Sunday, November 04, 2007

Chapter Eight

The ringing of the telephone roused Harold from a dream where he was struggling to free himself from an anchor rope. “Fanny! Fanny! The phone. Can you get that, honey?”

The ringing continued.

Harold sat up and ran his fingers through his thinning salt and pepper hair. Why was he dressed? Where was Fanny? Suddenly the memory of the previous day washed over him. Fanny was missing.

He reached for the phone.


“Mr. Britt? Is this Harold Britt?”

“Yes. Who is this?”

“This is Detective Jacoby. We spoke last night about the disappearance of your wife.”

Harold sat up. Suddenly fully awake. “Yes Detective Jacoby. Have you found Fanny? Is she alright?”

“Yes, Mr. Britt. We have your wife. And she’s unharmed.”

“Thank, God.” Harold was laughing and crying at the same time. “I’m so relieved. What happened? Where is she? I’ll come and get her right now. Tell her I’m on my way, will you.”

“Mr. Britt. Slow down. I’m afraid we are going to have to detain your wife. You should come down here. We’ll explain everything when you arrive. And, Mr. Britt, you might want to have your attorney meet you here.”

The detective wouldn’t give him any more information on the phone. He just gave him the address of the precinct and told him again he should call his lawyer before hanging up.

Harold stared at the dead phone. “I am a lawyer.” He repeated the words as though he were trying to convince himself. Arlo looked at him curiously and then lowered the front half of his body and barked. The bow was Arlo’s signal that he wanted to play.

“No time for that now, boy.” Harold hurried downstairs with the dog at his heels. He grabbed the leash and hastily attached it to Arlo’s collar. “You have to make this fast, boy. Two minutes. That’s what you have. I have to get down there and find out what the hell is going on.”

Five minutes later Harold was on his way downtown. It was Saturday and the traffic was light. As soon as he’d merged onto 66, Harold grabbed his cell phone and dialed Pete’s number.

His son picked up on the second ring. “What is it, Pop? Did you hear from Mom?”

“I’m on my way downtown now. The police called. They have your mother. She’s fine, they say. But for some reason they are holding her. I’ll call you back when I know more.”

“Pop. That doesn’t make any sense. Why would they be holding her? Do you mean she’s under arrest?”

“I’ve told you all I know. Pete. Do me a favor. Call Jerry Benson and tell him to meet me at the Second Precinct.”

“Jerry Benson? He’s a criminal attorney. What’s happened, Pop? Is there something you’re not telling me?”

“No, Pete. It’s just I have a feeling that what ever is going on is beyond the ability of a labor lawyer.”



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