The sight before us as we entered the room literally stunned Kat and I. It was obvious, though no one said anything, that Baldwin was dead. Muffin came running over and jumped on me and M.C. jumped on Kat. Meow.=You so nice human, protect our humans with your life. “That’s why I’m here M.C.,” said Kat softly. Calanthe was sitting on a chair, not moving, not saying anything, it was like she was in shock. Jennifer was crying but came running over to me right away, hugging me tightly. Muffin just got out of the way in time by jumping over to Kat.
“What happened here?”, I ask. “Someone injected Baldwin with poison, it killed him quickly,” said Annelie, who was also present. “Show him the note,” said Calanthe quietly. Annelie handed me a note she had written. “It was Baldwin’s last words,” she said, “and he wanted me to make sure and write it down exactly as he said it. Is there some kind of hidden message?” “Yes, there is,” I said, then I read the note; “Hi Steve, I didn’t think it would be possible, but it happened. You, and you alone, are in charge of the funeral arrangements, do things quickly, do not make it public.
You are in charge of Baldwin Corporation now. Remember the combination is the key to prove that I am me. Keep things to yourself, until the time comes. Information is dangerous, I don’t want Calanthe involved. Work fast, stop this imposter before he has a chance to do damage. It’s time for me to go under, the place is ready at the cemetery. Thanks Steve.” “There was one more sentence, but I just couldn’t understand it,” said Annelie. “That would be; The vultures circle overhead, waiting to eat, now that I’m dead,” I said, “just part of the coded message hidden in all of this.”
Just then the doctor came in quite puzzled. “This is just not right,” he said, “his medical records, they have all been changed. I don’t know what has happened.” “Someone is trying to impersonate Baldwin and take over his corporation,” I said, “but we need to keep this quiet for now please.” “I will do that, I won’t make this known to anyone,” he said. Then I got things in motion for the funeral and called the funeral home with which Baldwin had already made arrangements. “After the funeral,” I said as we all walked out of the hospital, “we will start to make plans for the search.
We are going to find this guy, and there is something about him that seems familiar, though I can’t place it right now. Rock, can you get me 8 men that you can trust completely?” “I can have them here tomorrow,” he said. “Good, get that done,” I said as we walked down the steps. Then I heard the familiar sound of a shot and Kat fell! A man who had been hiding behind a hedge was now running to a waiting car. Jennifer, Rock and myself shot at the man. He fell and the car sped off. But we all shot hitting the tires causing the driver to lose control and he crashed into a tree.
Two men got out, the 3 of us continued shooting as we ran closer and the men fell. Rock went to check on them while Jennifer and I went back to the hospital. They had taken Kat inside already and was soon in surgery. The doctor came out later and gave us the news, she didn’t survive, the bullet was just too close to the heart. I sat in shock at the news. That imposter is keeping his word. But I will keep my word too and hunt him down. Soon we were all back at our chateau. Calanthe and Annelie were staying with us just so I could keep an eye on them, I didn’t want anyone else getting killed right now. Although I guess the imposter really doesn’t want anyone else.
“Do you remember your part of the combination Calanthe?”, I asked. “Yes, I do Steve,” she said, “but the combination is in 3 parts, who has the third part?” “That would be me,” said Rock, “I never knew much about it except that Baldwin said it was part of the combination for something and I would be told when the time was right.” “Yes,” I said, “Baldwin told me he had given it to you. But the combination is only part of the puzzle, we need to know what the combination is for, and he only told one person that information.” “Who’s that,” asked Calanthe. She was sounding a bit irritated. “That person is Kat,” I said quietly. “Oh great!,” yelled Calanthe, “and now Kat gets herself killed and we have a combination to nothing!”
“Hey, settle down Calanthe,” said Annelie, “you’re just stressed out right now.” “No I’m not!,” she yelled again, “this concerns me and I want to know what this combination is for! Tell me now Steve, it’s my right!” “Sorry Calanthe,” I said, “but I don’t know, Baldwin never told me and neither did Kat.” “I don’t believe you!”, she yelled again, “you just want to keep everything for yourself, but it’s mine! I didn’t wait all this time for nothing!” I got up to walk out of the room before this went any further. Calanthe got up too and kicked me in the back, right on my old wound and I fell to the floor. Then she jumped on me and began choking me. It all happened so fast. Kat and Annelie got up to pull Calanthe off me but Muffin was first. Grrrr! “Thwock!” Calanthe lay on the floor.
To Be Continued.
©2021 Steve McLeod.