Previously: The Legend of Leonard Letterman, Pt 41
Leonard sat further back on the bed so that he could lean his head against the cool stone. He closed his eyes and sat there without moving until the dizziness lessened. His heart kept an erratic beat in his chest, as if to further illustrate to Leonard the extent of his unpredictable situation.
He eventually opened his eyes to study the note yet again. Taking a moment to adjust to the nearly illegible script, he read, subconsciously hearing it as he imagined Jerra would impart it to him:
Whatever yeh believe to be true, I beg yeh not to show this to Wilhelmina, lives are at stake.
I can’ tell yeh all, in case the wrong hands or eyes find it.
If yeh’re the man I think yeh are, like yeh’re da’, put yeh’re trust in others ‘sides Wilhelmina. She’s not what yeh think, an’ her aims isn’ what she says they are.
Tell Osric abou’ the shard, they need to know she has it. If yeh don’ wan’ ta get between kin, then tell Nox.
An’ when yeh need to find the missin’ Pond, look for the map the doesn’ belong and study it close. Don’ let her go with yeh.
Can’ say more.
Watch yeh’re back.
No matter what Leonard tried to tell himself, he couldn’t escapes the sensation of the floor repeatedly being pulled out from beneath him; a fall and a nasty scrape would be bad enough, but Leonard felt more like he was plummeting down an abyss, scraping, scratching, and slamming against the sides as he descended. As time passed, he expected to look down and the find marks.
The more he considered the note, the sicker Leonard felt. His stomach roiled as he thought about sharing the contents with Wilhelmina, and he instantly rejected the idea. Whatever was going on, Jerra had claimed that there were lives at stake. Leonard had seen nothing that warranted such a potentially hasty step, even if it did make him squirm more than ice down the back of his shirt.
Leonard had never been an overly secretive person; he kept certain personal thoughts to himself (as common decency alone demands), but he generally didn’t have information that was relegated to certain contacts. In fact, other than any sensitive work-related material, the last couple of days had been the most Leonard had every dealt in secrecy.
There were many things that bothered Leonard about the note and its contents. One of the top contenders was the fact that this was not the first warning to involve Wilhelmina. The mention of motives other than those that Wilhelmina had claimed had moved her to call for help further sank Leonard’s heart in an icy sea of doubt and dread; going under was all too likely.
He’d also been warned to watch his back, again not for the first time.
With the frenzied movements of a drowning man trying to save himself, Leonard launched to his feet and resumed his pacing; it was much more difficult to keep to an unhurried pace when he so desperately wanted to outrun his thoughts.
After many dizzyingly successive turns, Leonard tried to slow his pace to one question per step.
Who put the note in Leonard’s pack? If not Jerra, then who? And why? (turn)
Could the note be trusted? What could Jerra hope to gain by lying? Did the lives at stake include Jerra’s daughter? (turn)
Why would Wilhelmina lie? Why did so many people seem to think that Wilhelmina’s motives were questionable enough to warn Leonard? Did Ursa know something? Is that why she seemed to have such a problem with Wilhelmina? (turn)
Why was it so important to tell someone that Wilhelmina had the shard? Why tell Nox? And why did Wilhelmina really ask Leonard to keep quiet about the recovered shard? (turn)
Did it have anything to do with Leonard’s father? Why hadn’t his father told him about all of this? Where was his father now? (turn)
What about Etta? Would Leonard actually be able to find her when the time came?
On and on he went. His thoughts were so loud that Leonard didn’t hear the knock on his door the first time. It wasn’t until Leonard’s second pass near the door that coincided with a louder and more distinctive knock that he was startled from the track he was wearing into the floor.
Click here for Part 43!