it was warm in the store and the jc penny suit was beginning to itch. he thought about taking off the jacket but decided against it due to his mission. attorneys and missions. this was one of those mission deals.
lois cut short her reverie about the name and told the man where he could find the man with the metal face or now more to the point, burnsworth orlando osceola. the jc penny suit man thanked lois and walked out of the store and into the warm humid early summer air. now that he knew where to go his mission was back on track and the cheap suit wasn’t as itchy.
albert bustemonte or alberto as family still called him, was a long way from south florida but he had the gift of a sense of direction, no matter where he was. once he was back in the compact rental car, with the a/c on high, it didn’t take him long to find the road he was looking for. alberto settled back and gently tapped his fingers on the steering wheel to the beat of an emmylou harris oldie playing on the cd player.
albert bustemonte loved his job, especially at times like this when he got the chance to be the bearer of good news. actually, really good news. he figured burnsworth orlando osceola didn’t have a clue as to the good fortune that was about to befall him. mr. bustemonte found it hard to believe himself but that wasn’t really any concern of his. he was just the messenger and a very frugal one at that.
the blue metal building sparkled like a large sapphire stone in the warm mid afternoon sun. he turned into the long tree lined gravel drive that led to the house and metal building. he stopped the car on the semi circular driveway in front of the home. he collected his briefcase from the passenger seat, got out of the car, and stretched into the warm shade of the trees and home.
a man in a metal hat and welder’s face shield appeared on the porch. albert was almost surprised but a mission was a mission and he was more than used to the oddities of human kind.
‘yes, and you sir?’
‘mr. osceola, my name is albert bustemonte. i’m an attorney from orlando, florida. may i have a few words with you, sir? i’m sure you’ll find the time spent very worthwhile.’
‘i suppose so. please, come inside and out of the heat.’
the man with the metal face opened the front door as alberto climbed the stairs. once on the porch, alberto extended his hand with a business card in it. the metal faced man took it and read it as they stepped into the foyer. the door closed and the cool inside air felt good.
‘please, follow me into the living room. can i get you something cold to drink?’
‘no, thank you. not right now. perhaps later. after we talk.’
the man with the metal face stopped in front of a comfortable looking sofa and beckoned with his hand for mr. bustemonte to sit. then he spoke.
‘i apologize for my appearance, sir. i…i was injured a number of years ago and i find this get up, as it were, to be most comforting. i hope you aren’t offended by it.’
‘oh, no. not in the least. after all this is your home and i’m the intruder. what ever makes you comfortable.’
‘fine. so what brings you here, mr. bustemonte?’
‘please, call me albert. mr. osceola, i’m here to bring you some very very good news. i know it’s been a number of years since you lived in south florida with your last foster family. you were a mere child. i’m an attorney from the area and like i said i have some good news for you.’
‘really? alright. continue. does it have anything to do with them? my foster parents?’
‘no, it doesn’t. it concerns your biological father. the father you never met and also in a way the mother you never met as well.’
‘ok. interesting. you have my attention, albert.’
‘i know some of this is old history for you but if you would allow me to go over some of it i think it will help to perhaps explain things.’
the man with the metal face nodded for albert to continue.
‘your middle name and your last name were given to you by your first foster family and your last foster family. orlando and osceola in that order. due to the fact you were born and raised for a time in south florida and both sets of parents had a sense of humor as did the superior court judges who signed off on the names. although stranger things do happen.’
‘indeed. i’ve always enjoyed both names and never had a problem with them or either set of foster parents for hanging the names on me. it’s my first name that i know nothing about.’
‘yes. burnsworth. that’s why i’m here mr. osceola. here to shed some light on the name and, well, i’m getting ahead of myself.’
as the next part of the story unfolded, albert stood up and began pacing the floor not unlike an attorney in a courtroom. the man with the metal face sat, watched, and listened with rapt attention.
‘mr. osceola we’ve discovered your mother was the daughter of a miami police department detective, leonard coombs. his daughter, melanie, is your mother. sadly, melanie passed away several months after your birth, due to a drug overdose.’
the man with the metal face said nothing and with the welder’s face shield it was impossible to determine just what his emotions were doing to him. albert forged on after clearing his throat.
‘we also learned who your father is. ty burnsworth. perhaps you’ve heard of him but probably not as the family has always been under the radar. he is the son of, william jennings burnsworth, the orange tree and juice magnate of south florida. ty took over the family orchards after his father passed away a number of years ago. to make a long story short, when your father learned he had terminal pancreatic cancer he hired us to find you. find you so he could somehow maybe do right by you after all these years.’
from behind the face shield the man with the metal face whispered. ‘yes?’
‘mr. osceola, unfortunately your father has since passed away. we were unable to locate you in time. however, your father has left you a very generous gift. an inheritance of $10,000,000. and if i may say, the best part being there are no strings attached. none.’
the room became silent and neither man spoke for several minutes.
you can find the odd number episodes and the beginning episode to this story