The Grand Worthington Hotel 13
Proving His Innocence ...
Jacolby has been waiting for them to leave Inspector Riley’s office. “I need to talk to you, guys.”
“What is it?” Connie snaps. She is still upset to know that he is indirectly responsible for her building being vandalized.
“First, I want to apologize for the damage to your building Mrs. Worthington.”
“My husband gave the building to Mrs. Alexander, Mr. Webster.” Buffy corrects.
“Yes ... err—sorry about that. Next, I appreciate the fact that you believe me. I would never hurt Charlotte, less known kill her.” Jacolby responds on the verge of tears. “I love that woman.”
“Did she have any enemies that you know of, Mr. Webster.” Officer Cunningham queries.
“No, but I have.” Jacolby confesses. “Is there somewhere we can talk in privacy. Maybe if I had spoken up long ago Charlotte would still be alive.”
“There is an interrogation room that I believe is vacant. It’s at the end of the hall and is seldom used because it doesn’t have any two-way mirrors. This will insure our privacy and you can give us any information that can help us lead to the killer.” Officer Cunningham states.
Jacolby follows him down the long corridor with Buffy and Connie trailing close behind. When everyone is secure in the obscure room, Jacolby begins to talk.
“Before getting that accounting job at City National—I got into a bit of trouble overseas. I was working at one of the International Currency Exchange organizations when there started a series of discrepancies in my department. My supervisor and a few others were indicted but I was never implicated. Nevertheless, it wouldn’t look good on the old resume that I had been affiliated with the big shakedown.” Jacolby pauses, accepting a bottle water from Buffy. Then he continues.
“Russell Armstrong was at that time a correspondent for Transglobal News. He covered the scandal and threatened to tell General Manager Theodore Abernathy if I didn’t pay up. I have a good job at City National and I just panicked. Charlotte said that I needed to talk to Nathan Worthington about it.”
“You were going to talk to my husband after trying to wreck his hotel?” Buffy inquiries in disbelief.
“Yeah, even though I was going to meet with Charlotte at the hotel. We were thinking about ditching the revenge tactic and just put our cards on the table. When I got there, I saw that the damage had already been done and Charlotte was nowhere in sight. Then, there was the Black Widow on the ground and security coming—” Jacolby puts his head in his hands.
“Oh Charlotte, I’m so sorry I got you into this mess.” Jacolby laments. Connie puts her hand on Jacolby’s shoulder.
“Don’t worry—we’ll find this Russell Armstrong. I believe he’s behind all this.” Connie sympathizes.
“It certainly points in that direction.” Officer Cunningham surmises.
“You stay here with Jacolby, Buffy. Connie we can go together. Do you have any idea where Russell Armstrong lives?” Officer Cunningham questions.
“No, but he hangs around a place call the Mint Julep Tavern. It’s a new dive near Pier One. I’d advise you not to go in your uniform. It’s a good idea to take the lady with you, less cause for suspicion.” Jacolby advises.
“Give me a description of the man.” While Officer Cunningham gets the particulars regarding Russell Armstrong—Connie takes Buffy over to the side.
“I am going to give you a signal if we need backup. I don’t trust this Russell Armstrong.” Connie retorts.
“Good idea. Remember that tracking device we found when we were snooping around on that Brunswick Case?” Buffy queries.
“Sure do. I just so happen to have that little jewel in my pocket. You get the rest of the equipment. If things get hot, I’ll press the button and you come running with the cavalry, okay?” Connie whispers.
“Gotcha!” Buffy quietly answers.
“I hope you two aren’t plotting mischief. Connie, you don’t have time anyway. C’mon, let’s go.” Officer Cunningham opens the door for Connie and the both leave.
“I just hope he knows what he’s getting them into.” Jacolby gives Buffy a look, then shakes his head.
“So do I.” Buffy states.
Then helping Jacolby to his feet, both leave the room.
Trouble At the Mint Julep ...
About 45 minutes later, Darrin and Connie find themselves in front of the Mint Julep. It isn’t as bad as Connie had previously thought, still it wouldn’t be a place where she or Brian would frequent. Darrin gives her a cautionary lecture.
“Let me do the talking, Connie. This is not one of your murder mystery scenarios. We’re playing with a loaded gun and it’s not wise to get caught. Got it?”
“I’m way ahead of you, Darrin.” Connie is in complete compliance.
They walk down the stairs to the entrance. The place is semi-dark and there are muffled sounds coming from the patrons. Connie gazes at Darrin. He squeezes her hand in reassurance.
“Let’s take a seat over at a corner booth. Someone will be here to serve us in a minute.” Darrin assures.
“Then you’ve been here before?” Connie queries in surprise.
“Comes with the territory.” Darrin answers flatly.
“Then, why didn’t you indicate this when Jacolby told us about it?” Connie enquiries.
“Why should I? He was the one who’s volunteering information—not me!” Darrin remarks flippantly.
“Not I.” Connie corrects.
“Whatever.” Darrin concludes. Overhearing just a little of the conversation—a blonde waitress appears.
“Hi Darrin, who’s your girlfriend?” Bonnie Walters questions.
“Just a good friend, Bonnie. Tell me, is Russell Armstrong here?” Darrin inquires.
“That loser? Naw, but he’ll be here shortly. He always meets a nervous looking gentleman around this time. Then they go outside, and he returns smiling.” Bonnie informs.
“What about the other fellow?” Darrin asks.
“I never see him until next time. Poor fellow—he looks so beat down.” Bonnie shakes her head. “Now what can I get you folks?”
Just as Bonnie begins to take the orders—Russell appears.
“Speak of the devil,” Bonnie stares at him with contempt. “I hope whatever he’s done—you nail him to the wall.” Having received this nice tip from Bonnie, the duo move in toward Russell.
“What can I do for you folks, I’m kinda busy right now.” Russell declares, observing first Connie and then Darrin.
“Yeah, we know how busy you’ve been. Jacolby won’t be in today. His fiancée was murdered.” Darrin informs him.
“Is that a fact?” Russell replies, looking over in the corner as two burly men come toward them. Bonnie sees the predicament her friends are in and struts over with a tray of drinks “accidentally” spilling them on both men.
“Why don’t you watch where you’re going bi—” But before the first guy can finish his insult, Darrin places a well-aimed fist next to the would-be perpetrator’s jaw. Connie grabs the “family jewels” of the other man and yanks down with all her strength.
“Ouch, dammit!” The other man howls in pain. At the same time, Russell makes his exit out the back door.
“After him!” Yells Connie while both Darrin and she head for the same place at top speed.
“Who’s that—Batman and Robin?” One of the patrons laugh as the crowd admires the spectacle that has just transpired before them.
“You think?” Bonnie throws back.
To Be Continued ...
The Grand Worthington Hotel Conclusion
- The Grand Worthington Hotel Conclusion
With the confession of the killer and the Black Widow back in commission, it looks like the Grand Worthington Hotel can finally retire from being the one place you don’t want to have anything to do with—but what of the future Grand Worthington?
Questions & Answers
© 2019 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS