Read The Secret of the Stones Online

Authors: Ernest Dempsey

Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Mystery; Thriller & Suspense, #Mystery, #International Mystery & Crime, #Thrillers & Suspense, #Financial, #Military, #Spies & Politics, #Political, #Thrillers, #Pulp

The Secret of the Stones (8 page)

BOOK: The Secret of the Stones
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“Schultz?”
 
He finished the sentence for her.

“Yeah,
that’s it,” she said with recognition in her voice.

So
there was a connection.
 
“Thank
you, Ms. Meyers.
 
You have been
very helpful.”

“You’re
welcome,” she started to turn around and walk back into the library while he
spun in the opposite direction.
 

“Detective?” 
She called out again.
 

“Yes,”
he turned around, stopping in his tracks.

“I’m
not going to get into any trouble for not talking to that Officer Jurgenson, am
I?”

“I’ll
take care of it,” he replied walking backwards away from the girl and then
turned the corner at a jog.
 

This
story wasn’t making sense, but now he had a connection.
 
Sense could come later.
 
Who was this Jurgenson?
 
Sounded like there was another player
involved in this fiasco.
 
For the
moment, though, his only thought was to check out the IAA headquarters and see
if he could find anything else about Schultz and more importantly, Wyatt.

Chapter
13

Atlanta,
Georgia

 

Sean
Wyatt’s carbon colored Maxima eased into a parking spot in front of the
Borringers’ house.
 
He and Allyson got
out and looked around; the neighborhood was completely lifeless, save for the
stereotypical random dog barking in the distance.
 
Even for a Thursday, it was unusually inactive.
 
Sean supposed the outrageous late night
board games would have to wait for the weekend for the suburbanites.
 
It was not a life he’d been interested
in pursuing.
 

Most
of his friends from college had made such a life change.
 
The endless parties and sleepless
lifestyle had been traded in for minivans with soccer balls on the back window
and family nights watching wholesome television.
 
For people who had, at one point, been persuaded to take a
spur of the moment trip to the beach, six hours away, spontaneity now
represented itself in an all expenses paid venture to the local fast food
playground.
 
On nights of true
exhilaration, the couple might be allowed a quick visit to the local video
store to rent a movie, though, with the advent of Netflix, that “inconvenience”
had been remedied, removing the necessity to pack up the car with the kids and
go out.
 

Sean
saw some of those people on the rare occasion when they could find a
babysitter.
 
They would always
pester him with the same questions:
 
“When are you going to settle down?
 
Don’t you want kids?
 
Isn’t it time for you to be getting married?”

His
responses had always been to the point and not the least bit sensitive.
 
Though he was not a mean person or in
any way cruel, marriage and family was a topic that simply annoyed Sean.
 
He was always quick to point out that
if he wanted to go to a movie, he simply looked up the show times online and
went.
 
If he wanted to go out for
dinner, he just got in his car and drove to whichever restaurant he chose.
 
Freedom, he always explained, was far
better than changing diapers or watching those annoying kids’ TV shows.
 

There
was always the same argument, too.
 
“Don’t you want to carry on your name?” they would say.
 
To which he would always assure them
that there were plenty of Wyatts in the world to take care of that problem.

He
wasn’t a loner, just an island of sorts.
 
Maybe he just hadn’t met the right girl.
 
Among the primary annoyers was his father, constantly
nagging about the injustice Sean was doing to his parents by not giving them
any grandchildren.
 
This, though
bothersome, always made him laugh a little bit.
 
His father’s accusation was that he was too selfish, to
which Sean wholeheartedly admitted.
 
Ironically, his dad would always say, “Don’t you want any kids so that
when you are older you will have someone to take care of you?”

Sean
didn’t feel the need to point out the ironic absurdity in that argument.
 
The conversations always ended with his
father not understanding and Sean being content to let the older man remain
frustrated.
 
