Eleanor made herself a whisky sour. Her nerves were on end. She couldn’t believe the balls on that woman. She’d snuck up behind her on those soft suede sissy shoes she wears and practically stopped her heart.
“Scared me to death,” Eleanor jumped. “There was a woman killed on my property. I don’t take kindly to people sneaking up on me.”
The woman calling herself "Betsy Smith" did not apologize. She just ordered Eleanor inside the house, as if she owned the damn place. Lillypad disappointed her no end. Eleanor was not happy; her precious Lillypad jumped up and kissed the woman like she was harboring steak bones.
Wanted the Arquero's name? She was after the frigging diamond? Eleanor's heart was pounding all over the place but she spoke up and told this phony woman that she didn’t need the Arquero, that it was all a bunch of bullshit, all that talk about the clock being rigged to blow was a stupid rumor to keep her idiot nephew away from the diamond. But this "Betsy Smith" didn’t believe her.
“Well then, if it turns out to be true about the dynamite, you’re going to need some really extensive face work,” is all she said.
"Now look here, Ms. "Betsy Smith, or whoever the hell you are. Who are you anyway? How come you know about the diamond?"
"None of your business," the woman said. "What number takes the aim?"
“You don't need to know any number. I can take the clock apart with my eyes closed,” Eleanor insisted. "I can detonate the goddamn explosion."
"Where's the clock, Eleanor?"
"Well, as far as I know it's in Livingston Manor waiting for the Arquero to claim it."
This Betsy woman took another wad of bills out of her purse. “Another fifty thousand after we collect,” she said and handed Eleanor the money in a large envelope.
“That diamond is worth millions,” Eleanor screeched.
“I want this Arquero’s name. I need to know what number takes the aim. I can't have some old man with poor eyesight missing the fucking bulls eye and blowing up my diamond."
"It's not your diamond."
"It's not yours either, dear. Now, give me his name."
"No, I will not."
The woman stared into Eleanor's eyes. "My money, please," she said.
"Give me back the money I just gave you. You've been eliminated, Eleanor. I always get what I need and I don't need you. I was just trying to make it easier on myself."
Eleanor went to a writing desk and put the money in the drawer. "Well, you have convinced me, Ms. Smith. No harm in playing hard ball."
Eleanor wrote the Acquaros name down and even gave Ms. Betsy Smith directions to his house.
"The number to hit?"
"You don't need it."
"You know it or not?"
"No, but he does."
"Your efforts will be rewarded, Eleanor."
"You won't get anywhere with that old man," Eleanor said. "He wants to return the diamond to the museum it was stolen from. And the damn clock has been willed to him. The clock belongs to him."
“Where’s the clock?”
“Probably in Livingston Manor.”
“Where in Livingston Manor?”
“I don’t know. Steven kept it hidden. No one knows where it is.”
"If the diamond really exists, we'll talk.”
“It exists,” Eleanor said before the woman drove off. “We sure will talk. I want my other fifty thousand.”
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish