Detective Adrian is convinced there has been a murder. Her witness is a homeless mentally ill man nicknamed, The Bard. She has him and her instinct. She needs evidence.
Previously, detective Lucy Smaldino successfully went undercover as the Blackwell's new nanny. She praised Junior's accomplishments in the music industry and he fell for it completely. Tenaya continued to find out interesting information and background about Blackwell Senior's life. He has a daughter in the south that would be his first born child. That would make her the heir to the Blackwell fortune. She hasn't stepped forward, leaving another mystery for Tenaya to ponder. She still does not have a suspect. But, with Lucy emplyed now in the Blackwell mansion, information should be forthcoming. We pick up the story as Lucy reacts to being hired by Junior.
"Well, as long as you're not planning to put it on E-bay for a huge payoff. We do a background check, of course. I don't see any problem there." He smiled and extended his hand once again.
Lucy shook it vigorously keeping in mind that he didn't have the strength that she had. "I can start immediately." Arrogant idiot. Why don't I think you have the brainpower to pull off the perfect crime? Well, we'll see. Somebody or -bodies did.
"Tomorrow will be fine. 9AM sharp. Don't be late. Not even Misty, herself, ever dared to be late. Pet peeve. See you then?"
"I'll be early. Being on time is something I live by. Thanks again." She turned and headed towards the door. Lincoln was already coming through the door to escort her out. Either Junior has a hidden button or Lincoln is eaves dropping. Well, I'll find out soon enough. Piece of cake. The Lucy and Tenaya show is back on the air.
Tenaya continued to pour over the Bard's papers, especially his book, "The Trees Have Eyes". This old fool has a daughter in the south somewhere. The mother was a singer. Hmm. Tenaya paused to consider a couple of pages devoted to a beautiful, black blues-singer that Harpster had tried to sign up early in his career. Damn! That's an heir. Hell, that might be thee heir. I wonder if this daughter has a clue that her daddy is a billionaire? That would be a lead worth investigating. If mom was still alive she surely would've have heard of Harpster's death. But, where was she to make her claim. Where was the daughter? Not many people wouldn't have an interest in millions of dollars.
This Dancer danced and sang a song
and Johnny B. Bad soon came along
he had some lies and a fib or two
what's a love struck boy to do?
she wasn't too happy
cause he was the pappy
with nothing to offer her girl
she was so damned mad that she was ready to rip his head off; it would make your hair curl!
she told him "Hit the road Jack."
don't come back
the girl is mine
the doggone girl is mine
no no no she's mine
the doggone girl is mine.
She actually burst out laughing at that. Well, funny but it doesn't tell me who the doggone girl is. She read more:
As an independent label, every dime had to come out of Harpster's pocket. Nothing was free, including the morning coffee. He hung out, during this time, at the Baton Rouge Hilton, but his head hit the pillow at Fandango's Sleepy Seven Motel. He had a nose for talent, but he had an eye for woman. It would serve him well, when the size of his wallet made him a more attractive man. But, as a struggling independent record label, he was an ordinary, broke man. Lies became his best friend. He could spin a tale that would make a city boy want to put on a pair of bib-overalls and start whittling.
The Bard did that often. In the same manner, he spoke, he wrote. He'd begin writing something coherent and then drift off into something less so like that business about bib-overalls. The same page had some scribbling about hosting Saturday Night Live following it.
The difference between rich people and poor people is that rich folk have a porta-potty while poor folk have a pota-potty. Yep, the rich flush it and the poor have to eat it! Thank you Don Pardooooooo!!!!
Will they get it? PORTABLE VERSUS POTABLE???
It was pretty clever actually. This all fascinated Tenaya and gave her insight and information, but none of it provided evidence. Just as her thoughts turned to Lucy's project, her phone buzzed.
"It's me, Lucy Poppins, nanny to the rich and spoiled. How goes it in Dementiaville?"
"This old fool has a daughter down south, somewhere. I can't believe she hasn't stepped forth. There is a helluva motive. But, if she isn't stepping up for the payoff, I doubt she did the deed. So, you're in! Damn, you are good."
"Was there ever a doubt? I just buttered him up with praise over one of his horrible albums and he ate it up. It wasn't easy finding something that Harpster let him fly solo on. He's an idiot, Tenaya. I don't see him as a mastermind. I haven't spoken to the widow yet, but from what I gather, she couldn't plan a trip to the toilet. I don't think we've met our suspect yet. This is the place to pick up intel though. I can feel it."
