THE HAYES SISTERS—PART 21

“She was attacked as she was passing the alley of the Tea Room. She was stabbed and she has a slightly fractured skull. Apparently, she had the sense to fight back and scream. The Porter Henry that was finishing the cleaning at the Tea Room heard her screams ran out the back door and saw Gloria and the man that was attacking her. He started running and yelling at the assailant and apparently scared him off. Gloria was laying on the ground and Henry called 911 on his cell phone. Thankfully the responders were there within minutes and the police arrived shortly after that”. Clara saw a police officer sitting outside Gloria’s room.

“Is Gloria going to be alright”? Lena asked.

“Right now she’s unconscious, but, the doctors think she will pull through”.

“Did they catch her attacker”? Clara asked.

“The police can’t question her yet, but, the First Responders said she kept saying the word chef”.

“Chef? The chef from the Tea Room”?

“I don’t know, but, I think they went to question him”.

“You said she was stabbed, where”?

“She was lucky, apparently he tried to stab her in the stomach area but she put her purse which was quite large in front of her and the wound is not that deep. We are more worried about her head injury”.

“Did anyone call the police chief Marcus Kent”?

“I don’t know Ms. Hayes”.

“Can we see her”?

“I let you in for a few minutes but be prepared her face is pretty bruised up”. Nurse Dunn took the sisters into Gloria’s room. Her face was badly bruised and swollen, she was on oxygen and had several I V’S hooked up to her arm. Lena and Gloria were shocked. Lena started to cry. Clara put her arm around her sister and said; “Let’s let her rest, she’s going to be fine”. Nurse Dunn said there was some paperwork that had to be filled out and was hoping they could help. Clara told her not to worry she and Lena would take care of the hospital bill if Gloria didn’t have any insurance. The nurse asked for the nearest relative and Clara told her that it was an aunt but she didn’t know her name or where she lived, and, her mother had passed about two years ago, her father had also passed. Lena started to say something but Clara shot her a look and she stopped. Clara gave their address as Gloria’s home address. Nurse Dunn said she would call them if there was any change in her condition. The sisters left. In the car Lena asked Clara; “Who would want to harm that poor girl? Do you think Jeffery did it”?

“I don’t know Lena, but, I am going to call Marcus”. The sisters arrived home at five am., but neither one could go back to sleep. Lena put the kettle on and made tea. Clara called Marcus, but, was told he was not there. She left a message for him to call her. The ladies showered and dressed. The phone rang about eight am. It was Nurse Dunn letting them know that Gloria had come around and was going to be fine, but the doctors wanted her to rest and they could come and see her later in the day. Jack called right after Lena hung up with the nurse. He asked her if he could meet her about three pm., at her home, there was something important he had to do. She asked if he heard about Gloria, he said he had, and, would discuss it when he saw her.

Jack finally arrived, Lena let him in, they went into the kitchen where Clara was. “Sit down ladies I have something to tell you”.

“What is it Jack, you look ashen”.

“The reason I had to cancel earlier is that I called the state police to take over this case”.

“Why”? Lena asked.

“Because Marcus Kent is under arrest for the murder of Clem and attempted murder of Gloria, it’s a long story. I saw Kate Kent a couple of days ago and while we were chatting she mentioned that she was worried because there was a bottle of Potassium Chloride missing from the medicine cart. She was in charge that night and they can’t find it. I asked her what night it went missing and she told me it was the night Clem passed away. She remembered that Marcus had visited her that night and she had unlocked the cabinet and only stepped away for a few minutes to help one of the nurses with an emergency, but she wasn’t worried because Marcus was right there, however they didn’t discover the missing bottle until the change of shift. All of the narcotics were accounted for and she was thankful for that. She asked her husband when she got home if anyone came by the cabinet because it was open. Marcus told her he didn’t notice anyone, but, he was on his telephone and had his back to the cabinet while he was speaking. They made everyone check their pockets and looked everywhere but the Potassium Chloride was never found.

I knew Marcus wanted to buy Clem’s house. He’d been saving his money for years and figured when Clem was ready to retire he would sell it. Marcus knew Jeffery didn’t have any interest in it. Then Clem told Marcus about Gloria being his daughter but told him not to say anything to anyone especially Jeffery because he hadn’t told him yet. That’s when I really suspected Marcus. He visited his wife at the hospital which was not unusual, only this time he got his hands on a bottle of Potassium Chloride. He knew that injecting an overdose of it could cause a heart-attack because his wife was in the medical profession for years. The night he took Clem home he had the Potassium on him. He also had taken a syringe. He thought with Clem gone Jeffery would be more than eager to sell the house to him. He knew Clem would be at the Driftwood that night and when Clem got too drunk to drive he offered to drive him home, when Clem passed out on the sofa he injected the Potassium Chloride into his jugular vein, And, that, dear ladies is premeditated murder. That’s when I called the State Police. I gave them the information and they came over to talk with Marcus.

