W. Slammer, Private Eye
February 21, 2013
If a grilled cheese sandwich is considered food, then I got something to eat when we got back to the castle. And a half-hour nap in a humongous leather chair. Awake and a little refreshed, I’m thinking, One of Michael’s Margarita pizzas would have been better.
Marlene Nelson Chamberlain is, too, and is standing next to my chair. How she manages to look so together all the time amazes me. The dame was gettin’ shot at most of the day.
“I’m awake.” I’m getting up and testing my limits of movement. Guess I better get used to riding in cars going over a hundred miles an hour and being a moving target for guys with noisy guns. I thought detective work was looking for clues and solving cases by being observant, not by ducking bullets. “Thanks for the sandwich – and the nap.”
“You’re welcome,” she says, a small smile playing with those delicious lips. “What’s next?”
“Call that detective agency – let’s get all the info. Like I said, from what we read, all this can’t just be blamed on your brother.”
She calls – makes an appointment. I listen. We go back to the Lincoln and buckle up for whatever’s waiting outside the gates. No SUVs waiting – just the normal afternoon traffic, so we head downtown to see the guys who wrote the more than curious report. She finds a parking spot on the building’s seventh floor. We take an elevator up to the eleventh.
From the office’s interior design, someone’s got folding green. We’re told by an attractive young ‘business like’ lady wearing a pants-suit to ‘please take a seat and wait.’ The place has designer flower arrangements and impressionists paintings on the walls – I’m thinking, the paintings gotta be copies, or these guys really got big bucks!
Turns into a five minute wait, then we’re led into an office with a fifty-something guy wearing frameless glasses, an off the rack business suit and tie, sitting behind a large mahogany desk.
“Good afternoon,” he says, standing, right hand out. “I’m Ronald Davies … ” he shakes Marlene’s hand, looks at me and nods. Probably doesn’t know what to do when being introduced to someone with hoofs instead of hands. Shake or take a pass. “Sorry to keep you waiting,” he says. “Please – have a seat and tell me what I can do for you.”
Marlene introduces herself. “Mr. Slammer will explain why we’re here.”
I sit in an office chair next to Marlene. “It’s about the report you did for the Nelson Chamberlain before he died … something about a conspiracy to rub him out.”
The gentleman presses a button. “Marion – please bring me the Chamberlain file.” He looks at us as we wait. “We were surprised about what we discovered,” he continued – “especially when we read that he died shortly thereafter.”
“You gave the report to the police?” I ask.
“Yes, as I recall,” he says. “It was the last I heard of it until now.”
Marion comes in and hands a folder to Mr. Davies. “Anything else, sir?”
“No thank you, Marion – that’s all.”
With a military about face, Marion leaves and shuts the door quietly behind her.
Mr. Davies opens the folder and thumbs through a dozen pages. “Just as it was – it appears that nothing’s been added – no new notes or forms. What part of the report has your interest?”
“The conspiracy plot. Anything come of that?” I ask. “No questions from police?”
“Doesn’t that seem strange?” I ask. “I mean, Mr. Chamberlain dying less than a week later?”
“It was curious,” says Mr. Davies. “We did our work – wrote the report for Mr. Chamberlain as requested – and gave a copy to the police after we discovered that he’d passed away.”
He passed the folder across the desk. I read the report again – and suddenly the whole case became clear. I couldn’t believe that I’d missed the most import clue. I naturally blamed it on not having my usual nap on time and going so long without something to eat.
“That’s all, Mr. Davies,” I said. “Thank you for your cooperation. All this has solved the problem that’s been bothering Ms. Chamberlain since the reading of the Will.” I stood. “Let’s go, Marlene. We have a lot to do and not much time to get it done.”
We left the office and were soon in the Lincoln, heading for what Marlene Nelson Chamberlain called ‘home’.
“So – what’s the answer, Mr. Slammer? Who’s behind all this – the robbery – the shootings – the car chases?” asks the lady, so cool she could teach water how to make ice.
“I’ll answer all your questions when we’re back in the castle and behind closed doors. Let’s try and get there in one piece.”