When McGill finally collected the cash, I headed over to their office. He locked the door behind me and opened a suitcase filled with bills. A soft whistle escaped my lips at the sight of all that dough. For a brief moment I was tempted, but the feeling passed. McGill zipped up the bag and handed it to me while he swore he’d acted as if it was business as usual when he amassed the ransom money. Most of Abner’s deals were cash transactions and he’d not raised any suspicions.
I’d rethought the whole setup and called a fellow detective to help. I’d hired him to babysit Dave McGill this evening until it was all over in case McGill had second thoughts about involving the police. I didn’t want to end up in jail for my part in the scam. My buddy arrived, and I introduced the two men.
McGill made no protest, but he leaned over and spoke in a low voice, “I checked you out, London. Hizzoner recommended you highly. He said you were trustworthy and discreet.”
So that’s why he trusted me. The personal issue I’d resolved for Mayor Daley a few years ago had paid off many times over. An intensively private person when it came to his family, the mayor didn’t want to involve any of his cronies or employees. So he hired an outsider (me) to take care of the problem. I’d solved his dilemma and kept my mouth shut which the mayor appreciated. In return, a few favors were thrown my way which I appreciated. With a smile on my lips, I hefted the suitcase and strode to my car.
It took more than an hour to drive to the Lincoln Avenue motel where Abner waited. I’d made sure to lose any tail that might’ve been following. Picking him up, we drove to Birmingham Harbor where he stashed the loot on his boat. I didn’t expect a double-cross since he’d written out a confession before I’d ever agreed to the plan (insurance). Instead, he played the part of kidnap victim perfectly when I reunited him with Dave McGill.
They kept the kidnapping quiet, so I never read about it in the newspapers. Abner and Renee divorced. The former Mrs. Carlyle’s settlement was much smaller than she’d originally expected since Abner’s fortune had been diminished by the half mil ransom. After the divorce was finalized, Abner retreated to recluse status. Ecstatic that we’d stopped Renee from cashing in on a huge payout, he coughed up a bonus of three thousand dollars for yours truly. And I promised Carlyle I’d never reveal his reprehensible scheme.
Did I feel guilty for my part in the scam? Nope. After all, if it wasn’t for my participation, Renee would be dead. Instead, she lived to marry again—actually three more times. Renee possessed money, but I don’t think she ever achieved true happiness. I attended her funeral two months ago (for some reason, Elisabeth thought it my duty to attend). Sad to say, her brother and I were the only mourners.