|A Bouquet of Flowers (standard:humor, 459 words)|
|Author: kendall thomas||Added: Mar 22 2001||Views/Reads: 2236/3||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|A P.I. seeks the solution of a mystery.|
THE BOUQUET OF FLOWERS My name is D.M. McKay, formally with the LAPD, now in practice as a semi-retired private investigator. Some few months ago, I had moved to a quiet, little community in Maine. My house was situated on the side of a narrow, paved lane bordered on either side with tall, stately oaks. In the mornings, I liked to stroll along this lane with my faithful dog, Smith, and smoke a cigarette or two and sip from my capped coffee cup. It was on one of these mornings, just as the sun was rising over some distant hills, that Smith suddenly bounded off through the brush in hot pursuit of a rabbit. After I had called out several times, and he didn’t return, I entered the brush to look for him. And there he was among an ancient grouping of tombstones in a small, badly neglected graveyard. The roots of trees had disrupted a few stones. Others leaned precariously. The inscriptions on most of them were too faded to read. It was a depressing, sad, little spot, and I whistled for Smith to come along, but he wouldn’t budge. It was then that I noticed something odd. At the base of a leaning stone near Smith sat a bouquet of forget-me-nots. They were fresh. I examined the stone, but the only legible marking was a date of 1743. Who, I wondered, would be placing fresh flowers on a grave over two-hundred and fifty years old? On impulse, I came back the next day and found another fresh bouquet of flowers where the previous one had been. And it was the same everyday thereafter. Perhaps, I speculated, some descendant remembering a distant ancestor? But, then, why was the grave so otherwise neglected? Why had no attempt been made to right the stone or restore the engraving that had almost vanished? It was a mystery that intrigued me mightily, and I was determined to find the answer. The next day, early, I parked my car just off the lane, near the graveyard, where I would have a good view of anyone coming or going and settled back to wait with my cigarettes, coffee and Smith nestled in my lap. After some hours passed, I saw an elderly lady with a cane come down the lane carrying a bouquet. I confronted her and told her of my curiosity about the flowers on the grave. “Oh, well,” she chuckled sweetly, “there’s really no mystery about it. One day, when I was a young woman, I received a bouquet of these flowers by special delivery. There was an anonymous note that asked me to place them on the grave that your dog found. I have received a fresh bouquet everyday since.” ~Will~ Tweet
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