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Monday, October 5, 2015

The Mystery of the California Diamond

Venice Beach, California....Two Months Ago!

A man known as "Philly" Frank Swanson stood on a hot steamy street in Venice Beach...He was tall, well dressed, good looking and wore a very expensive fragrance...His Tailored suit and his shoes cost so much that if you had to ask the cost, chances are you couldn't afford it...He smiled.. The man he waiting for ,Brian Sway was right on time.
 
Sway and his associate , a man only known as "Pauley" drove up to the corner.

''So Mr. Sway, here is the money....All of it...Five Million in cash..In my briefcase as promised...count it." said Philly Frank...

Brian Sway, a short, balding man smiled... His "associate", a tough looking hood smiled...He passed the briefcase to his associate.

''Count it Pauley." he said.

Philly Frank smiled...

"You don't trust me Mr. Sway?" he smiled..

"Not that...If it's a penny short of five million, I want you close enough for me to kill you." he said.....Then he busted out laughing...

"Relax...relax..."he said..

Pauley finished counting...

''It's all here boss" he said.

''And that is your diamond...The California Diamond...I had to reach out ,I mean really reach out to snag this rock...Tell Mr. Lansdowne ,I hope he enjoys it." he said....

Pauley opened the briefcase...

''Here it is...The California Diamond." he said.


"That's it...Wow ,look at that thing sparkle.." said Philly Frank Swanson...

"You could uh write your own ticket with that rock, but uh...I've heard it's cursed.."said Brian Sway.

"I never figured you to be superstitious Mr. Sway." said Frank Swanson...

"Usually ,I aint..but this here rock spooks me..Well,it's yours now...Good Luck." he said and smiled as he and Pauley got back in their car...

Frank looked at them both...He laughed....

According to the legend, a curse befell the large, orange diamond when it was plucked (i.e. stolen) from it's original owner in Africa and spirited to the United States in 1928 - a curse that foretold bad luck and death  for any owner of the diamond afterwords...

It's original American Owner... Owney Gladden, was run over by a streetcar in San-Francisco in 1934...

It next fell into the hands of Swarthy Swarthison...A businessman thought to be corrupt....He walked in on his mistress and another man and shot both of them...He then shot himself...Taking his own life in 1939.

It next fell into the hands of Gangster Louie King, who tried to pawn it to pay off gambling debts...He was found tied to an anchor, floating in the San-Francisco Bay in 1942...

It was sold to a local museum....A Fire in 1950 and an earthquake in 1957 spooked the owners and the Orange Diamond fell into the hands of Nedrick Neidermyer in 1958..

Neidermyer suffered three divorces over the years ,the loss of a child and a fire which damaged his house...He sold it to another museum in 1976 ,where it stayed without incident from 1980 until the past ten years  ,when it was stolen by Brian Sway and Paulie...after a series of mysterious incidents.

Apparently it caught the interest of Berks Landsdowne and he paid handsomely to have it stolen...Almost as if he knew there would be no protest.... The Museum's curator had committed suicide in 2007, The curator after him had been murdered in 2010 and two mysterious fires had occurred at the museum in the past two years...They were almost glad to be done with it....

"I'd have great luck if this rock was mine...It's worth far more than the five million Mr. Landsdowne paid to have it stolen.....That cheap punk....I could retire with the dough this rock would make,wouldn't have to take orders from his slimy ass  anymore.." he said...

"Think so? Suit yourself...Have a safe flight Frankie."said Brian Sway.

Then he hailed a cab...

''The airport.."I got a flight to catch,back to Philadelphia." he said.

II-

PHILADELPHIA- TODAY!

 My wife Sepia and I stood in the doorway of our house kissing passionately.....It had been a few minutes...She smiled and eased out of my embrace...

"Kevin...Come on...The baby is getting restless in that car seat...You certainly are amorous, more amourous than usual...I'm surprised you have the energy after last night." she said..

"Just look, come by my office today at lunch ,after your house showing...I've got a surprise for you."I said.

''What kind of surprise?" she asked..

"It wouldn't be a surprise if I told you.....But I think you'll like it." I said.

Sepia looked a bit confused then she relented...

''Oh Okay..." she said...She kissed me one last time and then ran to her car and headed off to work..She was a Realtor...She had houses to show.

Me? I'm Kevin Morris ,CAO of Morris Communications...We have three magazines ,both in print and on line....A Sattelite Radio Station, A Cable T.V. Station and a music streaming service.. When I'm not running that...I'm a Private Investigator on the side, Which is probably what I'm most known for in the neighborhood.

At noon, like clockwork, My wife, Sepia showed up at my office...My main man, Sean Jackson announced her arrival...

''Yo Big Cheese...Sepia is in the lobby." he said.

''Where is Harry Charles? " I asked.

''He went to lunch.." he said.

''Hey I meant to congratulate you on your Documentary -''Puddin and Panties..The William Crawley Jr. Story."I said.

''Thanks man...It was a Big Hit at the Cannes Festival... Sheila and I really enjoyed the vacay...I wished you and Sepia could have come.." he said.

