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 Category:  Mystery and Crime Fiction
  Posted: May 4, 2014      Views: 623
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Chapter 20 of the book The Bard of Bel Air
The Bard and Harpster at Union Station, L.A.
"Welcome to Olvera Street" by michaelcahill

Billionaire music mogul believed dead. Homeless mentally ill man knows more than anyone thinks. Who is the heir? Is he really dead? The son is up to no good.

Previously, the Blackwell Mansion in Bel Air is getting crowded. Diamond and Ruby Dancer have arrived to stake claim. Winston has arrived. Junior is already there and clueless. Lucy is there, undercover as the nanny, wondering if her cover is about to be blown. The Bard and, a very much alive, Harpster are on their way to Los Angeles. Tenaya considers what she should do next. We continue, now, with the Bard and Harpster about to hop the Metro Link to L.A.

They made it to the Metro Link station just in time to hop on the train to Union Station. That is the only train that goes to and from Lancaster. They had no ticket and if they were caught, they would be put off at the next stop with a citation. However, odds were pretty good that the Bard and Harpster would ride the Metro Link right into Union Station Los Angeles without a question being asked. On this particular evening, that did turn out to be the case.
Union Station is a huge train depot and a transportation center in Los Angeles. There are buses that will take you virtually anywhere in the county running all hours. Even with Los Angeles International Airport in the mix now, Union Station remained a major hub. Harpster would normally be picked up by limousine and whisked away to his home in Bel Air or on to a hot recording session in Hollywood. For a man that despised flying, Johnathon Blackwell Senior had arrived on familiar ground.
Of course, anyone looking for him knew that. The Bard would be in charge of the itinerary and travel plans for the evening. No one would be looking for him and if they were, they wouldn't know where to look anyway. As far as the Bard was concerned, they already were where they were supposed to be. The Bard new the streets of Los Angeles and that is where they were.
The Bard noticed that his phone had very little charge left. He made a call. "I thought I told you to pick up the kids at the Mayberry Bus Depot at midnight. Aunt Bee is peddlin' her wares on Spring Street and I don't think we're gonna get to share a cup of coffee. It's the voice, Tenaya. It just isn't sexy. Well, Opie took off. I think he's making movies or something. We could use a little cash to be honest. I hear this dude here is a billionaire. Just between you and me,…he doesn't have a dime. I think it's some kind of mental problem. Ya know like he's deludable or in his own dimension."
"Where the hell are you? I thought you were in the desert." Tenaya wanted to laugh, but she had visions of hearing the phone click while she was laughing.
"Union Station, of course. We were at the beach, but God repossessed the ocean. It's safe here. I don't think it's safe to come home. So…"
Harpster grabbed the phone. "Is this detective Adrian? This is Harpster. Damn, I can't thank you enough. My friend here has been filling me in. Is there a way you can get some cash to us? You have to watch out for that son of mine. Winston isn't anyone I know anymore. As long as he thinks I'm dead we're okay. But, he has people out looking for the wreckage in the desert and there are no bodies with it. He's a killer. We need to get together. Can you come down here? We're at Union Station."
"Okay. I wanted to bring Lucy. That's my partner. She's under cover in your house. But, your son is there. She doesn't want to leave everyone unprotected. Lincoln has been paid off and could be in danger. She tells me some lady is there with her daughter…well, your daughter they claim. Lucy doesn't want to leave them there alone. Junior isn't thrilled with that. I don't know if Winston cares about that or not."
"Lady? What lady? I don't have any other children that I know of."
"Diamond Dancer. A made up name I'm guessing. A black lady. The kid is mixed though…so…you know, not totally farfetched. Can I ask you, how many toes do you have on your right foot?"
"How in the hell do you know about that? What does that have to do with anything? Diamond Dancer? She is in my house? With a daughter? I knew it. My God. I knew it. She's the heir to my estate. It's in my will. First born child…it's her. I knew it. All these years. You have to bring her to me. I have to tell her."
"Hold on a minute. That is all going to have to wait. No one can know you're alive. Junior thinks you're on ice. He doesn't know a thing about Winston's dealings. You stay there and keep my friend out of trouble. I'm coming. I'll be there in less than an hour. Go across the street to Olvera Street. Halfway down the street on the right. Consuelo's. Are you listening? Consuelo's. Go inside, ask for Angela, and say you know me. Tell them I'm on my way. Consuelo's. Angela. Got it?"
"Consuelo's, Angela. Got it. I'll…hello…hello" 
The phone had died. He and the Bard headed across the street to Olvera Street. It was a bit of a tourist attraction with goods for sale and several restaurants. It had once been a simple shopping strip in a Hispanic section of Los Angeles long ago. Now, it was a preserved and commercialized street that still had goods for sale and some excellent traditional food. They found Consuelo's and went inside. Angela turned out to be the owner and Tenaya's aunt.
A lady named Consuelo had originally founded the restaurant over a hundred years earlier. The name had remained through several owners. The menu had not changed and the recipes were still as they had been when first opened. It had been a condition of sale with each change of ownership.
By the time Tenaya arrived, the three of them were singing what sounded like a traditional Mexican folk song.

