Sometime between 1882 and 1886 Arthur Conan Doyle anonymously wrote a story entitled “The Narrative of John Smith”. As was the practice of the day, Doyle mailed the single manuscript copy to a publisher. The copy was lost in the mails, never to be found.
This story's fate was almost that of Doyle's 'Narrative'. I had misfiled my single typewriter written copy of “Mountains Adirondack” in the stacks of my library. Decades went by when this story suddenly reappeared as I was crating up my books for my move from the beautiful, cruel, Adirondack's High Peaks Region.
Of course, the Statute of Limitations, still to this day, keeps things like actual names and specific locations from appearing in my account of the events of that hard winter. That said, the sands will eventually run out and this story's heroes and evildoers names will finally become righteously known, just not anytime soon.
A hardcopy Government Letter periodically arrives in the mail with a detailed 'Confidentiality And Ethics Reminder' memo. The Letters always start with a reminder that My Oath of Office means that I “... cannot disclose any nonpublic information that is protected by statute.”
From the public record, available to those who know where to find it, the Adirondack High Peaks Region has been a crossroad of international intrigue, rivaling Vienna, Helsinki, and even Beirut. Under the cover of international sporting events, nefarious individuals and organizations have preyed upon and interacted with the innocent and not so innocent residents, transients, and purveyors of actions most foul. This is a story from the not so public record of some of America’s best, standing Horatio-esque, at the bridge.
The Canadian Game was nickel ante, dime raise, a maximum of three raises per bet, quarter allowed on the last raise.
Only old Canadian coins allowed, but no Loonies or Toonies.
The game had to be Adirondack Stud unless all players agreed to what the dealer proposed. It was the typical third Friday of the month Canadian Game.
Jacques arrived long before the proscribed start time of 7:00 pm so as to claim a good chair at the poker table.
Sergeant Johnner was, as usual, a little late. He entered the cabin with a loud, “I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here.”
The State Fish and Wildlife Agent, who was shuffling the cards asked, “Well Captain Renault, this ain't Casablanca. I know this because it’s too damn cold to be Morocco. Even east of the Atlas Mountains don't get this freaking cold.”
Doctor Skidmore, ever the psychologist, directly addressed Johnner, “You are aware that you are a Sergeant and not a Free French Police Captain, yes? Tell me you know you remain an over the hill State Police Sergeant?”
The Wildlife Agent sighed, “So is this where you arrest us?” He asked Johnner.
“Oh, yeah,” Johnner said as he sat down next to the Wildlife Agent and dropped his leather drawstring bag of Canadian coins in front of him on the poker tabletop. “OK, well, any arrest would be for unlicensed gambling?”
The retired Federal Judge sitting across the poker table spoke up. “Good. It's about time this moral turpitude was eradicated.”
The Sporting Goods Store owner spoke, “But Officer, it's only Canadian money. We never play for legal tender. Well, on the third Friday of the month we don't.”
“Oh, OK, in that case, it must be all right,” Johnner grunted as he pulled his Canadian coins out of his gambling money pouch.
As a rule, Jacques never looked at his first card until the face up second card was dealt. He watched the other players' faces as they peeked at their down card.
“Ante's short,” the Wildlife Agent said with satisfaction. “Who is short?” he said, although the whole table knew who it was.
As a group the players turned and looked at the Mayor, who habitually seemed to always forget about buying into a hand.
“Oh, must be me,” the Mayor mumbled and tossed in a Canadian nickel.