The Maltese Cat is officially a business consultant. In actuality, he has been involved in corporate espionage for most of his career. He targets corrupt businessmen and politicians and makes a handsome living out of correcting their inequities.
“Escheatment”, Book 1 in the Maltese Cat Book Series continues with new exciting adventures. Enjoy: Chapters 1 & 2, 3 & 4, 5 & 6, 7 & 8, 9 & 10, Chapter 11, Chapters 12 & 13, 14-16, 17, 18, Chapters 19 & 20,
Chapter 21, 22 & 23, 24, 25, 26, 27-29, Chapter 30, 31-32, 33-34, 35 & 36, Chapters 37-39, 40-41, chapters 42-43, 44-45, 46-47 Chapters 48-49, 50-51, chapters 52-53, 54, 55-56,Chapters 57-59, 60-61, 62-63, 64-65, 66-68, 69-70, 71-72, 73-75.
The Governor Makes It Through
Governor Ed Foley had decided to take the high road in the matter of the Lt. Governor’s treachery. In reality, it was his Press Secretary who advised him that it would be far more prudent for the Governor to remain aloof from the scandal. It would suit the Governor’s image better. He would appear to cooperate with all authorities in their investigations. He would even condescend to support his Lt. Governor, declaring that in the face of the law all men are presumed innocent until proven guilty. If the facts revealed that his Lt. Governor was at fault in something, the legal justice system would prevail and the Governor would abide by their decision. The polls proved that this policy worked to the Governor’s advantage as his approval ratings actually has risen. The Governor was seen as an innocent who had been duped by a duplicitous conman. This unfortunate disaster was exactly what the Governor needed. He turned his thoughts to who he would name as his next Lt. Governor.
Charles Croyton had scaled back his entire life, as had all the Boys Club members. He was spending more time at the office, simply because he didn’t have the money to support his former lifestyle. He now drove a company Buick instead of his fancy sports car. That car, along with all the playthings such as his Kawasaki Ninja and his dune buggy, as well as his regular, expensive wine tasting and spa outings in Napa County, were all a thing of the past. His father noticed that he was spending more time at work and took this as a sign that his son had finally matured. He was pleased that his son was becoming more sensible. It allayed his fears and worries for the continuing future of the bank’s leadership. It had always been Croyton, Sr.’s wish that his son continue the family dynasty in leading the bank. Now he could consider retirement. He would begin the process of grooming his son. In a few years, he could leave the bank’s direction in the capable hands of Charles, Jr.
Charles had other worries, however. His credit cards were not functioning. His bank account all were continuously being reduced to zero, although he made no transactions. He knew that the Boys Club was being targeted but he felt helpless under the attack. He had the bank’s computer experts look into his checking account problems, without revealing anything to his father. None of the personnel in the computer department could detect anything out of the ordinary. They said that his accounts and his credit cards were all in order. Still, on random days, he saw that he had no money in his accounts and his credit cards still were not accepted anywhere. He instructed the payroll department to cut him a monthly cheque, which he took to the cashier in the bank. Cash was safer for him now. It did create a nuisance, however. Some establishments accepted nothing larger than $20 bills. Others required credit cards.
Bo’s idea of pushing drugs seemed like his only hope. Still, this did not sit well with Charles. He always associated the image of a drug dealer with the lowest of the low. It was not something he could come to terms with. He had to come up with his share of the income, though. Luckily for him, Bo worked for the Croyton Bank. Charles came up with the idea that when he asked other employees about their drug needs, instead of providing them with the merchandise he would refer them over to Bo. That way, he would not actually be dealing drugs, or so he rationalized it. He accepted no payments from the buyers. He was never in possession of the drugs himself. He worked solely in a marketing position.
When Charles first broached the idea, Bo was reticent. After mulling it over, he could see the pluses and the minuses of this arrangement, but he couldn’t change it anyway. He needed the job at the bank, and Charles wielded a considerable amount of influence. Bo would have preferred to have had Charles more complicitous in the transactions, as an insurance policy, but he also liked the idea that customers were dependent directly on him. He found out who were the drug users in the bank, information that someday might prove useful. Contrarily, he would prefer to have no one at the office know of his drug connections, but he had to come up with money and his bank salary would not suffice. Perhaps he should entertain the notion of changing his place of employment. He should be earning far more with his talents. Maybe it was time to start looking.
Carter Roxwell was also going through a bad time. Without his additional income, his world had fallen apart. His Maserati GT had been repossessed. He, too, had a company car, but it certainly was several notches down from what he was used to. Jan had left him, also, after the Caribbean trip. That had been expected. On one of her trips to Spain, unaccompanied by Carter, she had met an Arab prince in Barcelona. She became totally enamored of him although Carter knew that the man’s attractiveness lay mainly in his immense wealth. At their breakup, Jan indicated that she had finally found her Prince. Carter pointed out the lunacy of this idea, reminding her that she was Jewish and that an Arab aristocrat who was Muslim would never commit to a long-term relationship with her. Her parting was fittingly turbulent, as she stormed away, leaving Carter feeling that there was a gaping hole in his life. After more reflection, he realized that this was bound to have happened. Jan was not a healthy fixture in his life. It was better that he was rid of her. Still, the pain hurt.
That had been several weeks ago. Working together with Bo, Carter found a surprisingly large number of customers who needed or wanted illicit drugs. The financial rewards were terrific. Not content to stay within the confines of the bank’s personnel, Carter was open to any new acquisitions. This took him out of his normal sphere of social contacts. People at the bank knew various other, non-bank people. Carter was more than happy to expand his customer base. This ran contrary to what Bo had recommended when he outlined his system to the boys. He reminded them that there was a certain amount of safety by staying with their known circle of friends and warned them not to stray into unknown territory. Carter found the allure of making more money too tempting. Through his new contacts, he met a woman who seemed particularly appealing to him. She was from a different social status than him, which only made her more beguiling. She displayed an array of tattoos and piercings, which would never have gone over well in Carter’s circle of friends. At this stage, Carter did not really care. He was up for a change. He would keep this affair quiet, though. This woman said that she had many contacts for him.
This seemed too good to be true. Which, of course, it was. Her contacts turned out to be gang members. After their first introduction, the gang immediately started to pressure Carter for him to turn over all his business to them. They threatened him and threatened to do harm to his family. They tried to force him to work for them. Carter didn’t know where to turn. He feared telling Bo of this development. He was frightened even of showing up at work for fear that the gang members might show up there. He wanted to just run away. But he needed money. Eventually, he succumbed to the pressure of the gang and started working for them, without Bo’s knowledge. He decided that he would wait until he scored one big deal and then take the money and run.