Monday 27 May 2019

Episode 79 - Angela decides to give some information

Angela had put a lot of thought into everything she had learned about her father, and the lies her mother had told her, and others, to protect him.
She had always suspected him of murdering her cousin, Cathy.  He had been there that night, despite what her mother had told the police, now verified by Brightwater, though he would not be able to testify, and the last discussion she had with her mother, who virtually admitted she had no idea where he had been that night, but it certainly wasn’t with her.
Al had been nearby, but he had not come to the apartment.  She knew that to be the case because she had left the apartment when Cathy was still alive, and remained in the shadows, not because she knew Al or her father were going to visit her, but that it was someone else, someone she knew, a boyfriend who was about to become an ex.
He had not turned up.
Her father had, an eventuality that was entirely unexpected.
Both she and Cathy had assumed moving away would ensure he would not find her, but apparently, he had.
After she had seen him, waiting up the road in his car, for what reason she could not guess, she received a phone call from Brightwater, one that had insisted she meet him.  She’d tried putting him off, but he had insisted that it was important.
She’d thought at the time, Brightwater was distracting her from her vigil so her father could come and go without being seen.
In the end when she arrived at the meeting point Brightwater wasn’t there.  She waited for a brief period, then returned to find Cathy dying.  Only minutes later Brightwater walked in the door, as had been genuinely shocked, and very distressed.
She knew why now.  It was he who was Cathy’s father, not Al.
It gave Al motive.
She was not sure how Joseph Jones was able to implicate his brother, but he did, and took the heat off himself.  She’d tried to tell the police he had been abusing Cathy, but they were not interested.
She wished she had known the truth back then.
That lack of knowledge had led to what now looked like a very bad decision on her part.
Al had taken advantage of her sympathies, had helped her set up Walthenson and use him to convince the police Al was dead.  Even Angela had to admit the body had looked very dead.
All she had to do was distract Walthenson long enough for him to get away, and then remain with Walthenson to make sure he didn’t get close enough to find out the truth.
It had been easy enough to distract him.  Too easy.
But right then, sitting in front of Felicity, and Walthenson’s sister, Corinne, there were two issues that bothered her.  The first, what had happened to Walthenson, and she was hoping against hope it had nothing to do with Al, and the second, the fact she had not seen or spoken to Al since he disappeared from that storeroom the night he supposedly died.
Both Felicity and Corinne was looking at her expectantly.
Felicity was now beginning to look like a hard ass investigator who was prepared for the worst and completely opposite to her, Corinne was little more than a child, completely over her head.  The less she could tell either of them the better.
“There’s little to tell.  Al’s wife, Jennifer, asked Harry to get evidence Al was having an affair with Miriam, the office manager.  Al asked Harry, when Harry tracked him down, to get evidence of his wife Edwina, coincidentally my mother, was having an affair with Joseph, Al’s brother.  That’s how it started.
“Did he get any evidence?” Felicity asked.
“Not that I’m aware of.  Joseph Jones was murdered in the street by an unknown assailant.  Then Al Jones was allegedly killed in the Outtel offices but as yet nobody has been found.  Your brother, oddly enough was present when Joseph was killed, and after Al was killed.  Since then a man called Brightwater, the third partner in Outtel, apparently committed suicide.”
“He’s very unlucky.  He was very nearly the fourth victim in all of this, though I find it hard to believe The Jones’ had anything to do with it.  The latest development, I asked him to find Al’s killer.  Unfortunately, something else happened which put him in hospital, so I’m not sure where the case is going at the moment.”
“You haven’t seen him?”
“I have, but he was in no condition to talk about anything.  Since I’m not a family member I’ll have to wait until he gets better.  I don’t think you’ll be able to do much until he returns, and if you want a piece of advice, you’d best leave it to the police.  Sykes seems to be a good enough detective.  I’m sure he’ll find out what’s going on, in the both Jones cases and what happened to Harry.”
Corinne notice Felicity nodding, but not necessarily in agreement.
“Now, if you don’t mind, I’m going.”  Angela stood.