“How do you know he attacked Gloria”? Lena asked.

“Because when the state police questioned him he broke down and confessed everything.

I also met with Jeffery and told him about Marcus, and, about Gloria”.

“When”?

“About an hour ago”.

“How did he take it”?

“He was shocked, to say the least. I told him I was coming over here and I would see him as soon as I told you and Lena. If it wasn’t for you ladies Marcus would have gotten away with the perfect murder”.

“I knew Clem was too healthy to just have a sudden heart attack. Marcus’s family must be devastated. Poor Katie and the children”.

“You probably saved Gloria’s life as well”.

“I must confess I did consider her a suspect for a short time”.

“A short time”? Lena replied.

“Oh, hush Lena, you had your suspicions too”.

“Well, I guess that’s it for now. I am going over to see Jeffery, would you like to tag along? I think Jeffery would like to speak to both of you”.

“Yes, and we would like to visit Gloria if she’s up to it”.

“Jack, can I ask you a question”?

“What, Clara”?

“Nurse Dunn told us that first night at the hospital that the First Responders said Gloria said the word chef several times before she went unconscious”.

“What she was trying to say was chief, nurse Dunn, relayed that to the officer that was guarding her room and he called me. Between what I found after you insisted I re-examine Clem’s body, and then with nurse Dunn’s information. I started to put two and two together, so I called in the State Police. It’s the proper procedure in a case like this. And, I didn’t want him to bolt before he was questioned”.

Jack and the Hayes sisters left their house and walked to see Jeffery.

 

Post Script:

Jeffery and Gloria had a long talk. Another DNA test confirmed they were related. Jeffery was happy to know he had an older sister and Gloria was happy that she was part of a family. Jeffery and Gloria now run their Bed and Breakfast. Clara and Lena helped get them get started and brother and sister are doing fine.

Marcus Kent waved a jury trial, his family was devastated, and, his wife moved back to New York.

There is a new Police Chief in Cape May and the Hayes sisters are getting to know him, much to his dismay.

THE HAYES SISTERS—PART 20

He tried to purchase it from Clem, but he wouldn’t sell. He knew Jeffery didn’t show that much interest in the property and was hoping he could talk him into selling.

Clara and Lena spoke with Gloria at dinner. She seemed sincere and they apologized for snooping through her belongings. Gloria also told them that Clem said he was going to tell Jeffery about her being his half sister but he needed some time because there was friction between himself and his son. He wanted Jeffery to take over the B&B, however, Jeffery didn’t have any interest in it. He liked living in California. Jeffery never mentioned it to her, and, she felt awkward asking him. She told the sisters that he also showed some interest in her and that made her think that Clem hadn’t told him yet.

“It was difficult for me because although I was happy about knowing who my father was and that I had a brother, I didn’t want to put more of a strain on their relationship. When Clem passed I was sad and knew I would have to tell Jeffery myself and thought he wouldn’t believe me. I tried to make friends with him but with all that had happened, it was not an easy task. I was waiting until after Clem was buried, but, it was hard for me too. I finally found my dad and lost him before we could become a family. I guess it just wasn’t meant to be for me”. Gloria was crying now and Clara and Lena were too.

“That does put you in a difficult situation”. Clara said. “But, legally the property is still half yours, however, you might want to seek legal advice”.

“I don’t care about any inheritance, I just wanted my father’s name on my birth certificate. It will never happen now”.

If you like Gloria, Lena and I will talk to Jeffery for you and explain it all to him. He should know he still has a family, you both do”. Clara advised. Gloria smiled and thanked the sisters for being so nice to her and offering their help. She asked Clara why she thinks someone murdered her father, but Clara told her she wasn’t sure and that’s why she and Lena were suspicious of her. “Maybe Clem did have a heart attack”. Lena said.

“I don’t know, I just can’t believe that”. Clara answered. “I will speak with Jack on Sunday and tell him everything I know so far. Maybe he can help”.

“Who is Jack”? Gloria asked. Lena replied.

“He is the coroner for Cape May”. Clara interjected quickly.

“I have to speak with him on Sunday and ask him some questions about Clem’s autopsy, but, I have to be sure about certain things. I could be wrong and Clem might have passed from a heart attack. I just don’t want to accuse anyone without proof”. Gloria looked shocked. “You think someone murdered Clem”?

