(For “Secret Agent Man” … Part 1 scroll down or use the search box on the right of this page.)
He had opened his account at the bank just yesterday. It had been a busy time since then. He had located the flat shared by Amanda Fallin and Dorthea Farmer. He’d checked with neighbors, posing as a gas utilities repairman, and gotten bits and pieces of information that might or might not prove useful. Little things like Miss Farmer going to church on a very regular basis, Miss Fallin’s fear of dogs, the fact that they ate lunch together at the local cafe, The Linden, each Saturday, and similar items of interest. Neighbors do so like to talk, and he was a good listener.
“Certainly, Mr. Drake. I can help you with that,” Miss Fallin smiled. He handed her the deposit slip and some cash. “Oh, I see you’ve only just opened your account with us.”
“Yes,” he smiled back. “New in Montreal. I’ve only arrived two days ago.”
As she was arranging numbers on a balance sheet the girl asked pleasantly, “Where did you move from, if you don’t mind my asking?”
“Nigeria,” and he watched for a reaction.
“Really? Such an exotic place. I’d think it must be very interesting living in such a place. Montreal is all I’ve ever known.” Oh, she was good, very good. There hadn’t been so much as a blink. Most importantly her pupils, impossible for almost anyone to control, didn’t widen as they normally would. Yes, she was very good.
“Can you recommend a good restaurant?”
“Yes. You might like The Linden. It’s rather small and perhaps not so well-known but the food and service are very good,” and she handed him his deposit receipt. “Would you like for me to write down the address for you?”
“I’d be obliged.”
As he left the bank he wondered at the girls lack of reaction to his mention of Nigeria. Her eyes never changed. There was something, something. She was good at hiding reactions. Perhaps. To be that good would require much practice. At her age, she couldn’t be more than 22 or 23, it was odd for her to be so adept at controlling emotion and the show of it.
The next day was Saturday. If they were true to form the two girls would be together and at The Linden for lunch at about eleven. He would need to act then, separate the two without Miss Fallin seeing him. She might be suspicious of him, seeing him at the restaurant, after his having mentioned Nigeria. After having spirited Miss Farmer away he would confront Fallin, with Canadian agents nearby. Things were going well. A little extra caution now and this should prove to be one of his simpler jobs.
The two girls were seated at their regular table. Drake was in a booth towards the back, his back to them, watching them, watching their reflections in the window to his right.
“Ready to order, sir?” The waitress asked pleasantly.
“Yes, please,” he pointed to the menu, “This special sounds good. With hot tea please.”
“Either. Oh, and could you tell me, is there a public phone here in the restaurant?” He already knew there was. Knowing ahead of time was a part of caution. But now, right now, no one needed to suspect him of anything other than hunger.
“Yes sir, its to the rear of the building, there,” and she pointed with her pencil as she continued, “Your order will be ready in about 15 minutes. Is there anything else I can do for you now?”
“No, I’ll be fine, thank you. I’ll make a short phone call while waiting.”
At the back, at the phone, he placed his money in the slot and called the restaurant. The phone rang twice and the waitress that had just taken his order answered. She was less than ten feet away, around the corner and just outside the kitchen door at the far end of the counter. Changing his voice he said, “Would you check and see if Dorthea, Dorthea Farmer, is there? A friend told me she eats lunch at your place on Saturday and I really need to talk to her.”
A moment later he could hear the waitress calling out, “Phone call for Dorthea Farmer.”
End of Part 2