© Charles Heath 2016-2019

Friday 24 May 2019

Episode 78 – Angela is not forthcoming

After the tension eased in the room and formal introductions were made, they cleared a space and sat down.

Felicity took the lead. “We’re all looking for answers,” she said.

Angela spoke first, "All I can tell you is that there's no reason why anyone would be searching for anything that could be remotely relevant to the Jones' investigation.  Whatever happened here is because of something else Harry was investigating."

Cori8nne looked sceptically at her, then said, "Because you say so?  I admit I'm at a disadvantage here not knowing a lot about the cases Harry's working on, but once we’ve reported this to the police, I'm going to find out what's going on."

"If you want my opinion, and even if you don't want it, I don't believe you are either an investigator or detective type.  And as for the other two,” Angela gave them a meaningful look, “I really don’t think either of them could be working here either."

This woman was becoming a problem, Felicity thought.  What on earth convinced Harry he should work for such a client?  It'd have to be desperation.

"I'm not particularly interested in your opinions or your advice."

Felicity had to admire Corinne, she was beginning to look like she had the tenacity that Harry lacked.
"Well whatever you might think this job is about, one thing I can tell and I'm sure Harry will back me up on this, is that it can be dangerous, as you are now aware of what happened to your brother.  You start poking around things you know little or nothing about, the same might happen to you."

"Is that a threat?"  A little redness was creeping into Corinne’s cheeks.  

Felicity was beginning to think she might have to step in and cool things down.  Nor had she dropped her suspicions about this woman who called herself Angela Morrison.  If she was interested in the Jones case and had employed her brother, wouldn't she have the surname Jones too?

Her manner was suspicious and her tone was hardly conciliatory, and her last statement sounded like a threat.  Perhaps it was time to show some authority.  She reached into her bag and pulled out the gun.  She didn’t point it at Angela, but the hint was out there she would use it if she had to.

If Angela was worried she didn’t show it.  All she said was, “Point taken.  There is no threat.  I’m just saying this might be a matter for the police, as you say.”

And, Felicity thought, now would be a good time for Sykes to arrive.

When he did if this woman was not who she said he was then Sykes could take her back with him and ask her some serious questions about what it really was she was involved in.

Corinne, now realizing the potential danger she was caught up in, realized this was not exactly what she had imagined working with Harry would be like, and even less so for Daisy, who was now beyond terrified.  Maybe, when Sykes came, she might also get some answers to some of her questions particularly about what happened to Harry, because she didn’t believe for a minute he got hit by a bus, and she also knew Harry was never going to tell her the truth

In the meantime, all three knew they had to keep Angela's attention till then.

"Do you know what happened to Harry?  You seem to know what happens to people poking around in what exactly?"

“I don’t know what exactly.  I saw him being taken from this very office by two men, and I reported it to the police, a detective by the name of Sykes.  He was good enough to call me when a John Doe matching Harry's description was brought in."

So Sykes supposedly knew this woman, and he also knew that Harry had been abducted.  It would be an interesting reunion then when he arrived.

“You say Sykes knew about what happened to him?”  Corinne, too, had understood what this woman had said.

“I called the station and asked for him.  He wasn’t there so I left a message.  I assumed it got to him.”
"Then you’ve been here before?  It sounds like you are more friends than having a strictly working relationship."

"I can also assure you it is not personal.  We've been in a scrape or two but that's about it.  For the record, I'm not his type."

Odd she should utter those very words because Corinne’s mother had said exactly the same thing about a man she was once interested in.  What the hell exactly was his, or her, type anyway?
Corinne shrugged.  "Too much information.  How about you tell us about the case you have Harry working on."

"I doubt it will contribute anything of use as to what happened to him.  The people who attacked your brother were ruthless professionals.  He must have another case, and perhaps it was his case notes they were looking for."

Corinne and Felicity looked at each other.  A tacit agreement not to mention the address on the piece of paper.

