Meyer Coppolini was a magician, perhaps the greatest magician that Tom had ever known. He had been a friend, and teacher for a much younger Thomas.
Meyer would know nothing of this type of adventures. What he did understand was misdirection and strategy. Meyer had been a soldier as well as being a magician. He could read people’s intentions easily.
He had retired to Florida, but Tom could reach him by phone. “Mr. Coppolini, you won’t remember me, but I was a student of yours. I need to ask a question.”
“Thomas, you sound a little horse, but I recognize your voice. How can I help you?” Tom thought, he thanks he’s talking to a younger me. “I think someone is playing a trick on me. I think they are using misdirection. What would you say about a man who walks in expensive clothes, well to do everywhere, but has a badly dyed head of hair?”
Meyer smiled, “I would say two things. Either, you know him and he is trying to mask his identity. Or he is not as rich as he may want to appear. Clothes can be borrowed, much like coins. Hair is a little harder to fake, not impossible, but harder.”
“Thank you Mr. Coppolini. One more question, if that same person tried to focus your view in one direction, what direction would you look at?” Coppolini laughed. “Why, in exactly the opposite one. Most would say that if a man points to his left hand, look at his right. I say don’t look at either hand, that’s too easy. Instead, look at his feet. He is walking towards what he is pushing you away from.”
Tom thanked him and ended the call. His words echoed through Tom’s head. “He is walking towards what he is pushing you away from. The two words he used were family and power. He wants me to focus on the family aspect, while he grabs for power. Why?”
It hit him like a bolt of lightning. “1918, He’s trying to get me to forget 1918. That’s why he blocked us from getting there to start with. Minnix wants me to think this goes back to the revolution, it doesn’t. 1918 is the key to it all. When in 1918?”
Tom reviewed his mental notes. He had crammed his head full of dates relating to 1918. He stopped. “It’s got to be, it’s brutal, but it has to be the answer.” He rushed to Cameron’s room and knocked until he answered.
He started explaining as soon as he was inside. “In 1918 The United States Post Office Department started the world’s third regular airmail service. It ran between New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., that’s his strike zone. It’s also why he’s trying to prevent us from getting there. He just contacted me and tried to convince me it was about the 1790’s.”
“Why try and stop us, why not just make his move?” Tom looked out the window and pointed. “He can’t until that’s taken care of, and Minnix can’t take care of it, until he stops us.”