When the push and tug of circumstances appeared to be scattering beyond Blow's unschooled managing skills, he'd come to know that his best friends at these moments were a ballpoint pen and a canary yellow legal pad. He was with them at his desk. To the pad's left, within reach, were his cold coffee cup with the tip of a copper wire from the drowned audio transmitter visible above the rim, and, next to the cup, the GPS tracker in the paper bag he'd just now brought in from where he found it at his front door.
Avoiding any variations of the word prioritize, which sounded annoyingly bureaucratic to his ear, he regarded the list he was making as a means of determining urgency and importance. He'd learned somewhere along the line he was a visual learner. Forcing himself to write things down helped him think. He listed items as he thought of them, then ranked them with numbers, often finding they'd sorted themselves in the order with which they came to mind.
First to appear on this pad was a reminder to create a separate account for the $10,000 Jamie Moriarty said she'd deposited in his office account. This was a precaution in the event his unusual contract with Moriarty went asunder. It seemed entirely possible she might be setting him up, either to lead her to the student she was seeking, or as a conduit for moving illegal funds, or even as an agent in some scheme she hadn't revealed nor he anticipated. The musket hunt was no doubt one of many endeavors involving her and her anonymous associates. Blow would ask the bank to alert him if any new deposits showed up from the Caymans.
Flowers for Rose. Her epiphany rambled around in Blow's head. So unexpected, and yet, upon reflection, so like her. He knew she'd not have told him were there no way to verify. The Easter jazz show would keep a record of its playlists. She'd assume correctly he would trust she named her novel's character not knowing an obscure musician shared the strange moniker. Blow's incipient metaphysical thinking extended scarcely beyond a muddled rejection of superstition. The muddling, he knew, bespoke a chickenshit hesitation to take a stand one way or the other. He and Rose had never mentioned religion in their years of friendship. Her independence and worldly circumstances suggested nothing more defined than an agnostic outlook, and her revelation caught him up short. He smiled now at the irony.
Salzwedel. Surely he knew the identity of the student who claimed to have the musket that fired the first shot of--acknowledging if not agreeing with Moriarty's point--the American War for Independence. Salzwedel had protected the student, which apparently led to acrimony with Newt Gunther, which worried Salzwedel it might be seen as a motive for murder. Moriarty said she thinks Himmler killed Gunther after Gunther demanded more than whatever Himmler was willing or able to pay for the musket. Moriarty admitted killing Himmler but didn't say why. Now she, after failing to find the musket in the school or at either Gunther's or Salzwedel's homes would be trying to learn the student's identity.
Questions: Who broke into the school, Moriarty or Himmler? Were they after the musket or the student's identity, or both? Who was Himmler working for? Is there a Sons of Lexington, and if so, is it a CIA front? Did Himmler have a backup? Answer: Of course. Can Moriarty be trusted? Answer: Do not shit yourself.
Get with Caldwell. What's with the Himmler murder?
Tomorrow morning. Read newspapers, every one you can find.
Assuming he'd forgotten at least one important question or task to add, Blow nonetheless decided he'd gotten enough down to help him move in the right direction to best serve his clients. He scanned the list carefully, hovering over each item with his pen. Finally, at Salzwedel, he jotted the numeral one in front of the name and circled it heavily.