Gray rain was coming down in sheets and coffee is doing nothing for my sour mood. The clock shows 9:30 and I’ve been up since 5 bouncing from site to site. I want to be where it’s ten thousand degrees in the shade.
I need a break and turn on the TV and stare at the screen. A preacher in a gray silk suit is blasting the “word.”
“Glory, glory Hallelujah! The sun is shining down.”
The Suit’s message: “Sinners send tithes to multiply our mission.” You’d think they get off the platitudes and work with the Sinners themselves, like Donna, or Delores or some guy in prison. Nah. That’s too hard. Pharisees are like that. They forget the why. It’s the other guy’s problem and his money should go to better home, like me. Send the money in today.
It’s been a long time since I darkened a church door. Got tired of the corporate line of “salvation” and Sevilles, playing church for all to see. Modern Pharisees was what Angie had called them. People going through the motions and putting on a show. Yep. That had been my experience. A last piece of palace intrigue among former friends had sealed the deal. It’ll be in the distant future before I go back. Turning off the idiot box, I fill up, and go back to work.
Donna Bartlett’s lawyers had authorized continuing the asset trace for “estate” purposes. Right. As far as I knew, there was no next of kin except Jerry Herrington. Who would get the goods? Putting two plus two said they were getting pressured by the cops for information. It didn’t matter to me. To this point, they’d been prompt paying the bills.
My creditors liked that.
There had been some successes. Williams’ crime scene crew found a deposit slip in her house and they were kind enough to let me know. Cross checking showed the account was on the list Donna had given me. The slip showed only her name on it. Interesting. Was Herrington a signer on it? There was only one way to find out.
The bank was surprisingly cooperative given the circumstances. They could have told me to pound sand, but I got patched into their legal department. I explained my role in the estate proceedings and they gave me what they could. The account had a hundred large in it and it had been frozen since a week before the murder. Any further info would require a court order. I understood. The funds were placed in escrow until the case was over.
I kept digging. One of the jetskis turned up stripped north of Naked Lady Cove. The VIN on the theft report came back to one of the missing ones. You win some and you lose some. Jerry didn’t do chop shops. It was probably some meth head who needed some quick cash. I let the insurance company know. The second ski ended up being at Bartlett’s house. I guess she’d forgot it was there.
That left the big boat and a fair amount of cash.
Herrington’s credit file turned up an alias. Harvey Lloyd. I had to laugh at that one. A tribute to a dead con man by another con man. I wonder if Williams had picked up on that yet? When I ran the name two accounts turned up, both with a balance of zero. The banks this time weren’t so obliging on history. I let the lawyers know in case they wanted to pursue it further. There were a couple of more aliases on the file to run down. Maybe I’ll get lucky.
The Sunset Dream was still lost in space. A Subpoena shook loose a Bill of Sale to a company called Goode Hope LLC out of Texas the issued a few days before I was hired. The boat left Holidayland on the back of a trailer, destination unknown. A check with the State of Texas showed no registration listed under that name. That didn’t surprise me in the least. Fake corporations were common in asset switches. It made the audit trails harder to trace.
So where did it go?
An email pops up, an alert for a new listing on a Lakeview houseboat. When I pull it up, it’s not the Sunset. Not the first time and it won’t be the last.
The phone beeps, a text from a contact down in Florida. The Sunset Dream turned up in Lochloosa…as a burned hulk.
Pic- Jay Sole
Pic guesses: Lost in space (in blog), Major Tom, Space Oddity, Where am I?, I got to pee, Astro, Moon Man, Planet of the Apes
J. J. Grey Lyrics “Glory, glory hallelujah. The Sun is shining down.”, “Ten thousand degrees in the shade.”