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فصل 10

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دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»

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دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»

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Chapter ten

Time to fight back

There was a hopeless look in O’Neill’s eyes. His lips moved, but he couldn’t speak. I shook his shoulders and made him look straight at me. “Listen, we’re the good guys. You’re out of danger. Your wife sent us to find you.”

He still seemed to be unsure, so I pulled him to his feet and tried again. “Here’s my cellphone. It’s calling my office number. As soon as my personal assistant answers, ask to speak to Joyce.”

We waited while he spoke to his wife. He sat down on the bed as he talked. Now he looked tired and weak, like a lost child.

“If you don’t mind, Mr. O’Neill, I need to talk to my personal assistant now,” I said. He returned my cellphone.

“Stella, listen carefully,” I said. “Call a cab, and take Mrs. O’Neill to Frankie’s Cocktail Lounge on 5th Street. We’re going to meet you there as soon as possible. We need to make Oldenberg believe that O’Neill is not Steinmann’s killer.”

Now O’Neill was beginning to look more normal. “I guess I should say sorry,” he said. “How did you know where to find me?”

“I can explain that,” I replied. “Through information in your bank accounts, we learned that you’d made payments to a Van Zandt. That’s how we found your old friend Frank.”

“So you know about the poker games,” said O’Neill. “When I told Joyce I was working late, I was actually-“

“It doesn’t matter now,” I said. “Van Zandt told us that you’d checked into a hotel somewhere in the East Village. You heard about Steinmann’s murder? The police think you did it, but I didn’t think that could be true. So I thought you might be in danger too. But how did you get away from the guys in black suits?”

“I was watching the street from my window,” began O’Neill. “I saw them arrive and thought they had to be bad news. I ran up to the top floor and hid in a blanket cupboard. I’d been up there for about ten minutes when I heard the shots. So I stayed there until I heard the police car arrive and came down to my floor. When I looked out of my window again, I could see the sergeant outside with one of them. Finally, I thought it was safe enough to escape.”

“That letter you sent to Van Zandt. What do all those numbers mean?” I asked.

“They’re the reason why Steinmann was murdered,” replied O’Neill.

Suddenly, there was someone at the door. It was Captain Oldenberg. He looked around, shook his head and asked in a tired voice, “Would you mind telling me what’s going on, Marley?”

“Oldenberg, let me introduce Mr. Patrick O’Neill. Mr. O’Neill was almost murdered here tonight. Thanks to the sergeant and his team, we’re all still alive. Mr. O’Neill has a story to tell you. I believe that once you know all the facts, it will be clear that he can’t be Steinmann’s killer.”

“I’m listening, Marley,” said Oldenberg. “But whether he’s the killer is for the police to decide, not you.”

“Mr. O’Neill can show you all the information you need,” I continued. “If you agree, it means a quick journey to Frankie’s Cocktail Lounge on 5 th Street. Everything’s there.”

“Agreed,” said Oldenberg. “But for the moment, O’Neill, you’re still wanted for murder, and that means you’re my prisoner. Anyway, I guess Police Headquarters will be rather safer than this hotel.”

We all went downstairs, back to reception, where Oldenberg organized everyone. “Sergeant, you’re coming with me and O’Neill. Have your men take away the other two prisoners and one officer should stay with the guy who was shot.”

Joe had to leave and get some help with his car. Oldenberg drove us through the East Village back to 5th Street. Frankie’s Cocktail Lounge was now noisy with the evening crowd. A jazz band was getting ready to play. I saw Stella and Mrs. O’Neill sitting at a corner table, waiting for us to arrive.

“Your husband’s outside, Mrs. O’Neill,” I told her. “If you could be patient for a few more minutes, I’ll find somewhere less public to talk.”

I went over to the bar and shouted above the noise to the bartender. “I need to speak to Frank. Where can I find him?”

“In the back room,” answered the bartender. “Just go straight through.”

I coughed as I entered because the air was heavy with cigarette smoke. “O’Neill’s outside with the police,” I said. “Could we meet in here? Oh, and we’ll need that envelope.”

“Sure. Let’s get some fresh air in here,” said Van Zandt as he threw open a window. Oldenberg brought O’Neill into the room, and Stella followed with Mrs. O’Neill.

As soon as everybody was inside the office, O’Neill took his wife in his arms. “It’s wonderful to see you again, Joyce,” he said. “I’m going to stop hiding. Now it’s time to fight back.”

“Patrick, I’ve been so worried for you,” she said. “What’s been happening? Why all these secrets?”

“There’s so much to ex plain,” replied O’Neill. “I’ll tell you everything, I promise. But first, I have to make the captain understand that I’m not to blame for Steinmann’s death.”

O’Neill turned to Oldenberg and opened the envelope. He took out the papers and laid them on the table. He said, “These are secret papers from the Ocean Star president’s office. There’s enough information here to send Lorraine Houston to jail.”

“If you could keep it short,” said Oldenberg.

“OK. Ocean Star is an investment firm. Its business is making money for its clients,” continued O’Neill. “How do they do this? By investing clients’ money in the international money markets - or that’s what should happen. Look at this page. It’s organized in two halves, so let’s compare the two sides. On the left the numbers show money that was paid to clients - often a fifteen per cent return. On the right we see what the firm actually made from investments. Surprise, surprise! These numbers are far less. You realize what this means?”

“Go on, tell me,” said Oldenberg. “You’re the accountant.”

“Ocean Star can’t possibly earn enough from its investments to pay big money to the clients and millions to the president. It’s using the money from new clients to pay the old clients. As long as it continues to get large numbers of new clients, this can work, and people think it’s the smartest firm on Wall Street. However, it’s a serious crime. I believe that’s why Steinmann was murdered. He knew about it too after I showed him these accounts, and he talked to Houston. I want to make all this public, and now I don’t care if it destroys Ocean Star at the same time. Is that clear, Captain?”

“More or less,” replied Oldenberg. “If I could take those papers… Thanks. But there are a lot more questions which I want answered. We’ll continue at Police Headquarters. Mr. O’Neill, you’re still my prisoner.”

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