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My eleventh novel in the series is entitled Subverting Justice and is on track to be available online and in bookstores on November 4, 2017. It starts where my 10th novel (A Delicate Matter) ended.

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SUMMER TIME READING!

SCHEDULED AUTHOR SIGNINGS FOR MY FIRST 10 NOVELS ARE:

Coles at Westshore Mall, Victoria – Friday, June 30, 2017 from 10:a.m. to 2:p.m.

Coles at Tillicum Mall, Victoria – early August – no date set yet.

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THE SERIES IN ORDER:

Loose Ends / Above Ground / Angel in the Full Moon / Samurai Code / Dead Ends / Birds of a Feather / Corporate Asset / The Benefactor / Art and Murder/ A Delicate Matter / Subverting Justice (available November 4, 2017)

Cover photos and information about my novels can be viewed by clicking on the ‘novels’ tab at the top of this page.

 

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DICK TRACY’S HALL OF FAME

I was recently honored with an appearance in the Dick Tracy’s Hall of Fame where a ‘noteworthy real-life police officer is profiled’. Anyone wishing to see the edition may do so at:

 

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So you want to publish a novel…

I am approached at almost every author signing by people seeking my advice who are also interested in becoming authors. Recently I had the privilege of being interviewed by Brent Jones. For anyone not familiar with him, he is a freelancer, blogger and internet marketer with a large international audience base. The information he provides is informative and covers a variety of topics.

Check out the interview at: http://brentjonesonline.com/blog/better-blogging/publish-your-writing-with-don-easton/

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Dundurn is now offering my first nine novels, including the latest (Art and Murder) in a special sale package. Unfortunately, this offer is only available in electronic format at the present time.

The link is: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/jack-taggart-mysteries-9-book/9781459735224-item.html?ikwsec=Home&ikwidx=14

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Help the author

As an author, it is extremely important that I receive good reviews on my novels to ensure my publicist continues to accept my work. With that in mind, I would ask those who enjoy my novels to PLEASE HELP THE AUTHOR:

Many bookstores won’t carry my novels unless there are at least 10 reviews on each one. The reviews don’t have to be long. One or two sentences is fine. On some websites you may have to sign up for an account, but it is totally free and there is a box you can check to avoid receiving any advertising or spam.

If you could copy and paste your comments to these sites it would really help. Same for any of your friends who like my novels!

NOW THAT I’M RETIRED…

At book signings, I am often asked that now that I’m retired, do I sit quietly in a rocking chair reminiscing about the old days and thinking about what to write?  Hell no! Life’s too short not to get out and enjoy it. With that in mind, I will share a little of my ‘journal’ to give you some insight into my personality with the hope you will become interested in my novels and pass along my website to your friends.

DON’S JOURNAL: Borneo Adventure – Valentine’s Day

October 15, 2009 – My wife, Brenda, (best wing-man ever) has wanted since she was little (from having watched Swiss Family Robinson) to sleep in a tree house. On this day I read about such a tree-house … in a jungle setting in a rain forest in Borneo. I thought it would make a good Valentine’s Day gift. We usually spend our winters in Thailand and speak enough Thai to get by. Hey, how different could Borneo be? – Turns out, it was a lot different.

DAY 1

February 12, 2010 we leave our resort in Thailand at 06:00 hrs. to catch a series of flights that should have us arriving in Borneo at 3:45 pm. (I had read a warning about not arriving in the dark as you had to trek through the jungle to get to the tree house.)

One of our connecting flights was two hours late and we arrived at an airport In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, cleared customs, but missed our scheduled flight to Borneo. We rescheduled for the next flight which would arrive in Borneo long after the sun went down. In the mean time, we had several hours to wait in the Kuala Lumpur airport.

“Hey, you notice I’m the only woman not wearing a shawl or a burka,” observed Wing-man.

“Yeah … how about that. Oh well, don’t worry, I’m sure they condone the ways of western tourists.”

My wing-man glanced at me warily and took a beach wrap from her bag and wrapped it around her shoulders. She saw my look of disapproval. “The airport is cold,” she claimed

I am suspicious of her lack of faith in me…

I had no Malaysian money so decided to find a currency exchange to convert my Thai money to buy beer. I tell wing-man to wait as I go on my quest… (Bad decision.)

