He had the face of a boxer. His eyes were sharp and clear, yet his cheeks and brows were scarred from deep cuts long healed. He had gnarled, immense hands that enveloped the oar handles, leaving no trace of the wood beneath. The index finger from his left hand was missing, and his broad wrists expanded into forearms thick and heavy. From a distance, he appeared pudgy; a person who liked his desserts a little too much; non-menacing, almost comical. In truth, he was an evil man with evil intentions. His low profile rowboat and choice of clothing blended with the surface of the water as each powerful pull of the oars propelled him closer to the small island.
The pudgy man beached the boat, jumped out, and lifted the heavy craft with ease, hiding it behind nearby bushes. He was through the front door of the cabin within seconds, leaving only disturbed beach pebbles as evidence of his passing. He joined four others waiting in the small room.
The rustic cabin was located on Crane Island, a small island in Lake Minnetonka, chosen because of its remote location. The men had begun arriving two days earlier, and their hidden boats left no evidence of their presence. A single rowboat tied to the short dock gave no indication of those within.
A man with a telescope was at the window of a strange tower house on a larger island, and he was focused on their secret meeting. In possession of the latest technology, the man at the eyepiece of the telescope was also a skilled lip reader. He operated a small printing device similar to a typewriter, which he used to record the conversation inside the cabin. Specially mounted on the telescope was a small camera. Occasionally, his fingers left the keys to snap pictures of the proceedings on the distant island.
There was another witness to the meeting on Crane Island. Unknown to the others, hiding inside a cupboard within the cabin, was a field mouse named Duffy. There on his routine search for food, he couldn’t help but overhear the voices inside the room. He crept to the edge of the cupboard and peeked at the men holding the meeting. His report of this meeting would be instrumental to action that would take place thirty years in the future.
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