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
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