Angela picked up one of the files on the desktop, opened it, and then tossed it back.  "I don't think so.  A lost cat seems hardly a good reason to toss the place."

Felicity picked up the file, looked at it too, then tossed it back.  "Hardly the stuff thrillers are based on."

Then she gave Angela a measured look.  "You can cut the crap now, and tell us about the Jones case."

© Charles Heath 2016-2019

Episode 77 – Angela Morrison arrives

Both Corinne and Felicity took a last look at the mess then started walking towards the front door, where Daisy was waiting.
Just before they reached it, they heard a light rapping on the glass.
There was someone outside the door.
Daisy backed away.
Corinne thought it might be the people who searched the office, coming back for a second go.
Felicity suspected it might be the man from below, coming up to see what the girls were doing.  She had one hand of the handle of the gun in her bag, ready to defend them.  Her heart was in her mouth, fear making her limbs like jelly.
Another rap on the door, slightly harder this time.  Impatience?  Anger?
Felicity motioned Corinne to step back and join Daisy, then summoned her courage and took the last three steps to the door and opened it slightly, peering out.
Outside in the passage was a woman, not very old, about the same age as her, dressed conservatively, perhaps a worker from one of the other offices, a friend, or someone to share lunch with.
The woman glared at Felicity.  "Who are you?"
"I could ask you the same question."  She didn't open the door any further and she wasn't moving, hand still on the gun, just in case.  For the moment she had not forgotten this woman might be the one who turned over the office.  She looked, Felicity thought, like a professional thief.
"Harry is working a case for me.  My name is Angela Morrison.  Who are you?"
That name could be bogus, Felicity thought, or maybe not, but Harry was working cases with Jones’, not Morrison.  She was not sure what to make of the woman.
When Felicity didn't answer, Angela asked, "Are you his girlfriend?"
Felicity laughed or snorted.  "No, I'm his colleague, Felicity, and I’m here with his sister Corinne and her friend Daisy.  I was going to ask you the same question."
"I'm not.  Just a client.  You do know he's in hospital."
"Yes, I just visited him."
There was a brief silence as the topics of conversation ran out.
Angela shifted from one foot to the other, and then said, "Are you going to let me in.   I don't think it's a good idea to discuss the case in public.”
"Perhaps you’re right. He asked me to look in just to make sure everything was alright."
"And is it?"
Her hesitation alerted the woman on the other side of the door.  "Is there a problem?  You look a little worried."
Could she trust this woman?
What the hell, if she was a thief or the one who searched the place, she'd soon find out.
Felicity opened the door wider and stepped to one side.  Maybe they could keep her here long enough so that Sykes could question her.
Angela stepped in, took one look at the mess and said, "What the hell happened here?"
Felicity closed the door behind them.  "You tell me."
"You think I had something to do with this?"
"I don't know what to think.  Until a few hours ago I didn't know where Harry was or what he was doing.  And it seems obvious to me what he's doing for you might have caused all these problems."

© Charles Heath 2016-2019

Thursday 9 May 2019

Episode 76 – Corinne meets Felicity

Corinne heard the squeal and realised that it was Daisy, and almost instantly regretted leaving her outside, in harm’s way.

She almost leapt out of the chair and was at the office doorway in a few seconds.

There she saw another woman, one who did not look very friendly, standing a short distance from Daisy, who in turn, looked terrified.

Felicity spoke first, “Corinne, I presume.  Harry sent me.”

“How do I know that’s true?  He’s in hospital.  You should know the police will be here any minute.”

“You mean Detective Sykes.  Good.  You shouldn’t be afraid of me.  My name is Felicity and your brother and I have been working on the Jones’ cases.  He told me he’s asked you to get some information off Sykes, and that I should keep an eye on you.  The people he’s been dealing with,” she took another look around the room, checking to see if anything had been moved, “are very dangerous.”

“We should be leaving, now, Corinne.  This woman can take care of matters.  This is too much for either of us to get involved in,” Daisy found her voice, but it was shaky.

“We’re here to meet Sykes.  I’m staying.”

Daisy looked at Corinne, then Felicity.