“I don’t know Gloria and please don’t mention this to anyone. If someone did kill Clem I don’t want them bolting before we have proof”.

“Do you work for the police”?

“No, Lena and I have helped solve a few cases in our day. But, we like to keep a low profile”. She looked at Lena and winked.

“Ha”! Was Lena’s only reply.

“Alright, I will keep quiet about our conversation, if you promise to keep me up to date on what you find out, deal”?

“Deal”. Clara said. The three of them cleaned up the kitchen and Gloria said she had some laundry to do.

“Why don’t we all go to the Drift Wood later for a drink and listen to some music”. Lena suggested.

“Sounds good to me”, Gloria replied.

“Me too”. Clara smiled. “Is nine o’clock too late for you Gloria”?

“No, that’s fine, as long as we don’t get back too late, I have work tomorrow”.

“Nine o’clock it is then”. Gloria headed up the stairs to her room. The sisters went out to sit on the porch.”What do you think Lena”?

“I think she’s telling the truth”.

“I hope so, Lena, I hope so”. Clara called Marcus, she wanted to speak with him the following day but he said he would be busy, she could come in on Monday and he would listen to whatever she had to say. Friday night all three went to the Driftwood and had a nice evening. They arrived home near twelve and Gloria went straight to her room. She had work the next day and was working a double shift, which meant she wouldn’t get off until after ten pm. and home close to eleven. Lena and Clara had a cup of tea and retired for the night.

Saturday Clara was sitting on the front balcony and noticed Jeffery pull in his driveway about noon time. She waved and said: All was quiet Jeffery, your house is still safe.

“Thank you Clara”, he replied as he headed into the house.

“Would you like to come to dinner tonight Jeffery”?

“Thank you Clara, but, Marcus is treating me to dinner tonight at the Surf and Turf”.

“Wow! Fancy”. Clara replied.

“Yes, can’t pass that up”, Jeffery smiled. “Talk to you soon, have a nice dinner”.

“Thanks, Clara, I’m sure I will”, as he entered his house. Clara went back inside and started working on her computer. Lena was busy calling the people that usually worked for the sisters in the summer and the day passed slowly. The sisters were sitting on the front porch and saw Jeffery leave about six pm. They were having a glass of wine and talking about the upcoming season. They went back in the house about nine pm. and shortly after heard Jeffery’s truck pulling into the driveway. Clara said she was tired and so the sisters went into the house and were in bed by ten pm. The telephone ringing woke Clara, she looked at the clock it was 2 am., she picked up the phone. “Hello”.

“Hello, this is Nurse Sandy Dunn I am calling because a patient by the name of Gloria Mandel was brought in and we found your number in her belongings. She was brought in by 911 paramedics and is in pretty serious condition, are you a relative”?

“Oh my God Gloria!, I am not a relative but she lives here with my sister and I. Is she going to be alright? What happened?”

“Can you come down to the ER, we will need some paperwork done”.

“Yes, yes, of course, we will be there in fifteen minutes”.

“Thank you, come straight to the ER and ask for me”

“Sandy Dunn, right”?

“Yes, I’ll be waiting, your name”?

“Oh, I’m sorry, Clara Hayes and my sister Lena Hayes will be with me”. The ringing of the phone woke Lena as well. “Get dressed fast Lena, Gloria is in the ER and seriously hurt, or something. I just spoke to Sandy Dunn, she is the nurse in charge and they found our phone number in her belongings, hurry”.

“Oh My God Clara, I hope she’s alright”.

“Just get dressed now”! Clara had been sleeping in sweat pants and sweatshirt so she ran downstairs to start the car and waited for Lena. They arrived at the ER and entered the main waiting room. Clara went to the desk and asked for Nurse Sandy Dunn. “Please tell her Clara and Lena Hayes are here for Gloria Mandel”. The receptionist told them to go right through the doors to the left. “Just hit the pad on the wall the nurse’s station is on the left about half way down the hall”. The sisters did as they were told. There was only one nurse at the station. “Excuse me”, said Clara, are you, Nurse Dunn”?

“No, she is in with a patient, she should be right back. What is the patient’s name you came for”?

“Gloria Mandel”. Just then Nurse Dunn came walking out of one of the rooms.

“Here she comes now”, replied the nurse at the station. Clara and Lena started walking toward her. “Nurse Dunn”?

“Yes, Ms. Hayes”?

“Yes, and this is my sister Lena. Is Gloria alright”?

