The Id and The Odyssey; Episode 122

Curiosity  

After five full days on Penobscot Bay the Brinkmens waved good by and were now on there way to Niagara Falls and then home to Cleveland. It was over too soon for the booth Rich and the Brinkmens. Rich had a chance to act like his age for a while with the boys and was pleased he was able to assuage a disastrous vacation experience for a really nice family.
He returned to work Monday with a bit of satisfaction and optimism.
As Rich passed by Sam’s office in the morning Sam called out, “Glad to have you back!”
“Glad to be back,” Rich smiled and waved.
Gordy and Rudy were glad to see Rich return to work also.
Rich took the first five minutes of the morning with Gordy and Rudy to survey the week; after that he delved into his work.
At 10:50 Rudy got a call. He hung up, scribbled on a note pad, and swiveled in his chair toward Rich. “Rich,” he said, “you’re next man out.”
Rich stood, grabbed his note pad, and walked to Rudy’s desk.
Rudy handed him the note. “Car accident and while you’re out stop at the Red Cross, they have a couple press releases. And grab a camera on the way out.”
Rich grabbed a camera on the table next to the door of the newsroom as he was walking out the door.
“Want anything from out?” Rich said.
“No,” Rudy said. “I packed today.”
As he swung out the office Sam called out from his office, “Hey, Rich!”
“Rich leaned into Sam’s office. “You want something out?”
“No, I’m going home for lunch,” Sam said. “Just wanted to know, how’d your week end go, you get some time to think things over.”
“Yeah,” Rich said. “I’m sailing September 1st. And that’s really all I’m focusing on. Everything else is a distraction.”
Sam’s mouth curled down as he nodded. He flicked his hand for Rich to leave.
Rich hurried down the steps and thought, “That’s not good.” He smiled. “He’s becoming predictable.”
Rich jumped in the Jeep and headed to the accident scene. On his way to there he thought, “It has now been several months sense Mrs. Gaffee’s ledger was taken from the safety deposit box and nothing; no arrests, no story, no rumors, and no Dave Smithson. Sam has not even said a word to me. If I worked anyplace else I might think right away it is a cover-up. I would have to reasonably conclude it is a cover up and if I don’t do something about it I’m, by deduction, a part of it.”
Rich arrived at the accident scene. He took a couple of pictures and interviewed a witness. He stopped by the hospital to check on the status of the two people transported. There were no serious injuries. It was going to be nothing more than a filler to provide fodder and gossip the next day.
On the drive back to the newspaper Rich thought again about the ledger. “The two people I can trust the most with professional, legal, criminal, and ethical advice are Sam and Dave. And yet they are the only two besides me, that I’m aware, who know of the ledgers existence. Think, Rich, think!”
“Smithson knew Mrs. Gaffee was keeping something secret. She would not talk to him. There is only one reason; she did not trust him. Smithson knew Mrs. Gaffee contacted me; he had to. He’s the one who told me about Mrs. Gaffee’s death. Why? Because he knew that would prod me to reveal what I knew. And it did. I got the key, I got the ledger, and Sam was the one who maneuvered things until the ledger found its way to Dave’s possession. However, why did Sam microfilm it? They both have something to hide and they don’t trust each other. Maybe I‘m over thinking the whole thing, but something isn‘t right.”
Rich returned to the newsroom. His thoughts were running wild and it was all he could do to report the accident. He finished the report and handed it to Rudy. Rich returned to his desk, nearly walking past it. He sat and thought for a few more moments.
“Can you give me a headline?” Rudy said.
“Yeah,” Rich said. “Give me a second. How ‘bout Eastside Crash?”
“Sounds good,” Rudy said.
Rich rolled a blank sheet in his typewriter. He looked through some scattered papers on this desk not sure what he was looking for, because his thoughts were deep on Dave Smithson and Sam White. “I have the combination to Sam’s safe,” Rich thought. “I want to see what’s on the microfilm. There is something on it. Then what? What paper would print the story if something incriminating about Sam or Dave were on it? For my own curiosity and my own curiosity only I must find out.”

He planned for an opportune time to open Sam’s safe. Nighttime, in particular the early morning hours, yet it would have to be done unnoticed by the police. He didn’t want to be caught in the paper in the middle of the night. Even if working there it would raise suspicion. Rich reasoned that if he stayed alert an opportunity would present itself that my be better than a plan. If one did not present itself he was determined to open the safe before leaving on the first of September.