“A message for you Mr. Leff,” said the man. I recognized his voice, he works at the front desk. I opened the door and took the message. “Hmm, seems like my first info wasn’t quite correct,” I said, “your parents were not killed 6 months ago, though that is the public statement. Your parents were married 30 years ago, your sister is the oldest child, she, her husband and 2 kids died when their car exploded two years ago. Your mom died when her car exploded when you were 2 years old. Your brother hates your family and has nothing to do with any of you. Your dad remarried 11 years ago to a woman only 2 years older than you. You did not get along well.
She had one boy, Anthony III, the boy we are going to get now. That wife died in a car explosion 5 years ago. Your competitors are consistent in the way they get rid of your family. Your boss, is actually your father as well. Oddly, no attempt has ever been made on your brother’s life or yours. I rather think your brother has been helping your competitors, but why have they not tried to kill you?” “Because no one knows about me, not even my brother,” she answered, “when I was 3 years old, our maid and her niece died in a car explosion too, so it was always said that was me in that car with her. So as far as everyone is concerned, I’m dead.
And I am never seen anywhere with my dad, except when we met with you. I have been away at private schools and working elsewhere until 2 years ago when I joined our corporation. You have an amazing source for finding information Steve, and that puzzles me a bit.” “Sorry about that, but as a PI I need a good source of information, and I have two,” I told her, “but they must be kept secret, though I’m sure you can guess the one source.” “Yes, the police, since you are an undercover officer yourself,” she said with a smile. Meow,meow=We the best PI’s all over. Meow.=Yep, and we the best PI cats anywhere. “Hmm, stop bragging you two,” I said.
“Can you really understand those cats,” asks Candace, “or is it just a game you play?” “No game, we really do understand each other,” I said. Meow,meow=Yes, we talk to people we trust, me trust you now, so I talk to you. Candace almost fell into the chair. Then she looked at me, “did Muffin just talk to me, or was that you?” Meow,meow=That me, I talk for me, my human not a venting twister. “She means ventriloquist,” I explained. Meow,meow=That what I just say, keep mind on case, not on pretty pretend wife. That got Candace blushing red as could be.
“Okay, let’s order our lunch in and get to work, we need to get things done quickly before people get hurt,” I said. So we ordered our meal and ate while talking about general things. “Okay, now time to contact your competitors and get things going,” I said. “And how do you plan on doing that?”, asked Candace. “With this little listening device they gave us,” I said, “so everyone be quiet and let me talk.” I took out our scrambler and plugged in their device. “I know you can hear me, so listen carefully. I don’t do anything under threats or blackmail, you want me to quit, then the first thing to do is let my friends go and then we can do some talking and negotiating.
But if you hurt or kill them, I will hunt you down Harold Crandel, and I can do it too. Right now you are in your home away from home, in southern Spain. Return my friends back to the hospital where you got them, then we can talk, not before.” Then I unplugged their device and plugged in our scrambler again. “How can you do that?”, said Candace, rather upset, “my dad hired you to get Anthony back.” “And that’s what I plan to do,” I said, “but not with a gun to my head. I know what I’m doing, please trust me, I’m not quitting, we will get Anthony.” “Sorry,” she said, “I know, you have a certain way of working.” “Now it’s time for bed and get as much sleep as we can, we might be up all night and all day tomorrow,” I said, “we leave here at 11pm tonight.” “Don’t you think they will be watching the hotel?”, asked Candace. “No doubt they are, but we will get out and away,” I said, “everything is already set to go.” I was awakened by a phone call at 5pm.
To Be Continued.
Photos of M.C. are kindly supplied by his human, Nina.
Previous chapters of this story and other stories can be found on my home page under “The Investigators, Inc.”
©2021 Steve McLeod.