THE HAYES SISTERS—PART 19

“Oh, my goodness. Is he sure”?

“Lena, he’s a certified coroner, he knows what he’s talking about”.

“What does that mean. Is there going to be an inquest”?

“I don’t know, I am supposed to meet with Jack on Sunday at the Tea Room for lunch. I have something I want to run by him, but, I could be wrong and don’t want to create any problems”.

“What is it, Clara”?

“I’ll tell you tomorrow, I don’t want anyone else to know about it. I also want to speak with Jeffery when he comes back tomorrow. I want to know if he knows that Gloria is his half sister. I would also like to know if Clem changed his will”.

“Do you think he’ll know”?

“I don’t know Lena, I don’t know. Right now we need to go up to Gloria’s room and calm her down about questioning her. I tend to believe what she told us. What about you Lena”?

“I think she’s telling the truth”.

“Let’s go and get this over with Lena”. The sisters headed up the stairs. Gloria heard a knock on her door. “Come in, it’s open”. Lena and Clara entered her room.

“Gloria, we are sorry if we upset you, but, Clem possibly did not die from natural causes”.

“You think I killed him”?

“It did cross our minds. We found the lab report and the prescription slip. You have to admit it does raise questions”.

“I didn’t kill anyone, I was just trying to make sure my mom was right about Clem being my father. And, as far as the prescription it was something my mother’s doctor left in error and I just added it to my memories. It might sound stupid to you, but, you have no idea how my mother suffered and how much I loved her, so who are you to judge me”?

“Would you mind if we asked you just a few more questions”?

“Not right now if you don’t mind. And, if you want me to move out, I’ll start packing”.

“Please don’t do that Gloria, we believe you, but, we just need to know a couple of more things. Why don’t you rest a while and come downstairs when you feel better and we can have some tea or coffee if you like and if you want we can talk some more. Maybe you can even help us solve this”. Lena and Clara left the room and closed the door. They could hear Gloria crying as they walked away.

Marcus knew Jeffery would return on Saturday and wanted to speak with him. He had arranged to take him out to dinner at the Surf and Turf, it was located at the edge of town and not too many locals dined there, the food was good but pricey. He was sure Jeffery didn’t want to keep the B&B and hoped he could purchase it from him. It had been a dream of his for many years. This was his chance.

THE HAYES SISTERS PART–18

Clara returned to the table. Gloria and Lena were enjoying the meal and chatting about what a beautiful day it was going to be. “Well, ladies looks like I did a good job with breakfast. Gloria was the first to reply. “Everything is delicious Clara, you are a wonderful cook”.

“Thank you, Gloria”. Lena noticed that Clara looked a bit pale.

“Are you feeling alright Clara”?

“Yes, I’m fine Lena, why do you ask”?

“You look a bit pale”.

“Nonsense. I’m just hungry”. She sat down and started eating. When all three were done and were enjoying another cup of tea Clara looked at Gloria and asked.

“Gloria, why didn’t you tell us that Clem was your father”? Gloria’s face turned red and Lena looked shocked.

“Clara”! Lena said. The three of them sat there looking at each other in silence.

“How did you find out”? Gloria asked. “Did Clem tell you”?

“No, he didn’t. We sort of found out on our own. Clara replied. Then Clem knew before he died that you were his daughter”?

“Yes. I told him”.

“When”? Tears welled up in Gloria’s eyes.

“I wasn’t really sure if my mother was telling me the truth so I sent a napkin that he used hoping there was some DNA on it and a swab with my DNA to a laboratory for analysis. I didn’t know if I would get any results but it came back positive. I told him about it when I got the positive results. He was shocked, to say the least. He didn’t know because my mother never told him about me. He wanted another test done so we went to a lab together and the results were positive again”.

“Well that’s quite interesting”, replied Clara. “Do you know if he told Jeffery”?

“No, I don’t think so he passed a few days later and Jeffery never mentioned anything to me. I assume he doesn’t know. The only thing I wanted was for him to add his name to my birth certificate. You can’t imagine what it was like growing up with unknown typed in the space where it asks for Father’s name”.

“Was he willing to do it”?

“Yes, but it does take a while and now it will never happen because he’s gone”.

“You do realize that Jeffery is your half-brother I’m sure. Have you spoken to him about this”?

“No Lena I haven’t. I don’t know if Clem told him or not, he never brought it up so I assumed he doesn’t know”.

“What about this? Clara put a copy of the blank prescription pad on the table.

“Where did you get that? What were you snooping in my belongings? Is that why you offered me a room here rent free so you could snoop around and dig up information that is none of your business? I thought you both really were sweet and kind ladies but I guess I was wrong”.

