"So they got a disposal,” Mike says. "Come on. Tell me what you saw,”

"Nothing,” Freddy says. "They do recycling too. Someone drinks a lot of Gatorade and Red Bull. Or maybe one of them drinks the Gatorade and the other one the Red Bull. I could dust for prints and find out,” Freddy chuckles. He thinks he's being funny. Mike doesn't even smile. He's staring at the cream congealing in his cup.

"What else,”

"They get some junk mail,” Freddy says, "I'm surprised they don't recycle it. Catalogs especially. What a waste. She likes furniture and gardening, I'd say. I'd guess they own the house because of all the mortgage re-fi junk they get. Someone's getting old - they get a lot of cruise brochures and retirement shopping specials. And some other banking stuff,”

"Banking?” Mike looks up.

"Yeah, a couple of things,”

"What bank?" Mike asks.

"Fourth Fidelity was one. Hedgerow Funds the other. First was bogus, though. It wasn't addressed to them," said Freddy, handing over the mail.


"Yeah, somebody Pearson. No, no. Pearson Holmes. Mailman probably mixed it up. Parsons, Pearson, easy. "

"What about the Funds?"

"Brochure. Pamphlet. Nothing personal,”

"Damn,” Mike is disappointed. "Nothing else?"

"Nope,” says Freddy, wishing he had more to say. "The rest was basic trash. Paper towels, wrappers, peach pits - love that summer fruit, you know."

"All right,” Mike gets up, peels out a twenty and throws it on the table. He's a very large man, barely squeezes out of the booth. Freddy swipes the bill and sticks it in his pocket, nodding.

"Any time,” Freddy says.

"I'll let you know,” the cop replies, and walks away. Freddy waits until he's gone, then slides the cooling coffee over. “Waste not, want not,” he tells himself, as he calmly drains the remains. Thirty days, he thinks, only now it's more like twenty-five. Who the fuck is Pearson Holmes and where'd he put that key?

Chapter Two - Benjamin Holmes

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