No Barnes About It
October 24, 1938- Heimlich VonVIctor felt a chill run down his spine. Autumn always had that effect on him. He looked up at the multitude of colors adorning the trees and placed his hands in his coat pockets. The pungent aroma in the air told him that, somewhere, leaves were being burnt. He took a deep breath and looked down, to the place he had visited as many times as he could in the past two years. The cold hard stone hadn’t changed a bit, and never would. It would always be a testament to the man resting under it.
FEBRUARY 10, 1892-
JUNE 15, 1936
“Justice for all. Above all else.”
He took a deep sigh. He never left anything behind, nor did he suspect that Richard would want anything left for him. He leaned down and placed his hand on the stone, “I’m doing alright Richard. Eric and I started up another agency. We’re doing it right this time, and Sergei is getting better at English every day. He’s even solving cases now; you wouldn’t believe how well he’s doing.”
“Excuse me, detective VonVictor?” a voice called behind him
Heim whirled around to find himself face to face with a young uniformed officer, “What do you want?” he demanded, “Can’t you see I’m in a cemetery?”
“Yes sir,” he responded, “and I’m terribly sorry to disturb you, but I’ve been asked to fetch you right away, it’s a matter of life and death!”
Heimlich let out a sigh, and leaned down to touch the stone again, “It never ends Richard, it never ends. I have to go now, but I’ll be back real soon.”
“Wow, that woman’s got some lungs on her,” Riza thought as she watched Anais scream at the fighting group and then bolt out the door lightning fast.
Everyone was silent for a few moments, stunned by this sudden outburst by the most mild-mannered person of the group. Joseph picked himself off Albert and dusted himself off. He looked particularly forlorn, still staring out at the street where Anais had run. Albert now had another black eye to add to his other wounds.
“Not sue?” Albert asked, processing the words slowly. “Yeah, you bastard,” Heim yelled as he turned around to face him, “A lawyer like you should know a good deal when he sees one.”
Albert started to sob as he staggered up, clearly still inebriated. “Valerie, Valerie, I never meant to give her up. I just couldn’t care for her like a proper father.”
“If you want to get Valerie back now, you’re going to have to hold off on prosecuting Barnes. Now get out of my house!” Heim continued in a disgusted tone, not even looking at his brother. Albert opened the door and walked through, looking back. Heim kicked the door shut.
A tense silence followed. “Alright,” Molly said finally, looking slightly more energized now. “Some of us will have to go over to Anais’ place for the kidnappers.” Vulkie nodded in agreement.
“Right, I’ll go,” Heim agreed, clearly thinking about the safety of the girls. “I’ll go too,” Joseph said, “But about those documents, Riza…”
“I can’t just not give Hollis the papers. He’ll send his men after me. It’s not me that I’m worried about; I can take care of myself. I just know he’ll target anyone around me too.” Riza frowned.
“Then we’ll need to fake some documents and have Riza deliver those to him,” Marc spoke up, pacing around the room, thinking furiously. “These documents say where these lesser valued gems are stored. If we change the location, one of his men would probably show up there…”
“And we could catch him and pump him for information,” Charlie finished.
"I have some experience in "forging" papers and handwritings... Also, the Banker owes me a favor or two..." Vulkie said and Riza looked up and smiled.
"Good. Here are the documents. You start right away with them... The only thing is, we need a location..." Riza said.
Just then, Heimlich and Joseph left the house and went to Anais's apartment. Molly sat in a chair, Marc got the green light to find a method to get the mayor talking and went away after Joseph and Heimlich left.
That only left Molly, Vulkie, Charlie, Riza and Abigail... "Molly, Riza and Abigail, I want you to stay behind here... In case the kidnappers make another call here... Charlie and I are going towards the Banker... We'll think of a location when we are headed that way..." Vulkie said and so, Charlie and Vulkie left.
***Outside the bank***
"So, what location are we going to do..." Charlie said and Vulkie thought out loud. "It must be a place where we can observe them, make a trap for the person(s) and we must know the place thorougly..." Vulkie said.
Immediately, Charlie came with an answer. "I know a place! The warehouse in the docks, where Marvington was stashed..." Charlie said
Vulkie immediately smiled. "Good thinking Charlie..." Vulkie said and she gave Charlie a small kiss on his cheek. "What's that for?' Charlie said, blushing. "Because.... you came up with a good location..." Vulkie said, but she thought something else...
"Ruby, darling, I need your "expertise" of forging papers..." Vulkie said. "Well, I can't do anything for you...' Ruby replied. "You know you owe me a favor or two, so..." Vulkie said, in a small threatening way. "Sigh..." Ruby sighed, "Ok. I'll help you..."
"Hiya people..." Vulkie said, as she entered the living room. "Hiya Vulkie. How did the paper-forging go? And why is there lipstick on Charlie's cheek?" Molly inquired
"Ehmm...." Vulkie said and immediately, Charlie changed the subject...