“Not true Gloria”, replied Clara.

“We do like you and I found this information quite by accident while cleaning your room as we were waiting for the plumber”.

“Are you going to tell me it just fell out of the dresser drawer by accident, I wasn’t born yesterday Clara”.

“You have every right to be upset, Gloria”. Replied Lena.

“But Clara feels that Clem was murdered and we are trying to find out if we are right or wrong. Maybe Clem did die of a heart attack or maybe someone had a motive to kill him”.

“Well, it wasn’t me! Why would I want to kill my own father? He didn’t even know I existed. I couldn’t hold that against him”.

“Can you explain why you have a blank prescription pad sheet”?

“Yes, I can, not that it’s any of your business but the doctor left it there one day after he came to see my mother, and I never returned it to him because my mother passed shortly after and then I just kept it for sentimental reasons”. Lena and Clara looked at each other. “I believe her Clara”.

“So do I, the question now is who killed Clem”? The sisters apologized to Gloria for snooping and told her they truly liked her and this was all a coincidental misunderstanding. Gloria was crying, she took the prescription paper and went up to her room. Lena got up to follow her but Clara told her to leave Gloria alone for a while. They could talk to her later. “That phone call I received was from Jack, there was a needle hole in Clem’s jugular vein”.

THE HAYES SISTERS—PART 17

https://the-italian-thing.com/2017/06/18/the-hayes-sisters-part-17/

Thursday night Gloria found the note that Lena and Clara left inviting her to have breakfast with them. She showered and fell into her warm comfortable bed happy to have such a beautiful room. She fell asleep almost instantly, she had a long day at work as the Tea Room was busy and she was exhausted.

Clara rose early as usual and headed to the kitchen to start baking biscuits and muffins. She would also have bacon, eggs and hash brown potatoes, coffee and tea for her and Lena. As she was preparing everything she couldn’t help thinking about the conversation she had with Jack Peterson on Thursday afternoon. She saw him as she was driving past the Beauty Bar and pulled over to speak to him. He was dropping his wife Millie off for her appointment as she didn’t drive since she had a heart attack last year. It was not that she couldn’t drive but she was quite frail and was afraid to get behind the wheel for fear something would happen. So Jack or one of her friends drove her where ever she wanted to go. Clara greeted Millie before she entered the salon. “Hi, Millie going for some relaxation I see”.

“Oh, Hi Clara and they hugged, yes, I have to keep my man happy you know, don’t want any young chicken catching his eye”. They both laughed and Millie entered the salon. Jack was just starting to leave when Clara called out to him to wait a minute. He stopped and she walked over to the driver side window. “Hi, Jack, do you have a few minutes to spare”?

“Hi, Clara. Yes, but I’m heading to work. Is everything alright”?

“Yes, yes, Lena and I are fine. But, I need to inquire about something and I need your expertise, do you mind”?

“No, not at all as long as it doesn’t take too long”.

“If someone was given an injection in the jugular vein would you be able to tell while doing the autopsy”?

“Probably, why”?

“Did you check Clem’s jugular vein carefully and if you didn’t could you”?

“I could but what reason would I have to do that”?

“I think he was given a shot of Potassium Chloride and that’s what killed him. You said there was a small cut on his neck. If someone gave him a shot in the vein and then scraped the needle on his neck wouldn’t it look like a slight cut”?

“Well, yes, but that’s pretty far-fetched, Clara”.

“Could you please check it before you release his body to Jeffery. If you don’t find anything then my gut feeling is wrong and I can lay this to rest.

“Clara, Clem was an elderly man, a heart attack is not unusual”.

“I know Jack, please do this one thing for me. I knew Clem for many years and I just have a bad feeling about this. You know I have been right in the past, please. You can call me and if I am right it’s a kudos to you, and if I’m wrong we can lay him to rest in peace”. Jack agreed. That was yesterday Clara thought and Jack hadn’t called her yet. She heard Lena and Gloria coming down the stairs to the kitchen. “It smells delicious from here”. Gloria said as they headed into the kitchen.

“Yes, it does, Clara is an excellent cook”, replied Lena.

“Come and sit down you two before everything gets cold”.

“All of a sudden I’m starving”. Gloria replied. Just then the phone rang, Clara said; “You two start eating, I’ll get it”. It was Jack.

THE HAYES SISTERS—PART 16

“It’s a doctor’s prescription pad but it’s blank”.

“I see that Lena but what is Gloria doing with a blank prescription paper.

Is this the only one she has or could she have had more than one”?

