“Hey Henry, how are you doing today? Do you need any more help?” Bobby said hopefully.
Henry right hand was throbbing and his mood wasn’t really conducive to a long high speed chat with Bobby, but the hopeful look on Bobby’s face, made him feel a little better.
“Good to see you Buddy. I am afraid my progress has been a little disappointing.”
“You got a good one, with that new secretary. I saw Big Mike and some guy old guy in a suit leaving today. Are they helping?”
Henry wasn’t in the mood to heal hurt feelings, “Yes, they are doing some leg work for me.”
“I may have short legs, but I know people, who know people. I can help. I know I can. Please let me.”
The rapid fire begging was more than Henry could stand and at that moment, he had an idea. Henry put on his best contemplative face, paused for effect, then patted Bobby on the shoulder. “I hadn’t thought about it, but you may be able to help. Of course, you will have to keep anything you find, between you and me.”
“Of course!!!” Bobby almost shouted, then lowered his voice, “Just you and me…got it.”
“I think Mickey was looking into something much more dangerous than he imagined. He had a way of smelling trouble, and would usually avoid anything too dangerous. But this time, he got in over his head and it cost him. I don’t even know all of the players yet, but I am getting there. There is one aspect of this case, possibly the most important part, which is so shrouded in mystery…”
Henry’s voice trailed off, and looked up and down the hall, just to see if anyone was there. This was partially for effect, and it worked perfectly. Bobby was wide eyed and listening with great intensity. “I am having Marian at the library and Professor Brookert look into this, but I suspect you may have resources they do not.” Again Henry paused. “I need you to look for anything on ‘The Eye of God’. I am not confident there is much about it, but if you can find anything, it may be helpful. Right now, this thing is at the center of this mess.”
Bobby seemed suddenly composed. “The Eye of God, how interesting. You are right Mr. Wood, I do have resources.”
The change from hyper to formal seemed odd, even for Bobby, but before Henry could ask him about it, he was back in his office.
Henry saw that there was still a light on in the office. It was after 6:00 and he imagined Celine would already be gone.
“Hey. I am glad you came back. I don’t have a key to lock up.”
Henry felt terrible. “I am sorry. I didn’t even think about a key.”
“It is ok, I have been busy, and I used to stay late at my old job all the time. I don’t mind, but I would have gotten a little grouchy, and hungry, in a few hours.” She smiled
Henry walked over to the desk and removed the pencil stuck into her hair. He tilted her yellow pad, which had a massive two column list on it, many of the items already scratched off. “Make Henry a key.” He said as he added number 37 to her list.
He tilted it back to her. While she read it, he took his own key off his ring and gave it to her. “Thanks, but what if you need to get in before tomorrow?”
“It is ok, I will be fine.” He pulled his lock pick set out of his pocket.
Celine displayed the slightest hint of being impressed, but it vanished quickly. She got her coat and said, “I will be in at 9:00 sharp, if that is ok with you? We hadn’t really discussed office hours.”
“That would be perfect.”
“There are a couple of messages for you. They are on your desk.” She paused. “Mr. Wood.”
“I really like my new job. Thank-you.”
“I really like my new secretary. Thank you.”
She smiled and whirled around with the grace of a ballerina. The click of the closing door, which was not too loud or soft, seemed to punctuate her first day.
The top note, which was stuck on the metal spike for holding notes, was from Professor Brookert. It just said he would call tomorrow. The second note was from Katarina, it had a number, and just said call asap.
Henry dialed the number and the desk clerk at her hotel answered. Henry asked to speak with Katarina, and he put the call through.
“Henry?!” came the voice on the other end, sounding a little shaken.
“I got your message. I meant to call earlier, but I have been out most of the day.”
“I need to see you. I need your help. Can you meet me somewhere?”
“What’s wrong?” Henry said, concerned about her tone.
“I can’t talk now. Meet me at The Dublin Rouge, in an hour.”
“Just tell me what’s going on?”
There was a few moments of breathing and sighs, “Henry, I need to see you in person, I will see you in an hour.”
Henry was about to ask again, but the click on the other end said ‘no more’.
Henry walked paced a bit, holding the message. He had tried to find out what had brought her back in to town, but each time he did, she deftly changed the subject. Henry didn’t like waiting, patience wasn’t one of his virtues, but he had no choice.
The other notes were from Luna and Big Mike. They would wait until morning. Henry sad down and rubbed his sore right hand. The knuckles were bruised and Henry remembered why he tended to battle with words and not fists.
In the third drawer was a bottle of vodka. Henry pulled it out and poured some into his empty, and he noticed, cleaned coffee cup. As he sipped it, he also noticed that Celine had added four more coffee cups to the stack. He smiled. “Why did you have to get yourself killed Mickey?” He said to the walls. Another sip, and he felt the rage boiling down in his stomach again. He didn’t like how it felt. “Tell you what Mickey? I will find your killer and you keep an eye on my friends. Whatever it was you were looking into, sure seems to have a lot of powerful people involved. You keep them safe.”
It was sort of a prayer, but not really, mostly it was just how Henry felt. He finished the vodka, put the bottle back, and then wiped out the cup and placed it with the others. Perhaps he would go to the bar now and a have a round or two, before Katarina arrives.