The local police investigated the fire and found that it had been deliberately set. That was no surprise to Jerry. When their hired help had suddenly disappeared the night of the fire, it didn't take Sherlock Homes to put two and two together. Despite their investigation, Jerry didn't have too much confidence in the Otley Police Department. It wasn't exactly Scotland Yard. There were only three full-time officers, and the typical crime in the area was a stolen bicycle. Even that didn't happen too often. That's why it amazed him to hear Chief Inspector Simmons explain to him that Mr. "Bill Lovock" wasn't who he said he was. His real name was Wilhelm Schmidt, a German citizen who came with his parents to Britain in 1936. The parents returned to Germany in 1939 at the outbreak of the war and the father had joined the SS. They left their teenage son in Britain as an informant, thinking that because he was young and had no German accent, he wouldn't be a suspect and could be useful to the cause of the party.
The Inspector said,
"The man is a Nazi through and through. He is very bitter that Hitler's dream to rule the world, failed. Schmidt hated Jews, blacks and anyone who stood against the Party. We have been trying to track him for years, but he kept slipping through our fingers. Then he suddenly showed up in areas of the country and set fire to different things. He must have seen the article about you in the paper. In the past it has been church and government buildings. We will get him soon." He then turned to Jerry and said,
"By the way Mr. Adamson, in the course of the investigation we took a number of items away the morning after the fire. One of them was a .38 pistol. I know that you haven't the weapon for unlawful purposes, but this is not the United States. One of my men told me that you have been considering moving back there, so we will keep it down at the station until that time. Normally, we wouldn't normally return a weapon like that to its owner; but we are grateful for the work you have done for Britain, so you can pick it up when and if you decide to leave the country."
It was while the Adamson family was still staying with the neighbors, that Jerry received another call from the United States. Vance's rich Texas accent brought back memories of the last time he heard from him, and he braced himself for some more bad news. The accountant said,
"Thank you Jerry for returning the form I sent you earlier in the year." Jerry didn't know what he was talking about. He excused himself, covered over the mouthpiece with his hand and asked Connie,
"Did I sign a form earlier in the year; something to do with a release for an oil company to survey on Mom's farm?" Connie nodded and said ,
"You signed it along with about a thousand bills you paid in March. You don't remember because I addressed, stamped and posted it." He lifted the phone back to his mouth and said,
"Sorry about that Vance; carry on." The accountant then said that the company's prospecting was just routine, but that he now had some good news for the Adamson family:
"The whole area of surrounding farmland is oil‑rich. They struck oil on your land this morning at 9:35! Jerry‑boy, you had better mosey on home. You and your wife are rich. Very rich!"
To be continued...