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 Category:  Mystery and Crime Fiction
  Posted: May 10, 2014      Views: 550
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Chapter 26 of the book The Bard of Bel Air
Lucy goes undercover in Winston's organization.
"Lucy's New Job" by michaelcahill

The Bard is a homeless mentally ill man who witnesses what appears to be a murder. It begins a trail that may lead to treason. Is the victim even dead though?

Previously, the group after discussing the matter came to the conclusion that Lucy should go undercover in Winston's operation. It was determined that it was imperative to find out who Winstons was dealing with and where he was operating from. In the meantime they would go to the media and accuse Junior and the Doctor of murdering Harpster and shine a bright light on the Blackwell mansion. Eventually, the plan would be to accuse Winston of the murder while Harpster remains in hiding. Winston's only defense would be that he was busy committing treason a death penalty case. We continue now with Lucy anxiously awaiting Winston's arrival. She also needs to get Harpster's mother and brother out of the house and to safety.

Lincoln answered the door when Lucy showed up for work at the Blackwell mansion. They exchanged smiles.
Junior smiled as well on his way to the study. He motioned Lucy in. She set her things down on the coffee table, kept her bag and followed him in.
"What happened with the two ladies last night? Where you able to convince them to give up on their little charade?" Junior looked arrogant but apprehensive at the same time. It combined into a look that resembled indigestion.
"No problem boss, they could see you meant business. They were glad to get a ride to the bus stop. They fought all the way there too. I guess mom's been interfering with the girl's life from day one. She could sing, huh?" Lucy took this as an opportunity to boost Junior's over inflated ego.
"From what my boys down south tell me, she's the real deal. But, there's more to the record business than talent. Talent is common. Lots of people have talent. My dad, rest his soul, didn't get that. He understood talent, but he didn't understand business." Junior swam in his own self-realized glory.
Lucy did her best to paint a face that displayed admiration. It proved to be quite a chore for her. Everything now depended on Winston making his move to recruit her. Winston needed to get Lucy out of the Blackwell mansion before the rest of the team could put the spotlight on it. Winston wouldn't be around the circus that would surround the mansion that could be counted on. Lucy had another task to tend to. Esmeralda, Harpster's mother and Daniel, his brother were about to go on a well-earned cruise, the sooner the better.
Junior stood up and Lucy took that as her cue to do likewise. He spoke, "I'm taking the kids on a little trip up to Hearst Castle in about a half hour. A nice drive up the coast. I haven't had a moment off since Dad died. It should be an easy day for you. Maybe a niece or nephew, you never know when one might show up. But, nothing planned. And, Lucy, I appreciate your help last night. You made it a lot easier on all of us. I wasn't looking forward to putting those gals in jail. You saved everyone a lot of headaches."
He began to walk out of the room at that point. Lucy took that as the end of their little meeting. Fifteen minutes later and the house contained her and Lincoln. Lilith had gone somewhere before she arrived that morning. The people she needed to talk to were downstairs. She left Lincoln to his afternoon soap operas. He couldn't exist without watching All My Children. It had priority over just about everything else in his life. If his daughter went into labor, well surely she could hold it for an hour.
Lucy always felt like she was in a secret section of the estate when she went downstairs. It just felt set apart somehow and even Emma and Daniel seemed like dark secrets in the cellar. They preferred the solitude and had no great affection for any of the people that occupied the upper floors. That was the reason they kept to themselves down here.
There were grandchildren that Emma favored and they would find their way down or she would find her way up when they visited. But, other than that. there was very little interaction between the two levels of the household. Other than Daniel's cigarettes, there was little reason to communicate with Junior or Lincoln at all. They had no knowledge of what had occurred with the death of Harpster. They were not aware of Isabel's corpse used as filler material for the new fireplace that they often enjoyed.
"Emma?" Lucy called out to her friend.
"She's taking a nap." Daniel appeared out of nowhere startling Lucy. She managed not to show it. His voice came across rather clearly for a deaf person. She imagined that he had not been deaf for very long.
"Oh, hello Daniel. I kind of need to talk to both of you. It's important." Lucy sounded and was sincere.
Daniel used his deafness with most people to pretend that he couldn't understand them. But, the truth was, he could read lips better than most. He understood Lucy completely. He nodded his head and went to get Emma.
"What the hell? The Nazis invade Belgium again? Well, I don't like sprouts anyway. So, what gives? Why wake an old lady from her beauty sleep. God knows I need every minute of it." Emma liked Lucy quite a bit. She didn't get to talk to many people that didn't have some kind of agenda when speaking to her. People always had an angle because of the money. It didn't even matter that she had no control over it. She knew who did and might have some influence.
