“Why do I suddenly feel like the little kid who got caught with his hand stuck in the cookie jar?”
“I don’t know, maybe it’s because you failed to divulge the fact that you knew both Sam Larson and Curtis Brooks. In fact, you were childhood friends with both men. And both men died in plane crashes which you personally investigated. Maybe that’s why?” replied David.
“Perhaps we should take this conversation elsewhere.” Instinctively, he knew Sylvia Abramovitz was the type of woman who listened at keyholes. He neither wanted her to worry about her son or tip him off to the fact that he was being investigated.
“I think that would be a good idea, said David.”
“But first aren’t you going to introduce me to your lovely companion?”
“My name is Mrs. Sam Larson”, I said extending my right hand.
“No way!” He said looking me from head to toe. You’re way to pretty to have married the Sam I knew.”
I smiled, in spite of the apprehension I was feeling about this man because Frank Roberts didn’t seem the type of man who complimented women easily.
As we eased our way down the three flights of stairs and back out onto the street, all I could think was, had this man covered up the fact that Sam and everyone aboard Flight 404 had been murdered?
The Daisy Diner was about two blocks from the Abramovitz apartment building. We settled into one of the booths up front and an uneasy quiet settled over us.
“You tell me how you found the Abramovitzs, and I’ll tell you all I know.”
“And exactly how much is that,” asked David.
I could tell that there was some sort of resentment between the two men. “Gentlemen, whatever the problem is between the two of you, please can it wait until we have a definitive answer about the two crashes. I’d really like to know whether or not those crashes were accidents or murder?”
“Mr. Roberts, I understand that you knew Sam when he was young?”
“Well ma’am, I knew a Sam Larstein when I was younger. I didn’t know until recently that Sam Larson and Sam Larstein were one in the same.”
“And Curtis Brooks – did you know him, too?”
“Yes, ma’am. Sam, Curtis, me, and Rebecca, aka, Lester all ran together when we were around eleven and twelve.”
“Rebecca, aka, Lester? Why did you call her that?”
“We called her Lester because her daddy always wanted a boy and Rebecca did her best to accommodate him – dressing up like one most of the time. Although, I don’t think it did her a lot of good.”
“Her old man was a stinker, if you know what I mean. It wouldn’t have mattered what Rebecca did or didn’t do.”
“I see. Where is she now?”
“She lives in the same building as Sylvia Abramovitz, or at least I think she does. I didn’t get an answer when I rang the bell.”
“Well that explains the picture.” I took the old photo out of my purse and showed it to him.
“Which one is Rebecca, aka Lester?”
“The red haired one is Rebecca. I remember she had these incredible red ringlets that she kept pushed up under her cap.”
Frank had gotten this far-away look in his eyes, and I could tell he was remembering the past. That’s when David took his shot.
“Frank, why do you think your friends are being killed?” That was like David – straight for the jugular.
“I don’t know. Like I said my family moved away a few months later.”
“Why did your family move Mr. Roberts?”, I asked.
“Ma’am, please call me Frank. I get a little edgy when people call me Mr. Roberts. I get the suspicion they’re trying to sell me a bag of goods. My family moved because of Rebecca. She went crazy soon after the crash.”