--by Kath


To meet a magpie on the road is a sign of bad luck;

 two magpies for good luck; three for sorrow; 

four for joy; five for a wedding; six for gold. 

 One magpie,  expect sorrow, two means joy.

 Three for a girl; four for a boy; 

five for silver; six for gold;

 seven for a secret never to be told; 

eight for a wish; nine is a kiss; 

ten is a bird you just can't miss. 

One for sorrow, two for mirth, 

Three for a wedding, four for a birth, 

Five for silver, six for gold, 

Seven for a secret not to be told. 

Eight for heaven, nine for hell, 

And ten for the devil's own self'

One for sorrow, Two for mirth, 

Three for a wedding, Four for a birth. 

Five for rich, Six for poor, 

Seven for a witch -- I can tell you no more. 

One for sorrow, Two for joy 

Three for a girl, Four for a boy 

Five for silver, Six for gold 

Seven for a secret never to be told. 

Eight's a wish and Nine a kiss, 

Ten's a bird you must not miss. 

One's sorrow, two's mirth, 

Three's a wedding, four's a birth, 

Five's a christening, six a death, 

Seven's heaven, eight is hell, 

And nine's the devil his old self. 

Jessica Fletcher leaned against the well worn leather cushions as she contemplated the menu in her hands. Lately everything had been fish, lobster, fish, crab.. she needed a change of pace from it and didn’t have a clue as to what would taste good or be something Seth would approve of on the restrictive diet he had placed her on. This was a celebration though- Seth and she  had taken a wager on the outcome of the spring Cabot Cove Lobster fishing competition and she had successfully predicted the outcome. Not only was Seth picking up the tab,  he had said she could order any thing she wanted. Usually, from his nagging, it was healthy food.  Gone was the clarified butter, gone were the heavenly pastries and even, alack and alas, he limited her creations of the brandied rhubarb pies 

“Any idea of what you want Jess or should we send them back out for an afternoon catch?” her friend Seth Hazlet teased her. She glanced up and saw the waitress standing with her pad ready. They had sent her on  twice already.  Letting out a bit of air, Jess took a breath and pointed to a pressed sandwich made with turkey and bacon pressed with assiago cheese and smothered in a rich sauce that she’d  been trying to reproduce from just smell alone.  The sodium level in the meat alone would cause Seth to raise concern regarding her health and food choices- but this was different – “and I’d like the French Onion soup in a sourdough bread bowl, the baguette and a pot of hot Chai spiced tea- physical temperature, not chemical. For dessert, a slice of the molten triple chocolate cake.- with- your double fudge chocolate chunk ice cream on the side.”  Glancing up at Seth, She saw him about to say something,  “Unless you want me to change my mind?” she asked him. 

The waitress shot him a glance that spoke volumes. 

“No no- its fine..” he said shaking his head.  Far be it that Jessica would have smirked- though she was tempted. She had said the pressed sandwich looked good, and Seth had countered with that it contained the whole days supply of calories, fat, sodium and everything bad for her and suggested that she would enjoy the salad.  Instead of meekly following his advice, she had shaken her head and said that she needed more time to read the menu when the waitress came around.

“But the salad…” he had said when the waitress had walked away.

“If I eat another salad, I’m going to sprout long ears and a fluffy tail…” she said piercing him with a stern gaze she had reserved for her most errant students.  She had taken the time to read the menu three times, and decided the sandwich was the only thing that- well, looked good.

“So, how did you know that McMurphy was going to clench the title this year? Seth asked between bites.  He had been keeping up a running conversation every time Jessica was going to take a bite of something he would ask a different question after she was just about to put the fork or spoon in her mouth.

Jessica regarded him over the spoon of soup. She placed it in her mouth, then a second one before she answered him. “Magic” she said finally.

