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Chapter Four of ‘Who The Fuck Stole My Shit?’

August 28, 2012

 

 

                                                III.

 

The boys slept in after hours of destroying virtual people and objects, then came downstairs to find their father reading the paper and their mother making breakfast.

Ferris looked up from his paper.’ Well, the Murchisons have been good about keeping the robbery out of the paper. I’m glad we don’t have any gossipers on the fore.’

            ‘Yet,’ Joe added, munching on a piece of toast. ‘Wait ‘til tomorrow.’

‘I was thinking we should go by the Murchisons around noon,’ Frank said.

            ‘That would be perfect,’ Ferris said.

            ‘Should we pack heat?’ Joe asked, thinking about his .38 Magnum in his nightstand.

            ‘I don’t think that will be necessary’ Ferris responded. They want your help, not your bullets. I’m heading to work. Call me if you find out anything.’ He folded the paper, and picked up his briefcase, kissing Gladys on the way out. She looked like she was way out as well.

            A few hours later, they were in Frank’s Beemer, heading to the Murchison estate.

‘Hey!’ said Joe. ‘ Let’s call Peep!’

            ‘Sounds like a plan,’ Frank replied. Joe hit Pepe Cohen’s code on speed dial and waited for an answer.  He was unsure if Pepe was even awake yet.

            Pepe Cohen was an old friend of the Hardleys. His father was Jewish, and his mother was Puerto Rican, so his motto was ‘Fuck it. Everybody hates me anyway.’ He had one week left to serve out his suspension for a DUI, so the Hardleys made sure to pick him up for activities, and to keep him from getting bored. Since Pepe’s father was the main pharmacist and town, and Pepe helped stock the back room, using his not-so-legal access to swipe painkillers and tranquilizers. He was always happy to share his stockpile with his friends, and they were happy to oblige him. When they quizzed him about the legality of his activities, he merely replied, ‘Fuck it. It’s not my store.’

            Pepe was waiting for them outside his house. He jumped into the back seat and reclined from door to door.

            ‘Dudes. I need me some coffee like right now,’ he said, yawning.

            ‘Did you double dip last night?’ Joe asked.

            ‘Yeah, Pepe replied. ‘I’m alright, but my head feels like a jellyfish with a hard-on.’

‘I could use a jolt,’ Frank said, as he pulled into The Java Shock’s parking lot.

            A few minutes later, clutching their double chocolate triple espressos, they pulled out of the parking lot, and started to make a left turn on Main Street. All of a sudden, a black convertible blazed by them, nearly sideswiping Frank’s car.

            ‘What the fuck?’ Joe yelled, as the other car sped away. Frank had to back up into the parking lot to avoid traffic coming from their left side.            

            ‘That asshole nearly took us out!’ Frank screamed.

            ‘It was a chick, ‘ Pepe said. ‘A redhead. She looked pretty hot, too.’

            ‘Whatever,’ Joe said. ‘She’s still a dick. That could have been one big Mongolian clusterfuck.’             ‘I’d like to get another look at her,’ Pepe said dreamily.’ There’s nothing like a sea bobbing up and down on your knob.’

‘Dude,’ Frank said, turning left onto Main Street.

                       

                                    IV

They arrived at the Murchison estate a few minutes late. The main house, which would have been called a mansion fifty years before the steroid-infused houses started popping up, was set back from the road with a long wide driveway and a finely crafted marble path leading up to the front door. The foliage was impeccably groomed, with some exotic looking flowers on the side of the path. There were two small cottages in the back, along with a well and a sleek garage where the Murchisons apparently kept their fancy cars.

   ‘We’re not gonna hafta pull the stick out of dude’s uptight WASP ass, are we?’ Pepe asked with trepidation.

            ‘Naw,’ Frank said. ‘Pops talked to him. He’s cool.’ He rang the doorbell, and after a minute, Sean, the younger Murchison opened the door. He was about thirty, with ragged hair and bloodshot eyes. He wore a ripped t-shirt from the yacht club, and Bermuda shorts. Pepe identified several different odors emanating from him. Not the typical Wall Street d-bag, he thought.

