Toffer was livid. His ledgers were missing. For the life of him, he couldn’t remember who dealt with his accounting. Was it Frank? John? Or was it that little weasel who’d been his stepping stool for so long, what was his name?
No matter. They were all going down. He was safe from all, or so he thought. He was untouchable.
He had connections. He was Toffer French, for God’s sake. He controlled everything in Des Moines. He was God.
He forced his massive four hundred pound frame, all five foot four inches of it, off the chair that had been barely holding him up. Even standing, he looked like a toad. He loosened his tie.
Walking over to the window of his office, he looked out upon the city. He could see the capitol building from where his office sat. It was his way of fancying himself an important man. He had people working up there.
Hell. He had put everyone there into office. They owed him. And he would take back what they owed him.
If they refused to give him what he wanted, he would destroy them. He would expose their greed and corruption. He didn’t care that it might destroy him as well. He would just rip their careers to shreds.
This was his city. He would rule it before the decade was out. His boy would have his choice of the young ladies. His boy would have free rein.
He smiled evilly. He would break those who opposed him. He would start with Michael Morrow and that Russian witch of a wife. Morrow Mill Works would be his and the Morrows would be without a country. He would see to it.
He took a deep breath. First, he had to find a new team. He needed partners in this endeavor, people he could trust. But who would trust him enough to join him?
A light went on in the darkness within his mind. There were only three who were as vile as he. Corgan Michaels was one such man.
Cold, heartless, and worth billions, Corgan was less interested in humanity than he was making money. Truitt Farner was another. Farner ran a small advertising firm midtown. He was unscrupulous when it came to getting clients, often stealing from the other firms and then forcing the “new” client to pay triple what they had been with their original firm.
Tor Halgaard was another. Whatever it was Tor did, it made him a feared man. And a wealthy one. Perfect choice for a henchman.
Finally, there was Franklin Farsight. Frankie was a hit man. But would he be game? Toffer didn’t know.
J. Howard McGrath stood at the door of the Morrow home waiting for an answer when Valeria opened. She looked at him. “May I help you, Sir?”
He nodded and smiled. “Yes ma’am, you can. I am J. McGrath here to see a Mr. Michael Morrow. May I come in?”
She smiled cordially. “Of course. Please do come in.”
He nodded again. “Thank you. You must be Valeria. I’ve heard so much about you. I know your brother and brother-in-law quite well. Sad state, the accusations made against them. their accusers were found to be less than honest and forthcoming.”
She looked at him. “Wait here.” She took her leave.
Seconds later, Michael appeared and stretched out his hand in greeting. “Michael Morrow, Mr. McGrath. Pleased to meet you. Follow me, if you will.”
Michael led the gentleman to his study. Inside sat Frank, John, and the host of other witnesses against Toffer French. McGrath stepped inside.
Frank looked at the Attorney General. “Glad you could come. We have quite a bit of evidence to turn over to you.”
McGrath nodded. “Good, good. And Toffer?”
Frank grinned. “He has no knowledge of this meeting or anything else.” He grew serious. “I remember you telling me that you wanted to catch a crook, well here you have a chance. Corruption, extortion, blackmail, tax evasion, embezzlement–it’s all there, including proof of at least twenty rapes and murders.”
McGrath looked at Frank sternly. “I hope none in this room had anything to do with the crimes.”
Frank shook his head. “No. At least not the major ones. The records were kept in secret, without Toffer’s knowledge.”
McGrath looked around the room. “Will he have the money to fight the charges?”
Frank shook his head. “No. His company is in the red. He lives beyond his means. Even if he sold his house and most of his cars, he would still not have enough to fight. He owes more than he could ever make back.
“The mafia refuses to help him anymore because he owes too much. He owes them too much. Billions, not millions. And they really don’t want his company because it would take too much to bring it to code and make it safe.”
McGrath shook his head. “Damn.”
Allan stood. “The factory is unsafe. The working conditions are abysmal. I am just amazed that more workers have not been injured or have died than what have.
“There has been no repairs made. The raw materials are inferior. The products are cheap and shoddy. The income of the company is far less than what he is willing to admit…because of the shoddy product.”
McGrath nodded. “I see.” He turned to leave. “If you are all willing, please load the evidence into the car outside.”
Michael smiled. “We sure will.”
Each man in the office grabbed a box and headed for the door. McGrath also picked up a box. He had been waiting a year for this kind of information on Toffer French and now he had it. He had enough to put French away for life.
He wondered how long French would last on Alcatraz. A day? A week? A month? A year? Three years?
He hoped he would get to see the end of this case. He wanted to put that man away in the worst way. Even if he was unable to get it done, the man who succeeded him as Attorney General would. He would see to it that all those who came after him would fight to put away people like Toffer French.