A Secret Grave 93: Connections

 

“How would you have gotten back into the office?” I asked. “It was such a fluke you got in there in the first place.”

Janet laughed a delightful girlish laugh that made the years drop away. When she described her antics with Victor it was as if they were happening now, in the present, as we sat on my studio couch in Austin, Texas in January, 2017, rather than fifty odd years ago in suburban Dallas. Only now we have Trump for president instead of Nixon. “He didn’t get back into Leonard’s office, at least not while I was friends with him. But Victor had a photographic memory. Those guys on the bulletin board? He could see every detail of their faces and clothing. And he became obsessed with them, he wanted to know who they were.”

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One of the photos on the board was a grainy news clipping of a man in a suit and tie who had stopped to wave at photographers before boarding a plane. It drove Victor crazy that he could bring up a crisp mental image of the photo, but couldn’t see what was written beneath it – presumably the man’s name and other pertinent information. He was convinced that if he could figure out the identity of that man, he would have the key to certain mysteries about his father – why Leonard was so moody and secretive, for instance; why he’d be lost in his thoughts, and jump and grow angry if you startled him; and why, above all, he was so insistent that doors and windows of the Dallas house had to be closed and locked at all times. “That place smelled so musty,” Janet recalled. “Evelyn used to open everything up to air it out the minute Leonard left for work.”

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Janet, present day

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When Janet told Victor the truth about who had broken into Leonard’s greenhouse, he became even more obsessed. The two men in suits wielding flashlights as they searched among the plants in the pitch black nursery before trampling them to death had to be connected to the men on the bulletin board. “Why? What were they looking for?” Janet asked Victor whenever the subject came up. “Maybe the Bukh,” he responded, although the Bukh would never have been hidden in such a damp environment. “Or maybe valuable medicinal plants.”

The bigger question was why Leonard so brutally let his son, Roy, take the fall when he must have suspected that other, more powerful forces were at play the night his beloved greenhouse was trashed.

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To be continued…

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Cover photo ~ http://www.connectthedots101.com/Transporation/Airplane-connect-the-dots

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