“Shades of Justice” Chapter Thirty-three

Both Kathy and Jack sat silently on the five-minute drive back to their McLean house. Kathy could tell Jack was thinking deeply about their legal and financial management problems. Getting out of the car he said, “Kathy, I think I have a financial approach worked out. Let’s sit on the deck. I want you to hear me out.”

“Good. But get me a cup of tea first. I need to wind down after our lawyer scene.”

Mrs. Minh came out on the deck to see if they wanted anything. The tea with homemade scones arrived and Jack began to lay out his plan. “With what we want Lee Jensen to do for us in the legal field, it is too much to expect him to manage our finances as well. My approach is a simple one, recognizing our strengths and weaknesses. Neither one of us is a financial wizard. Nearly any reliable broker will do a better job than we could do. You know I don’t want to spend hours pouring over investments and I believe that also goes for you.”

“I hate bookkeeping and have never had any training in finances. It is a skill I respect but do not have. Carolina girls aren’t known for being financial wonks.”

“Now we have confessed to our collective financial weaknesses, here’s my idea. We divide our stocks and bonds in half and select two reliable financial firms to manage them. If one should fail we still have enough wealth in the second one to survive. We keep five million in cash concealed in the cabin. Only you and I will know it is there. We also put cash, diamonds, and gold in safety deposit boxes in five or six different parts of the country under the name of a few holding companies not linked to the Brandon name. The cash and investments outside the U.S. we consolidate in Switzerland and the Caymans.

“I want to set up a trust fund for charitable work and to give some kids who can’t afford a university education a chance to get one. I’m talking about the chairperson of our trust fund taking on 10 new students per year. And I think the person to do that is Sally McGovern. That can be her cover job as she can also be our liaison person to Jensen’s law firm. How’s that sound?”

Kathy took a sip of tea. “Basically, we give two firms the job of managing securities and growing our capital while we manage the cash. Sounds good and simple enough. Lee will provide the accountants and tax gurus to help with the expenses. Sally’s got the credentials for the job. I hope she will agree.”

“I want to be sure we pay or over pay our taxes,” Jack added. “Anything else?”

“Yes, I want to oversee the scholarship trust. I’ll talk to Sally. If she agrees to run the charity, we can get started.”

“It’s all yours, just let me in on the good stories of success.”

Kathy checked her email on her phone and saw the Washingtons would be arriving tomorrow. She poked a musing husband and gave him the iPhone with the email on the screen.

Jack thought for another minute, then said, “I haven’t asked Howie to be our surveillance unit chief. Mostly because I don’t feel good about the idea. I don’t see why Lou Washington can’t run a local detective agency. He certainly knows the right people to hire. He can also train anyone who needs it and is skilled in audio and photo surveillance techniques. Lou and Storm could share an office town house. We need Storm to set up and manage an analytical unit. I think they might like the idea of having their own show. We keep 55 percent of the shares and provide the necessary capital. In return our needs are always their number one priority. When our run comes to an end, they will have their retirement. Agree?”

“I like it,” Kathy approved. “Storm and Lou are not up to the hard stuff. I think they both might hesitate and think too much before reacting in the heat of the moment. Lou won’t ever fully recover from his lung wound and the trauma of the helicopter crash. And Storm, well, she’s no Kelly. It’s not in her DNA. But she is a superb analyst and office manager.”

Hoping to catch Kathy off guard, Jack blurted, “When you get with child, we can’t risk you getting hit.”

He immediately saw her getting into her attack mode and went on the offense. “Listen, woman, you are not risking our child’s mother by any special ops stuff. That’s all. You are done! It might not be fair but that’s the way it going to be. Understand?”

“Okay,” she said, cooling off quickly. “But, I’m not pregnant yet.”

“Good, because I’ll need your help in identifying and training another shooter. It’s also time we work on the reproduction miracle.”

“It seems pretty quiet around here. Maybe we should start working on the mission.”

“After lunch, I’m all yours. Mrs. Minh won’t let us miss lunch. I think it is almost ready.”

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Filed under Action thrillers, Barry Kelly, Books, Spy novels

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