Sunday 26 June 2022

Case 2 - Episode 29 - Harry back home again

Home hadn't been home for quite some time, because Harry, unlike his brothers, wanted to distance himself from his father, and the family business.

He didn't have to, but inside that home was a stifling effect that cast a pall over any form of resistance, and it despaired him to see his brother's becoming their father.

His father was not a good role model, because of his disregard for the sanctity of marriage, he was less scrupulous when it came to taking on clients, cherry picking the most lucrative, rather than on merit.  Admittedly that attitude started with his father, but there had been an opportunity to change it, and he hadn't.

Then there was his mother, though he was not sure the description fitted, because it seemed she was devoid of any form of emotion or attachment, except for Corinne, though that was not as good as a daughter needed.

It might be why Corinne was detached herself.

But he had never considered the whys and wherefores of how the family had got to this point, he had just accepted that rich people were all dysfunctional, that his parents went their own separate ways, and the kids were left to fend for themselves, provided they did as was expected.

If he had a choice, though, he would prefer not to know anything about his parents, other than what they had told them over the years, which was precisely nothing.  Admittedly, none of them asked, so perhaps it was on them that they knew so little.

Now, with his father missing, he was about to a deep dive into their history.  Already there was one secret about to come out of Pandora's box.  His mother’s relationship with Florenz.

There were four of them, back in university days, who called themselves the four musketeers.  This revelation was from Felicity who had done the initial groundwork from school papers, and it gave a more lighthearted view of their time at law school, and two of whom were also looking at accounting and business management

What was clear, to both of them, that his mother was, back then, more involved with Florenz than his father, and if the reports were true, his father was the weakest of the four study wise, and now Harry realised he was lucky to pass the bar exam.

And surprised that his mother was the best and smartest of all of them.  Harry had questions, some of them she was going to get annoyed with.  He was going to need a plan to manage her, which was odd when he said it in his mind that he would have to.

Which, standing outside the front door, Harry was trying to come to grips with.  There was a strong possibility she might cancel his commission if he pushed too hard, but that was the only way he was going to get a result

Harry had a key to the door, thought about knocking in the door, but then decided the surprise factor was more important.

Inside the door in the little anteroom, he stopped to listen, but it was silent.  He wondered where [name] was, she was usually bustling about making herself look busy, even if she wasn't.  His mother could be a pain sometimes, and he had wondered more than once why she stayed.

Out into the formal living area, he noticed several subtle changes in the decor, the old leather chairs had gone, the chairs his father said had been handed down through the generations and were, in his opinion. heirlooms.

My mother considered them junk, and knowing the family she came from, she would know what and what was not an heirloom.  Was it tine for a change now my father wasn't here?

"Harry, what are you doing here?"

His mother had come up the passage, possibly from her office.  She stopped when she saw him.

"I came on the off chance you would be here.  I have a few questions."

She looked at me in that witheringly manner she used on his father when she could tolerate his presence no longer.

"I did not kill him, nor do I know where he is.  Nor do I have the time to participate in whatever it is you have planned."

She was dressed to go out, perhaps a lunch with her friends, or an assignation.  Now that her husband was not looking over her shoulder, maybe she was taking advantage of his absence.

"Now, if you don't mind," she picked up her handbag from the coffee table and started walking towards the front entrance.

I expected as much.

"We can do this the hard way or the easy way," I said.

Two more steps, then she stopped and turned.  "You can discontinue the assignment.  Tell me how much I owe you."

Not unexpected either.  "Then it's the hard way.  You can dismiss me from the case, but that doesn't mean I'll stop, in fact, it'll simply move you to the top of the suspect list, and I'll start by take a deep dive into your life."

"And why would you do that?"

"Well, that meeting you had with Emile Florenz the other morning, where he all but told you that asking me to investigate was a mistake wouldn't have anything to do with it.  Or did you get him to remove Dad from the playing board?  After all, you've been having an affair with him off and on since university days."

Harry expected vehement denials, or a flash of that temper she had exercised on her hapless husband after being caught out yet again, not the tilted head and wry smile.  "My God, you're good.  He was right, but I figured at some point you were going to draw one of several conclusions.  I hope you're not going to be sanctimonious about what you're labelling an affair."

"To be honest, I don't care what you do, so long as there's no repercussions on Corinne or me.  The other boys are clones of their father which is disappointing, so they probably wouldn't understand what was happening anyway."

"If it's any consolation, I would never let that happen, unlike your father who it seems doesn't care.  It was not always like that."

She obviously changed her mind, and headed back to one of the lounge chairs, and indicated that Harry should sit in another.

"So, what are your questions?"

© Charles Heath 2020-2021 

Saturday 25 June 2022

Case 2 - Episode 28 – Back at the office


When Harry walked into the office, the first thing he noticed was cardboard boxes and plastic sheets stacked in a corner.

The next, Gwen was at her desk, looking slightly dishevelled.  There were any number of possible explanations, when there were noises coming from the room next to his office.

A storeroom, the ideal place to hide something, or someone.

