PUBLICATIONS - DOUGLAS'S OFFICE
really don't understand why you'd want to talk to me," Douglas said curtly
as he leaned forward onto his desk. "I have nothing to say to you as
far as Francis Callison is concerned."
"Mr. Davis, this doesn't
exactly concern Mrs. Callison," Detective Jim Fitzpatrick replied as he
stood in front of the desk. "As far as my department is concerned,
that's a closed case. It's in the D.A.'s hands, now. What I want to
discuss with you pertains to another case I'm working on."
Douglas furrowed his brow as he tried to figure out what Jim was talking
about. "What kind of case and what does it have to do with me?"
"I really can't go into
specifics," Jim explained and then paused awkwardly, unsure about how much
of his unofficial theories he should reveal. "However, I know that
not only were you Annabelle
Lake's boss but you were also her attorney
"I thought that you said that
this didn't have anything to do with the Francis Callison?" Douglas shot
back, immediately suspicious of the detective's visit.
"I said that it didn't exactly
concern Mrs. Callison," Jim corrected. "However, it might
have something to do with the murder and...um...well..."
"You must be crazy if you think
that I'm going to help you nail down the D.A.'s case against her!"
"Now, Mr. Davis, that's not
what I'm trying to do." Jim paused and took a deep breath.
"In fact, well, as this current case relates to your client, I'm here in a
completely unofficial capacity."
furrowed his brow and eyed the detective curiously. "I don't think I
understand what you're trying to say."
Davis, I'm beginning to think that we might have made a mistake," Jim
confessed. "Now, I can't be certain but...well...some new evidence
has appeared in regards to a current case that might have some bearing on the
Lake murder. As I said before, that case is officially closed,
but...well...I'd like to settle my own curiosity. You can help me kill two
birds with one stone."
Douglas leaned back in his chair and
considered what Jim was telling him. However, how could he be certain that
he wasn't being fed some kind of story in order to gain his confidence.
"What kind of information are
you hoping to find in Annabelle's personal records?" Douglas finally asked.
"To be honest, I'm not
sure," Jim sighed. "It's one of those things that I'll know when
I see it. I'm actually looking for some information concerning her
Douglas paused as he tried to make the connection to Annabelle's death.
"Truthfully, I don't understand why you'd want any information about
him. The man's been dead for years."
"Did Mrs. Lake ever confide in
you any intimate details about her husband?"
"No, not really," Douglas
shook his head. "Annabelle and I never had a very close, personal
relationship. She was my secretary. She didn't talk about her
personal life much outside of her daughter."
"If I'm not mistaken, you dated
her daughter at one time, didn't you?"
Douglas grimaced at the thought of his brief romantic involvement with Stephanie
Lake. "Yes, she and I dated briefly last year and it...well...didn't
work out. I assure you, detective, that nothing serious ever
happened between us, if that's what this is about. And besides, she had
already turned 18 and..."
"No, Mr. Davis," Jim
laughed, rather amused by Douglas' reactions, "that's not what this is
about." He paused again. "Do you still have Mrs. Lake's
"Well, yes, of course,"
Douglas nodded. "I keep all of the files for each of my
"And what kind of work did you
do for Mrs. Lake?"
"Basic legal matters," he
explained. "It was all pro bono. I did it as a favor in
appreciation of her work for me. I drew up her will---not that it mattered
because she really didn't have a lot of money. Annabelle liked to put on
airs, somewhat. She liked to appear better off than she really was.
In fact, when she died, she really left Stephanie in some pretty severe
"Can I see those files, Mr.
Douglas took a deep breath and slid his chair back so that he could open his
file cabinet. "Let's
it is. Annabelle Lake." He pulled out the file and turned
around to spread it out onto the desk. "As you can see, detective,
there's really not much here. A copy of her will, a few other papers that
really don't have much importance, anymore, and..."
"What's that?" Jim asked
as he quickly spotted something poking out from the bottom of the file.
"It...looks like an
envelope," Douglas replied as he pulled it out so that he could further
examine it. "Oh, yes! I remember this, now. Gee, I'd
forgotten all about this."
"Mr. Davis, what is
it?" Jim eyed him curiously.
"Well, a few years ago,
Annabelle gave me this envelope with explicit instructions in the event of her
death," he explained. "She never told me what was inside and I
never felt it was my place to ask. I just filed it away and I guess that I
"Well, Mrs. Lake is dead,
now," Jim reminded. "It's time to open that envelope. I'd
really like to know what's inside."
"Oh, I couldn't do
that." Douglas shook his head. "She gave this to me with
the utmost confidence that I would do as she'd asked."
"Mr. Davis, you don't
understand how important this is. My entire investigation could hinge on
what's inside that envelope."
"I'm very sorry about
that," Douglas sighed, "but I'm bound by a code of ethics. I
cannot betray a client's trust even after death. Annabelle put her trust
in me and I have to honor her final wish. This envelope can only be opened
by one person---the person whose name is on it."
Jim grumbled slightly as he tried to
figure out a way to convince Douglas to reveal the mysterious envelope's
contents. "And who might that be, Mr. Davis?"
"Her daughter," Douglas
replied matter-of-factly. "Who else?"