Saturday, August 8, 2015

Walt Murphy – PI – 45

Eber smiled maliciously. "You know the answer to that. My promise not to turn you in to the police."

"It seems to me I'm the one who should be doing that to you," Philips countered. "After all, you stole the book."

"Only after you came into possession of the necklace."

"Actually," Philips said, "you took the book before I—supposedly—was given the necklace by a man who worked for you."

"To fence it for him."

"Hardly possible since first off, I'm not a fence, and secondly, I've never laid my eyes on this necklace you seem to think I have."

Talk about word games. Technically Philips was correct since laying his eyes on it would be a physical impossibility.

"My man assured me he'd left it with you," Eber replied with a knowing grin.

Philips shrugged. "He lied. That however has nothing to do with why we're here. You had someone steal the book, and apparently neglected to tell them they needed to get the provenance papers as well. That sort of leaves us in a bind. If I give you the papers, you'll be able to sell the book and I stand to lose a great deal of money. If I don't… well, as one of my employees is wont to say on occasion, you're SOL because you won't be able to sell it."

"If you'd kept the papers with the book…" Eber snarled then stopped, apparently realizing what he'd almost admitted to.

"I'm not a fool. I presume that's why you sent someone to break into my safe. To get them."

"We would have, if the cops hadn't shown up," Eber said, anger obviously overriding common sense now. "The fool missed the secondary alarm system."

"You were there?" Philips said, sounding surprised.

"Yes. I had to be certain he got the correct papers."

I almost smiled at Eber's revelation. Philips was very good at pushing the right buttons.

"You wouldn't have found them even if he'd been successful. I'm not stupid enough to keep them on the premises."

"But you have them with you now. Hand them over."

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