The phone rang around eleven, startling Deacon out of a sound sleep. Kacy sat up, leaned across him and answered.
“Yes? Who is this? Excuse me?”
Deacon heard a click and Kacy sat looking at the phone for a moment, a puzzled frown on her face.
“Well, that was odd.”
“What was it?”
“I don’t know. Sort of muffled sounding, this man’s voice, he said, So, do you want to sell now? And that was it. Hung up shortly after. Damned odd.”
“Why would he call us?”
“The guest house is listed in Dino’s name. The main house has a new, unpublished number. He must have thought he had Dino’s.”
Deacon grabbed the phone and dialed rapidly. Reyes answered after the first ring. “Hello?”
“Reyes, it’s Deacon. Listen, we just got a call you need to know about.”
He told Reyes about the conversation, put Kacy on and let her talk a few minutes, while he went out to check the caller id. He took down the number and picked up the kitchen extension, giving Reyes the number.
“I’m on it. We’ll put a tap on that line too. Keep me posted if anything else comes in before we get it set up.”
“Will do, Reyes. Thanks.”
“Dino’s a good man, one of my closest friends. I’m razing hell to get this guy. Later.” He hung up without further comment. Deacon could imagine the wheels he was putting in motion.
“What do you suppose Dino will do with that land now?” Kacy sounded worried.
“He told me he wanted to build a park and dedicate it to his uncle.”
“Lovely sentiment, but will our felon be happy with that?”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean, will this person allow that? He’s gone to a great deal of trouble to get this land. Would he let that stop him? I think he’ll just keep tormenting Dino till he gets what he’s after.”
“You’re probably right. I wish I knew who it was.”
“Me too, Deacon. There’s nothing we can do about it. We have to leave it in the hands of the police.”
“Yeah, I guess you’re right.”
“You guess? Deacon, what are you planning? You can hardly walk, and you want to track this person down?”
“Doesn’t take much to sit in a library and do research, does it?”
“Are you mad? What are you going on about?”
“Finding out who those companies were Obi mentioned. Cross compare with the lists from Dino and Madame.”
“Deacon, the police are doing that.”
“Maybe we’ll see something they missed. In any case, it’ll keep me busy. Come on, we’re going to the library at the college.”
“They’ll have more at their disposal, and maybe we’ll find a librarian who likes a challenge.”
They showered, dressed and ate a hurried breakfast. They were walking into the college library about forty-five minutes later and headed to the reference section. There were two computers free. To maximize their research time, they both signed up for an hour and sat down to work. They’d been sitting there, each taking a section of the list, when a heavy hand came down on Deacon’s shoulder.
“Hiya, Mr. D,” Andy spoke softly behind him. “Whatcha doin’?”
Deacon explained to him, Andy squatted beside his chair. He squinted at the results of Deacon’s Google search, shaking his head tiredly.
“You’re never gonna get this done in an hour. I’ve got an idea. I know someone who works in government documents. They have their own system back there, and he can use it as long as he wants. Usually he plays WoW, cause it’s got its own dedicated line. For this, he’d put his weapons aside and help out. Come on.”
Andy grabbed the list and walked to a room toward the back of the main floor. Kacy caught up with him, and Deacon hobbled after them using his cane instead of the crutches, since one of them had burned up in the fire.
Andy was explaining to his friend as Deacon caught up and limped into the room, slumping into the only other chair. The young man at the desk was tall, scrawny and gawky. His black hair was close shaved and he had multiple piercings in his ears, eyebrows, nose and lower lip. He looked up as Deacon entered, was introduced and admired his ear plugs in less than thirty seconds, and went back to his console. His long arms sported a variety of tattoos, among them the sun, moon, stars, Mars and Saturn. His baggy pants were held up by a wide leather belt and a prayer. His Metallica T-shirt was about three sizes too big. His red Dragon Ball Z hat was backwards.
“So what you think, Cruz? Can you do it?”
©2021 Dellani Oakes