Seth sputtered on the piece of brisket that he had placed in his mouth. She managed to get 4 spoons of the soup into her before he was finished chewing and swallowed before tilting his head to the side “Magic?” he asked curious. She simply nodded, took another spoon of the soup followed by a chunk of the tender bread that they had placed on the side – oh, homemade bread * was * heaven…

“Magic?” he repeated, hoping for an explanation. She swallowed, got another bite ready, and then smiled.

“With peanut butter.”  She saw him close his eyes, shake his head as he tried to follow her line of reasoning. A good part of the bread bowl was finished before he furrowed his brow.

“How on earth does Magic and peanut butter help him win the competition?”

Jessica raised her eyebrows. “Now Seth, if I told you that, you will tell the person your backing next year, and where will that leave McMurphy and his sister?”

Seth drew in a long breath and furrowed his brow. If anyone needed the prize money, it had been Brent McMurphy and his sister Margaret. His father had been lost at sea last season, the mother so despondent that she had faded within a week, slipping away so quickly that Seth didn’t have time to realize she was dying from her grief. She had almost seemed relieved though, with his passing, and the murmur that her husband was having an affair with a woman the age of her son was one that people briefly mentioned out of her earshot, fading with her passing. There was no sense in the gossip.  Brent was left with the care of his young sister Margaret- just 14, The child had developmental issues from a near fatal drowning at the age of 5. She had been placed into kindergarten and on a field trip to the zoo had become separated from the rest of the class. She was found inside the dolphin tank, one of the matriarch dolphins trying to keep the young child’s body afloat. They were able to revive her, but, she had been under too long.  

She never really did age mentally after that, and had been kept at home by her parents who chose to home school her as much as what she could learn. The state had insisted she be returned to the school system and Margaret had been placed briefly in the school by well meaning child service agents who failed to see that the school didn’t have the staff to deal with her special needs. Margaret could focus on things as long as there wasn’t a distraction.

 If Seth was into pediatrics, he probably would have diagnosed her with a form of autism, however, the MRI had uncovered brain damage from a stroke suffered during her drowning. The state had been going back and forth on her care, wanting to place her in a facility for her care, but her parents had been adamant.  While she had been entitled to disability payments, the state had stood firm, she would only receive the payments if she was placed in their institution. The law suit against the state, and the courts had kicked around the school for negligence for years on appeals. Her brother had employed a private care giver, but the money for his sisters care was extremely tight and the prize money would give him a chance to catch up on their bills. 

The young woman moving into his house had at first lead to speculation, and suggested scandal. 15 Years before, a 21 yr old Brent had dated 17 yr old Amelia Davins who was sister to his best friend. He had asked her to marry him, and she had agreed, telling him that they would have to wait until she was finished with college. He agreed- but, events would change things, and quietly they went their separate ways. 

Amelia went off to an internship for school right after graduation and shortly after in the fall Margaret was born into the McMurphy family while Brent’s mother was away visiting her sister. It was only after many years that Brent had caught up with Amelia on one of the social networking sites- she had moved several states away and was happily married.  Later, Brent made contact with a second high school friend Bessie who agreed to come stay with them to care for his sister. Bessie had received her degree in elementary education, and at one time, had been a teacher, but was now retired from the profession. She lived just a town over The two women had been as different as night and day and perhaps what was so surprising was when Bessie was younger, it was rumored that she would have done “Anything” to land Brent away from Amelia. Brent had told his friends about the renewed contact with Amelia, of her marriage and that he was happy for her, but since he mentioned that Bessie had moved in, that she hadn’t resumed her contact with him. She would care for Margaret during the day, and he would care for his sister at night while Bessie would go home to tend to her home in the other part of town. She wasn’t ready to give it up, she had told him- not without a promise of marriage which he hesitated to offer. There were rumors that she had an elderly gentleman friend that she was seen with, but, if there was truth to that, no one knew.

Jessica had learned of their plight just before the beginning of the season while getting her hair set at Loretta’s beauty shop. Margaret had wandered by without her brother beside her, her head bent down searching the ground before her.  

“Oh. There’s Magpie again, must of slipped away from  Bessie.”

