day was much the same, except that Ray had remembered to
buy milk, so they ate breakfast at home, avoiding the
cameras. Only Dief seemed annoyed by this, and kept
wuffling grumpily, until Fraser was forced to reprimand
him about his apparent desire for his fifteen minutes of
grouchy and hadn't slept well. Fraser had cleaned him out
at cards, and ok, they weren't betting for anything other
than air, but damn if it wasn't infuriating to lose all
the time. Then Fraser had gone to bed and Ray sat up
drinking beer and thinking about… stuff.
maybe he should go back to Chicago. What the hell was he
doing here, anyway? He must be nuts, hanging onto the
Mountie's lanyard like it was mommy's apron strings. Was
Fraser embarrassed by him? You could never tell with Frase.
Was he being polite, mortified that Ray hung around him
all the time? Fuck - yesterday Ray'd even made him lunch.
He seriously needed to get a grip.
other hand, Fraser had never even noticed that all the
girls in the town were harbouring crushes on him, so
hopefully he hadn't noticed similar behaviour from Ray.
Not that he was the same as those girls. No, he was way
cooler about the whole thing.
had gone round and round in his head, making his stomach
roil until he'd eventually fallen asleep on the couch.
He'd woken that morning with a neck ache, a vague sickly
hangover - mostly from lack of sleep - and Fraser being as
perky as usual. Ray grumpily decided that it was because
Fraser was constantly winning, whether it was cards or
pretty much anything else. It was him who was the loser.
was moody and uncommunicative at breakfast, until Fraser
apparently decided that it wasn't worth attempting
conversation, and they drove into town together in stiff
silence, Fraser dropping Ray off at Mikey's and continuing
on to his office without another word. Ray instantly felt
guilty about being such a kid, but refused to go see him.
He needed to recoup some dignity first. Yeah, dignity.
thing that happened at work was, however, not the most
dignified. Carla was there, with her little camera, and
insisted that today he needed to be wearing a radio mic.
what?" he asked in disbelief.
a little microphone pack. What with the high winds and
stuff we're not getting a lot of dialogue, so to be on the
safe side we've decided to wire you."
wind?" Ray asked in disbelief. "Mikey, are you
wearing one of these things?"
not, bro," Mikey called from underneath a 1969 Chevy.
why do I have to?"
me a break, Ray, please," Carla said, looking
forlorn. "I'm just doing what the big boss tells me
to. And if I don't get you miked up, I'm in for it, big
was how Ray found himself with Carla's hand down the back
of his jeans, tucking in the little pack, and up his
shirt, securing the little clip-on mic.
something, let me test this thing," she muttered,
pulling on her headphones. "What did you have for
pancakes. With syrup. And Frase had a bowl of
that's great." She pulled the headphones off.
"So I'm going to be with you most of the day. Steve,
who operates the maincam - the big camera? And the
soundman Pete are gonna be with Fraser. Susan'll be with
them too, directing. Just so you know."
nodded in bemusement. "Uh… ok? What do you guys
thinks gonna happen over there anyway? You do know most of
his Mountie-ing involves littering, right? Not the most
don't know, the big boss doesn't let me in on her plans.
Uh… were you guys planning on meeting up for lunch or
anything?" she looked hopeful.
really, we had kind of a… well, I was in kind of a bad
mood this morning. Doubt he'll be bothered."
a pause while Carla checked that the mic pack was hidden
underneath his t-shirt.
she said over his shoulder, "Susan wants to get
interviews with all the people we're focussing on. Do you
guys have any free time over the weekend for us to do you
both? It'll be like an hour, maybe two, but no more. We
can do it at the cabin… what do you think?"
exactly is the Great Yukon, Douglas Fir, Double
Telescoping Bag Shot, Constable Fraser?" Fraser was
standing by an old black and white photograph of his
father and Buck, both cradling a rifle in their hands and
looking noble. It was hung on the wall beside his desk.
the story goes that my father won my mother's heart in a
competition with his parter, Constable Frobisher - on the
right in this picture. She was being held hostage by a
nefarious criminal, and they had two bullets to make the
shot that would save her life - it was, of course, my
father who made the shot. They referred to it ever after
that as The Great Yukon Douglas Fir Double Telescoping Bag
Shot. I can find the diary entries that refer to it, if
that won't be necessary. But… tell us how that makes you
feel. Do you find it romantic?"
