Raven’s Run 112

Back at the car, I had worked up a sweat even in the chilly ocean wind, but it had barely taken the edge off my energies. Adrenaline and testosterone; the macho cocktail. I had had a powerful infusion of each today, and it would be a while before I was calm again.

The sun had dropped behind the evening fog bank as I ran, and now an early dusk fell across the city. I drove through the park as fog tendrils wove tapestries among the trees, watching joggers bundled against the chill and the last rollerbladers of the day, all heading somewhere for a warm haven against the damp and cold. 

I found a pay telephone and a fast food joint. Ed Wilkes was not in, but would be back in an hour.

While I was running, it had occurred to me that the strangest thing that had happened all day had slipped past my notice in a testosterone haze. Laura Jacks had simply assumed that I would accept her actions and her husband’s “profession” as normal. She had led me to incriminating evidence with childish (and that was the word) innocence. No wonder old Harvey had taken her out of the business and kept her at home where she could do him no harm.

Chapter Thirty-one

When I got back to Dias Investigations, everyone had gone home. I let myself in and called Ed again. He was still out, but he called back before I had time to brew a pot of coffee. There was no way I could sleep in my condition, so I planned to spend the night at the computer.

Our conversation was brief. He had searched Raven’s room at the Cabral’s Sacramento house and had found the report Jacks had sent her. He also had a dozen pages of data on the various actors in our play. He faxed it all to me, and I skimmed it sheet by sheet as it came out of the machine, then sat down for a closer reading, though I had seen some of it in Paris.

Alice Susyn Johnson had worked for Cabral for three years.  Her personnel record gave her salary, social security number, residence, and next of kin.  The name Fletcher did not appear anywhere in the file.  The next of kin was William Johnson, listed as an ex-husband, with a residence in Garberville. A visit to her apartment would be worth doing, but I could leave that to Ed since he was in Sacramento anyway.

There were four James Davises in the Sacramento phonebook. According to Ed’s notes, none of them was likely to be our James Davis. A fax of the Allens showed dozens, but none of them jumped off the page.

There was a great deal on Adrian Brock. He was an investor, contractor and real estate developer. He cultivated contacts at the capital and there were hints of a shady doings on the side. Ed was investigating further, but I had his name from Susyn. There was no reason to believe that she would give me the name of her real employer. It was probably a false lead.

I would have to do it the hard way. Computers were new on the scene; I had helped set up Joe’s system, and now it was time to put it to use. I wasn’t the internet, of course. That was years in the future. But I knew how to use the crude beginnings of what it would become. more tomorrow


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