Jessica watched as Loretta placed her scissor down and went to the door. 

“Where’s Bessie, Magpie?” she asked the young girl as she guided her into the shop and sat her down.  Sighing Loretta unwrapped a piece of candy and placed it in the girls’ hands. Jessica saw bright sparkling blue eyes peak from under a mop of dark black straight hair that had a palm-sized patch of white on the side near the crown of her head.  Dirty fingers turned the candy over a few times before it went into her mouth. With a practiced eye Jessica studied the young girl.  She wore clean pressed jeans and a floral print shirt that was tailored to her waist.  As she worked the candy in her mouth her hands dug into her pocket and she extracted something that she handed Loretta. 

“Well mercy me! Where ever did you find this child? Margaret didn’t answer. She only sighed and continued to work the candy in her mouth.

Jessica saw the other women crane their necks to see what had been placed in Loretta’s hand. “What is it this time?” Jessica heard one of the women ask from under the hair dryer. 

“It’s a class ring- from the school, but- it looks old.” Loretta poured a bit of the blue cleaning solution into one of the short containers and dropped the ring in it. The dirt and grime fell off as the others watched.  She returned to Jessica and finished the last roller before pointing Jessica to one of the empty dryers.

“She’s always getting away and finding stuff people lost- bright shiny things- maybe she heads here because of my candy dish” Loretta explained to Jessica.  “That and her hair, people started calling her Magpie.”

Loretta pulled the ring out of the solution and rinsed it off.  Glancing inside she recognized the name engraved inside. “Well I’ll be…” she said, then gave the ring back to Margaret who held it up to the window light, absorbed in the color and sparkle of the gold and gem.

“Who’s is it?”

“Sadie Miller’s son- Edgar- he died what, 9 years ago during the war? None of them left any more- I remember he had given the ring to his beau Chelsea Daven’s  daughter - and when they broke up it was two days before the prom because he was two timing her. Or three timing- he had a string of those rings one for each of the girls.  She’s married and moved on, so, finders keepers…”

It was a few minutes later that Mort came into the shop with a look of relief on his face. Margaret gave him a smile- the first that Jessica had seen from the child, and trustingly placed her hand into his.  Later Mort filled Jessica in on the child’s past, and what had occurred. 

“Bessie put her in for a nap and had gone to answer the door- they have it posted for no soliciting but, there are some people who don’t feel it applies to them- especially some churches that we don’t even have in this neighborhood. They have been coming around fairly regularly to their place, and while she was telling them to go, it woke up her up and she wandered out the back door. Bessie ended up calling me because the person wouldn’t leave and every time she closed the door another one would come and ring the bell.  Said they were being trained to accept the rejection… Bessie saw her door open and started the search. She usually heads to the same place- Bessie takes her shopping every day so she knows the route pretty well. 

“Do you think the church people are trying to case the neighborhood?” Jessica asked curiously. Mort gave her a serious look. “That thought had crossed my mind, so I ran a check on them, and their plates, the car is owned by the church, and they have no outstanding warrants in their name. They are citing religious freedom as their reason for disregarding the solicitation ordinance.”

Jessica’s thoughts returned to her dinner. She glanced up at Seth, almost guilty, being so lost in her thoughts, she had missed his last question.  She was saved from answering by the arrival of the dessert. Seth’s eyebrows shot up “Good Gracious woman, are you going to eat all of that?” he gasped.

“Yes.” She said digging her spoon in the molten chocolate and scooped some of the chocolate ice cream at the same time.  The waitress hovered- she was waiting for it- the sound of bliss that was made by every one who had ordered that dessert. It meant, if they did  make the sound, that she would get a hefty tip for making the owner keep it on the menu. It being one of the oldest desserts to the restaurant, and an employee favorite.

