Posted in A Miles Mitchell Story, Outrageous Lies and Tales

The Walk Away Case, A Miles Mitchell Mystery

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In case you want to find me live and in person, my offices are right on Route 192, below me an Indian restaurant, next door a shared wall with a place that rents machine guns to tourists who want to play Rambo. Of the two the Indian restaurant is the one that is the most annoying, the smells that permeate the air are so enticing and for a perpetual broke guy like me it is torture. 

But the Walk Away case came in on my landline, I really do not know why I keep it except that it came with the office and I did not have the money to upgrade the system to something more modern. The voice on the phone was pure upper-class white woman, North Eastern US prep school and rich. (I am really good with voices.)

The whole conversation lasted about fifteen minutes, but the summary is this, Mrs. Rich Woman, also known as Mrs. Janet Armstrong from Connecticut, wanted to hire me to tail her husband and prove that he was cheating on her with some doll here in Orlando. A typical infidelity case, find the husband catch him doing the horizontal mambo with his side piece and I would be eating for a month.

Mrs. Armstrong was smarter or at least more devious than most wanna be ex-wives who already had a divorce shyster, she had installed tracking software on her husband’s phone, and she was also the person who made all his travel arrangements. What I initially thought was going to take a couple of days to catch him in the act was most likely only going to take a day at most, depending on his libido. Well I remember what my mother used to say, ‘don’t count your fried eggs before they are on your plate’.

Have I told you before that my mother is a bit of free spirt and doesn’t really go along with convention?

But she sent me texted me a link on my cell phone, after I embarrassingly told her she was talking to me on a landline and gave me a password to track her husband’s cell phone.

The suspected Mr. Armstrong was staying at one of the convention resorts on Disney property, the Coronado, probably on the biggest ones by my guess. So, I went home a got a pair of pressed chinos and a dress shirt, typical convention wear here in Florida and headed for the resort. Parking was never a problem here, most attendees to conventions are bussed around and never bother with a rental car, so I was able to park my car close to the convention hall.

I pulled up Mr. Armstrong’s location on the app Mrs. Armstrong sent me and noted he was in a room. I walked by it hoping I could catch a glimpse of him, and if I was lucky with his lady friend. I met with no luck by I did note that I could sit nearby on a bench and casually monitor his room, so I sat down for a long wait.

Mr. Armstrong was out in less then a half hour, dressed not for a convention like most other corporate drones, but in a Duck Tales t-shirt and cargo shorts. Okay I thought maybe he is going to meet his girl in a park, so I did what I was hired to do, follow him.

Eight hours later I returned home, hot, tired and sweaty. Mr. Armstrong had toured the Animal Kingdom park with a vengeance, after passing thru the touch points he had headed into Guest Services, not wanting to tip him off that I was following him I hung back, over the next couple of hours I figured out what he had done in Guest Services, he had paid for a service to give him Fast Passes to every major attraction in Animal Kingdom. Expedition Everest, Flights of Passage, Kilimanjaro Safari (he did that one twice) I was able to keep my eyeballs on him at Festival of the Lion King and the Finding Nemo show. No one joined him the entire day, no cute girls, or guys (not that I would judge) but he was alone throughout the entire day. From what I saw he never took a single call throughout the day, and I thought he was some big wall street guy, I never knew them to not be on the phone from morning till night.

But it was nightfall before he returned to his room. I could see he was dragging butt as much as me, so I figured he was not going to have company for the night. But being the diligent investigator, I was, I set myself up on the bench near his room for an hour afterward and made sure he did not leave again or have a visitor.

Nothing, nada, zilch. I did not believe he would, but it was billable hours. The guy was slightly older than me and I had caught him napping a bit on the bus on the way back to Coronado Springs. I checked my notebook to make sure the receipt for the thirty-dollar t shirt I had bought in the park as camouflage was still there. That was going in my bill to Mrs. Armstrong as well. I headed out when I saw the lights go out in Mr. Armstrong’s room. I could still track his phone, so if he went out, I would know it.

I went home with the best of intentions to be back at it first thing in the morning, that did not happen.

