Sunday, 24 August 2014

You’ll Be An Inspector, Have No Fear

Skipping ahead to Richard Rohmer’s Red Arctic, prepare yourselves for the return of an old friend… page 14…. the Mackenzie Delta!

A sweet reward for getting through Massacre 747, which is no fun at all.

Also on page 14 of Red Arctic, recently-widowed RCMP sergeant Frank Boychuk gets promoted to the rank of inspector.

“Betty would have been proud of you,” Garneau said as he shook Boychuk’s hand.
“Don’t worry. Wherever she is, she’s smiling.  If the truth were known – if it hadn’t been for Betty I would have left the force a long time ago.”

Wherever she is?  Like she might be in Hell? Or maybe she came back as a flatworm? Or maybe she’s just decomposing, underground, in a box?  I never quite understood this phrase as a nice thing to say.

Commissioner Garneau’s wife turned on the beside lamp.  “What is it?” she demanded. “Get it off your chest, or neither of us will get any sleep."
“Something Boychuk said today…”
“Didn’t he like the promotion?”
“It’s not that.  It’s just… it’s nothing.”
“It’s not nothing, Claude.  I've known you too long, and you’re too good a cop for that. Give!”
“It’s just, I said, ‘Betty would have been proud of you,’ and I could swear he said, “Wherever she is, she’s smiling.’”
“Are you sure? That’s so sick.  He must have hated her.”
“That’s what I thought.  But hated her enough… to murder her?”
Garneau was out of bed, pulling on his pants. “I’m going down to the office…”
“But it’s three in the morning!”
“I’ve got to see that autopsy report!”


  1. Commissioner Garneau and Staff Officer Tremblay moved through the King Eddie bar like a woman wearing a tight-fitting jet-black dress with braless bodice. Every head, men included, turned; every eye watched as they approached Raymond, the head bartender.

    “Either of these people been in tonight?” Garneau asked, drawing photos of Boychuk and Raisa Sokolov from a manila envelope.

    “They were. About an hour ago. They seemed in a hurry to leave.”


    “The man charged the tab to room 708. Maybe you’ll find them there.”

    “Good thinking,” He slipped Raymond his card. “Give me a call if they come back – or if you decide to give up bar tending.”

    There was laughter all around.

    The two Mounties made their way back through the maze of tables like tigers on Vaseline.

    “Do you really think we’ll find Dr Sokolov there, Commissioner?” asked Tremblay.

    “Maybe. Let’s just hope she’s safe… wherever she is.”

  2. And another old friend - Russia referred to as "the Russian Bear", the US as "The American Eagle" and Canada as "The Canadian Beaver" (wait - is that a new one?).

    Either way, tempting as it might be, I'm avoiding any jokes about the latter.