|Actor Oder Fehr is the perfect rendition of how I visualized Maurice.|
Excerpt from The Coin:
Maurice popped his head out the car window, the usual cigarette snuggled between his lips. “Reception committee. Must be real urgent.”
“Maybe,” Richard replied and opened the door.
Maurice reached over and retrieved a long envelope from the floor of the passenger seat. “I’ve brought you more info,” he said, closing the car door as he got out. “It’s a geological report of the region and anything else the computer could dish out as far as construction permits, new zoning laws, or strange events which might have taken place within this area during the past five or six years.”
Richard smiled. This man was worth more than his weight in gold. “Anything worth looking at?”
“I think not.” Maurice scratched his head. “Only events that stand out were a landslide about a year ago, several fires that ravaged the region two years before, and the new prison. Nothing else.”
“Save them for my return. I don’t think this expedition will take very long. Anything else?”
“The car’s ready. You can swap it for yours when you bring Madame to my office tomorrow.” At Richard’s arched eyebrow, his smile turned cheeky. “The photos of the area will be ready and on my desk by nine tomorrow. You can save me a trip.”
Richard chuckled. “We’ll be there. I’ve got some samples for your boys to analyze. My suspicion is you’ll draw a zero, but anything is worth a try at this stage of the game.”
“D’accord,” Maurice said. “The keys are in the ignition. Good hunting.”
Richard refused the offer with a slight shake of his head. “I’ll be less conspicuous using the other car. And, Maurice, wait for me outside. I don’t want Gabriela to suspect I’m gone.”
Maurice shrugged. “As you wish. Where do I camp out?”
“The terrace is your best bet. The rose arbor is nice, but the seat is hard. No cushions.”
“And no female companionship to keep these old bones comfortable. The terrace it is.” Maurice inhaled deeply from his cigarette.
“Sorry. No wine, either.”
“Buf.” Maurice exhaled, the stream of smoke floating effortlessly in the still air. “Without female company, wine would be wasted.” He finished his cigarette and ground it meticulously into the ground. “If we only knew what we were looking for.” He shrugged.
“I know. Do you have anything by way of gloves in your car?”
Maurice reached through the open window into the glove compartment. “Here,” he said, handing Richard gloves and a tiny flashlight. “Don’t stain them. They’re Italian leather.”
Richard laughed low. “My hunting is not of a violent nature tonight. It’s more information gathering.”
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