Monday, 26 November 2018

Episode 19 - The Outtell Finance Company

Harry was, quite literally, astonished.
He'd hoped it would be the killer who’d got in the red car.
But Al?  It couldn’t possibly be him because the person who came out of the bushes was a lot thinner.
What was he expecting?
A blonde bombshell, dressed in a matching red dress?  He'd been reading too many detective stories!  He had to get his mind back on the job.  What was Al doing at the Outtel Finance Company? What was he doing driving one of their company cars?
What exactly was the Outtel Finance Company?
Given Joe’s description of his brother, was it the front for a loan sharking operation?
It was time to do a little detective work, whilst fending off questions from Felicity, and having lunch.

“So, you’re investigating this Al Jones character, are you?”  Felicity picked over her Caesar salad like a sparrow looking for morsels.
“Yes.”  Harry decided to start with the monosyllabic answers and see how long he could get away with it.
“There must be more to it than just ‘investigate’.”
“There is.”
“So spill it.  What’s he done?”  She found something she liked and scooped it up with the fork.
“It’s just an ordinary divorce case.  The wife thinks he’s having an affair with the office manager, calls her a red-headed floozy.”
“Wow.  A floozy?  Haven’t heard that expression except in the old movies.” 
She found another morsel and scooped it up, followed by a sip of what was a half decent chardonnay, even if it wasn’t from France.
“Neither had I, but having seen her, somehow it seemed apt.”
His steak was a little on the tough side, more medium than medium rare.  He was still tossing up whether he’d send it back.  He decided against it, the waiter looked like he was having a bad day.
“Who were you expecting to get into that car?  It seems to me you were both surprised, and disappointed.”
Perceptive girl.  Harry was, thinking it might be a big break, and a chance to get some points from Sykes.
No such luck.
Al didn’t fit the profile of the man who’d got into the car at the crime scene.  Unless the man in the bushes didn’t shoot Joe, but, then, why was he in the bushes?
“I’m not sure.  The murdered brother, Joe, told me he suspected his brother Al, the man who got into the car was having an affair with his wife.  Motive enough for Al to shoot him, since Joe said his brother was capable of anything, but it doesn’t fit the profile of the person I saw fleeing the scene of the crime.”
“You were there when it happened?”
“More by chance than good management.  I had Joe under surveillance, and he rumbled me in the car.  Seems I was not the first to play the brothers’ game.”
She pushed the plate away, finished.  It didn’t look like she’d started.  Harry was not up to eating any more of that steak.
“What now?” she asked.

“Let’s see if we can get a loan.”

© Charles Heath 2016-2018

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