Undercover Nudist [Nudist Series Book 2]
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by Byron McAllister, Kay McAllister
Description: Teenaged Tim Rinnnissen spends the summer of '64 with his uncle and stumbles upon murder at the local Nudist Camp. et in 1964, this is the story of world-famous sleuth Tim Rinnissen's first introduction to detective work. The crime, five years' old, is an old-fashioned bludgeoning, with traces of attempted poisoning, corruption of officialdom, and an introduction to investigation sponsored by a couple of nudists, locally famous for their gourmet cooking. Tim's youth and inexperience lead him into trouble, but the nudes rescue him by solving the crime- feeding him a Malaysian dinner as they analyze how they did it.
eBook Publisher: ebooksonthe.net, 2004
eBookwise Release Date: November 2005
5 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [415 KB]
Reading time: 286-400 min.
Getting to the Scene of the Crime
It was the reinvestigation of the murder of Boris Quoimish that decided Tim Rinnissen that he would become a private detective, but his--probably quite improper--participation in that investigation not only decided young Tim's future occupation, but settled the locale in which he would practice it. Had he chosen to operate from a major city, rather than from the tiny town of Motherlode, Montana, he might, by this time, have acquired a considerable reputation. He was not yet quite eighteen, however, and lacked the maturity needed to see clearly what restrictions he would be imposing on himself, although he insists to this day that he never regretted those limitations. His judgment may also have been clouded by the fact that he had been unusually slow to shake free from his mother's apron strings.
The crime had occurred five years earlier, in August of 1959. Someone had cracked open Boris Quoimish's skull using what the report called "an unidentified blunt object." The body, lying on the victim's own patio, was spotted the next morning by a neighbor, who, the City of Motherlode not yet having its own police force, called the sheriff of Random County. Investigating deputies accused another neighbor, Hubert Schimmel, and cited theft as the motive. Nothing had delayed the trial, and "Hubie" Schimmel had soon taken up permanent residence in the Montana state penitentiary.
The two Rinnissens, Gertrude and Tim, mother and son, had been in Motherlode the previous June, visiting relatives--as they had done each summer for as many years as young Tim could remember. But they were back in Ohio at the time of the crime, the boy still having no inkling that anything of a felonious nature could ever happen in safe and peaceful Motherlode. Gertrude Rinnissen corresponded regularly with several hometown folks, and she would certainly have learned of the murder soon after its happening. She said nothing about it to Timothy, however, perhaps wanting to spare him the realization that Motherlode is not perfect. So Timmy (as he was then usually called, despite his growing preference for "Tim") remained unaware of the killing.
For a few years afterward, the visits to Motherlode had been canceled each summer, for a hodgepodge of valid reasons, none having to do with crime.
Timmy, in the meantime, behaved himself and lived a life of innocence, attending school faithfully, continuing to make the honor roll, and, in general, doing very much as his mother wished him to do. All that good behavior, unfortunately, did tend to leave him with only token knowledge of a good many of the social changes that less protected young persons knew of or participated in as the decade of the sixties arrived. And if Gertrude Rinnissen had gone with Tim to Motherlode, her close supervision would have kept her son out of the criminal investigation altogether. However, in 1964, her plans for a June visit had to be canceled. Again. Because, one day in May she stepped off the bottom stair of her own front porch, stumbled slightly and broke both her ankles.
"You're really quite lucky," her doctor said, "because those aren't bad breaks at all." However, he advised her to undergo physical therapy, which would not be available in Motherlode. She would have to postpone the trip west.
Mrs. Rinnissen had suffered a certain amount of pain, and didn't consider herself lucky at all, but because she could look at such matters objectively, she could handle both the trauma and the disappointment. Timothy, on the other hand, though his anguish was not at all physical, suffered enormously. His Motherlode nativity, although imaginary, drew him strongly to the town.
"Mom, don't you think I'm old enough to make the trip by myself?"
Tim interpreted Mrs. Rinnissen's appraising look to mean "No," though she said only, "I'm afraid I may need you here, Timmy."
