CHAPTER FIVE HUNDRED and SEVENTY-TWO
Monday early morning — 4:01 a.m.
“That’s how we ended up with the journal,” Bernie said. His voice was defensive and hard. “I’ve told you this story.”
“You have,” Alex said. “And you’re not answering the question.”
“Which is?” Bernie asked.
“Why?” Alex asked. “Why did you pursue this journal? Why do you own it now? Why are we here?”
“I’ve told you that. Weren’t you listening?” Bernie asked. “I was approached at the gym and …”
“Come on, Bernie,” Seth said. “Even I don’t buy that story. Why should they?”
Bernie turned to look at his son. He saw Patrick Hargreaves shaking his head with disgust at Bernie. They were sitting in the living room area. The Fey Team, still dressed in their bed clothing, were sitting around the room. Bernie, Seth, Ben, and Patrick Hargreaves were near the center of the room with Alex and Raz.
“Have you ever been to Łodź?” US Air Force Sergeant Clifford Mauer asked.
Bernie turned to look at the young pilot they called “the Kid.”
“The children’s camp?” Patrick Hargreaves asked.
“I have,” Bernie said cautiously.
“I wanted to know because my grandfather spent much of his childhood there,” Cliff said. “That’s why I’m here. I want to see …” The young man shook his head. “Everything. For myself. We’re talking about having kids someday and I …”
Rather than finish, Cliff simply nodded. Cliff’s words seemed to affect Bernie deeply. The elderly man looked down at the ground.
“Sir?” Cliff asked Patrick Hargreaves. “Will you tell us why you are interested in this particular tunnel?”
Patrick blinked at Cliff.
“I believe that Mammy sent you and your wife an invitation to our wedding,” Cliff said.
Patrick looked surprised. His eyebrows went up and down for a moment.
“He’s marrying their daughter,” Alex said.
Patrick’s eyes shifted to Alex. He scowled and opened his mouth.
“This is not a trick,” Alex said. “They’ve been dating for a long time. Her mother knew but they kept it from her father. You know how he dotes on her.”
“If you’re looking for confirmation …” Seth started.
Patrick’s scowl shifted to Seth.
“I can tell you that this is a fact,” Seth said. “She sings in New York. Stays with Claire. I recently played backup for her at her Yale graduation. The kids have asked me to play for their wedding.”
Patrick didn’t respond to Seth. The silence grew.
“You are right,” Bernie said, breaking the silence. “The world has changed. These old secrets don’t mean anything to anyone.”
Everyone in the room looked at Bernie.
“I will tell you what I know,” Bernie said. “But don’t expect me to apologize for …”
“No one is asking you to feel sorry for doing your duty,” Alex said. She nodded to her father. “Yours either.”
She looked at Benjamin.
“Ben?” Alex asked.
“I honestly don’t think I know anything that would help with this,” Ben said.
“What if I think you know something that would help with this?” Alex asked.
Sitting on the couch, Ben looked up at her.
“And I think that whatever the three of you know could get us killed tomorrow,” Alex said.
The older men began to bluster and protest, but Seth simply looked at her.
“Why?” Seth asked over the older men’s protestations.
“Feeling,” Alex said. “And I’ve felt this way before. It never ends well.”
Bernie, Ben, and Patrick stopped talking. They looked at Alex.
“Now out with it,” Alex said.
Denver Cereal continues on Monday…
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