Crab Apple Tree

blog photo 81 crab appleWHAT IT IS

Davey Doucet happened along at the right time to prevent Emma and Bill from leaving their sanctuary in the woods and join the efforts to find Cricket and Sapphire. Doucet reassured them a small army of people were scouring the area trying to find their children.

On a warm June day Doucet sat under a sweet smelling crab apple tree listening to Emma dissect their lives; from their disappearance in 1988, to finding their old friends Will and Beatrice, to Davey discovering them in the old cabin.

Doucet pieced together some of the story on his own but with this new wealth of information from Emma he guaranteed them the whole ordeal would soon be made public and they could come out of hiding forever.


Acting on a reliable tip, twelve INSECT agents led by Graham and Smith flew to Missouri to assassinate No. 1. The dirty dozen, as they liked to call themselves, rented three black SUV’s at the St. Louis airport and drove to an area not far from the Mark Twain National Forest.

They arrived at dusk, each team of four assembled their pesticide canons and moved toward their assigned location, a piece of land known as Plot 82. Huge crab apple trees occupied the land and insect No. 1 was clearly visible at the edge of the trees feeding on the nectar.

The demise of No. 1 would not be accomplished on this day. A diaspora of a hundred women appeared from behind the tree trunks, each firing tranquilizing darts in the direction of the agents. Bedlam followed, most agents were hit but managed to struggle back to their vehicles except agents Jones and Brown who were last seen being dragged away by the determined mob.







blog photo 80 White tailed deerWHAT IT IS

It always happens…it’s like a Murphy’s Law thing…when you need the flashlight, the flashlight won’t work. Davey Doucet waited a few moments, gently slapped the thing into the palm of his right hand, then unscrewed the front end of the light and peered at the two dead batteries. Doucet pushed on!

As his eyes grew accustomed to the dark, he wondered what his four- legged partner was up to in the other tunnel. Undeterred, Doucet estimated it was forty-five minutes from the time he entered the tunnel to the time he exited. The tunnel ended as it started, with a cement stairway, this time leading to the basement of a small United Methodist church.

Doucet made his way out of the church, startled to see a deer only a few feet away. It was as if the deer was beckoning to Doucet, so he followed it along a fence line and into a thick woodlot. Doucet marvelled at the size of the trees, how they made the air smell sweet and how dark and quiet the forest was. As he followed the ungulate he came upon a small cabin that appeared at least a hundred years old and the couple sitting on the chesterfield maybe seventy years old.


The Conservation Officer had just stopped his truck when four shots rang out. It was small arms fire coming somewhere just north-east of where he stood. He was alone and justifiably nervous as he approached the two men holding handguns.

“CO Michaels advancing,” his voice strong, oozing authority. “ Please holster your firearms.”

Klaus Wagner and Peter Lehmann quickly obeyed the officer, explaining they had just shot over the head of a white- tailed deer…just for laughs…not intending to hit it. They said they were staying at a lodge on Lake Tomiko, recently up from Louisiana for a little vacation and adventure.

While Michaels was checking their passports and related documents, a message popped up on his computer screen indicating these two men had outstanding immigration warrants and were to be immediately transported to the immigration center in Toronto, Ontario.

Michaels drove the pair to the North Bay airport where they were met by two agents from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. After pleasantries and documents were exchanged, Michaels watched as the four boarded a small plane bound for Toronto.

Seven days had passed since the incident, when Michaels received a memo from the Ministry of Transportation regarding some irregularities regarding Wagner’s drivers license. He contacted the immigration department in Toronto with this new information and was told in no uncertain terms that warrants for Wagner and Lehmann did not exist and no agents were dispatched to the North Bay airport.



blog photo 79 Close SwanWHAT IT IS

Mr. Song was the keeper of a magnificent waterfront property on Lake Ontario, not far from Tommy Thompson Park. Mr. Song was a close friend of Mildred Duck and when he heard of Mildred’s upcoming production, he offered the cast and crew the property to use as their staging area.

Mildred was grateful for her friend’s generosity and on their second evening Mildred planned an elaborate wild rice dinner for Mr. Song and anyone he wished to invite. The meal was a great hit, and everyone was enjoying themselves until a loud argument broke out between Mr. Crane from the troupe and Mr. Song’s nephew who just flew in from Lake Tomiko. It seems the free- spirited nephew and the strict discipline of Mr. Crane resulted in the loud disagreements on just about everything.


Margaret Brookside’s experience with office administration, her attention to detail and her ability to work independently made her the obvious choice to scan the hundreds of aerial photos taken by Mutt Jefferson’s swan.

After being released from her duties at the mayor’s office in Beaver Falls, she would spread several hundred photos out on the floor of her office and carefully study each one looking for anything that might stand out.

