For the first time in forever, Emma felt listless as though she had nothing much to do. In fact, with Nathan’s assistance, they could dig into the circumstances surrounding the would-be attacker.
While enjoying a delicious breakfast of waffles with plenty of whipped cream (the real kind) and fresh strawberries, Emma asked, “Were you able to get information on the guy at the theatre?”
“So far, not as much as I’d hoped. I have a name and am closing in on who he worked for.”
“How did you manage that?”
“By threatening to turn him over to a few gang members. His reaction to their name explained a great deal.”
“He’s pretty much a gun for hire, moved here recently. Otherwise, I’d have the intel already.”
“Where do we go from here? I’m asking so I don’t spend needless time back-tracking.”
Sipping coffee, Nathan suggested they visit Marks’ family who lived locally in case he’d contacted them or perhaps left information with them or discussed any concerns he might have regarding his or his fiance’s well-being.
They dressed quickly, eager to be on their way. Nathan had driven directly to their address and they found Mr. Marks in the gardens out front. “Hello, Mr. Marks. I’m Emma Banks, and this is Nathan.”
Standing up straight he looked Nathan in the eye, “You’re the gent that called.”
Nathan offered his hand, “Yes, Mr. Marks, I am.” Mr. Mark’s took off his gardening glove and shook his hand as he sized Nathan up. Then he turned his attention to Emma.
“That would make you the reporter.”
“Yes, Mr. Marks, I work for the Gazette.”
“Well, come inside, I’d rather not discuss this out here.” He turned and headed for the front stairs, leaning his hand rake against the handrail. At the top of the stairs, he stomped his feet then wiped them on the rubber mat. Opening the door he healed his boots off and slid them aside. He moved into the vestibule and hung his jacket and hat on a hook. Opening the inside door, he offered to take their coats. Emma thanked him and he hung their coats on an inside rack. “Come in, come in, my wife will be along shortly. I wanted to leave her out of the conversation, but she insisted and she’ll be back from the market momentarily.”
“You want a coffee?” he asked, remembering his manners. “Sorry, careless of me, my wife’ll have my head.”
“Certainly, that would be welcome indeed,” Nathan responded graciously.
Emma peered around the room, taking in the lovely home. It had stood the test of time and was delightfully decked out in pretty Christmas cheer with tid-bits placed carefully around the room. The centerpiece undoubtedly, the beautiful tree alongside the fireplace. “Either you or your wife are incredibly talented. Your decorations are beautiful and tasteful,” Emma commented warmly.
“That’d be the wife. She hummed and hawed this year for the first time since, well because of the loss of our son. But I told her the best way to remember him was in doing what we’de always done in his memory.”
“What a thoughtful way to remember him,” Emma said with empathy.
“Ah, here she is now. I heard the car drive in.”
No one spoke until Mrs. Marks entered the room and both Nathan and Emma rose to greet her. “Hello, Mrs. Marks, I’m Emma and this is Nathan.”
“Yes, yes, I knew you were coming. I hurried home from the market with some goodies. I see my husband was kind enough to offer you coffee. I’ll join you in two shakes of a cat’s tail,” she promised.
She hustled into the kitchen with her bags and returned within minutes carrying a tray of Christmas cookies. “Not homemade, I don’t have the heart for it anymore, but these are pretty good.”
“Now, where were you in the conversation? What did I miss?”
“Nothing as yet dear, they just arrived and we were waiting to include you so we wouldn’t have to repeat anything.”
“What do you need to know?”
“First of all, thank you for seeing us. This must be painful and we really didn’t want to dredge up old wounds, but we have new information that recently came to light and we’re doing a follow up.”
“What a kind of information?” Mr. Marks asked, surprised.
Emma explained fully bringing them up to date with all that had transpired.
“Well now, that’s something!” Mr. Marks responded.
“My son left me some notes and asked me to keep them, but I didn’t have the heart to even look at them. I stuffed them in a plastic carton in the garage. I’ll go take a look see if I can track them down.” With that, he rose and headed down the hallway and disappeared.