The noise that issued from Jessica made Seth sit straight up in his chair and several of the patrons look over curiously. Almost orgasmic in nature it caused Seth to swallow and glance at the waitress. “Is she supposed to be making those sounds?” he asked softly.  The girl grinned and nodded, then turned as several of the other patrons called for her to change their dessert order to what Jessica was having.  When Jessica finally opened her eyes she saw that Seth was looking at her slack jaw with a trace of drool on the corner of his mouth. Finally he asked “Can I have a bite?”  Jessica regarded him as her spoon dug in again. The waitress deposited the check and Seth shoved several bills into it to cover the tab, and the tip.

“Seth, your on a diet. Far be it for me to tempt you off of your chosen path….” She began. Seth picked up his spoon and snatched just an edge of the icing and molten center, brushing by the ice cream in passing. It was in his mouth before she could protest. She saw him breath as he swallowed taking in the full effect of the flavors.  “Sweet Mercy!” he gasped.  “Woman if they had your pie recipe…Do you think if I bribed them they would give me the recipe?” Seth wondered out loud, giving the waitress a bit more for the tip. He was estimating the calories in the cake and ice cream with each of the hurried bites that she took, she didn’t want the cake to cool, or the ice cream to melt. She was scraping the plate when she happened to glance up - he saw her eyes look over his shoulder and a worried look come across her face. She rose , placing her napkin on her chair “Seth- its Margaret- something’s wrong.”

Turning in his chair he saw the young girl covered in mud and grime, her hair matted with seaweed and her fist clenched tightly. There was red splashed on her blouse and a frightened look in her eyes. As carefully as he could he rose and went to her-  Bruises on her wrists showed she had been bound by something, and there were bruises on her neck and finger pressed bruises on her arm.  

Seth sighed “Better call Mort” he said softly to the owner. Not knowing what had happened, Seth processed everything as if it was from a crime. It was a good two hours before he came out of the exam room and came to Mort and Jessica. “Except for the bruises, and a cracked rib, she’s fine.  The ones on her wrist are recent, the ones on her legs, and ankles are not, there is evidence of bruise on bruise, as if someone had been restraining her. Given her nature of wandering, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was done nightly to keep her in the house.”

“Why not just lock the doors?” asked Mort.

“She still gets out. Always has, but, she’s always stayed in the yard. To my knowledge though, her parents never resorted to restraints, its one of the reasons why they didn’t want her in the state facility.” Answered Seth.

“And the blood?” Jessica asked. 

Seth took a slow breath “As far as we can tell, it’s probably her brother’s. Any word from Andy?” he asked Mort. 

Mort shook his head “No one at the house, or the Dock, and no sign of blood on the premises. No sign of the restraints ether, everything looked perfectly normal. Dishes done, dinner put away- just no one in the house, and no one reported her missing. They just vanished.”

“Maybe the morning will yield more answers.” Jessica said. Seth nodded and informed them that if there were any changes, he would let them know.

Dawn brought a rap tap tap to her door. “Coming” Jessica said wrapping her robe about her thin frame. Mort was waiting on the other side, looking as if he hadn’t slept in two days. 

“So, how did you know?” he asked Jessica

“Know what?” she asked a bit fuzzy as she went to the sink to get fresh water for the coffee.

“We found the tip of a mast in the harbor, it was McMurphy Sr’s boat, and despite it being sunk, there were still area’s of the inside of the cabin that had the same blood on them that was on Margaret’s shirt, as well as a bed with the restraints on it. As far as we can tell, a couple of gunshots plugged holes in the hull, and it was untied and pushed off so that it would drift off to sea. Guess they didn’t count on the tide coming in, not going out. Other thing that is odd is that the check for the prize was co signed, and cashed, but not by McMurphy.. it was brought into the bank yesterday by Bessie- and there is no trace of her, or McMurphy Jr.  I’ve alerted the coast guard, and the state police, but- they didn’t take a car, or the boat…The fish could have got them…” he said glumly.

While the coffee brewed, Jessica quickly showered and got ready for the day.  She didn’t like the thought of Margaret becoming a ward of the state, nor the thought that something had happened to Brent when things seemed to go his way at last.