Timothy pointed out that his mother had plenty of friends who would gladly give her all the help she could use as her mobility gradually returned to normal.
"Remember, Timmy, we can go next year," she said.
"Mom, you can go next year. I probably can't. I might have to find a job next summer, just to stay in college. What if they don't renew my scholarship?" Tim hadn't looked for a summer job this year, because if he'd found one it would have interfered with the vacation plan.
His argument made some sense, and his mother realized it did. She was proud of her son's success in school, and hoped for great things for him in college. She quietly telephoned Motherlode, to her brother, Ned Nackero, and asked whether Timothy could stay with him.
Tim wished he could have listened in on that conversation because, that's when Gertrude found out her brother was now a winter caretaker for Oak Grove and lived on the grounds of that institution all year round. Tim figures she had a fit. "Oak Grove" is a misnomer, since oak trees don't survive Motherlode's harsh winters. The full name is Oak Grove Physical Culture Center, and in Random County as elsewhere, "physical culture" is a euphemism for "nudism."
Tim was sure his mother and his uncle Ned were the only two Nackeros who ever got along with each other. Evidently their bond was strong enough that she decided to trust Ned now. Nudist or not, Ned agreed to protect "Little Timmy" from what she called bad influences. The surprising part was that he convinced his sister he could do so.
"Oh, well," she said to her son, "It may be time for you to learn to do some things without me. After all, I won't be with you at college, either."
Tim almost said, "Thank God," but caught himself. "That's true," he said.
"Going to Motherlode will be good for you--help you learn how to get along in the world. The town is small enough that nothing much can happen. It's utterly safe."
She paused a moment. "Anyway, your uncle says he can fix you up to stay in a room in the city--not at the camp--where you'll be supervised. He says he may even have a job for you." She interrupted briefly and squeezed the handle of a bamboo back-scratcher under her ankle cast. "Work hard, if he does," she said, as she scraped the itch. "Your aunt Marilyn still lives there, too. You couldn't stay with her, of course, but it would be good to drop in on her a time or two. Maybe some of her kids are still at home. I've lost track."
Marilyn was Uncle David Nackero's widow. Tim had heard people in the family say she wore Uncle David out, but he couldn't imagine how that could happen: the man had always looked strong and healthy to Tim.
"And of course there's Ned himself. And don't forget, your aunt Lil used to live there."
"Hasn't she moved away, though?"
"Yes, but Ned has lots of friends. He'll get one of them to rent you a room so you don't end up roaming around The Camp. He can send me the bill, if he needs to. Not that he can't afford to pick it up himself. Which I hope he does."
"Seriously? He's going to do the paying?"
She waved a hand. "Except the air fare. Don't worry about it: he understands investing, so he has plenty of money. He'll arrange for your meals, too, someplace. I don't know where. Just eating with him, possibly; but then you'd have drive to his place every day." She sighed a motherly sigh, a caring, but perhaps a rather annoying sigh, and added, "I guess we'll let him rent a car for you. That's not my idea; he insists."
"I get to drive a car?" Timothy was agog. In 1964, it was not yet necessarily taken for granted that male teens should spend most of their time racing around town trying to impress other teenagers with their "wheels."
"I guess that's best," his mother said. "He says he knows a car rental agent in Billings. He'll have to use influence, he says, because for them you're still underage. His idea is that you'll need a car for running errands. One thing I'm glad of: you can drive all the way to his house without seeing anything you shouldn't."
"So he doesn't live at Oak Grove after all?"
"Oh yes, he lives there. In his own cabin."
Timothy could detect lingering apprehension. Perhaps she was worried he might become a full time voyeur? Tim found that idea appealing, though he didn't dare say so. He started to ask, "Then how do I visit..."
"There's a side road to his cabin. When you get to town, use the telephone. He'll tell you how to find it. And Timmy," she added, "just because he lives on a nudist camp, that doesn't mean you can peek at the nudists."
"Of course not." Tim tried to look offended. Would he even have a chance to peek? Probably not, but he certainly hoped he would.