The Manifest

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Chapter 11

     Tuck was in the office, working on the other cases they were investigating on before Sir Norsberg came back into their scopes. If they were to give off the impression that they were not working on this case and remain as undercover as possible, they had to make sure all the other work was being taken care of. That meant no slacking off and zero signs of anything less than business as usual or people watching would get suspicious too soon. He did however enjoy watching Sir Norsberg money transfer into the account that afternoon. It took only a little over an hour for the funds to electronically arrive in their account from the usual channels. It came through an overseas channel so it would take a lot of digging for Norsberg’s name to ever come up. Tuck had never seen that kind of money in his life, and doubted he would ever see a receipt with that many zeroes on it ever again. The money was safely put into the other accounts and as Edgar has instructed and he took about twenty percent out of the account in cash/bonds and tossed in into their private box that isn’t even listed under either of their names. It’s a secret stash incase their funds ever get frozen, which he guessed was Edgar’s way of having a backup should someone attempt to cut off their cash flow halfway through the investigation. As he was ruffling through some papers and receipts from other cases, someone came knocking on Tuck’s door. It was Jonathan, his cousin and co-worker.

     “Tuck," he started, "We have someone here I think you need to deal with personally.”

     “Oh?” Tuck said as he stood up.

     Through the glass that separated his office from the lobby, he could see why Jonathan wanted him to come out. A tall man looking less than formal had strolled into the lobby. He was dressed like a biker and had a scruffy beard and a long pony tail, and was pretty much intimidating the shit out of everyone.

     “Oh my.” Tuck said as he took a deep breathe and then walked out to greet his guest, and took the man’s hand and firmly shook it, “Devon! You’re a few hours early. Where’s the rest of your team?”

     Devon didn’t seem impressed or enthusiastic. “They’re downstairs and not willing to come up yet. They don’t believe Edgar and think he’s pulling our leg. They’re on a ‘believe it when I see’ it kind of position right now. They want to see the green, and then we can talk about the case.”

     “Given what happened last time, I can’t say I blame you.” Tuck said with a slightly nervous tone, “That was an unfortunate accident, but we didn’t do that on purpose and we did pay you eventually when our matter with the bank was settled. I apologize for being late, but we had every intention of paying you. We were more than impressed with your work and believe every penny was well earned. I’m in charge of the finances, so the minute you and Edgar see eye to eye on price I’ll have the money wired immediately. You can even sit here and wait for it to be verified if you like.”

     Devon’s demeanor started to finally lighten up. “You know, it’s easy to see that this place is run by people who used to be cops. Just take a look around, this place looks like the station downtown. I bet that office in the corner is yours, so you get to act like the chief.” he gave a small snicker and then took a seat at one of the vacant desks. “You guys seem very serious about this job. Is it that important of a case?”

     “It is. We really need your help but I’m not going to sugar coat it, this is going to be a dandy. This is why Edgar felt it was necessary to bring you back in.” Tuck said as he took a seat in the lobby as he could tell Devon’s curiosity was getting the best of him. “I’m not sure how much Edgar said over the phone, but there’s no bond. We’re looking for a person who has been missing for five years.”

     “A missing person case? Fuck me.” Devon said as he sat back, “I knew this sounded too good to be true. You want me scouring the country for a person who has no criminal history?”

     “We’ll make it worth your time. Cash now and more after the person we’re looking for is found. We’ll even cover expenses.” Tuck knew that one would hit the mark with Devon. The tough guy seemed to settle down a little more. “We’ll let Edgar give you all the details and then you guys can negotiate a number that will make everyone happy. Even though this isn’t going to be an easy case, we all want you and your team here because we know you guys are the best. And if this job is done promptly, it will be a big payday for everyone. This client is known for tipping, big time.”

     Devon, a fellow admirer of Uncle Ben, cracked a large yellow smile, “Now you’re playing my tune, mate. Let’s wait for Edgar and then we’ll see how things go from there.” He said as he put his feet up on one of the desks in the lobby.

     “This isn’t your home,” Edgar said as he walked in and lightly slapped Devon’s foot off the desk. He paused for a moment and then offered an open hand, “Good to see you again.” Edgar said as shook the man’s hand, “Let’s take this into Tuck’s office and we’ll crunch the numbers.”

     “My, my… you are very direct with this one. No chit chat or foreplay, just getting down to the nitty gritty. This is an important case.” Devon chuckled as he walked into the office and took one of the chairs in front of Tuck’s desk.

PJ Lowry

Edited: 07.11.2019

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