Once dressed, Jessica road with Mort down to the docks and walked to where the boat was set upon a trailer. 

Andy came up to him  holding several slugs taken from the inside of the boat. “No doubt about it Sheriff, these slugs are from a gun with a silencer- no one would have heard the shots- and that bed in the forward cabin looks like the restraints have been used more than a few times- with their worn marks. One looks like the restraint was slipped out of the other ones were undone.” Andy’s face was grim. “Think someone tried to sink Magpie with the boat?” Mort glanced at Jessica “Maybe.” He said “But we won’t know for sure unless we get to the bottom of this”  

“What will happen to Margaret?” Jessica asked Mort. She watched him sigh, then shrug. “The courts will step in, and try to take over her care. I can’t say. She has no other family except her brother- Was almost hoping that her brother would have settled down with Bessie- Some—stability in her life. Sure wish she could tell us what happened.” He said thoughtfully.


After reviewing the evidence that the boat could yield Mort held open the passenger side door for Jessica and drove them to the hospital.  They found Margaret sitting up in bed twisting her fingers together while looking at the shiny coins some one had placed on the bed covers. 

Seth was there checking the bruises on her ankles when they entered. Holding up a finger, he motioned for them to follow him outside.

“I ran further tests, on the blood we found on her- and, found something interesting… the blood on her, was not, from Brent, rather, his father”

“What? Wait, his father? Not- hers?”  asked Mort who was catching on to the way that Seth thought.

 Seth dropped his voice so that only Jessica and Mort could hear him

“We did run blood test, and while, there is a paternal familiarity, McMurphy Sr, is more likely the grandfather to this child, and not the father. Which would leave her to be Brent’s daughter. I’ve gone over Mrs. McMurphy’s  record, while she wasn’t too old to have children, there was no notation for any prenatal, or postnatal care during the pregnancy. 21 years between pregnancy’s would be difficult even at best. Ether she didn’t recognize the symptoms, or, the child wasn’t hers. She came back with the baby after a long visit with her sister who lived out of state. Who knows? 

“But McMurphy Sr. was supposed to have died at sea last season, what is he doing showing up now, and where is he?” Asked Mort

“With the amount of blood that was found in the cabin Mort, it’s doubtful he is still alive.”

“So, we have nothing” breathed Mort.  Jessica regarded Margaret from over her shoulder. “Perhaps, we do have something Mort. Apparently, someone was trying to kill Margaret because she saw something- someone that small, with the fishes would be – gone- fairly quickly. Perhaps, they were trying to cover their tracks… and I think, we can find answers if we go back far enough… How do you feel about a road trip?” Mort blinked twice.

“I know that look Mrs. F. Ok. Doc, keep an eye on  our little Magpie, and we will be back as soon as we can. Don’t let any one remove her from this hospital, she’s being held here as a – a material witness.”

The drive was longer than Mort expected, taking them two states away. The house was a tidy post war construction, on a flat slab that had ramps going up to the doors and rails everywhere. Getting no answer at the front door when they knocked, Mort and Jessica made their way around the back of the house to find the owner sitting in a recliner, a pitcher of ice tea at her elbow. She  was a tall thin woman with a heart shaped face and straight long black hair, with sparkling blue eyes. Jessica noticed the quad cane tucked to the one side, and the well worn smooth spots from a leg brace that was leaning against the house.

“Mrs. Piffer? I’m Sheriff Metzger from Cabot Cove, this is Mrs. Fletcher. Would you be willing to answer some questions for us?”

“Depends.” She said stretching slightly then she sighed “What did you want to ask?”

“Recently you were contacted by Brent McMurphy, have you heard from him in the last few days?

Amelia shook her head, “No, the last I heard from him he had run into Bessie out of the blue, and decided to hire her on as a caretaker for Margaret.  I had sent him a response that night, but, for some reason I received a message back saying his ISP didn’t like mine and I was blocked. That was a couple of months ago. What’s going on?” she asked , concern in her voice.