I walked for a long time but couldn’t find a currency exchange, or a bar either for that matter. Then I caught a glimpse of a door swinging shut. Over the door was a sign saying “BILIK SOLAT.”  Before the door closed I saw a janitor on his hands and knees peering at something on the floor. A janitor will surely know where to exchange money to buy beer…

Turns out the Bilik Solat was crowded. I explained my urgent need for a beer to the closest floor examiner….

Who knew that Bilik Solat meant “Muslim Prayer Room”?

I suddenly became “it” in a game of Chase the Infidel. (Later I learned there are no money exchanges at this particular airport and alcohol is forbidden.)

After eluding my pursuers (for guys with beards, funny hats and robes they can move pretty fast), I returned, panting and wheezing to wing-man and explained what happened. I suggested we should be on guard …

My disloyal wing-man pulled her wrap up over her head and said: “What do you mean, we, infidel?”

We caught the flight to Borneo and I was much relieved. Asian airlines are known for their generosity about serving food and drinks. Once in the air and safely away from Kuala Lumpur, I asked the flight attendant for a beer.

He looked at me like I was an alien from another planet. “Sir, our destination in Borneo is a dry state!” he said haughtily.

I looked at wing-man and said, “If that’s so, why do they call it a rain forest? Besides, all the more reason for a cold beer.”

Wing-man gave me a perturbed look and muttered something unintelligible.

The flight attendant took off and was scarce for the rest of the flight. We landed in Borneo at 10:00 o’clock at night. I waited in the designated single-file line at customs. Eventually I stepped forward and the customs officer eyed me suspiciously. Several questions are tossed at the infidel. Had someone from the Kuala Lumpur airport phoned ahead?

As I continued to answer questions, I noticed wing-man had already cleared customs and was waiting for me with her wrap up over her head. My customs officer spotted her and realized we were together. It was as if I was given a green light. He nodded his approval and I was allowed to pass.

Time now is 22:30 hours and it’s very dark outside. The temperature is 31 C and the humidity makes Thailand seem like a desert … Suddenly having a cold beer became a priority. I knew it was over an hour drive to get to our resort. I found an ATM and got the proper currency and made some inquiries about where to purchase beer to have on our way to the resort. Oh, that is what they mean by a dry state … Exceptions are made at resorts for tourists I am told. Yeah, right…

We entered the waiting area of the airport and were relieved to see a driver from the tree-house resort holding a sign with our names on it. His name is Ajib and he speaks English. (Much of it gleamed from watching American movies.)

We tossed our baggage in a van and I told Ajib not to spare the gas getting to the resort as we were looking forward to a cold beer. He replies that beer will not be possible because the resort closes at 9:00pm and it would be after midnight before we arrived. He saw the troubled look on my face and proudly said not to worry because he had the key to give us to our room so we would not be locked out. That is not why I had a troubled look!

It is HOT and WET! The HUMIDITY makes us look like we just took a shower with our clothes on. I explain to Ajib we want a beer – and we want it NOW!

Ajib laments that there is not even a brewery on the island … although he has heard rumours that it is sometimes smuggled in by certain people from nearby islands. (I suspect that Ajib is something of an entrepreneur.)

“Ajib! Take me to these certain people!”

Ajib glances at his watch, his face goes white and he whispers something to himself about a guy named Allah. I started to growl and am aided by my wing-man who is getting a really mean look in her eyes. “Take me to this Allah guy,” I demand. Ajib took one look at us and his desire for self-preservation kicked in.

After some fast driving where Ajib perfected the art of counter-surveillance, we ended up in a rather undesirable part of the city. Ajib tells me to wait in the van. “No way,” I replied. (I’ve dealt with enough drug lords to know you don’t front your money.) “Take me with you.”

The beer lord turned out to be a Chinese woman who did not speak English. Ajib came to the rescue and between us, a price was negotiated for the beer. Ajib suggested I score lots (his words from watching Amercian movies) and put it in the fridge in our room when we got to the resort. I took his advice to heart and told him to go back up the van while I started filling plastic bags with cans of beer. (Later I learned that the price I paid the beer lord was three times lower than what the resort charged.) Thank you Ajib!

Once we loaded the van and drove out of the alley, I praised Ajib for his ability. He smiled proudly. More so, when I introduced him to a western culture known as tipping. As we headed for the resort I asked Ajib if he ever drank beer.

He whispered his confession. “Sometimes I have.”

My wing-man and I are snapping open cold beers and I offer one to Ajib – but for some reason he was too afraid. Two minutes later I discovered why.