Lucy laughed. A nice musical laugh that had a genuine quality that confirmed Emma's instinct about her. "Well, I have some news that is probably going to be shocking. I guess I'll come right out and say it. Your son Harpster is still alive. Winston kidnapped him to get at his money. He escaped and he is safe. He wants me to get you and his Uncle Daniel out of this house for your own safety."
Emma had tears in her eyes. "I never let myself grieve. I can't believe it. I guess I don't have to grieve now. But, why do we have to leave. Why doesn't he just come home and throw that bastard in jail. I don't understand."
"I know it sounds a little crazy. But, Winston's involved in some dangerous business. He has private soldiers and he is up to no good. Harpster and all of us agree that if he gets the idea that we are on to him that he could wipe out a lot of people before we ever get him in custody. We have to have a plan that nails him and cuts him off at the knees before he can react. You'll have to trust us. It's the only way to protect everybody. We'd like to get you out of here and send you on a cruise or put you up near my house or my partners. Your son made me promise I would get you to safety."
"I trust you. I trust my son. I don't trust any of these other bastards. Not one of them can play a note of music. Do you know that this family goes back many generations all musicians? Winston and Junior, none of the girls, they could care less about music except for the money it makes them. I don't think they have a drop of Blackwell blood in them. A damn shame. Okay, we go then. You ready Daniel? There better be smoking where we go, that's all I can say. My boy alive. I'd cruise to the moon to see him. Thank you Lucy."
"Okay then. You get ready and I'll come down when the coast is clear. I think I'll send Lincoln home to see his granddaughters." Lucy felt relief. She didn’t' know if Emma would take any of the news well or not.
It took Lucy about two minutes to convince Lincoln that the afternoon with his granddaughters was a well-earned bonus he had coming. As soon as she saw Lincoln's car on the road, Lucy called Q. They had all agreed that Q was the one person in their group that could explain showing up at the mansion. Everyone else was either presumed dead or unwelcome.
Within five minutes, Q pulled up in his Cadillac and Emma and Daniel tossed their bags in the trunk, and they were off. Lucy went back inside to wait. There was no guarantee that Winston was going to show up at any particular time. But, she had a feeling that she was a priority to him. Until she could get inside his operation, plans were on hold.
Lucy spent the next three hours all alone in the mansion. She snooped around the study looking for nothing in particular. She just looked. Junior had removed most traces of Harpster and had his plaques and awards in their place. There was no comparison as far as accomplishments went. Junior had to put up a lot more in the way of photographs with celebrities. She did find a couple numbers for Dr. Khin that she didn't have previously. She jotted down several other numbers that may or may not come in handy.
When Winston arrived this time, he didn't have his backup hovering down the street. Three jet-black Humvees roared up the driveway towards the entrance of the Blackwell mansion. Lucy took a deep breath. She waited.
Winston came through the door and said nothing.
Lucy spoke first, "Mr. Blackwell took the family on a drive to Hearst Castle, I don't expect him back until much later, Sir.
"Well, that suits me fine. He bores me anyway. I'm here to see you, Lucy. I could use someone with your skills in my operation. I'm not sure if you're interested in making money though. You may like kids so much that you couldn't bear to leave this little job." Winston's attempt at a pleasant smile came across as sinister perversion. A picture of something unspeakable performed on a pile of money came to mind.
"I thought you'd never ask. I am keenly interested in making money. That is why I came to Bel Air. I'm not fond of kids to be honest. They really aren't too bright. When do we leave?"
"How about now?"
Lucy walked over to the coffee table, picked up her things, and headed towards the door. She paused and looked back at Winston. "Should we leave your brother a note?" She smiled as sinister a smile as she could muster. She imagined Winston on a skewer over a giant fire pit turning slowly.
Winston started towards the door. "I've already let him know that he needs to hire another nanny." He began laughing as though he was in a mad scientist movie. In a most chilling way, it suited him.
The entourage pulled out of the driveway headed to Winston's compound. When she was certain she could get away with it, she dialed Tenaya on her voice activated cell phone. When Tenaya answered she said, "Go for it".
Tenaya hung up her phone and announced to the team, "We're on. She's in".



The book continues with It's Showtime!. We will provide a link to it when you review this below.

Author Notes
Lots going on. Believable? Is it easy to follow? Loving the great input. Most appreciated. Still hopelessly behind in responses, but I read everyword and I'm sure it is reflected in the story. Thank you so much for your support.


Johnathon Blackwell Senior-Harpster, presumed 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. Kidnapped father and the Bard.

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