“Go sit down before you fall down,” Felicity said, then watched Daisy pick her way carefully through the books to the sofa., and sit.

To Corinne Felicity said, “I’m assuming his office is as messy as this.”

“Someone was looking for something, and they found it.”

“What do you mean?”

“In here.”  Corinne went back into the office and Felicity followed her.

When they were both standing behind the desk, Corinne showed her the bottom of the drawer, and the piece of paper still taped to it.

“A not so unique hiding spot,” Felicity muttered.

A closer inspection showed the fragment to be from a legal pad, same as the notes she could see in the open files.  If he had written something on one of the sheets, perhaps, if she could find the pad, there might be some trace of what had been written.

“Look for a blank writing pad,” Felicity said.


“Because that page was ripped from one, and if we find it...”

“ might still have a trace we can use a pencil to shade over the indentations.”

Maybe not as silly as she looked, Felicity thought, though coming to the office alone was not such a smart move.  That man watching them below might have followed them up.  It wasn’t a pleasant thought about what might have happened to them.

Ten minutes searching, in the office, and outside, yielded a “found it” cry from Corinne.

She brought the pad back into the office and cleared a spot on the desk.,  Felicity had the pencil ready.  After looking at the page in the light, the indentations were just discernible.  She lightly shaded the area and words began to appear.

Corrine could see it was a scrawled address in her bothers handwriting, and it looked like it had been written in a hurry.  A familiar address though she could not say then why it seemed familiar to her.  Had it been mentioned in passing at home? 

“You recognise it?”  Felicity had noticed the expression change on Corinne’s face.

“It seems familiar, but no.”

Felicity wrote it out again and gave the copy to Corinne.  “Keep this safe.  If the people who did this wanted that address so badly, then we need to be very careful what we do with it.”

“We tell the police, that’s what we do.  Clearly, it means something.  It might be where they took Harry.”

“It might.  But I want to check it out first before we do anything hasty.  If we give it straight to the police we may never find out what the significance of it is.”

Clearly, Corinne didn’t want to agree.

“For Harry’s sake Corinne.  Just a couple of days.”

“Two days then.”  She carefully folded it and put the sheet in her inner pocket.

Corinne looked at her watch.  Another half hour before Sykes arrived.  She had intended to go through Harry's case notes before the Detective arrived but not knowing what she was looking for, and the possibility the files could be scattered anywhere on the floor made her think it was not a good idea.

Lunch might be a better option.  There was a Starbucks just up the street.

“Sykes won’t be here for another half hour.  I suggest we get some coffee, and you can tell me how it is you know my brother.”

 © Charles Heath 2016-2019

Saturday 4 May 2019

Episode 75 – Searching for Corinne

Felicity had one piece of information that would lead her to Corinne, the fact she was still living at home.  Harry had given her a general description, perhaps the most telling, the bright red curly hair that needed cutting, in Harry’s opinion.

When she saw her leaving the house with another girl about her age, the one more distinctive feature was her height, taller than her companion, and taller than most girls Felicity knew, older or younger.
Given Harry’s height, he probably didn’t think anything of that particular attribute.

From there it was a simple matter of following the two girls, both oblivious to the fact anyone was watching them, a matter that she was going to rectify once she introduced herself.

But not yet.

Felicity followed them to the precinct and saw them meet up with a detective, and from his appearance, and another description from Harry was the detective known as Sykes.  Harry had told her he looked, at times, dishevelled, but not to let his appearance fool her.

In her opinion, the jury would remain out of that until she met him in person.

She waited outside, in a good position where she could keep an eye on the station, and everyone near it. Once, she had thought she had seen a man also following them, but he had not caught the train in time, so she assumed she had been mistaken.

Then, quite by accident, she thought she saw the man again.  It could just be a coincidence, but given the trouble Harry had finished up in, she wasn’t taking any chances.

When Corinne and her friend came back out onto the street, and started walking towards the direction of Harry’s office, she waited for that extra minute and then saw him again.

Not a coincidence.

