I decided to break into the park right now before it got dark out. I knew it would be better to go after dark, but I didn’t have the nerve. Besides, the security at the park was nonexistent, so I didn’t worry too much about being caught. I went upstairs to change into black jeans and a black t-shirt. I grabbed the thinnest pair of gloves I had for later. I’d be hot, but I would suffer for my art. Uh, I mean, the job. When I was appropriately attired, I grabbed my wallet, my picklocks, my gloves, my cell phone and left. In the car, I stuffed the wallet into the glove compartment and tucked the cell and picklocks into the pocket of my shirt. The gloves I placed on the seat besides me.
On the way to the park, I thought about the case some more. Little pieces were starting to come together, but I wasn’t getting the big picture. I was pretty certain that I wasn’t the main target, but was I only thinking that because it’s what I wanted to believe? It would take a load off my mind to know that no one was gunning for me, although the perpetrator might not stop trying if s/he was determined to use me as a scapegoat or a red herring. Still, I would breathe a little easier if it turned out that no one was really trying to kill me and that most of the noise and thunder was just for show.
The traffic was light, and I made it to the park in record time. I slipped on the gloves and locked the car door, leaving my purse inside. I hesitated before entering the green room, but I finally punched in the code. Jackpot! I was in the green room. As for Eddie’s office, well, I’d just have to use the picklocks and see what I came up with. I wiggled to the best of my abilities, trying to replicate what my friend had shown me. After five minutes of wiggling, I was going to give up when the door gave with a click. Yes! I raised my fist in victory before slipping inside Eddie’s office. I turned on the light and started rifling through the mounds of paper on the desk. Nothing of interest. Next, the drawers. Way in the back of the front drawer was the fake journal. I wondered who had moved it to the desk and why that person hadn’t secreted it somewhere outside the park. I set it down and continued looking. There was nothing else of interest in the drawers.
Next, I opened his file cabinet and started flipping through his files. Most of it was boring park business, and I was starting to lose my enthusiasm for the detecting business. I had a bunch of questions I wanted answered—such as Phillip’s wealth; Antoinette’s information that the park was in the red; both Antoinette and Phillip saying that Eddie had been a gambler and was heavily in debt; the various crim sex assaults floating around the park. I was desperate to find answers to these questions as well as others, but Eddie’s office wasn’t cooperating. In frustration, I pounded the file cabinet with my fist. An manila envelope fell from the top of the filing cabinet—on the inside—looking oh-so-innocuous. Yes, I thought to myself. Finally. I knew that I should just take it and get the hell out of there, but I had to see what was in it. What if it had nothing to do with the murders, and I left the place with nada? I sat down at Eddie’s desk and made myself comfortable.