I slept late the next day and was well rested when I was finally awaken by the ring phone. When I picked it up I heard the familiar voice of one of my shadows.

"Good day, Mr Cord. I hope that I have not interrupted anything."

"Only my well deserved sleep!" And I yawned into the receiver.

"Mr Cord, it is one in the afternoon." He said incredulously. 

"Yeah? Hey, that's cool! most sleep I have had in two weeks ... It was a late night. I partied 'til the wee hours---"

He cut me off and said, "You were celebrating? Should I assume?" 

"I was. Yes."

"Does that mean we have something to talk about?"

"It certainly does." But I had not had time to work out what it was we had to talk about so I added, "But, now's not the time. Look, would you mind much to call me at my office, say, around five?"

"Sure. Good! Until then, have a good day."

"Yeah, you to."

I lit up a shaggie, coughed up a storm and headed for the toilet. I was feeling good. Life was good!

I hurried through my breakfast and was out the door by two. It was a fine day for a walk through Vondel Park and I enjoyed every precious minute.


Once at the office, I first called my lawyer. I told him that I needed to talk with him as soon as it was possible. He suggested we meet at a cafe around six. I asked if he was buying because I was, how should I say, "Over extended." He asked, if that meant broke? I admitted that was what I was trying to imply in a civilized way. Following that conversation, I called Jan Jansen. He answered on the first ring. I told him that I wanted him to come to the office as soon as it was possible. We made an appointment for the next morning, Thursday.

At five the Mossad called back. I said that I would be willing to meet on Friday. The voice, at the other end of the line, didn't sound pleased with that, but after a short hesitation agreed to an eleven a.m. meet.

At about ten to six, I made my way to Cafe Eylders on the Leidseplein to meet with Ton, my lawyer. He greeted me ebulliently as if had been several months since we had last met. After comparing notes I realized that indeed it had been a while. I had been keepin my nose clean, I guessed. I got down to business by saying that he was probably walking in to a big score. Maybe the biggest of his life. He smile got wider and wider. Then, I outlined everything; catalogued the players; and ran down who was to get what, at least, the way I had it figured.

He listened closely and contemplated over each and every facet.

"Well, Wes, this has the makings of a very interesting case. Especially since I think that the Dutch law may be a bit vague on some of the aspects. At first take, The right-to-title to the diamonds appears to be this Jan Jansen who had bought the painting at auction. However, many of these issues that result from World War II concerning booty, that is, valuable things like companies, art work or, as in this case, diamonds, are being resolved on a case by case examination. The bad news is that if this ends up in the judicial bureaucracy it could meander through the courts for several years. Seriously. My advice, for all concerned, would be to avoid litigation. The way to do that is to get all sides into some sort of an agreement."

"Ah!  Several years!" I was regretting the Champagne that me and my associates had indulged in last night. Not to mention the two taxi rides. Damn! Counting your chickens before the eggs hatch. That had always been one of my faults. "What do you suggest?"

"You said that you are meeting with this Jan Jansen, the man that bought the painting at auction, tomorrow." He took out his agenda, opened it to a page, and said, "Well, I can maybe rearrange my morning schedule and attend the meeting with you. You can explain everything to him and we can see how flexible he wants to be."

"Tell him everything?  Like what is everything?"

"Just what the term implies, everything. In this case, he has right-to-title, but that it can be contested. If it is, everything goes on hold. He may even be required to turn over the painting. " 

He said as to the meeting with Mossad, we would decide on that after we had talked with Jansen.

He offered to buy me dinner. Sounded better than my roast beef sandwich. I told him to lead the way. It was a very short walk, about 20 meters or so to the Oyster Bar, one of the best sea food restaurants in a city with a lot of very good fish places. I hoped he wasn't already counting his chickens, but since he was paying it wasn't my worry.  

After we parted, I went to the Arti and conveyed to the Hog what had so far transpired. A short time later, I was doing the same with Vic at De Pels. I decided to walk home. It was a nice night and I was still feeling good with a natural high.  



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