity.


MY UNIVERSE By: Patricia Salamone

There’s a place for me up there

Where the stars so brightly shine.

The spot between the Milky Way

and just near the great Devine.

One night as you look up

to see the twinkling of the lights.

Will you think of me with love?

I’ll be just off to the right. :o)