Swimming to Catalina

Swimming to Catalina by Stuart Woods

Book: Swimming to Catalina by Stuart Woods Read Free Book Online
Authors: Stuart Woods
Tags: thriller, Suspense, Mystery
up in subtle ways, but Inever knew of any hard connection between him and anybody who was mobbed up. I’d say he’s at the pinnacle of respectability now, or the mayor wouldn’t be seen with him. The mayor’s a squeaky-clean guy.”
    “I’ll tell you what I know: Sturmack’s old man was with Meyer Lansky way back when. Young David grew up amongst the boys, knew them all, apparently.”
    Grant smiled. “No kidding? The family business, huh? Now you mention it, I seem to remember a rumor of a connection between Sturmack and the Teamsters pension fund, which bankrolled half the construction in Vegas when the boys were in charge.”
    “Sounds right.”
    “But I can’t think why Sturmack would have somebody’s wife disappeared; even if the rumors are true, that wouldn’t be his style, not at all.”
    “Time to tell me if you’re in, Rick.”
    Grant smiled. “Sure, I’m in; what’s more, I’m intrigued. What do you want me to do?”
    “Can you get the lady’s car on the patrol sheet without listing it as stolen?”
    “Probably.”
    “It’s a new white Mercedes SL600, California vanity plate, A-R-I-N-G-T-N.” He spelled it, and Grant wrote it down. “The lady’s name is Arrington Carter Calder; it’ll be registered either to her or her husband, I guess.”
    “Maybe not; a lot of these people drive cars registered to their production companies. Why don’t you want it listed as stolen?”
    “I don’t want it pulled over; I just want to know where it is, if it’s anywhere, and I’d like a description of whoever’s driving it.”
    “Okay, I’ll specify position reports and descriptions only, and directly to me.”

    They ordered coffee, and Stone asked for a check. “There’s another name; see if it rings a bell.”
    “Who’s that?”
    “Onofrio Ippolito.”
    Grant laughed. “Jesus, Stone, you’re really in high cotton here, you know?”
    “Am I?”
    “Ippolito is the CEO of the Safe Harbor Bank.”
    “Big outfit?”
    “Dozens of branches, all over, ads on television, lots of charity sponsorship, the works.”
    “No mob connections?”
    Grant shook his head. “Ippolito is the mayor’s personal banker.”
    “Yeah? Well, I saw him at Grimaldi’s with some guys who didn’t look like branch managers.”
    Rick Grant sat like stone, his face without expression.
    “Rick?”
    Grant moved. “Huh?”
    “You still in?”
    Grant shrugged. “What the hell.”

Chapter 17
    W hile they waited for the valet to bring their cars, Stone pressed five hundred-dollar bills into Rick Grant’s hand. “It’s all I’ve got on me at the moment.”
    Grant pocketed the money without looking at it. “Arrington’s car will be on the patrol list in an hour; how do I get in touch with you?”
    Stone gave him a business card, writing the portable number on the back. “Is it safe for me to call you at the office?”
    “As long as you’re careful. If I say I can’t talk, call back in an hour, or leave a message, and I’ll call you back. Use the name Jack Smith.” Grant’s car arrived, and he got in and drove away.
    After the payment to Grant, Stone was low on cash. “Where’s the nearest bank?” he asked the valet.
    “Right across the street,” the man said.
    Stone looked up and saw a lighthouse painted on the window. “Safe Harbor Bank,” the sign read. Hetook his Centurion paycheck from his pocket and looked at it; it was drawn on Safe Harbor.
    “Hold my car for a few minutes, will you?” he asked.
    “Sure.”
    Dodging traffic, Stone walked across the street and entered the bank. There was another lighthouse high on a wall, and a nautical motif. A large ship’s clock behind the tellers chimed the hour. He walked to a teller’s window and presented the check. “I’d like to cash this, please.”
    The teller looked at the check and handed it back to him. “For a check of this size you’ll have to get Mr. Marshall’s approval,” she said, pointing to an office behind a row of desks.

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