Wait, let me make sure I got this right. He yelled "throw this billionaire out immediately", and then what?
No, it was, "Jeeves! Have this puny billionaire thrown out immediately!" That was the last thing he said to me. I can still hear his voice in my head, and see the little flecks of spittle that flew from his mouth, and the fat finger he was pointing at me...boy, was he mad.
Let me just get that quote down, and then you can go on.
Thank you. Please continue.
Well, I was his guest that night. It wasn't just me, there were a couple other men there before I arrived — men I didn't recognize, and wasn't introduced to. I arrived about an hour late, you see. I was running a shade late to begin with, and then there was some accident on the way — three or four cars involved! — bumper-to-bumper for an hour and a half. Fortunately, Donavon can be a pretty wild driver if you give him the chance, so we made good time after that and I wasn't nearly as late as I could have been.
Oh, those men — I had never seen any of them before. Well, I shouldn't say that; I might have seen one or two across the ballroom at a party last year, but I try to hit the bar pretty early on when I find myself at parties like that. You know what the problem is when you're well-to-do? Everyone expects you to mingle with other people who have the same kind of money, and everyone's trying to be seen with people who are even richer than they are, to make it seem like they're that rich too. Now, you'd think this wouldn't really be a problem for people like you and me, except what they don't tell you is that when you strike it rich, everyone with more money than you is a total asshole.
I suppose I could be one of those recluse rich folk, but that's not really my style. I mean, I like my friends, and I like being around people — just not when they're total assholes, like all the rich people I know. So, whenever I find myself at one of those parties stuffed full of rich folk, I head right for the bar. It's a lot easier to deal with their yachtloads of narcissism and limo-filling egos when you're smashed.
Wait, you don't care about that. What did you want to know?
You mentioned some men at Mr. Sanders' house; men you didn't know.
Oh yeah. There were four of them, I think, and then him. I wasn't properly introduced, since I was late, but that was fine with me. We were sitting in the cigar room with some nice Cubans, and they all had glasses of what smelled like good cognac. I sat down and reached for a light, and he told Jeeves to bring me a glass.
You know, he never told me why he wanted me to stop by. It wasn't weird or anything — I mean, I had been there a couple times before, always with other people around. I didn't think anything of it.
Let me just interrupt you again — when did you say this was?
Oh, it was just a few days ago; a week at the most. I don't remember the exact date, but I have it written down somewhere at home.
That's fine. Please continue.
Okay. Let's see, Jeeves brought me that drink, and then — no, wait, how did it start? We got into an argument, and I don't really remember how it started. I don't even remember what it was about any more. It was something about my drink...oh yes, that's right, I asked him about the cognac. He was a tad miffed at that; we were drinking a fine sherry I didn't recognize. It was something starting with an O — orosso sherry, or something like that. Apparently it's very expensive.
Anyway, he made it clear that he would never think of wasting his money on something like cognac. Can you believe that? And he just outright said it — "I would never think of wasting my money on cognac", those were his exact words. Could you get any more stuck-up? I mean, who goes around introducing himself as "Sir Reginald Sanders the Fourth"? He's not a Knight!
We had probably finished a couple glasses by then; they were continually topped off so we weren't keeping track. I must have had more than I thought, because I argued right back at him that there was nothing wrong with cognac, and that most people spend their whole lives unable to afford cognac regularly — nevermind this orosso stuff, or whatever it was. It didn't even taste that great, it was just too sweet. Funny, huh? All these rich and stuck up men, and they drink ridiculously overpriced, super-sweet liquor.
So I started to argue back with him, and of course that set him off. He must have been in a mood, because he tore right into the other guys — told one of them he wasn't worth a bucket of spit, and told another that he had slept with both of his wives and his daughter. You believe that?
I'm not too sure what happened after that. You might know that he has a couple bodyguards? Pretty persuasive-looking guys; I really wouldn't want to get on their bad sides. They got into that room in a hurry once they heard the yelling, and started pulling us towards the door. I had a foot outside when I remembered I had left my jacket in the cigar room, so I told the gentleman "escorting" me out the door. He glared at me, but ran back in the direction of the cigar room.
A second later, I head Sanders bellow, "Whaaaat?!?" As the man ran out of the room with my coat, Sanders stormed out after him with this look on his face...I don't know if I can describe it, really...It was filled with rage...I just don't understand how could a guy get so mad over some sherry. He stood there fuming, and pointed his stubby finger at me, and screamed, "Jeeves! Have this puny billionaire thrown out IMMEDIATELY!"
Yeah, that's right, he called me a "puny billionaire". I suppose I am a bit scrawny, and my total worth is only just over one billion, but....
Anyway, "Jeeves" is sort of a bad name for the guy. He's about six-eight and three-fifty. Looks pretty dapper in a tux, but I think his biceps are bigger than my head. I really didn't want to give him the chance to actually throw me out, because I knew he could do it easily, so I let myself out quickly.
I jumped back into my car, and Donavon took us home.
So, may I ask you a question? Why am I here? What's so important about the last time I saw him?
With all due respect, sir, I'm not supposed to tell you.
Really? Oh — this wasn't planned by him, was it? Shit, I bet he's got this room bugged, doesn't he?
No, that's not it. You know, you've been very helpful, sir, so if you'll promise me not to tell Sergeant Lansing out there, I'll tell you why I've asked you to talk to me today.
About three hours ago, Mr. Sanders was found lying in a pool of blood outside his home. He had been shot several times as he was reading this morning's paper.
Oh, wow. I'm — I don't know what to say. Is — do, uh, do you have whoever did it?
We have some ideas, but nothing real concrete yet. We've still got some detectives looking around, but whoever was behind this was pretty thorough. Not to worry, though, we'll catch him.
Wow. I never would have thought... Wow. I mean, I suppose everyone has some enemies, but...not like that.
Um, Officer, if you don't mind me asking, am I... Am I here because I'm a suspect?
No, I'm gonna ask you to stick around for another couple days, just in case we come up with any more questions, but you're not a suspect. You were one of the last people who was with him, aside from his staff.
Of course. If I can do anything... I — well, I don't think I'll be leaving my home very often any time soon, so — you'll let me know if there's anything else I can do?
Yes, sir, and we'll call you when we learn more about the case. Is your car here?
Yes, Donavon is waiting in the front. Thank you, Officer. And good luck with the case.
Thank you for coming down. I'll walk you out to your car — the door's just this way.
Hello, sir. Where to?
Hello, Donavon. Home, I suppose...but drive around a little, first. How long was I?
Just over forty-five minutes, sir.
If you don't mind my asking, sir, how did it go?
Perfectly. They don't suspect a thing, Donavon.
2004.2.13@20:34 Jet-Poop says Now pick a pipelink and make a writeup to go with it! It is my ELDRITCH COMMAND!