London's Treasures
Author: Fox Wild

Chapter 11
Chapter 11 of 12

Thomas was in his study on the phone when he heard the front door open; he had given a key to the Frogg brothers.  He stood up and went to the door of the study, given a quick look out at the brothers as they came in; when he was sure they’d seen him, he closed the door and went back to his desk and resumed talking on the phone.

 

When he emerged from his office after finishing the call he found the brothers sitting on the back deck watching the lake.  “Everything go okay?”  He asked as he came out to where they were.

 

“Yes.”  Pessach answered him.

 

Thomas looked down at the deck a moment before continuing.  “I’m sorry for your loss.  I only met Rabbi Moschel once, but he seemed like a really good man.”

 

“The best of men.”  Yitzchak said.

 

“What is your pressing business good Sheriff?”  Zevulun asked.

 

Sheriff Hanks sighed then took a step closer to the brothers.  “Wanda London paid me a visit.  Those tire marks in the yard by the door, she left those behind, she took off in a bit of a hurry after she gave me this.”  He said then held the letter she’d given to him out to Pessach.

 

After he read the letter, he passed it to Yitzchak whom read it then handed it to Zevulun for his turn.  “And?”  Pessach said.

 

Now Sheriff Hanks looked out towards the lake.  A cold feeling ran through him.  “I did some digging, made a few calls, asked too many questions.  Seemed every question I asked only led to more questions, and very few answers.  I just got off the phone with a friend I have in the BCA.”  He looked at the brothers.  “I think you should come inside, to my office.”  He told them.

 

Once they were in the Sheriff’s home office, he talked to them for several minutes about things he’d found out, then he put his computer display on the TV screen in the office and showed them files he had been sent.  They talked more and discussed what Sheriff Hanks had found out for nearly two hours.

 

“What does all this mean good Sheriff?  Many things are implied, what can you do?”  Pessach inquired.

 

Thomas snorted as he shook his head a little.  “Ask more questions.  Not directly to the involved parties, have to be… careful.  This could blow up fast.”

 

“Are you going to get any help from these other agencies?”  Yitzchak asked.

 

“That depends on what I can find out; what they uncover in their own investigation.  Right now… I guess you could say we’re in a holding pattern.  Nothing anyone can do, it’s all just suspicion.  Could be all perfectly innocent.  I hope it is, but I doubt it.  I don’t like the implications, but you have to admit, they’re very strong, all things considered.”  Sheriff Hanks answered.

 

“True, yes, very true.”  Pessach stated.  “But alas, that is your matter, not ours.  We cannot help you in this endeavor good Sheriff, we are not law enforcement officers.  Not even our dear brother Zevulun can become involved in this, it is well out of his area of responsibility.”

 

Thomas nodded.  “I know, just wanted you to be informed is all.  Have you come up with anything?  This obelisk, any information on that, how to find it?”

 

Zevulun was about to reply, but Yitzchak took over instead.  “What classifies an obelisk, to say the least, is rather vague.  Only a basic shape, which can vary, is typically mentioned.  There is no specific size, it could be very large, which is the assumed concept, it could be small as well.  Even the material, ‘stone like’ is the best description, though the obelisk could be made of any material, it would be an assumption that it would be a hard material.  Interpretations vary also, depending on the source or root word of origin referencing the obelisk.  It could be something like a mossy substance.  Though I doubt this description would fit what we are looking for, it is a possibility.  Tapered and of a stone or stone like substance, I believe is what we need to be looking for; but alas, the size, that is the catch.  I have found no information that depicts any reference to a size.”

 

Thomas’s face showed his distaste for this revelation.  “So, it could be as big as a house, or as small as…?”

 

Yitzchak scoffed.  “A thimble could be construed as an obelisk good Sheriff.”

 

“Right.”  Sheriff Hanks replied with dejection in his tone.  “So basically what you’re telling me is we don’t know anything more than when you left except it could be any size; it’s hard, wider at the bottom than the top and white.”

 

With a nod Yitzchak added, “Even being wider at the bottom is only an assumption from a human perspective; the obelisk could be on a side pointing any direction, upside down even.”

 

When his brother said this, Zevulun’s eyes became wide and he sat straight in his chair.  The others with him looked at him with question in their faces.

 

“What is it Brother Frogg?”  Pessach asked.