He was following them.  She took several photos of the man, including as good a shot of his face as she could, so she could try to identify him later.

Then she fell in behind him and noticed he was equally as oblivious to being followed as the girls were.  He was not very good at certain aspects of his job.

The girls led them both to Harry’s office.

The man remained at street level, where, after he waited for the girls to go into the building moved to a spot where he could watch the front entrance without raising suspicion, and made a call on his cell phone.

He was working for someone who was interested in Harry, and in turn, anyone associated with him.  A good thing, then, he did not know of her association with Harry, leaving her free, after watching the man settle in, to follow them into the building.

She knew which floor Harry’s office was on and took the stairs.

Once on the floor, she stealthily approached the door, which she noticed was open, and then, taking a deep breath went in.

© Charles Heath 2016-2019

Friday 3 May 2019

Episode 74 – A discovery, not

“You stay here and don’t touch anything,” Corinne told Daisy.

Daisy had no intention of going anywhere, except back out the front door, as soon as possible.

“We should go.  This is a police matter.”

“I need to check a few things first so that I can report it to Harry and the police.”

“Then be careful.”

Moving to and standing in the middle of the main office, she did a slow three-sixty degree turn, taking it in.  Odd that the settee looked like it had been slept on.  Was it possible this was where Harry was living?

She made a mental note and moved on.

The next question forming in her mind was, did the break-in have anything to do with the Jones cases?

Perhaps she could ask Sykes whether he thought the break-in might be connected.  Certainly, his arrival would be fortuitous in the fact she could report the break-in if it had not already been, not there was much he could do about it after the fact.  She doubted the perpetrators would have left anything incriminating behind like fingerprints.

It was then she realized how little she knew about what had happened to her brother after he left home.  It couldn't have been easy because his father had cut off his allowance, and to top it off, neither her parents nor her brothers mentioned him or seemed to care what happened to him.

She went into his office, also a mess, but in a different way, and sat behind the desk.  Comfortable chair.  Like any other curious person, she started looking in the drawers, most left open by whoever had searched the office and mostly the contents had been left untouched or placed carefully on the desktop.  Except for the bottom two, which had been pulled out and left upside down under the window.

She gave the papers and files on the desk a cursory look but they just seemed to be case notes written on legal paper in his spidery scrawl.

She started with the most bottom drawers and moved up.  There was nothing of any interest except for one where there was an unopened bottle of single malt and two glasses.  She put all three items on the desk in case she needed a drink later.

Then a thought occurred to her.  She had watched those insufferable movies with him and remembered one where the PI had taped a file to the underside of the desk above the top drawer.
She pulled out the drawer on the left-hand side and felt under the desktop.


She felt a little dispirited but moved to the other side, removing the top drawer then feeling under the desktop.

Still nothing.

Nor was there anything taped to the underside of any drawer in the desk.

But, casting a glance behind her, she noticed a fragment of paper taped to the underside of one of the drawers.

There had been a piece of paper taped to the underside of that drawer, but it was now gone.

The intruder hadn’t gone unrewarded.

© Charles Heath 2016-2018

Thursday 2 May 2019

Episode 73 - Corinne Goes to the Office

Corinne was astonished when she learned that her brother had an office, in Gramercy Park no less.

It was almost as if he was a real private detective.  She was still thinking he was playing some elaborate game with her.  That was, until she met the Detective, Sykes, at the precinct.  Seeing him, talking to him, made it real, and when Sykes said he would meet her at her brother’s office, she had to ask him where it was.

Now, standing outside the front door the name Harry Walthenson, Private Detective painted over the frosted glass, it just deepened her respect for her brother.

“Your brother looks like he really went overboard on this private investigator thing,” Daisy said.

“You have no idea just how much we had to put up with when he was younger.  He made cases out of things going missing around the house.  Too much Sherlock Holmes when he was younger.”

That astonishment grew even more so when they stepped inside and took in what she suspected was a faithful reproduction of a 1940's PI office much like a set from a Hollywood movie.

