Chapter Five

V

            He isn’t awake but has left the grip of deep sleep. He is in between, in a meditative state. He sees outside, the morning sun shining bright through a clear blue sky, crisp wind blowing leaves over the curbs of his suburban townhouse. His eyes are closed, moving behind the eyelids. A vision of himself floating above his body, hovering over his naked body lying flat on his belly, stretched long across the bed so his lower half hangs over the edge of the bed, his dry skin soaking in the warm sun poking through the blinds. Not a dream but not real, maybe a dream within a dream, he should wake up soon to find out. What else can he do while here, though? What secrets are to be found in this world in between my dreams and the outside world. The things I have. The tasks to do. I’m losing it.

            He loses it. The eyelids open and his black pupils adjust to the light. It’s late already. He gets ready to eat his breakfast than gets ready for work with his bag with a notebook and pens and a camera with other kind of surveillance equipment and goes out the door. His neighbour is outside walking his small dog.

            “Frank! How’re you?”

            “I’m here, Lionel. How about you?”

            “Can’t complain. Beautiful day. Can’t believe it compared to yesterday. Can you believe there still isn’t snow? I mean, com on! You know?”

            “No Lyle, I can not believe it.” Weather weather weather with this guy.

“Yup, I told Liz this morning, I tell her boy do I know how to pick my days off” Lionel says with a hearty laugh while Gator opens his sliding door on his mini van to put his bag in.

“How about you? Plans today?”

“Yeah got a little work to do.”

“Good, good. I won’t ask too much, I know how it is. Us detectives have to keep our secrets!”

Gator smiles and says goodbye before getting into his minivan and starting the engine. He has to wait for his neighbour, the Mountie Lionel Shwerzer, to escort his puny little dog out of the way before he can back out of his drive way. He isn’t a real detective, thinks Gator. He would never break a rule in his life.   

            He takes the parkway into the city because he likes the views he sees of the river better than the grey of desolate building he would see taking the Queensway. Takes a little longer but all the better because he doesn’t like to go too fast. Where to start is what he has to figure out before he gets to the office. Just Googling the name is a start, he guesses. But his gut already says he will be more difficult to find. Nobody is in the phone directory anymore; nobody has a land line anymore. He wonders what the link to the University is. He didn’t say.  Aramis knows more than he’s telling.

            He pulls over into one of those parking lots by the river that connects onto the bike paths. He takes out a cell phone from a little compartment in his arm rest, an older phone that has buttons that click. The phone dials his partner Ramona Fiasco who answers after a few rings. Gator asks what she plans to do for the day, how the case is going with the teenager that ran away, if she knows anything about the hotel that looks like a castle and any repair men that might have called us before.

            “I know it’s for big shots. I mean, not just the people who stay there. There are people who live there, important people that are invisible. Like the bosses of bosses, know what I mean?  They live there and work there, if they aren’t at another secret retreat in the world. There are tunnels underneath that go further than the hotel. Escape tunnels…who knows. It’s creepy to think about, I’ve heard jokes about tunnels leading into the older houses here in this part of town. Going to the different embassies maybe. I don’t know anything about maintenance people though. You were there?”

            Gator fills his colleague in, gives her the name Horatio Bolastro.

            “Never heard it. Strange, no? A maintenance guy looking for someone?”

            “He says he isn’t fucking his wife.”

            “That’s crude. Maybe he ‘s lying.  My bet would be he works for someone else, Gator.”

            Maybe he’s lying. Gator doesn’t like being lied to, but he will pay the bills and that’s what his colleague agreed on before hanging up.

                                                                        *

            Gator starts with punching the name into a general internet search engine and comes up with noting. He logs into a few of the specialized databases the Olgatrail Detective Agency has access to; license plate registrations, residential listings, consumer records, real estate holdings, SIN’s and more. He breaks for lunch, a sandwich of deli meats and cheese that he found in the fridge and gets back to it. No traces are found.  Nothing in these databases identify that a Horatio Bolastro exists. The closest thing he gets to is a legal citation where a H. Bolastro was present but never spoke.

             

Citation: Rose v. The King

Date: 1986-11-20

Windermere, St. Bruja.

Counsel:

I. Coherent, K.C., I. Abraham and H. Bolastro, for the accused.

Hon. F. Phillipe Brazil, K.C., Oscarito Colima, K.C., and Wm. C. J. , K.C., for the Crown.

 

[1]                       Windermere and ST. Bruja concur.

 

[2]                     Windermere.:—As the facts of this case appear elsewhere, I need not repeat them.

