WHAT IT IS
His three piece worsted suit was perfectly tailored to his delicate frame making his lanky appearance stand out in the room. The thin black mustache complimented his manicured chinstrap beard and his bronzed skin made him a most attractive figure, to which many of the women in the room would attest. As he surveyed the ever increasing crowd, he was unaware of a personal habit he had acquired years ago, that of sliding his left hand through his thick black hair, then patting the top and sides of his head in an effort to improve what he had just done. Perhaps what made this man especially striking was his aqua-blue eyes, a rarity on the subcontinent and a feature that seemed to draw people to him.
While scrutinizing the main entrance for a particular face, his phone, located in his breast pocket, gave off a quiet murmur. Retrieving the device, he left the room and went outside where the chilly April air reminded him just how far he was from home. The conversation was over in seconds, but before going back inside he watched what he thought was last year’s Queen Anne’s lace swaying in the wind. It would soon be time for renewal he thought as he entered the building.
Adnan’s determined walk, caused in part by the cool April air, brought him to the microphone at center stage where the sea of moving colors of the audience never failed to surprise him. He tapped the microphone, cleared his throat and told the crowd Miles Hobbson would be a few minutes late.
WHAT IT IS NOT
Baines Wainscot bargained his way aboard a Mississippi shantyboat leaving Baton Rouge heading north to Vicksburg. The skipper had close to a half million canned spam lids that a new aged sculptor in Monroe was willing to pay good money for and Baines was hired to act as a lookout on the busy river, keep the boat clean and help unload the treasure once docked in Vicksburg. Baines had gotten word on the street back in New Orleans that Leo Barnard made his way to Winnsboro in the Franklin Parish every year to take in the catfish festival, and he was hoping to find Leo and get his story.
Approaching the Port of Vicksburg, Baines could see what he believed was the sculptor pacing up and down the wharf. He was an interesting looking fellow, as wide as he was tall and as Baines was soon to discover, covered in tattoos of Queen Anne’s lace. The unloading of the lids went off without a hitch and soon Baines and the skipper parted ways.
Baines could have driven the sixty or so miles from Vicksburg to Winnsboro, but he decided to walk and hitch-hike the distance so he could get a feel for the area. Had he taken any other route he might not have seen Leo Barnard and his small horse wandering the grounds of the Twin Oaks Golf and Country Club just off Hwy. 17. Baines asked the driver to stop, thanked him for picking him up, then scrambled out of the car in the direction of Leo and the horse.
In a small alcove off the fourth hole Leo stood uncomfortably close to a tall well dressed man in an expensive three piece suit. It was the aqua-blue eyes surrounded by smooth bronzed skin that Baines first noticed. But, as he approached the two men, they quickly jumped into a nearby golf cart and drove toward the club house. Baines spun around several time looking for the horse. But it was no where to be seen.