 

Taking in that he was the center of attention now, Zevulun relaxed some.  “Oh, um, just a thought on something else.  Please, go on with the discussion.”

 

Sheriff Hanks snorted.  “The discussion is done, nothing left to talk about.  We need to find out more things.  If you’ve got something Zevulun, now’s the time.”

 

He smiled politely.  “Nothing, good Sheriff, is all I have.”

 

“Right.”  Thomas retorted.  “Then I suppose we should go to town.  We have things we need to track down.  Time’s a wasting.”  He said then stood from his desk.

 

As he headed for the door, the Frogg brothers followed after.  Back to Lakeland, something none of the four men wanted to do, go back inside the compass.

 

-O-o-O-o-O-o-O-O-o-O-o-O-o-O-London’s Treasures-O-o-O-o-O-o-O-O-o-O-o-O-o-O-

 

“I still liked the original display better.”  Shelly told Denver as they put more on the replacement they’d had for a bit now. 

 

She commented on the display every time they put new items on it.  “This one is more practical, functional, and I think it looks better.  The one we had from Horace was… well, it was gaudy honestly.  And we can put more featured items on this.”  Denver stated looking for a place for one small figurine.

 

“Practical, right, we’re practically selling nothing right now.  This city has gone crazy, it would be a practical idea to sell now and move someplace else, someplace warmer and without snow and twenty below.”  Shelly rebutted with.

 

Denver looked at her with a raised eyebrow.  “Ah, I thought you were in favor of moving here, said real winters were something you missed.”

 

“I meant take a vacation, Christmas time, see some snow, then head to the islands.  Mountains on some of the islands have snow, we could’ve moved to Hawaii, snow, skiing, and lush beaches.”  She returned.

 

“Hawaii is expensive.”  He said with a long face.

 

“So is Minnesota.  You know what our gas bill was last month?  Keeping this shop heated is insane.  The house isn’t much better, the air leaks, fuck, we should’ve updated that wreck of a house.”  Shelly looked towards the front door.  “Maybe we could close the shop for the winter, after Christmas, then head south for a bit.  Maybe even find a nice place down there to relocate to.”

 

Wanda came from the back door to where they were.  “Well, it’s official, two more stores closed.  Up North Accents and Gifts is calling it quits.  They lost their storefront window in the riot two weeks ago.  Nelson’s closed today, they’re moving to Bemidji; they have family there and think a clothing store will do good.  Heck, this keeps up, half of downtown will be vacant stores.”

 

Shelly held her hands towards Wanda from her waist with her palms up.  “See.”

 

With a deep sigh Denver said, “I wish you’d have said something before we did this place, we’re stuck with it now, unless we can sell it, and in the summer when the place is busy would be the best time for that.  We’ve got too much invested in this place.”

 

A shocked look crossed onto Wanda’s face.  “You’re not seriously considering selling and moving are you?  After everything we went through to make this place what it is?  Sure, winter is slow, but there’s Christmas, maybe something for New Years, Valentines day, Saint Patrick’s day, then we’re back into summer basically.  We did amazing this summer.  This place is a cash cow.”

 

Shelly looked at Wanda with a cross face.  “Great, you’ve crossed over and are on his side now.  You weren’t willing to move here at first, now…” Shelly made a angry sound and rasped her throat, “whatever.  We’re stuck.”

 

Wanda and Denver looked at each other.  For Denver, this was a bit of a revelation from his wife, Wanda had already had that revelation.  She’d been wondering when this would come to a head, there were other things that concerned her as well, thus she’d contacted Sheriff Hanks.  She hated herself for what she suspected, but she’d seen what she’d seen and the pieces fit.

 

“Great.”  Shelly said flipping a hand towards the store entrance.  “Here comes Barney Fife and his sidekicks.  What do these shit-heads want now?”

 

Denver and Wanda looked in the direction Shelly was; Sheriff Hanks and the Frogg brothers were walking towards their store.

 

“Well, with everything that’s been going on around Lakeland, they’ve probably been talking to a lot of the stores, their people and such, trying to stop things from getting worse.  Probably just our turn.”  Denver reasoned.

 

Shelly looked at him with a pissed off face.  “Oh great, now you’re mister detective again.”  She commented coldly then turned and moved behind the sales counter.  She looked towards the coffee bar.  “You cleaned all the tables yet?  No!  I can see coffee shit on several.  Get a rag and get to work.  We don’t pay you to sit there and play games on your phone.”  She nearly yelled at the person working the coffee shop part of their business.

