ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Winch-Hunt Part 3

Updated on September 4, 2018

From Part 2

“Mr. Winch, I’ve been following the developments very closely from here in Indiana, but I can’t tell you much right now. This is bigger than both of us, and for what it’s worth someone may be listening to our conversation right now. I need to talk to you face to face. Mr. Winch, would you please be willing to meet and talk with me if I make the trip to Sandy Hill? This is really important and I’ll explain everything when I get there.”

“If this is bigger than both of us, how do I know you’re really who you say you are? Maybe you’re planning to take me out of the picture just like Ronald Barry. Maybe you’re a part of the prob . . .”

“Mr. Winch, What did you say? What do you mean just like Ronald Barry? You do know something, don’t you?”

“Yes – no – I mean, I, I don’t know what’s going on. Prove to me you are who you say you are.”

“Mr. Winch, call the Tribune. You can verify everything through them. You can see my picture and information on their website, but we need to get together as soon as possible. I’ll be in touch. I’ve said too much already. Thank you, Mr. Winch.” With that the phone was silent.

Tom was just getting ready to stop by the barbershop again when there was a knock at the door. Every neighborhood seems to have a nosy neighbor. Tom’s neighborhood was no exception.

Mrs. Camp knew more about the affairs of the neighborhood than anyone else. Most of what she knew came from second-hand stories and sometimes third-hand. She seemed to have taken a liking to the Winch’s from the beginning; though at times she could be overbearing.

Mel, peeking through the curtain, saw her first. There she stood with her little straw hat – no doubt dating back decades. Her squinting, mischievous eyes peering through wire rims stared directly at the knocker on the front door while she impatiently waited, drumming her fingers on her somewhat matching straw purse. Tom tried to be as polite as he could as he opened the door.

“Oh, hi, Mrs. Camp. What can I do for you?”

“Uh yes, Mr. Winch. You’re here to start a church. Is that correct?”

“Yes, yes it is, Mrs. Camp.”

“Good, I want to be your first member. When do we meet?”

“Well, Mrs. Camp, you see I really don’t have anything planned right now. But there are some things we could discuss if you like.”

“Now look, my boy! Are you here to do God’s work or not?”

“Yes, but it’s not that simple. Mrs. Camp, have you ever done anything bad in your life? Ever told a lie? Ever steal a candy bar?”

“I don’t see how that’s any of your business, but yes, yes I have – when I was younger. I try to keep the Ten Commandments. It’s not like you would have a murderer in your church.”

“Mrs. Camp, I didn’t say anything about keeping the Ten Commandments – and I didn’t relay the question in the context of the church. Is something bothering you?”

“Yes. What if I were to die in the next five minutes. Would I go to Heaven?”

“That depends.” God cannot allow sin into Heaven. Sin is the bad things we do like lying or stealing a candy bar. The only way God can allow us into His presence is if we come to Him through His Son, Jesus Christ.

“Without Christ, we have no hope of Heaven. If we reject Christ, we accept the fact that we can never be in God’s presence. As much as Heaven’s real, so is Hell. God doesn’t want you to go there. That’s why He sent His Son to die for us – so we don’t have to. It’s what we deserve, but God in His love and mercy made a way for us to escape our deserved punishment in Hell. It’s just by trusting Christ, who took our punishment and our place and seeking to follow Him. Wouldn’t you really like to trust Him now?”

“Yes, I certainly would.”

“If you’re truly ready to turn to Christ with all your heart, then follow Him, make Him Your Lord, all you need to do is just ask Him. If you’re willing to repent of your sin, He’ll come in and make you a new creature. Mrs. Camp, now is the time. Won’t you ask Jesus to be your Savior?”

“Dear Jesus, I know I’ve lied and stolen candy bars. I guess you know that, too. Would you forgive me? I want to live for you and make You Lord of my life. Come into my life and make me that new creature. Thank you. Amen.”

“Mrs. Camp, let me share more . . .”

“. . . Now Mr. Winch, are you going to start that church now? I have to be going. I’ve got a lot to do. Let me know when and where the first service will be held. Good-day.”

“Boy, Mel. That was easy! I wish it always turned out like that.”

“Well, Tom – when do you start that church?”

Tom headed down to the beach for a time of reflection and prayer. The blue skies and the smell of the ocean were two things that Tom came to relish about New England. Of course, the storms were always not far away. Tom began to think about the storm that took the lives on board the fishing vessel.

He wondered about those who died that night. Eternity is such a long time to not be in the presence of Christ. He hoped that somehow the men on board had heard the old, old story, and had the opportunity to accept Christ before the boat went down. Tom wondered about the men’s families. How were they coping with their losses? How could he minister to them?

As his thoughts developed, Tom naturally began to wonder about Ronald Barry, the hand, the size 13 footprint. What about this Jeff Hunt? How did he fit into the picture? Tom continued to pore over the questions in his mind. He was hoping for answers but found none.

After a couple of miles on the beach, the lighthouse came into view. Tom quickened his steps. There was still investigating to do and with some daylight left, he wanted to get to it. He wasn’t exactly sure what he was looking for, but he knew he’d know it when he found it.

