He has a father. That answers my next question. “Home computers were coming online. What if you could earn a college degree by computer?”
“My Dad thought the idea was crazy. ‘Those computers are just toys.'” he said. “‘Nobody learns anything on a computer.’ So he killed it.”
“Dad said, ‘If you want to make a lot of money why not start a medical school in the Caribbean? Costs are cheap and the weather is better.'”
“Here was an great opportunity. U.S. schools don’t provide enough openings to meet the demand for new doctors. I could fill that void.”
“All made possible by free-flowing student loan money which our school never has to account for. I probably shouldn’t have told you that.”
The Chancellor’s words are slurred. His head begins to nod. “Charly!” he mumbles “Pump me another!” “I think you’ve had enough.” says Mary.
“I’m awake I’m awake! I run the finest medical school in the Caribbean and I’ll fight anyone who says otherwise.” “Is he for real?” I ask.
Mary dismisses the barkeep. “Sometimes he milks a point. He’s fine. The school’s fine.” “What about the problems you mentioned before?”
“I mentioned no problems.” “Well, you signed them.” “No I didn’t.” “Firing older employees? Running out of money? Scaring off investors?”
“Students cheating to get their MDs? General mismanagement?” “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Why is she denying our conversation?
“Look, I don’t give a damn about your medical school malpractice or your silenced stateside support staff. I’m looking for Regi Granger.”
The Chancellor lifts his head up from the raw milk puddle on the bar. “Granger? Is he still dead?” Oh ho! Does he know the doppelgänger?
Something’s rotten in the state of Denmark. Or is the man sprawling next to me presenting a low lactose tolerance? I need to find Regi fast.
I yank the Chancellor upright by his lapels. “You stinking milksop! Where is Regi Granger?” “I don’t know nothing about Willum Granger.”
“Regi! The best odds say Willum Granger is dead. I’m looking for Regi Granger!” “Let go of me!” “Not until you give me some answers I like.”
“You won’t find any Granger dead or alive at my medical school.” “I don’t like that answer.” “OK. How about this one. She’s perfectly fine.”
“I like that better but I don’t believe you. Have you seen a lifelike Granger double walking around?” The Chancellor shrinks back in horror.
Now he grabs my lapels. In a slurred whisper he says “You saw him too? I thought he was a tryptophan-induced hallucination.” “Let go of me!”
“Not until you give me some answers I like.” A baseball bat crashes down on the bar beside us. “Take it outside you two” says the barkeep.
I say “Is that your enforcer or are you glad to see me?” She glares at me. The Chancellor blocks my exit. “Where do you think you’re going?”
“Looks like I’m attending medical school.” “Set one foot on my island and you’ll regret it.” “Thanks for the heads up. I’ll take both feet.”
(The Twitter Mystery continues daily at @Twitstery)