 

Wanda was about to say something, Denver may have been too from the shocked look on both of their faces when Shelly shot off like she did, but the chime for the door sounded and the Sheriff and Frogg brothers entered.

 

Before Shelly could comment, Denver took the lead and greeted the Sheriff and Frogg brothers.  “Thomas, Froggs, how are you gentlemen today?”  He said with a smile and quick thought.

 

“We have a special on caramel lattés today.”  Wanda interjected with her own smile and perky voice.

 

“Or you can just turn around and leave, stop harassing us.”  Shelly piped out.

 

Denver and Wanda held their smiles, trying hard to let Shelly’s comments pass without acknowledging her.  The Sheriff and Frogg brothers seemed all to happy to let her comment pass and ignore it.

 

“Denver, I’d like to talk to you…”  Sheriff Hanks’ eyes drifted to Shelly for a moment, “in private if I could.”

 

Pessach stepped forward and addressed Wanda.  “If you would be willing miss London, we brothers three would also like to speak with yourself, in private.”

 

From Shelly the sound of a scoff and snort came from her.  No one looked at her.

 

“Sure, ah…”  Wanda looked at her father, “would The Boxcar be alright?  We could all go there and talk.”  She suggested.

 

Pessach and Thomas smiled together, Pessach responded.  “I think that would work well,” he looked over at Thomas, “any objections good Sheriff?”

 

“No, no, I’m fine with that.  Be easier.”  He replied.

 

“What is this all about?”  Shelly interjected.  “Why am I being excluded?”

 

Sheriff Hanks looked at her now.  “Sorry miss London, Denver and Wanda worked for a law enforcement agency, this concerns cases they worked on and the job they did.”  He offered as an explanation.

 

Shelly scoffed and shook her head angrily.  “Yeah, sure it does.  Denver worked in California, so did Wanda.  If this is about an old case, why are you talking to them and not someone from the BCA or the FBI?  You’re just a local hick sheriff.”

 

Sheriff Hanks held his professional composure.  “This is about several older cases miss London.  Parole hearings, since Wanda and Denver were involved, I’ve been asked to go over standardized questions for them, as I am the local sheriff.”

 

Scoffing again Shelly replied, “Well not for long, since you didn’t even run for reelection.”  She smiled large after saying this.  “Then what are the Toad brothers here for?  They aren’t local law.  Explain that Hanks.”

 

Thomas smiled when he replied, trying to remain professional.  “One of the potential parolees is subject to deportation upon release, since Zevulun represents Interpol, he’s been asked to sit in and advise as well as report back to his people.  Is that satisfactory miss London?  Can we be excused now?”

 

Yitzchak tittered a little when the Sheriff finished, Pessach elbowing him shut him down.  Since Shelly didn’t say anymore, the Frogg brothers, Sheriff Hanks, and Denver and Wanda all moved to the door and left.

 

-O-o-O-o-O-o-O-O-o-O-o-O-o-O-London’s Treasures-O-o-O-o-O-o-O-O-o-O-o-O-o-O-

 

Since it was mid-day, the lunch rush was over and the supper crowd wasn’t due until around four thirty, The Boxcar was empty, except for the waitress, cook, and the Sheriff and his companions whom had taken a booth on the far end away from the kitchen and entrance.

 

When the waitress arrived, Sheriff Hanks told her to bring a pot of coffee, hot water and several tea bags along with an entire lemon pie and plates.  She nodded then headed off.  She returned with cups, hot water and coffee, placing them where they belonged.  When she brought the pie, Sheriff Hanks told her they didn’t want to be disturbed.  She nodded then left.

 

Sheriff Hanks pulled out some pictures and placed them in front of Denver.  “Wanda’s apartment, recognize it?”

 

“Yeah, so?  These from the case file for the IA commander?”  Denver asked, Wanda was keeping quiet and not even looking at the pictures.

 

“You never had to testify, Ted Anderson, he was found with his head bashed in; his head beaten against the bars of his locked cell.  Lynn Baxtruim, his head was bashed in and stabbed seventy two times.  All while in the county jug, never made it to trial.  Several others died before they could even be charged.  The ones that made it to trial, didn’t know squat about who called the shots above Anderson.  Seems only the ones that knew anything relevant about who Ted worked for died.”  Sheriff Hanks stated.

