With all that has been going on the last few weeks we had all but forgotten our case and these crazy clues. And, of course, our competitors, especially Mandar. He was an odd one to figure out. He certainly did not need the money, but perhaps this was sort of a hobby for him. Annelie had found enough information on him, right from birth to the time we met basically. He is very wealthy, not quite like Baldwin, but still, he has no money worries.
He is 50 years old, the police have watched him on and off for years for criminal activities but have never been able to charge him with anything at all. They were sure he was involved in some things, but what they did not know. However, Annelie found some hints, some of his friends were well known criminals so it is quite likely he was involved with things but keeping himself distant enough to appear “clean”.
We were all in the library going over the latest clue with the dots and I was going over the information about Mandar. Tracy came in to join us, it was a week since Jake’s funeral and she has been doing much better. “What are you reading Steve?,” she asked. “All about Mandar,” I said, “trying to see if I can figure out why he is after this treasure, and how he knew about it.” “I have not seen a pic of him yet,” she said. “There is one on the table over there,” I told her.
She went over and looked at it. I certainly did not expect her reaction. She tossed the photo back on the table yelling “Jeffrey!” and ran out of the room. I told Galyna and Kristina to follow her. Kristina came back a while later. “Tracy knows him as Jeffrey Conners,” she said, “he gave a job to her when she first went out on her own. Not a good job either. We need to watch him close, he could be dangerous.” Galyna came out shortly after and asked Mriya if she had something to calm Tracy down.
“Sure do,” she said, and off she went to give her something. But she called for help right away so Galyna and Kristina went back to the bedroom. Mriya had called for an ambulance but it arrived too late. Tracy was dead. She had stabbed herself. “Mandar, you are responsible for her death,” I said out loud, “and we will come after you for this.” Seeing Mandar so soon after Jake’s death was obviously too much for her.
I should never have let her join in on things just yet, it was too soon to get involved. I went for a walk to be alone, but Kat said no to that, so she and Sigurbjorn came with me. “It was Mandar who killed Jake,” I said, “no doubt about that.” “I agree,” said Kat, “he wanted to get rid of both of them.” “Yes,” agreed Sigurbjorn, “but why go to the trouble of tracking us down when it is the treasure he wants?” “Maybe he does not want the treasure,” I said, “maybe it was just Jake and Tracy all along.”
“Or perhaps he wants all of us,” said Kat. I suddenly stop walking. “Jeffrey Conners!”, I exclaimed, “now I know why that sounded familiar. That is Avina’s uncle, her favorite uncle. I remember now seeing him just once when he was visiting Avina and her family while we were in high school. He does want all of us.” I called Baldwin right away to tell him what happened. I also wanted him to warn Rock and Annelie.
Mandar will not know they have quit our PI team so he might go after them too. Baldwin put a 24 hour guard on them right away. I cannot believe all this is happening right now, too much in a short time. And Chung wants me to relax? How? That will be impossible until we stop Mandar. Kat called Annelie to see if she can find Mandar for us before anyone else gets hurt. Apparently Baldwin ‘forgot’ to tell them about Tracy. Another funeral for our little PI family.
We are back at the chateau, trying to relax after the funeral. Work on the treasure case has stopped, we have to deal with Mandar first. It would not have been difficult for him to find us, our home is not exactly a secret. Another week has passed but still no word from Annelie about where we might find Mandar. Okay, perhaps John can help us. I called him and left an urgent message for him to call me.
He called back about an hour later and asked what was going on. I brought him up to date on things. The last thing I mentioned was my heart attack. That made him go silent. “Are you still there?”, I asked. “Yeah Steve, still here,” he said, “you have a lot going on, sorry to hear about your health especially. How can I help?” “Ever hear of a guy named Mandar?”, I asked. “Mandar!”, he exclaimed, “yeah, I know him…”
To Be Continued.
©2022 Steve McLeod.