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Authors: Brendan DuBois

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Buried Dreams

BOOK: Buried Dreams
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Buried Dreams

Lewis Cole [5]

Brendan DuBois

USA (2014)

Lewis Coles' friend, an amateur historian, is convinced the Vikings had
settled the Tyler Cover area more than a thousand years ago. But when the evidence
is found and his friend is murdered, and the evidence then disappears,
Lewis goes on a dangerous quest to solve the murder, and recover the
ancient historical artifacts. 

Kindle edition Copyright 2014 by Brendan DuBois.

 

No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without the express written permission of the author or publisher, except where permitted by law.

 

All Rights Reserved.

BURIED DREAMS: The Special Edition

A Lewis Cole Mystery

By

Brendan DuBois

With thanks to the authors Larry Niven and David Gerrold who in 1977 once told a young man he, too, could be a writer someday.
Forward

             
When I was a young lad, growing up in Dover, N.H., I soon grew fascinated with its history.  It was settled in 1623  --- only seven years after the death of Shakespeare! --- and its past was readily visible to a curious boy like me who liked to wander the fields, woods and the riverbanks of my neighborhood.  There were old, crumbled stone walls, cellar holes, and along the muddy riverbank, crumbled remains of bricks that came from factories that constructed them decades earlier.

             
This interest in history graduated to a more widespread interest in all types of history, from Roman to Greek to medieval to military, and everything else in between… which leads to answering one of the most popular questions an author gets:  where do you get your ideas?

             
Some years ago
, The New York Times
did an extensive article about the Viking settlement in Newfoundland, and the archaeological digs that revealed so much about what the Vikings ate and how they lived in this new land.  Eventually, however, the Viking settlement was abandoned.

             
But lots of questions remained.  Was the settlement in Newfoundland the only place where Vikings settled?  There were remains of butternuts found in the cellars… a nut that didn’t grow in that part of the country.  The Vikings called their settlements “Vinland”, supposedly about the grape vines that grew wild there… but the settlement was too far north for wild grapes.   And a Viking coin was found in an Indian burial mound in Maine.  How did it get there?

             
And that’s how this particular idea came along.  What if there was an eccentric New Hampshire man --- redundant, I know --- who was convinced Vikings had once settled in Tyler Beach?  And this man was a friend of Lewis Cole’s?  And after finding the evidence, he’s murdered and the evidence was stolen?

             
That’s where the idea for BURIED DREAMS came from.

             
Happy reading.

 

Chapter One

 

The funeral service at Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal church in Tyler, New Hampshire, started right on time, ten a.m. on a rainy Saturday in October. I took the first pew to the left, just after escorting the casket down the center aisle of the church on a wheeled metal framework. Earlier I had helped five other men wrestle the heavy piece of wood and metal from the rear of the black coach --- not a hearse, that word isn't used anymore --- and up the granite steps through the open door, the steps slippery from the cold rain. The casket was draped with a white cloth with an embroidered gold cross that had been placed on it as it entered the church, temporarily replacing the American flag that denoted respect for a veteran.

Respect. What a concept. I spared a quick glance around the cool interior of the church, at the dozen or so people who had come here. The priest was before the altar, starting the service, and I looked at the faces of the people sitting in the hard wooden pews, recognizing a handful of Tyler residents who were active on town boards and organizations, plus a young couple, sitting by themselves, near the front. There were other faces as well: Detective Diane Woods, looking somber and sitting by herself, here in a variety of capacities, I'm sure, since she was leading the investigation of what had occurred that had led to this funeral. Sitting two rows behind her was Paula Quinn, reporter for
The Tyler Chronicle,
who gave me a quick smile as she saw my look, reporter's notebook held steady in her hands. She was here doing her job as well, recording what was happening for the benefit of the
Chronicle
's readers this coming Monday. And sitting by himself, nearly halfway to the rear of the church, as if being in a house of God was making him nervous, was Felix Tinios, a resident of North Tyler and a previous inhabitant of Boston's North End. Felix wasn't here in any kind of role that demanded his skills-dutifully noted each year on his IRS Form 1040 as a security consultant --- but was here just for me, a gesture that I found quite moving, coming from a man such as Felix.

I turned around and looked at the young priest, going on about heaven and peace and mourning, and I glanced over at the casket ---- coffin was another forbidden word --- and thought of the remains that were within that expensive piece of work: Jon Ericson, army veteran, retired accountant, amateur historian, and, for a brief time, my friend.

I folded my arms and stared straight ahead, past the priest to the stained glass window, wet from the continuing rain.

 

 

It had been a day late in May earlier that year when I had first met Jon, near my house on Tyler Beach. It had warmed up fairly well for a home right on the ocean, and I was on the rear deck, feet up on the railing, reading that day's
Boston Globe
. I was deciding whether to go to the editorial page or the comics section --- each with its own particular brand of amusement --- when a voice from below nearly caused me to drop the damn thing. "Hello up there," came the male voice. "Any chance for a drink of water?"

I lowered the paper and looked over the railing. My house is one of the most isolated on the eighteen miles of New Hampshire coastline, an isolation I've always enjoyed. To the south were the wide and popular sands of the resort community Tyler Beach, blocked off by a jumble of boulders and rocks, and to the north was the Samson Point State Wildlife Preserve. Both directions usually meant a lack of visitors, which suits me just fine. This particular visitor was a guy about thirty years older than me, wearing knee-high rubber boots, dark green chino work pants and shirt, and with a small knapsack on his back and what looked to be a metal detector in his hands. I usually don't like unexpected visitors, but something about his expression made me smile. He looked like a guy who expected strangers to be friendly and open, and I wasn't in the mood to ruin his expectation.

