William Weasley was confused. How on earth had he become involved in this mess? He didn't know these people. William had been minding his own business, as usual, counting his cash drawer at the end of the work day. It had to balance perfectly, as was the custom for him. All of a sudden the bank manager announces all of the tellers were to report to the conference room immediately. "Really", he said to himself, "right now? My work day is over." As the others are passing him on the way to the meeting, William is pleased he's not the only one upset. Spotting Mr. Bentley, the manager, practically running past him, he takes a chance and grabs the manager's arm. "What do you think your doing Weasley? Get off!" Unfettered William keeps in stride, hand still locked around Bentley's elbow. "Sir I was just wondering how necessary this meeting is..." Indignately the bank manager states, "How necessary is your job, hmm?" They have reached the conference room. Weasley feels a lump forming in his throat as he lets go of the manager's arm and then follows him in the room.

The "Doom Room" as the employees preferred to call it was quiet nice. It had a beautiful mahagony table surrounded by twelve comfortable, leather chairs. There was a projector and screen, several laptops, a printer and one of those teleconference phones that looked like a triangular ufo. A state of the art coffee machine that also could serve tea. William noticed that two tellers from another branch of the Elmwood Bank were also present along with someone he didn't know. All together, including himself, the manager Mr. Bentley, four tellers he worked with daily and the afore mentioned there were nine people in the room.

"Thank you all for being here." This from the only stranger in the room. William sat down quickly next to Maggie Miller, the beautiful redhead with the smoldering green eyes. Probably a bad idea since he had a major crush on her. "Let me get right to it-" "Umm perhaps you should introduce yourself first?" Bentley said apologetically to the stranger. The stranger smiled. "Of course, I am Lincoln Langston III. My father is/was the owner of all the Elmwood Banks around the world. This morning he was found dead in the locked bank vault of this very facility. Why you might ask were you allowed to go on with your daily routine? Why were you not notified? " Langston took a moment to stare at each person in the room before continuing. "Because one of you is the killer. We will not leave this room until my father's murder is solved."

Lots of whispering, mumbling and startled expressions filled the room. "Detective Calen? Are you there?" The heir apparent asked the teleconference machine. William was looking around to see if anyone was acting guilty. He could read people well. Maybe he could solve this quickly and get on with his night. He studied everyone closely. It would seem Maggie was the only one not showing any emotion whatsoever. Could she have committed the crime? He had to push that thought aside for the moment, Detective Carl Calen was speaking. "I want you all to know we have the building covered; inside and out. I will join you in person momentarily. Just one more thing..." Calen let his words hang in the silence. Lincoln addressed the room again. " Let's proceed. My father came to this branch last night because someone requested his presence. Ms Miller why did you call my father?" William looked as if he'd been smacked in the face, so did Phillip Patterson. Maggie pulled out a cigarette, lit it and took a long drag. The stream of smoke she let out seemed to last for hours. Maggie smiled and looked directly at the heir. In her sultry voice she replied, "Really Lincoln, you know exactly why I called your father. Do you actually want to air family business?" Family business? What was she talking about. Was she related to the billionaire Langston family? "Just answer the question Maggie. I could care less what these people know. MY FATHER IS DEAD!" Langston the third was clearly upset. William hadn't thought so when he first saw him. Maggie actually laughed. "Alright then. I called Linc to get some money from him. I am his daughter. The DNA test proved it. In fact, I'm his oldest living heir. Why would I kill him? He was more than willing to help me. He bought a house for me and told me to contact him anytime. I called last night because the contractor found an issue with the plumbing that wasn't part of the expense budget. Our "father" met me with a check. He was alive when we parted. It should be on camera." "She's right," said Detective Calen as he seemed to glide in the room.

What kind of detective looks like a million bucks. Brown hair, blue-eyed Thomas Magnum, looking guy with a very expensive silver suit on. His shoes alone must have cost a thousand bucks. Carl Calen looked like he just arrived from a photo shoot. There were three woman among the group and they were star-struck. Gavin Gentry was too. William, on the other hand, was still reeling from the news about Maggie. "We have gone over the latest security footage. The rest of my team is going back a few months from the time Mr. Langston returned home. Mr. Langston returned home because his accountant noticed some discrepancies. It seems one or more of you have embezzled quiet a bit of money. Mr. Langston brought my team in as soon as he was told. Mr. Jernigan please tell us what you have observed and learned during your employment here." What could Jerry Jernigan possibly know, thought William. He was just a weird Jerry Lewis looking character that had only been on the job for about five months. He was goofy and always making mistakes. Jernigan was always slumping but now he stood straight, took off his: coke-bottle glasses, the stupid bow tie he always wore, as well as the tweed Tam that let loose long black hair. He too looked like a model. William was flabbergasted. What was going on here? "Sir, I have numbered the suspects. Number 1 had financial problems, gambled to try to make quick cash and owed some rather ugly characters close to half a million. I have witnessed him taking small amounts out of the money bags each morning. However, I have also observed him putting it back. He finally hit it big at one of the casinos and paid off his debt." David Ducan looked like he was having a heart attack.