 

[3]                     There are a large number of grounds of appeal, but I shall deal only with those which in my opinion merit considerati--- Yada yada yada

He scans and scans looking for the name in the documents and how they relate. It sounds major; stolen documents from an embassy. Spy-rings.

 [26]                  It matters not what motive induced Bellwoods to betray his office. The moment he gave this secret information to any unauthorized person he violated the Official Secrets Act, and he was or must be presumed to have been fully aware of that fact. The moment the accused received this information, after his many endeavours to get it, he in turn violated the Act.

Strange, thinks Gator. Seems like an important case. Old too. He starts doubting this will lead to his guy but he continues reading, now out of curiosity more than anything.

[27]      Of the many exhibits produced, there is one—ex. 32—which is proved to be in the handwriting of Col. Zabotinist, one of the alleged co-conspirators… sent to the address of "the Director", "the Director" being the head of the spy service in this country…One entry gives as the source "Debouzer", which is shown to be the so-called "cover" name of the accused. The material is described as "notes", the name of the materials "conversation with Professor", "the Professor" being the cover name for Bellwoods…he dictated the ingredients of RDX and spoke of the proportions, and the accused took notes on a number of them. The jury were entitled to draw their own conclusions from ex. 32 that notes consisting of one page, resulting from a conversation with Bellwoods, were forwarded to Lisbon, having been received from Rose, and then passed on to parts unkown.

[28]                  There is another exhibit—P. 50—also taken from the Embassy, and proved to be also in the handwriting of Col. Zabotinist, dated August 14, 1985, reading in part as follows: "Tasks will be detailed to Grey, Bacon and the Professor through Debouzer. The Professor is still away on command. Meeting with Debouzer to take place end of this month".

He has nothing to do with the University, figures Gator. Aramis is dumb.

[30]                  A further exhibit—P. 71—which bears no date and which also proved to be in the handwriting of Col. Zabotin, reads in part as follows: "Professor. Abozo. Well known chemist, about 40 years. Works in the McGill University Montreal. Is the best specialist on explosives on the American continent. Gives full information about explosives and chemical plants. Very rich. He is afraid to work. (Gave the formula RDX up to the present there is no valuation from the Master). Gave materials on poison gas (O.V.) ."

[34]                  I come now to what appeared to me at the hearing to be the most serious of the appellant's objections, namely, to that part of the Judge's charge reading as follows: "The Crown contends that the existence of a spy ring, organized by the *****, has been clearly proven, and, if the documents filed by…

[57]                  The soul of this movement, of this office of espionage, Zabotinist, was the intermediary between the central office in ***** and ****** and at the same time the head of various groups of spies in Canada. And in the isolation of his concrete and steel offices, hermetically closed to all outside gaze, he compiled information upon information, in particular as to the nature and expansion of our military effort. He strove to have his secret agents taken into vital Government organizations or to be placed in strategic posts. The evidence reveals that this network of espionage extended its ramifications, notably, in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in the Ministry of Munitions and Supply, in the Office of the British High Commissioner, in that of, the War Information Board and, above all, in the National Research Council. Col. Zabotinist maintained his effort. All the conspirators, all the pawns of an immense chess board were at the service of the espionage cause. Information was obtained, contacts maintained, documents accumulated in the files of Zabotinist's office. Our military and economic production, the force of our armies, the nature and inventions of our engines of war, the site and importance of our principal factories, and, in particular, some of our military secrets—all that was compiled, analyzed and in the end transmitted to the mother cell in ******.

            The document goes on heavily redacted and without a line from Gator’s man. It’s something though. He looks up the other names in the document and most of them are dead. The one name that returns is I. Abraham; Inness Abraham, with a corporation number registered ON-Corp 00004284. Gator packs up his things and takes a ride down to city hall.

            It’s late by the time he gets up to the desk to ask for the binder of registered corporations in the city. It’s later by the time he is done and the clerks are irritated that they have to put all the large ringed records back on their shelf. He has an address. An address of someone who might have known who he is supposed to find thirty years ago. It’s a long shot, but so is everything else thinks Gator. He stops for dinner and eats until he forgets what he needs to do.

 

                                                                        *

            It’s a two-story building right on Somerset and beside the old house of Igor Gouzenko, the infamous Russian defector. There’s a plaque across the street in the park saying it’s his house and on the plaque is his black and white photo when he appeared on television with a burlap sack over his face. Gator reads it before sitting down on the park bench where he will have a good line of sight on the building. The first floor is a grocery store and nothing suspicious is being communicated through it’s big glass windows. On the side however is a black metal staircase going up to a side door, tucked away from the street in a little alleyway that can hold one car.