The need to procreate
was something the younger Wyatt did not possess or simply ignored.

Now,
he stood in the middle of what surely must have been the capital of the nuclear
family.
 
It was like an updated
version of something out of a 1950s TV show.
 
Allyson interrupted his thoughts.
 
“This the place?” she asked and pointed to a two story ranch
style home that stuck out like a sore thumb in the midst of cookie cutter urban
development.
 

“Yeah.”
 
He left the car and strode purposefully
up the walkway toward the front door.
 
Allyson followed less confidently behind.
 

Lights
were still on in what he assumed to be the living room and in a few other
windows upstairs.
 
As he approached
the porch, he could see a television on inside.
 
“Looks like she’s awake,” Allyson observed.

“She
probably won’t sleep well for a while,” he empathized.
 

As
the two stepped up to the door, a cat appeared in the glass partition of the
doorframe.
 
The animal looked at
the visitors as if he were a butler receiving guests.
 
Sean rang the doorbell and a few moments later, the door
cracked open slightly.
 
A woman,
probably in her mid fifties, judging by the streaks of gray in her thick brown
hair, peeked around the corner just below a latched chain.
 

“Yes?” 
Her voice strained like it was an effort to speak, much less be cordial.

“Mrs.
Borringer, my name is Sean Wyatt, I was an associate of your husband’s.
 
Would it be alright if my colleague and
I came in for a minute?”

“You
were a friend of Frank’s?”
 
Her
question came from a suspicious face.

“No
ma’am,” he answered.
 
“I wouldn’t lie
to you and say I was.
 
I met him a
few times and referred to him for a few questions on occasion.
 
I work for the IAA.”

“I
know who you work for, Mr. Wyatt.
 
My husband had a great deal of respect for you.
 
I’d hoped you would come by
eventually.
 
Please, do come
in.”
 
Her slight English accent had
become more prevalent since her mood seemed to have lifted slightly.

She
unlatched the chain on the door and opened it wide for the two of them to
enter.
 
“Please excuse the mess,
quite a lot of things to do the last week or so, since the incident.”

Mrs.
Borringer stood to the side to let the two visitors in.
 
She was casually dressed, wearing a
pair of khaki pants and an Atlanta Braves sweater.
 
The woman must have been a neat freak.
 
There were a few boxes laying about, a
small stack of letters on the table, and a small array of baking pans filled
with various foods, presumably brought over by well-wishers and mourners.
 
Hardly in disorder, though.

“Please,
come in.”
 
She closed the door and
locked it behind them, ushering the newcomers to a sitting room near a
fireplace.
 
“By all means, have a
seat,” the lady motioned to a very soft looking couch.
 
The décor was best described as
inconsistent.
 
While the outside of
the house portrayed a more neo-classical-northwestern look, the interior
appeared more of a kind of mosque/synagogue than a home.
 
There were very few pieces of
furniture, save for a dark, walnut table that matched the hardwood in the
living room and hallways.
 
The
walls were decorated with different religious emblems and pictures from
differing theologies.
 
It seemed
that each wall was dedicated to a different ancient culture or religion.

“This
is a very interesting home you have here, Mrs. Borringer.”
 
Allyson broke the proverbial ice with
her ambiguous compliment.
 

“Thank
you, dear.”
 
The woman’s smile was
sincere.
 
“Frank respected all
religions and cultures and appreciated each one’s contributions to the world.”
 
She drifted off in thought, then
returned.
 
“He believed that we all
came from one place in history and that what had once been a singular view
became twisted and changed over the years.
 
But remaining in every religion, every cultural belief
system, a part of the truth still existed.”
 
She stood and asked if the two visitors would like
coffee.
 
“I can’t have any, though,
too late in the day for me.
 
That
stuff would keep me up ‘til the morning.
 
But I can make a pot if you’d like.” She waited expectantly.

Her
generous smile was irresistible.
 
“That would be great, if it’s not too much trouble,” Sean answered.