CHECK STOPPoliceAh, that is the reason. Bet their jails don’t have colour television…

I asked my disloyal wing-man to hold my open beer, pretending I had an urgent need to adjust the strap on my sandal. She refused, guzzled her beer and crushed the can into a wrist bracelet.

“It’s okay. Don’t panic,” said Ajib. “They don’t stop tourist vans.”

If that’s true, then why did you refuse a beer?

“At least … very rarely,” he adds.

Fortunately Ajib was right. We arrived at the resort without further incident. That is, until we were met by two security guards as we were unloading our luggage. I noticed one guard gesture to the other about the suspicious clinking of multiple bags of cans.

Ajib also noticed. He tossed the room key at me and disappeared so fast it would have impressed a Las Vegas magician.

The security guards looked very unfriendly and spoke to us, but they didn’t speak English. By hand gestures they told us to wait while they went in search of Ajib to translate. My wing-man and I took the opportunity to search for our room on our own.

Paths seemed to lead through the jungle in all directions but we hit it lucky. Ten minutes after stumbling along a dark jungle path we found our tree house. We climbed 35 steep steps to the room while packing our suitcases and contraband up like a couple of squirrels preparing for winter.

Stairs_0771 Once settled in the room, we drank as much evidence as we could.

Finally, the bed, looking crisp and clean beckoned to us. We climbed in and looked at each other in disbelief. The sheets were as wet as if they had just come out of a washing machine. What the hell? We both looked at each other and wondered what tomorrow would bring. Later we discovered it was just the high humidity. All our clothes became damp, the toilet paper roll doubled in size and even a deck of cards we brought swelled like a sponge and split open the box.

 

DAY 2 – FEB 13th

We get up at 07:00 hours and I see a large lizard inside our room waiting at the door to get out. We are used to geckos and small lizards in tropical rooms that sneak in through cracks under the door or around windows. We actually appreciate them because they eat mosquitoes.

This guy was big enough to swallow pork chops. Lizard eyed me warily as I slowly approached, then charged while making a hissing sound like a cat. I backed away and Lizard returned to the door. This time I gingerly reached over him and opened the door and he waddled out as if he were a pet. I concluded that he probably came in when the maid was cleaning and spent the night under our bed. Briefly I wondered about buying him a spiked collar and keeping him as a guard lizard but decided he might not take kindly to me trying to put a collar on him.

We went to the restaurant for breakfast as a troop of Silver Leaf monkeys swung by overhead. They were quite large compared to the little guys we had seen in places like Costa Rica. The adult males were about the size of chimpanzees. It seemed kind of fun and put us both in happy moods.

We ate our breakfast and sipped coffee. The weather was hot, cloudy and even more humid as it had rained during the night. Wing-man said she found an old brochure talking about a jungle trek one could take around the resort. With a guide you could apparently do it in 90 minutes.

We thought we were in good shape and speculated we could probably finish the trek in 45 minutes … even though we were only wearing sandals, shorts and had no drinking water with us. Hell, we don’t need a guide! (Really bad decision.)

We found a sign on a paved path announcing the start, but after two minutes of walking the path came to an end at a ravine where a bridge once stood. On the far side I could see where the path started again. The ravine was a tangle of logs, vines, water and thick jungle vegetation – sort of  like what you would see in a Hollywood movie.

I spotted a small game trail by my feet that appeared to transverse up the far side of the ravine. The trail will probably get us back on the path… (Wrong.)

I saw an ant about half the size of my little finger and stepped over it and motioned for wing-man to follow. We crossed the ravine and followed the game trail just below the top of the far ridge where it led away from our intended path … but I am still optimistic.

Although it was mid-morning, with the towering jungle canopy over our heads, it seemed more like dusk. This changed when we got to the top of the ridge and broke through the canopy. The game trail descended down a steep hill on the far side of the ridge and looked like a small tunnel through the dense foliage. The sun was in our eyes making the tunnel look dark.

I paused to make another bad decision, which was to continue down the trail to see what direction the path went at the bottom. If it turned in the direction of where we wanted, we’d continue. If it didn’t, we’d simply retrace our steps and return to the resort.

I nodded at wing-man and we bent over double and crept and slid down the muddy shute. With the sun facing us, it was difficult to see. Once we arrived at the bottom, I saw that the game trail veered off in the opposite direction of where we wanted to go.

We were tired but I figured it would be safer to retrace our steps rather than to try and cut through the dense jungle (without a machete) in a direct line to where I figured the resort/path was.

