E-mail Message #2; From: BISHOP; To: David Paglia

David,

It probably goes without saying that I was rather surprised to hear back from you. I think that cries from the wilderness usually go unanswered. Thanks.

I should start at the beginning. That was May 26th; coming up on 4 weeks ago. I had just gone out into my front yard to stretch before going for a run. I run quite a bit, 4 or 5 times a week, usually late in the evening. It was about 10:00 PM and, for various reasons, I remember that the moon was full in a very clear sky. I had just begun to stretch when a gray Honda Element pulled up in front of my house.

This immediately put me on my guard. I've got some friends who come over to run from time to time, but I wasn't expecting anyone that night. None of my friends is the 'drop by unannounced type', and I don't know anyone who drives an Element. So I stopped stretching and watched as a guy who could have been the poster boy for Young Entrepreneurs, or maybe Young Republicans, got out of the car, walked right up to my front gate and said, "Nicolas Rook, right?"

[Let me stop here and say, in case you haven't already assumed, that my name is not Bishop Rook (obviously), nor is it Nicolas Rook. Let's just agree to use that name for me, and we'll call the guy that's standing at my gate Calvin Walsh (also not his real name). The reasons for this are pretty obvious, and there may be a couple that aren't so obvious that I may get a chance to mention. If I don't, remind me.]

There is no reason to go into too much detail about me, but I did mention in my 1st E-mail that in my former job I used to come into contact with people who lied a lot. And, actually, I lied a lot, too. I used to be a private investigator. Pretty easy to see the lying connection, but, as a PI, you also get used to dealing with all sorts of stressful and random situations. So the thing that struck me first about this guy was that he didn't show any signs of stress or anxiety with this obviously odd situation. And you don't need to be a PI to know that it is never good news when people you don't know come up to your gate and call you by name. At ten o’clock at night.

This was an odd visit, but it wasn't unprecedented. The important thing in situations like this is to try to take back control, so I said, "Let’s see, what’s the likelihood of your driving up here at this time of night and NOT knowing for certain who I am? Don’t ask me any more questions that you already know the answers to.”

"Okay," he said. "Can I come in?"

"You're fine where you are," I said. "Who are you and what do you want?"

He said his name was Calvin Walsh and that he just wanted to talk. [Another thing you learn being a PI is that no one ever wants to just talk. There is always a motive.]

He still seemed completely calm and at ease, but just for good measure I pulled my cell phone off my belt, punched 911, and kept my thumb over the send button. He saw me and knew what I had keyed, but he also knew that I hadn't hit send yet. He slowly put his hands up where I could see both of them clearly, and began a slow turn in place.

Well, this probably had the exact opposite effect on me from what he intended, since it put me completely on edge. The only reason people do this is to show you they are not armed, and I was not at all happy to be dealing with a guy who was thinking enough about guns to show me he didn't have one. As I said earlier, he looked like he had just come from a meeting with a venture capital firm; khaki Dockers, white Oxford dress shirt, urban hikers, and a nice steel watch. He finished his turn and I said, "Can't see your ankles."

"You can check if you want," he said. "You want to see my drivers license?"

"Is that likely to tell me anything other than the fact that you know how to get a good fake license?"

"I guess not," he said. "Look, I need to talk to you, and it is urgent. You name the conditions that will make you comfortable enough to hear me out and I'll comply. But I need you to come up with something pretty quickly."

Did I mention that he had was British? I guess not, but he was. I pay attention to accents, and his was good English public school; Eton, then on to Cambridge.

"Does this have something to do with my being a PI, because I'm not one anymore?"

"Only indirectly," he said.

David, I'm not going to be able to finish this tonight, something has come up. I'll write again as soon as I can.

Regards,

Bishop

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