Henry drove, professor Brookert sat in the passenger seat and Arthur and Hans were in the back. A black sedan and truck followed behind. Henry took W 14th street across town. The meat packing district was mostly quiet, save for a few drunks. When they pulled up to the building, Henry stopped the car next to a phone booth. He handed the keys to the professor and got out.
Two men got out of the sedan; the driver remained, as did one man in the back. Henry stopped and talked briefly with the large older man then pointed to the building across the street. He got in the back and the car drove away. The truck pulled around to the side of the building, while the two men went and stood by the phone booth. Professor Brookert slid over and got in the driver’s seat. Nobody had much to say, so they just waited.
The sedan drove away and ten minutes later stopped. Henry was told which building and got out. Two men followed Henry into the building.
A few minutes later they were standing outside a heavy metal door. It looked like a room where kidnappers might hang out. A bunch of chairs, a table covered debris from a day of prisoner watching, a deck of cards, and a radio, and some mostly empty shelving, made up the décor. One of the men opened the heavy door, and handed Henry the phone with the long cord.
He walked around the chairs and into the circle of light. Katarina looked a bit rough, but as soon as she saw Henry, leapt to her feet and threw her arms around him. Henry holding the phone in one hand, gave her a light hug, and then stepped back.
He whispered, “After I make this call, we won’t have much time.” Henry took out his notebook, flipped to the last page, and dialed the number. When the man in the phone booth answered, “I am here.”
Katarina sat on the edge of the table, her hands clasped together between her knees. She looked tired and scared. “What now?”
“You listen.” Henry paused, and then continued when she didn’t say anything, “In five minutes I have to call him back. I have given him the building, but he doesn’t know where the ‘Eye’ is hidden. We made a deal. I get 5 minutes with you, and then call him back, with my decision.”
“He is willing to trade the ‘Eye for you or $250,000, and it is up to me. If you aren’t straight with me, I am taking the money.”
Katarina sat up straight, “Henry?! What do you mean?” Her voice sounding hurt.
“Listen Kat, you played me for the fool. I let you, because…well…I just couldn’t help myself. It seemed real, or maybe I just wanted it to be.”
“Henry, how can you say that? It was real…it is real.” She reached for his hand.
“I need truth from you now, in these few minutes, or I am walking out of here. When they find out I was bluffing, they will take it out on you.”
“You were bluffing? You don’t know where the ‘Eye’ is?”
“No, never did, but you knew I could bluff well enough to get here. Wasn’t that your plan?”
It was, though she was surprised how convincing he had been. “Yes it was, but the way you said…well, you even convinced me.”
“The clock is ticking kitten. Are you the Falcon?”
She knew he knew, “Yes.”
“Were you the Falcon when we met?”
“No, I was just me.”
“Did you ever care for me?”
“Yes, of course I did, I mean, I do. Can’t you tell?”
Her answers came quickly, no need to think, she was telling the truth. The next question caught her square in the jaw.
“Why did Mickey have to die?”
“He was my best friend and you knew that. Was it you in the car?”
“No” A horrified look on her face, tears starting to fall.
“But it was you, you ordered it. You had to keep your secret. Who killed Mickey?”
“I…Henry…please let me explain.”
Henry let her have it, both barrels, looking into her moist eyes. “We don’t have time for you explanation. I need an answer. If we don’t wipe the slate clean, if you don’t tell me what you have done, I can’t begin to forgive you.” Giving her some hope, “I might as well take the money. Let the truth die with you. It will hurt, but not as much as your betrayal. I need to know who killed Mickey, the why can come later.”
“Henry it is complicated…”
Slightly louder, a little colder, with an edge, “Who killed Mickey?”
The door opened. “It has been 5 minutes. You must call now.”
Henry stood, looked at her, and then dialed. When he got the voice on the other end, “The ‘Eye’ is behind a wall, on the second floor. Go through the door you can see from the phone booth, there are stairs at the end of the hall. Once you get to the second floor, go down the hall, and take the 1st left. This hall goes for a ways; there are office doors on both sides. This hall connects to another hallway. Turn right and open the first door on the left. It is a large room, the back wall is brick. There is a hidden space behind the false wall. There is a release, but it is hard to explain how it works. Just use the sledge hammer near the corner. If you open it up near the corner, it will be safe; the boxes with the ‘Eye’ are at the other end of the space.” Henry sat down, with the phone on his knee. “We talked.” Then he listened for a moment.
Tears streamed down her face.
“I will take the…”
“No wait…it was Arthur.”
Henry holding the phone, “But he works for you?!”
“You knew and didn’t tell me.”
Katarina was completely broken, sobbing into her hands, “You don’t understand, I needed the ‘Eye’…”
Henry stood up slowly, and then said, “You get that captain?” He hung up the phone and set it on the table.
The two men guarding the door came in and identified themselves as police officers. The carried cuffs and asked her to stand. “You have the right to remain…”
Henry walked towards the door.
Katarina ran up to him, grabbing his arm, confused. “What? What’s going on?”
Henry waved off the two officers and grabbed her by the elbows. “You lost. You played everyone for the fool, even me. I let you. I couldn’t help it. But I can’t let you get away with Mickey’s murder. I won’t.”
Screaming and crying, “But I need the ‘Eye’, I need to ask it something. I need to talk to God.”
Henry gave the officers a nod and they pulled her arms behind her back. “You don’t need a 2000 year old machine. You just talk. You find a quiet place and talk.”
Henry walked out and down to the street. The professor pulled up and he climbed in. “Mike is over helping take Arthur and Hans down to the station. He said he would catch up with us later. The chief said you would need to make a statement, but it could wait until morning. Where to?”
“I need a drink.”
“The Dublin Rogue it is.”