B.D. Cooper Mystries in: The Chameleon

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Chapter 11

Cooper had only went back to the Milk Maid once over the last month. It was the night after leaving the hospital and seeing the chief. She was desperate to see if Maxie had showed up at work, because if she had... Cooper was going to grab her and take Maxie back to her place to hide.

She walked into the joint that night hiding the damage someone inflected on her the best she could. When she searched the back stage and dressing rooms looking for Maxie, she came up empty handed. In her search for Maxie, she also noticed that Jane was nowhere to be found as well.

Rudy’s begged her stay when she gave her notice. He asked what had happened, if it was someone from the joint that he needed to deal with, that he would keep her safe if she stayed... Somewhere deep in the pit of her stomach she knew otherwise. The chief might’ve been right about her being in someone’s sights at the moment, and she had a good feeling on just who that was. There was no need to put her friends and family in harm’s way as well.

What did surprise her was when she was about to leave, she noticed Emmitt Rosemond sitting in the same darken corner as the night before. Their eyes meet, and she got the feeling of deja vu, as they stared at one another. She took in his sophisticated attire and then at how very angry he looked. His eyes followed her as she left, and when she was out in the night air...she rushed to get a cab and didn’t look back.

Since that night, her, Adele, and Elliot had been searching all of the west side of Chicago for not only Maxie... but little Jane as well. It was the chief that had come over and asked her if these woman were real because no one knew anything about them. It was like the two woman never existed at all.

Jane wasn’t clever enough to come up with some elaborate scheme for jewels or money, let alone cover up for a kidnapping, or worse…

It was on a Friday afternoon when Cooper found herself once again at the central library on Michigan Ave. She dug through every newspaper article that she could get her hands on about Emmitt Rosemond the bachelor, entrepreneur, and the multi-millionaire. But any clue that she was hoping to find, just wasn’t there.

What she found out was Emmitt Rosemond came from very humble beginnings. He was a well-liked man who had had fought in the last war and had no problems sharing his wealth with the people and their communities.

Cooper sat in the upper floor of the library, in a secluded corner, surrounded by ever papers and article she could find. Even going as for as looking in the British, French, and German papers.

“Damn it, I know I’m missing something there…” She whispered.

Her eyes stared at the dashing man in the article trying to get a better read on him. She picked up the paper and cocked her head. “I know your hiding something Mr. Rosemond, but what? Oh don’t you worry, I will find out what it is.” She smiled.

Adele made her way to the table with a load of books in her arms dropping them, a little too loudly, on the table. “Good Lord Adele!” Cooper gasped grabbing a hold of her chest. “Are you trying to give me a heart attack?”

“Sorry, they kind of slipped. But I didn’t want to bother you when you were having a conversation with the newspaper. By the way, who won?” She giggled.

“So far, the newspaper.” She sighed dropping the paper to the table.

“Are you still trying to find a connection to Mr. Rosemond and the murders?” She asked making herself a spot among the papers aside and flipping open a book.

“Mmm, and not fining anything useful at all. I know he was a small boy growing up in Kansas City, with very poor parents, when he stumbled across a way to make corn more resistant to disease and drought tolerant. And that wasn’t what I was looking for...”

Elliot walked up to the table with some newspaper on top of his books and took a seat next to Adele. “B.D. you wouldn’t believe what I found…”

“At this moment, no I can’t” She sighed.

“Remember how we couldn’t come up with a connection between Mr. Rosemond and the chameleon?” He urged.

“Yes, and?”

“Well I think I found it...read this.” He grinned showing her the first newspaper article.

She looked down where he was pointing and started to read softly to herself…

“Mr. Rosemond found his way to the heart of New York this week for one of the glamorous black tie dinners. After a luxurious night with the upper class of Manhattan, he was reward with the key to the city of his help in the restoration in down town area…” She stopped and then glanced up at Elliot. “I already read this.”

“Yeah, I already figured that, but now read this.” He said grabbing another paper and placing it over the one she had. She glanced down giving the paper a shake and started to read once again.

“The chameleon strikes again…

“Last night at the central bank in down town Brooklyn, it is thought that the well know cat burglar ‘the chameleon’ struck again. No specifics have been giving out, only that there was a robbery and that a hand full of influential people where the main targets. Mr. Rosemond was seen going into the bank in the earlier that morning. We can only assume he was one of the victims…”

Her eyes darted up to Elliot. “I can’t believe I missed it, and it was sitting there right in front of me this whole time!” She exclaimed, and much too loudly.

“Missed what? Come on clue me in here guys…” Adele frowned.

“Emmitt was in New York at the same time the chameleon was. Not only that, but he was robbed along with the others….” She smiled, then glanced back at Elliot. “Have you gone through more encounters of Emmitt and this chameleon?” She asked.

“Yeah, and there’s multiple times that there in the same place at the same time. But there is cases of the chameleon all over the world... and Mr. Rosemond isn’t anywhere near them. Maybe he works for other people too?” He confessed.

“Possibly...” She pondered.

“So what are you thinking B.D.?” Adele asked.

She dropped the newspaper to the table and tapped her finer to her chin as she thought. “I’m thinking that what the men at the club might’ve been right about Mr. Rosemond having alternative motives. And, about him having a notorious cat burglar on the payroll.”

