Copyright 2001-2008, James J. Belcher.  All rights reserved.

Never Bound Books

     Available Selections        Order Free Books Now       Technical Data

 

To print this chapter, point your cursor to "File" at the top left corner of your browser, and a left click of the mouse button will produce a pull-down menu containing the word "Print". Point your cursor to that word and again left-click your mouse. A Print box will now appear in the center of your screen; find "OK", point your cursor accordingly, and click one last time. The entire chapter will be printed.

Copyright  2003 James J. Belcher.  All Rights Reserved. 

Return to this book's overview

Alex, Heaven and Hell

 

Chapter 2

 

No hangover God ever laid on me as a curse could stop me the next morning.  Heaven on earth was waiting.  I considered my resources.  I had about fifteen thou in the bank, plus another thirty in a safe deposit box that even my ex-wife and her lawyer never knew about, and maybe another five if I sold the car, after deducting the auto loan.  I knew a lot of guys at the tabloids, including one staffer who was a computer hacker.  I stared at a globe for a while and a plan started coming together.

The sheik lived more or less on the other side of the world.  He had oil wells to go with the robes.  He had the money for whatever, so he undoubtedly had computers and used E-mail.  So Dr. Mark Fontaine would have communicated with the sheik by E-mail, time zone difference and all.  Thank God for the Internet.  

According to Sidney, I had to wait about two or three months before the place would be built and ready for me.  And the sheik was in a hurry, didn't want to disappoint the staff.  We were alike in that respect I didn't want to disappoint the girls either.  In fact, I got hard just thinking about it.

I called my friend, the computer hacker.  Professional ethics forbid my naming his employer.  "Sleazoid photojournalist calling."

"Vague, you'll have to do better'n that."  I liked his attitude.

"Alex."

"I know, last name close to grotesque."  Sometimes I could do without his wit.

"Still have your hacker license?"

"Yep.  Name it."

"Doctor working for Cleveland Clinic.  Did some cardiology work on an Arab patient, Qatar or maybe one of the UAE.  Mark Fontaine, that's F-O-N-T-A-I-N-E.  Need to know name and E-mail address of a probable E-correspondent, the Arab patient."

"Not a problem.  Every cardiologist or cardiovascular surgeon would have a private office with its own computer and computer address book.  I don't even have to crack the Cleveland Clinic intranet.  Gimme an hour and a half."

In just under an hour, my phone rang and it was Ernie.

"What'd I say?  Piece of cake.  Office down the street from Cleveland Clinic's Euclid Avenue address.  Two names that sounded Arab, but one is an MD from Louisville and the other has a surname of Faisal and a physical address in Qatar."

"Ernie, you're my kind of crook."

"Coming from you, I'm not sure whether to be pleased.  Have you got a pen?"

"Shoot."

"Mohammed Fattah El-Aziz Faisal, mfaisal@gov.net.qa"

I read it back.  "All I need, I think."

"What's up with a towel head, anyway?"

"I'm Jewish and I'm going to fuck half his harem."

"Bullshit!"

"You asked.  Oh, by the way, what's his physical address?"  I took that down also.

A real journalist has to think a certain way.  First, realize that most people are stupid and easily fooled.  Sound important and they open up easy, like a kid's piggy bank to a hammer.  I called patient information, Cleveland Clinic and asked for Sheik Faisal.  No response.  I spelled the name.

"There's no listing for anyone by that name.  Are you sure he's still a patient?"

"If he's checked out, who would know?"

"Patient records, I'll transfer you."

"Patient records."

"Do you have a former patient named Mohammed El-Aziz Faisal?  I'm trying to get hold of him.  Some items left in the room safe here at the Grand Hyatt."

"Sorry.  Mr. Faisal was here for several weeks, but he was discharged as an inpatient earlier this month.  However, there is an indication that he underwent a bypass operation and his cardiologist was a Dr. Mark Fontaine.  He may still be seeing Dr. Fontaine at the doctor's private offices.  Would you like that number?"

"Definitely, and the address, if you don't mind.  Frankly, we're a little queasy about having to hold on to expensive jewelry."

It was the voice of the absolute innocent.  "Don't you just hate it when you have to give stuff like that back?"

"Yeah, but it goes with the job, which I'd lose if the Hyatt ever found out.  Not worth it."  I took down the information from Ms. Helpalot.

Sure enough, the white pages and Yellow Pages were full of corroborating data.  Mark C. Fontaine, MD, cardiologist, with a Euclid Avenue office address and matching number to that given me by CC's Helpalot.  No doubt I had the name of the doctor, knew the patient's name, home address and E-mail address.

Never doubt that doctors are greedy.  I called the good doc's office and tried to make an appointment.  First, the time of day.  I suggested noon, and his gal said the office was closed for lunch between 11:30 and 1:00 every day.  I picked a Wednesday afternoon a couple of weeks away.  "Heavens no, we're booked until the last week of February, and that's well over a month away.  Anyway, he plays golf on Wednesday afternoons, so the office closes at 11:30 those days."

I made an appointment for a checkup for Tuesday, February 25th, 1:00 p.m., noting I had occasional irregular heartbeats.   "That's arrhythmia, common and generally no cause for alarm.  Pain with that?"  "No, just worrisome."  "Well, that's what's the doctor's for.  Best to check it out."  I thanked the little pimple brain.  God bless another bigmouth. 

Just as I expected.  Fontaine makes close to a mil a year, has one gal working for him, overworked, probably been there forever and underpaid.  She's nice and quiet spoken and basically a dumbass that can be expected to be careless, just what I needed.

          Time really crawls when you're waiting on fun to happen.

          Well, I could do one thing right away, and that was to get the good doc a Hotmail address.  A few keystrokes and FontaineMCMD@hotmail.com came to life.  His biographical details shown with Hotmail fit him to a T. 

While I was at it, I looked up Fontaine in the back issues of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.  Sure enough, charity function for the heart association this past winter, with his wife, Janet, and the pair dressed to the nines, teeth flashing pearly white.  I bet her dress set him back at least a grand, but he could afford it.

Thank God for the Internet.  While I was at it, I looked up the sheik sure   enough, he was a sheik, but he had a title, Minister of Internal Affairs, Qatar.  That's rich, a pussy hound with a job description to match.  I had the E-mail memorized.  "Dear Minister, I have a favor to ask . . ."

I used the computer and the Internet again. 

"The Seychelles Archipelago consists of a number of low-lying coral reef islands and a few mountainous islands, granite outcroppings in the middle of the Indian Ocean."   

They had a national airline, Air Seychelles, which had a special deal from London, about $1200 round-trip, to the capital, Victoria, billed as the smallest national capital in the world.  With a population of less than 60,000, that sounded about right. 

Hotels in the island paradise were very expensive, typically $400 a day, including breakfast but no pussy.

It sounded too easy.  That should have made me suspicious.