MI-5 The Hidden Spy
A Casey Lane and Jackie Lee GSD Mystery
An Apple Cove Press Production
We were in the attic of the old house in Cornwall, Tintagel, England. Casey quickly looked for a window, to air out the musty smell and get some fresh air for us.
We had just arrived by car from Hampshire, England about a 4 hour ride. Casey and I had visited an Aunt she didn’t know she had, which would have made Casey’s father’s sister. He didn’t know about her either! Casey was left without parents when both of hers had gone down in a private plane over Russia 20 years ago. Casey was 27 now, she had been raised by her mother’s parents. They lived in Friday Harbor, WA, a scenic small island in the strait of Juan de Fuca, where Casey and I had lived for a long time before we got our first big assignment to find Sophia and Kanani, what an adventure that was. Back to the attic and why we are here……Opps, Casey was calling me.
I’m coming Casey, I got busy with this box. I lifted my head and joined her.
“I found this old desk, Jackie Lee.” Casey wiped the thick layer of dust off the top and tried the drawers.
“Darn, they’re all locked.” She looked around for something to pry it open. “I’m going down to the kitchen to find a tool or screwdriver Jackie Lee; you can stay here or join me buddy.” Casey rubbed my ears.
I trotted after her, we got down into the kitchen. There was a gas stove, wooden cabinets on both sides of the sink. There was a French country table with 6 chairs around it. The table was empty. There was an icebox, Casey opened it. That was empty as well. Then she looked in the drawers under the cabinets. There was some silverware sitting in trays, a cork screw, wine opener and ice trays.
“Jackie Lee let’s go check out that bedroom.” I followed her out of the kitchen and we took a left turn into the bedroom, it had a big bathroom attached.
It was a cute little cottage in Tintagel, about an hour south of Devon, it sat overlooking a bluff. Cornwall was beautiful! It was a stone cottage with a thatched roof, it was surrounded by a rock fence, and there were red, yellow, violet, well, just about every flower color in the garden. Casey said they were wild flowers. The front door was a red wooden door, there were windows on both sides of the front, then around the side by the kitchen, there was a huge window. Probably so you could look at the view. Inside, the floors were cobblestone, it was sparsely furnished, with an antique writing desk under the window overlooking the bluff. A small leather couch facing the desk and view, then one giant wooden rocking chair. From the living room you could turn right and walk into a small bedroom. Since we were coming from the kitchen we turned left. It was furnished with a brass bed and a blue down comforter. There was a night stand with a lamp, then an antique clothes closet.
Casey walked over and opened it. There wasn’t anything in there except a wooden box in the far left corner. She reached down and picked it up. Looking inside she got a grin on her face; then looked at me.
“The keys to the desk Jackie Lee.” She reached for them and took them out, showing them to me. “These should work.”
I followed her back out into the living room and up the stairs to the attic. Casey put one of the keys into the locked drawer, it opened. I was holding my breath; I was so excited to be here. That meeting with Casey’s aunt was weird to be sure. She told us a story that was almost unbelievable.
The drawer opened and Casey reached inside. She pulled out an envelope, it was a big yellow one. She dumped the contents onto the desk top. There were sealed letters, pictures and documents. Casey opened the other drawers and they were full of the same, then in the last drawer there was a map with markings on it. Casey pulled that out too. Casey looked around and found a basket, she dumped the contents out and shoved all of the things on the desk into it.
“Let’s take this downstairs, Jackie Lee, where we can be comfortable. I’ll make some ice and we can have some cold water. I’ll need to go to the market and get some food for us. We will be using this as our base camp until we go through all of this and I can give Aunt Clare a report. Then it would be fun to go through Tintagel Castle. Do you know that that is where our Sophia, Kanani, Gunther and all the others are living in another time? I wonder if this house is the one Sophia had built? Wouldn’t that be something?” Casey grabbed the basket and started down the stairs, I followed her.
That would be really something if we found something here from Sophia! Who knows?