"Sure," I said.  “I’ll be right down."

In a minute I was through the kitchen, filling up a glass of water, and went out the front door. My scraggly lawn rose up to a ridge of rocks that hid my home from the coastal road, Route I-A, and I went around to the ocean side of the house, where my visitor was sitting on a large boulder, feet stretched out before him. His eyes were bright behind black horn-rimmed glasses, and he took off his Red Sox baseball cap to scratch at what was left of a fringe of light brown hair, circling around. The metal detector was at his side, like some old lance for a medieval knight, and cupped around his neck were the earphones for the apparatus. Standing next to him, I realized he looked vaguely familiar. He took the glass and swallowed about half of the water, and then held out his free hand.

"Jon Ericson," he said. "Thanks for the water."

I shook his hand. "Sure, and I'm ---"

"Lewis Cole," he interrupted, smiling. "Resident of Tyler Beach and columnist for
Shoreline
magazine, out of Boston. Correct?"

Maybe I should have been paranoid, but he was smiling like he had just won a small prize, so I gave it to him. "Correct on both counts. We haven't met before, have we?"

He swallowed the remaining water. "No, we haven't met, but I've seen you at a few local functions. Occasional selectmen's meeting, planning board meeting, town meeting in March. I'm a rarity in this community, a native of Tyler. Born and raised here, spent thirty years in this man's army, going to Europe and parts of Asia, before coming back home where I belonged. I like to keep track of what's going on in my town. And who's living here. And you, Lewis? Your history?"

"Born here in the state, moved to Indiana when I was a kid. Came back here a few years ago when I decided I missed the place."

"So you have," he said, his voice the tone of someone who knew a lot about you and wasn't about to let on what he did know.

I took the empty glass back from him. "And what are you up to today? Treasure hunting?"

"You could say that."

'Why here, and not down at the beach?"

"Where all the tourists show up?" He shook his head. "Not likely. The sands down there get picked over before the sun goes down and the seagulls have finished eating food scraps. I like to go to isolated places."

"Like this one?"

He wiped at his bald scalp, put his frayed cap back on. "In a manner of speaking. There was a wild storm here two days ago, remember?"

"Sure," I said. "Left the doors open to my deck, wind blew in a lot of water to my living room floor."

'Well, Lewis, the wind can blow a lot of things around, with help from the waves. Stuff gets dumped from a shipwreck or something being blown overboard, it tends to sink and have dirt and debris build up on it. After a good storm, stuff gets uncovered, stirred up, so you can find things that have been hidden for hundreds of years. I like to go out after a nice big storm. You'd be surprised at what pops up."

I looked out to the constant movement of the waves, spotted a container ship, beating its way north to Porter, out by the horizon's edge. "Find anything today?"

"Nope," he said, standing up. "But I will. Guaranteed."

That made me smile. 'Why guaranteed?"

"Because I know my history, that's why." His expression then changed a bit, as if he was transforming himself into a teacher, and he said, "That's something you should think about, the next time you take pen to paper. Or keyboard to computer screen, whatever it is you do, the next column you write for your magazine. Know your history, get it straight."

"Saying I got something wrong?" I asked.

A quick nod. "Yep. Two months ago. You did a column about the strange buildings and structures along the seacoast. Said something about those spotting towers, look like concrete lighthouses. Right?"

"Sure," I said. "Spotting towers for German U-boats."

A shake of the head, like a dad explaining the real truth about Santa Claus to a youngster. "Sorry. That's an old tale, one that gets passed around, years and years after the real story. Nope. Those towers were used for the old coast artillery emplacements, to spot targets out on the water. Not U-boats. Surface craft coming in to attack the shipyard at Porter. Not as thrilling as hunting U-boats, but the truth, Lewis. The truth. Get your history right and everything follows."

Jon got up and said, "Time to get going. Thanks for the water."

"Thanks for the correction," I said, as he headed back down to the rocky shoreline, his back stooped over, his head lowered, looking for some kind of buried dream.

 

 

Inside the cool church, I shifted in my seat, looked around again, at the few faces, all looking up toward the priest performing his role. The priest caught my eye and nodded, and then I got out and went up the center aisle, to the lectern near the altar. I turned and pulled a folded piece of paper from my inside coat pocket. I had wanted to write something about Jon and his life and his work, his love of history and dedication to the town, but the priest had gently persuaded me to go with a traditional Bible verse. This was a church sacrament, not a memorial to one man's life, and I didn't feel like fighting, so I stood there at the lectern, reading the words written by some poor hungry soul thousands of years ago in some faraway desert.

The word were designed to provide comfort, provide some sort of understanding that in any time of trouble, life was wonderful and life went on, and we all went to our great reward.

But then and now, they were just words.

 

 

I next saw Jon Ericson a week later, about four miles away from my house, at the Meetinghouse Green, near the regional high school. Paula Quinn had called me in a panic, saying that her 35mm camera had quit on her, that the paper's full-time photographer was out on vacation, and could I please come up there with my own camera and save her perky little butt? And I had said of course I would, even though some other man in town currently got to see her perky little butt in more pleasurable moments. The Meetinghouse Green had a couple of dozen children racing around, trying to fly kites in the slight breeze, and it was a joy to see those eager and serious young faces, attempting to drag their little kites up in the air by running back and forth. Paula took my Canon 35mm with a quick kiss on my cheek and went to work. I stood back, seeing a familiar man behind a folding table, dispensing little paper cups of lemonade and chocolate chip cookies to the budding aeronautical engineers.

BOOK: Buried Dreams
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