Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Jayne & the Satanists --Chapter 27


His car was a Rolls Royce.  I followed it out of the studio lot.  It took a predictable route to Scream’s mansion.  But, instead of turning right into Scream’s driveway, it went two driveways past it and turned left into a walled driveway that led to a mock southern gothic mansion.  I cruised past and headed back to the office.  What did I know about Bluestein?  His licence number.  Incredibly successful.  Didn’t limp previously.  No scandals.  Married to Anastasia Donovan, a starlet a number of years younger.


*  *  *  * 


     In the office, I called Jayne.  “Sandor Scream is Bunny Bluestein,” I piped excitedly into the phone.

     There was silence on the other end of the line.  Finally, “Could be.  Same build.” 

     I explained about the limp. 

     “Holy-y-y,” she said.  “I wonder how many other people know this?  It’s definitely news to me.  Bluestein is known as a devout Jew, who gives enormous amounts of dough to the synagogue.”

     “Maybe he’s hedging his spiritual bets by playing both sides of the fence.”

     “So, presuming you’re right, what are you going to do with this info?”

     “That’s a poser.  I still don’t have anything connecting Scream/Bluestein with any of the viscera or the deaths of Al Stirling or Bianca Hughes.  I guess I’ll just sniff around.”

     “Well, keep Lex with you.  He’s a handy kitty in a pinch.”


*  *  *  * 


I went to my files and pulled what I had collected over the years on producers and found some scraps of information on Bluestein.  Nothing illuminating.  He kept a low profile and his nose clean.

     I hammered out my story on Bean and Mitchell, then went home.  As far as I knew Jonny Fine was still unidentified meat.

     It was midnight when I got home.  I was greeted effusively by Lex and I petted him as I got his can of Dinty Moore stew ready.  I cracked a beer and poured some in a dish for him.  He lapped it up, let out a couple of cat-sized burps, which I did not know the species was capable of, and curled up on my lap as I mulled over what use my new discovery was to me.


*  *  *  * 


In the morning, I headed over to City Hall.  I asked to see Merlin Chambers’s holdings disclosure.  My hunch was rewarded.  Mr. Bluestein was listed as an executive officer on a holding company called Beaufort Holdings.  Unfortunately, because he did not hold any public office, I could not check Bluestein’s holdings.

     If they had an alliance above board, I wondered how many were hidden.  It would be a handy teaming.  Bluestein had tons of dough and Chambers could green light development and revenue projects, though naturally his name could not be associated with them because of the conflict of interest with his civic office.  But I had no doubt he was in there like a dirty shirt.

     I went to licences division and they told me that Beaufort Holdings handled several manufacturers of fine furniture, cedar lawn chairs and tables, prefabricated fireplaces and mantles.  Homey stuff.

     What was I doing?  I was not interested in making some business bust.  I wanted to figure out how these guys were connected with the taking of lives.  They could be audited from here to Thursday and I wouldn’t care.


*  *  *  * 


When I got back to the office, there was a message that LaVey had called.  I rang back.  “There is definitely something going on between Hoxhok and Ariana,” he said in that sinister voice that always made me think he could have been a great radio announcer.  “I think it will be a grand conjuring, a summoning of an extremely powerful spirit.  One that they feel can give them something.  Power perhaps, or something more tangible.  Treasure perhaps.  A supernatural ally.  Something.”

     “Hmmm, when on the occult datebook would be a good time to do something like this?”

     “The feast of Hermaphrodite is upcoming.  Because that old god embodies the characteristics of both male and female, the partnership of Hoxhok and Ariana would make sense.”

     “Why wouldn’t she just hook up with Scream?”

     “That is a good question and one that I am unable to answer at present.  Perhaps, Hoxhok originated the plan.”

     “How would they go about calling up this spirit?”

     “Hermaphrodite is more than a mere spirit.  He, she, it, whatever, is one of the old gods.  Blood must be shed in order to call up Hermaphrodite.  Blood as a burnt offering.  In short, Daniel, if they are planning on doing this, I would suggest murder will figure into the equation somewhere.”

     “Mr. LaVey, you’re a great help and you’ve always treated me well.  So let me tell you this bit of information.  I believe Sandor Scream is the movie producer Bunny Bluestein.”

     There was stone silence on the other end.  I ran down how I had reached this conclusion.  Then, “Thank you, Daniel.  I will take your suspicion under advisement.  I must ring off now.  I must think.  Good day.”

     I hung up wondering what sort of vendetta I might have unleashed.  

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