They Had the Right to Remain Silent (1)

Posted: July 16, 2012 in cops, crime novel, detective stories, mystery novel, novels, police procedurals, suspense novel, Uncategorized
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     Welcome.  This is the first page of a novel, which will be passed on, bit by bit, in days to come.  Further explanation of this blog can be found in this site’s earlier postings.  The numbered headers of each post will signify the progressive order of the saga.  My commitment is to enter a piece every day.  The numbers will guide you back to where you left off, should you miss a day or two.  Chapters, however, will be nestled into the body of the content, and will be Roman numerals.  Let’s take a ride together, shall we?  Enjoy.
They Had the Right to Remain Silent
Richard Jachimecki
i
     A PORTLY FIGURE rapped on the heavy plate door with his diamond solitaire pinky ring, as slight beads of perspiration began to form on his brow, from the heat of the August sun. The clinking vibrated off the glass display cases, interrupting the low, soothing piano tones of Chopin, and drew attention from all within. The proprietor, recognizing the man, immediately buzzed the security latch. He entered Gauttiano’s, on upper 5th Avenue, dealer of rare antiquities, designer jewelry and sculpted fine art.
     “Today may be the day, Henri,” he said, at a volume not customary to the establishment, as the door clicked behind him .
     “Ah, Mr. Pennington,” Henri greeted, his voice silk being drawn over glass, “so good to see you once more. You are visiting the City with Mrs. Pennington? She is well, yes?”
     “Yes and very, thank you. She’s decided to look at the new fall line coming out, take in the last of summer in New York…and you know why I’m here, mah’ friend.” Pennington smiled with raised eyebrows, drawling out the last two words. He pressed his hands together at the fingertips, a common gesture in all his dealings. “Let’s have a look, shall we?” he whispered, now arousing the curiosity of other patrons.
     “Certainement, yes,” Henri replied, offering Pennington take the lead, while going behind a counter and producing two pairs of thin white cotton gloves.
     Pennington’s short legs landed hard with each step. His ostrich cowboy boot heels dug into the plush rose carpeting. He unbuttoned the coat of the gray three- piece, and shoved his hands into the vest pockets. His eyes were now fixated on the display case, the roly- poly body slightly rocking back and forth. Henri, like a leaf gliding on a pond, crossed the room and joined him. He allowed Pennington time to enjoy the moment and then handed him a set of gloves.
     Gauttiano’s interior sparkled throughout; curios and counters of glass and polished brass framework complimented the pieces they held. The store was a jewel unto itself. Now in the center of the room, Pennington and Henri stood and gazed at three glass boxes, each on its own pedestal, beholding the exclusive works of Everett Tiernay. Chess sets, separately depicting different themes, molded and hand enameled, placed on carved wooden boards, glistened under the high- intensity spotlights hanging from the ceiling. One marked the American Revolution, another the days of Camelot. Pennington’s interest was that of the Roman Empire, which stood in the middle of the group.
      Henri slipped on the gloves, pulled a small key from his trouser pocket and opened the case door. He gingerly removed the set from the box, yet strained from the weight, and placed it on a nearby countertop for Pennington’s closer inspection. Henri took one of the emperor figures, he cradled it in both hands. He examined it through the wire framed half- glasses perched on the end of his thin, pointed nose, then passed it on to the eager Pennington.
     “I’m known as the ‘Little Emperor’ by my competition,” Pennington chortled, grinding out a laugh that gave witness to years of cigar smoking, “figured this would be more than appropriate to show off in the living room.”
     “Very good, sir,” replied Henri, “very droll.”
     Henri glanced around the room quickly and found all attention was now focused on them, with an air of excitement akin to that of bidding at an auction house. Pennington handed back the figure and asked to see one of the pawns, represented by gladiators. Henri passed one to him, along with a magnifying glass.
     “Note the attention to every aspect and detail,” Henri mentioned, “the skin tones, the fabric qualities, the shadings.”
     “By God, you’re right,” Pennington quipped, “if you pricked these with a pin, they’d probably bleed.”
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