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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Eating Alone


I sat in "Bottom of the C" , a seafood joint on the other side of town that my good friend, Trumpet player, Reed Nelson had raved about and enjoyed a good meal prepared by resident chef and lothario, Ralph Scallion...I waited and checked my watch...She finnally appeared ...late but still , she had appeared...I had thought that Administrative Assistant Dora Mae Clark was going to blow me off at first when I asked her to meet me here.

My alias , while working at Wellness was that of "Frank Sullivan"..No one there knew my real name or that I was actually hired by Hannah Cleveland to be a spy. I was taking a chance asking Dora Mae out to lunch..and on a Saturday. Dora Mae was about 29 ,maybe 30....Had a very voluptuous body that she was quite proud of....Wore her hair perfectly braided and had big horn rimmed school teachers glasses...She knew everything about everybody at the job...and was known to talk about it to whoever asked... She was Barbara Carter's Administrative Assistant.

"I'm sorry I'm late Mistah Sullivan..." she said as she hurried in and sat down....She was wearing a nice conservative Navy Blue Business suit and sandles...she smelled very nice and her honey brown skinned seemed to glisten....As cute as a button, I was pretty sure she was breaking some young man's heart somewhere.

"So what is this about Mistah Sullivan?" she asked.

"Nothing, Nothing, just a social lunch between two collegues is all." I said non-chalantly....

"It's never just a social lunch Mr. Sullivan...You either want to know somethin or you tryin to get somethin.......I want you to know that I seen your weddin band...and I don't do married men...So if you got any ideas like that...I'm lettin you know before anything jumps off." she said.

"Ohh no...no....It's nothing like that." I said.

''I didn't figure you for the type...I see how Barbara, uh Mrs. Carter openly flirts with you and how you always laugh it off and never take her up on it...and I figured you wasn't that type of dude." she said.

We ordered our food and we ordered drinks....I eyed her breasts, which seemed to be losing the battle with her bra...then I stared at my drink and took my mind off of them...

"I guess you see all kinds of things at the job don't you Dora Mae?" I said.

"Yeah...What kind of things you talkin bout?" she asked.

"Well for instance...The Carters...Barbara Carter is a partner...one of the co-founders of Wellness,You've worked for her for awhile I suppose.....With her husband right there, Why is she boldly so flirtatious?" I asked. I didn't really care..but I had to lead her into what I really wanted to know.

"She's as horny as a cat....You aint the first man she has flirted with....There was another man who used to work here , before you came.....I read in the papers yesterday that they found him murdered up near the airport....Anyway...I never knew exactly what his position was...but he used to ask a lot of questions and he was always snooping around...Mrs. Carter used to flirt with him and he used to flirt back....One day I was coming from lunch and her office door was closed
and her blinds was closed....I heard them..They was in her office doin the nasty." she said.

"You're kidding?" I said.

"I kid you not...He was tearing that up.." she said.

"Where was her husband?" I asked.

"Oh he was as big a dog as there ever was...He slept with practically all of his administrative assistants...and was always rubbin my legs and pinching my butt and trying to get me to go out with him....Hmmmmph...and I work for his wife too? Not a chance...okayyyyyyyy?" she said.

"I heard that this guy just up and vanished...." I said.

"Yeah... he was askin a lot of questions about Mr. Courtland...and the last time I saw him, he told me that he found something out about Mr. Courtland that was bigger and deeper than what he had ever imagined." she said.

"Oh Really? What was that?" I asked.

"I don't know...I never saw him again. He and I were very friendly...He used to ask me a lot of stuff.....I told him that Barbara and Mr. Carter and Mr. Courtland used to meet with one of the board of directors every week and they used to talk badly about Miz Cleveland..." she said.

"Really?" I said.

"Oh yeah....they said that she was mismanaging the money and that she was "eating alone" I don't know what that meant." she said.

I did...On the street, If say a gangster like Fathead Newton was raking in big profits and not cutting his Lieutenants, the ones that helped him make the money in....he would be said to be "eating alone", not sharing the wealth.

Our little lunch had yeilded a lot.... After we ate...I paid for the entire meal and walked her to her car.

''Wow Mr. Sullivan...you were the perfect gentleman....you didn't even try to take a peek at my boobs." she laughed. "You're alright with me....Anything you want to know..you just feel free to ask." she said as she drove off.

