Century End Part Six a Tracy Gayle Mystery by Trish Hubschman

Century End Part Six a Tracy Gayle Mystery by Trish Hubschman

Century End Part Six
A Tracy Gayle mystery
By Trish Hubschman
June 2022

Tracy Gayle

I wanted to put Jared McAllister on the hot seat. My mouth watered for it. But Danny doused it. “Babe, I want to buy Century
End, remember?” he said. “McAllister wants to get it off his hands and is practically giving it away. If you get him agitated or on the defensive, who knows what he might do?”
That irritated me. I wanted to protest, but I didn’t push it. He was right and I had to cool down with the hot seat approach. “All right,” I agreed. “I’ll be gentler than I want to be, but I still have to get to the bottom of this whole thing at some point. “
{“Just don’t bite the guy’s head off,” Danny warned. “It doesn’t matter what happened forty years ago. I just want to know if the land is safe to live on.”
I couldn’t argue with that.
A secretary showed me into McAllister’s office promptly at eleven the next day.
“Why did your father want everyone to leave Century End?” I asked.
Confusion registered on his face. “I don’t think that’s the precise way to phrase it, Miss Gayle,” he said. “The town was a disaster zone. The photos I have here from the time show that.” He patted a manila file folder on his desk. “The area was dangerous, and once my father got bulldozers in there, it would have been even more so.”
“So, you’re saying it was safest for everyone to evacuate the town?” I asked. He nodded. “What about the carbon monoxide scale? Did your father start that rumor”? is it a rumor?”
To my horror, McAllister blanched. Sighing, he leaned forward in his chair. “Miss Gayle, I can’t speak totally on my father’s behalf,“ he began, his tone conspiratorial. “He’s long in his grave and I was only a child at the time, away at most of the year at school. I don’t know who started it, but I do believe it was a rumor, whether it was to get people out of Century
End, for whatever purpose, or to hinder my father’s grand building plans for the town. I don’t know. It isn’t in the records he kept either.” McAllister patted the file folder again. “On behalf of my company’s good will, I’ll be happy to send in a team of experts to analyze the land and give us a definite finding.”
That was all I could ask, for now, at least. I had more questions, wanted to really dig into the past, but this wasn’t the best time to do that. I held out my hand, thanked him and rose to leave.

Six months later.

It would take years to restore Century End to the quaint, picturesque town it once had been, but everyone at the ground- breaking ceremony that day were in favor of the project and were contributing sponsors. As promised, Jared McAllister’s company sent in geologists, anthropologists, land developers and other experts to examine the site and a all-clear had been given. Possibly thirty-plus years ago, carbon monoxide might have penetrated he land, but no longer did any exist. The coal mine entrance was opened and the mine searched. Darren Highlabnd’s remains were not discovered, but other grizzly things were. .. Grace Highland didn’t want to know about it. She had made peace with her son’s disappearance years ago.
When Danny’s mother, Monica, and Grace Highland saw each other, both women squealed. They had their arms around each other and tears pouring down their cheeks. My co-sleuth, Johnson stood beside me and his girlfriend, Tiffany Jones. Danny’s second wife, Blair Nelson was here covering the event for her morning talk show. I saw
Danny sidle up to Beverly hanson and her brother, Ted.
“You’re looking good, Bev,” Danny said. “All grown up now, huh?”
Her mouth dropped open. She was completely tongue-tied. “OH, you,” she sputtered, swatting him. Then they were hugging. I as smiling.
When Danny and Bev moved apart, he held out his hand to the brother. “Heye Teddy, you taking care of your sister here?” Danny asked. Ted Hanson laughed. Apparently, Danny and Ted used to hang out together down by the creek when they were kids. I moved up against Danny’s side then he introduced me as his fiancé. I swear, Beverly’s eyes were daggers as she glared at me.
“You didn’t tell me that,” she said to me.
I shrugged, then laughed. I stared up at Danny.
“Hetty Tide,” Jared McAllister called out. He was walking toward us and smiling. “Let’s get this show going? He natives are getting restless here.”
I laughed. Danny saluted, then turned and hopped on the makeshift stage. The band struck up and we were all rocking and rolling.
“That’s my son,” Monica said. “What mother could be prouder?”
The crowd cheered.

Trish Hubschman is the author of the Tracy Gayle mystery series, Tidalwave, Stiff Competition, Ratings Game and uneasy Tides. Tracy is hired by rock musician, Danny Tide, to find out who set fire to his band’s summer tour bus. In doing this, more diabolical things arise, mystery, murder, romance.
Trish is a graduate of Long Island University’s Southampton Campus and has a Bachelor’s degree in English-Writing. She is deafblind and lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, Kevin, and their dog, henry.
Her website is www.dldbooks.com/Hubschman/


  1. patricia Hubschman Reply
    September 1, 2022

    I ? found Darren Highland. He’s alive and well. I also think I found the coal minors town this story is based on.

    1. That’s great research Trish. Good job.

  2. Patricia Hubschman Reply
    September 2, 2022

    to find out more, read my next book when its out, Gayle’s Tales.

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