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Click – Chapter 7


Leon glared at Alfredo and growled, “We only know of the two robberies that he did and we found the jewels from one of them. What more is there?”

Alfredo shook his head. “It could be just about anything and this could have been taking place all along. One thing my father did preach about was to always have a backup plan. And always put something back in case you need it later. Barrett knew the jewels he ripped off couldn’t be touched for years without him being caught. Just like the bank money. And God only knows whatever else he did in his life.”

Shaking his head, Leon asked, “Did he still have any of the money from the Ponzi scheme left?”

“I know for a fact he never had money to feed his family when we were growing up,” Delaney assured them. “We never had a lot of food in the house and it was worse when he went to prison for one dumb thing or another.”

Alfredo looked over at Leon. “And the jewels we found earlier could be something my father left for him to find.”

“Why do you say that?” Calderone asked.

Alfredo shrugged. “Because it seems like something dad would do, more so than something Barrett would do. If he began banking for his future, I don’t think he would have left it here in the house. He couldn’t be sure the house would still be his after I died. The old well I think would be his bank. It was out of the way and no one knew about it. He could come and go whenever he liked and no one would even know he was here.”

 “Would he have told the boys about his little banking system?” Leon wanted to know.

Delaney snorted. “Oh, I doubt that. If they knew about it, they would have taken what my dad already stole. Those boys could go through money like it was water.”

Zeus nodded. “But they might have had their own banks.”

“What do you mean?” Leon frowned.

“Vincent sold his own daughter for 700k just before he tried to take this place,” Zeus reminded them. “He’s in the custody of the US Marshals at the moment but after he got the money, no one has seen it since then. Not his men, not the cops. So what happened to that money?”

“That is a very good question, isn’t it?” Leon looked thoughtful as these facts built up.

Zeus scoffed while looking disgusted. “We’ve been dealing with Vincent for a while now. He hated the fact that we bought this place, he always claimed it belonged to his family. He’s been trying to run us off for years but recently, it got bad enough that he tried to kill us.”

Grave Digger nodded. “He sent in a mole and she did some serious damage to our brotherhood. Zeus has a four year old daughter. Sam killed Angel’s mother and rendered her mute for almost three years. Marty put a stop to that. You see, Sam also had a daughter with Vincent named Lily and she was forced to do his bidding because he used that against her. Then after Sam died, Marty got custody of Lily after Vincent told her he wanted a payoff for his own daughter. We didn’t know it at the time but Marty and Sam had money…big money and Marty gave Vincent the 700K he demanded. After that, the money was just gone. Vincent faked his own death and came after us. We thought the nightmare was over and then we found out differently.”

“And that was when you called me into this mess,” Leon stated.

Zeus nodded. “We found some paperwork that told us about the gold and who the gold belonged to.” Shaking his head he said, “We sure as hell didn’t want the gold but we also didn’t want the fight we had a feeling that was coming so yeah, we called you in to come and get it.”

“And it has snowballed from there,” Grave Digger commented.

“Indeed it has snowballed,” Leon agreed. Rubbing his hands over his face, he wearily added. “And each and every day, something new comes up. It’s a mess and doesn’t seem to be getting any better.”

“Could it be that if Barrett was using the well as his private bank, could the boys be using somewhere else as theirs?” Delaney asked.

“Like where?” Grave Digger asked.

“The house and property already showed us that there were many places to hide shit. I mean it has more hidden rooms and tunnels than it had actual rooms and hallways.”

Alfredo sat there thinking for a moment then he looked over at Zeus and Leon, “She could have something there.”

“What are you talking about, old man?” Zeus grumbled.

Alfredo shook his head. “My father taught my son to hide something in plain sight. A very useful little trick, no? That was something Barrett liked to do with his own sons. What if those same sons used those same tricks to hide their retirement money? Maybe they planned all along to drive you folks off this place anyway. I know now that Vincent was ready to push you guys out and take this house back. That was what he was trying to do by using this Sam woman. I have a feeling Barrett and the other two boys told him to have it done before Barrett got out of prison. That was why he kept coming with the intent to flush you boys out in the first place. Barrett would have expected it to be done by now. That would have given them time to find everything my dad left behind and get their hidden bounty as well.”

“Yeah and we all know how dad takes disappointment don’t we?” Delaney growled.

“Do you really think your brothers would have used this place as their bank as well?” Leon asked.

Delaney shrugged. “I don’t really know, do I? My brothers stopped talking to me a number of years ago and this is something they wouldn’t tell me anyway. They always thought I didn’t matter because that’s the way my dad treated me, like I didn’t matter. But they would have trusted me about as much as Dad trusted them. Which is not at all.”

Leon sighed hard and said, “Let’s take another look at the map and see if we can figure out where your brothers would have hidden their treasure in plain sight.”

Delaney gasped a little, as she suddenly looked startled.

 “What is it honey?” Alfredo asked her.

“They had to pick something that would never be destroyed or thrown out right?” she whispered.

Alfredo cocked his head at her. “What are you saying?”

“What about the stills?” She pondered as she bit at her lip. “They wouldn’t have even been discovered if these guys hadn’t found the tunnels. We only knew about them because we know the history of this place and this family.”

Leon paused to think about this for a moment then reminded her, “But your dad blew up the still room when he set off that charge, didn’t he?”