 

“Yeah, some suspected the Menendez family, Danny Menendez, they never were able to make the connection.  To do as much as they did, I was favoring a bigger organization; Lynn’s contact at the transmission shop was found under a car with a transmission on his chest.”  Denver said.

 

“Right.”  Sheriff Hanks said.  “Who all did you talk to about these suspicions, mention the Menendez family to as who you thought was behind Ted Anderson?”

 

Denver’s face was a mixture of disbelief and confusion.  “Ah, well, no one.  Wasn’t a suspicion of mine, it was actually mentioned by my boss at the time.  It was people in the bureau that considered Danny Menendez as a suspect; I honestly didn’t suspect him even after he was mentioned.  The Menendez’s weren’t a huge syndicate operation, still think they’re wrong about that, would take an awful lot of clout to bend Ted Anderson.  Lot of money too.  My best guess would be Italians.  Sure, the Menendez family is big in the drug cartel, but as a mafia group, small potatoes.” 

 

“Wanda, how are you liking it back in Minnesota now?”  Yitzchak inquired.  “Is it true you originally stayed behind in California?”

 

The sudden question from Yitzchak derailed Denver’s thoughts and was a surprise to Wanda as well.  She looked at him with a confused look for a moment before she realized he was talking to her and what he’d said.

 

“Oh, ah, yes, actually, I had taken a more formal job with the bureau.  The Justice Department was shutting down Denver’s operation, so I had to do something and they offered me a job with the FBI.  If Denver hadn’t taken his retirement, he’d probably be my boss right now.”  Wanda answered then smiled.  “As to being back in Minnesota… well, no lie, I was against moving back.  After working my new job a bit, what can I say, the FBI was making escaping to Minnesota look better everyday.”  She chuckled at that comment.

 

“But you weren’t staying at your apartment then, were you?”  Yitzchak asked.

 

“No.  The bureau wouldn’t let me, after the bomb was planted; to much risk, and they were staking my place out to see if anyone came for a second shot at me.”

 

“Besides yourself, whom else had you given a key to?”

 

“Just mom and dad.  I had new locks put on when I rented the place.”

 

“What company put those locks in for you?”

 

“London Investigations, dad put them in for me.  Didn’t trust anyone else honestly.”

 

Sheriff Hanks took back over.  “These pictures Denver, weren’t in the files for your case.  These were submitted after, and they were taken before the bomb was planted.  Any thoughts on these pictures from your perspective?”  He asked pointing to the pictures to get Denver to look at them again.

 

This time when he looked at them, he was in his detective’s state of mind, something he hadn’t used for sometime now.

 

“Well, whoever took them, wasn’t admiring the interior decorating, that’s for sure.”  He commented.

 

“What makes you say that?”  Thomas asked.

 

“Shot of the door, two from the outside, one of those seems to be focusing on the keyhole and doorbell, one from the inside, who takes pictures of doors?  Then there’s the hallway, kitchen, and the backdoor.  These were taken to case the apartment, show the basic layout.  The one from the inside of the door, shows there wasn’t an alarm on it.  Also, whoever took them, wasn’t a pro.”  Denver reasoned.

 

“What makes you say that?  That they weren’t a pro?”  Sheriff Hanks asked.

 

Denver shrugged.  “The way they were taken.  The one of the door, it’s like the person was asked to take them and not told why.  They stood at a distance to get the full view of the door instead of turning the camera and getting as close as they could.  Same for the view of the hall, they moved down it to get the full view.  It’s just a gut feeling looking at them, like a pro would’ve taken them differently.”

 

“In your report, you stated that a bomb had been placed to kill your daughter, why did you assume that?”  Pessach asked.

 

Denver looked at him with expression.  “Because the bomb was at her place, wired to the door so as soon as she opened it, the bomb would go off.”

 

“However, you also said it was wired to the doorbell, why mister London, if it was to kill dear Wanda when she opened the door, would the doorbell have been included?  I do not see her ringing the doorbell when she enters her own home.”  Zevulun said.

 

“I’ve asked myself that same question hundreds of times since I discovered the bomb.”  Denver answered.

 

“Why were you there Denver?”  Sheriff Hanks asked.

 

A faint smile found its way to Denver’s face.  “To drop off a note, personal note asking our daughter to come to our house for our party.  Shell thought a personal note instead of just the phone call messages, texts and emails I’d sent would be a good idea.”