We turned to retreat back up the jungle tunnel when I realized I had become wrapped in what I thought was fishing-line. It  stuck to my clothes and I tried to pull it off.

Gee, who would be fishing way out here in the jungle? Wait a minute … this isn’t fish line … it’s spider web! What kind of spider would build a web that strong?

I could now see a short distance up the tunnel we had slid down.  What I saw were about two dozen spiders hanging from webs. We hadn’t seen them coming down. Now with the sun behind us, they were easy to see.

These spiders were about the size of tea-cup saucers and ranged in colour from red, black, yellow, striped … you name it. They were not ordinary looking dudes. Their beady eyes stared back at us and they looked mean. The game tunnel we came down had been turned into one long gigantic spider funnel!

Jungle noises were drowned out by a blood-curdling yell. “There’s a huge spider on your back!” yelled wing-man

“OH MY GAWD!” (That’s me, not wing-man.)

I looked over my shoulder just as two spider legs swung over the top. I hadn’t seen the spider’s body yet but I could feel the weight of it moving up my back.

What do I do? There’s NO WAY I’m putting my hand back there! I frantically started undoing my shirt, which is difficult when your clothes are soggy and you’re doing an impromptu jig. I had also developed a strong urge to defecate. I knew it was too late to get my shirt off when I felt a long spider leg slide down between my collar and the back of my neck as the beast moved up toward my head.

It was at this moment that my loyal, loving, forever in her debt, wing-man, whacked it with her bare hand!

Her aim was good and she knocked it to the ground. It quickly scurried out of sight and a series of shaking bushes revealed the direction it took. I looked at my wing-man in awe.

“What else could I do?” she said. “You’d have done the same for me, right?”

Okay, I admit it. I hesitated … then nodded. It was too late. The hesitation had been noticed and I caught the sudden look of suspicion…

BFS_0717

One thing was for certain – we were not climbing back up the slope through the spider funnel. We’d have to find another route.

Although the trail led off in the opposite direction of the resort, the foliage wasn’t as dense and was made up of larger trees and vines. More importantly the spiders, who must have been on steroids, seemed more intermittent with fewer clusters of them.

We decided to continue. I found a small willowy type branch to slash through the spider webs. I used it like a sword as we ventured deeper into the jungle…

Roots_0727

The game trail had disappeared but it was still relatively easy to walk (compared to spider funnel). After stumbling on for some time we came upon a tree encircled with a ring of blue spray paint at head height. “Someone has blazed a trail!,” I noted with an air of indifference and pointed to a similar marked tree a short distance away. (I didn’t want wing-man to know how relieved I was.) “We just need to follow it back out.”

We walked and we walked and we walked – muddy trails, creeks, jungle noises, vertical climbs, more ugly spiders – too late to turn back. I was feeling dizzy and knew dehydration was setting in. Must continue on…

Wing-man questioned why I stopped and stamped my feet every ten paces while swinging the stick. She thought it looked comical and was developing a crazy-maniacal laugh. I was glad she was happy – but felt uncomfortable for some strange reason.

I explained that the stomping was to scare snakes away and reminded her that we were in sandals.

Wing-man laughed louder. Boy, she really loves nature…

The trail blazer had left some rope strung down some of the ravines/water falls to help repel down the steep muddy slopes and across streams. I made a solemn promise to invite the trail blazer to our beer stash when we fond him. We continued on….

The spray painted trees became farther apart and harder to find. Sometimes they came back in a circle, other times dead-ending and starting over again, like spokes off a bicycle wheel. What is this guy? A comedian? Forget the beer invite…

More walking. Spray paints were now about knee height? Make that ankle height … even spraying the odd rock or the end of a log on the ground….

We came to a muddy swamp and I saw a chewed up can of spray paint laying in the mud. I decide we should NOT walk through the swamp. Another brilliant deduction was that I realized we should of been following the blazed trail in the opposite direction.

We changed direction. My vision was cloudy and confusion set in as dehydration worsened … We thought we heard voices and I felt excited as we headed toward the sound. Half-eaten mangoes and other fruit appeared along the trail.

I stared at the fruit and wondered if we should eat it, but my thoughts were interrupted by yelling and screaming. The language is foreign but the voices are excited – like mothers yelling at children. Loud … high-pitched…

It was a troop of monkeys and their screams were directed at us. We retreated as the monkeys pummeled the infidels with fruit.

