Well, we all had a good rest after our last case and oddly enough, no new cases have been coming in at all. That’s not good when you’re in the PI business. Then one morning Baldwin called and wanted to talk with the cats and I alone. That was kind of odd, but off we went and he had pancakes and bacon ready and waiting for us. The cats could hardly wait for the butler, Harris, to bring them in to us. “So what do you want to talk about?”, I asked Baldwin. “I have a case for you Steve,” he began, “normally I wouldn’t ask for a favor like this, but it concerns one of my best employees and a good friend. It’s an odd case, that I really don’t understand, but I’m sure you can handle it.
I wanted to talk with you first, so you can have the opportunity to say no without the others knowing. First thing though, I’m paying for this, your regular charges and anything you need for expenses, plus anything from my corporation is at your disposal. Just because you’re my best friend doesn’t mean you work for free, not in my corporation anyway!” “Okay,” I said, “you have our attention, now what is the problem?” “Harold, the man I’m talking about, has been working for me for 18 years, started when he was 19 and he is an excellent worker,” began Baldwin, “he is married and has 3 kids, ages 4, 6 and 8. The 2 youngest are boys, the oldest a girl, and she has been kidnapped.”
The cats ears went straight up when they heard that news. Meow,meow!=That just little girl! Why someone kidnap her? “I don’t know Muffin,” said Baldwin sadly, “Harold makes a good wage, but he is not great with money management, no investments, no real savings. But he does have a fairly nice house and two cars, plus a small cottage. The kidnappers have not asked for anything yet, they just said they would be in touch and they told Harold not to contact the police. So he called me right away and I told him I would check with you.
But why would they kidnap little Sonia? Harold can’t pay a big ransom, but I told him I would pay it whatever it is. He said no to that idea however, which I thought was odd.” “Maybe it isn’t so odd,” I answered, “perhaps these people know that he is your friend and knowing how wealthy you are could be the reason for kidnapping Sonia. Where in your corporation does he work?” “It’s a top secret research facility Steve,” said Baldwin, “this card will get you anywhere in that facility, and if there is any problems, just call me.” “I see you already knew I would take the case,” I said smiling.
“I was hoping you would Steve,” he said, “but it is still odd, especially if it is related to me or my corporation. This needs to be uncovered quickly.” “Does your friend have any known enemies?”, I asked. “None at all,” said Baldwin, “people working in that facility are screened very thoroughly, we can’t afford problems of any kind. He has no drug problems, no gambling, no big debts, he works hard and he loves his family. This has really torn him apart with worry. You also have a jet to use for the case, I picked the pilot and co-pilot myself and Rock knows how to fly it as well.”
“When do you want us to leave?”, I asked. “Pack up and go!”, said Baldwin. On the way back home the cats asked if we were taking the case. I told them yes, even if it is just the 3 of us. They were quite happy about that, they wanted to get at these bad people that would kidnap this little girl. We got home and told the others and started making our plans. Kat and I, plus Rock and the cats would be team 1 and go on the jet Baldwin gave us. Jennifer and Annelie would be team 2 and come on a commercial jet. At the beginning at least we would keep separate and contact each other in our own private way.
First thing is to contact Harold and his wife Connie and ask some more questions. We need to work fast, I don’t trust these kidnappers with little Sonia. We didn’t get any more information from Harold and Connie than what we already knew, except Connie was scared, Harold wasn’t, but he was very nervous. That got me thinking, so I set up Rock as a ‘bill collector’ looking for Harold. He started going around to different “establishments” looking for someone who might know Harold. Rock fit his part perfectly, but he wasn’t turning up anything, until late that night…
To Be Continued.
©2021 Steve McLeod.