The
lady smiled down at him.
 
“No
trouble at all, Sean.”
 
She spoke
like she had known him for years.

While
she was in the kitchen, he decided to continue the conversation.
 
“Did you know what it was that your
husband was working on the last few weeks just before he died?”

Sounds
of pots being filled with water and dishes being moved around preceded the
answer.
 
“I don’t know what he was
working on.”
 
There was a pause
before she continued.
 
“The police
came by twice and asked me the same thing both times.”

“I’m
sorry Mrs. Borringer.
 
I didn’t
mean to…”

“Oh,
it’s okay, dear.
 
I know you
didn’t.”
 
There was a minute of
silence before she reappeared.
 

Allyson
smiled at her as she came through the doorway of the kitchen, a small plate of
cookies in her right hand.
 

Mrs.
Borringer returned the smile, “Yes,” she began, “I doubt those incompetents at
the police department will ever find the villains that did this to poor
Frank.
 
He never crossed anybody,
never hurt anybody.”
 
Her face became
resolute, “My husband was a good man in a world of horrible people.
 
And I fear that we may never know who
took him away.”
 
Rather than
breaking down, an odd sort of anger had taken over her demeanor.

Sean
was interested in the police department’s role in this whole turn of
events.
 
Allyson had taken a cookie
and was nibbling on it, listening intently.
 
“You said the police came by a couple of times?” he stated the
question when it felt like the lady could answer.

She
snapped out of her daze with a start, “Yes.
 
Yes,” emphasizing an oddity about the answer.
 
“It seemed strange to me that the
investigators that came to visit me were, on each occasion, a different person.”

It
was Sean’s turn to perk up.
 
“What
did they look like, Mrs. Borringer, the two detectives?”

A
slightly confused look appeared on her face.
 
“The first officer was very polite. He was probably just
under six feet tall, had dark hair, white guy.”
 
Then, her thoughts wrapped around the details.
 
“Now, the second fellow was taller,
probably 6’3’’ or so. He had a trench coat on but I could tell he must have
been pretty strong.
 
His attitude
was impatient, though, not very friendly.
 
I much preferred the other policeman.”
 
Her words sounded like a child speaking about a preference
of pastries.

Allyson
and Sean had finished their snacks.
 
“This second man, did he produce any identification?”
 
Sean had become more curious.

The
older woman gave a look of confirmation.
 
“Yes.
 
Said his name was
Detective Jurgenson.”
 
She stood
and walked back into the kitchen to retrieve the coffee.
 
“Cream or sugar?” she called to them
from the open doorway.

“Both,”
the two of them responded at the same time to which she responded by adding the
substances to the drinks.

“When
he arrived,” she continued speaking while stirring the cups, “he presented his
badge and ID.
 
Of course, I have
never seen those things before.
 
Looked real enough, I suppose.
 
Had to go by what I’d seen on the tele.
 
But he was a pushy young man, I must say.
 
He went through all of Frank’s things
in the upstairs office and pretty much everywhere else.”

“Did
you notice if he took anything when he left?”

“No.
 
I made sure that nothing was
taken.
 
Frank was the victim so
there would be no need to confiscate anything of his.”
 
She sat thoughtfully.
 
“I don’t think the man found what he
was looking for anyway.
 
After he
was done tearin’ the place apart, he started asking me more questions.
 
His queries didn’t really strike me as
weird until later.”

“What
exactly did he ask about?”
 

She
returned with a silver serving tray containing two large latte cups.
 
“Well, he seemed very interested in
Frank’s work.
 
While Detective
Thompson had seemed genuinely concerned with who might have had it in for my
husband, Detective Jurgenson only asked questions about his projects and anyone
who may have been assisting him.”
 
There was a pause.
 
Then,
“It was almost as if he didn’t care about finding Frank’s killer at all.”

BOOK: The Secret of the Stones
4.58Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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