I suppose, yes, there is an essence of romance there. I'm
not usually of a whimsical nature, but it is rather a nice
doesn't have a romantic bone in his body," Ray said
quietly, moving further into the office.
Fraser exclaimed. "Were we meeting for lunch? I
we didn't have plans, I just thought it would be, you
know, nice." Ray held up a paper bag and shook it
temptingly. Carla held the camera steady, as the cameraman
- Steve ? - focussed on Fraser.
would be lovely." He had clearly forgiven Ray for his
petulant behaviour that morning. They sat at Fraser's desk
and unwrapped their sandwiches in silence.
was that story you were telling?" Ray asked in a
desperate attempt to ignore the cameras.
well, I was recounting the story of the time my father and
Buck Frobisher competed to win the heart of my mother. I'm
sure I've told you about it, Ray."
right, that was why the whole romance thing."
interrupted, "Have you ever done anything as romantic
in the name of love, Constable Fraser?"
snorted. "Fraser, yeah right."
coughed little and turned red. "Ah, well, I don't
think… I mean, it wouldn't be prudent or kind to discuss
scowled at him, noticing the blush. "No, c'mon
Fraser," Ray interrupted sharply. "Tell us about
your great romantic adventures."
there was the time that Inspec- an acquaintance and myself
were aboard a runaway train that was on a collision course
with another vehicle loaded with radioactive
Bolt Brothers thing, yeah?" Ray asked, remembering
correct, Ray," Fraser tugged at his collar, looking
suddenly uncomfortable. "We were on the roof of the
train attempting to get to the engine room and shared a…
moment of intimacy. Brought about largely by the
adrenaline of the moment, I'm sure but… well… it was
rather romantic." Fraser coughed and took a big bite
of his sandwich.
You- on the roof of a train? With- what exactly
happened?" Ray glared, leaning forward.
frowned and lowered his voice. "Nothing happened,
Ray, honestly. It was merely a brief… moment," he
repeated, scratching his eyebrow nervously.
beyond lowering his voice. "What sort of
Fraser straightened up in his chair. "Well, I really
don't think that's any of your business, Ray."
course it's my business!" Ray protested. "I…!
You…!" He was interrupted by a knock on the door.
And thank God, 'cause when he looked up he remembered the
two cameras and the four other people in the room and came
to his senses. Jeez, he'd almost just…
opened and a breathless man fell through, followed by a
zealously watchful Thompson. Ray recognised him as Gene
Tandy, a local who lived even farther out of town than
they did, and was renowned for rarely approaching
Fraser, there's something I think you should see," he
Sir, he wouldn't wait outside!" yelped Thompson, once
again avoiding the cameras at all costs. Geez, the guy was
more high-strung than a Derby winner.
worry, constable," soothed Fraser, standing up and
putting on his hat. "Gene, is everything ok?"
not sure. You should see this for yourself."
was pitch black and damp, smelling musty and cold. The
bright beam of Fraser's flashlight illuminated the walls,
the dirt floor, and a small pile of what looked like
rubbish. Dief and Gene's dog Lucy nosed through it,
sniffing, as Fraser went down on one knee and pulled apart
was out walking Lucy this morning - she led me straight
here." Gene said. "Thought I should let you
sifted through old clothes, dirty and discarded, a blanket
pressed into the floor, still imprinted with the shape of
a human body, apple cores and food wrappers.
a nest," muttered Fraser.
been living here?" Ray asked, steadying himself with
a hand on the low rock above.
certainly looks that way," agreed Fraser. He shifted
the pile of clothes to one side, revealing a gun.
whatever happened to your local Holiday Inn?"
grumbled Ray, rubbing his arms against the cold.