“He and Bessie seem to be missing,” said Jessica gently.  Amelia sat up on the chair. “Is Margaret alright?” 

Jessica looked at Mort, then back to Amelia “Your daughter is alright, Dr. Hazlett is taking care of her for now.”

Mort sat down on one of the nearby chairs “Can you tell us what happened?”

“What? That I was 17 straight A’s with a full scholarship to college and I went to a Christmas party and was given a drink by the man who said he loved me and the next thing I remember is waking up in the backseat of his car with a bloody hangover- and discovering I was pregnant 2 months later with couple months of school left? I took on an internship and went, and had the baby, and his mother came and got it. Said, he would be responsible, and raise her.  I had my whole life ahead of me, she said.

 I went to school, did straight A’s again. Had a job in Cabot Cove’s Joshua’ Peabody’s Kindergarten already lines up in the year Margaret would have been there- then, this happened… Went out with a classmate - Bessandra  Moore right after graduation, and – she said the car jumped the curb outside the pub and hit me- and that was it- I woke up a month later with pins in my hip and told my job had gone to my classmate.” She slapped the chair. 

“Even with all of this, and, knowing about Margaret, my husband that I met in school still married me. Bessandra said it was because of my inheritance from my grandfather, but- my money is in trust, he wouldn’t inherit a penny and he’s got his own  money-.  My past- didn’t matter. We’d talked about getting Margaret in our custody, but, his mother was adamant about her staying with them.”

Mort glanced at Jessica again.  “Where is your husband now?” he asked gently.

“At a job site in Alabama, he won’t be home for a month.  He is an engineer on a bridge construction for the railroad- why do you ask?”

Jessica spoke up “I will help you pack a bag, your not staying here… it isn’t safe.”

“Safe from what?” she asked curiously.

“Amelia, if something, would happen to you, where would the money go?”

asked Jessica.

She shrugged. “I guess the state would see that Margaret would get it, why?” Jessica looked at Mort. “I believe I know who is behind this, and I think I can prove it…” she said sadly.


The room was lit by just the street lamp along the curb as the night wore on. Jessica sat in the dark watching the coming and goings of the road outside, waiting. She knew that the person responsible for all of this wouldn’t arrive until dark, and it saddened her. 

The floor board creaked softly in the hallway. So many times Jessica had put herself in this place to catch a murderer- this one, though was far more terrifying.  There was no reason behind the acts, not that Jessica could have seen at first- but it made sense now.  There was the creak of the door as it slid open, and then the footfalls came into the bedroom – to the bed where a mound lay beneath the blankets, dark hair spilling over the pillow. A hand raised, then , several bright flashes from the gun being discharged with a silencer.  The person sighed, then, was curious.


“There should be blood” a female voice said.

“If Amelia was in that bed, there would be…” Jessica said softly.  The person turned, the gun facing Jessica.

“It’s over Bessie,” she said softly. “We know all about it.  

Bessandra hissed in anger. “You know nothing.” She said, her finger closing around the trigger.

There was a definitive click of a gun being cocked right behind Bessie, who froze .

“She knows that I’m standing right behind her and that I won’t hesitate.” Said Mort.  Bessie lowered the gun then dropped it.

Mort sighed, took his cuffs and began to recite the Miranda rights to her as he cuffed her from behind.

“We know, that you were responsible for Amelia’s accident for starters. At least 2 attempted murders against her as well.”

“Four, actual, Mort, When Amelia said that her classmate Bessandra took over the job at Joshua Peabody Kindergarten, I did some checking, You were the student teacher who had traveled with the children to the zoo, and you were the one who tried to drown Margaret… You also were the one who restrained Margaret on the boat while you killed her grandfather then tried to sink it off shore, you didn’t count on the tide coming in, though. You thought she would have drown, but she managed to escape, and make it to shore. We have your prints on the boat- something that couldn’t have happened because the boat, and Brent’s father were presumed lost at sea before you were hired on.  What we don’t know is why you did this?”

