The Thief of Souls

I asked her about Mister Lane’s connection to Rostow that would cause the old man to leave him his fortune.  She had no idea.  Paul had not once mentioned the man, or even the Rostow name, in their ten years of marriage

After Mrs. Lane left my office that afternoon, I sat for a time at my desk thinking about the case.  I had to admit that despite my initial reservations, the job intrigued me.  The Rostow angle added just the right dash of mystery to get the juices flowing.

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The first thing I did was stake-out the Rostow mansion.  I found a hidden nook along the shoulder of Old Lake Shore Road where I could park my inconspicuous little  Ford Focus sedan, giving me a clear, unobstructed view of the long, narrow driveway that  wound its way down from the mansion.  My initial thought was to simply watch Lane’s comings and goings for a couple of days to get a sense of the man, what he was about.

But during those two days and nights of observation, nothing much happened.  Lane stayed put for the most part, taking occasional jaunts in a black Mercedes E-Class sedan to a small diner in a nearby village or to a shopping mall a little farther out.  The car was driven by a stone-faced, thickly built, twenty-something chauffeur with Lane an impassive back seat passenger.

Finally, I had enough and decided my time would be better spent back at the office researching the connection between Lane and Rostow.  I went  to straight to the Internet, googled the name, “Desmond Rostow,” and was instantly rewarded with a long list of web links, including a Wikipedia entry.   What I learned surprised and intrigued me.  They could have made a movie out the guy.

Though certainly not a household name, Rostow had an interesting and mysterious career.  It had even started off quite extraordinary.  In the early 1940’s, Rostow had been mentored by none other than Nikola Tesla toward the end of that famously eccentric inventor’s career.  During this phase, Tesla had spent his time on bizarre inventions such as the Hyperdimensional Oscillator, the Teleforce Weapon, also known as the Death Ray, and the Wireless Brainwave Magnifying Transmitter.





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