Searching for Gita, the Little Pearl: Part 17
Disclaimer-It's important to note that this is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.”
Characters in Poland
We are back to Poland in this chapter. As the plot thickens, so to speak, more minor characters are being added. So as not confuse readers, here is a breakdown of the Poland characters.
Anna Wronski - Polish. Mother of Gita, wife of Rufin Wronski, mysterious disappearance 1939, lives in Pacific Northwest, USA.
Gita Wronski - Polish. daughter of Anna and Rufin Wronski.
Rufin Wronski - Polish. Husband to Anna Wronski, father to Gita, Borys Kowalski's right hand man.
Ula Kowalski - Polish. Wife of Borys Kowalski, godmother to Gita Wronski.
Borys Kowalski - Polish. Husband of Ula. Corrupt politician; godfather to Gita, Murdered 1969.
Sasha Mazur - Polish. Childhood friend of Gita Wronski. Son of Judge Jakob Mazur. Private investigator seeking to find the whereabouts of Anna Wronski who's disappearance occurred thirty years before;
Jakub Mazur - Polish. Father of Sasha Mazur, corrupt, dangerous, judge.
Jan Cyrus - Private investigator to assist Sasha.
Karol Lonski - Polish. Government official 1939.
Oskar Klebeck - Polish. Personal attorney to government official Karol Lonski, 1939. Murdered 1939
Robert Barron - American. Investment banker, business dealings with Borys Kowalski.
Sebastian Koslow - Polish. Acclaimed Polish Journalist. Murdered 1939.
Tossing and Turning
Gita was restless as she tried to sleep. Sasha had not called her. Her sadness turned to anger. She turned over, punched and fluffed her pillow and closed her eyes, determined not to waste her energy when she needed sleep. The tossing and turning and pillow punching continued. Her blankets and sheets were starting to knot up. She rehearsed in her mind what she would like to say to Sasha for ignoring her. She knew she would never do it, but the thoughts would not go away, no matter how hard she tried. At one a.m. she was still wide awake. No use laying in bed. She got up, made herself some tea, and looked through the box of photos. They made her smile, cry, laugh, and stirred the deep longing for her mother, a longing that surged through her, even to her joints and marrow. This led her back to Sasha, and how hard he was working to find her mother. She felt guilty for being angry about his inattentiveness, and ashamed by the lack of gratitude she'd had all day. She finally returned to bed, feeling more relaxed. But the tossing and turning tormented her once again.
Gita felt chilled and got up and put on her robe. She looked out the bedroom window and the morning twilight greeted her. She looked at her alarm clock. Six a.m.? How had this happened? A light mist hung over the lush countryside. She felt God's presence.
"God, I know I've had a bad attitude about Sasha not calling me. I know he's busy trying to find Mama, and I am grateful. But my heart longs to be with him. I love him. It hurts to realize he probably doesn't share that love. I thought he did when we were in Krakow, but he's not given me the time of day here. I'm so confused. Help me to be patient and understanding. And if in the end he doesn't love me, then I'll be content in You. Please, though, bring Sasha to me." She was weary, but still not sleepy. She couldn't shut out Sasha's and her mother's faces. She gave up, took a long hot bath and began her day.
Formulating a Game Plan
Sharp rays of sunshine pierced Sahsa's closed eyelids, waking him. He was able to open one lid, the other closed, scrunched, and uncooperative. He hadn't drawn the drapes the night before, being so exhausted he had not thought of it. The warmth of the sun caressed his face. He got up, squinch-eyed and closed the drapes until his eyes finally adjusted. As his brain began to clear from it's morning grogginess he surveyed the room. 'That's right, I'm in a hotel room in Warsaw.' He had a long day ahead. Usually he just had coffee and toast or a muffin. But his stomach was requesting a full meal. It growled and gurgled to confirm. Breakfast it was. He dressed, grabbed his briefcase, and headed down the elevator.
Instead of the hotel dining room, he walked two blocks to a quaint and quiet cafe. The coffee was strong and gave him the jolt he needed to start the day. He ordered eggs and sausage, then opened his notebook and looked over his to-do notes he'd written down the night before..
- Library to search microfilm for more articles on the deathfs of Oskar Klebek and journalist Sebastian Koslow.
- Search for more information on and family members of Karol Lonski, Sejm envoy. Karol still alive?
- Search for information on and family members of Oskar Klebek, particularly widow, Clara Klebek.
- Search for information on and Koslow's family.
- Make a list of all the Sejm members from 1939, and interview current and/or former members
- Contact newspaper Sebastian Koslow worked for.
- Try to find more information on Robert Barron.
- Question Ula about Borys' business associates and friends.
There was no way he could do all of these items in one day, or even two. He had his coffee refilled and got to the hard notes he'd made from Borys Kowalski's bundle of documents, notes and photos. He'd found clues and some outright evidences of corruption and crime. He still had no hard evidence about Mrs. Wronski's disappearance, but he was sure he was on the right track.
Check-in with Ula
Sasha decided to talk to Ula first, before he did anything else. He rang her house and she answered cheerily, having risen early.
"Mrs. Kowalski. Sasha Mazur here.'
"Goodness, Sasha, let's drop the formalities. Call me Ula, remember?"
"Yes, sorry. I was wondering if you have any knew information for me of any kind."
"Actually I do. It's really kind of odd. We read a name on the manifest - Zophia Lupa. Zophia sounded vaguely familiar. Gita remembered that her grandmother's name was Zophia. I remembered her then but the Zophia on the manifest had the last name of Lupa. Gita's grandmother's last name was Krol. We dug around in Gita's photo box and found a photo of her grandmother. On the back it said Zophia Lupa Krol 1921. My beautiful Mama on Easter." It was in Anna's handwriting. Lupa appears to have been her maiden name. It seems likely Anna went on that ship under her mother's name, don't you think?'
