Cessna 75 X-Ray
"Gil," she gasped into the phone. "You'll never guess who just
walked in the door. Je-sus..."
"This is Cessna 75 X, intercom to base. 75 X, to base.
"Tell Gil we have Keith plus four. Alan Dunn and wife, Jane Rose, and
some knockout named Patti.
"We're twenty miles out. Will call back over the Outer Marker.
"Tell Gil to get the Cadillac cooling. We've got his man."
That was pilot Bob Adams. I switched off the scanner, grabbed my
leather briefcase, and began the procedures for turning off the lights
at our company headquarters at the Worcester Airport. Convenient,
having your offices at the Airport, particularly if you have a
twin-engine airplane. Long View shares its office space with the large
student travel company I started as a graduate student at Yale, and to
which I have continued to devote myself over the years.
One bank of lights went out after another. Mailroom, sales cubicles,
computer room, overseas offices, travel agency, financial offices,
acceptance division, finally Gil's office. I scooped up my gin & tonic,
locked the stainless steel double doors, and lurched out into the warm
summer night, toward the car, the arrival gate, and my night's work.
It had been a long day the day of the Keith Richards creeping
No, Keith could not possibly make it at two. He had a
appointment at two. Keith was late for his dentist's appointment. No,
leave for the airport directly from the dentist's;
he had to visit a friend first, on the way out of the city. What
friend, or for what purpose, unknown. It was now suppertime. Keith was
still at the friend's house, expecting to leave soon for Teterboro, but
hadn't left yet. Keith finally leaves for Teterboro, it's thought. No
one knows for sure. Gil calls Teterboro; no Keith, although the
plane's there and waiting. Gil calls Teterboro a half-hour later; still
no Keith. Gil calls Teterboro a half-hour later still; now 8:30 PM, or
"Charlotte. I'm glad it's you this time. It's Gil Markle. Listen, I've
got some high-level clients meeting 75 X-Ray, any minute now. I'm
calling to see if anybody's showed up yet."
"Who this time, Gil?"
"Never mind, Charlotte, it doesn't matter. Should be a group of four or
five, some English. Seen anybody like that, Charlotte?
You there, Charlotte?"
I heard a loud noise, as though Charlotte had dropped the receiver onto
the floor. Commotion. Charlotte's voice, high pitched and squeaking.
"Gil," she gasped into the phone. "You'll never guess who just walked
in the door. Je-sus..."
"It's not Keith Richards by any chance, is it Charlotte?"
"Gil," she said with determination, "I hate you."
That's when I first knew we had our man. Also, that's when I first
knew, or felt, that my meditation was projecting itself out into the
world in conformity with the manifest wishes of others, and hence the
Grand Design; I mean, that the Rolling Stones
coming to Long
View Farm. I looked at the clock, switched on the aircraft scanner, and
went down to the bar for a gin & tonic.
I had now only another hour or so to wait.