Mr. Windsor Sr. told Mr. Hatchet that he had to go back and tend to his guests, and that both he and Scarr could take all the time they needed to go through the case file if necessary.
He excused himself and walked out of his office. His son shuffled along behind him, but not without casting another good look at Scarr.
The lawyer straddled his couch in a more relaxed manner once they were alone and said, “His disposition is usually better than what you saw today. It’s not just the robbery that’s getting under his skin. It’s the fact that they killed everyone. Why’d they have to do that? And Mr. Windsor had to break the news to Roland’s wife ––”
The lawyer paused as a definite emotion flicked over his face. After that he quickly licked his lips with his tongue, which was a thick flab the color of bacon.
Then he proceeded, “Roland was the associate that I told you about. You could say he had the misfortune of being in the wrong place at the wrong moment. The company not only lost an indispensable asset, but a good man as well. Mr. Windsor is the godfather of his child. He somehow feels responsible for his death. He insisted that Roland personally oversee this particular operation.”
“You have the file here?”
Mr. Hatchet looked at Scarr with his mouth half-opened. He was now realizing that he’d poured his heart out a little too expansively. In front of him was a person who it seemed had little to no interest for such sentimentalities.
“Not here,” the lawyer finally replied. “I mean, not with me. It’s in my car.”
Scarr started up from his seat. And the lawyer saw that he was a man who didn’t like to waste time.
“Just a minute,” he said, holding out his hand. A big green ceramic Rolex Submariner was flashing on his wrist, absorbing the sunlight that streamed in through the glass window. “I’ll get it for you, but I’d like to have a word first if you don’t mind.”
Scarr indulged him and sat back.
“Mr. Windsor wants the knife –– I mean the dagger back. And that should be your priority. But I want to make it clear that recovering the money should be your priority as well. Fifteen million dollars is not exactly wrath-of-God money, but it’s still a lot. I knew we should’ve covered those bonds. To tell you the truth, I think if it wasn’t for the death of Roland, Mr. Windsor would’ve had the mindset to write them off. A tragedy, a real tragedy…”
The lawyer then readjusted his eyeglasses that had slightly teetered off the bridge of his nose.
“I’ll find the money,” Scarr said. “Or whatever’s left of it.”
“Your confidence is very reassuring; but I’m wondering why you seem so assured.”
“Isn’t it why your boss is paying top dollars?”
“He’s not my boss,” the lawyer said, smiling again to himself. He was a rather meek character, Scarr thought. One without a backbone. You could see this after spending some time with him. He went on, “He’s just –– Well, he likes to boss everybody around. Even his friends. But he always means well.” He waited a second and then tilted himself slightly forward. “I’m a little curious, what’s your usual M.O. Mr. Scarr?”
Scarr rose to his feet. He said, “Moving fast.”
“I see.” Mr. Hatchet stood up in turn. “I’ll get you that file now. You mind waiting in the parlor?”
Mr. Hatchet had the butler show Scarr the way to the parlor. From the outside you knew that the house was large. And from the inside that perception was totally supported. Not only was the house large, but it was deep too, like a tunnel. It seemed that the architect who had worked on this place also doubled as an illusionist. As he was being ushered this way and that way, Scarr saw that some rooms were ingenuously oversized. This made you wonder how their proportions had been worked out without them stretching the house over to the edge of the hill or even beyond it.
Scarr ended up in a small windowless room that was bedecked with tubular wood furniture, bookcases, and deep-pile carpet. This time around the butler didn’t bother asking him if he wanted something to drink while he waited. Giving no more notice to Scarr, he receded softly down the corridor that led up to the parlor. There was an expensive leather armchair that was screaming to be sat on. But Scarr didn’t sit on it. Did all the wealthy types do something else in their big houses other than sit around comfortably in swank chairs and count their piles of money?
A muffled noise suddenly came to Scarr’s ears. Some feet were scuffling about nearby. He poked his head out into the corridor, in the opposite direction he and the butler had come from. A young boy, maybe ten or twelve years old, was playing there alone. A paper plane was in the grip of his hand. He was wearing shorts. And he had on a threadbare sports t-shirt that looked like it was overdue for the laundry basket.