"It does seem more than coincidental. I wonder why she would go under her grandmother's name if she was trying, or forced to be discreet? I'd like to take a look at the photo, if you don't mind. Did you get any other information or photos of her?"
"We found a few more of her with family members but her name wasn't on them. We identified her through the other photo. Sasha, I hate to think Anna went on that ship deliberately."
"It is possible. I don't have hard evidence either way just yet. I have a lot of work to do today, Ula. Can you write down some of Borys' business associates and closest friends? I don't have time to get over there and I won't be here for you to come. Hold on to it and I'll get back to you as soon as I can."
"You know where to find me," Ula said.
"Right. I'll talk to you...Oh, how is Gita?"
Ula was silent for a few seconds. "Gita is fine."
Sasha didn't like the silent pause and the tone of her voice as she said it. "Well that's good to hear," he said, feeling awkward. He looked at his watch. "Ula, I need to run, we'll talk soon." He hung up before Ula could say goodbye.
Ula sighed. It didn't sound like Gita would hear from Sasha anytime today. She hoped she could avoid telling her she'd talked with Sasha.
Up For Sale
Gita had the day off from work. It was 1:30 pm and she still had not heard from Sasha. She thought of calling him, but that really wasn't proper. Besides, she wanted it to be his idea. 'Men don't like forward or clingy women' she told herself. Ula tried to alleviate Gita's unhappiness over the phone by reminding her that he was working hard on his investigation, and it was all for her.
"He probably has to go places, interview people, and who knows what else private investigators do. I'm sure he'll call you tonight, little pearl."
"It doesn't matter. I have things to do." Gita's efforts to appear she wasn't disturbed by Sasha's lack of contact didn't get past Ula. She let it go, knowing it was a matter between Gita and Sasha. She changed the subject.
"Gita, have you decided about putting your house up for sale and coming to live with me?"
"I've been praying about it some but to be truthful, I've been distracted by the investigation," Gita said.
Ula smiled inside of herself, knowing Gita meant she was distracted by Sasha. She kept quiet about it, though. "Well, let's talk about it Gita. I know you're just scraping by. Rufin left you nothing. It makes sense to sell and come live with me. Perhaps I could sell and we could get another place."
"Sure, I guess," Gita said, with no hint of interest in her voice.
"Gita, you work for a real estate company. Surely you have good contacts, people you can trust to help you sell your house with a good deal. Can you think of anyone like that at your office?"
"I can think of a couple that are very successful, and I know them fairly well."
"Why don't you give them a call, then," prodded Ula.
"I'll talk to them next time I see them at work."
"Gita, snap out of your self-pity and let's get something going." Ula tried to say it firmly, but not unkindly. But Gita lashed out.
"Self-pity? Thanks a lot, Aunt Ula. I'm not in self-pity, I'm just...just. Okay, I'll call."
Gita made a call to Edward Barta, the realtor she trusted most. He had a bit of time before his next appointment so promised to be right over. Gita was a bit disappointed. She did not feel like dealing with real estate issues today. But she didn't know how to say no. She called Ula to tell her and Ula decided Gita needed someone with her. She was at Gita's house within ten minutes. The realtor arrived at her house a few minutes after Ula.
Edward Barta spent an hour going through the house and assessing the finest features, but also gave Gita the bad news that if she wanted to make a good profit she would have to have a lot of work done.
"Well, that takes care of the decision whether to sell my house. I simply don't have money to do all the work you recommend." She looked downcast, feeling another wave of fear and self-pity wash over her.
"I tell you what," said Ula, "let's get some bids from contractors and see what it will cost and I will pay for all of it."
"Aunt Ula, no. I won't let you do that. It's way too much money."
"Mind your Auntie," Ula said, wagging a finger while smiling. Gita found nothing cute or funny about anything. She rejected Ula's offer again.
"Gita Wronski, I have a lot of money and nothing to spend it on. I am your godmother, your Auntie. I want to do this for you because I love you and because it's a sort of way I want to make up for Borys' negative impact on your life."
Gita sighed deeply, and with a mopey face agreed. They sat down with with the agent and signed various papers, to which Gita did not even read. Ula took care of reading and the fine print. Gita was listless and hurting and could barely remember the details. Thank goodness Ula was dealing with it for her.
Before Sasha left for the day, he realized he needed the help of another investigator. They could cover more ground between them. He called his young associate Jan Cyrus who often assisted him in some of his bigger investigations.
"Jan, Sahsa here. I'm in need of assistance on a case in Warsaw. Can you make it up here? Are you working on anything else for anyone?"
"How soon do you need me?" Jan asked.
"As soon as you can get here. It's a big case and very important. There's a lot of ground to cover and I could really use you."
"I can be there tomorrow mid morning, but I can only stay five days or so. I have another case coming up next week. Will that work for you?"
"Very much so. Thanks Jan." He gave Jan the name of the hotel and promised to make the reservation for him.
Sasha had found three Lonski's in the phone book. He called the first, a man who said he was no relation to Karol Lonski. The next two turned out to be related, one a nephew, Filip, and the other the grandson, Patryk. The grandson informed him that Karol Lonski's wife lived with him. He asked if he could meet with all three of them at once but the nephew could not, so they planned a meeting for the next day.
With address in hand, Sasha left to interview Mrs. Lonski and her grandson.
© 2018 Lori Colbo