End of the Rainbow
Stan was a night owl, when Steele saw him enter the club at 8:40 the next morning he braced himself for bad news. “Morning Steele, man I was up all night working on that key symbol. I refused to let it beat me.” Stan yawned and rubbed his bloodshot eyes. While Stan was setting up his laptop to pull up the files Steele went up front to get him a cup of hot coffee. Stan spun the laptop around so Steele could get a good look at the logo on the screen. “There it is my brother,” Stan reached for the dark blue cup of steaming coffee.
“That is the Royal Trust logo. You probably never heard of it because it’s in
The gold, if it’s still there is in the Royal Bank of Canada.” Stan
carefully sipped the hot coffee as he watched Steele examine the image on the
computer screen. He put down his cup reached in his pocket and handed the key
to Steele who held it next to the picture on the screen.
Steele shook his head, “thanks man. I almost blew it. I assumed that Romone was converting the money into Canadian Maple Leaf coins and bringing it back to the
to avoid paying taxes on it. I never thought he would risk leaving it so far
away. Royal Bank of Canada
Stan took another sip of coffee, “yeah man, drove me crazy all night trying to find that thing. In 1961 they changed their logo but not the keys. Too much of a hassle contacting all those people with safety deposit boxes. That’s why I couldn’t find it. Hey Steele,” he handed his friend a slip of paper. “I know your next move is to call your friend Al in
Montreal. It’s Friday.” Steele looked at the
small white piece of paper and shrugged his shoulders.
“What’s Friday got to do with anything?” Stan looked very serious, “be careful man. I did the math, an ounce of gold back then was going for about $380.00 On today’s market that same ounce is worth $1,750 almost 5 times what is was worth back then. If enough of those Canadian Maple leafs are still sittin’ in that box they could be worth over a million dollars.
Watch your ass Steele. By the time you get back here it will be Saturday evening, the banks will be closed, and won’t open again till Monday.”
Stan was right about Steele calling Al and as usual Al was away on a case. It was early afternoon when his assistant Monica met Steele and Julia at the Pierre Elliott Trudeau airport in
Steele was taken aback when Monica decided to ditch their usual
greeting. Instead of a warm hug she
kissed him right on the lips. For years the two had casually flirted but Monica
had grown tired of playing cat and mouse. The tall beautiful brunette waited
for Steele’s reaction but the suave Philly detective kept his emotions
in check, well at least on the outside.
Monica’s car was parked just outside the airport. She looked around making sure they were not followed before pulling out into the busy airport traffic. Julia sat in the back seat. She felt uneasy. ‘Could this be it?’ she thought. After all these years and all the wild stories about her parents and the hidden gold.
‘What if there is no gold?’ Julia shook her head from side to side deciding to block the negative thoughts from entering her mind. She focused on the conversation in the front of the car.
Monica kept one hand on the wheel, she used her other hand to make a point to Steele while weaving in and out of the midday traffic.
“Okay Alex I’ve already contacted the bank. I used to work there during my summers off from the university. That was years ago before I became a detective but I still have a few friends there. Julia’s parents had the foresight to pay the deposit box fees for the next 25 years but get this. When I asked the bank to search the records it turns out that 21 years ago they had all the ownership records turned over to Julia. So they must have suspected that something bad was coming eh?”
By the time Monica pulled up in front of the bank Julia’s hands were shaking. Monica knew that Steele couldn’t bring his gun onto Canadian soil so she opened her purse and showed him her small caliber silver Beretta. She wanted to reassure him that she was prepared if something nasty was to go down.
Monica kept watch in the banks lobby while the branch manager guided Steele and Julia to inside the vault. This was the moment of truth. After a few moments of fumbling around trying to get the key into the locked deposit box Julia turned around, her voice was as shaky as her hands. “Mr. Steele would you please?” She almost dropped the key as she handed Steele.
When he slid the box out it nearly fell to the ground because of the weight. There was definitely something inside. Steele sat the dull looking gray box on the table and waited for the manager to leave before offering Julia a chair. Julia took a deep breath and let it out slowly. She carefully lifted the top of the deposit box and gasped when she saw what was inside. More than four hundred shinny gold Canadian Maple Leaf coins lay scattered inside. Julia held her hand to her face and began to weep.
Alexander Steele leaned down and gave her a gentle hug. “Looks like you hit the mother-load.”
Julia nodded; “I can save my Mom’s restaurant.”
Steele chuckled, “hell with this kind of money not only can you save it you can remodel the whole damn place.”
There were more than just gold coins in the box there was an old yellow envelope that read to Julia ‘our little angel.’ Julia looked up at Steele. She took a minute to calm herself before opening the envelope.
The twenty year old letter read: ‘To our precious little angel Julia. If you are reading this letter then something has gone terribly wrong. Your Uncle Cecil has discovered the gold but he does not know where it is. He is a violent man and has been threatening to harm your mother if she doesn’t take her share of gold and run off with him. For obvious reasons we cannot go the cops. I will do whatever I have to, whatever it takes to protect you and your mom. If I fail and something was to happen to your mom we wanted you to have this. Love you always.
The letter was signed by both Rosa and Romone. Julia sat silently taking in the words of her parents. It was like they were still there in that very room with her. Many of her questions were answered. After 20 long hard years she finally knew the truth about her parents. They didn’t kill each other. But if they didn’t who did?
“Mr. Steele, how could Uncle Cecil have murdered my parents if he was in the hospital with a gunshot wound in the back?”
Steele didn’t know the answer but they were about to find out. After Al made a few calls he called in a favor at airport customs Steele had the necessary paperwork to bring the gold back home.
Friday Chapter 7 Confession