“Don’t jump to any conclusions Clara.”

“I am not jumping to conclusions Lena, but, there is something fishy going on here and I intend to find out what it is. I wonder if Gloria confronted Clem about their relationship and if Jeffery knows he has a half sister. I left a note on her dresser that if she is off on Friday we would enjoy her company for breakfast”.

“Clara, she seems like such a sweet girl, don’t go giving her the third degree while we’re eating”.

“I won’t, I’ll wait until she is finished, smiling at Lena. I also just remembered something that is bothering me”.

“What is that”, replied Lena.

“Isn’t Marcus’s wife a nurse at the hospital”? In a sarcastic like tone, Lena said,

“Yes she is, has been for over twenty years, why? Do you think she could have killed Clem too”?

“Not really but, there might be some sort of a connection there”.

“You do beat all Clara, you have a twisted mind, did you know that”?

“It’s not twisted Lena, I am just inquisitive, always have been”.

“You don’t have to tell me that Clara, I live with you remember”. Just then the doorbell rang. “I’ll get it”. Lena said. It was Jeffery Bristol. “Why Jeffery, what a pleasant surprise, do come in”.

“Thank you, Miss Lena but I’m on my way to the airport, I will be gone for a few days and was wondering if you ladies would just keep an eye on my house while I’m gone. I should be back by Saturday”.

“Yes, of course, Jeffery, have a safe trip and we’ll see you soon”.

“Thank you, the house is all locked up but it’s always nice to know someone is keeping an eye on it. And, if you see anything just call the police don’t take any chances I would hate to see you or Miss Clara get hurt”.

“Alright, we’ll be careful, I promise”. With that, he left.

“Who was it, Lena”?

“It was Jeffery, he asked us to keep an eye on his house, he is going out of town for a few days”.

“Really. Did you tell him Clem had given us a key to the place years ago in case anything happened while he was away”?

“No, I forgot about the key”.

“Well, I didn’t”. Clara replied with a smile.

THE HAYES SISTERS—PART 15

“I have just read something I can hardly believe. It seems our Ms. Gloria is the daughter of Clem Bristol”.

“What! Where did you hear that”?

“I didn’t hear it, you know that envelope, we saw. I opened it and it was a letter from her mother telling her that her father was Clem”.

“I don’t believe that”. Lena replieD.

“Believe it, Lena. It seems Clem was in New York on business and she met him at a restaurant she was working in and they had a short affair. In the letter, she wrote that she never told him because she knew he was married but she didn’t want Gloria to go through her life not knowing who her father was”.

“I am shocked, just shocked”. Replied Lena.

“If you think that’s a shock, listen to this, there was also a form of a DNA testing lab stating that the results were 99.9% that the two samples that were sent were related. Examples were brother and sister/brother/mother/father”.

“How would she get a DNA sample from Clem”?

“Oh, come now Lena, she works in a restaurant that Clem frequented, ate from the utensils, drank from the cups and glasses. It’s a no-brainer. I only wonder if she told Clem. And, Jeffery for that matter. When Gloria is off on Friday you and I are going to have a nice long chat with her, but first I have to do a little research”.

“What research? What are you talking about”?

“I also found this”. She handed Lena a slip of paper.

THE HAYES SISTERS—PART 14

Clara picked up the phone and dialed the police station’s number. Marcus answered. “Chief Kent, how can I help you”.

“Marcus. Hi, I am sorry to bother you but I forgot to ask you before, was Jeffery home when you took Clem home”?

“No, Clara he was at the Town Pub according to his statement”.

“Will there be an inquest”?

“I don’t think so unless the rest of the toxicology report shows something”.

“Yes, of course, thank you, Marcus”.

“You’re welcome, Clara”. The line went dead. Lena waited for Clara’s answer.

“Well”?

“No, he was at the Town Pub”. Clara’s phone rang it was Gloria. “Hello, Gloria. Is everything alright”?

“Yes Clara, I just wanted to let you know that the bathroom sink faucet is dripping”.

“Alright dear, I will call the plumber and have him fix it today”.

“Thank you, Clara. I left the door to my room open, but I would prefer if you or Lena would be there when the plumber comes to repair it. Would you mind”?

“Of course not dear, I was going to vacuum your room today anyway”.

“Thanks, Clara, I have to hang up, we are busy right now, I will see you both later”.

Clara dialed the plumbers’ number and asked him to come over and check the faucet.

