Is it or isn't it a death story? You decide....
"I'm sorry, sir, but there's nothing more to be done." The man sounded really sorry.
Blair was grasping for the last straw. "It can't be that serious. OK, so her health's not been the best lately, but there must be something to be done for her?"
"Well, there is a slight chance that some specialists in Sweden can help, but I can't promise anything. I'll give them a call, and let you know. OK?"
"Yes, thank you." Blair hung up the phone, and sat down on the couch with his face in his hands.
Jim walked up to him and put a reassuring hand on his shoulder. "What did they say?"
"They can't do anything more for her. They were going to call a specialist in Sweden - they might be able to help."
"Let's hope so, Chief. I understand how hard this is for you. I've lost many that were really close to me, you know."
"Do you ever get used to it, Jim?"
"Not everybody. But it happens often in my line of work, so I try not to let grief overcome me. But I'm with you every step of the way here."
"Thanks, man. It's just that this is the second time this happens for me. It wasn't as hard last time, maybe because she was perfectly healthy until...you know, we didn't really go through that much together. But now it's different. I mean, we've been hijacked together, she's worked several cases with me.... And because of her health problems and bad shape when we met, we got really close, you know."
The friends were interrupted by the phone ringing. Jim answered it. "Ellison. Yes, hold on. For you, Chief." With that, he handed the receiver over to Blair.
"Blair Sandburg. Really? What's the number? OK... let me write that down. International access code, tone, 4692007, mmmhmmm... Yes, I got it. Thank you so much!" Blair hung up, and turned to Jim. "I got the phone number to the specialists in Sweden, and I'm going to call them right away."
Jim looked at his watch. 1 PM. "I wouldn't do that if I were you. There's a nine hour time difference, so it's two in the morning over there. You'd better wait until tonight."
"I don't know if I can wait that long," Blair sighed. "And more importantly, if she will."
"She's in fine hands at the moment. It won't make any difference if we wait."
"I guess you're right."
Throughout the day, Blair had a hard time thinking about else than the Swedish specialists, and if they would be able to help or not. It would be too painful to let her go so soon. *OK, so she's not a spring chicken, but she has many good years in front of her.* He checked his watch several times, and at 10 PM he rushed to the phone and dialed the long strain of number. One ring. Two rings. Three rings.... "Åkes Bil, god morgon," a female voice answered. *Must be Swedish* Blair realized, but he didn't want to make a fool of himself trying to speak this Nordic tongue. "Yes, my name is Blair Sandburg, and I'd like to talk to an expert."
"Just a moment." Blair was put on hold, and music, the latest from Britney Spears, began. *I must be in hell. Do Swedes really listen to this?* His torment was short-lived, though. A man's voice came on.
"Hello, my name is Blair Sandburg and I wonder if you can help me."
"That depends on your problem."
Blair swallowed. This was his only chance to help her. "I have a '65 Volvo Amazon that is in very bad shape, and my mechanic can't do anything about it. So he suggested I call you since you specialize in Volvo Amazons."
"Well, if you tell me in greater details what the problems are, I might be able to help you."
Feeling somewhat relieved, Blair told of all the problems with his beloved car, and the Swedish mechanic told him he knew what to do. The only problem was the distance.
"Shipping a car overseas is not only costly, but it takes a long time. If you give me the number to your local mechanic, I might be able to tell him what to do."
"That sounds like a great idea!" Blair told Åke the number to his mechanic, thanked him and hung up. The relieved smile on his face told his best friend that there was hope.
"What did they say?"
"He said that he knew what to do, but that it's not really a good idea to ship the car to Sweden. So he's going to call my local mechanic and tell him what to do."
"Sounds like a good idea. Feel like celebrating?"
"Sure. Anything but Wonderburger."
"How about Swedish?"
If you're interested in buying a Volvo Amazon like Blair's (black, but it can be
repainted if you feel the desire),