DETECTIVE JIM JESSON

 

All rights reserved © DaviaNewbury.com   Ms. Detective 

Beyond This Point
      

C: I met Jim Jesson at 10 years old at the Richenbach estate. With a spy budget, I played detective most of the day when not studying. From the story, Back to Bellingham’s. Happy 4th.

I spotted Lenny walking around with a tray of wine goblets. Spotting me without one, he made his way over.

“Good afternoon, Mr. Jesson.”

“Good afternoon, Lenny. What have we here?”

“Help yourself, sir, and see if you can tell Neil what kind of wine this is.”

I took a goblet and sipped on it. “I can tell you that it’s not the Chateau Ausone that Neil had mentioned, but it’s an excellent California wine, smooth and juicy tannins.”

“Correct, De—” Lenny was going to say “detective” but quickly caught himself. “Mr. Jesson, it’s a 2009 Almaviva Puente Alto, actually. Neil would never bring out a Chateau with the guests so tipsy.”

I was hired as a detective but play acting the part of a somewhat wealthy retired physicist as I mentioned yesterday. Anyway, there was more wine in this place than water in the great lakes. Thurston Richenbach’s only son, Neil, loved to show off a new wine –

I was about to say something when Neil, at the other end of the room, called out, “I want you all to try my Duckhorn. Come, come now, taste this wonderfully vibrant Merlot.”

Rob Magnusson came up behind me and whispered, “He’s not going to make us guess what wine it is this time, is he old fellow?”

“Not at all Magnuson. Didn’t you hear him on his Duckhorn?”

While Neil was teasing his guests, I walked around to some of the other rooms in the huge estate. All these rooms had a bar and usually someone drinking at it -

I spotted Chester in the next room. Steven Chester was on the board of the Richenbach estate, and also a lecturer and author of a most boring book. He loved to talk and I planned to wind him up for the evening.

“What do you think of this rare bouquet, old boy?” Chester asked while Drogash came up from behind.

“A very good Merlot, Chester,” I responded, and turned to Drogash. “What do you say, Drogash?” So far, I had not seen any of these gentlemen without a wine goblet in their hand.

Drogash whispered some disparaging remark that I could barely make out about him meeting the admiral. It was time to escape before Lenny made his way over to refresh my goblet.

Then I remembered. “Say, Drogash, I heard you’re pretty good with the putter?” I could have sworn the small door to the cherry cabinet below opened slightly to my right. (Yes, that was me, Davia. hiding and spying.) I was tempted to step over and open it, but didn’t want to risk spilling anything.

“Why yes, I shot an eagle the other day,” he said, elbowing Magnusson.

I wasn’t mistaken about the small door of the cabinet opening. My future spy friend was in there, listening… One of my secrets to keep up with Neil’s antics was to glance at the wine cabinets to see what the staff brought up. The challenge was to figure our where his next tasting was going to be…

I wasn’t a wine connoisseur. I had a little knowledge and a very special helper. Little Davia, just ten at the time, going on thirty and an IQ twice mine, was also a clever spy. After telling her Pete picked up on her infrared glasses -

“I thought I had all the best spy stuff,” she said, a little sadly.

“Perhaps you can join our spy team, Davia, but you must keep our secrets secret for now. We’re looking for something very important to the Richenbachs.”

Davia and her new spy dog friend, Kingston, the Admirals dog, were working from morning to night. The boys were drinking early and heading for the wine cellar. With so many expensive bottles missing, I took her into my confidence and gave her a task –  

She looked around and hopped in the dumbwaiter, taking Kingston with her. I quickly walked back to the stairs leading to the wine cellar, hearing the boys singing as they walked down. Davia was a good little spy, and would let me know what mischief the boys were making.

Sometimes too clever and not completely trusting, she was on her own team too…

Maybe I’ll put a wireless camera on Kingston and call it a ‘Kingston Cam,’ or maybe I’ll make a little snake that I can put a camera on and let it squirm around.”

I had Pete scan the libraries and several rooms for cameras and listening devices -

Did you find anything on that expensive gizmo?”

“This for starters.” Pete handed me a portable self-contained camera. “Where was this one, Pete?”

“Tucked in the big clock down the hall, aimed directly at your door, Dad.”

“Well now, I guess we’re not the only spies in town.”

It was the type of sophisticated camera available at a spy store for around two hundred bucks. It was amazing how much technology was available now.

Who was spying on who? Perhaps we were dealing with a double agent?

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The story, Gold Fever, is also on audio below: As gold climbed to $900 an ounce, more and more gold commercials popped up. I never had the desire to own gold or the money to buy any, for that matter, but obviously people did. I received a call from my friend Frank Parsons one evening, asking me if I would be interested in a short-term security job C: The entire story on audio –   

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