The accuracy of their swing-by fruitings would have made the gangsters in Surrey jealous. We gave them a wide birth and continued on.

Silver Leaf 0714

We crossed one muddy stream on a log and I saw another log in the water below. I could swear the log had eyes and took a picture. Hallucination is a funny thing…

Log with Eyes

A short time later, while swinging my stick, I felt it momentarily get stuck in the thick foliage above my head … I yanked on it to get the stick out and saw that the end was chewed off.  Wing-man looked at it and quit laughing. We continued on…

We happened upon a bigger path and followed it to a rope bridge across a gully. Here I took the last photo of wing-man crossing the bridge before the camera battery died … Will the camera ever be found and outline what happened?

Spiderwoman_0731

We came upon a different area of the jungle where rotting leaves left a thick mat on the ground up past our knees. I felt a spider on my bare leg and pried it off with my stick. By now, such an occurrence was not even mentioned to each other.

I heard a rustling sound in the leaves and saw what looked like a human head on the ground. I approached and a very brown and dirty human face with black eyes looked up at me. I think the face was female and her eyes opened wide at the sight of me.

Suddenly there are shouts and half a dozen more faces appeared from out of the jungle. We had stumbled upon an indigenous tribe who were gathering nuts under the leaves. I debated whether to return to the monkeys, but one of them gestured for us to continue on in another direction so we did.

Some time later we stumbled out of the jungle and into Ajib who was walking along a path near our resort. The conversation went something like this:

“Jungle trek,” I panted.

“No, you can only do that in the dry season,” he replied. “Now is not good. Besides, the bridge is washed out.”

“There is another trail … we went … over there,” I gesture.

“No. Do not go over there. An instructor from a special forces commando unit went in there some time ago to mark a trail and prepare a jungle survival course. He did not return. There is a native tribe that inhabits the jungle and they tell a story—”

“This native tribe … they eat nuts?” I ask.

A grave look crossed Ajib’s face and his knees clamped together. “They are not supposed to be cannibals anymore,” he whispered. “Now I am told they eat fruit and seeds from trees. Anyway, do not go there. The natives tell a story of an angry crocodile with a blue nose that eats people.”

“What about the spiders? Are they poisonous?” I ask.

“Some are very poisonous and some are not.”

“Which ones are which?” I ask.

“The ones who bite you and you don’t die are not the poisonous ones. The ones who bite you and –“

“Thank you, Ajib,” I interject. “Do the natives live about five kilometers in that direction?” I point.

“Yes,” replies Ajib, while stepping back and taking in our appearance for the first time.

“And the home of the blue-nosed crocodile is in a swamp about 10 kilometers off in that other direction?” I point.”

“You were there!” he gasped.

“Yes, and we need water and beer immediately!”

Ajib immediately took us to the resort café and introduced us to his side-kick, an amiable young man by the name of Jalal who appeared to be in his late teens and had eight long, well-spaced hairs on his chin that he had been cultivating in an attempt to grow a beard.

Ajib said something to Jalal in Malay who looked at us in amazement. Ajib then offered us “a thousand apologies,” but said he had business to do, but that Jalal would look after us.

Jalal did look after us as we first ordered water and beer … and then beer and more beer…

The bottles of water were cold, but strangely the beer was tepid. We came to the conclusion that this was to try and stop infidels from drinking … not to mention the grossly inflated price. Their attempt did not work.

The restaurant was a large wooden structure with a outside decks on different levels. We happened to choose the lowest deck farthest from the kitchen. In time, I felt sorry for Jalal, who repeatedly ran back and forth in the heat and extreme humidity to see if we wanted more beer. I explained to him a system where he could stand near the kitchen on the upper level and watch us. When we needed more beer I would simply hold up the appropriate number of fingers. Jalal smiled broadly and appreciated the gesture of kindness.

At dusk we retreated to a deck on our tree-house for happy hour. We were joined by a small, friendly lizard who appeared to enjoy our company. We named him Larry.

Surprisingly, the mosquitoes were not bad as there was a large bat population to keep them in check. Two bats, about the size of young crows, made a game of chasing each other at super-sonic speed around our hut, barely missing objects as they zoomed past. We decided to go inside and leave Larry on guard duty.

That night was Chinese New Years, complete with a huge buffet, starting with some kind of jellyfish appetizer and Chinese pickles. (I wasn’t brave or drunk enough to try the ‘pickles’ … okay, maybe just not brave enough.) Wine was served at $10.00 for a single glass of what turned out to be vinegar. This time we infidels got the message and did not order more.

