There are some things in life that come as twists and shocks. Agatha Christie was the queen of the Red Herring’s in her murder mysteries. Robert Knott recently in Robert B. Parker’s Black Jack unveiled the flamboyant pirate bounty hunter Valentine Pell, half-brother of Virgil Cole or the fact that Warner Brother’s thought it was a good idea to have Superman kill in his Man of Steel Movie circa 2013.
As Speare walked up the walk to the luxury condo seeking O’Neil’s widow these are things that ran through his mind. A quick scroll through unit numbers and a connection Jerome buzzes Speare in. The lobby is done in the post-modernist warehouse chic that is the current rage as he makes his way to the elevator and up to the penthouse.
The view from the condo windows is of the downtown scape, framed nicely by mountains and river. The room is back lit and far to much steel and concrete to feel warm. There are tapestries one would assume cost a fortune, yet none of this was adding up within Speare’s mind.
“You are probably wondering how we came to afford this opulence.”
“Your word Jerome not mine, but it does stand to reason when the new husband was from the priesthood.” Speare stated.
Jerome chuckled. “I am from the Saturn family. Yes do not look shocked those who once upon a time were vacation friends with Rockefellers and Carnegies. Our money, is the money that has put all this together. St. Andrew’s is just one jewel in the crown if you will.”
Speare scratched under the eye patch, every so often the phantom pain would act up on his missing eye. One day he may actually remember what happened to the eye that could be the day he would truly know who he was fully. That day would not be today. For today he needed to focus on the person in front of him who had just made a statement that had left him dumbfounded.
“So, your attachment to St. Andrew’s has nothing to do with faith in the Father, Son and Holy Ghost?”
“Do I look like that fool Ms. Lowery or Gould? I understand the investment my family has made on a rather valuable piece of real estate. The congregation is literally dying off, and the initial investment of the cornerstone oh those many years ago from my family came with a clause.”
A clause, now it was playing out interesting. “Why tell me this? It looks like it gives you a good reason to want to kill your husband.”
“Please Speare let us not insult both our intelligences. Scotch?”
There is a snap of fingers and a grey haired man, whom Speare only assumes is British because well most butlers in mysteries are British, brings him a vermillion mug a warm cup of black coffee, from the smell it was more expensive than Folger’s but probably wasn’t worth the extra cost. Speare takes a sip, as Jerome pours himself two fingers of Scotch over ice. The newly revealed wealth takes a sip.
They are standing in the living room, Jerome motions for Speare to sit on a leather couch by a gas powered fire place, Speare takes the seat and Jerome sits in a leather recliner sipping his drink.
“A simple clause, when the church closes, the property reverts back to my family for ownership. If there are no surviving members of the family, then well it reverts I am not sure where the money will go.”
“All I am hearing from you Jerome is motive.”
“But then why would I share it with you.” That was a good question, if Jerome was guilty of the murders trying to make a land grab why he would share it with Speare? “Keep tilting at windmills, Speare, I want to know who killed my husband.”