The first day you met the Captain of the Port Jefferson and all the passengers that will be sailing with him. Today they will all be arriving at the ship starting with the VanderMeer family. The Captain’s first impression of them from what he sees headed toward his ship is not bad, but nor is it all that good.
Paul J. Stam
WEDNESDAY – 14 January 1942
It was just a little after ten in the morning when the captain looked out of a porthole and saw them walking along the dock toward his ship. All of them were loaded down with two pieces of luggage. He knew it was the VanderMeer family the moment he saw them. Reverend VanderMeer, a tall, gaunt man, was dressed in khaki bush jacket and shorts, Wolsey helmet and knee-length stockings. He looked like someone who had just come out of the veldt.
The three boys were dressed exactly the same way as their father except each of them had wide-brimmed, felt hats instead of helmets. The left stocking of the youngest boy had slipped down and was a wad of material around his ankle. Mrs. VanderMeer, as plump as her husband was thin, wore a blue dress and white cork helmet. There was no way he could see the girl’s face under the wide-brimmed hat, but he guessed she would be plain-looking with no make-up and mousy hair.
They all set their luggage down for a moment and stood looking up at his ship while Reverend VanderMeer talked to the sentry at the bottom of the gangplank. Their luggage was scarred and worn with labels and stickers from previous journeys and almost every piece had at least one leather strap around it to keep it from popping open unexpectedly. The only new piece was a wicker suitcase carried by the youngest boy. The captain wondered how long they had been traveling, living out of those suitcases and if their luggage would last untill they got to wherever it was they were going.
Reverend VanderMeer turned back to his family and they all picked up the pieces they had set down and walked up the gangplank, Reverend VanderMeer in front, his wife right behind him and the children following according to age. They all had a little trouble climbing the narrow gangplank with their luggage bumping the railing on either side. He saw Travers trying to tell them just to leave the luggage on the dock, but they were concentrating so hard on handling it themselves they didn’t understand him. The captain knew that same procession had been seen walking through railway stations and in and out of hotels. He turned from the porthole and started getting dressed. He could never tell when one of the young ones might pop into the passageway outside his quarters despite the sign at the bottom of the stairway that said, CREW ONLY. It wouldn’t do for them to see him in his underwear.
Body On the Church Steps – A who-done-it that will keep you wondering to the end. Everybody is suspect, well, not everybody, but a whole lot of them and the police don’t seem to be to interested in solving the murder real quickly. I wonder why. Body On the Church Steps is published by Indigo Sea Press and is available on Amazon and from the publisher. Kindle and Nook versions just $4.99.
Desperate Voyage, is a World War II story of courage, love, murder and an enemy attack on a British freighter. It is available from All Thing That Matter Press and on Amazon. The Kindle edition is only $5.99,
It is based on my recollections of crossing the South Atlantic as a boy during WW II.
Murder Sets Sail is a sea adventure. You know right from the beginning who the bad guys are. Can Chris escape the sinking of his boat and the death they have planned for him? Murder Sets Sail is available from Indigo Sea Press and on Amazon. The Kindle editions is only $4.99.
The Telephone Killer – He calls a head of time to tell the TV station who his next victim will. It will keep you reading even after you have figured out who the killer is. The Telephone Killer is published by Indigo Sea Press and is available on Amazon and from the publisher. Kindle and Nook versions just $4.99.
To watch The Telephone Killer video click here.
The Telephone Killer is now also available as an audiobook.
Two historical novels about colonial Congo where I was born and grew up are: Of Rulers and Ruled and Of Chiefs and Giants. The period covered is from 1885 when Leopold II of the Belgians claimed more than 900,000 million square miles of Central Africa as his private domain until independence in 1965. These books are available All Things That Matter Press and from Amazon. The Kindle and Nook versions are only $5.99.
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