After Edith left, I thought a lot more about her problem. I planned to front the money, then to take it back. I finished my coffee, then rode the bike back to my apartment. The warmth of the apartment was intoxicating after the chill of the ride. It lulled me to sleep. Actually I napped off and on through the afternoon.
I was still groggy when the knock on the door came. I was always very careful about answering the door. That time as usual it was Lucy. She had gotten my message left on her cell phone.
"So what did you do while I slaved over a hot library book?" she asked.
"I rode the bike to the park. I also spoke with a baptist preacher." I smiled at Lucy. She knew my feelings about organized religion. I went on to explain it all.
"Of all the gin joints in all the world why do you think she chose to contemplate the river in front of you?"
"Now that is a good question. Nobody knows what we have done. Do you think God sent her to me?"
"That's possible but more likely Becky sent her, or it really was just an accident."
"I'm going with accident." I replied.
"Me to," Lucy agreed. After a moment's thought she went on. "So how are we going to help her?"
"I think it's time for a little left handed english on our lil ole blackmailer."
"Okay, but you should know I don't have much sympathy for the Reverend Wright."
"I know, but one thing at a time. First we neutralize the blackmailer, then we discuss Reverend Wright."
Lucy being the media technician as well as the school librarian fit right into my plan. She took me shopping in exchange for a decent dinner at a nice Jacksonville restaurant. When we finished dinner, Lucy drove back to her house and my garage apartment. Since it wasn't one of those nights when she needed a shoulder to lean on, she went to her apartment and I went to mine.
On the second day of the preachers caper, I called to arrange for Lucy to have access to the church on Thursday evening. Lucy needed the time to do her thing.
I waited until Thursday night late to dig up the money. Twenty grand was just two stacks of bills. I really hated to use my own money as bait, but I didn't see how the reverend could come up with it without stealing it.
Lucy and I tested the equipment Friday before the meeting. According to Lucy everything was going to be fine. I hated it when she said that. I was just superstitious enough to expect the worst after her assures.