Book Six Shambala Mystery Series The Ruhl Farm Murder
Story: In the first chapter of Book 1, Lucky Two Crows investigates illegal activity at the Ruhl Farm. After solving the attempted murder case in Montana, Lucky heads off with the detectives Jimmy and Taylor, and LILY VAHN, Robert St. Clair's personal assistant and daughter of Sopi Nyugen, to find the old folks who had escaped from Happy Acres. All this is contained in The Shambala Mystery Series, Books 1 - 3. After returning to Portland, Lucky gets involved in the murder of a teenage Russian girl, who had escaped from the Ruhl Farm. This book brings TIM HAWKINS, the head of the Portland FBI, who was General George Custer in a previous life, back into Lucky's life, his adversary. Lucky and his team work the mystery of who murdered the girl, while making plans to build their State-of-the-Art computer facility.
This novel is mostly written. It needs to be put together and edited.
Dolphins jump in joy. To touch the sky.
After our goodbyes to Robert, Maggie, Howard, Sopi and Tenzin at the Shambala valley overlook, Arjuna guided us through the crystal cave, past the lions, across the Indus River, and on to Mt. Kailash.
The trek alongside that sacred mountain was wonderful, not nearly as strenuous as Khawa Karpo, and quite enlightening. Arjuna told us all about Shiva and Pravati, who live on the top of Mt. Kailash, and stories of Masters, like the great saint Malarepa, who lived in a local cave for years without food or water.
When the trek was done, Jimmy, Lily, Taylor and I spent a night in the same inn in Darchen as the old folks, and the next morning Arjuna took us to the most sacred Manasarovar Lake. He told us the story of the golden jeweled chalice he had recovered from the middle of the lake, and how each of the elderly folks drank the elixir, which gave them the strength and vitality to trek the high altitude trail. Taylor wanted a taste, but Arjuna only laughed, saying that she had more than enough strength and vitality.
When it was time to continue on, Arjuna took us to the airplane Robert attempted to give to him, which he said now belonged to Taylor. I told him I was a licensed pilot, and first learned by flying a similar airplane. Clarence’s plane had a single engine, whereas this one was twin. After preparing the plane for flight, Arjuna took me for a short spin, instructing me on how flying this plane was a bit different. It wasn’t long before I got the hang of it. After I landed the plane, Arjuna said something in Tibetan, which I guessed meant, “I’ll be right back.”
The four of us waited in a shed by the airplane for Arjuna, but he never did come back. Maybe he really said, “Have a good life.” I went back to the hotel and looked around the small village; he was nowhere to be found. We were now on our own. So, with Taylor as my co-pilot, Jimmy and Lily in the back, I flew to Simkot in Nepal, where we spent the night. Early the next morning we began our journey down the Karnali River.
Flying over this river was a joy. We had all been transformed during the past week, maybe from two trips through the crystal cave, or from being in the fifth dimension, in the presence of Immortal Masters, or maybe it was the water. We weren’t sure what it was exactly. All we knew was that each of us was extremely happy. All I felt was love; for myself, for Taylor, for Jimmy and Lily, for being alive, healthy, for the native people, the airplane—everything. We all felt the same; life had never been better, and we had never felt such love.
For Taylor and I, this time together was like a honeymoon. Everything was glowing and special. She was the most beautiful woman in the world. I was the most handsome man. There was absolutely no conflict; we spoke the perfect words at the perfect time. It was like we were floating in a fifth dimension balloon, and we hoped it would never pop.
I flew down close to the river, and all of us nearly screamed in delight when dolphins jumped out to greet us. It seemed as if life could never again be as perfect as it was at that moment.
In Simkot, Lily called ahead and made reservations at a small river front hotel in northern India. It was late afternoon when we arrived. A local taxi was waiting at the small airstrip, and the driver took us up tree lined unpaved roads, into the foothills. When we arrived at the lovely single story forest hotel, we were treated like royalty. Curiously, we didn’t need to sign in, or show passports. We were shown to our royal suites, and at the appointed hour, led to the riverside restaurant, where we were the only guests. Without ordering, a mouthwatering vegetarian feast was placed before us. Later musicians appeared. Costumed maidens danced in praise of Krishna. It was beyond delightful.