"Slow down boy! The speed limit here is 55 miles per hour." Heimlich clicked, but Zeo wasn't listening. He continued to fly his vehicle toward Anais' place. Calm as he looked (for he was born with a limited range of facial expression), Zeo was all liquid inside. His own daughter, kidnapped. He should have realized the danger as soon as Anais showed up in New York with his daughter. He should have put the two in a box and shipped them back to London right away, but it's all too late now.
Zeo knew he had to be rational. He must keep calm. 'Who would have kidnapped Josee and Valerie? For what purpose?' Zeo thought as his continue on at 80 miles per hour. "If it is the Order's men, I'm sure they would force Albert to continue on with prosecuting Barnes." Zeo yelled to Heimlich over the noise of speeding on the freeway. "I know you don't want to talk to your brother, but you must find out what they want from him."
Heimlich nodded. Zeo knew Heimlich was very fond of both Josee and his niece. Zeo just didn't know to what extent. In no time they arrived at Anais' place. They knocked on the door but no one answered. Suddenly Zeo heard Anais voice from behind him. "How did you get here so fast?"
Anais got her keys out and as she was unlocking the door, the telephone inside began to ring...
Molly raised her eyebrow at Vulkie's reaction, and then decided she was largely uninterested in the affairs of Blondie and her beau.
"Well." she said, a tiny slur in her voice. "I've got to go now. Call me at home if something comes up, won't you? I...need to attend to some things"
She tottered to the door, waving off the half-hearted exclamations from the others. "I can drive."
She could...for the most part. Except for the sudden demolition of a neighbors fence, the hasty removal of a mailbox and the skewed parking job she pulled in front of her apartment building.
"Lord." she said, getting out and surveying the deep dent in the front of her car. "Well. That's a problem for another day."
She hiccuped and went up her front steps, ascending the stairs until she reached her door. Humming half-heartedly, she unlocked the door and stepped inside, her foot meeting something hard in the process. She looked down, and saw a very familiar gold statuette placed in her path.
"Oh--" she said, realizing what she meant, just as a hand reached out from the darkness and yanked her forward by her hair.
"Tell me why you're involved in the Eye of God case!" a voice rumbled, the door slamming shut before her.
Sleuth About Town
Marc arrived at City Hall in record timing. His car could actually speed when it wanted too. He pulled into the back of the building. He couldn't believe what he was about to do. But it was for the best, he thought to himself. He wasn't in this for the reward, but he was in on this for justice. Too many people get killed for stupid things everyday.
Marc got out of his car and entered the building. He pulled out his pocket watch and looked at the time. It was almost closing time. Marc knew exactly where he could hide and wait for the Mayor to come out. The mayor didn't always drive his car. Sometimes he walked. And today just so happened to be that day that Joseph Hollis was walking home.
Marc stepped into the alley's shadow and waited. He peeked around the corner to see the mayor comming toward him.
**From Mayor Hollis's Point of View**
Joseph Hollis sat in his office reviewing some paper work. It had been a slow day for him. He removed his glasses and wiped them off. Looking at his clock, he realized it was time to go home. He got up and walked out of his office. He excused the body guard and told him to go home. Most of the other staff was gone.
Mayor Hollis walked outside. "Beautiful day today," he said to himself as he turned right. Joseph continued to walk. He reached an alley to his left when a shady figured appeard.
**Marc's point of view**
The mayor stepped closer and closer. Each second ticking away. Every second that passed, Marc could hear his heart beat. 30 steps away; "I can't believe I'm doing this," Marc thought.
15 steps away; "Too late to turn back, Marc. Time do this."
1 step away; Marc stepped from around the corner thrusting his fist into the Mayor's throat. The punch knocked him to the ground. It wasn't hard enough to kill him, but it would silence him from screaming for help. Marc had learned that fighting in the war.
One more punch to the face, knocked Joseph Hollis to the ground. (contin..)
Sleuth About Town
(That last sentence should say that punched knocked him unconcious. Not "to the ground")
Joseph Hollis awoke to find himself in a dark room. He was tied to a chair. The room was pitch black except for one little light hangin above his head. The light only lit up maybe about a foot around him. Everything else was hidden by darkness.
"HELP! SOMEBODY!" The mayor screamed.
"Hold your breath, Mayor. No one can hear you," Someone snapped.
Joseph Hollis heard foot steps walking around him. The floor was concrete and they echoed with each step the man took.
"What do you want with me?" The mayor said.
"I want some answers, Joseph. And only you have them." The man said.
"This must be the man that hit me," Joseph thought to him self. He cursed himself for not being more aware. Had he only been paying more attention, he could have gotten a look at him.
"My first question is, what do you know about the Eye of God?" The man said. The foot steps were now going in large circles around him.
"What about it?" The mayor replied.
"I want to know where it's at. You see, I know you had something to do with the robbery. Now where is it?" The voice said to him.