Okay I overslept a bad habit I know, but I rationalized that it was okay, I still had the tracking app and I could pick him up whenever I chose.

Unfortunately, Mr. Armstrong was not as weak as I was, over a rushed egg sandwich from a convenience store I saw Armstrong was on the move and had been for two hours. Damn the guy had been at rope drop for Hollywood Studios, now I would have to spot him, but I did not know what he was wearing. What I thought was going to be difficult turned out not to be, he was making a remote controlled toy in Galaxy Edge at Build a Droid, and I knew I would have no trouble tracking him the rest of the day, he was dressed like a rebel fighter pilot, orange jump suit and all. Then after build a droid he had the backpack holding a droid and a fancy new light saber strapped to his back. The rest of the day was spent similarly to the day before, rides, shows and attractions along with stops for popcorn, churros and Mickey shaped ice cream bars.

Armstrong was not attending the convention; he was on vacation. He never talked to anyone for very long, he never talked on his phone and he sure never met up with a lover. He was just a guy having a good time.

While he was in the Frozen Sing Along show, I sat outside the exit reviewing my notes. His wife said he had come down to Orlando six times in the last year. She said he stayed at a resort with a convention hall every time. I was beginning to wonder if something else was going on here besides an affair. I reread my notes from yesterday to see if I had missed something, when occurred to me. I had followed him into the Animal Kingdom yesterday, I was like five people behind him in line. But it was the Annual Passholder line, not the buy a ticket for a day, or even the buy a ticket for vacation line, but the Annual Passholder line. That was for people that had a serious thing for Disney, multiple times in the parks throughout the year. Or the rare instance like me, someone with a lifetime pass.

Interesting. A picture was beginning to form in my head, but it was interrupted but the crowd coming out of the Hyperion Theatre. I looked at my watch as we headed toward the Tower of Terror, I thought it was either back on that ride maybe the Rock N Roller Coaster, but I was wrong. My orange armed and legged prey was heading towards Fantasmic, a large stage shows with characters, projections, fireworks and music. I knew from experience if he was meeting someone they would most likely meet up outside the show, finding anyone inside was problematic. I gave up at this point knowing the park was going to close while the show was going on. I headed towards my car and parked at the nearby gas station, where I could follow Armstrong via his phone app, and I would not have to fight the crowds. Over a Yoo-hoo and a Slim Jim, I watched Armstrong’s dot move from the amphitheater to the bus loop then via Disney bus back to the Coronado, where I was now waiting. The middle aged Padawan get off the bus as predicted and I tailed him back to his room.
Within a half an hour the lights were out, and Armstrong was out as well, at least I hope, this guy was in hard core vacation mode and I did not think I had the energy to follow him anymore. Just watching him have all this fun was tiring me out.

Locals like me do not spend all day at the parks, we might spend a couple of hours, do what we want to do, ride what we want, eat at a specific restaurant watch a show then go home. We are not crazy like this guy and pressed for time like most guests.

I was outside of his room bright and early the next morning, this time I was prepared for a day in the parks, comfortable shoes, shorts and three t shirts and two hats in my bag to change my look and numerous snacks. I was going to try and get up close and personal with him today, if he was in a boat at Pirates of the Caribbean I would get splashed with the same mock cannonball, if he was flying on Soar ‘in at Epcot I would be the fool kicking my feet a few seats down from him.

But like everything in this case it was not going according to my plan. I kept his room under surveillance for two hours before he emerged and damn it if he was not wearing a beautifully tailored pin strip suit with highly shined shoes and a very professional leather binder with gold clasps.

I looked down at my tan cargo shorts and decided they just would not do for whatever Armstrong had planned for the day, luckily my chinos were laying flat on the back seat of the car and were not too wrinkled, maybe I could blend in wherever he was going. So, while he was eating a safe non dripping breakfast of coffee and toast, I ducked into the gift shop and bought a very expensive golf shirt, another receipt to add to my billable expenses.