Fraser lifted the gun gingerly and placing it in a plastic
said Ray, "Tommy Donen?"
a possibility," Fraser agreed. "Although I
wouldn't want to cause panic unnecessarily." He
inspected the rest of the clothes and then stood up,
walking over to the mouth of the cave and looking out at
the valley below.
were there, filming up the hill from the roadside. Ray
rolled his eyes. "Do you think he'll come back?"
knelt to look at the tracks in the snow. "It's
unlikely. These tracks are fresh today. You. Me," he
pointed to the tracks as he identified them. "Gene,
Dief and Lucy. No one else. And, despite the high winds
last night, there hasn't been enough heavy snowfall to
provide fresh cover for at least two days."
pointed out Ray. "Sunday night, remember?"
course." Fraser stood up and clapped his gloved hands
together. "So it looks as though our Mr. Donen - or
whoever it might be - vacated the cave some time before or
early on in Sunday night's storm."
rubbed the back of his neck. "Going towards
away from it." Fraser confirmed.
this something I should be worried about, Constable?"
no, Gene. Leave the worrying to me," reassured
Fraser. He clapped Gene on the back and lead him away from
the cave. "But you might like to warn Marjorie not to
go out alone at night, at least until I've had the prints
on this gun run…"
Fraser drove back to town on their own, the camera crew
following behind in their people-carrier.
up!" hissed Susan, frantically trying to see what was
going on in the car ahead. It was already getting dark,
and the sky was streaked with red and grey.
still miked up," pointed out Pete, and he donned his
for audio," said Steve.
do you think's gonna happen?" asked Carla, pulling on
her own headphones.
the radio mics crackled Ray and Fraser's voices.
how much do you really not think that's Tommy's
hide-out?" Ray asked, low-voiced. He sounded subdued.
afraid it doesn't look good, Ray. The clothes on the floor
of the cave, soiled as they are, match the description I
received both from Inspector Carlisle and the sighting in
Carcross - red joggers of the "Nike"
label," he pronounced it to rhyme with 'pike'.
"Blue jacket, old training shoes. However, I can't
think where he could be now."
wherever he is, he's naked."
yes, as you say, presumably he is either without clothes
or had with him a change of clothing. Or perhaps in
disguise," he murmured as an afterthought.
he wandered out into the forest and got eaten by a
Ray. Bears generally stay well away from populated
then, got eaten by a beaver or a wolf."
then, maybe he got himself involved with Inspector
Thatcher and they mated and then she ate him."
'oh really' me, Fraser. You-- --we -- -n --plan-n."
he's cutting out," muttered Pete, pressing the phones
to his ear.
closer," barked Susan to the nervous-looking runner
driving the car, who accelerated.
I don't know what you're getting so w-k-- up a---t,"
Fraser was saying patiently. "it was just a
-- --ch thing wi-- you, Frase, you think I don't --ow
that? Who have you ever kissed since I've known you. I'm
gonna go with nobody. Am I right?"
there was that time-"
this isn't about that. This is about… this is
Fraser was raising his voice now, and Pete raised his
eyebrows. That Mountie cool sure didn't last long.
"What is this about?"
swerved to the side of the road, and at first it looked
like they had lost control of the vehicle, until they
pulled safely into a lay-by. It all happened so fast that
the crew vehicle nearly over-took them.
shit shit!" swore Susan, and the runner pressed hard
on the brake pedal.
-- what it's abo--," crackled Ray.
gone silent," said Pete, looking up.
quickly pulled in a few car lengths in front of Ray's car.
going on?!" asked Susan, opening the door. "Get
Pete fell out of the vehicle together onto the bank at the
side of the road and began to run over to the other car,
wading through deep drifts of snow. Susan jumped out too,
desperately trying to see past the headlights and through
the windscreen. But as they reached the driver's door, it
opened and Ray stumbled out.
me a lift back to town?" he asked them. He looked
Fraser got out of the passenger door and Ray pushed past
Pete and Steve, who was frantically hiking the camera up
onto his shoulder. The door slammed hard behind Ray as he
got into the crew vehicle.
moved. The world seemed so silent all of a sudden, a light
snow starting to fall, the sky darkening rapidly. Fraser
stood in between the two cars, trapped in the headlights,
turned to the runner. "Start this car now, kid, and
I'll give you a hundred bucks. American."
wheels span in the snow.