Friday, February 20, 2015

Everything is Different Now

Pulling into Tina’s driveway, Sean was surprised to see Edwin and Tina sitting together on the front porch. Mary was not surprised. The weather had turned sultry. Tina was wearing a light house-dress while Edwin was in shorts and a short-sleeved shirt. They were smiling.

“Welcome back honeymooners,” said Tina, “How was your trip?”

“Er, interesting, to say the least,” said Sean, “Mineral Point definitely has its charms.”

“Who’s minding the store, Edwin?” said Mary, playfully.

“Never on Sunday,” said Edwin, “How did those rings work out for you?”

“A profound experience,” said Sean, “Not for casual use.”

“Any news from Emily?” asked Edwin.

“Yes,” Mary said tersely, “There was a visitation last night. It wasn’t pleasant.”

“Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to upset you. I can see how a visit from Emily would be upsetting,” said Edwin.

“Everything I experience gives me a greater understanding,” said Mary.

“When will you two be leaving for Seattle?” said Tina.

“It looks like we’ll be heading out on Wednesday morning,” said Sean, “If nothing else extraordinary comes up.”

“I’d like to look at the other sites that Emily drew pictures of before we leave,” said Mary to Sean, “Do you think we have enough time to visit one before dinner?”

“I don’t see why we couldn’t,” said Sean, “Edwin, can I give you a ride back into town?”

“No,” said Edwin, “Tonight I’m the cook.”

Sally O’Donnell sent Molly Berenson a text message:
Molly, I need to meet with you ASAP. This is urgent. Everyone who was involved with Billy and Sean is in grave danger. I have information which may help protect you and them. Can we meet? Sally O'Donnell
She knew it was a long shot, but her options were running out. She was startled when her phone chimed only a few minutes later.

        OK. Meet me at Peets, in an hour. MollyB

Sally returned the message with an "OK."

The next place on the map of the locations of Emily’s drawings was a bend in the Trout Run Creek. The years had changed the view considerably, but once they neared the spot Mary could sense its exact location: a small sand bar in the middle of the stream.

“Keep an eye out, Sean,” said Mary as she began to wade in the shallow creek, “I don’t want to be interrupted. You don’t have to say anything, and you don’t have to do anything. Not a thing. But if somebody comes, you could whistle. You know how to whistle, don’t you, Sean? You just put your lips together and … blow.”

“Just put your lips together and blow, right, Ms. Bacall?” said Sean. “To Have and Have Not?”

“Good memory. I never knew you were such an expert when it came to romantic movies.”

When Mary reached the island, she immediately slipped into a trance-state.

Molly and Sally sat at a table in Peet’s Coffee and Tea, in the Green Lake District of Seattle. Molly was wary of Sally. Her dislike stemmed not only from Sally’s role in the ‘Billygate’ affair but also from her general appearance. Molly thought that Sally projected an air of crass indifference. Although Molly knew that Sally wasn’t directly responsible for the interrogation by the FBI, she felt that Sally’s treatment of Sean and her was a factor leading to her breakup with Sean. After exchanging frosty hellos, Molly wanted Sally to get straight to the point.

“What is it that you have that is so important?” she said.

“I know that I’m not the most popular person in your world,” Sally began, “And I’ve done many things which I’ve regretted. But circumstances change. While I can never atone for the things that happened to you and Sean, you must deliver some information to Sean.”

“Why did you come to me?” said Molly, “We’re not exactly close anymore.”

“Nobody can locate them. They haven’t been seen in Seattle for over a week. I don’t have any way to contact them.”

“Without getting me involved too deeply, what is it, in general, that you want to tell them?”

Sally paused a moment before answering.

“You know that I was working for Senator Clarkson when Billy and Sean were in Iceland,” Sally began, “What you don’t know is that I was really working on behalf of The Senator’s father-in-law, a man named Roger Ramsen. I was his mistress. Roger passed away last Wednesday from a massive coronary. While he was in the hospital I took the liberty to examine his computer, copying numerous files and emails. After I read them I became aware of the fact that Roger belonged to a secret organization, a group of men who preside over a vast international financial and political enterprise.”

“Is that what Billy leaked to that Professor?” said Molly.

“He didn’t know the names of any of the men in Roger’s group.”

“OK, I understand you so far. How does this put Sean in danger?” asked Molly, anxiously.

“Sean, as Senator Clarkson’s son, is a legal heir to the Senator’s estate. While the Senator is a wealthy man, he isn’t in the same league as the others,” Sally continued, “But, and this is far more important, Sean is somehow entitled to a share of the group’s assets. The group of men are all old and, for reasons I have yet to determine, have not had any new members join in many years. There were eight of them. Now, with the death of Roger, they are seven. They are, for some reason, terrified that Sean may make a claim on his inheritance, exposing the group. Billy was right about Sean’s mother being murdered. But it wasn’t Senator Clarkson behind it. It was the group. I fear that they will try again to take the same action against Sean.”

Molly sat in stunned silence.

“Will you help me help Sean and Mary?" pleaded Sally.

Molly remembered that she still had access to the data drop-box which Mary had given her when Sean was in Iceland. It might still work.

“I think I might be able to reach him,” Molly said.

“Let me know if you can, and what the response is,” said Sally. “Here’s my number. If they want my information, call me and we’ll meet again for coffee. Don’t say anything about Sean over the phone, just make a date for coffee.”

“I’ll get back to you,” said Molly.

After her visitation, Mary waded back to the bank where Sean was waiting.

“Anything?” asked Sean.

“Cellular history,” she said, “All the way back to protozoa.”


By Professor Batty