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 9

Clara and Lena packed up the chicken dinner and brownies. They headed over to Clem’s house to deliver the meal to Jeffery. “I hope he invites us in to share the meal with him”, Clara said to Lena.

“If he does don’t question him……too much Clara”. The sisters giggled as they walked.

Jeffery Bristol answered the door when the bell rang. “Hello Jeffery, how are you doing”? Lena asked, giving him a hug, as did Clara.

“As well as can be expected”. He replied. “Please come in ladies and thank you for bringing me dinner”. The sisters stepped into the house. “We brought you some roast chicken, potatoes, carrots, and we made some brownies, we hope you like brownies Jeffery”.

“I do, thank you, Miss Clara”.

“Let’s go into the kitchen, and let me take those packages off your hands”.

“Thank you, Jeffery”, and they followed him to the kitchen.

“The food smells delicious and I am hungry. Would you like to stay and have dinner with me”?

“If you’d like the company, we’d love to”. Lena and Clara opened the packages and Jeffery got plates and flatware out to set the table. “Did you get the autopsy result yet”? Clara inquired.

“Yes, but they are waiting for the toxicology report”.

“Did they find the cause of death”?

“Yes, it was a heart attack”.

“Really? That’s so hard to believe, Clem was always the picture of health and he was very active”.

“I know”. Then, looking at Clara said; “he had quite an active social life, as you probably know”, and then added; “I don’t understand it myself”.

“We are so sorry Jeffery if there is anything we can do to help please don’t hesitate to call us”

“Thank you, Miss Clara. My father was well liked and everyone has been so kind offering to help. Why don’t we all sit and eat this delicious food you brought”. They chatted as they ate, but Jeffery didn’t seem to want to discuss his father’s death. When they were finished Clara asked;

“Will you be staying here at the house now or will you be going back to California”?

“I have to go back to California to tie up some loose ends, but will return in a few days. This dinner was delicious ladies. Shall we have the brownies now”? Clara could see that this was not going to be easy. Jeffery was not willing to talk about anything right now. She didn’t know if it was out of sorrow or a different reason. “We are going to pass on desert Jeffery. It’s getting late and we have to get home, but we will be happy to clear the table and do the dishes for you”.

“No, no thank you ladies, you have done enough. I will take care of this. It will keep me busy”.

“We will say goodnight then. Are you ready Lena”? She saw the look in Clara’s eyes. They said goodbye to Jeffery and the sisters left. As the ladies walked the short distance to their house Lena said; “What is it Clara”?

“We have to go see Marcus tomorrow and get some information about the autopsy. I don’t believe Clem had a sudden heart attack. And, did you see the look he gave me when he said, “as you probably know”.

“Clem Bristol had many affairs. He was not looking to get married again. Last I heard he was pretty hot and heavy with Beanie. Maybe his son hated him for that. I think that’s why they didn’t get along. And, what was he doing back here anyway, staying at the Golden Lion and not with his father”. As they entered their house Clara said; “There’s more to Clem’s death than meets the eye, Lena”.

“Clara, they did an autopsy”.

“Well, I don’t believe the result, I think they are overlooking something, and I intend to find out what they are missing”.

“Clara, let’s have a cup of tea and get some sleep. Don’t read more into what Jeffery said. His father just passed away. He was a child when you and Clem dated”. Lena put the kettle on and made the tea. She knew tomorrow was going to be a busy day. Clara was working on the computer for quite some time before she went to bed. Lena heard the printer humming away as she drifted off to sleep.

THE HAYES SISTERS—PART 4

“Lena, listen when Gloria comes back to take our order, just follow my lead. And, for goodness sake don’t get that wide-eyed look on your face. I have an idea and it just might work”.

“What idea”?

“She’s coming over, just follow my lead. I will tell you later, okay”? Gloria was at their table.

“Ready to order ladies”?

“Yes, I’ll have a Cobb Salad and a small bowl of that delicious Corn Chowder, thank you”. Clara replied.

“It is delicious chowder, I have it every time the chef makes it”, Gloria said. She then looked at Lena.

“I, um, I’ll have the same, thank you”.

“Gloria, before you put our order in I, heard that you were living at the Rock Hill B&B. How do you like it there”?

“It’s alright I guess, the room is pretty nice but it’s a little pricey and I have to take the bus to get here. If I work late I always have to bum a ride from someone to get home. I am looking around for a more affordable place, why do you ask”?

“Well, we have a spare room at our place that we never rent out because it was our mother’s room but you are such a pleasant girl and a great waitress and our house is so close you could walk here and we are right across from the beach”. Lena’s eyes shot open but Clara kicked her under the table and she put a big smile on her face.

“Yes! That’s a wonderful idea”. Lena said.

“I don’t think I could afford your price. I make pretty good money but I don’t think it’s enough to live in your beautiful house”.

“Oh, don’t be silly. We could never charge you for our dear mother’s room. You are such a lovely young lady. We will even throw in whatever meals you would be home for”.

“You mean I could live there at no charge? Are you just kidding me”?

“No, we’re not kidding. One thing though, do you have a boyfriend? It would be only for you not for two people”.

“No, I don’t have a boyfriend and if you’re serious I’d love to move in. This is so kind of you, I can’t believe it. I’ll even help whenever I can when your summer rentals arrive”. She was smiling from ear to ear and Clara could hear the excitement in her voice.

“Thankyou, thankyou so much. I can’t believe this. It’s like a miracle. Let me put your order in ladies and lunch is on me”!

“There is one other thing Gloria”.

“Yes”?

“We insist that you call us Clara and Lena”.

“Of course, if that’s what you would like”.

“Yes, we’d like that fine, wouldn’t we Lena”. Lena just smiled and shook her head yes. Gloria rushed off to put their lunch order in with a big smile on her face.

“Are you nuts”? Lena asked.

“Oh, please sis we will have her right where we want her. It is the perfect plan. Don’t you think”?

“No, I don’t think, what I think is you’ve lost your mind”.

“Lena, don’t be an old fuddy-duddy, this will be interesting and it will be nice to have a young person around. Next, we have to find out what the autopsy concludes. Then speak to Marcus Kent, maybe even invite him over for dinner. After we get the autopsy report of course”. Lena just shook her head and smiled. “You are unbelievable Clara Hayes. You’re nuts, you know that”.

“Shush, here comes our lunch, our free lunch I might add”.