“Two weeks ago Kotterman called me and wanted to know your whereabouts,” Drake said. “I told her I didn’t know. She said I’d better find out real quick. I didn’t tell her anything about where you were. I asked for details for her concern. All she said was that you were a part of an investigation.”
“That is never good,” Charles said.
“Unless you have information that might move the investigation further,” Drake said.
“But I don’t know anything,” Charles said.
“You may know something,” Drake said, “just a piece to a puzzle.”
“It sounds to me as if you trust Kotterman,” Charles said.
“Yes,” Drake said. “I do. If you were the focus of the investigation they would have had you by now. They would have monitored my calls and found where you were calling from.”
“So we should talk with her?” Charles said.
“Yeah,” Drake said.
“When?” Charles said.
“She’s parked next to us,” Drake said.
Charles turned and looked through the window. In the car next to him was Kotterman and a man in his thirties with black wavy hair and a square jaw. Charles motioned with his head to join them in his car. They got in the back seat.
“Hello, Wanda,” Charles said.
“Charles,” Wanda said. “It’s good to see you. This is agent Burk, Paul Burk.
Paul reached over the seat and shook Charles’ hand. “I’ve heard a lot about you, Mr. Abbot.”
“I take it you met my son already,” Charles said.
“We met yesterday,” Drake said.
“It sounds like there’s a lot more to this than what I’m aware,” Charles said.
“If we knew a lot we wouldn’t need your help,” Paul said.
“You are aware I’ve had issues with memory loss,” Charles said. “Has Drake brought you up to date?”
“I think we have a fairly accurate picture of you,” Paul said. “It must be agonizing for you.”
“It’s getting better,” Charles said. “Are you aware of my military record?”
Wanda cleared her throat. “Actually, Charles, after I directed you to Ft. Harrison I did a bit more digging on your case. Your name was cleared over twenty years. The Army tied to contact you, but Wilson Gentry seemed to disappear. The whole file laid dormant until I started snooping around.”
“I just couldn’t get you out of my mind. I knew there was something more to you than a guy alleged to kill a fellow soldier. I filed a more complete requisition and found out some interesting things about you, but none as interesting as what your son has told me.”
“Well,” Charles breathed a heavy sigh and melted into his seat said, “what are we doing together here and now? Wait give me a minute. I have a lifetime of guilt to shed.”
He rubbed his face and Drake clasp Charles arm. “You’re innocent.”
“But I had the guilt stashed somewhere in me,” Charles said, “gnawing like undiagnosed cancer.”