"Great work. I'm going to spend a little more time here and head back to the station. Sandoval is beside himself. Gotta throw him off the trail. Keep me posted."
They both went back to their respective tasks at hand. The Bard was busy at his appointed rounds as well.
Recycling for the Bard didn't take the effort it did for most homeless individuals. His rounds didn't include diving into alley dumpsters or digging at the bottom of smelly roadside trash cans. His recyclables were tied up neatly in bags with twist ties that he harvested and placed in his Bel Air Whole Foods shopping cart. The residents put the bags out for their homeless population, i.e., The Bard. By residents, of course, I'm referring to their maids and butlers carrying out their instructions.
Detective Adrian had one last stop to make on the way back to the precinct. She couldn't be sure if The Bard would remember to meet her or not. If he met her, would he have followed through on her request? Well, there he stood, in front of the gate to the recycling center right where she asked him to be. She pulled over, hopped out of her burgundy Chrysler LeBaron, and walked up to him.
"Did you manage to get what I asked for?" She was hoping for "yes", she was prepared for, "no".
"The maze was winding and clever
I braved the weather
Her name was Heather
is it trash if I require it?
perhaps it is your own arrogance
and affinity for opulence
that deems it so
as you, disregard it
so, do you dishonor me
that shops at your curbside"
Tenaya looked in his cart and saw what she was looking for and smiled. "You are a prince, Bard. I can't thank you enough." There were bags of paperwork and correspondence. Another bag had sympathy cards and handwritten notes of condolence. Not a sentimental bunch. I would've had these in a scrapbook. There were a couple CD's and an old laptop computer as well. "Are these from the Blackwell trash also?"
"Why, yes, my lovely. Purloined by yours truly, just this morning. I have inscribed several of these cards with feelings that, alas, I am too shy to express to you with my own tongue." The Bard spoke with a perfect upper-class British accent.
"I have to run. You are a gentleman and a scholar, sir. I owe you dinner. See you soon!" She threw the items in the trunk, jumped in her car and sped off. Chief Sandoval awaited her.
"Detective Adrian, so nice of you to grace our quaint little station. Where have you been? Questioning Celine Dion as to her whereabouts? I hear she has it in for Patti LaBelle."
"I'm off that case, Chief, just like you asked. If you're happy with it, then what can I do. I work for you. For the record, I just said hello to Snoop Dog. I like his music. I didn't question him."
"Where's your body guard? I've got a case for you, and no, there's no rock stars involved. It's a break-in at the Rutherford's estate. The second time in two months. Could be those Emmerick boys are back at it again. Maybe juvenile hall didn't teach them a lesson. Spalding is Eighteen now. Some time in county jail with some real criminals might do the trick. You and Smaldino, see what you can dig up."
"We're on it, Chief. It's just a matter of time with those boys, before they graduate to something worse. Spalding's just a punk, but Wilbert has a mean streak. He put up a fight the first time. It took Lucy's right upper cut to bring him down." She just thinks of you, every time she throws a punch.
For Detective Adrian, this would be like an assignment to investigate Blackwell's death. The Rutherford estate and the Emmerick estate were both within a half mile of the Blackwell mansion. You put us right where we want to be, Sandoval. Here we've been thinking you were a pandering, attention-seeking idiot.
"Well, we were lucky to win that lawsuit, Adrian. Though, I'd think twice before I'd sue a girl for kicking my ass. Try the diplomatic approach this time." Chief Sandoval looked delighted with his rapier wit.
"The anger management courses should make the difference, Chief." …never so pissed in my life, wasting my time, listening to some Casper Milquetoast telling me to take deep breaths. Right, politely request he hand me his side arm.
Detective Adrian thought of Johnathon Blackwell Senior's death as a murder. She thought that, from the moment she walked into that study and saw that team of technicians making a popsicle out of Harpster's newly dead body.
People in hospitals on their deathbeds don't die with greater precision then Harpster did at his desk that evening. There was more emotion from a janitor cleaning a room in a hospital than there was from the entire entourage congregated to say fare thee well after learning of Harpster's shocking death. No one was even surprised. No one was upset. No one lost a beat except a mentally ill homeless man that Harpster had befriended. He was the witness.
That was her case in a nutshell. Nutshell. Boy, did that term ever apply in this case. Tenaya knew she was right. She needed to prove it. A couple CD's, an old laptop and a couple bags of discarded paperwork and condolence cards were as good a place to start as anywhere.