 

“Right.  So you wrote her a note on the back of your own business card and dropped it in the mail slot.”

 

Denver shook his head.  “No, Shell actually wrote it, asked me to put it on her kitchen table.”

 

Sheriff Hanks nodded.  “Right.  Missus London wrote a note to Wanda on the back of your business card then asked you to drop it off in her kitchen.  So why didn’t you?  You used the mail slot instead, you had a key.”

 

Denver chuckled a bit bashfully.  “Well, yes, I had a key but… I never went to her place when she wasn’t home.  If I went there I always would check to see if she was home first, unless I knew she would be there.  Since she wasn’t there, instead of…”  Denver stopped, a thought hit his brain like a freight train out of control.

 

“Yes Denver, since she wasn’t there, what?”  Sheriff Hanks pressed.

 

Denver looked up fast at the Sheriff.  “She wasn’t home, I knew she was cleaning out our office and heading for her office.  If she’d have been there, I’d have rang the bell before coming in so she’d know I was there.”  He said with a face of discovery.  “The bomb was for me, not Wanda.  Whoever planted it knew I had a key and how I went into her place.  The doorbell was the primary trigger, since she wasn’t there and I knew that, they rigged it to blow if the door opened without the doorbell button being pressed.”

 

Sheriff Hanks smiled, but not a happy one, his smile was because Denver had figured out the truth of things.  “That’s what we’ve been thinking.”

 

Now concern and worry were fully on Denver’s face.  “You think they’ve followed us to Lakeland and are going to try and finish what they started, don’t you?”

 

“No, they didn’t follow you to Lakeland Denver… they wouldn’t have had to.  You didn’t exactly keep it a secret where you were going.  As to finishing what they started, I think they may have tried already.”  Thomas informed him.

 

“Oh?  When?  How?”

 

“Gretchen Twitchel, that’s how; when, the day she quit.  When she took over running the coffee shop, one thing you didn’t have there, was the shaker the powdered sugar was in.  Gretchen bought her own.  When she quit, she took it with her.  She didn’t know the powdered sugar had been replaced with rat poison.  You came in around 10 and hadn’t gotten your morning coffee yet, which was a latte with whipped cream on top that she’d sprinkle powdered sugar on.  The rat poison we found in her car was an old box that still used thallium.  I’m suspecting it was planted in her car after she quit since she took the shaker with her.”  Sheriff Hanks revealed.

 

Denver was looking shocked now.  “How did you find this out now?  If it was planted, then Gretchen wouldn’t have known.”

 

Sheriff Hanks nodded again.  “Right.  Gretchen is also dead; bashed her own head in on the toilet in her cell, bleed to death on the floor over night a couple of weeks ago now.  No, what tipped us off was that the shaker she had used, was different than the others in Grammatically Correct Coffee’s inventory.  We recently found out it was her own shaker.  She’d found it in her things she’d taken when she quit and brought it to the coffeehouse to use, not knowing the powdered sugar inside was loaded with thallium.”

 

Denver looked over at Wanda, she was looking at the table and hadn’t said a word since she was asked a question; she was being very quiet he thought.  He looked back to Sheriff Hanks.

 

“Then they’re going to try again.  I need to get out of town, until you can catch them.”  He rationalized.

 

“No, we don’t think they’re going to try again after what happened.  But we are going to catch them; that’s why we need you to stay around.  We’ve got to smoke them out, get them to admit what they did.  And for that, we need your help.”  Sheriff Hanks informed Denver.

 

“You mean they’re still around?  If they’re still around, then they are going to try again, why would they stay around if they weren’t going to try again?”  Denver questioned logically.

 

“The person they used is someone local, that’s why they’re still here.  After their first attempt went sour, they won’t risk doing anything again and getting caught.  If they get caught trying to get to you again, it’s not a hard link to put them with what happened at the Grammar’s coffeehouse.  You follow?”

 

Denver nodded.  “Yeah Sheriff, I get it.”

 

“Good.  I just wanted you to know what we’d figured out.  We’ll be keeping an eye out around you, but you need to watch everyone yourself.  If you suspect anything, let me or the Frogg brothers know.  We’re here for you Denver.”  Thomas told him.

 

“Thanks Sheriff.  I’ll keep my eyes pealed, let you know the second I know anything.”