‘You must be the Hardleys,’ Sean said, and introductions were made all around. ‘Come on in. The old man’s on the back porch. We’re pretty pissed off. Of course, Dad and I have different ways of dealing with this shit. He came home and started screaming at everybody, while I split work early and hit the bars early with some friends. I took the 6 A.M. train home this morning.’

‘Sounds like fun,’ Joe said.

The house and backyard were just as immaculate as the entrance. Lorne Murchison sat in a chair by a large umbrella-covered table. He held a cigarette in one hand and a healthy dose of Scotch in the other.  He was about sixty, but tanned and in good shape, with slightly thinning sandy colored hair.

‘Hey Pops,’ Sean said. ‘ This is Joe and Frank Hardley, and, uh, Pedro.’

‘Pepe,’ Cohen muttered.

‘Have a seat, boys,’ Lorne said, offering them cigarettes. Out of courtesy, Joe and Frank took one, while Pepe was all too eager to take one.

‘Well this has been a shitty week,’ Lorne began. ‘I haven’t been this stressed since my wife died. Some of the stolen stuff belonged to her family, which is a shitstorm on its own.’

‘What did the burglar take?’ Joe asked.

‘All my financial documents, bonds, our wills, secret passwords to offshore bank accounts, a lot of computer stuff, hard drives with our financial history, and other stuff I’m sure I haven’t figured out yet. Jesus.’ He took a swig of his whisky.

‘Do you have an estimate of what everything was worth? Frank asked.

‘Hell,’ Lorne said. ‘ It’s probably somewhere between fifteen and twenty million.’

Pepe whistled.’ Fuckin’ A. That’s a mess of ducats.’

‘Sure as hell is,’ Lorne said, lighting another cigarette. ‘ Around three o’clock yesterday, I got a call on my cel from Imelda, our housekeeper, who said that the office door downstairs was open, and the place was ransacked. No signs of forced entry.’

‘ Does Imelda have a key to the office?’ Joe asked.

‘It’s more than a key,’ Lorne replied.’ It’s a heavy-duty security system with a series of pass codes and a pass card. The only people that have access to it are myself, Sean, and unfortunately, Jed Macmillan, our groundskeeper. He hasn’t been the same since his wife left him. ‘

‘We go to school with his son, Lucas,’ Frank said.

‘ Lucas is a good boy, ‘ Lorne said. ‘But sometimes he has the wits of a seahorse. Yet he and Jed have never given me any problems in their ten years here.’

‘I think Jed does a bit of gambling,’ Sean added. ‘That doesn’t help his defense right now.’

‘Yeah,’ Pepe chimed in. I’ve seen him at the OTB, picking used betting slips off the floor. ‘

‘Can we talk to the Macmillan’s?’ Frank asked.

‘Probably a little later,’ Sean said. ‘ I think they’re sleeping off some lousy hangovers.’

‘Which is a good thing for their defense,’ Frank said. ‘It would be hard for someone really plastered to pull this scheme off.’

‘ Or drunkenly brave enough to do it,’ Lorne said. ‘Still, I can’t accept that Jed and Lucas did this, even though they have motive, opportunity, and necessity.’

‘We’ll snoop around town to see if any body’s seen anything,’ Joe said.

‘Just keep it on the down-low,’ Lorne said. ‘I’m already up shit creek with a leaky paddleboat with this mess. The last thing I need is a bunch of jackhole reporters sniffing up my ass.’

‘We will be discreet,’ Frank said.’ Later on, we’ll come back and talk to the Macmillan’s.’

‘Sounds like a plan,’ Lorne said, downing the last of his scotch. He led them to the door. ‘Good luck, and let me know what you find.’

They were strolling to the car when Frank’s phone rang. It was their friend Skippy Morris, Debbie’s brother.

‘Shit’, Frank said. I hope he hasn’t found out I’m banging his sister.’ He answered the phone. ‘What up, Skip?’

‘Dude!’ Skippy sounded from the other end of the phone. ‘I’m fucked. Some dickwad jacked my car!’

‘We’ll be right over,’ Frank said.

 

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