"Number two has already been exposed in another matter this morning. I have not seen anything else regarding her. However, she plays Number four for everything she can get out of him. We'll get to him shortly. Maggie smirked. William was listening intently and watching everyone closely. Lincoln and Carl were doing the same. "Number three has been taking money here and there. He's not in financial peril. He seems to be unable to help himself. He steals from his coworkers too." William didn't get a signal from anyone. Not even a bite. Who was number three? "Number four worships the ground Number two walks on. The two of them have been having an affair for some time now. However, Number four doesn't realize he's not the only one." Phillip couldn't help himself. He tried to jump across the table at Maggie. Two huge guys came from nowhere and subdued him, all the while Phillip was yelling obscenities. He was escorted into the hallway. Jerry continued. "Number four is broke because he spends all his money on number two. He also has had his hands in the till. Number five appears to be a straight arrow but he's behind on child support. His real name is Henry Hamilton and he's wanted in three states. He has embezzled more than twenty thousand so far." Wow. William couldn't believe these people. Number three and Number five were cool as cucumbers.

Lincoln seemed shocked, dismayed and angry. "Carl, I thought your agency did the background checks for my father." The ever smooth Carl placed his hand on the young Langston's shoulder. "Not always my friend." Just then the detective received a call and excused himself from the room. Shirley Stein used the opportunity to ask if a restroom break were possible. It was decided they could go one at a time with an escort from the agency. Mr. Bentley suggested food be ordered. It was getting to be dinner time. Lincoln settled on a couple of guys from the agency grabbing sandwiches from the deli next door. William chose his break time to walk around and listen-in on the idol chatter. Maggie was questioning Lincoln about the crime. "...shot." So the old man was shot. Weasley realized they hadn't been given any details of the murder. Bentley was harassing Jernigan. "So you've been spying on us. You're fired! I don't believe anything you're saying." Jernigan just smiled and looked at his phone. William could see Jerry had a text. He moved closer trying to read it. "Ok, the boss will finish this via teleconference. Let's finish this up." William decided he'd go to the bathroom after all. Perusing the room, he noticed Shirley wasn't back yet. He walked into the hall followed by his escort. " Hey, have you guys checked the ladies bathroom? I noticed Shirley hasn't come back yet." His escort informed him they had everything under control. Having done his business, William entered the conference room. Shirley was in her seat looking very pale. All were accounted for except for Calen.

The sandwiches arrived. No more breaks. They would eat while Jerry continued. "Number 6 feels very entitled. She sees nothing wrong with helping herself to the worn bills that are scheduled to be destroyed. It seems no one was aware of it before I came along. She has a partner. Which leads us to Number 7." Was Shirley Number 6 and if so who was her partner? William looked around and noticed everyone was looking at him. "I knew it!" Yelled Bentley. "You tried to stop me from coming in the room Weasley. You are the only one he hasn't described yet. YOU ARE THE MURDERER!" "No. William is number three," states Maggie. "I know he took my scarf." "Nah, Weasley is number five. He does act like a straight arrow; Mr. Perfect." Phillip's tone was very nasty. William sat back calmly and listened to the accusations. All the numbers could have been him. He had silently stolen plenty. He was having an affair with both Maggie and Shirley. He had been behind on child support but with the big win he had paid his gambling debts and back child support. Those worn bills had set him up nicely in the Cayman Islands. There was just one problem. He didn't kill the old guy. "I didn't kill Mr. Langston." The teleconference machine cracked. "He's right." Calen's voice could barely be heard. "Lincoln your father was many things but fair wasn't one of them. Once he found out about Maggie, he forgot about you and your siblings. He really loved her mother but had to marry yours. He was going to write you out of the will...and that's why you killed him...

Turns out Shirley was pale because Calen knew she was pregnant by Lincoln and was his accomplice. The old man died before he could add Maggie to the will but he had set-up a nice bank account for her. Mr. Bentley was fired for partnering with Philip and stealing the largest amount of money the authorities knew of...As for William Weasley, he and his boss Carl and best friend Jerry were living happily in the Cayman Islands.

February 01, 2020 03:19

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