 

“Good, I know you will.”  Thomas said then looked around briefly.  “We won’t take up anymore of your time.”  He said then got up.

 

The Frogg brothers stood with Sheriff Hanks then they headed out the door leaving Wanda and Denver alone in the diner.

 

-O-o-O-o-O-o-O-O-o-O-o-O-o-O-London’s Treasures-O-o-O-o-O-o-O-O-o-O-o-O-o-O-

 

“You know, that’s not legal here; wasn’t fond of you smoking it in California either.  You’re lucky they never piss tested you.”  Denver said as he walked to where Wanda was sitting in the backyard. 

 

“Yeah, well, I don’t drink, and that’s far worse than having a little reefer.  You should try it, now that you’re not side pork.”  She ended smiling at him.

 

“Side pork, hated that term, I, we were every bit an agent and cop as any of the regular agents were.  Just because we fronted as being private investigators doesn’t mean we didn’t do the real work.”  Denver commented.

 

“Yeah; cops hate being called pigs and the pork, then they call us side pork.”  Wanda replied then looked at her dad.  “What were you working on in there anyways?  You looked intensely into it, whatever it was.”

 

Denver shrugged and worked his face in a dismissive manner.  “Oh… nothing really, just reliving the past you might say.  Looking at old files, mostly on myself, things that happened, things I’ve done.  Maybe retiring wasn’t the best idea after all.”  He sighed and looked over at his daughter with a weak smile.  “Just chasing ghosts.  Something that the Sheriff said, just got me thinking.  It’s nothing, just me being me.”

 

“How things ended when we left.”

 

“Yeah.  Brought up some old questions is all.  Probably best to leave things in the past.”  He said.

 

The two of them sat there not saying a word for several minutes.  Wanda ended up reloading her chillum and taking a hit; Denver looked over at her with a grimace.

 

“Why do you smoke that shit anyways?  You used to do that when you were in a gang.”  He stated somewhat coldly.

 

Letting her hit out she looked to him and said, “Because it helps me relax, I enjoy it, and it doesn’t fuck you up like booze and leave you wanting to puke with a hangover the next morning.  You really want to see me like mom after she’s tied one on?”

 

He sighed.  “No, I don’t want to see you tie one on like Shelly does.  I hoped when we moved here, her being away from her social circle, she might slow down some; seems like she only got worse.”

 

“I know.  I remember her getting so smashed… that’s why you don’t drink anymore, because of her, isn’t it.”  Wanda stated more than asked.

 

“Well, one of us had to be the sane one, keep things together.  You know we almost split up shortly after we moved to California.”  Denver told her.

 

Wanda looked over at him.  “Was that when you two tried the swingers life?”

 

With a nod Denver said, “Yeah, after I caught your mother… with another woman.  She admitted to catting around with men too.  To save our marriage, I agreed to what she wanted.”

 

“Oh.”

 

Denver looked at her with an expression that said he wanted her to finish her though, reluctantly she went on.

 

“Just, explains some things, you know, why she encourage me to come on to you, and her when you could see.”  She explained.

 

Denver’s one eyebrow raised.  “Oh?  She encouraged you?  So… it wasn’t your idea, I always thought you started that on your own.”

 

“You were supposed to.  Mom… Michelle, has had a thing for girls most of her life.  Started in junior high I guess; she never told you?”  Wanda revealed.

 

Denver’s face had gone blank.  “No.  I’m finding your mother has kept a lot of things from me.”

 

“Please dad, don’t call her my mother anymore.  I don’t like thinking of her as my mother anymore.”  Wanda stated coldly then stood.

 

More thoughts from the past filtered into his mind as he looked around at nothing.  Seeing that he hadn’t noticed she’d gotten up, Wanda got his attention.

 

“Here.”  She said, handing her chillum and small container of weed to him.  “Try some, it’ll help.  I’m going to the basement and run a bit.  TV show on I want to check out.”  She told him.

 

He took her chillum and the container while staring at her.  She turned and walked off.  Taking a look at the chillum for a moment, he set it down and returned to thinking.  After about five minutes, he looked at the smoking apparel, then, decided what the heck, and tried some for the first time in his life.  Ten minutes later, he was feeling fine, picked up the weed and the chillum and went into the house. 

 

He didn’t go into the basement, instead, he put the stuff on Wanda’s dresser in her room then headed back downstairs.  He stood at the landing for a minute or so then decided to go downstairs.  When he came into where the gym area was in their house, Wanda looked at him and turned off the treadmill.

