All nine members of the Board of Directors were gathered around the long table in the Reference Room of the public library. They were in the process of packing everything in preparation for the installation of new windows, flooring and paint. Other things were needed too, but their budget would only stretch so far. Further fund-raising would be done for the remaining work in phase two of the project. There were government grants to apply for, but even that didn’t cover one hundred percent of the cost.
To reduce any unnecessary strain on the budget, they had all agreed to pitch in and do the packing and storing themselves. Today, however, they were discussing business of a different sort, a little mystery that had popped up during the clearing and packing. Sam, the Chairman, sat at the head of the table. Bertie, Sarah, Carl and Joe were on one side; Lionel, Lily, Martha and Roma on the other.
“Does everyone think Ms Blackett’s idea is a good one?” Sam asked.
“Come on, people, we’ve been sitting on this long enough. I, for one, would like to get to the bottom of it if possible and put it out of our minds. Does anyone disagree?”
“So I take it everyone is in agreement?”
Seven hands shot straight up, accompanied by a chorus of “Agreed!”
“The motion is passed. Bertie, the matter is now in your hands. Could you see to it as soon as possible, please?”
“I will take care of it tomorrow if Mr. Hogan is home.”
Every member of the local Library Board was familiar with the now-retired police detective but Bertha Blacket, former Librarian, was the only one who had actually met the man. So she had been chosen to approach him with their little mystery.
The following morning when Harry Hogan stepped through his front door, the first thing he noticed was another vehicle parked in the driveway behind his truck. A faded black Jeep Wrangler, not new by any stretch of the imagination, and a bit dinged up.
“Move it, Hogan. Don’t dawdle, man. I have other places to go and things to do.”
Harry looked towards the sound of the voice. Leaning against the door frame of his garage – now his office – was the Librarian. She was wearing faded black track pants – to match the jeep maybe? And a bright green sweatshirt that said ‘Don’t wait for tomorrow – do it today!’
“Then don’t let me stop you,” he said.
“Are you always this chipper in the morning?” she asked, frowning.
“Pretty much, especially when I find a visitor waiting by the door.” He grinned. “Good morning, Ms Blackett.” He continued walking the dozen or so steps to the door at his usual pace. “To what do I owe the honour?”