I go into the bedroom and bring out the Jade Cat. “Now, I would feel better if Gaston lost his gun,” I said, and then went, “meow”. The two cats rolled into view and had their slingshots ready. “I forgot about those two and their slingshots,” said Amelie, but in a different voice. “I don’t like to take chances either,” I said, “and Gaston better not make any bad moves right now.” Amelie touched his arm and he put his gun away. “Okay you two,” I said to the cats, and they eased up on their slingshots. I gave the cat to Amelie. She proceeded to open it, and poured out a large amount of the most beautiful gems! Joseph started looking at them, very excited.
“You know Steve, I could use someone like you,” said Amelie, still using a different but very familiar voice. “Use me?”, I asked. “I didn’t mean it like that, I’m talking a 50/50 partnership,” she continued, “you did something I didn’t think was possible to do. Just think what we could do together!” Now I know who she is! “The problem, Karin, is that we are on opposite sides, and I don’t think you want to come over to my side,” I told her. “Well, you actually remembered me,” she said with a smile. “Your voice did it,” I said, returning the smile, “you do look different though. How did you manage getting into your position as a cop when you just got out of jail 2 months ago?”
“Well, it’s easy when you have the right connections, and John told me about Gaston,” she explained, “so I got in touch with him while I was still in jail, he worked things out so I could get out earlier than scheduled. And it just so happened I looked very much like Amelie, I just needed to cut my hair and change my voice. The voice is the hardest part. And the real Amelie went on an ocean cruise for her vacation and since she never came back I just took her place. While Amelie was gone, Gaston, who is also a cop but works in a different section, was able to change all of Amelie’s ID and records to fit me instead. So even if someone was to check on me, everything would match. So now I have the perfect alibi for things, I get tips and I’m able to follow and plan our operations, even to the point of taking over a case to track down the “criminals” involved.
With this Cat, for example, it has now been stolen by the Claymore’s and they will vanish but I will recover the Jade Cat in about a week.” “And you will be a hero, even though you are the one who stole it in the first place,” I said shaking my head. “Well, technically I didn’t steal it, though I did hire someone to do it,” she replied, “and if you were to say anything, you would end up in prison and I would be free, because I have a perfect record as a cop with nothing to tie me to this crime.” “Yep, you have something there,” I said, “but you do have a problem with the Cat if you return it empty.” “What’s that?”, she asked with a puzzled look. “It will be empty, so it won’t weigh as much,” I said. “It’s doubtful anyone would notice,” she said, “I’ll fill it will sand.”
“But it will be noticed,” I said, “the alarm was a weight alarm, so they knew the exact weight in case anyone came up with the idea of leaving behind a duplicate. You will need to weigh it exactly before returning it or they just might think you kept the jewels for yourself.” “Are you sure that you don’t want to join me Steve?”, she asked, “you just helped me a lot with that information, I never would have thought about being so exact.” “Sorry,” I said, “unless you want to come over to my side.” “A PI’s pay isn’t very good,” she said with a smile, “so I’ll stay where I am. But don’t worry, I gave you my word and I’m keeping it, just like last time, I can’t bring myself to kill you.”
She tosses an envelope to me. “That’s not payment, and it’s good money from my inheritance,” she said still smiling, “it’s just a gift you help you out in your PI business, and I deposited it in your bank account too, just so you don’t have to carry too much money around.” She tosses an envelope to Lena as well. “I’m even letting your girlfriend go free, as a favor to you Steve,” said Karin, “but I would suggest you both leave now, everything you need is in that envelope, leave your other ID in the room here, the green car outside is yours now, a legitimate rental which you can leave at the airport.” Then they gathered up their stuff and out the door they went. Lena just looked at me as I watched out the window until they were gone. “Okay,” I said, “we need to leave now.”
To Be Continued.
©2021 Steve McLeod.