Bessie looked at Jessica. “He was mine. I knew that if she would have come back to Cabot Cove, he would forget me and marry her. I saw that Magpie of hers and knew that it had to be her daughter- and if he knew , that would be all the more reason. It was easy to get his father in my confidence-“she laughed. “Soo easy. The old fool said there was a lot of money that they were coming into. He told me that when we were in high school and that he was tired of his wife. He wanted something different than a whiny grand child that would get everything. “ she snorted “All it took was some flattery and he believed everything I said… She saw me kissing him at the zoo- I told her I was showing her something special, she fell in…” Bessie shrugged. “Could I help it if she couldn’t swim?”  She looked back at Mort. “Men are all the same… weak spineless idiots who can’t think beyond what they want for dinner.  – Even Amelia’s husband!” she chortled.  “He liked what he saw in me…” she said with a throaty chuckle.

“Still doesn’t explain why though, Bessandra,” said Mort.

“Haven’t you been listening Mort? She wanted what Amelia had just because it was something that Bessandra couldn’t have.  Were you the one who spiked her drink when she was 17?” 

Bessandra snorted. “That was all her lover boy’s doing. He didn’t want to wait until she was out of school. He just didn’t count on his mother wanting to do the right thing by him. Course, she knew about the money that Magpie was going to get if Amelia died. She just didn’t count on her husband wanting a younger model.”

Mort shook his head then took Bessandra out to where the local police waited to take her away.


Jessica sat in the booth contemplating her cup of coffee. So many lives had been ruined by greed. They had found McMurphy Sr’s body, what was left of it, washed up on the shore two towns away. She had dumped him at sea, killing him in front of Margaret, and then using his boat to ride back to Cabot Cove, abandoning it as it sank hoping that it would take Margaret out to sea with the tide. She hadn’t counted on the tide coming in. She had been having an affair for years with Brent’s father, on and off since after high school. Once the accident happened to Margaret, McMurphy Sr knew she was a dangerous character and took steps to be sure she would retire- most of the money he made from lobstering went to pay her to retire, and stay away, though he couldn’t bear to be with out her.  When he came back to her, she took steps to confine him to his boat, keeping it hidden amid all the other boats in dry-dock.


She confessed as well to the poisoning of Mrs. McMurphy. It was a simple plan, get everyone who might raise any objection out of the way. Once she thought she had killed Margaret and she had Brent in captivity until he agreed to marry her, then the only last step would be to kill off Amelia. Her husband was away, when he returned, there would be no trace of her killer.

There was a scrape of chairs at her booth, looking up she saw Seth and Mort both holding a plate of molten chocolate cake and double fudge ice cream, and one for her.

“Margaret is going to be released from the hospital today, its been decided that Amelia and her husband are going to get custody of her. “ Mort said sliding the cake in front of her. “Seems the court took a dim view of exactly how she came to be- and Brent isn’t able to give her proper care. He still will have visitation rights, but, his feelings for her have changed a  bit now that he knows what really happened… So, tell me Mrs. F, exactly how did he win the Lobstering competition? Doc here tells me that you told him it was due to magic and Peanut butter.”

Jessica took a spoonful of the cake.

“Mort, taste the cake,” she said, pointing at it. It took a full minitue for him to open his mouth again.

“Oh is that good.”

Jessica grinned. “There in lies the secret of the Magic.” She said

Seth looked at her. “Your saying the lobsters preferred peanut butter over the regular bait and that’s how he got more?” she shook her head. 

“No, but the regular bait he used preferred the peanut butter. More and better bait meant better lobsters to be trapped.” She took a bite of her cake.

“Just like this cake. With out this signature cake, where do you think this place would be?”

“I’ll eat to that,” said Seth taking a bite of the cake.

“What about your diet, Seth?” she asked pointing to his middle.

“What about yours?” he retorted. Mort grinned.

“Somethings are worth every bite,” he said, taking another bite. “And this is one of them.

The end