While everyone was getting acquainted, Jennifer, Annelie, Aurela and myself went to my bedroom to talk privately. I turned on the scrambler to make sure no one could listen. I asked Annelie quietly to get John’s picture and several others together. “Aurela, you mentioned you saw Stinger talking with the man you worked for,” I said, “so now I need your help.” “Sure, anyway I can,” she said. “Can you give us a description of the man you worked for?”, I ask her.
“Well, he was not really the boss, I only saw our boss once, but this guy worked under him,” she began, “he was tough, big, over 6 feet tall, kind of like Rock but not as big. And he rarely smiled, and one day I heard him talking to one of the other guys and he said, ‘one day I will get him and hurt him so bad’ but I had no idea what it meant, or if it is important.” “Okay,” I said, “now look at the pictures Annelie has ready and see if your man is in that group.”
She went over to Annelie. “That is him, on the right, but he has a small beard, but that is him,” she said right away. “That’s John,” said Annelie. I just stared. “Okay, we can go back now,” I said to everyone. In the library a thought came to me. “Annelie, could you get Jake for me?”, I asked, “and put it on speaker so we can all hear.” “Sure thing Steve,” she said. “Hey girl, what’s up?”, Jake asked. “Steve would like to talk with you,” she said. “That’s fine, what would you like Steve?”, he asked.
“For someone like Stinger, if he made a mistake, what would happen to him?,” I asked. “Stinger? Make a mistake? That would be impossible, he is too careful,” he said, “but if it happened, he would be finished, ruined, and likely someone would put a contract out on him.” Then I took the phone and went off by myself to finish talking with Jake. “This is just for me and you Jake,” I said, “though Annelie, Rock and Jennifer know as well.
We are keeping this small. Stinger did make a mistake this time, though maybe not a big one,” I said, “but he did not stay with the order on his list and shot the wrong woman.” There was silence on his end. “Stinger shot the wrong woman?”, he asked in disbelief. “Yes, he was supposed to shoot Kat next, but he shot Jennifer instead,” I explained, “but they are twins so that might make a difference.”
“Makes no difference to someone in his profession, shooting the wrong person, that’s big,” he said, “you could put a contract out on Stinger yourself, make it an open contract for anyone to participate.” “Well, I do not think that would work so good for our reputation,” I said, “but I would like you to get the information out that he did make a mistake, maybe that will put him out of business, and it just might bring him out in the open a bit, since he will be angry and will want to try for Kat again.”
“You are kinda taking a chance with Kat there Steve,” he said. “She will be kept inside the chateau with good security,” I said, “we have to find out who is giving him information, we need some proof.” “Yeah, I can see that,” he said, “okay, you have my help, but I am putting my life on the line here too, if you are playing it straight, you got my help.” “I am Jake,” I said, then we talked a bit more before I returned to the library.
“Okay, I need volunteers for this one,” I said, Alexina and Galyna have already volunteered.” Rock, Benjamin, Joshua and Brigetta also volunteered, plus my 2 cats. In the morning Joshua flew us over the area that Stinger used twice now but we still could find no trace of him. Suddenly we started going down. Benjamin had been talking with me and ran back to his seat. Joshua had been shot and we were on our way to hit the trees.
Benjamin was just able to get the helicopter stable in time, though I am sure we touched some of those pine trees. Stinger is down there! There was no place to land so we climbed down the ladder safely away from where Stinger was shooting from. We all started moving cautiously along through the pines. The cats ran on ahead, but they had orders to just sit still if they found him and let us know. We soon found his rifle, note and envelope for me. “As a PI you are an idiot” was all it said. Hey, now I know who the traitor is…
To Be Continued.
©2022 Steve McLeod.