Over the following months we bounced from one city to the next, blurring my memory. We changed our appearances by wearing layered clothing and hats we pulled off on the run. Our stay in each city lasted long enough for us pull off a couple heists, make money then we disappeared. We kept a low profile, ghost people, slipping in and out unnoticed.
I took the time to keep up with our crime sprees through the newspaper. The police were clueless and never linked them together. Under the small crimes section in tiny print is where I found most our thefts listed with one exception- the judge’s house.
We got cocky and chose a house in a ritzy gated community belonging to a judge. Einstein posed as a landscaper replacement from a job agency with the usual crew and did inside surveillance. He staked out the judge’s property and found a small gap at the bottom of the fence big enough for us to squeeze underneath without getting scratched. After we squeezed under the gap we traipsed through the woods surrounding the inside of the gate, which backed up to his property. Einstein did his usual security system magic by cutting the outside wires and we were in the house.
The judge’s house was full of valuables; diamond earrings, gold necklaces adorned with amethyst, rubies, emeralds, and onyx. We took small stuff that fit in our back packs to be carried out and pawned without drawing attention.
While in the judge’s office I dug through his desk drawers and found a bundle of cash and a gold letter opener then the sirens wailed in the distance, forcing a shot of panic in my belly. Without thinking I stuffed the letter opener and cash into the bag. Einstein and I high-tailed it out of the house. The sirens howled behind us as we cut back through the woods and slid under the fence on our backs. I breathed a sigh of relief.
“That was too close.”
Einstein took my hand, helping me to my feet. “No kidding.” We slunk back to our temporary home and dumped our packs.
The wad of cash, jewelry, and letter opener rolled out of my back pack hitting the cement floor.
“Holy cow Cleo!” Einstein grabbed the letter opener and twisted it in his hand holding it up to the light. “Look at the engraving. We can’t sell this it belonged to a famous eighteenth century author.”
I lowered the wad of cash I held in my hand. “I… it was in my hand when I heard the sirens.”
“It’s solid gold. We’ll take care of it later.” He looked at the huge bundle of cash. “You want help counting?”
“Sure.” I handed him half the bundle, and he stole a kiss on my lips.
The grand total of our loot for the day amounted to $5,000 in cash, five new gold chains adorning various gemstones, diamond earrings, a silver place setting, brass candleholders, and a gold letter opener engraved with an eighteenth century authors name.
The judge offered a reward for the return of the letter opener. We thought of various scenarios in which to collect the reward, but any of them led to police involvement. Chimes went off inside my head and I came up with a brilliant plan.
We wiped the letter opener clean, even though we always wore gloves, and found a drunk homeless man passed out in an alley, derelicts littered the shabbier parts of cities. I pressed the letter opener against his finger tips and left it under his hand while Einstein used a pay phone to call it in anonymously. A tall apartment building stood kitty corner to where the derelict man lay. We chose that building to meet back up and watched the scene from the fourth floor landing. The judge was grateful to have his letter opener back, and we took deep breaths that we pulled off framing the innocent homeless man.
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