The Sentinel

The Sentinel by Gerald Petievich

Book: The Sentinel by Gerald Petievich Read Free Book Online
Authors: Gerald Petievich
powdered graphite. A vacuum frame makes the graphite stick to any indentations that are on the paper. The criminalists think that this piece of paper was in a stack of similar paper when someone wrote on it using a ballpoint pen, leaving an indentation."
    Breckinridge had heard of the EDSA process, but had never seen it demonstrated. For the first time since being assigned the case, Breckinridge felt energized.
    "Seven digits - a phone number. Too bad there is no area code."
    Later, Breckinridge and Kallenstien were at Breckinridge's desk. Breckinridge typed the password DUSTY on her keyboard and waited for a clear screen.
    "Dusty?" Kallenstien asked.
    Breckinridge tapped the phone number onto her computer keyboard.
    "My father gave me the nickname. My mother hated it."

Breckinridge's father had been an oil-rig worker who spent many months away from home each year. She had been a Daddy's girl, and had written him every day when he was away from home on the job.
    The display screen flashed the message NOT IN FILE.
    "Goddamn it."
    "Let's try the number using the dialing codes around Washington, D.C.," Kallenstien said.
    "Good idea."
    Breckinridge dialed the first number. It was not in service. She dialed the second number. A woman answered in the Spanish language.
    "You speak Spanish?"
    Kallenstien said she did, and Breckinridge handed her the receiver. Kallenstien held a short conversation in Spanish, then dropped the receiver onto the cradle.
    "That was the sister of a retired postal worker. She doesn't know anything about her phone number being on a threat letter. She's been in the country for two years and she cleans houses for a living. She doesn't know anyone in the Aryan Disciples. She sounds legit."
    Breckinridge and Kallenstien used computers to verify that the person to whom the telephone was registered had no criminal record, and to query telephone company security representatives in other telephone dialing codes across the country to obtain the registered users of the telephone number in question. Of the eighty numbers they came up with, more than half were no longer in service. Of those remaining, many were registered to phone booths and business addresses. As for the few that were registered to private persons, only a few of the persons had criminal records. One was a child molester, and the other was a man who had a juvenile record for car theft. Finally, Breckinridge stood and walked to the water cooler. Kallenstien followed. They sipped water for a minute or so.
    "So the phone number is like a dead lead."
    "Something else will come up," Kallenstien said. "Anyone could have written down a number on some piece of paper that was later used for the threat letter.
    Don't let it get you down."
    "The lady the number registers to. Would you interview her in person? Maybe there will be something."
    "Sure."
    "We don't have much else to go on."
    "Martha, you look like you could use a drink."
    Breckinridge nodded agreement. It had been a long day.
    As they were leaving the office, Kallenstien mentioned the subject of the lie-detector tests that were being given to every agent on the White House Detail. Breckinridge didn't let on that she knew their real purpose.
    "The operator said it was a routine security investigation, but I don't buy it," said Rachel. "The questions didn't jibe. I think they are trying to camouflage an internal investigation. There is no other reason for putting everyone on the box like that."
    "Rach, you're a very observant person."
    "Sounds like you may know something I don't."
    "All I can tell you at this point is that it is a high-power investigation."
    "You little tease."
    "I've been ordered not to talk about what I know. But ... thanks for the help on this Aryan Disciples case.
    "The ADs?" Kallenstien asked.
    Breckinridge nodded.
    "If it's an internal investigation, that could mean that someone in the Service may be suspected of having some connection with the ADs."
    Breckinridge

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