Niles slipped into a light jacket before leaving home. He stopped on his walk to the Harbor Inn. The sun had already fallen beneath the horizon and only a faint glow remained of the day that started with fog. A small boat with an outboard engine motored toward a floating dock to join the fleet of other boats already moored.
The end of the day at Brewster Harbor is really the end of the day. It’s a workingman’s harbor. At the end of the day, a lobster fisherman and the men on the docks trudge home exhausted. Niles noticed over the months, a worker will climb in his truck and pause for a moment before starting it and driving home. Indeed, he drives home. He doesn’t need to wind down; he needs a meal and rest. That proved to be good for Niles and the police department; men and women are too tired at the end of the day to cause trouble.
He walked on, down the dark misty Main Street. It was tranquil, intimate, and insipid. Lights from the windows of the homes on the slope above Main Street beckoned warmth, tenderness, and companionship. “What will fill their evening; good cheer, solitude, comfort?”
The Captain’s Table helped illuminate the street from its front window. It looked as if just enough tables were occupied to pay the lights.
“I think he’s got what I got,” Niles thought, “enough to keep him busy and not enough to make him rich. I think he and I are already rich in ways that can’t be measured. A restful soul is beyond money and ambition. Those whose souls are at peace generally have little. Why couldn’t Lute see that? The Davenport’s; they were bright and could have floated to the top with their education. Crime is not about getting rich; it’s about envy and sticking it to those who have worked hard to become rich. I think a thief would rather see the look on a rich person’s face at an empty house than have the money for the things he stole.”
“Then murder creeps in. It is amazing that murder is seldom for revenge, or for imminent threats. It’s sometimes against those who threaten to expose who a person really is, a witness who can identify, or one who stands in the way of satisfying that envy. The murderer thinks if I just get rid of this person happiness will follow. Don’t they get it; it’s them!”
Niles stopped in front of a gift shop and looked at his reflection in the window. “That’s the answer, it is me. Things did not work with Annie and me, because of me. Something inside me said not to spread you to anyone else. Me, can really get in the way. I know what Annie would say. She would say it was her. That’s really it – two mes. My dad said he was proud of me for making it to a chief detective. I think he would have been prouder if I remained in uniform and had a good marriage. A good cop is about me, a good marriage is about us. It’ kills dad to see me lonely. He thinks he has failed.”
Niles turned in the direction of the Harbor Inn and continued his walk. “After I’m done at Charley’s and Shelly’s it would be good to call Annie and tell her all is well. Then I should call dad and tell him how proud I am of him.”