The Mastin Twins - Chapter 4 - Fishing
Chapter 4 - Fishing
When Jimmy awoke the next morning he was greeted by the sound of rain drops on the roof. A look outside confirmed that it was raining. The sky was a leaden gray color and puddles had already formed on the ground outside his window. He slowly dressed and wandered into the kitchen. His mom and dad had finished their breakfast and sat together at the table talking.
"Oh, you're up", said his mom. "There are some pancakes and sausages on the counter and juice in the refrigerator."
Jimmy got a plate, found the maple syrup and dosed his pancakes. The cupboard next to the sink was filled with glasses one of which he poured full of orange juice. He carried his breakfast to the table, sat down, and began to eat.
Between mouthfuls he asked his dad, "What are you and mom talking about?"
"I'm just trying to get her opinion of an idea I had for my new book. Would you be interested in hearing it too?"
Jimmy stuffed another fork load of pancake into his mouth and chewed while his dad explained.
"There is a spy that the Russians planted in this country twenty years ago. He's been working at a regular job, pretending to be a regular citizen, waiting for his boss in Russia to give the signal for him to start his spy work. But his boss has fled Russia and gone into business for himself. He took with him a list of agents planted in the United States, France, and England. He plans to sell the services of these agents to the highest bidder. He'll command the agents to perform what ever the client desires and the agents will do so believing they are still working for Russia. But this spy planted in America happens to see his boss on television and realizes he may no longer be working for Russia. During his years in the United States he's come to love our country so he goes to the CIA and offers to help them find the other hidden Russian agents before they can be used against the US."
Jimmy nodded his head up and down. "Sounds pretty good to me."
"There's still a lot of work to be done but I'm feeling pretty good about it."
Jimmy's mom added, "Dad's publisher has offered an advance too!".
"Wow!", said Jimmy. "That's great!"
"Since it's raining do you have any plans for today", asked his mom.
Jimmy shook his head. "Not really. I've got those books I checked out of the library. Guess maybe I'll start on one of them."
His dad went back to the workroom and soon the sound of typing could be heard. Jimmy rinsed his plate and glass and found space for them in the dishwasher.
"Jimmy, would you start the dishwasher please?"
He got the box of soap from under the sink, poured some into the dispenser and pushed the start button. The drone of the dishwasher was drowning out the sound of the falling rain on the roof when Jimmy opened the back door. He stood briefly watching ripples on a puddle appear then expand and dissipate as drops landed. It wasn't raining very hard now but it didn't look like it was going clear up anytime soon either. Bike riding and walking weren't likely to be much fun today. He closed the door and retreated to the living room. His mom was arranging a couple of logs and some kindling in the fireplace.
"I thought a fire seemed like a good idea on a rainy day".
He watched as she twisted some newspapers and put them underneath. A flick of a match and the fire was started. After a while it snapped and crackled as the wet firewood began to burn. Jimmy went to his room and returned with a book. He sat down on the couch after flipping on the light and opened it. His mom disappeared down the hallway and returned with a book of her own.
"Mind if I join you?", she asked.
Jimmy grinned. "No mom, love to have you here."
Mrs. Vaskelis settled down on the other end of the couch and they both began to read. Jimmy's book was a spooky story about a skier that was pulled out of an avalanche by a ski patrolman and a dog. Later the rescued skier found out that the patrolman that had rescued him had been killed in an avalanche at that very spot two winters ago. Jimmy read quickly, eager to find out what was going to happen. At one of the scariest parts of the book the phone rang making him jump. Reluctantly he put down his book and answered the phone.
"Hi Jimmy, this is Kathy."
"Oh, hi Kathy! What's up?"
"I was wondering if you'd like to come over this afternoon around 1:00. Maybe we could play some more Monopoly?", Kathleen asked.
"Let me check", said Jimmy. He turned to his mom. "Mom, it's Kathy Fahey. She wants to know if I can come over this afternoon?"
His mom looked at her watch then out the window. The rain had slowed even more until it was just a drizzle.
"What time would you be leaving and when would you come back?"
"Kathy said about 1:00 and I'd be back for supper."