Another curve, instead of stopping in the convention center and talking to his peers of high finance the perfectly coiffed target walked out the front door and got a cab. I tailed him and he ended up at Casting. Casting is a building on the outside is inspired by Alice in Wonderland theme with funny doorknobs to match but inside it is pure Corporate Disney Personal or Human Resources or whatever the corporation lingo is for a hiring center.

As I parked my car in an adjacent lot, I wondered what this very high-priced stockbroker was doing walking into Disney, surely if they were recruiting him, he would not be walking in like a schlub off the street looking for an hourly job. There would be recruiters involved, lunches over lobster and meetings at the corporate headquarters not Casting across from the Disney Employees Credit Union.

I took the plunge and walked into the building. I had lost sight of my quarry, but he was in here somewhere and I was   about what he was doing. I was approached almost immediately by a smiling seemingly overly happy intern with an armful of clipboards.

“Are you here for the job fair?” She asked in a bubbly manner.

“My buddy came in before me, about so tall, and wearing a real nice suit.” I said acting like I was looking for someone, which I was.

“Oh, your friend went up the ramp to the job fair, are you going to that to?”

I nodded yes and she gave me a clip board with a Disney pen attached.

“Okay just head up the ramp, fill out the form and hand it in at the podium.” She said smiling, which I am sure if I tried it would hurt my face. Taking the clipboard from her hand I went up the ramp surrounded tastefully with Disney characters.

The room was full of people sitting in chairs working on the aforementioned clip boards and the only seat was right next to the most professionally dressed guy in the room, you guessed it Armstrong.

The next ten minutes were filled with silence, of people filling out the forms and looking on their phones. I looked over the form it was an application for an hourly position in Disney Transportation, bus driver to be exact. I pretended to fill out my form, but I was covertly looking over at Armstrong’s. The man was filling it out with the intensity a gambler studies the racing forms when he is down to his last two bucks.

I put some nonsense on my own form, and I followed Armstrong as he placed his clipboard on the podium and then we resumed our seats. He did not take out his phone he did not do anything else to kill time as most people do in those situations he just calmly took in the room, the pictures on the wall, the people still working on the forms. I took my phone out but did not really do anything with it but check the weather.

“Is it going to rain today?” Armstrong said looking at my phone.

I laughed. “It’s Florida in the summer, it rains every day, if it doesn’t its news.” I said.

“Lived here long.”

“All my life.” I responded.

“Me I want to move down here.”

I wanted him to talk, so I just responded. “Oh?”

“Yeah, tired of the rat race, I am tired of going to a job I hate, to spend time with people I hate, to make money for reasons I lost track of.”

I decided to go for the subtle interrogation route. “Your wife tired of it all too?” I said motioning towards the ring on his finger.

“No, she loves it all, the country club life, the shopping for things she really does not need, the whole thing.”

“Sounds like you two have a difference of opinion on what life is about.”

“I’ll say.” He said. Then he paused for a few minutes as we both watched people move around the room turning in their clipboards and getting called in for interviews. “If I get this job here today do you know the first person I am going to call?”

“Your wife?” I guessed, not believing that was the answer.

He chuckled. “No but it is about her. I am going to call my lawyer and have him execute some instructions I gave him. He will start divorce proceedings, giving almost everything to my ex-wife, my cars, my savings, the house almost everything. I keep a small bit to be comfortable, move into a nice condo down here and drive a bus for Disney and not worry about the stock market, or whether or not I can get the next biggest corner office on the higher floor. I am going to walk away from it all and as Thoreau said. ‘Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify.’

I was about to say something sarcastic I guess but I did not get a chance, because just as he finished his statement his name was called and he stood, turned to me and said, ‘good luck.”

I sat there confused for a few minutes unsure what to do. That is when the name I put on the clipboard was called. “Leo Grant, Leo David Grant.” That was my cue to leave I did not have the ID or the inclination to apply for a job as Leo Grant or anyone else for that matter.

I waited outside in my non air-conditioned car to see if Armstrong came out and if I could read on his face how it had gone. I did not have long to wait, an hour later he came out with a big sappy smile on his face, I even overheard him on his phone talking to his lawyer telling hm to put the plan into effect.