Shambala was still following us, and unlike our trek up the mountain at Khawa Karpo, we didn’t try to figure anything out. It was as if everything was happening in its correct order. As if we had dreamed of being treated this way, and so it was.
The next morning, Taylor and I swam in the hotel’s river pond, and frolicked like happy children, or adults in love, as we had in the lake near Shambala. Making love seemed unnecessary, oddly enough, since everything we did was an act of love making. Life was orgasmic. Jimmy and Lily enjoyed the veranda, their double vanilla lattes; their dream come true. Fishing for trout was on Jimmy mind, but he decided it could wait for another time. “In mountain shadows. The river moves. Perfect harmony,” he whispered in Lily’s ear. She loved his haiku’s. Her man.
We were so content at this river hotel, that we decided to spend another day. Lily took the time to set an agenda, and arranged a meeting at Shambala’s northern India organic sugar processing plant, the next afternoon. Little did any of us know at the time, everything was about to change.
Lakhimpur wasn’t a big city, but it did have a decent airport. Lily had phoned the director and arranged for a meeting with the plants managers, and then we would be on our way. She had chosen another mountain hotel for the night, an hours flight south. After I shut the engine, we deplaned, and hoped to be greeted by a taxi wala, like when we had arrived at the mountain hotel village airport two days before. We all liked the simple quaintness of a local taxi, and expected the same here.
We were surprised to see a white Lexus limo waiting on the tarmac, with a perfectly dressed chauffeur bowing as we walked toward him. A minivan stood ready with two men to attended to our luggage. We had no intention to spend the night. Although the men were eager to please, apparently given explicit instructions, I insisted that removing the luggage from the airplane was unnecessary.
We sat in the back of the limo and headed to the plant, not knowing what to expect. Being a bit out of control had taken some air out of our balloon. We all sat in silence, having no idea what to expect next. The third dimension was rushing toward us; we all could feel it, but chose not to speak.
The four of us stood alone at the entrance of a large courtyard, at the Shambala facility. It was eerily silent. We guessed one hundred people were gathered, but not one of them was standing. Every single person was on their stomach, lying prostrate on the tiled ground, on each side of a central aisle. This lasted for a confusing long minute or two, until a woman stood, then clapped her hands three times. Everyone got up, dusted themselves off, then stared at us, still silent. If there ever was a “what the fuck?” moment, this was it. The silence continued.
The woman, whom I assumed was the director, walked down the aisle toward us. We had no idea what to expect. We looked at each other and shrugged shoulders. She reached out and took Taylor’s hand, and at the same time somehow instructed the three of us to stand back, maybe follow, we weren’t sure. She whispered in Taylor’s ear, “Please walk that way.” She pointed to the entrance about thirty yards away. Taylor looked at me, perplexed, then gave me a “what the heck” look, and started walking. Alone.
Everyone last person clapped while she walked the thirty yards, as if she were a returning hero. Jimmy, Lily and I didn’t know what to think. Were we next? It took about ten seconds to figure out it wasn’t about us.
It was all about Taylor.
When she reached the entrance, the crowd rushed toward her. She looked confused, maybe scared. I didn't hesitate, and knifed through the white clothed people toward her, with Jimmy, Lily and the director right behind.
The director moved forward and stood beside her. She raised her hand to silence the chatter, and the people backed off a bit to listen. “Mrs. Taylor needs to rest now, and talk with us about business,” she said in her thick Indian English. “You can all go back to your work now. We are all honored that she is here, and maybe later she will come look at the great work you do. Please, go back to work.” The people immediately obeyed, and left.
She then opened the door and let the four of us in, along with six other management looking people.
“What was that about?” Taylor asked the director as soon as we were alone.
“It is a great blessing indeed for the owner of Shambala Foods to come to our humble sugar factory. A great blessing indeed.”
We had absolutely no idea how anyone knew that Robert St.Clair had given ownership of Shambala Natural Foods to his biological daughter, Taylor Banks. Regardless, they knew. What had just happened shook Taylor to the core. Her life would never be the same.