Chapter 7

Written by: Hemali Ajmera

 

The Greyhound driver had been waiting for Rizzo at a shoddy café behind the bus terminus. Lionel had paid him $100 to hand over a small package to the young police officer. It was enough for the old chap to keep shut. 

Rizzo uncovered the key and headed straight for the terminus locker room. He checked the painting; it was there alright. He caressed the painting gently. It would have to stay in the locker until tomorrow night. Then they both would fly out.    

He was already feeling very rich!         

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Rizzo had called Karen the previous night and requested a week off from work due to some urgent personal work. Karen was intrigued and wondered what important business had prompted Rizzo to excuse himself, especially in the middle of an important investigation. 

Karen found Rizzo’s recent conduct bothersome. His reluctance to visit Princess Grace Motel to investigate the book of matches, insisting that such matches could be found in every bar in the city, had raised a red flag. 

At the motel, when Rizzo was out of earshot, Karen had asked the clerk if he remembered anything peculiar about the occupant of room 23. The clerk had informed her that Lionel had booked the room for three days but strangely had vacated it hurriedly that very morning with a large tube under his arm.  

When Karen had asked Rizzo to trace Lionel’s cell phone records, the latter had claimed that he wasn’t able to obtain them because perhaps Lionel was using prepaid cards under a fake name and address. 

Before the day was over, Karen asked Constable Ken Morrow to tap Rizzo’s cell phone and check his recent phone records. 

 ***

Ahron Abelman, wearing a kippah and a traditional overcoat, was waiting anxiously at Tel Aviv airport. The EL AL flight carrying the painting would be landing soon. An avid collector of Jewish art, he could finally lay claim to his pre-war heritage. 

Abelman’s grandfather had painted the Waterfalls series as a young man in Frankfurt. A Modernist artist, his work was banned by the Nazis because it was "un-German". The paintings, worth millions now, were considered lost until two of them were spotted by Ahron’s contact a small, non-descript art gallery in Stanley Lane. 

Through the underground grapevine, Lionel became aware that a foreign art collector was looking for the paintings. He hired Thom to purchase them. But the art dealer would only sell him only one. 

The dark haired contact bought the second one for $200. Later he somehow sought out Lionel and offered him $1 million for the painting.

When Karen identified Lionel as the buyer of the painting, she asked Rizzo to track him down. Lionel bribed Rizzo with a 50-50 share in exchange for his freedom. He also offered Rizzo a return ticket to Tel Aviv. Who better than a police officer to do the job!   

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The EL AL flight arrived on time but the young man with the painting never did.  

 

 

 

Comments

There are lots of juicy details in this chapter for the remaining writers to run with. Well done Hemali.
This fell through the net for me as I was a little indisposed for a month. Non-the-less it does not stop one from writing a crit. Great detail and yes, lets go abroad with the story to give it a fresh lift. I like this and with three chapters to go there should I hope have a great climax ending. Who gets what and does anyone get away - and is the painting going to be ID'd or what? Great chapter, Hemali.
Thanks Donna and Ray. Ray its so good to have you back in your original avatar!