I reported my findings to Mrs. Armstrong the next day. I was too late, she had been served the divorce paperwork the previous night, along with the deed to the house, the title to the BMW, the Lexus and the Land Rover. She informed me she would not be needing my services any longer and then promptly hung up on me.

A month later I got my bill returned from Mrs. Armstrong for the third time, I knew she was never going to pay me. I did get some satisfaction on the case, I rode a Disney bus later that week and I had the happiest bus driver on property, a former stockbroker, now with a simple name tag that said, Charlie.

Other Miles Mitchell Mysteries:

The Case of the Missing Mementos 

The Missing Heiress 

The Lost Train

Posted in Quotes

Ditch

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One man cannot hold another man down in the ditch without remaining down in the ditch with him.   Booker T. Washington

Booker Taliaferro Washington (c. 1856 – November 14, 1915) was an American educator, author, orator, and advisor to presidents of the United States. Between 1890 and 1915, Washington was the dominant leader in the African-American community.

Posted in Quotes

Try

Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.   Thomas A. Edison

Thomas Alva Edison (February 11, 1847 – October 18, 1931) was an American inventor and businessman who has been described as America’s greatest inventor. He developed many devices in fields such as electric power generation, mass communication, sound recording, and motion pictures. These inventions, which include the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and the long-lasting, practical electric light bulb, have had a widespread impact on the modern industrialized world. He was one of the first inventors to apply the principles of organized science and teamwork to the process of invention, working with many researchers and employees. He established the first industrial research laboratory.

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Posted in Uncategorized

Combination

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The way I understand it, the Russians are sort of a combination of evil and incompetence… sort of like the Post Office with tanks.   Emo Philips

Emo Philips (born February 7, 1956) is an American stand-up comedian, actor, voice actor, writer and producer. His stand-up comedy persona makes use of paraprosdokians spoken in a wandering falsetto tone of voice. The confused, childlike delivery of his material produces the intended comic timing in a manner invoking the “wisdom of children” or the idiot savant.

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Posted in Quotes

Difficulty

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Every great and deep difficulty bears in itself its own solution. It forces us to change our thinking in order to find it.   Niels Bohr

Niels Henrik David Bohr (Danish: ; 7 October 1885 – 18 November 1962) was a Danish physicist who made foundational contributions to understanding atomic structure and quantum theory, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1922. Bohr was also a philosopher and a promoter of scientific research.

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Posted in A Miles Mitchell Story, Outrageous Lies and Tales

The Case of the Missing Mementos, A Miles Mitchell Mystery

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My 1996 station wagon squeaked to a stop in front of the house. It really needed a lube job, and I suspected a brake job, and I did not even dream about my AC fixed this year. I looked down at my phone then up at the pony express box and confirmed I was in the right place. These people had some real money, this was both one of the oldest and most expensive neighborhoods in Orlando and somehow, I had been asked to come and investigate a theft. Walking up the sidewalk I automatically added another zero to my retainer cost and hoped it would not sour the deal.

The lady of the house opened the door before I could ring the bell which I was sorry about because I really wanted to hear the doorbell, I bet it was one of those big gonging things like the Adaams Family.
I followed Mrs. Lafluer into the house, from the short tour of the digs the inside matched the outside, highbrow and expensive.

“I do not believe I have ever met a Private Investigator before” the very distinguished looking grey-haired man said rising from the sofa and extending his hand.

“And I am sure I have never met a brain surgeon before.” I said shaking his hand it was warm and firm and I wondered how many brains these fingers had touched.

“We prefer Neurosurgeons, it shows you have an open mind.”

I heard his wife groan at his joke, it was one I am sure she had heard couple thousand times. I supposed old married couples do that, I did not have any personal experience with that, my mother’s longest relationship was with a couch she had for fifteen years. They motioned for me to sit we got right down to the case.

“We had a break in last month.”

My face must have shown some shock and Mrs. Lafluer noticed. “Oh, it was an organized ring, they broke into a series of house around here, but they were caught last week.”

“I had not heard anything about it.”

Doctor Lafluer. “It was kept quiet they are still trying to recover some property.”

“Yours?”

