Hamish called me earlier the next day, and although I’d tried to go to bed at a reasonable time, I still found myself exhausted when I reached over to pick up the phone.
“Hello?” I didn’t even try to disguise the sleep in my voice this time.
“I’m sorry, did I wake you? Is it still early? I think I might still be a little jet lagged.”
“No, no. Any sane person would be out of bed already, I just never claimed to be sane. What’s up?” I sat up and tried to rub some of the sleep out of my eyes. I didn’t usually have too much trouble with accents, but his accent was thick, especially when he started talking quickly with excitement and with the phone connection not being as clean as it could be—I needed as much mind power to get there.
“I had a word with some of the people here, and I’ve rented out one of the big business rooms in the hotel for today, tomorrow, and the day after that because they don’t have any big reservations coming in for a while. I figured we’d had plenty of space to look over the letters, compare notes on what we know about our grandparents’ pasts, and form some sort of plan of action. To decide when we’re going where, that sort of thing.”
“You rented out an office for this? And you’re planning to live in the Hilton for the unknowable future? Hamish, I don’t mean this to sound crude, but–are you rich?”
There was a little cough and a pause at the end of the line. I thought for a second I might have pushed too fair, but then there was a little laugh, “Uh. Yeah. Filthy rich, I think the expression would be. My Grandda, the one who married Lilly, was kind of minted. When Nana died, my sister and I got all of it. I gave her a little more than her fair half because she’s married and she’s got a little one–but even still I’ve got more than enough to chase after stupid treasure hunts for another couple of years before I have even consider the possibility of getting a job at some point in the future. So–don’t worry about anything in this quest of ours–It started out as my mission and I fully expect to pay for any and all expenses we may incur.”
“Oh. Cool.” There was another long pause as I considered how to address that, but I had nothing. So–I ignored it. “So–the business center is all ours, huh? Did you have a time when you wanted to start working?”
“Whenever you’re ready, I think. I can’t wait to figure this all out.”
“Alright–well, I’m going to wash up and maybe get some breakfast, and then I’ll head that way?”
“Sounds good. I’m going to go ahead and get set up, start writing what I know of a time line. I’ll tell the people at the front desk to let you in, okay?”
“Sounds good to me.”