"I don't know-"
"Don't lie to me Mr. Mayor. That wouldn't be very honest for a man like you. I mean, look at you. You're a big wig politician for crying out loud. Of course, if you chose not to respond to my questioning, I will call you out on everything I know. I know you're running the Order of Socrates. I'll expose you the public for everything you're worth. And you'll lose all of your fame all because you are head of a mafia group." The voice said to him.
"Now, I'm not going to ask you again, Mr. Hollis. Where is the Eye of God?" the voice asked again.
"I dont' know where it's at. But I can tell you who to talk to as long as you swear not to give my name as a source," Joseph said. He was scared. He couldn't lose all his fame! He'd rat anyone out! (Contin...)
Sleuth About Town
Besides that, he was going to have Davis killed after he got ahold of the jewel.
"I had a friend hold on to it for me," Joseph said.
"Who?" the voice whispered. The voice came from behind him.
"Davis. Joe Davis has it."
"Thank you Mr. Mayor. Now tell me, where might I find this, Joe Davis?"
"Why should I tell you?"
"Because, you just ratted him out."
"How do you know I'm not bluffing?"
"Because, Hollis, you can't afford to lose your fame."
"Are you sure that I wasn't bluffing?" The mayor asked cooly.
The man pulled something out. The mayor tried to turn to try and see if he could see what was pulled out. Then he heard that sound. The unforgivable sound. The pistol was leveled at his head, and the hammer was slowly pulled back for emphasis.
That sound made Joseph sweat out of fear.
"Do you know what is so great about that sound, Mr. Mayor?" The voice asked.
Hollis didn't answer.
"It's scary, Hollis. Now tell me, where is Davis?"
"Screw you! I'm not saying any more!"
"Oh yes you will. YOu will comply, mayor."
"And what if I don't?"
The gunshot echoed through the room. It missed.
Sleuth About Town
Hollis thought at first he had been shot. His body froze. Every muscle in his body locked as he tensed and braced himself for the pain from the gunshot. But there was no pain.
"Now tell me, or so help me I will put a bullet in your leg an you will not be able to walk right until you die!"
"Fine!" the mayor cried.
"Joe Davis. You can find him on the east side of town. He likes to hang out in a small rundown bar. One that not many organized crime leaders go. It's discreet there. "
"What's the name of it?" The voice asked. This time, it sounded serious. And a little on the creepy side.
"I don't know. I swear to-"
BANG! The gun shot echoed again this time right by the mayor's head and he scream out loud.
"Save your breath mayor! No one can hear you! Now tell me! What is the name of the bar. I'm through playing games with you. The next shot wont' miss. It will go right through your knee cap, damaging your leg for life!"
"The name of the bar is called 'Anderson's'. It's a small place out on the other side of the city! There, I told you all I know!"
"See how easy that was? Why couldn't you have done that a second time. Because you refuesed to comply, I now have wasted two bullets on getting worthless scum such as yourself to answer my questions! Oh and Mr. Mayor? I apologize for this."
"Wh-" it was too late. He was pistol whipped accros the back of his head. It knocked him unconcious."
Marc drug the chair the mayor was tied on, outside into the dark. He threw the chair onto it's side and untied the ropes. He put Holllis in the back of his car, and dumped him back into the alley from which he was attacked.
Marc left then to go tell everyone what happened.
Sleuth About Town
(One more note. That shouldn't say, "Marc left to go tell everyone what heppened. It should say he left to tell everyone what the mayor said)
"Let go of my hair!" Molly hissed, murder flashing in her eyes as her hair was cruelly yanked by the villain.
"I repeat, why are you involved with the Eye of God case?" the voice came from the darkness again.
"Because, you people aren't very subtle, are you? You're lucky half the city forces aren't beating down your door--" Molly's heated remark was cut off as she was cracked across the face, hard. She winced, but refused to cry out, instead glaring up through the inky blackness to where she estimated the face to be.
"Well consider this a warning, 'Detective'. I'd kill you right now if we didn't intend to use you as a messager. You'll provide a message for us. Back off of the case or all of you will die."
"If you release me, I'll pick up the phone and deliver your damn message." Molly said in tones of great irritation, but her blood froze over at the grim laugh that reverberated throughout the room.
"I doubt that would quite accentuate the gravity of the situation, you see. Never fear though, you will do your part to convince your colleagues to abandon the case."
"By doing what?" she asked, but she was pretty sure she knew.
"Nothing." he sneered, and the first blow fell.
"Oh hell." she said irritatedly, for this was only a prelude to the rain of blows soon to fall.
She awoke some hours later, the apartment dark and her body a throbbing mass of bruises.
"Ugh." she announced to the room in general, and then began to take inventory. She seemed to be largely whole, mostly bruises and no breaks save for the last three fingers on her right hand, undoubtedly from an attempt to protect herself.
Stiffly she rolled to her knees and hobbled slowly over to the bathroom, running her hand under the cold water as she thought.
"If they wanted to dissuade us, coming after me wasn't the smartest move." she told her reflection, then wrapped her hand in a set of bandages and collapsed on her bed.
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