The cell phone ringing his pocket shook Tom back to reality. It was Jeff Hunt. “Mr. Winch, this is Jeff Hunt. I just wanted to let you know I’ll be flying in tomorrow afternoon. I booked a room at the motel in town. There’s no need to meet me or to get together tomorrow. I want to get settled and go over my notes again. I would like to meet with you on Thursday though.”

“Look, uh Jeff. Is this really necessary? I mean, I don’t really know you. Let me put it to you this way. I don’t trust you.”

“Please, Mr. Winch. Give me a chance to explain everything. If after you’ve heard me out, you still don’t trust me – fine. But I’m going to get to the bottom of this if it kills me. Frankly, Mr. Winch, it may. We could meet at a public place. Please.”

“Okay, okay. I’ll listen to what you have to say. But if I’m not satisfied that’s it, all right?”

Jeff, sensing the battle he was in for, agreed and hung up the phone. Meanwhile, Tom continued toward the lighthouse when a strange feeling overcame him. For no reason at all, Tom felt as if someone was watching him. Slowing his pace he casually stooped over to pick up a seashell while looking behind him. Nothing. As he turned his back he saw a movement out of the corner of his eye. Someone or something had crouched behind a rock up on the sandy hill.

The last thing Tom wanted was for someone to see him snooping. But his curiosity was getting stronger. He headed toward the rock, not knowing what he would find. As he cautiously approached, he noticed a large footprint in the moist sand.

Unbelievable! The shoe had left an imprint in the sand – RB. These were some special shoes. Could it be they belonged to Ronald Barry? If so, how did he get sneakers with his initials emblazoned on the sole? That must have cost him a small fortune

How to Become a Private Investigator

Tom was finally ready to meet this man, whoever he was, and quickly, quietly, he jumped up on the rock. The Labrador Retriever darted out kicking sand all over Tom – no size 13 anywhere to be found.

Tom headed home. He had enough excitement for one day. He did, however, pick up more information, maybe even a piece to the puzzle. Thursday would be here quickly. Just as Jeff planned to go over his notes, Tom decided to go over his. Where was all this leading? Tom didn’t have a clue. He was now reasonably sure that Ronald Barry had been on the beach sometime earlier in the day. He was also reasonably sure that Ronald Barry was the size 13 footprint he had been chasing. Ronald Barry was Jeff Hunt’s step-brother. Jeff Hunt was coming to find his brother who was missing. Tom continued to piece his information together.

After all the analyzing, Tom’s only conclusion was that Ronald Barry was missing and just as Jeff had said, finding him would be bigger than both of them. For the first time in Tom’s PI game, he was getting nervous. What kind of trouble had Ronald gotten himself into? What kind of trouble were Jeff and Tom getting into? All the questions led to a sleepless night, and Tom awoke exhausted and frustrated.

“Tom, your coffee is ready. Cereal’s on the table. I have to go over to Mrs. Camp’s. She called yesterday while you were out. She has some questions, and I thought while you were out playing cops and robbers, I’d go over and try to help her. I’ll be back for lunch. Oh, and is there a date you have planned for the first church service? She’s really getting impatient.”

“Mel, it’s only been a couple of days, Give me a break.”

“I’m only asking because I know she’s going to ask. Tom, she’s excited. You ought to be happy someone is responding. Right now she’s the only one that has interest. If you put her off too long, you might lose her too.”

“I know, I know. Tell her we’ll start soon. I just don’t know for sure when. We’ll start soon.”

“Okay, see you at lunch.”

Quickly Tom drank his coffee, inhaled his cereal, and dressed for another day of investigating. Storm clouds were already rolling in and if Tom was to have any time at all on the beach, he knew he had to leave soon. Grabbing the truck keys, he pulled on his jacket and started out. He didn’t have time for a walk today. He would have to drive.

Racing out to the vehicle, he felt the first drops of rain. Thunder echoed through Webster’s Cove. From a distance, the waves could be heard crashing against the rocks. Tom’s activities would have to wait for another time.

As he headed back into the house, the phone rang. Jeff Hunt was just checking in.

“Mr. Winch, this is Jeff. My flight just got in ahead of this rain. I’m at the motel. Could we meet for lunch tomorrow – say about 12:30?”

“The sooner the better, Jeff. I want to get this over with. And just call me Tom. Forget the Mr. Winch stuff.”

Was Tom softening? They were now on a first name basis. That thought was even surprising to him. Even though a certain level of trust was not yet present, Tom could feel himself easing up a little. Maybe he had finally come to realize that Jeff needed him - and that he needed Jeff. The only way to put the puzzle together was to share each other’s pieces. Truly, they needed each other and Tom was beginning to realize this.

“I’ll meet you tomorrow Jeff, at the Pit Stop over on Conway Boulevard. You think you can find it?”

“Yeah, sure Bro. I never go anywhere without my GPS.”

“Um, Jeff. Let’s not get carried away. First names are fine, but knock off this Bro talk. I’ll see you tomorrow."

© 2015 William Kovacic


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)