Probation Officer #204: Endgames 13

“Are you sure?” I thought Ana’s father was in Samoa, staying out of the US if not out of trouble. “Have you seen him?”

Ana had expected more sensation and less skepticism. “No, not seen him. He called me yesterday.” 

“So where did he say he was?”

“He didn’t. But calls from Samoa, they’ve got a sound to them. Like you’re talking through an old-fashioned telephone. Like echoes inside a box. You know what I mean.” 

“All right.” I wasn’t convinced. They could have just got a good line. It happens. “What did he say?”

“He said I’d be all right. He said you’d be all right too.”

“Me? How come he’s even heard of me?”

“I don’t know. It’s the first time I’ve talked to him in ages. I’ve never mentioned you. But he knew quite a lot of what I’d been up to. And he knew you’ve been looking out for me.” 

“Um. Um. All right.” I suppose I was relieved. Being noticed by organised crime is alarming. But it’s nice when they don’t want to kill you. I’d rather be in my shoes, just then, than Curnow’s. 

While I was thinking about that Ana said, “I’ll see you at the Longshoreman. I’ve got lots more news, but I’ve got to get to work now.” 

“Ana.”

“Yes?”

“You’ve got client confidentiality. I can keep most things you tell me to myself. But …” I thought about what I could tell her about Curnow. There was nothing. “But if something you tell me is likely to be relevant to an investigation, I’m not allowed to keep that from the cops. There’s a limit. I’ll push that limit as far as I can in your favour, but remember there is a limit.” 

Ana held her wrists out. “I have the right to remain silent, but anything I say may be taken down and held in evidence.” 

I looked at her, head tilted. “Knickers.” It was traditional.

Ana said, “‘And, true to his word, he knelt and removed the flimsy evidence.'” 

I gave her eyebrow activity. “Just so.” I didn’t recognise her quote. At the time I thought that it was odd: I didn’t remember there being a policeman in Are You Being Served. “I won’t say that I heard anything about your tama from you. But I’m going to have to mention it, even if I just say it’s just some rumour. I’m sorry.”

“No, it doesn’t matter. I don’t know where he is. And they’ve never found him if he didn’t want to be found.”

 “Mmmmf. Now, vamoose. I’ve got a client. See you this evening.”

“Knickers. You pervert.” And she was gone.

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