Pierce is robbed.
Jake Pierce was happy, but happy is really too weak a word to describe how he felt; 5,000 dollars was that much more that he had as he had virtually nothing. He could now pay the rent that was due as well as some of his other debts. As he was to enter the apartment his landlady came from behind him, Mrs. Patterson.
“Well, no more excuses now Mr. Pierce. I want my rent money and I want it now or I will throw you out, as God is my witness.” shrieked Mrs. Patterson.
“Not to worry here it is, 700 dollars right,” said Pierce as he was counting the money from his leather bag. Mrs. Patterson was wide-eyed and open mouth when she saw the bag containing the money.
“Wait a minute,” she said, “tell me that you didn’t rob a bank, because I don’t want dirty money, is that clear?”
Pierce looked at her and laughed. “Don’t worry, it is all legitimate. I was given money as an advance for the job that I will be undertaking, but I cannot discuss this in more details. You have to trust me.”
“Well as long the money is clean, I don’t care what sort of job that you’ll be doing, as long as it is honest and you pay the rent on time, understood?”
Pierce looked at her and smiled and nodded. Mrs. Patterson left him, happy with her money. As he put the key in the door and opened it a vision of horror struck him; someone had rummaged through his belongings. The scene before him was what would be expected if a tornado had struck his small apartment; drawers were overturned, clothes were on the floor and his mattress was upside down and had been slashed repeatedly.
He walked through his apartment and tried to imagine what the thief was looking for. He had very little of value; and old television set, a stereo that had seen better days, a camera and the lens that went with them. These were the only valuables to him and as he looked for them he found them in their case. The only real thing of value was his camera, as he used this to make money as a freelancer. However, the thief did not take them. Obviously, it was something much more valuable that was sought. He began to wonder if the break-in might have something to do with his uncle and the money that he received. Perhaps it was the sticks that they were after.
He sat down and began looking at the sticks in a new perspective. And what if these were the key. Perhaps they were very valuable and maybe he was in danger he thought. He had dismissed the idea outright when Stevens had told him that people were watching but now he was not so sure after all. He would have to be on guard.
After putting back his room in order he sat down and began to reflect; he had to hide the sticks as they were of importance to him as well as to other people. Obviously the thief was looking for them. He had decided to hide them in his room but now he had second thoughts. Maybe he should put them in a safe at the bank. And then he remembered; he had two pots that had plants. He would simply put the sticks in the pots in a diagonal way as the pots were not tall enough to put them straight up. No one would suspect that these artefacts were there hidden in plain view.