“It is secured. Soon, all complete..” Artemis just shook his head, the old girl had pulled it off. Why had he ever doubted Aunt Minerva? Now, he would use the family code to decipher his instructions, and see what else the message said.
The code had been passed down for generations in the family. Secured was the family code word for assassination. Soon meant two days after message sent. Complete was the code meaning authority. The number of periods told them how far away from the primary leader of the group to assassinate.
He smiled again, Strand’s brains think alike. His plan had been to get rid of the policeman, the one voice that Lafayette listened to more than Edwin. She was telling him to do exactly that.
The note to Edwin addressed Lafayette’s course. “My dear nephew, Florida is beautiful. Every pleasantry is available, and I’ve met such wonderful people. It’s time for you to enjoy a vacation, and stop working so hard.”
Florida was the last piece of Edwin’s puzzle. Pleasantry meant all was in place, and vacation plus people meant, it was Edwin’s time. Now he could begin to rid himself of Lafayette and secure the power that he had always dreamed of.
Like everything else, it would be risky, yet he had already survived a bullet. Edwin pulled out the other letter that arrived with Aunt Minerva’s note. It wasn’t addressed to him, but was to Mayor Carl Lafayette. It bore a Presidential seal on it.
Edwin headed to Carl’s office. Artemis, who was now staying in a small room in the hotel a few minutes away, called for his lieutenant. “Tell the musician, I want a clean kill. Eliminate the policeman, wound the Mayor, but no one else regardless. Then follow him, and tidy up.”
“Mayor, this is the opportunity to put our town on the map. It is a long shot, I grant you, but it might be worth trying. The President’s staff wants input from all of Alaska’s officials before floating another try at statehood.”
Edwin had to be careful, he was struggling to sound balanced. If he pushed to hard, Lafayette would question, too little and he would reject. Now he brought up the Sergeant.
“Pin, you could go too. It would give you access to the Secret Service, maybe talk to them about the growing trouble from the Pick Axe organization. Of course, it’s an expensive trip, and it may be more trouble than it’s worth.” He didn’t blink, he hadn’t sounded one sided, and at the end, made it sound like he wasn’t completely onboard himself.
“What do you think Pin? Could we leave right now, with everything going on?” Carl needed reassurance from his friend, and Pin was torn. “I’ll be honest. As much as I want to stay, it’s a chance to get some real help. I say try it.”
Edwin went home happy, his plan was working. Or Aunt Minerva’s and Grandfather’s that is. Either way, he would reap the benefits, and Artemis would eliminate the one man that could stop him.
Only when he was alone did he allow himself to laugh. The policeman had signed his own death warrant. He would die assisting Edwin to do what he had fought against all his life, corruption and greed.
After that, Lafayette would follow, and every other patsy Edwin needed, until he no longer needed them. They would have a fortune, a criminal empire to command, and the ear of a President. Every word he spoke would be carried out, and yet someone else would be blamed.
Now it was time for St Louis to pack. He chose a small pistol, a long range rifle, and his clarinet. Next he placed a small ring box in his pocket. There would be a bigger wedding later, but for now, a small private ceremony on the outskirts of town. Just the couple, the Minister, his partner, and the Minister’s wife. The last two served as witnesses.
After that, St Louis and Harriet would catch a train. They had to be in place to get everything ready for Carl and Pin’s arrival. As happy as he was, something was worrying him.
When a hit is this big, they usually have two assassins. One to carry out the hit, and the other had two jobs. First, to make sure the victims were dead, and second, to kill the first guy so he couldn’t talk. Then, they pay the second man enough to keep his mouth shut, knowing that otherwise they’ll hire a third man.