“Maybe but no one looked at the wreckage did they?” She looked a bit excited as she laid it out for them. “Maybe the still was Vincent’s bank? Maybe he put the money he got from Marty in there, thinking it would still be there when he got out of jail?”

Leon called his security team and had a couple of his men check out the still room…to check out the stills themselves specifically.

They all waited for some word from Leon’s team.

The men who’d been sent after Barrett reported that they thought he had found a way out and was no longer there. Leon growled and told them to search again. He had to be there somewhere. He couldn’t just disappear.

Captain grabbed the map they had when they bought the place from Alfredo. Then he followed the tunnels that Zeus had drawn on the map. He then looked over at Delaney and asked, “Do you remember how you survived that blast that blew up the tunnel you were in?”

Delaney nodded her head slowly. “Yeah, I found an opening that led to another room altogether, why? What does that have to do with this?”

Captain paused as if he were trying to remember the event. “You said something about finding an entire other room behind the tunnel.”

Delaney nodded. “Yeah, there was another room behind me. The blast threw me away from the tunnel and that’s how I survived when two of those other men didn’t.”

“What are you suggesting?” Zeus stared at his Lieutenant.

“We might be sitting on top of a labyrinth of tunnels and hidden rooms just below our feet. We all saw Barrett enter one tunnel near the still room then the next thing we knew, we found a heat signature under this room and now they can’t find him? What the hell does that tell you?”

Alfredo nodded. “He could be right. My father loved mazes and this would be something he would do. Barrett and Carlos spent many hours listening to his wild stories from the moment they were ten years old, he used to sit and talk to them. I was busy trying to earn a legal living and was just happy my dad wanted to spend time with the boys.” He shook his head. “Now I see I was in the wrong about that.”

Leon paused and thought for a moment then he looked distracted for a moment. “Your father was a devious man. Lasciando solo trucchi e qualche briciola da seguire.” Then he turned to Zeus and asked, “You have the tunnels all blocked on this end, correct?”

“All the ones we found so far, but who knows if there are any more,” Zeus replied in a disgusted tone.

“Lasciando solo trucchi e qualche briciola da seguire,” Alfredo repeated what Leon had just said. He then got up and walked away rather rapidly while using his cane.

Delaney and the men watched him.

“What is that all about?” Grave Digger asked.

Delaney shook her head. “I don’t know.” She glanced at Leon. He just repeated what you said about Alfonzo, ‘Leaving only tricks and a few crumbs for people to follow.”

Leon shook his head and looked frustrated as he picked up his cell to check in with the teams who were searching the still area.

Alfredo returned with the book they found his father left under the hearth of the old fireplace. He sat down and opened it looking over each and every page to see if there was any mention of a map of any sort to the tunnel system below and around the house. “I am following the crumbs,” he muttered.

Delaney leaned over closer to look at it as well. After a few minutes, she spoke, “Wait a minute grandpa, go back one page.”

Alfredo turned back to the page before. He didn’t see anything. Gazing up at her, asked, “What is it? What do you see that I don’t?”

“I’m not sure.” She took the book from his hands and moved from one page to the next. Then her eyes widened and she looked up at her grandfather. She smoothed the page with her fingers carefully then pointed at the top corner of it.

Alfredo furrowed his brows and looked confused as he watched her actions.

Lifting the page, she laid it against the page before and pointed to the upper corner. Raising the book up to the light, she studied the overlaid corners and then everything came into view. The marks on the top corner were pointing out one of the tunnels under the building.

Click moved over to stand behind her chair and he peered at it. Studying one page then the next, he exclaimed, “No fucking way.”

Leon, Calderone, and Zeus all got up to lean in as Click moved to the side. Gravedigger and Captain tried to raise up from their seats to see the book

Delaney finished flipping through the pages and when she got to the end of the book, she opened the last page. Pausing, she stated, “Something seems off. The back page feels thicker than it should be.” She bent the back cover page.

 “Yeah, there’s a thin line along the binding,” Click noted.

Now they could see the edges were held together by a piece of shipping tape.

Reaching into her pocket, Delaney brought out a small knife. Carefully, she cut the clear tape along the binding. The seam popped open.

Leon and Calderone shook their heads.

“The man was devious, for sure,” Zeus mumbled.

Delaney then gently peeled the cover off of the back page. She found a piece of paper stuck inside and pulled it out very carefully. Setting the book down on the table, she opened the paper. There, she found a map of sorts.

“Sonofabitch,” Captain muttered.

“Fucking genius,” Click said in awe.

Grave Digger chuckled.

Leon scowled at him.

Delaney let out a breath as she laid the map on the table and smoothed it out, so everyone could see it. She studied the map in detail. Then she gazed up at Leon and Calderone, “Here gentlemen, is your tunnel map and yes, the tunnels are all connected.” Getting up from her seat, she moved to the side.

Zeus, Leon, and the others all stepped forward to look at the map.

Delaney to a step or two over to where Alfredo sat and put her hands on his bowed shoulders. Looking down at the man who raised her, she whispered, “I’m sorry, grandpa.”

Alfredo reached up and patted her hand. “Don’t be sorry, miele. Your smarts have been used to outsmart the wiley fox that was my father. I’m proud of you. It’s finally all out in the open, as it should be. He dragged my sons into his delusions and they will be caught up in his disaster. Barrett made his bed and now he must lay in it.”


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