Nathan stopped at a specialty coffee shop and bought two coffee and handed one across to Emma. “How do you want to play this Harrison angle?”
“It depends on how he responds, whether he knows anything, or has Marks notes.”
They sat a few minutes and then Nathan drove to his address. “Ah, here we are.”
They walked toward the house, and Nathan dropped his head and said, “You notice someone was looking out the window?”
Smiling serenely up at Nathan Emma nodded, “Yes. Anxious?”
“Certainly makes me wonder what he knows.” The hair on Nathan’s arms was standing up. “There’s something here, alright.”
“I have that squiggly silver shiver that runs through my body when something is ‘off’,”Emma admitted.
At their knock, the door opened and a sketchy looking man slightly shorter than Nathan but exceedingly thin stood before them.
“Mr. Harrison, I’m Emma Banks and this is Nathan.”
“Sandra mentioned you might drop by. Come in. I haven’t got a lotta time ’cause I have an appointment.”
Emma sat beside Nathan on the sofa and explained as she had done with Ms. Fraser then asked what he thought about Mr. Marks demise and whether they’d discussed the particulars together.
His immediate response was denial, but the way he avoided eye contact and the constant manner in which he fidgeted and moved had her wondering. “Mr. Harrison, Mr. Wannabaker and I are equally concerned regarding Mr. Mark’s untimely death. Mr. Wannabaker mentioned that some of Mr. Marks notes were missing. Did he leave them with you by chance?”
“Look, I really don’t want to get into any of this. If I give you his notes will you walk away, leave me alone, and never come back? Never mention me in your article?”
“Certainly if that is your wish. I have to ask, Mr. Harrison, what is making you so nervous?”
“Rob and I were friends since grade school. We talked about every damn thing. We were closer than brothers. He told me he thought he’d been followed a couple of times, and his real concern was Sandra. At first, I thought he was paranoid. Even though I couldn’t figure out how this unfortunate woman’s death could possibly carry that much weight and concern.”
“After that, he started to dig. The more he worked on the information, connections he was making, the weirder he got. Then a day before the accident, he dropped by unexpected like, asked me to keep his notes. Said if anything happened to him, watch out for Sarah. Then he was gone.”
“Far as I know, nothing happened with Sarah. I kept watching over her, making excuses to phone or drop by. Then she asked me to give her time, she couldn’t deal with me around, said I reminded her of all the good times we’de shared together. So I stopped going, stopped calling even.”
“Then I realized why Robert was scared. He wasn’t paranoid, he wasn’t freaking out. Someone started following me and someone broke in my place. I hid Robert’s notes and they wouldn’t find them. Ever. So I’m kinda relieved to pass them off. I didn’t know whether to take them to his boss or what to do. You are welcome to them.” With that, he rose from his chair and disappeared.
“That certainly explains the nerves,” Emma whispered.
“The real question is how would anyone know Marks had handed anything of importance over to Harrison. That’s the question.” Nathan rubbed his chin thoughtfully.
Within moments Mr. Harrison had returned. “Here, this is what he left with me. Take them and please don’t come back, don’t mention me, don’t call, I’m out. I have a woman I’m serious about and as long as this is hanging over me, could possibly harm her, I can’t move on.”
“I’m sorry about Robert, truly. I never expected any of this fall-out. I’m not equipped to ask the right questions of the right people. Maybe you can.”
Emma thanked him and rose to leave. Nathan handed his card across under the guise of shaking hands and at Mr. Harrison’s surprised look, winked and walked away whispering quietly, “Call. Use a work phone.”