But that didn't explain the cardboard and plastic.

"You're looking a little flustered," Harry said, also noticing a rather sheepish expression, like she'd been caught unexpectedly.

"Been helping your, well, what is Felicity?  Private investigator partner, colleague, or girlfriend, or just a friend who’s a girl?"

Good question.  But that wasn't the first thing that was on my mind.  "Helping with what?"

"She moved on.  This office is rapidly becoming an apartment."

More noises from the storeroom. Time to investigate.

He crossed the room and stood outside the door for a minute before he knocked on the door. He was not quite sure why he would be knocking on the door to the storeroom in his own office.

"Is that you Harry?"

"Why?  Are you not decent?"  Where the hell did that come from?  Was he harbouring secret desires that were only in his deep subconscious?

He heard a laugh from behind the door.  It was a whole different Felicity than the one he had got used to, and had he somehow forgotten that she was a very attractive woman.  He just hadn't thought of her in that way.

Not until now.

"Come in.  The doors not meant to be shut, it just made it easier to move stuff around."

Harry opened the door and stepped in.  It was quite large, meant to be a similar sized and purposed office to his own, just in case he ever took on another investigator.  It hadn't been on his mind, but perhaps it was time.  Her father was happy for her to stay with him, where he considered it would be impossible for her to get into trouble.

Harry didn't have the temerity to tell him he was wrong.  The girl was trouble with a capital T, and just what he needed.

A wall of shelves and filing cabinets, the last time he'd seen then, scattered, then a sofa, desk, mini bar with refrigerator, and a large white board.

Felicity was sitting behind the desk.  "What do you think?"

"Much better than the last time I was in here."

There was a chair opposite the desk, so Harry sat in it.  More comfortable than the one he had.  Her chair was better than his too.

"I knew you wouldn't mind, and I can't keep sleeping on your sofa, can I?"

Was there a salacious invitation there or was his mind going down a path it shouldn't.  There was no question they were in anything other than a comfortable working relationship and should keep it that way.

He liked her, perhaps more than he should, but he was not sure what her feelings were towards him.  Best to leave it that way.

"Good thinking." 

He turned to look at the whiteboard, something he had been considering buying himself.  "We're moving into a more professional mode.  Is it time to put what we know up there?"

"No time like the present."


It was a complicated case because of the number of people involved.  A decision had to be made about who the principal suspects were.

"Your mother, Emile Florenz, Clay Shawville, Alexander Argeter, all part of the gang of five who've known and interacted with each other since university days.  You are going to have to tackle your mother over sine very delicate affairs.  I'm sure, from their body language, she's sleeping with him."

Nothing would surprise him, and he knew Felicity wouldn't tell him unless she was certain.  The fact he knew very little about his mother was disappointing.  Now she was under the spotlight, he was not sure if he wanted to know

"Then there's both Gillian and Alicia, both of whom may or may not bear a grudge against the father, particularly the latter.  It's worrying she knows Florenz, but I would put it past him to be sleeping with her too."

“She is.”  He shook his head.  “You have no idea just how much that disappoints me.”

“It’s life Harry.  Most people are not monogamous.”

"So, sex could be a motivation, rather than greed, or for the moment it seems so.  My father's endless affairs would be enough to send any wife over the edge.  It also might mean any number jealous husbands and boyfriends.  Come to that, it just might be a simple case of screwing the wrong woman.,"

"It might, but he left a note when he usually doesn’t.  I think he's been planning this, or at the very least, knew the day was coming that he would have to disappear for a while."

An interesting premise, and one he could agree with.

"Aside from my mother, what other lines of investigation do we have?

"I'm interested in Alicia.  I'm going to do a deep dive into her life, see why she chose your grandfather, and what she's planning to do.  I'm sure she doesn't have your family's best interests at heart, and I'm sure she'd like to have what your mother has, a wealthy and respectable family who's in the top one percent.  Come to think of it, does that make you a very, very eligible bachelor?"

Harry never quite thought of it like that if anything happened to his mother.  It's just not the sort of thing people wanted to think about.  Did that mean that Harry’s father would be a very rich man if anything happened to her.  Again, not something he had to think about, not until now.  Odd that he had never really considered belonging to a very wealthy dynasty.  He wondered if his brothers were aware of

"To be honest, I’ve never been interested in anything to do with my parents.  We've never been spoiled, by parents or grandparents, in fact we don't get to see my mother’s family very often.  If she's rich, then she doesn't splash it about, so who knows?  Does that mean I'm no longer 'eligible'?"

"Wealth is a curse, Harry.  What do you think?"

"I'm just as lovable penniless?"

She smiled.  "You might want to have another chat with Gillian, see what she knows about them now we know a little bit more.  As for you, you are, among other things, incorrigible maybe, and something else to ask your mother is her net worth, though I suggest you trying to be subtle about it.  I guess we have our assignments.  I'll fill out the board with anything else relevant, and you too, when you get those scraps of paper you call a filing system together."

© Charles Heath 2020-2022