“Wow,” Daisy muttered.

Corinne remembered Harry had a penchant for watching PI movies and particularly the Maltese Falcon, and that he had a collection of PI books, both fiction and nonfiction second to none when he had been at home.

That library appeared to have been moved into the office, along one wall, or that is to say, that's where there used to be.  Most of the books were now scatted on the floor as though someone had hastily pulled them off the shelves and dumped them.

Daisy’s ‘wow’ was not so much surprise as it was shock.

It was obvious someone had turned the office over, looking for something, and judging by the extent of the mess hadn't found it.  The office, she could see, was not trashed in the sense it was done by youths looking to make a mess, she'd seen that happen to a friend's house, one who lived in the suburbs and it had been disgusting beyond words.

No, she thought, this place had been systematically searched, with folders and papers scattered about the desks and on the floor in a seemingly ordered pattern, like each had been scanned quickly, then cast aside.  It didn't look like the actions of an impatient person but one who knew they had plenty of time and wouldn't be disturbed.

“Who would do such a thing?” Daisy asked no one in particular.  She just stood by the door, a worried look coming over her face.  “Do you think...”

“...the person who did this is still here?  No.  Long gone I’m afraid.”

But as to who would have done it, it had to be someone who knew he was in the hospital or incapacitated, or who believed he was dead.  That would, she thought, narrow the list of suspects.

That initial surprise of finding the front door unlocked was a bonus because Harry had told her to go see the building Superintendent to let her in, but on closer inspection, once she saw the damage, she noticed the door had been forced, and that someone had made some hasty repairs.  She would have to meet with the Super to see what else needed to be done before she left.

In the meantime, she was not sure what to do about the mess and decided to pick up only what was necessary to move around the room, and would ask Sykes, when he arrived, what she should do.
But, the first question she should be asking was, what was the intruder looking for?

© Charles Heath 2016-2019

Wednesday 1 May 2019

Episode 72 – Felicity meets the janitor

Felicity checked the man for a pulse, and when she found one, went out to the washroom and soaked some paper towels in cold water to see if she could revive him.
There was a wound on the back of his head, and a little spilt blood.  He’d been taken from behind by, no doubt, the person who’d trashed the office.
As soon as she touched the wound, he stirred, groaned, and opened his eyes.
“I’m not here to hurt you,” Felicity told him in a soothing voice.  “I found you one the floor.  Are you OK?”
The man moved his hand to the back of his head, and gingerly felt for the wound, and winced when he touched it.  Felicity gave him the wet paper towels so he could tend to the wound.
A minute or so later, he sat up.
“Do you know what happened to you?” she asked.
“One minute I was sweeping the floor, the next I felt a whack on the head, and then nothing.”  He looked around to see the papers scattered about the floor.  “A robbery?  Do you know Mr Walthenson?”
“Yes.  He sent me here to collect some papers, but it’s going to be difficult to find those he needs.  I take it it wasn’t like this when you came in here?”
“When was that?”
“About Seven thirty, give or take.  It’s the last office I do for this corridor.”
“Any one in any of the others?”
“Not that I could see.  You a friend of his?”
“Colleague.  We’re working a case together.”
“where is he, he hasn’t been around for a few weeks.”
“Away on a job.  Got into a little trouble, been spending a few days in hospital.  He’ll be back soon enough.”
Felicity then helped the man up off the floor, and then stood nearby, just in case he fell.  He looked very unsteady on his feet, perhaps the attack had been more severe than both thought.
“Want me to call an ambulance?”
“No.  I’ll be fine.  Can’t afford no hospitals I’m afraid.  Should call the police though, and report a break-in.”
“You should.”  She gave him her card with her phone number on it.  “If the police need any further information, tell them to call me.  Oh, and you might want to pass the information about this to a detective called Sykes.”
She made sure the man was OK before she left.
There was no way she could search the premises now, lest she invite unwanted attention from the police.  She would have to come back later, or after Sykes called, if he called.
It was time to track down Corinne.

© Charles Heath 2016-2019