“Well, that confirms that we’re looking for someone who believes in the myth, or at least has a certain fascination with it,” Nate said.
“It does, but that’s not why I’m showing you this book,” Laura said.
Nate raised an eyebrow of question at her.
Laura turned one book and then the other to the very first page—the one before any printed text actually began, the blank page at the beginning.
Each of them had a printed library card showing who had taken the books out of the library last, signed and dated with a stamp in the old-fashioned way. It seemed the Jones Harbor library had not yet updated their systems to the twenty-first century.
Which was good, because the same name was written on each of them as the last person to take the books out.
“Cody Schafer,” Nate read aloud, looking up at her significantly. “Wow. You think it’s him?”
“Look at the dates,” Laura said, pointing to them in turn. One had only been returned the day before, and the other a few days ago. “It can’t be a coincidence. Don’t you think?”
“We better check him out,” Nate confirmed. He moved as if to get up, but then hesitated. “Laura. I’m, uh, I’m sorry I snapped at you before.”
“I’m sorry too,” Laura sighed. “I didn’t mean it. It wasn’t either of our faults. I’m just…frustrated. So frustrated. About everything.”
“I know,” Nate said. “You’re under a lot of pressure right now, and I should have recognized that and not risen to it.”
“I shouldn’t have snapped at you in the first place,” Laura said. She smiled. “I reckon I know a good way to ease the pressure on both of us, at least for a while.”
“We catch a serial killer,” Laura said, getting up from the table. “Let’s go.”
He grinned back at her with that trademark Nate grin that she had missed since they started to fight and leapt up to follow her.
CHAPTER TWENTY ONE
Nate paced back and forth, feeling caged and ready to go, as Laura held the phone out in front of her. They could both hear the line ringing, ringing, seemingly never-endingly.
“Hello? Sheriff Landyn,” he answered at last, making Nate’s eyes fly to Laura’s to see the excitement there. They both felt it. The case was nearing its end. This was their strongest lead yet. This could be it.
“Sheriff,” Laura said. “I’m calling for a check on a man called Cody Schafer. We need to know if he has any prior record as well as his current registered address.”
The Sheriff grunted. “I can give you that myself,” he said. “I know Cody. Most folks ‘round here do.”
“Really?” Laura’s eyebrows shot up. “How?”
“He’s one of the boat captains, and he takes it on himself to head the local union for sailors,” Landyn said. “He’s a German by birth, but he came here with his family when he was a teenager. He’s one of the most vocal opponents of Theo Kelleigh, as it happens.”
Laura glanced around. Nate followed her gaze, but they were safe. They’d found a sheltered area near the docks, a place where the sound of the sea was the only thing interrupting them. The tourists walked above their heads, and the sailors with their boats were farther down the coast.
“Any record?” Nate asked. “Here, or in Germany?”
“No, nothing,” Sheriff Landyn said. “I don’t have to look it up. We had to do a number of checks on him when he first took over the union.”
“Had to?” Laura repeated, with a heavy dose of skepticism.
“Yes,” the Sheriff replied. “I know what you’re thinking, and don’t. I like Cody. Having the union is a darn sight better than having Kelleigh take over the whole place.”
“What about his personality?” Nate asked, wanting to get past the whole union thing. “Is he quick to anger?”
“Not really,” the Sheriff replied. “He’s the kind of guy that just loves telling you long, old stories to try to spook you. He actually does one of the most popular ghost tours at Halloween.”
“What kind of long, old stories?” Laura asked, and Nate could see what she was thinking.