"I wished so too...Maybe when you do the sequal ,Puddin in Prison.." I said and we both laughed out loud....

Sepia walked into my office...

''Kevin, I hope you didn't bring me down here for a nooner or something like that...Not today...I have another house to show." she said.

"No...No...We are going to take my car...I have something to show you..."I said.

Now she looked confused...

I smiled...

She got in my car and I drove her to Jewelers Row....

III-

 I walked into the tony jewelry store and was greeted by none other than Philly Frank Swanson....an old acquaintance of mine..

"KEVIN?  Kevin Morris...Oh My god...You are just the man I wanted to see....;Ohhhh excuse my manners...Who is this exquisite woman you have with you?" he said kissing Sepia's hand...She giggled like a school girl...

I smiled...This is my wife...Joanne Morris...we call her ''Sepia." ...I said...

"A beautiful name for a beautiful woman..." he said.


"We are here about the diamond I ordered for her...."I said.

''Diamond?" asked Sepia..

''Yes...Yes...He had a new engagement ring designed for you Mrs. Sepia with a bigger stone than the original one...Take a look." he said as he unveiled it..

Sepia's eyes got as large as saucers...

''Oh My God...Oh My God....Kevin...Oh My God....." was all she could say...

"The money from my last case got me to thinking...It was about time I got you a new stone...You like it? Try it on...It's yours baby.."I said..

She gave me a big kiss....a very sensual kiss that I must admit got me a little turned on...

She whispered in my ear...

"I'll go back to your office or to a hotel room if you want to after this.." she said...

I smiled..

"Glad you like it babes.."I said..

"Oh I Love it." she exclaimed..

"Mr. Kevin....While you are here...Could I uh have a word with you?" he asked..


"Yeah, sure Frank..." I said...

While Sepia admired her ring, Frank and I walked to the back of the store...

"I appear to have a problem...a problem that requires your skill set...."he said and passed me an envelope with $5000.00 dollars in it.

"You want to hire me."I said.

"Yes...It appears that 7 million dollars worth of jewelry, rare jewelry that was on consignment to Mr. Berks Landsdowne has walked out of here..." he said.

"Walked out of here?? You mean it was stolen right?" I said.

"Yes...My security guard...Mr. Black. Ralph Black didn't come in to work today.." he said.

"You think Mr. Black is the thief??" I asked.

"I don't know....but it's not like him ,not to come to work....and not call either...and the diamonds are missing..." he said.

''You call the cops?"I asked..

"No and I don't want the cops involved..Too much attention to this will make Mr. Landsdowne panic and I don't want that...So if you could look into this discreetly, I would be most grateful." he said.

"I'll do what I can Frankie.."I said.

When we walked out into the lobby,I saw another well dressed man....He was checking out my wife..


''Beautiful.. simply beautiful..."he said.

She smiled..

"Thank you sir, Isn't it?" she said ,thinking he was talking about the ring...

"The ring isn't so bad, but I was talking about you ." he said looking at her salaciously...

"Ohhh,Thank you." she said and blushed...

''Mr. Landsdowne ,What are you doing here?" asked Frank Swanson..

"Mr. Swanson..I do believe with the jewelry I have on consignment alone in this store...I can come and go anytime I damn well please......I'm here to pick up the California Diamond." he said,.

"Mr. Landsdowne...It's safe here..." said Frankie...

"It's safe where I say it's safe..I own it..and I don't want it here..I want it in my wall safe at my house."said Berks Landsdowne..

"But Mr. Landsdowne"pleaded Frank...

"Just get the diamond and place it in my briefcase." he said.

Frank Swanson took the Diamond out of it's display case, which was made out of re-inforced plastic..and put it in his briefcase...

"Thank you....Good Day Mr. Swanson, take care of my other Diamonds..." he said and promptly left the store..

I smiled...

''Boy ...he's a lot of fun."I remarked..

''You understand why I need your help Kevin?"he said.

''Perfectly...Sit tight Frankie...You got an address for this Security guard?" I asked.

"Yes...This is it.." he said.

''Okay...I'll see what I can find...Hopefully by tomorrow morning...I'll have some good news for you."I said and put my arm around Sepia and walked her to my car...

She turned and looked at me....

"Honey Bunny,I got to admit..I am surprised and delighted by this." she said.

"You really like it babes?" I said.

"I love it." she said.

''Because I always meant to get you this for awhile now...When we got engaged...I didn't have the money I have now...and now that I have a little somethin,somethin...I figured I'd get you something nice."I said.

"You are so sweet Kevin...You've been doing nice things for me since I met you...This is no different."she said and she kissed me again...

"I see he passed you an envelope...You got a case huh?" she said.

"Yeah...got to find some diamonds that walked out of his store."I said.

''Well don't stay out too late...I have to stop by Bridget's store after work and then, I uh plan to do something nice for you, if you know what I mean?" she said and winked..

I smiled..

I sure did...I hoped I could wrap this case up tonight...


(TO BE CONTINUED)




2 comments:

Vanessa said...

Just read this and the one after it...Love it..The jeweler is cute...

George S. said...

Classic Kevin...I too read this one and the one after it...Missed it yesterday!