“Why would make you think that? I mean he was robbed to wasn’t he?” Adele asked biting the end of her pencil.

“Yes he was, wasn’t he? What a wonderful way to have everyone think that you had nothing to do with it.” She chuckled.

“The perfect cover up if you ask me…” Elliot sat back crossing his arms.

“I would have to agree with you Eliot. And now that we have our very first clue thanks to Mr. Ness, now we need to see if there’s any violence that goes along with him any of these crimes... a cat doesn’t change his stripes. If he’s hurt someone before, it’s easy to say that he’d do it again.” She warned scooping up all the papers that Elliot had brought.

Elliot stood and took the papers out of her hands and took a small pocket book of paper and a pencil out “I’ll go through these and find the connections for you B.D.” He smiled, then took his seat next to Adele.

“That’s very kind of you. But shouldn’t you be getting your school work done like Adele here?” She asked.

“No I’m good. Besides, I think I have a knack for finding clues…” He admitted already absorbed in the work at hand.

“I think you’ve created a monster B.D.” Adele chuckled before her freckled nose dropped back into her book.

“Perhaps I have.” She whispered smiling at the young couple. She took one of the newspapers and got back to business as well.

It was four long hours later the three of them had gone through every newspaper article and magazine that even hinted about the chameleon and Emmitt Rosemond.

It seamed more often then not, Emmitt was in town when the chameleon struck. But one thing was obvious, these thief had very expensive taste. Precious art work was favorite choice of prize, with the occasion or two of picking up a jem or jewel. But in all the cases, in all the reports there was not one incident of violence, and that had her thinking.

After reading the last paragraph of an article about Emmitt Rosemond, she even began to believe that he was an absolute saint. She slammed the paper down and fell back into the chair with a sigh. “I swear they act as if this man is virginal from the way the papers write about him.” She murmured making Adele giggle and Elliot clear his throat..

“Well maybe someone has Mr. Rosemond in their pocket.” He offered.

“That would be a very convention way for me to find a lead… just too damn convenient. I just wonder if he’s drawn to the fine arts. I mean could it really be coincidence that the chameleon happen to steel the finer things in life when Mr. Rosemond’s in town?” She wondered tapping her fingers on the hordes of papers.

“But he’s a guy with money. A lot of people with money like that kind of stuff. But what does any of that have to do with the chameleon?” He asked.

“Yes, what does it...?” She pondered.

“What are you thinking B.D. I know that look, at it usually means trouble?” Adel smiled.

“I think I have come up with what might be taking place. These flappers might not be some random murders. What if they were working for Mr. Rosemond in an elaborate scheme to steel art work and then sell them.”

“Where did you come up with that theory?” Elliot asked with a raised brow.

“Well, the chameleon likes art work and jewels. We have a millionaire that hangs around juice joints and deals with flappers. It more then a little suspicious that a millionaire and a cat burglar are in a number of places at the same time...” She concluded.

“Yeah but the chameleon wasn’t violent.” Elliot stated.

“Maybe he wasn’t violent with the people he burglarized, but that might not be the case with the woman who he hired to case places for him. He might be the silent but deadly type.” She warned.

“It sounds plausible...” Elliot admitted.

“So now that I have my theory, I guess I’m going to have to find a way to befriend our millionaire now. This way I can see if my assumptions are right about him.” She nodded.

“Hey look here! There’s going to be an exhibit at the museum of some famous paintings. Three rare ones from what today’s paper said...” Adele told them.

“Hmm, three rare paintings? That does sound promising.” She grinned.

“And just how are you going to find out if he’s in to fine art, stake out his mansion and sneak in?” Elliot asked.

“A woman can come up with a good many ways to be, invited, into man’s home.” She hinted.

“What?” Elliot asked as his brows pushed together, and then he sat back and his mouth hung open.

Adele smacked his chest shaking her head, then looked at Cooper with concern. “And what if he’s, you know, the killer B.D.? She whispered.

“My dear girl, why do you think I always carry a gun?” She chuckled.

“You carry a gun... with you?” Elliot’s eyes grew large as he shot back up staring at her.

“Of course I carry a gun.” She laughed and Adele joined in.

“So where are you off to now? I thought you’d be digging up all the information you could until the library closed.” Adele asked lovingly patting Elliot arm.

“I have that dreadful party to go tonight. You remember, the one with all the stuffed shirts talking about how fabulous they are, and how wealthy they’ve become, or who is the next for us to support for mayor, governor, or whatever other office that has tickled their fancy.” She sighed slipping on her gloves with a shake of her head.

“Oh, yes I do remember you saying something about that. Do you think Stanly will be there as well?” Adele asked with a bit lip.

“I think he knows better than to make his appearance at a place that I’m require to show up at.” She Stated.

“Who’s Stanly?” Elliot asked.

“Well, you see…” Adele started but Cooper finished the sentence for her.

“He’s my bastard of an ex-husband.” She growled.

Elliot once again had his eyes go wide and seemed to be chocking on something all the while Adele tried to hide her smile. She took her clutch from the table, fixed her hat and then smiled down at the young man.

“If you’re going to be investigating with us Elliot you’re going to have to learn to loosen up a little. Woman swear, we smoke, we drink, and… we do other things just like men do as well. See you later tonight Dell.” She waved while laughing at Elliot’s cough fit behind her.

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