Harry was expecting to see Brightwater. It made sense that he would kill off the Jones brothers, take the money and Al’s wife with him, and clean up the mess so there were no witnesses.
Or perhaps it might be Edwina, the mystery woman.
His mind was wandering, a result of more drugs they’d given him before they left the cell. A truth drug perhaps?
It was a man he had not met before, and one, he had to admit, who looked rather menacing. He stopped about ten feet in front of Harry, and stood at ease, hands in pockets. Except for his expression, he could be any other sales executive in a five thousand dollar Italian suit. He was mid to late forties, no grey hair, so perhaps not a salesman but a 'businessman'.
Two men had accompanied him into the room and while one held Harry, the other re-bound his hands and legs to the chair so it was more difficult, if not impossible, to move. Job done, they left the room.
“You’ve been a hard man to find, Mr Walthenson.”
Harry considered remaining silent, but there was that little devil in him, the one that frequently got him into trouble. “You’ve just been looking in all the wrong places.”
“Nor did anyone realise you would be listening into a conversation you shouldn’t. And, just think, this would not be happening if you had not turned up at the location.”
Yes, Harry agreed, that was true, but he couldn’t turn back the clock. No use pointing out the obvious. Play dumb, he thought, and see how that goes.
Just the make sure we’re on the same page, when was this alleged conversation I was supposed to have overheard?”
“The other day, Central Station.”
Something told him to deny he was there might be detrimental to his health.
“Well, I was in Central Station, waiting for my uncle. I was also on the phone to a client. I can’t see how listening to anything but the person on the end of the phone was possible, especially in a very noisy place like that.”
The man in front of him shifted his weight from one foot to the other, an old sports injury perhaps. He looked the athletic type.
“Normally I'd believe you, but how do you explain turning up at the address.”
Now that, he thought, was going to be impossible to deny, or equally explain. Time to create a diversion. “Who are you?”
“Who I am is irrelevant. Let’s just say I work for a man who works for a man who works for a man who’s not very happy with you.”
Convoluted and confusing.
“A friend of a friend or a friend, say?”
He smiled, like the cat that swallowed the canary. “I believe you’re a private detective?”
“New, first year, but I have a case. I’m supposed to be working on it, not sitting here chatting to disgruntled friends of friends of friends. Can we wrap this up? I don’t know anything about your business. Just an address. I was curious.”
OK, what happened to playing dumb? I just admitted being there.
“Curiosity killed the cat, Mr Walthenson. It might yet be the death of you. And, sadly, if you know nothing as you say you do, I need to be sure you’re telling the truth.”
The same two men, who’d previously tied him up, came back through the far door, one carrying a small case.
“My colleagues here will ask you a few questions. I suggest you tell them the truth. If you don’t, I cannot assure you will not walk out of here.”
“I’ve told you the truth,” Harry said, with more than a little fear in his tone.
“I’m sure you think you have, but, like I said, we have to be sure Mr Walthenson.”
He turned and left the room. The two men took off their jackets and the taller of the two opened the case.
The smaller of the two pulled gloves on his hands all the while looking at Harry with a grin. When he was finished he said, “Now, Harry, let’s begin.”
Two punches, not very hard, a left and a right.
This was Harry’s first interrogation. Try not, he told himself, to break in the first few minutes.
© Charles Heath 2016-2019