She suspected Alicia would get the chauffeur to take her onto the office, so that would not lead to anything useful. Harry would have that covered, by talking to Giselle, after she sent him a text about the latest development.
No, Florenz was on foot, so she was hoping he’s lead her to his office. A long shot, but one worth taking.
And, it seemed, he was not in a hurry, though he did look at his watch twice as if he was pacing himself for another meeting, and trying not to get there early or late. A man of punctuality and could be an indicator of other eccentricities.
It was a leisurely stroll up Broadway past Park Row, but just before Barclay Street he stopped on the corner and appeared to be waiting for someone. Was he early or late, Felicity looked at her watch. Three minutes to the hour. He was early.
The hour ticked by, then another five minutes. A look of an impatient man crossed his face, then, a relaxation in posture. His companion must be in sight and coming down Broadway from the other direction.
It took another minute for the companion to appear through the pedestrians, and she got another shock for the morning.
His companion was none other than Harry’s mother, Elsie Walthenson, once known as Elsie Wilkinson, one of the Boston Wilkinson’s, a rather interesting titbit that Felicity had discovered when she read the caption accompanying that photo of Harry's mother with Florenz back in school days.
And, back then, it was interesting to note that Florenz was nobody in particular. Or so the caption said.
Felicity hoped that Mrs. Walthenson would not recognize her from the fleeting meeting they had in Harry’s office, that she had been too wrapped up in her husband’s departure than to bother with her.
She waited until they went into a Starbucks nearby, and then followed them in and found a seat nearby, after getting a coffee herself. They were not near any windows, but not in a position where they could see anyone coming and going.
Not that they were interested in anyone else. There seemed to be a stronger connection. Was she more to him than just the wife of a golfing partner?
She tried not to be obvious in listening to their conversation, not that it was going to be easy because of the white noise around them, but she did get to hear a number of snippets.
The first, “What on earth did you get that son of yours to look for Xavier?”
“What was I supposed to do? I was angry. Leaving me that note, running off with another woman.”
“Not that. You know Harry’s a lot smarter than he looks, and you’re not going to be able to be very convincing if you’re going to be lying to him.”
“Why? You told me he was hopeless at being a detective.”
“Perhaps, but he’s been snooping around places he shouldn’t be. Like Xavier. When Xavier asked me my opinion about Shawville, I told him not to get involved, but he didn’t listen. Seems Argeter shot his mouth off about the money involved, and it was like a red rag to a bull.
“How much does Xavier know?”
“Nothing. His mother wisely destroyed the files and told him to leave well alone.”
“What did she want in return?”
“You know what she wants. Alicia Wentworth’s hide, and it’s going to be hell on earth bringing that to a conclusion. I still can’t believe the mess old man Walthenson left behind, simply because he was besotted by the one thing he couldn’t have. Or tried. Killed him in the end.”
“Do you know where Xavier is?”
“Do you care?”
“No. What if he doesn’t come back?”
“You know the answer to that. It was a mistake I made all those years ago, and I’ve had time enough to regret it.”
She reached out and touched Florenz’s hand. No need for words. Felicity knew the answer to that question.
Nor did she want to hear any more of the conversation. She felt sorry for Harry.
© Charles Heath 2020