I called Peter, Jerrod, and Vlad for a meeting in the Cloak and Dagger. We needed to decide what to do next. I wanted to know for sure who punched out Lydia’s headlights. I was assuming that Jennifer would convince her to give me the green light. Even without it, I planned to find out. Her cooperation, or lack thereof, would go a long way to tell me how much of her story I could believe.
“So Harvey, you want something for your blog, I am going to let you sit in on the planning session, but only if you agree that somethings you hear are better left unwritten,” I said.
“I’m not sure I can agree to that,” he said. “Maybe I shouldn’t be here.”
“Harvey, I am going to sweep the room for microphones before the meeting, if you left a bug, I will find it. If I find one, then my cooperation is over.” I said it because I knew that he had planned to bug me, so that he wouldn’t have to agree to the holding of some things back.
“Since you put it that way, I agree.” he said reaching under the table where he had been sitting. He removed a small microphone from underneath the top. I already knew that it was there, but I didn’t tell him that, since I had not used a device to sweep the place. I just sensed it with my built in sensors. I walked around the room just to be sure there weren’t any others before the others arrived.
Peter was the first to show. He was all smiles at the chance to work with us again. “Good to be back,” he said even though it had only been a couple of days since he did the checks that proved nothing.
“First of all Peter this is Harvey. Harvey is a journalist, of sorts, so be careful what you say in front of him. I am serious about that,” I said it even though Harvey could hear every word. I didn’t care if he did, Peter needed to be warned.
“Peter, I want you to obtain all the financial information on the judge that you can. I mean all of it. I think I know where I can find a finance guy who can work with you to figure out what it all means.” I said.
I had Walter’s finance guy in mind. I could get with Walter the next morning and have his man show up for the special short term gig. I could kill two birds with one stone, since it could be his audition for the auditor job with my new mother company.
“I do need you to obtain them all. I’ll let you know when and where to meet us after I speak to Walter in the morning. Stick around ,we might need more. If Lydia grants permission, I will want the same kind of search of her records.”
I looked at Harvey to make sure he got it that we had the judge’s permission. “I also want you to get the Judge’s phone records. We have his permission, so there won’t be a problem,” I said finally.
“What about Lydia’s phone records?” he asked.
“I don’t have her permission yet, but Jennifer is talking to her now. I hope we can pull her calls as well.” I busied myself making bad coffee, while I waited for Jerrod and Vlad. I made sure Jerrod stopped upstairs first to pick up Vla,so the he and Vlad would arrive together. I didn’t want to put it out piece meal and have Harvey filling in the blanks from his imagination. That kind of things with writers always resulted in shit coming down everywhere and on everyone.
The coffee was finished and I dispatched Peter on a donut run, before Vlad and Jerrod showed. He was still gone when the two of them walked into the room. “Jennifer said to tell you that you could do whatever you needed to do. She also said that she would cover it with Lydia’s permission. If you have them call Lydia there is no telling what she will say, so don’t bother.” Vlad informed me.
“Fair enough, she is Lydia’s lawyer, her permission is good enough for me.,” I said it more for Harvey’s benefit than anything else. “Vlad and Jerrod, this is Harvey he is a writer, of sorts, so be careful what you say in front of him.” I said.
“I will have Peter pull her financial records and we will know where she likes to spend her money,” I said it again for Harvey. I already had her financial information I just wanted to be sure Harvey thought that I had her permission before I got that information. Everyone knew to play along, Those were very smart men with whom I had surrounded myself.
“We already know she likes to hang out at the Tryon Country Club. Not one of those new modern clubs, Tryon is the old money crowd,” Jerrod informed me.
“Oh really and how do you know all this?” I asked.
“Lydia told me of course,” he said. “She was complaining about missing some dance band that was playing at an afternoon tea dance last Wednesday.” He said.
“Well her husband would have been working, so I wonder who the ladies dance with at those tea dances?” I asked.
“I think Jerrod and I should drive over to Tryon tomorrow and ask some questions,” Vlad said.
“What you don’t want me to go?” I asked.
“Maxine, you have been on TV. You are too well known. Not just that stupid TV series you had, but also that last interview. They will know you are after the judge. It is best, if Jerrod and I just wander in and look around. Ask a few questions, that is if you can arrange the invitation.”
“I will call the judge and have a meeting arranged with the club manager. He should be able to get you to the people you need to interview,” I suggested.
“Yes that should do it,” he agreed.
“It wasn’t stupid,” Harvey said.
“What?” I asked.