Casey placed the basket on the kitchen table, then took out the ice tray, filled it with water and placed in the freezer.
“We will have to get a modern frig. If we end up living here for any period of time. Aunt Claire said this house belonged to me, I must call Peter and let him know what we have found out so far. He could maybe come here while we go through everything, hmm, sounds like a plan, I’ll talk to him.” Casey looked pensive, then pulled out some paper and a pencil from her purse.
“Let me make a list of things we need Jackie Lee, you can stay home or come with me, but you’d have to sit in the car.” She looked at me.
WOOF! I wagged my tail. I’m going, just leave the windows down, it’s cool out. I want to see the area!
“OK! I get!” Casey laughed. She finished the list then placed it in her bag. She started towards the front door, then grabbed my leash off a chair. “Just in case.” She looked at me with a smile as my tail was thumping on the floor like an old English tattoo.
We had rented a little Mini Cooper S, it may have been a Mini but there was plenty of room for me as I jumped into the front seat. Casey put the key in the ignition and we pulled out of the driveway. I noticed there were other little cottages also lining the cliff. We took our time passing by them, it was such a beautiful place, after the houses came a little village. Casey pulled up in front of the market. She put the windows down and told me to stay.
Of course I would stay! Only if she needed me would I jump out and go help.
I watched people walk by, they stared at me like they had never seen a German Shepherd before, I smiled with my teeth showing and people started pointing and laughing. Casey came out right about then.
A lady approached her. I heard her ask Casey what kind of dog I was. She said she wanted a dog for her kids. Casey invited her over to meet me.
“May I pet him?” she asked Casey.
“Yes, I’m here, he won’t bite.” Casey replied.
She gently pet me, “My kids would love you! Where do I get a dog like you?”
Casey put the groceries in the car. Then took out a business card, she wrote something on it and handed it to the lady.
“There’s the website where Jackie Lee came from. I know the breeder; they are very nice people. Tell her I sent you.” Casey said.
The lady looked at the card, “I will, wow, you got him from Germany? Where would they ship here?” She asked.
“Probably London.” Casey replied.
“You know I didn’t introduce myself.” The lady said. “I’m Sally McMasson, my husband is the chairman of the Tintagel Parish Council. If you need anything we can help you. Where are you staying?” Sally asked Casey.
“The Lane cottage, my name is Casey Lane and this is Jackie Lee. This was my grandparents place when they were alive. Do you know anything about my grandfather or the cottage?” Casey asked.
“Only that he was a very private man, said he worked in a bank in London until he retired. Your grandmother lived there until her passing 20 years ago. She was a lovely lady. She was kind to everyone.” Sally said.
“Well thank you, I’ll be in touch.” Casey said shaking her hand. Casey was just getting into the car, when Sally handed her a slip of paper.
“My phone number, call sometime, we can have lunch and talk.” Sally smiled.
“Thank you.” Casey closed the door and started the car. She waved goodbye to Sally as we drove off heading back to the cottage.
“That was interesting Jackie Lee. I never knew these grandparents and neither did the grandparents I grew up with. I’m so confused how this could have happened. Then how did the cottage stay so neat and tidy? I must ask Aunt Claire how she found the cottage and found this stuff out.” Casey drove on.
I didn’t say anything. What could I add? It was weird.
We got back to the cottage and Casey let me help her carry in the groceries. We filled the fridge with fresh food and then filled up some of the cabinets with dry goods. Casey and I had plenty to eat. Casey had some trout for us to eat for dinner tonight. YUM.
Casey pulled out some ice cubes and plopped them into a bowl of water for me, then made herself a cold ice tea to drink. She took that and sat it on the table, then started going through the pile of papers in the basket. The table was long, so there was plenty of room on it for a dinner plate too.
“Look Jackie Lee!” Casey showed me a photo of her grandpa on a 1930 gangster car, he was standing on the side with a Carcano slung over his right shoulder. This was an Italian gun with a bolt action which was used during that time period. I know because Casey explained it to me.
