Monday, September 2, 2013

Frank Hawthorn Is Blindsided by James M. Copeland

When he felt like he’d done the best with what he had to work with, he walked down the stairs to his parking place. The 1965 Mustang convertible had been his pet ever since he brought it home when he left the police force. He thought he would be traveling a great deal, and a good car was essential. It was one of the best ones built in 1965. It had all the bells and whistles available at that time. He wouldn’t have been able to afford it had it not been a used car. Someone with more money than brains had probably purchased it thinking it would ride real smooth, but had been dissatisfied and traded it for a Lincoln Town Car.

When he got to the hotel where the seminar was being held, he followed the signs on the easels to the designated conference room. The gal with the pretty-sounding voice was taking up the money for the tickets, and he was extremely relieved she hadn’t taken him up on his offer. His first thoughts had been she looks like the county’s local mud-rail fence. After parting with the twenty-five-dollar entrance fee, she gave him his table number and a sticker with his name and occupation on it.

He found the table with his number and a seat facing the speaker’s podium. There were already four people there at the eight-place rounded table, and he introduced himself. There was some guy already sitting at the table named Smith.  Probably an alias.  Two guys were named Fisher, and another was Jones.

Frank sat down next to the younger Fisher, who gave a firm handshake and said hello. To Frank he seemed preoccupied, but with his first observation he recognized the difference in the material of suits the young man and his father had on versus his. Frank surmised the cost was about ten to one. Shortly, he wondered why they were there if they could buy suits like they had on.

The lady taking up the money at the front door was at the head table rapping on a glass to get the attendees attention.

When the dull roar settled down, she said, “Ladies and gentlemen, our speaker will be coming in a little late. We’ll go ahead and serve the meal now. Thank you for your patience.”

With the thoughts about quality differences earlier, Frank directed his question toward the expensive suits, asked, “What kind of business are you fellows in?”

Milford Fisher stated, “My dad built a grain business. He owns the Fisher Granary company. I’m the president of the company.”

“Is that your business up and down the Mississippi?”

“Yeah, that’s it. You may have gone past the local unit. It’s down on the river docks.”


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Genre - Crime Mystery

Rating – PG

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