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'Get a grip, man,' he muttered as the hair on the back of his neck began to rise. What on earth could be wrong with the tranquility of his surroundings? His gaze honed in once more on the boat. A bundle of white nets filled the bow while a larger pile of green nets filled the stern.
The setting seemed almost too perfect, Derek mused, as he strolled along the bank. Palms trees leaned over the water's edge lending some false shade in the blistering heat. A boat, long and white lay waiting for someone to take it out to the freedom of the sea, its nets waiting to be filled.
'Get a grip,' he muttered again, 'you're on holiday. Give yourself a break.' When a mirthless laugh split the stillness he glanced round to see who else was in the area. No one else around, he noted and bit down on another curse. He'd travelled 500 miles and had deliberately left his cop's instincts behind. Who was he kidding? If a million midges had bitten his neck it couldn't itch any more.
Maintaining his leisurely pace he strolled over to the boat. Was it imagination or did the lines beneath the netting resemble a body? He stopped, cocked his head to one side as though listening then dug in his pocket for his cell phone. Apparently his instinct had sneaked into his case when he wasn't looking. He keyed in the quick-dial number and prayed his partner would pick up real soon.
“We’ve been searching for that guy for three days; then you stroll into town and solve our problem without even trying!” the local sheriff said several hours later.
Next year, Derek vowed, he’d holiday in Alaska.