“No all of ours was recovered waiting to be sold.” Confusion must have shown on my face. “Everything except one item.” The doctor added.

“And what was the one item?” I asked.

“It was a collectable, a family memento really.” I nodded and then volunteered. “Something connected to Disney?”

The couple nodded then Mrs. Lafluer spoke up, “It would probably be easier to show you.” The three of us rose and I followed them to an upstairs hallway. I noted several framed collages of what appeared to be Disney ticket stubs, park maps and small souvenirs, all mounted tastefully behind glass.

“One is missing.” I noted motioning to a spot on the wall that was slightly discolored, the void had once held a similarly large sized collection I guessed.

“Yes, that one had opening day memorabilia from Hollywood Studios.”

I nodded and Dr. Lafluer continued. “My daughter was working there opening day as was our future son in law Justin.

“They each received opening day pins and assorted things that they both saved. When they got married, we framed it all and gave it to them as a wedding present.”

“I see.” I replied. “And it was taken in the burglary but was not recovered with your other things.”

“Correct.”

“And you want me to see if I can find the collection.”

They both nodded eagerly.

“Well folks, this is kind of a tricky thing, if those pieces are valuable to a collector the collage might have been broken up already. If I take the case, there is no guarantee I will be able to recover any of the pieces.”

Dr. Lafluer nodded and spoke in a serious tone. “Son there are no guarantees in life, the only thing we can do is try. We are just asking you to try.”

I nodded back. I quoted my price and they agreed to it easily enough and then gave me a check for my retainer along with a folder containing detailed descriptions and pictures of all the framed items. I left the house promising to update them daily. Halfway to my car I was kicking myself for not asking for more, but a deal was a deal. Rich clients someday I was going ask for too much and be thrown out on my ear. But not today.

My first stop was the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, Property Crimes Division. I caught up with a buddy and told him I was working the case, he moaned about the paperwork of the recovery, tagging and categorizing all the recovered property.

I usually don’t have much sympathy for flat foots when they complain about shuffling papers, they knew it was in the job when they took it, but I humored him and listened. It was about a half an hour of his belly aching before I got to the crux of the matter of the missing keepsakes. He said there were two problems with that case, one the LaFleurs did not discover the missing frame until a day after the initial report and in the other burglaries nothing like the memorabilia had been taken.

The crew that had done the burglaries only took cash, jewelry, some easily stolen high end appliances but no paintings, collectables or things of that nature. My buddy had interviewed the guy that turned on his co-conspirators, there is no honor among thieves, and he had told them the deal, fast cash, easily sold things that were hard to trace.

I drove away from the Sheriff’s office with more questions than before.

Why the collection? Why the delay in reporting? If it was the 2nd story crew had one of them taken a personal fancy to the piece?

I needed to know more about the items stolen, maybe I was missing something, maybe those pieces were more valuable then any of us knew. Time to consult an expert.

Tuesday, that meant I had to go to Epcot.

Epcot, a park that was utterly different than Walt’s vision for his world. The name itself stood for Experimental Prototype of Community of Tomorrow, and it was meant to be a planned community with underground roads, incredible public transportation and beautiful landscaping.

Now Epcot was simply a theme park, a thrilling and educational one, but when boiled down, a theme park. One of the biggest ‘what ifs” in Disney history, mostly because it was Walt’s last big proposed project.

Personally, I had my own ideas, and they were just as valid as anyone else’s, meaning pure malarkey.

My expert was at Epcot so that is where I went. He was a man of strict habits, looking at my watch I knew he would be somewhere in the International region of the park, either Germany or Italy.

After walking past China, which was the closest, I would ever get to the real place, I kept my peepers open, my expert would most likely be sitting at a table with his laptop.

Predictably I found him in the sit-down restaurant in Italy a few empty dishes around him at this which I am sure he had instructed the staff not to take away. He was a great tipper and so for him to monopolize a table while annoying was made up for with cold hard cash, he was also my oldest friend.

