Thursday, May 28, 2015

Walt Murphy – PI – 9

I have a friend of sorts who owns a cab. For a not so nominal fee, he was letting me borrow it for the job. A minute after I parked the cab in front of Things Past, Mr Philips came out of the store. He spotted me and seconds later got into the back seat. The only indication he had the necklace was a slight bulge in his suit coat pocket.

"Where to?" I asked.

"First National."

With a nod, after pretending to turn on the meter, I pulled out into traffic. "What did you tell your employees?"

"Exactly what we planned. I'm going to a preview of some items which are being offered at an estate sale. As I told you, I do it often enough they're used to it."

"Good." I kept my eyes open for any sign we were being followed as I made several unnecessary turns on our way to his bank. Unless I'm slipping, and I'm not, no one was the least bit interested in us.

Twenty minutes later, the necklace was residing in Philips' safety deposit box. I'd had him show it to me before he put it in there. It was impressive I guess, if you're into that sort of thing. I could see some high-class lady wearing it to the opera or a fancy shindig. 

"Now what happens?" Philips asked once we were back in the cab.

"You do whatever you normally do until this afternoon when I show up to—as far as anyone knows—pick up the necklace to take to the appraiser."

He nodded. "I'm still not sure I like the idea you're setting yourself up to be attacked again."

I glanced at him in the rearview mirror. "It's part of what I do, and this time I'll be ready if anything happens. If whoever's behind this is smart, and I'm real sure they are, they'll call the appraiser to be certain he got the necklace before making a decision to break in and retrieve it. When they find out he didn't… Well things could get real interesting."

"I wish to hell I'd told that man I wasn't interested in the damned thing."

I smiled wryly. "Then I might be doing this for some other antiques dealer."

"I suppose. Or the people behind this would have successfully broken into their place and have it already."

"True." We were at the store now, so he got out after acting as if he'd paid me. "I'll see you this afternoon," I told him. He nodded and I took off.

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