“Amanda. Good morning. Bruce here. Listen, we need to talk.”
“Good morning Bruce. You have some news for me?”
“Yes I do. It would be best if told you in person.”
“I see. Could we make it this afternoon? I’m afraid I’m rather busy at the moment.”
“Certainly. Would three suit?”
“Yes, that would be fine. I’ll see you then. I hope it’s good news.”
“We’ll talk this afternoon. Good bye Amanda.”
He hung up and sighed. This was the part he never liked. He hoped she wouldn’t get too emotional. He would offer to do a séance; these old women liked that sort of thing. He got dressed and went out to do some errands.
When he got back there was a message on the machine. He listened to it and made a call.
“Freddy, it’s me Bruce. Are you sure about this?”
“Yep. My man overheard the conversation, he was right outside the office. The detective from the missing persons case has been following it up ever since. He knows about you. Whatever you’re up to, I’d get out. The detective has been told to butt out, but you know how those guys are.”
“Okay, thanks Freddy.”
He was going to have to wrap up today. Just tell her Edward was gone, get paid and get out. The last thing he needed was the police looking at him too closely. He looked at his watch and got ready to go.
At the house on Bluebell Lane Amanda heard the back door open and close and she composed herself, waiting for what was to come. She gasped when he walked into the room, then went to him and embraced him.
“It’s been so long. You look amazing.”
He smiled and sat down on the sofa with her for a long talk.
When Bruce arrived Amanda went to door and greeted him. She had given the maid the day off in view of the circumstances.
“Hello Bruce. My, you have such a serious look. I take it the news is not good.”
“No, Amanda, I’m afraid not.”
He sat down and faced her and put on his most caring face.
“I’ll come straight to the point. The vibrations have gelled and I’m quite certain that…well…Edward is no longer with us. I’m sorry, Amanda, but I’m quite sure.”
She took a deep breath and put her hand on the edge of the chair to steady herself, then began to sob. She put her face in her hands and her shoulders heaved.
Bruce got up and consoled her, patting her shoulder and speaking to her in a low voice. At last she composed herself.
“I’m sorry, Bruce. I suppose I knew it would come to this, it’s just so…”
“I know, Amanda. I’m so sorry.”
They talked awhile longer and then she seemed to be all business. She excused herself and came back with a checkbook.
“I want to thank you so much for your efforts. Would $5,000 be adequate?”
“Quite. Thank you so much dear lady. If you like we could do a séance – “
“No thank you. That won’t be necessary.”
She showed him to the door, thanked him again and closed it. He left, puzzled, but overjoyed. When he was gone Amanda went back to the sitting room to find Edward waiting for her.
“I took the liberty of retrieving the money I, shall we say, emancipated in Chicago. I’m glad you left it where I hid it.”
He was counting out bundles of hundred dollar bills from a large suitcase.
“You’ve played your part well, sis. The cops are off the case for good and my plastic surgery will keep the mob from ever finding me. Hiring the psychic was a nice touch. I do wish you’d let me know you were going to do that though. You had me alarmed. Anyway, here’s your cut.”
She took the stack of bills and put them aside.
“I had to move fast. When you told me that detective was still watching I knew I had to throw him off somehow. All’s well that ends well.”
“I’d best not hang around. I’ll leave the back way. I’ll email you when I get where I’m going. Thanks again, sis.”
“Be well, Edward.”