"Ok, but you'll need to take an umbrella"
Jimmy told Kathleen he'd be there, hung up and went back to his book. He read for another hour and a half until it was lunch time. Lunch was vegetable soup and sandwiches. Jimmy ate quickly and went back to his book. By 1:00 he had almost finished it. The urge to delay leaving and finish it was strong but Jimmy finally took the book back to his room and got a jacket and umbrella from the closet before saying bye to his mom and slipping out the back door.
The path to the Fahey's was quite muddy and a bit slippery too but he made the trip without mishap and he wiped his feet on the mat outside their door before he rang the doorbell. The door opened almost immediately.
"Hi Jimmy", said Mrs. Fahey. "Come on in out of the rain".
"Thanks", said Jimmy. "It's not raining too hard anymore though".
"Kathy, Robert, Jimmy's here."
There was a pounding of footsteps and the two Fahey children appeared. Each took one of Jimmy's arms and he was dragged into Robert's bedroom where a Monopoly board was already setup and the bank had issued $1500 to three players. They sat down and rolled to see who would go first. Kathy won and rolled a 10 landing on `Just Visiting'. Robert rolled a 5 and bought `Reading Railroad'. Jimmy rolled 11 and bought `St. Charles Place'. The game seesawed back and forth for an hour before Jimmy managed to build hotels on `Board Walk' and `Park Place'. After that he quickly won. They started another game which Robert won. Kathleen wasn't used to losing at Monopoly and she looked a little grumpy. They were about to start a third game when Mrs. Fahey opened the door and asked if they'd be interested in making popcorn. Monopoly was forgotten instantly and they raced to the kitchen. While the corn was popping Mr. Fahey came in.
"Hi Jimmy", he said.
"Hello Mr. Fahey."
"Say kids, I was talking to old Earl Sturn down in town yesterday morning. He said there's a pretty decent run of catfish off Rock Point. You guys interested in some fishing tomorrow if the rain clears off?"
Jimmy had never been fishing before and this sounded like it might be fun.
"I'd love to Mr. Fahey, if my folks will let me."
"Why don't you ask them tonight. Heck, why don't you see if they'd like to come along too?"
Kathy and Robert also thought that going fishing sounded pretty good. The staccato of popping popcorn had been audible while they talked and now it was ready. A dash of salt and they were all helping themselves. The three kids took a large bowl of it back to the Monopoly set and played two more games before it was time for Jimmy to leave.
The clouds were slowly breaking apart and here and there a few fragments of blue sky were showing. Just as Jimmy reached home the sun broke through, low on the horizon. The rain had washed the dust off everything and in the glow of the setting sun the world looked freshly scrubbed and clean. Jimmy paused a moment before going inside.
Supper was almost over before he remembered to ask about fishing the next day.
His dad said, "You know, I haven't been fishing since high school. I'd like to go."
Mrs. Vaskelis wasn't so enthusiastic. "I don't see what's fun about sitting around in a small boat doing nothing, while you wait for some fish to come along. I think I'll stay here."
After supper Jimmy went back to his book and finished it. A quick bath and it was bed time. He had a hard time going to sleep again and when he did he dreamed. He dreamed he was on skis (strange because he'd never been skiing) and was standing at the top of a small ridge. He started to ski down the ridge but before he reached the bottom there was the rumbling noise of an avalanche and he was buried! He struggled and struggled but couldn't dig himself out. When it seemed he would suffocate the snow disappeared and two ski patrollers were there asking if he was ok. He said he was, then looked more closely at them, they had the faces of Floyd and William Mastin! He started to ask them what they were doing but they skied quickly away leaving him behind. The last thing he heard as they disappeared was familiar giggling. He looked down hill and realized with a start that he was on the ridge just south of the old Mastin house.
Jimmy woke in a cold sweat. He looked around and slowly realized he was in his bedroom. The clock on his dresser claimed the time was 7:30. Too early to get up he thought and pulled the covers up over his head, burrowing underneath to escape the light starting to come through the window. He was almost back to sleep when the door to his room flew open and in marched his dad.
"Time to get up Jimmy if you're going fishing!"
"Unnnnhhh... Why so early, won't the fish wait?"
