Past & Present by Judy Penz Sheluk

Past & Present by Judy Penz Sheluk

Author:Judy Penz Sheluk
Language: eng
Format: epub
ISBN: 9780995000742
Publisher: Superior Shores Press

I returned from a ninety-minute run, popped some leftover lasagna in the toaster oven, and grabbed a quick shower before checking my mobile for messages.

There was one text from Arabella, no details, just, Call me when you get in. Good timing. I could ask about her ocean liner memorabilia collector. I phoned her back.

“The Glass Dolphin, Arabella Carpenter speaking.”

“Hey Arabella, it’s Callie and great minds think alike. I was planning to call you today. What’s up?”

“I’ve got a lead on some ephemera that might help with your investigation.”

“That’s great. What did you find?”

“Nothing specific, but I did contact the man who sold me the railway and ocean liner posters. He didn’t have anything related to the T.S.S. Canberra, but he’s friendly with other folks interested in ephemera. He made a few calls, and there’s a guy in Toronto who had a relative come over on the Canberra in the early 1950s. According to my guy, the collection isn’t huge, but it could be of interest, especially if the timeline matches up.”

Even if it didn’t, it was one more thing we could share with Louisa to demonstrate our efforts. “It sounds promising.”

“Yes and no. The man in question has no interest in selling anything in his collection. He distrusts antiques dealers, something about being ripped off a few years back. He won’t deal with me on any level. He is, however, willing to talk to you.”

“I’d be more than happy to call him.”

“I’ll give you his number, but fair warning. He wants to meet you in person and see your office before making any decisions. I don’t know if he’s super cautious or a complete nutbar.”

“I appreciate your concern, but if he has something from the Canberra, we’ve got to see it. I’ll make sure Chantelle is here when he comes, if that makes you feel any better.”

“It does. His name is Geoffrey Burrell, that’s g-e-o-f-f not j-e-f-f.” Arabella rattled off his phone number and email address and wished me luck.

I called Chantelle to see when she was available, and promised to call her back as soon as I’d connected with Geoffrey Burrell.

I was in luck. Geoffrey answered within two rings. I introduced myself as a partner in Past & Present Investigations.

“I’ve been expecting your call.” Geoffrey’s voice had the reedy timbre of an elderly man. “I understand that you’re interested in the T.S.S. Canberra.”

“Yes. Anything you have might be of significance, but we’re specifically interested in the journey from Southampton in June 1952. The ship arrived in Quebec City on July 7.”

“Forgive my curiosity, but why that particular journey?”

“Our client is trying to find out more about her great-grandmother, who was a passenger on that ship. I’m afraid I can’t give you the client’s name or the name of the grandmother. There is a confidentiality agreement in place.”

“I respect that. Had you told me who the client was, I would have ended this call with a firm, but polite, ‘Not interested.’”

“Then you’ll help us?”

There was a prolonged silence. I waited. Something told me Geoffrey was not a man to be rushed.


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