Felicity followed Alex Porter all the way to Central Park and the statues of literary giants.
At first, Alex had walked fast, purposefully, and angrily. Then the pace lessened as the anger subsided.
It seemed prophetic that Argeter was waiting on a seat near William Shakespeare.
"That was quick," he said after she sat down
"She doesn't have it."
"How can you tell?"
"I came at her very hard. She didn't have time to collect her thoughts and lie."
"What about Richards? Given the number of times he and Walthenson met in the golf course, Walthenson might have given it to him for safekeeping. It wouldn't be the first time."
"The silly bugger can't keep a secret. He'd have told me, besides, I'm the only one who can open the safe."
"Unless he put it somewhere else. I mean, he acts like he's dumb, but I rather think he isn't."
"Oh, he is, believe me. Pretends he's the great family man but doesn't realize everyone knows her trawls the dark corners of the city for young men. It disgusts me, but if there wasn't a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. “
"Appearances can be deceptive, remember that."
End of the conversation, she left.
Felicity didn't see the point of following her anymore, a more interesting target was Argeter. She would have to be more careful with him given how dangerous he and his known associates were.
When she looked over, Argeter was on the phone, and couldn't quite make out was he was saying.
"No ... problem is ... scoundrel ... Walthenson doesn't ... Alicia tried to find out but she ... no, no closer ...."
Argeter was staring at the phone because it appeared the caller hung up mid-call. It was obvious whoever he was speaking to wasn't happy with what he had to report. And whatever it was about this piece of land, it was worth killing for, and a lot, lot more.
Argeter's phone rang again.
Felicity could see his face as he turned to look one way and then the other as if looking for someone
Then, "You're joking. After all I've done for them?"
The call ended, and Argeter leaped to his feet, again looking both ways before heading back the way Alex Porter had come.
He was a man in fear for his life.
He reached the first cross street and had to wait a moment, along with a group of tourists.
Felicity kept her eyes on Argeter, except for a few seconds when there was a loud bang from behind them, and everyone cringed, a reaction most people had in the expectation of another attack, and when she turned back Argeter was on the ground.
She quickly walked towards him, then saw the blood pooling beside the body. He'd been attacked in that brief moment her attention had been diverted. The others in the group who had just recovered realized what had happened, and one of the women screamed.
Felicity had Sykes on speed dial.
"Argeter just got stabbed in Central Park, at the top of Literary Lane."
"Did you see who did it?"
"No, but I'll keep an eye out in case anyone runs. They have to be still here."
"Be careful. I'll be there as soon as I can."
Not one minute after the scream an ambulance came quickly up the road, stopped opposite the body, and cleared a path through the onlookers, two of w2ho were hunched over the body, either trying to save him, or taking ghoulish photographs, bringing out a gurney put Argeter on it, got back in the ambulance, and left.
The whole operation took less than 90 seconds,
After another minute or a little more, the first police car stopped next to what was not a doubly stunned crowd.
The ambulance was gone, but not before Felicity had taken several photographs of the men taking the body, and the ambulance itself.
She was uploading the photos to send to Sykes when she noticed the ambulance people had flesh-colored balaclavas on, and the registration of the ambulance was just a blur.
No easy identification of the body snatchers, and no identification of the ambulance. This was a very well-organized assassination.
© Charles Heath 2020-2022