            He opens up a little bag of beef jerky and starts chewing and waiting. It’s busy enough that he doesn’t look out of place but it is getting dark and he wonders if a cop will come and kick him out. He waits on, watching the cars roll by, thinking of a clock turning its hands over and over like the wheels on the road. The sky is a light purple and the faces of strangers are shadowed and unfriendly. Soon it’s all dark except the orange light from the lamp posts and Gator is just about to call it for the night when a black hatch back stops on Somerset and pulls in backward. Two people come out and one of them runs up the stair case while the other opens up the trunk. From the lights of the car Gator can just make them out; two boys, medium-average builds, under 6’, dark hair in a red checkered jacket, red hair little taller in just long sleeve sweater. unloading boxes up the steps, the red head having an easier time than the dark-haired kid. Red head stays behind while dark hair gets in car and drives east on somerset. Aprx. 10:30 p.m. Nov 7

            Now he can either keep sitting here or go start knocking. He doesn’t want to be direct so early but this case is all over the place already and he has nothing yet. Better find the dead ends instead of wasting my time, he thinks. He gets up and heads to the grocery stores entrance. There’s an older man behind the counter, Lebanese by Gator’s guess.

“Uh excuse me”

“Yes Sir”

“I was wondering, does the Abraham family own this store?”

“Abraham? Abraham who?”

“Just Abraham, anyone. Innes Abraham?”

“No, no. My family owns the store. Handel.”

“No Abraham?”

“No sir.”

“And upstairs?”

“I don’t know. They rent from the landlord.”

“Who’s the landlord? Abraham?”

“No, white lady. Not sure, it’s a different building.”

“Different building? It’s right up top.”

“It was built after.  My brother owns this store, they paid him and built up top.”

“Is your brother here?”

“No sir. Why?”

“Just wanted to talk to somebody who might know Abraham. I’m an old friend. Maybe I can ask upstairs. Do you know them?”

“I don’t know. I don’t see them, can’t really see the stairs from here so they go up and down without me noticing.”

            Gator buys a bag of peanuts and walks out the store. He goes over to the staircase in the alleyway. He can see some lights on the second floor through the window and it reminds him of a warehouse. He takes a close look at the brickwork and it’s clear where they built on-top of the store. He starts going up the stair case with his bag of peanuts in hand.

            A younger guy with red hair answers the door through a crack after Gator repeatedly knocked.

“Hey there, is Abraham home?”

The boy peers through the crack, his eyeball unfriendly.

“No. you got the wrong place”

He tries to close the crack but Gator had already placed his foot in the small opening.

“You sure? This is the address he gave me. Innes Abraham?”

Gators foot in the crack made the door open wider than the red head would like and in the back in shadow Gator can make out someone else hunched over a table, face illuminated for seconds by a blue flash. An olive-skinned skinny man with dark long hair and a beard that makes him look like a lion. It’s him. The red head closes the door tight on Gators foot so he retreats.

“No Abraham!” and he shuts the door.

            Gator retreats to his van content that the rest of the week will be a matter of following this guy and getting paid. He parks it down the street far enough the red head won’t see him if he should come outside. He turns the radio on and before he wants to he drifts off to sleep. He dreams about walking through a road with nothing on either side. And far away he sees a car racing down another highway, dust kicking up even though inside the dream It’s dark. Soon after a police car appears, chasing the speeder on the abandoned highway. The circle around his road, still empty, and far away he sees the lead car lose control and swerve to a crash, a crash into nothingness. Rolling over and over again. Kaput. Dust. The police car stops and drives toward Gator, on what road he isn’t sure. It pulls up beside him and the window rolls down. Inside driving is Horatio Bolastro.

            Gator wakes up to birds singing and the early grey sky piercing through his vans window. He sees right onto Somerset and the few signs of life early in the morning. He remembers why he’s there and hopes he didn’t miss him. He stretches in his seat, goes to the grocery for some milk and bread to munch on, and is back in his van waiting for this guy to come outside.

            The door at the top of the steps opens. He sees the red head come down the stairs and start walking towards down town. Gator takes a note. 20 minutes later the door opens again. It’s him. He’s tall, his long hair flowing down like a hippie. He has on a brown jacket and once he gets to the bottom of the steps Gator sees his face through his camera lens and snaps a burst of pictures. He’s good looking and doesn’t look older than forty. Gator points the camera down to reset the trigger and when he looks back up he sees Horatio Bolastro get blown up by a landmine right there on Somerset.