I had met Danny Deww a long time ago when we were both kids, his relatives did not know what to do with a 12 year old genius who loved Disney, so they dumped him off in the park with a credit card and annual pass. My mom would do the same thing, but with no credit card and never enough cash in my pocket to feed me. So, one day when borrowing snacks off people’s parked strollers I met Danny. We literally ran into one another. There were other kids like me who ran in packs around property and somehow, he had run afoul of them and they were chasing him. I hate bullies, I dealt with them and me and Danny have been friends ever since. Disney has since cracked down on those hooligans, but it gave me my best friend.

I picked up his old beat up backpack which occupied a chair and moved it to the next seat. He looked up from his laptop and frowned at the intrusion, but I saw a very brief smile, which turned back to a frown, a total put on I knew.

“Daniel.” I said in greeting.

“Miles.” He said making some notation on his ever-present notepad.

“How is business?”

He responded with a so-so hand gesture without looking up. Daniel’s business was information. He was the unknown research man for a variety of publications, blogs and even some business interests, people that wanted to know what was happening at the House of Mouse that were not in the press releases. Daniel knew more people that worked behind the scenes at Disney than anyone else, he gathered information and dispersed it to numerous contacts around the world. Not that Daniel needed to work, he was a trust fund baby and if he stayed healthy and living with his aunt and uncle he was set for life.

“How are the Ganders?”

Daniel answered. “Good enough, they took up yoga, they have some young chippy come to the house everyday and help them get into downward dog. Aunty says it helps fight her arthritis, I think Unc goes along with it just so he can see this hot blonde in his house every day.”

I shrugged, rich people problems. “Eh, whatever gets you through the day.” I responded.

“What can I do for you?” Danny asked, glancing at the screen. “I have a conference call with someone from Saudi Arabia in ten minutes.”

“Anything to give me the brush me off, so I don’t bring up the money you owe me.” I added.

“No one can pull a straight flush without cheating.” Daniel said.

“People can and I did,” He was about to interrupt when I held up a finger. “I did not come for my money you old miser, in fact you help me out with this case, and I will call us even.”

His eyes narrowed. “What do you need?”

I pulled the folder out. “I need to locate these items, stolen in a burglary the thieves were not targeting memorabilia, this was just a whim, so if they are trying to sell them I do not think they would have any connections so I am thinking the public sites or maybe private sites that you would know about.”

Danny looked over the file for a few minutes. “Have these ever been sold before.” The confused look on my face must have answered his question. “Original owners huh.”

“As far as I know, they got them on opening day.”

He nodded then he closed the file. “Well I will do some research, but this is not really rare stuff, in fact except for how pristine the pieces are there is nothing really remarkable about them. There is some value to them, but any good thief would be disappointed in the price he got for them.” He said handing the file back to me. “The frame and glass were not left behind; the burglars took everything together?”

That was not something I had really considered, I looked at the main list of things stolen, most of the items could be easily stashed in a large duffle bag, but this framed thing was not easily moved, it was bulky and fragile. A new question and no answers yet. I looked over at my friend who had his headset on, and I bid a silent goodbye to Danny.

I continued to my trip and found myself at the Living Seas. I ran over the questions I had in my mind. Why did the thieves steal the memento when they had not done so before or after? Had they broken their own rules and taken the whole framed piece from the house. Why did the Lafleur’s add the item to the stolen list a day after the initial report? The LaFleurs where not someone I would peg for padding an insurance claim.

And lastly, where were the items now?

After turning the problem over many times in my head I realized I needed more information, or at least a second look at the crime scene. I called the LaFleur’s and set up an appointment.

This time I vowed to arrive a little earlier to ring the doorbell, I wanted to know if it was a big gong like I hoped.

I arrived ten minutes early for my appointment with the LaFleurs, but as my finger was less than an inch from hitting the button and appeasing my decidedly over developed curiosity the door opened wide by the hand of the good doctor. A small voice like Snidely Whiplash in my head said, ‘Curses foiled again’.

I got down to the heart of the matter sitting on the same chair with the good doctor and his wife on the couch. “I have a question, on the initial police report you did not list the memorabilia as missing, then added it the next day.”

The Doctor looked a little embarrassed. “That was my fault, she was out of town and all I saw was the missing appliances, when she got home, she noted it was missing right away.”

