No cause to die for, p.5
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       No Cause to Die For, p.5
 

          
CHAPTER 5

  Berry looked up from the terminal. This time that pesky clock was telling him it was almost time to meet with his anonymous caller. 10:30 already. Where had the day gone? Berry wondered if this meeting would bring him any closer to task at hand, or lead him off on some other direction that he did not have time for right now...

  As he drove along the boulevard Berry noticed drops of water reflecting off the lights. Everything sparkled like new jewels. It gave a clean, fresh appearance to things, kind of like they were brand new. He wished that somehow it really worked this way. If there were troubles or problems, you could just wait for a rain… and whoosh… it would all be gone and everything would be new!

  After pulling up to the hotel, the parking valet pulled his car away as he hopped up the steps to the front lobby. He felt a little like a young boy, queasy from the excitement of a first date. The anticipation was tearing him up inside.

  The Chancy Inn was one of those high class hotels that catered to the most discriminating tastes. State officials and dignitaries visiting the university usual stayed there. Crossing the lobby Berry passed the chancelleries’ desk and entered the hallway leading down to the pool area.

  For the first time he could remember in a while he was on time... in fact he was even early... though he didn't notice... a clock in the shape of a beer mug was hanging in the window of the lounge... silently, these soft red numbers whispered the time... 10:51.  As he entered the pool area Berry glanced around. It was designed to give the patrons an exercise room, a place to relax, and a swimming pool all in one area. 

  Around the perimeter, about 14 feet above the floor, a balcony provided a running track.  At the far end were two Nautilus machines and several other pieces of exercise equipment. Along the wall on one side was a sauna booth stretching half the length. The remaining area along that wall was filled with two hot tubs.

  Berry walked over to the bar that covered the length of the other wall.  Could I have a Coke? Alcohol did not agree with Berry. He usually tried to avoid it.

  As he sat at one of the tables that encircled the pool, he surveyed the people situated around the room. Berry noted that only four of them were women, two of which he guessed were over 40. From the brief conversation he had with the lady over the phone, her voice sounded younger, he would have guessed that her age was maybe somewhere between 20 and 30.

  The third woman was the bartender. If she was the one who had called he figured she would have said something when he ordered the drink. That left only one possible of those who were there. Berry focused his attention to her...

  The clock above the bar blurted out that his contact was late. It was now 11:15, and the two older women had already left. A few minutes later the only other possible left with the young man she had been sitting with. A little perplexed, Berry continued to wait for a woman to stroll up and announce that she was there to see him. 

  He was thinking about going to get another Coke when a man approached him wearing one of the Hotel's blazers.  Are you Mr. Berry Sullivan? He was holding an envelope in his hand. Berry nodded his head.  I apologize for the delay Mr. Sullivan. A young lady left this for you at the front desk just before shift change. She asked that it be delivered too you here at the pool at 11:00, but the desk captain didn't find it until a few minutes ago. Sometimes things get misplaced between shifts, I'm sorry if this has caused you any inconvenience.

  Thank you was all Berry said as he took the envelope. He felt that it HAD caused him some inconvenience. It was inconvenient that he might not be finding out what this was all about yet.  The note inside the envelope confirmed this hunch. It read:

  They know about me. I think I'm being watched. I can't risk a meeting now. Call 555-3417 at 9 tomorrow morning and ask for Margie.

  ...

  Upon returning to his office Berry checked the cross reference directory. The number in the message was listed as belonging to the Alliance For a Unified Cooperation. If memory served him correctly, the address for the organization was the same as the Green Grotto. That was curious... why would an organization have the same address as a bar and grill?

  His mind wandered… he was thinking about the years before he got into the investigation business. He had not been what you would call a stable employee. His thoughts reminded him that in as little as a 10 year period of his prior life he had worked at 14 different jobs… so many different places and people were running through his head. It was curious however that he really didn’t feel any regrets about having jumped jobs so many times. He WAS a quick learner and as soon as he got the hang of a task, he was ready to move on to the next. Most of the time he just got bored when he because proficient at a job, and then he would begin to look for new challenges. Sometimes it only took him a few days to decide that what he was doing was not what he wanted to do. On one occasion he left a job after working only an hour or so.

  After all, he WAS a multi-tasker in the true sense of the word. His mind worked in a way that allowed him to consider a large amount of information simultaneously, and that along with the ability to perform physical tasks without really having to focus on what he was doing gave him an advantage over most people. He could put his body into gear, and his natural instincts would take over allowing him do what was needed physically while his mind was busy considering a thousand other bits and pieces of information that is stored in his mental filing cabinets.

  I need to bring this together into a bundle that will make sense and give me a lead on what is going on. I am beginning to think that there is a thread that ties all this together.

  Having spent so much time by himself, he would often talk out loud as if someone were actually listening. It was a habit he developed over the years… he was thinking that his abilities were actually perfect for this business and he had finally found work that could keep him interested for the rest of his life.

 
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