Jack slowed and glided to the curb, just down the street from Richfield’s house in Vienna. Kathy had briefed Jack on the inside layout. The house lights were on, and they could see someone moving around inside. Kathy said, “I was wrong. I expected the house to be empty and Richfield gone. You thought he was innocent and it looks that way now.”
Jack knocked on the door and when a man meeting Richfield’s description opened the door, Jack asked him if he was Sam Richfield. When he said yes, Jack showed him his badge and asked if they could come in. He and his partner had a few questions.
Richfield looked carefully at the badge and said, “I’ve never been to Pittsburgh.”
Jack said, “We know. You are not a suspect of any kind, but we believe you can help us. May we come in?”
Sam said, “Okay, but I don’t have much time. I’m expected back at the office. My boss called.”
Kathy said, “We only need a few minutes. We won’t keep Frank waiting.”
Sam looked startled and said, “What’s going on here? Who are you people with the Pittsburgh police badges? You should leave now!”
Jack said, “We’ll leave when we’re ready, and we may take you with us. So settle down, and let us tell you a story that may save your life and your father’s.”
“Okay! You have my attention.”
Kathy handed Richfield the alias driver’s license she took from the hiding place in his cellar and asked, “Is this yours?”
“My picture is on it. I assume you know where I work.”
Kathy said, “We know more than where you work. Where did you keep this document?”
When Sam didn’t say anything, Jack said, “We’re not recording any of this. There will be no notes and no reports. Now please answer.”
“I don’t see any harm in answering that question. Documents are kept in the office. I check them out when I have approval to use them.”
Kathy said, “Is that your answer?”
“Please look at these pictures.”
She passed all the photos taken earlier in his cellar across the table. Richfield’s expression was real. The wide eyes, breath catching and face color couldn’t be faked so convincingly.
Jack said, “What do you have to say? Please be careful.”
“I can’t believe this. I’m not permitted to keep these things. Someone must have planted them.”
Kathy said, “Now we’re getting someplace. We happen to agree with you. Do you recognize the hiding place?”
“Yes, I made it to hold things I sometimes had to keep overnight.”
“Did anyone know about your safe place?”
“Of course. Those places have to be on the record in case something happened to me.”
“Who knew besides Frank?”
“Maybe Alice, his assistant.”
Jack asked, “Why would these documents be in your cellar?”
“Honest, I’ve no idea.”
“When are you expected in the office?”
“I should have been there 15 minutes ago.”
Jack looked at Kathy who took the cue and went to the front window to watch the street.
Richfield asked, “What is she doing?”
“Unless we’re very wrong, some bad people will be coming to see you very soon. Do you have a weapon and know how to use it?”
“Yes, but …”
“No buts. Just go and get it. Make sure it’s ready to use.”
“You’re letting me go get a loaded weapon?”
“Yes. You’re not a prisoner. You may not know it yet, but without us, you’ll never see the sunrise tomorrow. Also, if there’s trouble, another shooter is always a good thing. You’ve got one minute to grab your weapon and whatever else you want. Don’t worry about clothes. Dump your cell phone. Now go!”
Jack moved up beside Kathy who was studying the street in front of the house. Jack said, “If anyone comes, they’ll park right in front and come in fast. They’ll either kill him right here or take him away to a remote place, ask him a couple of questions and then kill him.
“I’ll stay here. Go to the back door. Check and see if the back way is clear. We’re going out the back, behind a few houses to our car and then home. I’ve put the Minhs on alert. With them, the Vietnamese gardeners, and Kelly on guard, they should be okay. Frank won’t want a shootout in McLean.”
Sam Richfield came back with a 9mm Browning and a small bag. Jack grabbed the bag and said, “Let’s go out the back door. You lead. Go right behind your neighbors’ houses and right again to the street. Head for the black Cadillac SRX. Don’t stop. Don’t shoot unless I say so, or you see someone drawing down on us. Go!”
The way was clear to the car. Kathy slid behind the wheel and was getting ready to start up when a black Chevrolet Suburban braked hard in front of Richfield’s house. They all ducked down to watch. Three men burst out of the car, up the steps and smashed through the door. When they were all inside, Jack said, “Okay, Kathy, let’s go. Sam, did you see anything subtle about that? I don’t think you called for that ride.”
Sam said, “Holy shit! What’s going on?”
Kathy said, “Sam, that was your execution squad coming for you. They’ll place incriminating evidence in your hiding place and make sure someone finds it after you’re dead. They must have been sure you were there, otherwise they would not have broken the door down. Leaving evidence like that is not good.”
Jack said, “Here’s the quick version. We’ve been helping Frank for the past few years. I discovered there was a mole when I was trailing the two snipers in the mountains between Frederick and Hagerstown. I captured one of the sniper’s cell phone. When I checked it, I noticed a voicemail message. I played the message and heard someone warning the head sniper that a man with a tracking dog was after them. Frank and I worked up a trap message telling the snipers the tracking dog broke a leg and the man turned back. Frank said he made the test message available to a limited number of his senior staff.
“He brought Kathy in to find the mole. She was told to conduct an investigation, but very discreetly. He then gave her information steering her to you. You were to be the mole.
“Kathy found your cache of documents and showed photos to Frank, who confiscated her cell phone and transferred her assigned assistant to Afghanistan on short notice. Instead of immediately taking you into custody for interrogation, he did nothing. Later he met with us and sketched out a plan for using you to capture the ringleader of the sniper terrorists. My small team would be totally committed in the take-down. We believe Frank intended for the snipers and their leader, a man referred to as the Professor, to kill all of us in an ambush. Frank also said your father was close to the Professor, when they both were going to Princeton, and must be involved with his son, the mole. With all of us dead, Frank’s position would be protected. How’s that for a story?”
“Unbelievable, but you made me a believer. When you told me to go get my weapon, I opened my mind. The sight of those three hoods smashing into my house removed all doubt. Thank you both for saving my life. What do we do now?”
“We take you to our house for the night. I’ll ask our attorney, as an officer of the court, to take our statements including the photos and records as affidavits. I’m not sure we want to go the legal route, but I want the option.
“Tonight, we call Frank and demand a meeting on our ground. We tell him to come alone, we want to go over our options. We have no desire to bring any charges against him. Our aim is to work out a win-win solution.”
Later that night, lying in Jack’s arms, Kathy said, “Did you notice Sam looking at Kelly? He did everything he could to get close to her.”
“I noticed she wasn’t running away. Romances can start anywhere. From what I see, I like Sam Richfield, but I feel like Kelly is our daughter. Maybe nobody is good enough for her.
“Another subject. Frank is the only person who knows my father was once a KGB officer and never became a US citizen. He will use it to make us back off. I would like to find and destroy that information. Our estate just went over the one billion mark. In some circumstances, the government could take all of it.”
“The money doesn’t worry me. Jack, have you ever counted up the laws we have broken? Never mind we were on the side of the angels, the law and order Mafia would lock us up in a heartbeat. No one would come to our rescue.”
Jack said, “It’s clear. Frank goes down or we do. I swear Frank will not continue his life of deception and death. He played us, big time. Now it’s our turn.”