Join Jordan Melville as he embarks on some legally-questionable shenanigans
in this excerpt from The Lazy Postman
During the 45 minute drive I got the whole story out of the sisters. It turned out that one of the inmates they corresponded with was considering whether or not to tell them where he had hidden the money he had “liberated.” If he did, they would promise to invest it for him, and he would allow them to keep an agreed-upon percentage. Sylvia explained all of this rather dryly; it was a deal they clearly had made many times before.
We pulled into the prison parking lot. The sisters marched together up to the front door as if they owned the place, and I followed meekly behind. At the front desk Sylvia stepped forward and claimed our visitor badges from a pair of guards. One of the guards, who had the name George embroidered on his uniform, had often seen both of the sisters before and greeted them by name. The other, a younger man, gaped up at them.
Both of the Gordon sisters were wearing dark jeans and black turtlenecks that accentuated their height. Their heads were severely charged with static electricity from rubbing against the ceiling of the car and their hair was sticking out in all directions. They looked like a pair of giant sparklers come to life.
Sylvia gave the younger man a firm look, and George told him to be polite, and buzzed us through to the visitor’s room. I sat on a bench by the wall and wiped the sweat from my palms as Louise and Sylvia pleasantly chatted with the guard assigned to our meeting, whom they referred to as Tom, and seated themselves at a table.
We didn’t have to wait long for our inmate to arrive. He was ushered in by yet another guard who placed him in his chair across from our party and, nodding to Tom, left us to our business. The spiky-haired inmate took his time arranging himself in his chair and looking us over. I don’t know what he thought of us, but I know we were quite a sight; two Amazons that looked like they’d just stepped out of a light socket and me, trembling against the wall, willing my hands not to shake over the notepad that Louise had handed to me on our way in.
I felt as though I should have given myself a mild electrocution, just so I could fit in.
The inmate leaned in. His voice was low and gravelly. “You’re the Gordon Sisters? I’ve heard about you from... you know... friends.” With this he fell silent and glanced over his shoulder at the guard.
Louise leaped into the gap. “Oh, don’t worry about Tom. That’s all taken care of.” She nodded to the guard and he took a deep breath and began to sing a lusty version of I am a Pirate King.
Sylvia leaned in and redirected the con’s attention. “You’ve heard of us? It’s all true, I can guarantee it.”
Louise nodded and they proceeded to bounce the ball of conversation between one another, pausing only for breath.
“We’ve worked with many of your... friends before—”
“To our mutual advantage—”
“And have decided that your current situation—”
“Requires exactly the kind of delicacy that we provide.”
“The feminine delicacy.”
Sylvia shot a look over to me. “Discretion is our watchword.”
The inmate’s eyes were wide. He’d obviously heard about these two women, but hadn’t really believed it to be true. Hell, I was a full-fledged partner, and I didn’t believe it. Tom’s warbling baritone filled the room, “But I'll be true to the song I sing, and live and die... a Pirate King!”
The prisoner opened his mouth, but the sisters didn’t give him a chance to speak.
“Our fee is standard.”
“Which is a better deal than you’ll get from the Fellini brothers—”
“Or from the Peruvian Banker—”
“And it is non-negotiable. So there are just two questions.”
“How much was it?”
“And where is it now?”
Both Louise and Sylvia fell back in their chairs, eyebrows arched, sales pitch complete. The inmate closed his mouth and rubbed his chin. Tom quieted and stared at the wall above the sisters’ heads. I sat up, pencil poised over the notepad.
The inmate blinked rapidly. He shook his head and nodded to himself. He leaned forward slowly, and everyone else in the room followed suit, except for Tom, who seemed to be intently counting the ceiling tiles. At a sign from Louise, he began to sing again.
“I am the very model of a modern major general...”
The prisoner spoke in a hushed tone. “2.5 million dollars, cash. Behind the bedroom wall, apartment 37, 128 View St. I was working for this bank—”
Louise interrupted him, “We don’t need to know the hows and whys. All that’s left is this; —”
Sylvia flowed in with the information, “The money will be kept for you under a false name at a bank of our choosing.”
“Upon the date of your release, we will contact you—”
“And present you with the bank name, branch number, client name, and account number.”
“All that will remain is for you to close the account.”
The sisters stood up and shook his hand one at a time. Then, without a word to the con, Tom, or me, they swept out of the room side-by-side. I turned to the inmate who was still sitting with his mouth open, unsure of what he had done. Tom cut off his song mid-phrase and stepped forward, placing his hand on the man’s shoulder.
The inmate started and looked up at me. I swallowed.
“It’s been a pleasure doing business with you.” I said, as nonchalantly as possible. He closed his mouth and I turned to the door, trying desperately to imitate the sisters’ self-possession. As Tom turned him towards the door that led back to his cell I tossed one final remark over my shoulder.
“We’ll be in touch.”