Forbidden Fruit 9: The Worthington Emerald
It Goes Without A Hitch Until ...
The following weeks, the crew of Bob Morton work diligently without any problems. They wear around their necks, tucked under their shirts, the special pouches made for them by Abbie. In fact, the men are finished ahead of schedule.
“I am extremely impressed with the speed in which you handled the clearing of the land.” Nathan tells Bob as he presents him with a handsome check plus a little extra.
“That’s just the difference from hiring a boy and hiring a man to do the job.” Bob brags.
“Well, Bob Morton—I will be letting all my investors know how instrumental you’ve been in the progress of my project.” Nathan replies, shaking hands with Bob and walking him to the door.
“I have one man who will be left at the site till about 8:30 pm. He’ll be making sure that everything is ready for Steve and his boys in the morning.” Bob lets him know.
“You’re not nervous about the rumors regarding the Bonaparte Sisters.” Nathan asks in surprise.
“I’ve not seen them—actually, I must confess—this will be the first time that anyone has been left alone at the site after sundown.” Bob admits unconsciously rubbing his chest where the pouch rest.
“I don’t 100% believe in the rumors—but I would feel better if you leave an extra man there as well.” Nathan cautions.
“Sure, I’ll have Frank Murdock stay with Percy Webster. There’s no need for alarm but—” Bob lets his voice trail off.
Both Frank and Percy are left to finish up the last of the cleanup when they hear a weird sound as if a slow boiling tea pot is whistling.
“Do you hear that?” Frank asks.
“Yeah, and I don’t like it. Let’s get this finished before things really start to get intense.” Percy warns.
“Hey, what’s that over there?” Frank inquires, slowing backing up toward the truck.
“It looks like a cloud—or something.” Percy is rivetted to the spot, unable to move. The temperature drops suddenly, and the essence of the cloud seems to be coming closer.
“I don’t like this. I thought these pouches were supposed to combat evil spirits?” Frank replies, almost at the waiting truck. “What’s wrong with you, Percy. Move it!”
“I can’t. My legs just won’t go. You better hightail it out of here. Don’t worry about me.” Percy signals to Frank and the apparition is almost upon him. Percy pulls out his pouch and holds it in front of himself.
“Foolish man, that trinket has no control over me.” The voice says.
“Who, who, who are you?” Percy says in complete fear while Frank stands at the truck, ready to jump in at a moment’s notice.
“Someone who’s here to stop this construction. The Worthington Hotel should never be completed. My desire to possess that accursed ring caused the death of two women.” The voice says.
“Show yourself!” Percy demands. As soon as Daphne is completely revealed to him, he slumps to the ground. Seeing that, Frank immediately jumps into the truck and after both securing the doors and starting the motor; he races down the street, mumbling something about not ever wanting to return to that place again.
What Do We Do Now ...?
The next morning when Steve and his crew return to the site, they find the body of Percy Webster. A look of horror is permanently frozen on his face and an object is in his hand. It looks like a ring.
“What is that ring doing here?” Steve stares at the corpse and refuses to touch the object in his hand. Then he looks at his men. “I’m calling Nathan Worthington right now. But when Steve turns around again—the ring is gone.
“What the hell!” Steve exclaims in utter shock. Looking all around the body and on the ground—the ring is not to be seen.
“What’s the matter, Boss?” Bert inquires.
“The ring is gone. It was there a minute ago—in Percy Webster’s hand. I saw it. And, now it’s gone.” Steve replies.
“I don’t know what you are talking about, Boss. I never saw anything but poor old Percy here. Whatever he saw, it must have scared him to death.” Bert offers.
“Call for an ambulance, Will. Also get Bob on the phone. I want to talk to him about who was here last night. I want to know if Percy was alone and why the hell would he have him here after dark in the first place.” Steve angrily retorts.
Moments later, Bob Morton is on the phone feeling utterly devastated.
“Is it true? Is Percy really dead?” Bob questions in shock.
“Oh, he’s dead alright and YOU are to blame!” Steve accuses hot temperedly.
“How do you figure that?” Bob’s defenses are now in place.
“I told you about this place and especially after dark and you go and let that man be there alone.” Steve bellows.
“Frank Murdock was with him. Where is Frank?” Bob enquires.
“I don’t know. We just found the body of Percy when we got here. That ring was in his hand.” Steve explains.
“Ring? What are you talking about?” Bob is completely confused.
“Nathan Worthington’s ring that’s supposed to be in the bank vault, that’s what ring.” Steve replies.
‘Do you still have it, now?” Bob questions.
“No—it disappeared.” Steve confesses.
“Disappeared. Talk sense, man. First you say the ring was there. Now you say the ring ain’t there. Are you sure you’re alright, Steve? I’m sure finding Percy dead was a bit of a shock—” Before Bob can finish, Steve interrupts.
“Shock—are you out of your mind? What will it take to convince you that this is a project of the doomed?” Steve is aspirated.
“It’s your project now—good buddy. I’ve finished my work and have gotten paid. I will notify Percy’s family of the accident. Let’s hope the press don’t get wind of this.” Bob adds.
“I know that’s right. By the way, Bob, how did you manage to work during the daylight hours?” Steve is curious.
“I got The Black Widow to hook me up.” Bob confesses.
“That was a smart move.” Steve is impressed. “Bet that set you back a pretty penny.”
“It did—and until now, it worked just fine.” Bob says.
“I think Percy was scared to death.” Steve answers.
“It must have been something really bad. Something that was not really evil, but not necessarily good either?” Bob shakes his head.
“I need to speak to my lawyer. There has to be some way for me to get out of this agreement.’ Steve laments.
“Let me get you in touch with my lawyer. Just between me and you, ok?” Bob offers.
“I’d appreciate that, Bob.” Steve says. “And listen—take care of yourself. Neither of us are out of the woods until this entire project is laid to rest.”
“You got that right!” Bob chimes in and both men hang up.
To Be Continue ...
Forbidden Fruit Conclusion: The Worthington Emerald
- Forbidden Fruit Conclusion: The Worthington Emerald
Steve Crenshaw has truly had enough of Nathan Worthington's folly! Now, a man is dead and fear surrounds the historical Worthington Hotel construction site. Bob Morton is left with the task of informing Percy 's family. Is there a lawsuit imminent?
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© 2019 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS