understood his father's obsession with golf, nor his desire to equally
enthuse his sons to play the game, introducing each at the age of 12, like his
father before him.
There was a
lot to be said about tradition.
Of course, it
was not so much about playing the game as it was being an essential tool in the
Even so, Harry
had never seen the reason why anyone would lose, just to make a deal, or get a
favour. Perhaps that was the reason why
he was not a businessman.
took to it like ducks to water. Needless
to say, it was not because it was a tool. It was more about the prestige, and
therefore bragging rights, of belonging to a very elite club.
was. Just the annual membership fees
were eye-watering, certainly more than he had made over the last year, and had
it not been for his father, he would not be a member.
It was the one
thing his parents paid for him, or, more likely, his father had forgotten to
cancel when Harry walked away from the practice.
the building was a huge sprawling exquisite colonial style mansion, and, over
the years added to so that now, it had the distinction of making the top of
Architectural Digests 10 worst buildings three years in a row.
It just showed
that too much money, little understanding of ascetics, and a committee made up
of stockbrokers, lawyers and bankers could do.
Harry thought it was quaint, and it had instilled a desire in him to one day if he could afford it, buy or build an old colonial house of his own.
The one thing
he did remember was the obscene display of wealth and privilege, outside, with
all the prestigious cars, except his, and inside, with the antiques and
expensive furniture. He had never understood
the desire of the wealthy elite to surround themselves with the trappings.
never made it further than the foyer, a few feet in from the front door where
a large guard by the name of Cecil, the greeter, met every arrival. There was no sneaking in the back door,
everyone had to present themselves at the main entrance.
If it wasn't
Cecil, it was an equally voluminous man named Occo. Both were the sort of men who could repel
all invaders single-handed.
It was Cecil's
day, and Cecil knew Harry.
it isn't Harry Walthenson, infamous private detective. Heard you were involved in the Jones
Brother's murder cases."
Cecil was also
reputed to have an ear to the underworld, which was not surprising given a small
percentage of members were criminals wrapped up as businessmen.
much as I was present when the bodies were found."
got killed over it, so they say."
Harry wanted to
ask him who 'they' were, but all he'd get would be a benign smile.
whoever they may be, seem to have interesting sources. If you have any idea who they might be, I'd
like to know."
shrugged. "So would I. I don't take kindly to people who harm our
members. Now, it's been a long time, and
I don't think you're here for a round of golf."
right. It's about my father. Have you noticed anything unusual about him
in the last week or so. I know he was
here Monday, which is unusual."
unusual as you'd think. You know your
father dies s lot of business out on the links.
Been costing some new visits, and prospective members."
I can't tell you that, I've probably said too much already. No, none of our business really. Now, staying or going?"
I'll wander around a bit, it's been a while."
brother Robert is here by the way. He's
probably in the bar."
him. You have your membership
he did, remembering the rules, not that the card left his wallet unless it
came time to replace it. It was so long
since he'd used it, it was sticking to the leather insert.
He swiped it
in the machine, and it brought up the last time he'd visited, two years
before. That time it was at the behest
of his father, to meet a new client, one that had a daughter that his mother
considered 'the right sort of young lady he should be associating with'.
the card back. "You might want to
look in on your brother. He seems a bit
lost at the moment. Your father was a
little harsh with him about a week ago, a job he was supposed to do, and
Cecil was the
sort of person who knew everything that was going on but rarely said
anything. Perhaps he was worried about
Robert, though my experience, admonishment usually rolled off him like water off
a duck's back.
On the other
hand, it might be linked to his father's departure and warranted further
investigation. Checking out his locker
would have to wait a little longer, not that Harry expected to find anything.
moment to check up on him. Mr Walthenson
can be a bit of a bastard at times."
recently Harry. Got a phone call, out on
the verandah about a month back. Turned
purple some said, and then threw the phone against the wall as hard as he could. No prizes for guessing what that was
knowing look, Harry thought better than to ask, because, given a direct question,
he'd cite privacy, but letting him talk, as he was wont to do, some days, he
could inadvertently let slip some very useful information.
maybe, for us that live with him, he can be a bit like a firecracker on the
fourth of July. I'll pop in and see
came along, and Harry lost the focus of his attention.
Harry made a
note to self, get his father's phone records, and check the dates, find out who
the caller was.
He waved to
Cecil, but the man didn't notice, now deep in conspiratorial conversation with
the member who'd just arrived and headed towards the bar.
© Charles Heath 2020-2022