Thursday, August 6, 2015

Walt Murphy – PI – 44

I think I shocked Philips when I showed up at his place wearing slacks, a good dress shirt, and a jacket, not my usual jeans and whatever. The jacket hid my gun, since I had no intention of doing this unarmed. Yeah, I might loose the gun if Eber had his people with him at the exchange, but until then… Well no one was going to get their hands on the bag Philips was carrying without a fight.

Tom's man was there as planned and got us wired on the way down in the elevator. The bug he used on me was less than an inch in size and flat enough to fit behind my belt buckle comfortably. The one he gave Philips was in a watch that perfectly matched the one he usually wore. That told me Tom had made note of the brand and style during our conversation at my office yesterday.

At the bank, all went exactly as planned and Caiazzo's man left with the necklace while Philips stored the book in his safety deposit box and put its provenance papers into his bag.

A minute after we left the bank, Philips got a call. When he hung up he said, "Apartment six-eleven."

I texted Tom to pass the number on to him and then we went back to my car. Scrawny goon was standing beside it.

When I approached him, he nodded. "I'll be coming with you."

"Only if you have your own car and follow us," I replied tightly.

Instead of answering, he opened the back door of my car, which should have been locked, and got in.

Sighing, I said, "I guess you are coming with me. I don't want to make a scene right now. But later…" I let that hang as Philips and I got into the front seat. I could see Philips' hands were shaking and I gripped his shoulder momentarily, telling him it was all right. I knew that was the truth when I saw a man I recognized as one of Tom's people watching us before going to a car parked two down from mine.

With the officer right behind us, we drove in tandem to the Royal Oaks, where Philips and I took the elevator up to the sixth floor. Scrawny goon remained in the lobby. Probably in hopes of keeping Tom's man from joining us. I figured he'd have no problem with that since the cop had parked across the street from the apartment building, but hadn't gotten out of his car.

Philips knocked on the door to six-eleven while I stood beside him, arms crossed, doing my impression of big, tough bodyguard. It was opened by the bigger, tougher looking goon who had been part of the team that had attacked me. He stepped aside to let us into the living room, saying, "The boss will be with you in a moment. But first we need to search you."

'We' turned out to be him and goon number three. They were thorough, down to using a bug-detecting scanner, so I lost my gun, and we both lost the wires, which they immediately destroyed. Not too surprising in the grand scheme of things, but it didn't matter if Tom's people were doing what they were supposed to.

Finally, a door opened at one side of the room and Eber appeared. "You have something for me?" he said to Philips.

"That depends. What do I get in return?" Philips replied sharply, his hand gripping the strap of his bag.

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