They made an appointment for one o’ clock. Lena was vacuuming Gloria’s room. She noticed a photo of her mother on the dresser and a few little nick nacks here and there. The room was neat and tidy. Clara walked in just as Lena was finished. “Wow, I came into to dust and see what else I could do, but, I see Gloria is quite neat”. Then she noticed the corner of a white envelope sticking out of the bottom drawer of the dresser.

“What’s that”?

“What’s what”? Lena replied. Clara walked over to the dresser and opened the drawer, she pulled out an envelope. It was not sealed but it was closed. “Clara don’t you dare read that”.

“Oh, hush, Lena. I am just going to take a peek and I’ll put it back exactly the way I found it”. Just then the doorbell rang. Clara put the envelope back with the end sticking out and closed the drawer.

The plumber had arrived and Lena showed him up to Gloria’s room. He examined the faucet and fixed the leak. “Just needed a new washer ladies”. They paid him and he left.

“Now back to the envelope”. Said Clara.

“Clara, you wouldn’t want Gloria snooping around your room would you”?

“I am not under suspicion, Lena, and besides if it’s nothing I will put it right back and no harm done”. Lena just shook her head.

“I won’t have any part of it Clara, you’re on your own”.

“Alright I’ll be right back. You make a couple of sandwiches and some tea for lunch”.

Lena headed toward the kitchen and Clara up the stairs to Gloria’s room. She opened the draw just enough to get the envelope out, opened and carefully removed the papers. She was sitting on the floor not to make an imprint on the bed. She opened the paperwork and started reading. The more she read, the further her jaw dropped open. She quickly put the paperwork and envelope back exactly the way she found it and headed down to the kitchen. The sandwiches and tea were ready. Lena took one look at Clara and knew something was wrong. “What’s the matter Clara”?

“You are not going to believe this Lena. You better sit down.

THE HAYES SISTERS—PART 13

Before I post 13, I have to apologize and ask those of you that are following this story to go back to part 12 and read the last paragraph which I left off in error. Sorry about that. ☺

 

Clara answered her phone. “Hello”.

“Clara good morning. I just got a report back from Jack. He went over Clem’s body very carefully again. The only mark on his body was a small scratch or cut on his neck, he said it could have been done while he was shaving or scratched himself. No needle marks anywhere on his body”.

“What about his Potassium level”.

“Let me look. It says here it was slightly high but not high enough to kill him. And, his alcohol level was high of course”.

“What about the time of death”?

“Somewhere between eleven-thirty pm., and nine thirty am., when his Handyman called the station”.

“How does Jack know it was eleven thirty pm.”?

“I told Jack that’s the time I took him home. We were at the Black Magic, he had too much to drink and I told him I would drive him home. Beanie offered but I told her I would handle it. I drove him home, he passed out on the sofa. I checked to make sure he was breathing and put his keys on the end table and left”.

“He was with you that night”?

“No, he was there when I got there. He was dancing with Beanie but was already two sheets to the wind. Why”?

“Oh, no reason, you surprised me. I didn’t know you were with Clem that night”.

“I didn’t get there until about ten pm., Beanie said he got there about eight pm., or so”.

“Was Jeffery at the Black Magic”?

“No, not when I got there”.

“Why so many questions Clara. Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill and play detective. Clem died of a heart attack, let the poor man rest in peace”.

“I am not playing detective Marcus Kent. I just find it strange that Clem died of a heart attack. He was fit as a fiddle. Is his body being released now”?

“Not yet, Jack is waiting for the rest of the toxicology results”.

“Alright Marcus, thanks for getting back to me”. They hung up. Lena had come into the kitchen at the tail end of the conversation. “What happened Clara”?

“I just found out that Marcus was with Clem the night he died. He said he drove him home from the Black Magic because he was too drunk to drive. He was the last person to see Clem alive. That little shit told me I’m making a mountain out of a molehill. The nerve of him. After all the times we have helped him. I still have a gut feeling there is something more to this than meets the eye”.

“Was Jeffery at the house when Marcus took Clem home”? Lena asked.

“Good question Lena, I didn’t ask, but I will find out”.

THE HAYES SISTERS—PART 12

Friday morning Clara and Lena dusted and straightened the room that Gloria would be staying in and made sure the house was tidy. “Did Marcus call you yet Clara”?

“No, he didn’t, but I didn’t expect him to call me for a few days. That’s if Jack does a thorough job of examining Clem’s body”.

Gloria arrived at the agreed time. Clara and Lena helped her with her bags to her new room. “We hope you are comfortable here Gloria”.

“How could I not be, Clara. It’s a beautiful room and I appreciate yours and Lena’s kindness and generosity”.

“Why don’t you unpack and Lena and I will go make a pot of tea, or would you rather have coffee”.

