An Adirondack Mystery – Chapter 7


I decided that I would pay Mrs Duncan a visit as these stories were starting to intrigue me and had aroused my curiosity. So, the next day, I knocked on Mrs Duncan’s door of the neat little house that she lived in. The yard was well-kept as was the house itself. Certainly didn’t look like the outside needed any work. Mrs Duncan answered the door still in her robe and I introduced myself.
She said,”Come in, come in and make yourself comfortable while I go and change”.
I said that wouldn’t be a problem as she ushered me into the kitchen.
“Coffee” she asked to which of course I nodded affirmatively, “Help your self to milk and sugar while I go slip into something more suitable”.

Mrs Duncan disappeared and  I heard the shower running. I looked around the kitchen and I could see a few places that could use some work. Her house was very clean and tidy with ornaments and nick-nacks all over the place. I would call it a typical single women’s house with no male person to bugger it up. She re-appeared after about 10 minutes looking sparkling clean and fresh. I caught the smell of her as she brushed past me heading for the coffee pot.
“More coffee” she asked and brought the pot over. She was neatly dressed in a blouse that was buttoned up to the neck and a pair of jeans that looked good on her and were not so tight as to show every wrinkle of her body.

We sat and chatted for a while and she told me her name was  Fiona and “would I please call her that as Mrs Duncan was so formal”.  Turns out she was a widow and her husband had left her enough money and stocks that she could live very comfortably in this small town. It was surprising how much she told me about herself and whether it was because she liked to talk or she felt it necessary to get off to a good start.

“You have probably heard all of the talk in the village about me and my insatiable desires” she said.
“Yes, I have heard some stuff but I prefer to find out for myself if you are half as bad as you are painted” I replied.
She laughed a nice musical sort of laugh of a women well in control of herself. I got the impression that she could handle herself in any situation.
“I am not too well liked mostly because I like to make friends and some of the wives have accused me of trying to break up  their marriages” she said.
I thought about it and said to her,” Well, have you”?
She laughed once more and then said, “I may have flirted a bit but I have not encouraged anyone to break up their marriage. I make no secret of the fact that I am lonely and I make friends very easily. Some of them have come knocking on my door but I have always sent them away with a flea in their ear. I like living here and don’t want to jeopardise or complicate that by having a fling with one of the married locals”.

I sat there drinking my coffee and looked her over. I guessed she was about my age maybe a year or two younger, had a nice, neat figure and long hair. She looked a very attractive lady and certainly had me interested but then again, if any woman was kind to me, I was immediately interested in them. I glanced around the kitchen and then said,”What work did you want me to look at”?
“Oh yes”, she replied. “I need the shelves fixed in the pantry, plus an additional cabinet or two and some other small stuff. I would do it myself but am afraid that I would mess it up. Is this something you could do”?
I looked at the work and made a few notes of the materials I would need. She mentioned that she already had the cabinets out back in the shed and led me to take a look. I looked around and the place was pretty neat for a workshop. There were some carpentry tools hanging over a wooden bench enough for me to do the work she was wanting.

“I can do this for you and I see that you have some tools. Will it be OK if I borrow them to do the job. I don’t have any tools with me as I am supposed to be on vacation”.
“Yes, of course you can. Those are my woodworking tools as I do a lot of wood carving. I made this and this” she said as she led me into the other room and pointed to some very nice wood carvings. One was a bear about four feet tall on all fours and the others were other smaller animals. There was a wolf and a mountain lion and a couple of other animals all of various sizes.
Not only good-looking but talented as well, I thought. “Do you like animals that all of your carvings are of them” I inquired.
She replied, “I do other stuff as well and I usually sell a lot of it in town. Right now, animals are all I have to show you”.
I made arrangements to stop by the next day to start on the work and I bid her goodbye as I made my way out of the door and decided that she was getting a bad rap from the villagers and wondered what I could do about it. Later that day, I ran into Julie as she was walking through the village and I stopped to chat with her. This time, she was dressed in a tight-fitting pair of jeans, boots a low-cut blouse and a jacket that was open and flying in the wind. I marvelled at the fact that even though it was cold, she wanted her jacket open to show off what she had, which was plenty.
We chatted for a bit and then she went on her way. I watched as she walked away and found that I was comparing her to Fiona. The two were nowhere alike. Julie was flashy, liked to show off her figure and generally was a tease. My first impression of Fiona was that she was more or less the exact opposite but as I had only just met her, maybe I was being unfair to Julie. I had mentioned to Julie that I had stopped by Mrs Duncan’s house, had looked at the work and was going ahead with it starting in the morning. She didn’t seem that surprised and repeated her warning to “Watch myself”.

Click on Chapter 8  for the next episode

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