In the last heart pounding episode we left Leslie and Ed staring at a thumb whose last known address may have been Dr. Ellesmere's hand. If you're getting up, would you get me a drink before the show starts.....
“We need to call the police.” I said as I peeled off the paper slip that was stuck to the back of the thumb-box.
“You’re right. At the very least, they need to get in the house and see if she’s there,” agreed Leslie. “Let’s go back to the station and find a phone.”
We immediately started back down the path to the sidewalk. I stared at the paper slip as if I was decoding an ancient language, “It says: K2M 57N tonight.”
“A postal code?” quizzed Leslie.
Yeap, it was probably a postal code. I looked up from the paper and down the street to clear my view and my mind. The trees were beautiful. Chirping birds. Scampering squirrels. They couldn’t work any mood alerting magic on me. Damn nerds. Why’s everything a quiz with them? Severed finger tips. Post office puzzles. Jez. Adams was right about one thing: these guys were likely amateurs who thought quite highly of themselves.
I was fuming, but Leslie was logical, “There’s a Jack’s at the station. Those stores usually have a post office inside. We can use their postal code book to figure out where that code is.”
"Damn it!” I hissed under my breath hoping I could expel some frustration the old fashioned way: stress relief through cursing.
I pulled myself together and we started for the station.
A trash tram was slowly moving along the narrow service rails by the curb. A couple of youngish men in coveralls were emptying garbage cans the homeowners had left out for pickup. It pulled up in front of Prof Ellesmere’s place as we stepped on the sidewalk.
“Stop!” Leslie shouted at a trashman as he made a grab for the garbage can. “Don’t empty that,” she commanded as she hurried to grab Dr. Ellesmere’s garbage can from them.
“Ok, lady.” Responded the trashman in a cool, even voice as he released the can to her and followed the tram to the next house. They probably have lots of experience dealing with crazy people who have last minute attachments to some treasured piece of trash.
“There might be something important in here,” Leslie informed me as she dragged the can back up the path to the front door. Once placed under the mailbox, she returned to the sidewalk and we hurried on to the station.
There was a Jack’s convenience store with a bank of phones outside at the train station. Leslie used one to call the police and I went inside to find a postal code book. After a couple of minutes thumbing through its worn pages, I found it: the code mapped to three addresses on Bank Street in Ottawa. I tossed the book back on its shelf and went outside to speak with Leslie.
She was hanging up the phone. As I approached she turned to me and said, “The police will meet us at Leslie’s house in a few minutes.”
“Good. The postal code’s in Ottawa. Corresponds to a few addresses on Bank Street. Any link with Dr. Ellesmere and Ottawa?”
“I don’t know.”
“Why don’t you meet with the cops since you’re her friend and I’ll go up to Ottawa and see what’s there.”
“Ok. I could go up later when I’m done with the police.”
“Sure, but that note doesn’t mention anything about a time or date, so I’m likely to find nothing. It might all be a wild goose chase.”
“Yes, but the police might find something at her house that’ll help us,” was Leslie being coolly logical again.
“Yeah,” was my absent minded reply as I fished for a pencil and scrap of paper from my jacket to write down the Bank Street addresses for Leslie. “Look, the only place I know in Ottawa to stay is the Lord Elaine. I’ll check in once I get there.” I wrote Lord Elaine on the paper. “I’ll meet you in the lobby at 6.”
I handed the slip of paper to her. She put it in her coat pocket. I stared at her. She stared at me.
She headed back to Dr. Ellesmere’s with the thumb for company.
I headed for the train.
Part 9 can be found here.
Part 9 can be found here.