There was one final item on my to-do list now. How to handle the meeting with Eber tomorrow. I had an idea. One that was only marginally less crazy than my going to Caiazzo for help. The question was, would Detective Tom Sharp go for it. Only one way to find out, presuming I could get in touch with him.
I called the precinct and found out—not unexpectedly—that he was off today. It took a lot of fast talking but I eventually convinced the dispatcher to get in touch with him and give him a message.
Now it was wait and hope he returned my call. I tried to kill the time by working on background checks again for my client, but found I was too distracted to pay attention to what I was doing.
Half an hour later my phone finally rang.
"This better be damned important," Tom said as soon as I answered.
"I could use your help, in an official capacity, to catch a thief and a blackmailer."
"Presumably that's one person."
"Huh? Oh, Yeah."
"Okay, tell me what's going on. No promises I can help."
"I know." Once again I laid out the basics of what was happening, leaving Caiazzo out of the picture. By now I could have told the story in my sleep.
All he said when I finished was, "Where are you?" I told him and he said he'd be over in fifteen minutes. He made it in fourteen.
Once we were settled in my office he asked, "Why didn't you tell me any of this when you wanted to know about Williams?"
"At that point I had no idea who was behind everything. I wasn't even certain Williams was still alive."
He nodded. "Given what you told me, I can see why. Still, you should have come to me a lot sooner."
"Yeah. Sorry." I smiled placatingly. "At least I finally have. Now I need your help so you can arrest Eber."
"You know there's a good chance he won't be at the exchange in person."
"Yeah. I'd say that's fifty/fifty. He needs to know that the provenance papers are the real ones. That says he will be there to be certain Philips doesn't try to pull a fast one. On the other hand he's not stupid. He might think we'll try something to trap him, in which case he'll send an agent."
"Yep. When and where is the exchange taking place?"
"Ten tomorrow morning at River Oaks."
"Hell. Hang on. Philips never said." I called him and found out that he didn't know. "In that case," I told him, "I suspect you'll get a call to tell you, after you've been to the bank. He doesn't want us to be able to bug the room or what have you."
"I heard," Tom said after I hung up. "I'm sure you're right. That won't stop us from wiring Philips."
"And me. I plan on being there too, as his bodyguard. That is why he hired me in the first place."
"Because of the necklace?" he asked. I nodded. Then he said, "About that, where is it now? At the bank with the papers?"