Harry got as far as his car in the carpark before he could feel an itch on the back of his neck.
Someone was watching him.
This would be the moment to pull out a cigarette and take a moment to reflect on that conversation with Robert, but he didn't smoke.
Perhaps he could feign that there was something wrong with the car. He unlocked the car, got in tried to start the car, and then got back out again after popping the hood.
The car park had CCTV cameras that covered the whole area, and someone would be monitoring the feed. That was not the eyes on him that were bothering him.
While looking at the engine, he also did a slow scan of the parked cars, until he reached a black SUV, like those used by the FBI, sitting in the last row, reversed in so whoever was sitting in it could see the whole carpark, and coincidentally in direct line to his car, and him.
He could not distinguish who it was behind the tinted screen, but it was recognisable by the burning tobacco of a cigarette, followed by a gush of smoke out the side window.
Another PI? It couldn't be the FBI, or could it? He had no idea what trounce his father was in, or whether the surveillance was on his father or someone else. After all, there was any number of other scoundrels who were members, and more eligible for a federal investigation.
Bonnet down, back inside the car, he hid the items he'd found under the carpet under his seat, then got back out and headed for the front door.
Cecil needed to know there was a strange car in his car park.
Cecil looked surprised to see him.
"Change your mind?"
"No. You've got a visitor outside surveillance the car park."
"How do you know?"
"Itchy neck. Black SUV, in the back row."
He went to the door marked "Private, authorised personnel only", unlocked the door and went in. Harry hovered in the doorway.
There was an array of about a dozen screens on the wall, the bottom, the last screen that of one view of the carpark, and to one side, the vehicle in question.
Cecil switched to that screen then focussed on the car and zoomed in until a face appeared behind the windscreen, the cigarette, and the fact he was wearing a suit
"Is that a Fed?" It was a name I'd heard my father use for an FBI agent, who had come to the club expecting cooperation.
"That or a PI, but more likely an FBI agent."
He got up from the chair. "Let's go see what he's about?"
I followed him out to the car park and could barely keep up as he strode towards the vehicle. When he was within fifty yards, the engine started, and the vehicle drove off.
Cecil stopped and glared at the departing car. "Not FBI, they would have stayed and given me a lecture, so one of your lot, Harry. Pretending he's something he's not. If he comes back, I'll give him what for."
And Harry had taken the car registration plate. It would be interesting to know who it was.
Back at the office, Harry was alone, walking into a darkened and quiet room. He had been expecting both Felicity and nnn there, and glad they were not, because he would have to explain the documents he'd discovered in his father's locker at the Club.
He wasn't expecting any great revelations, starting with the folders.
The first had spreadsheet printouts of accounts, in names he had not heard of, but cryptic enough to indicate they were shelf companies' bank accounts based in the Caymans.
The balances were not earth-shattering, but it indicated, if they were his, he was reasonably wealthy in his own right. Interestingly, deposits of the same amount, 11.35 million, were made into each of five accounts, on the same day of each month.
Blackmail. Services rendered, or something else? The question was, were the accounts his, or was he checking up on someone else?
The book was a notebook, a diary of sorts, but not for a particular year, but a member of years. The first page indicated it started his first day of university.
It was not day by day, more each significant event, and not 50 pages in was the story of how his father became enmeshed in the machinations of Alexnder Argeter. The whole sordid story, showing that his father had miscalculated, and Argeter had taken advantage of a fortuitous, for him, situation. But, at the time it could have had serious consequences for his eventual career.
It also had the story of his relationship with Harry's mother and the eventual marriage. It was an interesting story if it was true. Harry had to wonder, if he shared it with his mother, what her side of the story would be.
But those were not the only revelations in the book, one, when he came across a single sentence, heavily underlined as if he was angry at the time, that simply said, "Harry is not my son."
It did say who the father was, but it was still enough to make Harry's head spin, and instantly regret having read any of the information in it. Such revelations, Harry told himself, were best left inside the metaphorical Pandora's box.
But, now it was out there, and it bothered him. Did his mother know his father knew, did his real father know, and had his mother maintained the deception from the say he'd been born?
And if Harry thought about it, it made sense. His brothers were exactly like their father, he was not.
He allowed himself a moment to speculate on the ramifications, then shoved it to one side. His job was to find Xavier, everything else could wait.
© Charles Heath 2020-2022