Mrs. Lafluer patted him on the knee. “It was easy to overlook with everything else missing.”

“You weren’t home when the burglary occurred?” I said puzzled.

“No, I was at my daughter and sons-in-law house.”

“The same ones the had the memorabilia from opening day at Studios?”

“Yes.” Mrs. LaFleur answered but I caught a glimpse of discomfort on the doctor’s face.

I recalled something from the first interview. “Didn’t you say the piece was a wedding present to them when they got married? I hate to be indelicate folks but if it was a wedding present, what was it doing in your home?”

The married couple exchanged chapters of information in just a short glance at each other. “A couple of years ago, they started to have trouble, our daughter and her son moved back in here for a while, she brought the piece with her, recently they have been repairing the relationship, in fact they are in the process of moving back in together.” The doctor stated.

I nodded. Then without pausing to think ahead my mouth formed the words. “Where is their son now?”

“Tommy is staying with us for the summer.”

“Was he here at the time of the break in?”

“No, he was at a day camp, he came home just as the police were taking the last of my statement.” The doctor answered.

“Yes, that is when I called with the good news that Tommy and his mom would be moving back in with Justin, that is how I found out about the break in.” Volunteered Mrs. LaFleur.

“Is he here now?”

“Yes, I believe he is up in his room. Why are you asking about Tommy?” Mrs. LaFleur asked with the hint of protective mama bear coming out.

“Just a hunch nothing more, can we talk to him?”

A glance again and then he nodded.

Tommy’s door was directly across from where the framed memorabilia had been hanging. The grandmother knocked on the door. A muffled ‘come in’ was heard and we entered the room of what I pictured a normal ten-year old’s room looked like. Legos, sport posters and a rumpled bed. Tommy was sitting in a chair playing a handheld game. He stopped when he saw both his grandparents and a stranger. “Hi.”

“Hi.” I said back taking command of the conversation. “I am a private investigator your grandparents hired me to look into the burglary.”

“You mean like Magnum P.I?”

“Sort of but without the cool car.” I looked around the room. “You know about the missing keepsakes.”

I watched him closely, his eyes went to the bed and not the closet.

“Yeah.” He said but not as casually as before.

“Do you know anything about the stuff?”

Again, his eyes went to his bed and he simply shrugged.

“It was right across from your room; you must have seen it every day.”

I saw the tear start to form at his eye, at the same time the lower lip started to quiver. “I am sorry, I thought if they didn’t have the keepsakes they would not fight anymore. They always seemed to fight around it, I thought if it was gone, they could start over again and not fight so much.”

 

He really did not say all that at once, there was a lot of crying, blubbering and nose wiping before we got the whole story out of the kid. The burglary just coincided with the news they were moving back in with his father. No grand conspiracy, no higher malice, just a kid who did not want his parents to fight anymore. The framed stuff was under the bed, and the LaFleurs stated the keepsakes would stay in their house and not go back to Tommy’s house.

The important part, I got paid a big bonus for getting it back in one piece. I did not tell them they would have eventually found it when someone vacuumed under the bed.

I do sometimes know when to shut up.

 

The 1st Miles Mitchell Mystery, The Missing Heir

The Walkaway Case

The Lost Train

 

 

 

Posted in Quotes

Perfection

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Pursuit of perfection is futile. Instead, I prioritize and often realize goals or tasks I’ve been aiming for just aren’t that important.   Aisha Tyler

Aisha N. Tyler (born September 18, 1970) is an American actress, comedian, director and talk show host. She is known for playing Andrea Marino in the first season of Ghost Whisperer, Dr. Tara Lewis in Criminal Minds, Mother Nature in the Santa Clause films and voicing Lana Kane in Archer as well as recurring roles on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Talk Soup and Friends. She is formerly the co-host of CBS‘s The Talk, where she won a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Entertainment Talk Show Host and currently hosts Whose Line Is It Anyway?.[2] She also hosted Ubisoft‘s E3 press conferences and has lent her voice to the video games Halo: Reach and Gears of War 3.


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