I went home and pored through all of the information I had gleaned so far.....It seemed that Hannah Cleveland had been selling off Wellness stock and pocketing or doing something with the cash for close to a year...They knew it, they had records of her doing it...They could have turned this information in a long time ago...So why were they sitting on this? Answer....Jones found out something...Something about Courtland that he had to absolutely make sure was not in Hannah's
possession or else, He and the Carters could be in a world of trouble.

I called Clerow and we went back to Ptomely Jone's neighborhood... Gus told me that there was always somebody somewhere who knew something and was willing to talk about it...He was right. Clerow and I talked to several neighbors who said that they had heard quite a ruckus in the house the day before Mr. Jones went missing... One person said that early in the morning he saw Jones leaving with a tall thin White man and a Big hulk of a Black man and get into a car.

I showed them a photo of Courtland and of Brian Carter....All three neighbors identified Courtland as the white man they saw....but Brian Carter draw a zero...He was not the other man.
While Clerow and I were driving home, I got a call from Peeping Tom...We turned and drove over to his house.

"The phones are lighting up my friend....Marlon Courtland has been calling Brian Carter furiously all day...just listen to this." said Peeping Tom.

"Hello, what's up?" said Brian Carter.

"I thought you said that man you hired was efficient and neat?" snapped Courtland.

"He is, he's the best money can buy." exclaimed Brian Carter.

"Bull...They found the body...They found Jones." he said.

"So...He's been gone so long, they won't find anything on him." said Brian Carter.

''We've got to find those photos ...does your wife remember anything else he told her?" asked Courtland.

"Just that the photos and other documents were in a safe deposit box....but where , he never said." said Brian.

"Well, you're going to have to call your man again...I've got another job for him." said Courtland.

"Yeah, what?" said Brian Carter.

"That Administrative Assistant..Dora Mae Clark...She talks too much and to everybody....She's got to go...I want this contained." he said coldly.

"Marlon..Marlon...calm down...she's just a kid...a dumb talkative girl...she don't know nothin...nothin that can hurt us." pleaded Brian.

"Nothing that can hurt you...I'm on the limb here....This gets out....We could all wind up in jail."
said Courtland...

"It aint gonna get out...We keep what we know about Hannah to ourselves and only use it as a trump card if she tries to remove us..." said Brian.

"That girl knows too much and says too much, she's got to go." said Courtland.

"What about Hannah?" said Brian.

''If she disapears now it'll look suspicious...so we wait...I don't know what she knows or doesn't.."
said Marlon Courtland.

"Okay, I'll call him." said Brian


This was deep...Just what was the big secret they were hiding? That was worth killing for?

"Well Kevin, what are you going to do?" asked Peeping Tom.

"I've got to get that girl out of harms way first and then...I have to find out the location of that safe deposit box and what is in it." I said. A tall order.

I asked around about the Safe deposit box....but none of his neighbors or associates seemed to know if he had one or not. Clerow and I tossed his house from top to bottom and we drew blanks.We found nothing.

I questioned Hannah Cleveland and finnally , I got the answer I was looking for. She knew of his Safe Deposit box and whats more..She had a key! I don't know why I didn't go to her in the first place.

Clerow and I found the safe deposit box and opened it up...Inside were photos..Photos of a ship and white people we didn't know with boxes and crates...I knew where this peir was. Clerow and I drove there and we sat...We sat for hours, but nothing and no one showed up! There were also some papers..Manning documents! I decided to pay Hannah Cleveland another visit.

"I haven't the foggiest idea what these photos are...This ship means nothing to me and I don't know anybody in those photos." said Hannah.

''What about these documents?" I asked.

"They are from my company authorizing whatever is in those crates....I recognize Marlon Courtland's signature....but that's not my signature...I never signed for nor authorized these shipments." said Hannah Cleveland.

This is what Ptomley Jones had found out and this is what his killer or killers were looking for in his house...This is why he was killed..to keep this information from ever getting to Hannah.....This mess had really gotten deep and now I was preparing to stir the pot a little and turn the heat up!


(To Be Continued....)

4 comments:

Jazzy said...

Deep!

Toni said...

This is really getting murky!

Angie B. said...

Don't you let nothin happen to Dora Mae...I like her! lol!

James Perkins said...

You should be writing for Television!