It was painstaking work, with little reward. For five days Margaret diligently reviewed the photos brought to her by Slim Clemons’s private investigators. When she studied the photos covering the trestle area she was familiar with, the aerial views she was now looking at displayed unusual patterns in the fields surrounding the trestle. The trestle appeared as if it was the center of a spider web, with tentacles shooting off in all directions, many interconnected to one another.






blog photo 78 French RiverWHAT IT IS

Samantha, like many others, spent a week or more combing over Beaver County looking for Cricket and Sapphire. A phone call from search and rescue in Ontario, Canada would divert her from Pennsylvania to the Chapleau Game Preserve where a woman living in the area was reported missing.

Will had opened the barn door and was admiring the Beaver aircraft when Samantha drove up with the fuel hose she’d been waiting for. It was a simple task, five minutes at best, but when she went to connect the hose there was already a new one in place.

Samantha looked sternly at Will, four years ago it was the oil separator, then an elevated jack screw, and last year a housing bearing…all mysteriously fixed by a farm mechanic who insisted he knew nothing about airplanes.

Samantha had no time and no inclination to grill her father, so she simply let Will hook up the tractor to the plane and tow it to the runway. Within thirty minutes Samantha was airborne, heading for the Canadian wilderness.


Miles Hobbson sat in the comfortable leather chair, his eyes fixed but not focused on a small white envelope in the middle of his large walnut desk. It would be his first official letter opening since becoming the mayor of Beaver Falls.

He picked up the envelope, shuffled it back and forth in his hand, listening to the single page inside slide from one end of the envelope to the other. The contents of the letter were brief. Drake Johnstone, Beaver Falls counsellor was resigning his seat immediately and taking up residence on the mighty Temagami River in Northern Ontario, Canada.




blog photo 77 SwanWHAT IT IS

It was a warm spring day, fishing season had just opened on Lake Tomiko and the anglers were out in full force, selecting their secret spots that would land them the prized pickerel they all sought.

A couple of good old boys from Louisiana had their speedboat at full throttle heading for the excellent fishing areas at the east end of the lake when a low flying trumpeter swan appeared on the horizon in apparent suicide flight…heading directly for their boat. It looked like the collision was inevitable, but at the last second the helmsman turned hard to port, spun the boat on a 360, clipped the propeller over some protruding rocks and became helplessly still in the water.

Some local fishermen, seeing what had just happened, towed the Americans back to their lodge, perplexed by the absence of fishing gear in the boat.



Mutt Jefferson was anxious to join the search for Cricket and Sapphire, but he had unbreakable commitments to transport a truck load of Pittsburgh Penguin uniforms to the Paints arena for a playoff promotion soon to be underway. But there was something Mutt could do, while on route to Pittsburgh he detoured to Beaver Falls to drop off a swan he had trained to do grid search patterns with a small HD camera strapped to its underbelly.




blog photo 75 Grasses



It was the grass forming a perfect rectangle that drew patrolman Ned Doucet to take a second look. He kicked away charred debris from what once was the kitchen floor, discovering a trap door covering a cement staircase. The first step proved troublesome for the patrolman as he lost his balance and fell to the bottom of the stairs…this was all Doucet remembered.

When Davey Doucet arrived some three days later, a canine from Boston was already sniffing around the trap door. They both entered, descended the stairs and found themselves traversing down a long tunnel. At some point in their journey they came to a fork in the tunnel, the canine going one way, Doucet the other.


Basil McCormick was not looking forward to this day. As a young veterinarian he had performed euthanasia enough times to be comfortable with the practise, but this was an animal that he had spent a great deal of time with. The small horse from Sable Island had undergone a battery of tests in an attempt to explain some unusual behavior and the team of vets concluded a massive brain tumor was the likely cause.

The procedure to put down the horse was scheduled for 8AM, but when McCormick arrived at seven, the horse was nowhere to be found. His stall was full of an unfamiliar grass, the stall door was fully opened and the gate to the property unlatched and swinging in the wind.








0B2A3402.CR2_1WHAT IT IS

As per his instructions, Davey Doucet was finding out as much as he could about Graham and Smith. The INSECT compound just outside Haileybury, Ontario was a sprawling facility with hectares of flat, open land surrounding it. Doucet set up a telescope several kilometers away to watch the pair as they came and went, but this was not providing tangible results. What he needed was a way to get inside the compound, but with INSECTS’s paranoid-like need for security, this would prove most difficult.

Doucet’s prayers soon would be answered, when a casual conversation between himself and Mutt Jefferson revealed Mutt had outfitted a squirrel with a listening device and then trained it to hangout around peregrine falcon nests, so Mutt could study the eyasses. Mutt assured Doucet the squirrel could help him with his dilemma.


The trip by freighter from Oslo, Norway to Halifax, Nova Scotia was brutal, due to high winds, choppy seas and a lack of food and water. When the freighter finally entered the calm waters of the harbour, relief was evident on the faces of each and every chipmunk in the hold. Once tied up, the munks were hastily brought up from below, thrown into the trunk of a taxi and unceremoniously dumped in Point Pleasant Park, in the city’s south end.

The munks were on their own, and as a throng of local munks inched closer to them with dubious intent, a large red squirrel appeared. He talked a good game, convincing the freighter munks that life might not be so pleasant at this point, and they should consider following him to the Chapleau Game Preserve where interesting things were happening.