idioms...sayings understood by native speakers part forty four
Dejuan took a bite of his scrambled eggs and looked over at the thin computer geek that was placing his eggs strategically on his buttered toast, balancing carefully to hit his mouth.
The eggs fell off and descended on his plate. "Yes?"
"Mind telling me what you found out last night?"
"Ah, well." Taking a drink of his coffee, he put his toast down. And started to speak with his hands flying about to emphasize his words. "We have to find a motive. We have to find the money. We have to find the victims."
Deshaun raised both eyebrows at that. Now that we are done with the obvious..."Okay?" He paused. "And...?"
"Well, I pulled the tax returns on the Matthews."
"Ah, er, you can do that?"
"Hey, I didn't always work for the FBI."
"And do we have to worry about the cyber police coming here?" Dejuan inquired.
"No... No... I bounced it off of so many sites, they will take years to find it." his hands were in a stop position mode waving from side to side.
Dejuan suppressed a smile thinking about Jazz hands.
"What did you fnd out?"
"Well, " sipping on his coffee again. "See this? The Matthews have about thirty charities they donate to. I pulled up all the board members. Only these four...." he fumbled through the papers. "Um, Albert James, Martin Thomas, John William and Aaron Christopher, all Matthews, they donated to the exact same charities."
"So, charities are the number one way to launder money. Look at these names" he grabbed another drink, and found the paper. "Here."
"The Guiding Light Hospital. The Peoples Free Clinic. The Hospital of Hope. The Phoenix Rehabilitation Hospital... Lansing county."
Deshaun looked at his brother. "Scott, you have just named our town's entire medical system. If people want to go to a private doctor they have to go the next county. But this Phoenix one, that is in Lansing county?"
"Yes. It is really interesting. They have no stats with the federal government. They claim to be a non for profit, private facility. They are under the radar. They don't accept medicaid or medicare."
The two looked at the man who was shuffling papers again.
"So, if no one accepts federal insurance..."
"There is no inspection, no intervention, and no visits from the Federal government. I mean, that is the threat of the Joint Commission... if your facility is lacking and you don't improve, you will lose all Federally funded insurances."
"What about state inspections?"
"You mean Board of Health? They look at cleanliness, and such. These facilities pass with flying colors...almost too perfectly."
"Bro, if your product is organs and such, would not your factory be pristine?"
Deshaun got up, poured some orange juice and replaced Scott's cold coffee with it.
"You have had enough. I am cutting you off."
Scott shook his head. "Don't you guys get it?" He sorted through more paperwork.
"Here. This is the list of the contributors to the Phoenix." He handed the paper to Dejuan.
Dejuan gave a low whistle. "Wow. De, you need to look at this."
Deshaun's eyes got big.
"How could anyone afford to donate so much to charity?"
"It's easy when the charity belongs to you, now, isn't it?"
"Are the other places like that?"
"Yes. Did you know that this town has the lowest percentage rate of Medicare/Medicaid users in the country?"
"So all these facilities?"
"Are privately owned and privately financed by the Matthews Toy Company."
"For how long? How long has this been going on? I mean, these places are relatively new. I would say they were built about ten years ago."
Scott gave an evil grin. "Here." He pulled a statistic chart. "It seems that federal and state funding of the health care system here stopped around the year 2001."
"But how can we prove anything from all of this. Anyone would just say the Matthews were taking care of us."
"Remember some ten years ago there was a scare of an outbreak of meningitis?"
"Yeah, I remember. Everyone had to be tested. Wait a minute. They drew blood and throat cultures."
"That wasn't a throat culture. That was a dna sample."
Scott oblivious to the brothers' conversation, grabbed another paper. "Look at this. We followed the money, Right?" He excitedly grabbed another paper, almost dumping his drink in the process "How about this for motive?"
A printed copy of a newspaper article dated January, 2001 was placed in Dejuan's hands.
"Oh, yeah, I remember this."
"What is it, Deshaun?"
"Old man Matthews heart attack. He was on his death bed. They were waiting for a heart to be donated."
"Wait, then the motivation was to save the old man? Wouldn't one heart be enough?"
"I pulled his medical records, which I might say was very difficult since he was at St. Joseph Hospital in Dearling county. It is closed now by the way."