She pulled out another photo. There was her grandpa with Aunt Claire as a child and another child too, a boy. Then another photo with a woman who was probably Aunt Claire’s mother.
HOLY COW what is going on?
I bet Casey wanted to know too.
Casey picked up her cell phone. “Hello, Aunt Claire we made it to the house. I’ve found loads of photos. Some are a bit confusing, did Grandpa have two wives?” Casey asked.
She had the phone on speaker.
“No dear, not at the same time. My mother disappeared during the war, down in Brazil. We never found her. When we were grown, and had our own family’s father remarried. He kept us a secret from his new wife and kids. That would have been your grandma and your dad. He never told us about any of you. You see, Dad was working for MI-5 and we knew it, but I don’t think any of you did.” Claire paused.
“My dad would have been devastated to hear this, I wonder now if my dad wasn’t murdered. The way he died in the plane crash with my mother never made any sense.” Casey waited for Aunt Claire to speak.
“I would like to hear more about him too, Dear. I couldn’t bear it anymore and went to find my father, that’s when I found him living in Tintagel; I contacted him and he met with me. He told me all about his wife and your father, his son. I never got to meet your father and my brother has long since died, so I’m the only one left. We never got to meet our grandparents because of Dad being a spy.” Claire waited for this to soak into Casey’s mind a bit.
“My dad never got to meet his grandparents either or his father’s sisters or brothers. My dad was told by his father that his father was an orphan. So many lies………” Casey was thinking.
“I know Dear, the pain I have felt, the pain your dad endured, then Meggie, your maternal grandmother, you never knew about either of them. I’m sure it’s because your dad was killed around the time his mother died and his father was long gone. The grandparents that raised you didn’t know anything. We will talk more after you’ve had a chance to look through everything Dear. I would love to see the photos of my brother, mother and myself, perhaps you can bring them when you come back this way. I’m signing the title over to you Casey. You deserve this place more than I do. I’m old, and taken care of, you have your whole life ahead of you.” Claire finished.
With tears in her eyes, Casey said goodbye and hung up.
She looked at me. “What a mess, let’s find out why he went to Columbia. What was he doing there with his family? What happened to his first wife? So many questions. Oh, I need to call Peter, he must be worried sick.” Casey picked her phone back up and called Peter.
“Peter?” Casey said.
She had the phone on speaker for me.
“Casey! Jackie Lee!” Peter was happy to hear from us.
WOOF, I barked wagging my tail.
“Hi Peter, how’s Captain and T.J.? How are you feeling?” Casey asked.
“I’m feeling a lot better, the doctor told me I could go home soon. Casey? Where is home for me?” Peter asked.
Casey sighed, “Peter, I know what you mean. I just received ownership of this little cottage in Tintagel!”
“See what I mean, I have the condo in Switzerland, and on Sandy Island, you have a place in Coeur D’lane and now in Cornwall.” Peter laughed.
“Well,….. I guess I can go to my condo in Switzerland and wait for you. Sandy Island is so far away right now.” Peter paused.
“Peter, if you can fly, why don’t you and the dogs come down here to Cornwall?” Casey offered.
“Only if you marry me there, Casey.”
“Peter, you know I love you, but marriage right now is a bit overwhelming. Let me tell you what I’ve found out.” Casey told Peter what had been happening since we arrived.
“That’s some heavy stuff, as soon as I can get clearance to fly, we are on our way Casey.”
“I’ll marry you, come get us baby.”
“Casey! I love you so much! I’ll call you tomorrow, after my doctor’s visit. You promise you will marry me?” Peter asked.
“Yes, I’m tired of being alone. I realize life is so complicated and short, the answer is yes.” Casey blew him a kiss through the phone.
“Good night Casey. I love you.” Then they hung up.
Casey looked at me. “Is that alright for you Jackie Lee? You love Peter and T.J. and Captain too. We can all be a big family.”
I jumped up and kissed her!
“Ok, let’s go out.” Casey said.
I was so happy and Casey was so preoccupied that we didn’t notice the man watching us on the bluff behind us.