We ate dinner but were exhausted and went to bed early to dream about spiders and a blue-nosed crocodile. Tomorrow was Valentine’s Day and we vowed we would stay close to our resort for the big day.

DAY 3

February 14th – Valentine’s  Day!

At 06:30 hours we awoke to the sound of monkeys outside our room. Half-an-hour later we headed to the restaurant for breakfast. I spotted Jalal smiling from the kitchen and gave him a friendly wave as we made our way to the table. Five bottles of beer arrived in seconds. Mental note … don’t wave at Jalal with an open hand… My wing-man, with a keen eye for the future, suggested we take the beer back to our room for the afternoon happy hour. Excellent idea!

I got about two bites out of my breakfast omelet when I noticed a crowd of locals gathering and pointing at us. Ajib was with them. It seemed he had been spreading the word of our exploits and had arranged for them to get their pictures taken with the amazing infidels. I also noticed he was sporting a new watch. (I told you he had an entrepreneurial spirit.)

Some had questions about why we went on the trek. “Were you in search of beer?” a young man asked.

“No, the beer came later.

“Why do you drink beer?” a young woman asked.

I tried to defend our culture as best I could. “Beer gives you courage and sometimes great wisdom, although that unfortunately disappears once the effects of the beer have worn off.”

There was much agreement that this must be true, at least the courage part of the story because how else could we have gone in search of the blue-nosed crocodile.

A young girl had her doubts. “I’ve been told that beer makes you do stupid things.”

Silence fell over the group. I cleared my throat. “This is true to some degree for certain people, however, it also has a mystical power…”

“A mystical power?” replied the young girl.

“Sometimes attractive young women who drink beer find young men much more attractive. It’s as if they have noticed them for the first time.” (This really caught Jalal’s attention and he stroked his eight chin hairs.) “Sometimes the same happens with young men. Sadly, the effects wear off by morning.”

And so the questions continued of the two infidels…

Two Infidels_0750

Later in the day Jalal asked if we would be returning to the scheduled Chinese New Year’s banquet. I explained that we wished to have a romantic dinner in our room and that I’d pick something up from the restaurant later.

Jalal to the rescue!!!

Within minutes, Jalal presented us with a special honeymoon menu, where a four-course dinner could be served to us in our room. It consisted of a special salad with a sweet plum sauce dressing, followed by mushroom soup. The main course would be chicken breasts wrapped in bacon and stuffed with cheese, tomato, zucchini, bell peppers and fried eggplants, accompanied by garlic bread and a side salad. Strawberry ice cream topped with chocolate cream was for dessert. It also included two free glasses of wine. We accepted.

Content that dinner would be looked after, we went back to our deck for happy hour and to say hi to Larry.

We sat in our wing-backed bamboo chairs and enjoyed the jungle sounds around us… although the sound of Larry drinking beer from a bottle-cap at our feet was probably not a normal jungle sound.

It was all very romantic and beautiful until about dusk. That was when wing-man, sitting near the corner of the deck, leaned forward from her chair just as a bat traveling at supersonic speed was zooming past. The bat tried to avert a collision with her head by doing a U-turn, but crashed, pummeling its wings into the chair beside her head before taking off.

While Larry scampered for cover, Wing-man glanced at me sideways. I heard her mutter, “Christ, I’ve married Tarzan.” She casually took another sip of beer before suggesting we go back inside. “Either that or we switch chairs,” she said firmly. We went inside.

At 19:30 hours a young man knocked on our door and introduced himself as ‘Angel Star’. I wondered if he was conceived in an old Volkswagen van with peace symbols on the side… Behind him was another servant. Angel Star uncorked a new bottle of wine and filled two wine glasses while his sidekick produced a candle and lit is for us. Both men disappeared, but only momentarily as they returned with salad and soup.

Valentines Meal_0761

Over the next couple of hours we ate a great meal which ended with a scrumptious dessert of ice-cream inside a couple of coconuts.

That was Valentine’s Day 2010. It was also when  wing-man came up with idea that we should trek the Golden Triangle.  I’d spent years making undercover purchases of heroin that originated out of the Golden Triangle. I thought about it for a moment, then looked at wing-man and said,  “Sounds like fun.”  (Yes, I know. It will probably turn out to be another bad decision…)

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