"She would never marry again
though the hombres were hungry all day
when their bellies were full
they'd say marry me girl
and from here, I will take you away
Aye, Consuelo, I hunger for you
and you feed me
I guess that must do
but, your hand in mine for eternity
is the answer to all that I dream
For now just a slice of that pie!
Oh my!
For now one more slice of that pie.

Yeeeee Haaaaa!"
"Where have you been hiding these boys, Nina? They just wrote my theme song!"
"I've been keeping them on ice, Tia. I trust they've been giving you no worries then?"
"Well, I told them they could either wash dishes or sing for their supper. You know, like I tell you all the time. You can see what they chose. Let that be a lesson to you, Sobrina."
Tenaya didn't expect to see a billionaire record executive singing harmony with The Bard. It gave her a high regard for Harpster. The question to Harpster sounded like something right out of the Bard's fertile mind. "Do you wish to remain dead for the time being? Or would you prefer to be alive. Being dead has its advantages…"
The Bard jumped in at this point. "There is the whole not paying taxes aspect, though, with the Democrats in office, you can't be sure. Now, your vote is still going to matter, so we'll have to brush up on the candidates. I say that we go with candidates that are tough on crime. I've always found white-collar crime to be unmanly. I like a man that can start a nice barroom brawl over a lady. Is chivalry dead? Well, thank heaven for little girls, as he used to sing. No, that's too deep. Too much of a stretch. Too much of an inside, Maurice Chevalier joke. Well, you're doing fine, Tenaya. Where's my girlfriend?"
"She's fine. I wanted to bring her, but she is protecting the rest of the earth at the moment. I say we don't force Winston's hand. Even if he discovers the wreckage and no bodies, he can't reveal that to anybody. We keep that as our ace. Let him sweat. If you show up alive, then it forces his hand. There is no telling what he will do. Hell, he kidnapped the Bard here. He makes mistakes. That was plain stupid not having the Cryogenic Institute on board. That was waiting to come out at any moment. You two can stay at my place. I'm suspended. I'm going to act like it. As far as anyone knows, I am out of the loop."
Tenaya walked over to the Bard and gave him a big hug. "Don't do that to me again. Lucy is a great partner, but she can't just bust out with Zeppelin the way you can."



The book continues with Meet and Greet at the Blackwell's. We will provide a link to it when you review this below.

Author Notes
Everyone is converging on the Los Angeles area. Harpster is alive, but hardly anyone knows it. Estate battles continue as though he is dead. Suggestions and input are most welcome as always. Thank you all for your help.

Sobrina-Spanish for "niece"


Johnathon Blackwell Senior-Harpster, deceased former owner of a music conglomerate.

Johnathon Blackwell Junior- Senior's son and heir apparent to the family fortune.

Lilith Blackwell- Widow of Blackwell Senior and claimant to the estate.

The Bard-Stewart Slater, homeless, writer, musician, mentally ill. witness to the death of Harpster amongst other things.

Detective Tenaya Adrian- lead is there is a murder to investigate.

Detective Lucy Smaldino, Tenaya's partner

Lincoln- The Blackwell family butler.

Ruby Dancer- singer and Daughter of Harpster though she doesn't know anything about it.

Diamond Dancer- mother of Ruby and former mistress of Harpster. Refuses to tell Ruby anything about her father.

Dr. Khin- The Blackwell personal family physcian

"Q & A"-- Q Aubrey Langstan--"Q" The Blackwell family attorney.

Daniel- Blackwell Senior's Deaf brother.

Esmeralda "Emma" Blackwell- Blackwell Seniors Mother

Winston- Blackwell Senior's son. War hero turned mercenary. Kidnaped father and the Bard.

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