"How?" Deshaun shook his head, no hacker would reveal his trade secrets. "Okay... so?"
"Apparently all the male Matthews die by the age of sixty."
"So that seems old enough to die... " Realizing what he said, Deshaun grinned and shrugged his shoulders.
"No, listen. It is a genetic disorder. The old man was sixty two at the time. I have to believe that medical care kept him alive up until then."
He pulled out an obituary. "Here. Read this."
"The tragic death of the grandson of Gerald Matthews occurred today when the sixteen year old autistic child got away from his care givers and drowned in the family pool. Funeral services will..."
"I remember this. So?"
Scott sighed. "We probably have our first victim."
Dejuan shook his head. "Just assume, I am dumb, Scott. Explain."
"Look at the date on that death."
"Now look at this." He showed them another article.
"Mr. Gerald Matthews, only days away from death, recieved a heart today from an anonymous donor. He released this statement. "I am very grateful to the person that donated his heart. I will always keep in mind that life is precious and should not be wasted on the mundane and the irritating things that this life provides. It is a gift, I will always be thankful for."
"Nothing is as mundane and irritating than a severely autistic child, right?"
He finally managed to get his toast with eggs to his mouth and was happily chewing on it, then swallowed. "So this reads like the greatest conspiracy novel ever written." Taking a drink of his orange juice, he added, "All that is left is proving it."
Jenny arrived with coffee in hand. Upon seeing her, Carl handed his coffee to Joe, who looked a little confused, as he watched the man go up to the blond with a huge grin on his face. Joe turned his head and smiled to himself, happy that is was spring and soon he would get to see the principal of the blind school again.
"Here you go."
Carl took it and kissed her on the cheek which she flinched a little then accepted it, her face turned red with embarrassment.
"We are in public."
"We are at your work."
"And.." enjoying her discomfort.
Jenny sighed and looked around. "So this is where you are hanging around when you are supposed to be working."
"Miss, I will have you know, I have been slaving away here."
She laughed and pointed to Charlie. "I want to know how the real slave is doing."
"Well, he seems okay, but Lynn has already made the time out sign. She knows when he is tired."
"She does at that." Jenny walked away from Carl, over to Lynn and Charlie.
"How are you guys doing?"
Charlie took off his ear phones and started to rock a little.
Lynn put her hand on his arm. "Charlie, we are done for today."
He shook his head. She and Jenny helped him up to a standing position. He had gotten stiff from sitting so long and concentrating so hard.
Carl came up and took his hand and shook it. "Charlie, you did a great job today." He paused, then turned to the deaf team that looked like a feather could knock them over. He walked over to them, "Guys, go home. I will see you tomorrow at noon. Take taxis. Don't drive yourselves home." He pulled out his wallet and handed them all fifty dollar bills. "If is it more than that, bring me the receipts and I will compensate you tomorrow."
"And if it is less?"
"Then call it a bonus. Now get out of here." He walked over to Joe who looked equally as tired. "Here, you already heard the speech. The blind team will stay and get their mock ups ready for tomorrow, okay? Will you tell them I expect them to be here at eight in the morning for Charlie to test their work?"
"Sure, Mr. Matthews."
Carl returned to Jenny's side.
"I will follow you to Lynn's house, Jenny."
"Ah, so are you really gonna do what I suggested?"
"Told is more like it. But yes, I would like to meet your family officially."
"Cool, I will drop Lynn off and you can drive us. Do you know where Phoenix Rehab is?" She walked through the door that Carl held open for her.
He nodded, "The one over in Lansing County?"
"Yes. But I want my car back. I want to make sure my honey is all right."
"Well outside of almost taking my head off this morning, your honey, as you put it, should be just fine."
"Really? And did you put the seat back the way you found it?"
Carl grinned. "Well, I forgot the fact that the steering column almost took off my knee when I got in."
Jenny giggled. "Follow me." Taking her keys back. Lynn, Charlie and she hopped into her little red Honda. She looked into her rear view mirror and giggled, seeing Carl grimace as he sat behind the wheel of his SUV.
"What is so funny?" Lynn asked, listening to her friend chuckle.
to be continued...