Monday, 5 November 2018

Episode 6 - A bar is a bar is a bar...

Harry went back into the station and headed for the nearest cafe to get coffee, and something to eat.  What he really felt like was a good stiff drink, but it was too early in the day.
Maybe in an hour or so, when the realization he had a case that didn’t involve a missing cat, dog, bird, or pet of any kind, a case that involved real people.
‘A lying, cheating, son-of-a-bitch husband’.
And from what he gathered from the short discussion, all she wanted was a photo of this ‘husband’ with what he assumed was his mistress.  He’d reserve judgment as to whether she was a floozy or not till when he saw her.
Coffee and a croissant in front of him, it was time to formulate a plan.  He had nearly 10 hours before he was to arrive at the bar.
Firstly, no point in taking a large camera with him into the bar, that would only invite attention.  His cell phone camera would suffice.  Its camera was better than the Pentax he had sitting back in the cupboard in the office.
Should he take Ellen with him so that he would not stand out?  No, it might get dangerous, after all, he was theoretically dealing with a cheating husband, and when he realized why Harry was there, there could be trouble.
Right, go back to the office and get some rest because it might be a long night, do some research on the establishment, and the client if possible,  Planning done.

When Harry closed the door, Ellen was coming out of his office and stopped.
“You get the phone call?” she asked.
“Yes.”
“Find your uncle?”
“Luckily.  He was just about to wander off in the wrong direction.  Did you make a note of the call?”
“As much as she didn’t tell me.  I asked for a name, and what the call was in relation to, but all she wanted was to speak to you personally.  That was it, nothing.  You have better luck?”
“Her name is Jennifer Jones, the job is to get a photo of her husband cheating on her.”
“Want me to dust off the camera?”
“No.”  He walked towards her, and then, before he went into the office, gave Ellen the piece of paper Jennifer Jones had given him.  “Find out what you can about her.”
She looked at the note.  “Not a lot to work with, Harry.  Smells nice, though”  She lifted it to her nose and took several sniffs.  “Expensive too, I bet.”
“Do what you can.”

There was Ellen told him some hours later, nothing to be found.  Not for Jennifer Jones, other than there were a lot of them, nor Al Jones, of whom there were a lot more.  It seemed to Harry that the names were phony, or aliases.
He’d soon find out later.

The Mailroom was a bar next to the main mail sorting building in the southern part of the city, near the docks, and instantly remembered it for a bad experience..
He'd been there once before, later at night, nearly collected by a drunk who'd been thrown out of a hotel just up the street.  Whatever description there was on the internet about the bar now, it was not how he remembered it, nor did it accurately describe the establishment.
It was not the sort of place to go without purpose.
When he arrived, night had set in along with the cold, and the street lighting added to the garish neon advertising, gave it a surreal look.  He parked his car a block away, near the railway station, hoping no one would steal it.  There was a mist, and it might yet turn into fog.
Harry shivered.  It was hard to tell if it was the cold, or fear.  Perhaps a little of both.
After a moment's hesitation, he went in, immediately feeling the warmth from the artificial heating.  It was crowded, many of the patrons were nearby workers of all types, blue collar and white collar, who'd just come off shift or finished for the day.  
None looked particularly friendly, nor did any take any notice of him.

Then.

© Charles Heath 2016-2018

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