“That TV series wasn’t stupid, it was great fun. NetTV picked it up and now anyone can download it all. I downloaded it and the show wasn’t stupid. The producers and camera people were brilliant, so the critics said. It won a friggin’ Emmy for the producer.” he said.
“I know, I was there,” I said laughing.
“I would love to have done a journal about that cross country bicycle trip you made with the motorbike guy.” Harvey said.
“Another time Harvey for the trip down memory lane, we are working now,” I said turning my attention back to the others. Jerrod and Vlad were all smiles. “What?” I asked angrily.
“Nothing,” Jerrod said. Vlad just shook his head in amusement.
Peter showed up with the donuts, so I drank coffee and ate fancy donuts. While my three operatives discussed how they were going to get in and what they needed. I would have Harvey clean it up and let me read anything, before he posted it. It was best to control him rather than fight him, I decided. Besides they kept the details sketchy, probably because Harvey was present. I hoped that it wasn’t because I was present.
“So, we all know our plan for tomorrow?” I asked. Everyone nodded so the meeting was over very quickly. No one wanted to say too much in front of Harvey. Vlad and Jerrod had things to do. One of the things Jerrod had to do was to hand me a thick folder of notes and drawing created by one or both of the pretty boys.
“I’ll look at these when I get home,” I said.
“Billy was the one who went ape over this project. Evidently his design interest also goes to interior design,” Jerrod said.
“I’m not all that surprised. If you have that flair, I suppose it extends to everything.” I said in agreement. I spent a couple of minutes washing the remaining coffee down the bar sink. Then I rinsed the carafe. I never was a believer in heavy scrubbing of coffee implements. I do believe in wiping the stains away from the cups, but not a lot else. With that in mind, I did rinse the 16 oz hard blue plastic delta coffee cup. I kept it at the Cloak and Dagger for just such occasions.
I looked at the almost empty Cloak and dagger and wondered if I shouldn’t think about moving to a bigger downtown house. One that would allow me to use the lower floor as and office and small meeting room. If I needed more space I could always have people meet me in the Cloak and Dagger or the meeting room Dancer used as a studio for about ten hours a week. and Helen used for about half of that on most weekends.
I wondered if my place will sell?, I asked myself. I decided that I would start looking around for a three story building with about the same footprint as my Downtown House. Kate might be a pain in the ass. but she did know how to find real estate, before it hit the market for real. I knew that I would probably end up giving her a call.
Just so many thing going on. Some of them needed to be resolved soon or I might just go into overload and trip a breaker or something. I laughed inwardly at that thought.
“Nice bike’s Harvey commented as we passed the two bicycles I kept at the drugstore condo for use by the residents. I had picked them up for a job and rather then trash them, I let anyone who wanted ride them.
“Do you ride?” I asked.
“I used to, but it has been years,” he said looked wistfully.
“We have three hours before sundown. Time enough for you to get your bike legs back. Grab that black helmet and lets get you on that green one. It is a converted one speed. Nice and easy for beginners.” I said. It was indeed a one speed which had been converted from a 15speed. The preacher did it before I bought it. I had ridden the bike a few times and the gearing was too easy for me. It might be just right for an old man with a bad back.
“I don’t know about this,” Harvey said.
“Come on old man, I won’t let you get hurt, too badly.” I promised.
It took Harvey an hour riding around the empty parking lot to get the hang of the bike. At least it was that long before I trusted him out in the street. “I need to take this folder over and get my bike, and then we will go for a short ride.” I suggested.
“Good, I am really having fun. The most fun I have had in years,” he said.
“The boys always said that I was a fun date,” I replied. I walked across the street while Harvey rode the bike over. I was a little nervous with him riding alone, but he did fine. I pulled the Gunny’s bike out and we rode away together. The downtown had turned into almost a ghost town. It made Sunday traffic almost non existent, which was a good thing. But it made me feel very sad. We rode two hours before Harvey began to look tired.
Back home I sat at the dining room table and stared at the computer screen. I was running the downtown buildings, which I saw during our ride, through my memory. I saw the building which had once been called the radio building. That was because of the radio transmitting antenna on the roof. The building also was the home of the local radio station back when Aster was a big deal. Those days were short lived and long gone. On the first floor there had been a jewelry store, which hung on longer then the radio station. In fact they had closed only when the owner just got too old to keep it going. The business wasn’t good enough for either of the kids to want it.
“Kate,” I said when she answered her phone. “I want to look at the old radio building two blocks east of my Downtown House,” I said.
“It’s wasn’t in very good shape the last time I showed it,” she informed me.
“Then it should be cheap,” I replied.