Maggie was furious. Jess must have watched her enter the wall safe’s security code when she was getting inside it to retrieve Cory’s Last Will and Testament. She was standing right behind me, she could see everything I did, Maggie said to herself. And she kept pushing me to drink to the point I was sloshed and passed out in bed. Jess could have taken the jewelry and the coin that night while I was sleeping like a corpse. She stomped her foot. How could I be so foolish, so trusting?
“I’m calling her,” she said rushing to her purse and the phone inside. She dialed Jess, but it went to voicemail. I need to stay calm and act like nothing is going on, she thought. “Hey, Jess, what are you up to? Give me a call. Bye.”
Maggie picked up her purse and the box of tissue. She was about to leave to drive to Jess’s when she thought she had better call her lawyer, Darron Sugarman. She sat at Cory’s desk, found the phone number, and called the lawyer’s office.
“Sugarman, Chandler, and Page Law Offices,” the woman said. “May I help you?”
“I’m Margaret McGee and I had dropped some paperwork off for Mr. Sugarman to look at,” Maggie said, trying not to sound like she was crying. “Do you know if he’s had time to look at it?”
“He’s in the office right now; would you like me to transfer you?”
“Yes, thank you.”
“Darron Sugarman, what can I do for you?” the lawyer said with a slow, baritone voice.
“This is Maggie McGee, and I was wondering if you have looked at the paperwork I dropped off concerning my deceased husband.”
“Yes, I have.” Papers shuffled in the background. “Did you have a specific question?”
“I guess first I’d like to know if life insurance covers his suicide.”
“Sadly, it does not. Unless it can be proved that he was insane and not responsible for his actions, I’m afraid it is not covered.”
Maggie was not sure if she should bring up the blackmailing, yet. “Was there anything unusual about the will?”
“You are the sole beneficiary of the property and estate, real, personal, and mixed, tangible and intangible including the business of McGee Construction Company, after all debt and expenses are paid.” The attorney cleared his throat. “There is something unusual though.”
“What do you mean?”
“Your deceased husband bequeathed all jewelry, and a coin inherited from his grandmother Gerdie Lavis, to one named Jessica Jane Pinter. Items include a 3-carat Golconda diamond ring valued at $300,000; a 65-carat Morganite platinum diamond pendant with a 14K gold omega necklace valued at $60,000; and an 1802 Proof Draped Bust Silver Dollar valued at—I hope you are sitting down—1.3 million dollars.”
Maggie gasped, partly from the shock of having items of that staggering value in their safe and the fact that Jessica Jane Pinter was now the owner of them. She stammered. “No, no, I had no idea. I knew they were valuable, but I didn’t know they were that valuable . . . Is the will legal?”
“It appears to be. His signature is notarized and appears in order.”
Maggie jumped in. “I checked the safe this morning before I came here, and the jewelry and the coin are missing. The only person who would know the code to get into the safe is Jessica Pinter. I believe she stole them.”
“It appears they are legally hers,” Attorney Sugarman said. “However, if what you say is correct, and she entered your home illegally, without your permission, with the intent of stealing the jewelry and the coin, it would constitute breaking and entering, as well as burglary. Do you have proof that Jessica Jane Pinter took the valuables from the safe?”
Maggie thought a moment. “No, but she’s the only one, that I’m aware of, that knew about them and would possibly know the combination.”
“Are you at the house now?”
“Yes, I am.”
“Call the police and file a report.”
“I will.” Maggie was not sure whether to mention the hunch she had about Jess because blackmail sounded so crazy, but she did. “I think Jess was blackmailing Cory.”
“Are you sure about that? What proof do you have?”
“I have a letter and a bank statement. I’ll send a copy to you.”
“We may need to contest the will,” Attorney Sugarman said. “Keep in touch.”
When they disconnected, Maggie called the police. While she waited for them to come out to the house, she brainstormed how she could get proof that Jess came into the house and got into the safe. All she had was circumstantial evidence.