 

“I’m going to the store.  You coming?”

 

“No.  I have things to work on here, payroll, check over the inventory list and deposits.  Kind of want to work at home today, if that’s alright.”  She replied.

 

With a nod Denver told her, “Fine by me.  I’ll see you when I get home.”

 

Wanda finished her run then went upstairs to shower.  Before she got to her room, she headed into the office Denver had upstairs and went to the desk.  She turned on the monitor of his computer, on it, were pages from his personnel file and case files he’d worked on and other things from his past.  She started looking though what was on his computer.

 

One particular page that caught her eye was one about the police psychiatrist that had recommended Denver be removed from duty on the streets after he’d made detective.  It was a news article about how the man had died.  The accident happened shortly after they had moved to California.  She moved on to other pages, there were several more interesting things that had happened where people had died.  Denver himself was in no way suspect in the deaths, he had solid alibis.  As she read on, suspicions in her grew.  She didn’t like where they were pointing.

 

When she looked up, realizing she was feeling rather chilled, she noticed the time.  She’d been sitting there several hours now, Denver would be home soon and Shelly with him.  She returned the first page she’d seen to the main part of the monitor then turned it off and was about to make for the shower when she saw a paper on the desk that caught her eye, the bottom of the paper that is, that was sticking out.  It looked like a copy of a airline ticket.

 

Lifting the other papers from on top of it, she slid it out, stapled to is was another paper, this one was a bank debit card statement.  Highlighted on the statement was the purchase of an airline ticket.  The copy of the ticket was for a round trip ticket to Minneapolis Minnesota.  She turned the monitor back on and looked at the page with the article on the death of the psychiatrist, the date of his death was the same as the departure date on the airline ticket.

 

A cold chill hit Wanda.  She returned the computer to the way it was when she’d first turned it on and replaced the statement and copy of the ticket to where she’d found them then headed to the shower.

 

-O-o-O-o-O-o-O-O-o-O-o-O-o-O-London’s Treasures-O-o-O-o-O-o-O-O-o-O-o-O-o-O-

 

Wanda pulled into the driveway of Sheriff Hanks house.  This time she had called him before she just showed up and arranged a time to meet with him when her dad and Shelly would be at the store and not notice she was gone.  Her working more at home made this easier.

 

“Hello Wanda, come in.  The brothers are out on the deck, we can talk there.”  Sheriff Hanks said when he answered the door.

 

“Thanks Sheriff.”  She said then followed after him as he led the way to the back deck, the enclosed part now that winter was fully on them.  “Didn’t take you for one to decorate for Christmas Sheriff Hanks.”  She commented as she looked around.

 

With a chuckle he told her, “I’m not.  Those are all new.  My realtor thought it would help sell the place if I decorated it for the season; guess it worked, house is sold.”

 

“Oh, so that’s why you didn’t run this year, you were planning on moving.”  She said distractedly.

 

“No, I’m moving because I didn’t run, want to put Lakeland behind me, going to move out west, Montana, Wyoming, maybe even as far as Washington, haven’t decided yet.  Want to park myself in a small town, smaller than Lakeland, get out of any of the mess.”  He replied then opened the door to the enclosed part of the deck where the Frogg brothers were waiting.

 

As Sheriff Hanks and Wanda took their seats, Zevulun offered her some tea.  She accepted and thanked him.  Wanda sipped some of the tea as the others waited for her to get to why she was there.  She could feel their eyes on her and knew they were politely waiting on her.

 

She removed a USB drive from her purse and set it on the table near Thomas.  “This is information I copied from dad’s computer, things he’s been looking into.  I also scanned some of the papers he had on his desk and in files.”

 

Sheriff Hanks and the brothers nodded but said nothing.

 

Wanda was nervous about this entire thing and how it looked.  “Dad had an article about the death of the psychiatrist that deemed him unfit for duty as a cop.  There was a copy of a bank statement for an airline ticket that puts her in Minnesota when he died.”

 

“Your mother?”  Yitzchak questioned.

 

“Don’t call her that, she’s not my mother.”  Wanda responded coarsely.

 

The brothers three looked between each other then returned to Wanda.  “Sorry.”  Yitzchak said.

