Harry pulled in the driveway, parked and went in the side door. He expected to see Colette in the kitchen, starting dinner. She was going to make sauerbraten, potato dumplings and red cabbage, an authentic German meal. He’d been thinking about it all day and he was hungry. Colette was a terrific cook, and that was another benefit of living with her. He threw his keys on the counter, hit the message button on the answering machine. Another one from Galina.
“Harry, you going to call me one of these days?”
No, he said to himself. Walked into the foyer, glanced in the den and moved into the living room. Someone was sitting in his leather chair, legs crossed on the ottoman. The man had dark shoulder-length hair and wore black jeans, a white shirt and a black leather jacket.
“I don’t think you’re a burglar,” Harry said, “or you’d be looking for the silver, so tell me what you’re doing in my house?”
“I stopped by your office. We could have handled it there, but you were too busy to see me,” he said with an accent that sounded like he was from Berlin.
“You buying or selling?”
“I am trading.”
“For what?” Although Harry had a pretty good idea.
“Where is Ernst Hess?”
“I’d try his estate in Schleissheim or his apartment in Munich. Maybe start by talking to his family and business associates?”
“I know he came here to see you.”
“Safe for now. Tell me about Herr Hess.”
Harry pulled the Colt from under his shirt and aimed it at him. “I’ll tell you what. You want to trade, I’ll trade Colette for you. We can start there, see how it goes.”
“Put the gun away. You are not going to shoot me or you will never find her.”
The guy got up and came toward him. He was tall, six two, six three, and looked like he was in shape. Harry pulled the hammer back with his thumb. “First one’s going to blow out your knee cap. You better hope there isn’t a second one.”
That seemed to persuade him. The German froze.
“I’m going to give you another chance. Where’s Colette?”
Peter Leonard is The Story Plant’s Author of the Month. This means we are offering sensational deals on all of his works. You can learn more at our website.