"Best fishing is usually in the morning. Besides Mr. Fahey called last night after you were asleep. Said he wanted to be out on the lake by 8:30. Come on! Get dressed, we're late!"
Jimmy moving slowly, swung his feet over the edge of the bed and onto the floor. He dressed in old jeans and a tee shirt then headed to the kitchen. His mom was there wearing a bathrobe. She gave his dad and himself a kiss and a pair of lunch bags then they were out the door and on their way to the Faheys. When they arrived Mr. Fahey had his van ready. They all piled in and headed for Elk Bow. When they arrived in town it was pretty much deserted except for the boat launching ramp where a couple of men were backing a boat on a trailer into the lake. The boat rental shop was open though and the five of them went inside.
Arrangements were made for renting a small boat and some fishing gear. The dock where the boats were tied up was next to the shop and they had no trouble finding theirs. It turned out to be an aluminum, 15 footer with an outboard motor. Before getting in the two adults insisted on everyone donning life preservers. The kids protested but the dads were adamant. Soon everyone was settled in the boat, the motor coughed to life and they were putting across Lake Windsor towards Rock Point. Jimmy sat in the bow looking ahead. As the point drew closer he recognized the place along the road where he'd stopped on his first bicycle ride. Farther to the right he glimpsed their house and the Faheys before a stand of trees obscured them. The boat approached the shore and Mr. Fahey cut back the engine so they coasted slowly along, loosing headway until stopping maybe fifty feet away.
"I think this is where Earl said we'd find the best fishing" he said.
The kids watched while he took a pole, baited the hook and handed it to Kathleen. She unwound the reel and the hook disappeared into the water below. More hooks were baited until all five poles were in use. They sat silently, waiting for the fish to bite. When fifteen minutes went by and nothing had happened the kids began to get a bit restive.
"What do we do now? I thought we were supposed to catch some fish", said Robert.
"Sometimes you need a lot of patience", replied Mr. Fahey.
The morning was absolutely windless and the lake was a glassy calm. Reflections of the hills to the south seemed to shimmer on the lake's surface. Jimmy was just about convinced nothing was going to happen when something yanked on the end of his pole.
"I've got one!" he yelled.
With the others calling encouragement he began to haul it in but before it reached the surface it somehow slipped off his hook and was gone. He sighed with disappointment and reeled in the rest of the line so his hook could be rebaited. While that was being done Kathleen let out a yelp.
"I've got one now! It must be huge, look at how my pole is bending."
She struggled with the pole, trying without success to reel in her fish.
"Careful now, don't break the line", advised her dad. "You must have a monster there."
Then her line lost all its tension.
"What happened?" she asked.
"Looks like your fish got away", said Jimmy's dad.
"No look", said Robert. "There's still something on the line. Pull it in. What is it?"
Kathleen reeled in her line. When her hook was pulled into the boar they saw that it had been wrapped around something. Closer examination revealed a piece of metal. The line had been wrapped around it several times and the hook had jammed under one of the loops of fishing line as though someone had tied a knot. Mr. Fahey looked perplexed for a moment then untangled the fishing line from it. He held it over the side of the boat washing mud and slime off it then held it up again. Now they could make out the figure of a woman.
"I don't know how it got here", Mr. Fahey announced. "But this looks to me like a flying lady, the radiator ornament from an old Packard. Judging from how hard you were pulling on that fishing pole Kathy maybe you yanked it off the car. Maybe the rest of the car is down there too."
Jimmy, Kathleen, and Robert looked at each other. The Mastins Packard had disappeared. Could this be the same one? The newspaper had reported that it was never found. Maybe it wasn't found because it was at the bottom of the lake? Jimmy looked up at rock point. Almost directly above them was the place where the road widened out. If a car went over the edge it might well have ended up here.
Speaking quietly Jimmy outlined his thoughts to the others. The two adults sat and listened then turned to look up at Rock Point.
Mr. Fahey started up the outboard. "I think we should report this to the sheriff" he said.
Aside from the outboard motor the boat was quiet on the trip back across the lake.
Chapter 3 The Mastin Twins Chapter 5
The Mastin Twins - Copyright © 1996 by Charlie Comstock
Permission is granted for personal reading. All other rights reserved.