Chapter I: Recreation


Bolinas, the hidden burg of unrepentant hippies and the assiduously non-9-to-5. It's about as far from Reynolds Pemberton's corner office as you could imagine. Maybe that was the way young Molly Pemberton wanted it.

The one lead Pemberton offered was a call he got from Mill Valley's Proof Lab Surf Shop. Apparently, Molly was the outdoorsy type. One of the shop boys at Proof Lab called when Molly used her father's credit card to buy a new surfboard. She was headed to Bolinas to go surfing with a friend. He approved the purchase, but then got worried as the days passed.

With that info, a photo of the pinup-pretty young woman and a half tank of gas in his Buick Roadmaster, Jake crossed the bridge and headed north to pick up the trail. He pulled up at Proof Lab and headed to the counter where a tow-headed kid in a ball cap was flipping through a surfing magazine. He didn't look like a baseball player.

"How's it?" he said looking up at Jake.

"It's just fine," Jake said. "Looking for a dame and wondered if you knew anything about her whereabouts. She bought a board here about a week ago." Jake passed him the photo.

"Oh, I remember her. Is she OK?" he asked. "She was kind of a babe."

"She's not in any danger. Just trying to find her."

"All's I remember was she was going to hit Bolinas with her friend, Veronica I think it was. She was pretty hot, too."

"What did she buy?"

"It was a sick C.I. fish. Five-eight, I think. Quad."

Jake looked at him without comprehension. "Color?"

"Mango orange. Hey, you ought to pick up a board yourself and paddle out to go look for her."

"I don't go in for that surf stuff," said Jake. "Last time I went to the ocean it was to ID a body that had washed up on Ocean Beach."


Jake thanked the kid and left the shop. It was getting dark so he'd figured he'd shoot some pool to wind down before he hit the sack at the swanky room Pemberton had reserved for him at Cavallo Point. . . .

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