I poured a second cup of coffee and offered a cup to Anna. We sat in the living room.
“So, what big plans do we have for the day? I brought my own car so we’d be less conspicuous if we go out.” She was always eager to help.
“I don’t know, maybe web surf on Dad’s computer. I may be able to remote access my files. I need to know what Barstow wanted to hire me for. Maybe then I’ll know what it is I cannot remember.”
“Need any help? I’m pretty good at hacking systems,” she volunteered.
I looked at her wide eyed. “You’re not serious.”
“Yeah, I took training at Quantico on how to hack into systems. I have a computer background.”
“Well, come on let’s have at it.” I was eager to see what I could learn.
We went to Dad’s office I booted up the computer, typed in the link to my website,
and logged in. I went to the section I kept on potential customers. Then I opened the file
on Barstow. Anna and I quickly read through my notes. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. He wanted me to find his missing daughter. He’d lost track of her after he divorced her mother. We agreed to meet.
“Did he e-mail you a photo?” she asked.
“I don’t remember.”
Excitedly she said, “Here let me look.”
I slid off the chair and let Anna sit down. Then pulled another chair alongside her. She typed quickly and accessed all my photos. Sure enough there was a file that said Barstow. I was almost afraid to look. When the picture came up I was floored. It was a picture of me, taken at the beach about ten years ago. How did he come to have this photo? Who was this man?
Anna looked at me speechless. I think my expression mirrored hers. I reached for the phone and called the police department.
“Applewood Police Department, how may I direct you?”
“Agnes, this is Sam is my dad in yet?”
“He’s just walking through the door. Hold on a minute.”
The next voice I heard was Dad’s, “What’s up?”
“I need you to come home. Anna and I found something on the computer you need to see.” The seriousness of my voice had him on alert.
“Want to tell me about it?” he asked.
“No, Dad I need you here,” I told him.
“Okay, I’ll be there in ten minutes.” The next thing I heard was a dial tone.
Anna printed the photo. She wanted to have a hard copy when Dad got here. She also saved the photo to a disk. We shut down the computer and went to wait.
When Dad came in a few minutes later, I handed him the photo. He looked at it questioningly.
“Barstow wanted me to find his daughter. He sent me a ten year old photo of her. Dad, who is this guy and why does he think I’m his daughter?” I wanted to know.
Dad sat and just looked at me. I could see he was measuring what he wanted to say. I waited. Anna left the room presumably to give us some privacy.
“He may be your biological father. Your mother was pregnant when I married her. The guy had run off. I didn’t care. I loved your mother. Her child would be mine. We were never able to have children and I figured it was my fault. I am legally your father. This man Barstow, and that is not his real name, is looking for an heir. He is Allen Bannister Jr. and once he produces one he will inherit a trust worth millions. But the money is tied up awaiting an heir. The trust will be divided equally between the heir and Bannister.”
Tune in tomorrow for more.