 

Wanda shook her head with a little anger.  “There’s more.  There’s copies of bank statements from my dad and Michelle’s banking accounts.  He’s highlighted several, quite a few actually, that were from their savings accounts and investment accounts, nearly fifty thousand dollars.  I don’t think dad made the withdrawals.  And there’s more; memos from where Michelle worked, projects she was on, letters about missing funds.  I think she was embezzling funds from the company she worked for through research funds and grants.”

 

“Sounds like… Denver kept a lot of records.”  Pessach stated.

 

With a nod Wanda replied, “That’s my dad.  Detail hound, ‘you never know what might come in useful’ he always would tell me.  He even has hand written logs and notes in small notebooks from when he was a street cop.  He’s been digging into the past, connecting dots or something.  I’m not sure what he’s looking for, but…”  She trialed off.

 

“It doesn’t look good.”  Sheriff Hanks finished.

 

Wanda nodded as she looked down to her lap.  “Some of the more recent things… fuck, it’s really scary, if what I suspect he suspects… really bad.  Our last case, Ted Anderson and Lynn Baxtruim, they knew dad and I were investigating them, and they shouldn’t have.  Dad suspected a mole in the agency, but never was able to get any leads.  The DOJ changed how they handled us, there weren’t many people that knew we existed.  They encrypted the files differently as a security measure and limited access.  From what I saw in dad’s records, the leaks were still happening after that.  That’s when he had our computers gone through, replaced them with new ones and added a shit ton of new security, even our computers at home got worked over.  The leaks stopped for a while, some information was still getting out though.  Dad was suspecting me I found out when I read the old files.”

 

“Where do you think the leaks were coming from Wanda?”  Yitzchak asked.

 

“She knows now where, whom, the leak was, don’t you dear girl.”  Zevulun stated bluntly.

 

Wanda nodded, still looking at her lap then raised her face.  “Michelle.”  She looked at Sheriff Hanks.  “Right before I talked to you the first time Sheriff, Michelle said something; we were talking about California, when we moved to Minnesota, she said we couldn’t have stayed in California because of dad’s past, his last case.  She mentioned the Menendez’s by name.  We never knew they were involved, suspected, but it could have been any of a dozen criminal groups.  The Gambini’s were the obvious crew, even the bureau and the DEA weren’t sure who was involved.  I know I never mentioned them to Michelle, I’m sure dad didn’t either.”

 

“Right.”  Sheriff Hanks said.  “You know we can’t act unless we have something solid to go on.  I… we’ll look everything over.  If we find something, anything we can get a warrant on, I’ll give you a heads up.”

 

Wanda’s phone picked this moment to ring.  Taking it from her butt pocket she looked at it.  “It’s Michelle.”  She informed those with her then answered the phone.  “Hello?”  She listened for a moment.  “Yeah, sure, I’ll be right in.”  She listened again.  “No, I’m not at home, I’ll be there soon, bye.”  She said then ended the call before Michelle could question her more.  She looked at the brothers then at Sheriff Hanks.  “Got-a go, work calls.”  She told him then loosely smiled as she stood up.

 

Thomas walked Wanda to the door and saw her off.  Once her car was gone from sight, he returned to the brothers Frogg waiting on the warm part of the deck.

 

“Good Sheriff…” Zevulun started, “if Denver has been looking into the past, then so should we.  I feel that there are many answers as well as questions that will guide us in the evidence of what has been.”

 

Sheriff Hanks nodded.  “Right, that’s exactly what I was thinking.  I’ll see what I can get on Denver’s past cases that isn’t in what Wanda gave us.”

 

“Actually good Sheriff, I think we need to search where this all began, where Denver and Wanda’s lives conjoined.  We need to look into Wanda London before she was Wanda London.”  Yitzchak said.

 

 

 

 

 

Notify me when...

"This extract remains the exclusive property of the author who retains all copyright and other intellectual property rights in the work. It may not be stored, displayed, published, reproduced or used by any person or entity for any purpose without the author's express permission and authority."

Please rate and comment on this work
The writer appreciates your feedback.

Book overall rating (No. of ratings: 
1
):
Would you consider buying this book?
Yes | No
Your rating:
Post a comment Share with a friend
Your first name:
Your email:
Recipient's first name:
Recipient's email:
Message:
 

Worthy of Publishing is against spam. All information submitted here will remain secure, and will not be sold to spammers.

No advertising or promotional content permitted.