“Tea will be fine, thank you”. Clara and Leana left Gloria to settle in. Gloria stepped out on the balcony and admired the ocean view. Savored the beauty of her new room. Thinking about her life in New York and the struggle it was for her mother to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table, and how it would have been so much easier if she had a father there to help. Only fifty-seven and her heart gave out, too young she thought but Gloria promised her mother and herself that she would take care of it. She went back to the room to unpack. Took the letter and the other papers out and put them safely in one of the drawers. She would be needing them soon enough. She could smell the ocean breeze and her life was about to change….Soon.

Lena and Clara were in the kitchen when she went downstairs for tea. Gloria could hear them talking but when they heard her coming they stopped.

“All settled in dear”? Lena asked.

“Yes, thank you again, ladies, it’s a beautiful room and I do appreciate your kindness. Please let me know if I can help in any way this coming season”.

“How sweet of you Gloria, we might take you up on that. Right now sit and have some tea and one of these delicious blueberry muffins, I have had two keys made for you too, one is for the front door and the other is the door that opens to the back balcony in your room so you have a private entrance, if you work late it will come in handy and give you some privacy as well”. Gloria took the keys.

“How sweet of you, thank you, Clara. Now maybe I can start saving enough to get a car. The two of you are wonderful and I feel so welcome. I wish you could have met my mother, she would have liked both of you and she would have loved your home”.

“We are sure she was a wonderful mom, after all, she raised such a sweet daughter”.

“Yes, she died too young working long hours never able to enjoy life”.

“So sorry dear. How did she pass”?

“Her heart gave out, she was only fifty-seven”.

“Oh my, she was too young”.

“Yes, she had a bad heart and struggled for a long time. We came to Cape May once when I was about fifteen and she loved it here. Now here I am living her dream”.

“How sweet”. Lena said. Gloria smiled.

Gloria smiled. The three of them chatted and discussed how much Gloria’s portion of the electric would be and what additional channels she would like to add. Clara called the cable company and added the new channels for the television in the room. When she hung up she told Gloria that the technician would be there on Tuesday and offered to let him in her room if he came when she was working.

“That would be great, thank you, Clara. Just then the doorbell rang. Lena got up to see who it was. Jeffery Bristol stood there. “Jeffery, what a surprise, please come in”.

“I just came to bring your containers back and thank you both again for the delicious meal”.

“Would you like a cup of tea? Clara, Gloria and I are having tea and muffins in the kitchen, come and join us won’t you”? He looked surprised when she mentioned Gloria’s name but said; “Yes, thank you, I’d like that”. They headed down the hall to the kitchen.

“Jeffery! Hello so nice to see you, dear”. He looked at Gloria. “You know Gloria”.

“Yes, from the Tea Room. Hi”. He said. She smiled and greeted him.

“Take a seat and I’ll get you a cup of tea and help yourself to a muffin if you like. “Gloria is staying here now, she just arrived today. We are getting acquainted”.

“Welcome to the neighborhood Gloria. I am sure you will like it here. Ms. Clara and Ms. Lena are wonderful ladies”. Gloria smiled and said; “Yes they are”. As soon as he finished his tea Jeffery left. He told them he had some things to take care of. Clara thought he looked a bit uneasy seeing Gloria and finding out she had moved in. She would talk to Lena about it later. Gloria excused herself. “If you ladies don’t mind I would like to go up to my room and finish putting a few last things away”.

“You go right ahead dear and there is a linen closet in your bathroom and you can use the washer and dryer that Lena and I use if you like. It’s in the pantry off the kitchen and pointed the door. The guests use the washers and dryers in the basement in the summer but you can use ours”.

“Thank you, that is so kind of you”. She said and left to go back upstairs.

“Lena, did you notice the look on Jeffery’s face when he saw Gloria sitting here”?

“Yes, I thought he looked surprised but that’s only natural”.

“I don’t think so Lena, it’s not like he doesn’t know her. I’ve seen them chatting at the Tea Room and they seemed quite friendly”.

“Please don’t let that imagination of yours make more of this than it is Clara”.

“No, I think something is going on”.

“Yes, I know and you intend to find out what it is”. They looked at each other and laughed. Gloria went back to work on Saturday. The weekend passed quickly. Monday Gloria was off and slept in but she took the sisters out to dinner and the three had a nice evening. They liked having a young person living in the house, and Gloria liked living with them. She was a little Leary at first but started to feel more comfortable as the days passed.

Tuesday morning Clara was having her breakfast and the phone rang. It was Marcus Kent.