“Look, I want you to lay off,” Harry told Scarr at once after the latter sat alongside Mr. Hatchet on a couch. “So far I haven’t seen any results that would justify keeping you on the ticket.”
Mr. Hatchet then said, “He nailed two of the robbers.”
“But where’s the money?” Harry asked. “Did he find it? No. And the dagger? Does he know where it is?”
“Harry, your anger is understandable, but it is misdirected. Just this morning, your father was telling me how he found Mister Scarr’s services to be quite satisfactory.”
“Yeah, but pop’s dead now!” Harry said. “And all of this looks too much like a hit to me. The shooter intended to kill, and he made goddamned sure of that.”
“Harry––” the lawyer started raising a hand.
“Who knows how that hit may have come about, eh?” Harry was now scowling at Scarr. “I don’t know what you’ve been doing out there, but maybe your methods have stirred some bad waves that are starting to spread this way.”
Scarr said nothing.
“You’re right to think it was a hit,” Mr. Hatchet said. “Your father always had a lot of enemies, and you can’t ignore that. So let’s not get sidetracked from the reason Mr. Scarr was brought on, okay? The question of who is responsible for your father’s death will be addressed separately and in the presence of the right parties.”
Harry, who was standing with his hands hanging, rubbed his eyes in irritation. Then he jerked his head rather briskly towards Scarr’s chair. His face was hard, like a mask of bitterness.
“Look––” he groaned. “Just lay off. As far as I’m concerned, you’re done here. I took you for some kind of miracle worker who could make things happen with the pull of a trick. I thought we could set a watch on you and see this whole robbery business come to a swift resolution. It’s been a week, and in my book you still have nothing to show for your time on the case. Either you lost a step or your service just stink.” He turned to the lawyer and said with the same scolding breath, “I knew it was a bad idea to bring an outsider into this. An outsider...Terry! Who knows what crazy affiliations he may have in his closet.”
Scarr said, “Once I’ve taken a job, I take orders from no one but the client.”
“Well, your client’s dead!” Harry said.
Scarr looked at the lawyer. “And he designated you as a principal in the event that he was unavailable. Now he is permanently unavailable. So Mr. Hatchet, should I continue or should I stop?”
“Continue, of course,” the lawyer said. “You have to see this through.”
“What the hell, Terry?”
Mr. Hatchet tilted both eyebrows. A tough coal-eyed stare formed coolly under them behind his eyeglasses.
“Hey listen,” he said, his voice matching his stare. “I have power of attorney on most of your father’s personal affairs. Now this may seem like usual business to you, but it was very personal to him. So, calm down will you?”
“Well see, maybe that’s the problem,” Harry said hotly. “That’s something we need to talk about anyway. Things need to change. Down to the nuts and bolts of how we do business.” He glared at Scarr and added, “And most importantly, who we’re doing business with.”
This talk had nothing to do with Scarr. So he changed subject, “What’s the deal with the stones on the dagger?”
They both displayed the same stumped expression.