Okay, here is a pre-Chapter 8 Morris the Explainer sequence to address all questions:
#1: Chapter 4 Stark may have be too scared, too drunk or ensconced in the bathroom from eating bad bar chili to remember Chapters 5 and 6.
#2: Clarabelle was the insulting sobriquet given to a “long-haired leaping gnome” who approached Chapter 5 Stark. Fleeing the cops, the “low-budget Abbie Hoffman after one too many fork-in-wall-socket experiments” 70s activist later climbed into the Pinto with Darling and Chapter 6 Stark. But he was a red herring disguised as a clown, so I threw him under the bus (or at least out of the Pinto) in Chapter 7.1.
#3: Chapter 4 Stark was superseded by Chapter 6 Stark:
A memory tickled the back of my mind. Something about a Wisconsin Senator… Fro-something? Froberg? No, Froehlich, Harold Froelich. OMG, this has happened before. Maybe Whipple didn’t cause this after all.
“Darling, what day is it? Right now.”
“December 18, 1973. Why?’
I’m not sure where the time shift occurred, but your idea of poor engineering is as good an idea as we have at this point.
#4: Chapter 3 Stark was the first to meet Darling:
She looked at me, casting a demure, impish smile in my direction as she straightened and smoothed out a form-fitting blue miniskirt. She stood there in silence, a pair of tanned legs partially covered by leather knee boots, auburn hair parted in the center cascading down to her shoulders and a pair of luscious lips slightly parted.
I caught that 70s fashion faux pas (although Laugh-In lasted until March 1973) and was determined to get Darling out of her skirt (no pun intended) so I could continue my investigation without interference.
On to Chapter 8!