Found! Ask the right person - the right question!
I.The Pros - hordes of police
1) Everyone telephoned my former secretary to ask if she had a copy of my itinerary. She had only my old one, showing me flying back to the U.S. from Italy.
2) A few also asked her if I used a travel agency and what was its address.
3) They then called up the travel agency, Seagull Travel, but I had not booked this trip with it at all – a dead end.
II. The Amateur - one lone "Sherlock Holmes" accountant
1) The CPA also talked to my secretary. He chatted to her about the travel agency. Did I happen to have a special contact there? Yes, I dealt with the owner personally.
2) He then called up Seagull Travel. The person who answered the phone told him I had not booked this trip with them. Dead end? Well not quite– he would like to talk to the owner.
3) After being put on hold "forever," he was finally connected to him. He introduced himself as my accountant and a CPA and said he was trying to track me down. He realized that I had not booked my current trip with the agency. But the owner would surely have a better guess as to where I would be likely to travel, and where to stay, then he would. Any suggestions?
“Sure,” says the owner, “let me pull up a couple of his old trip logs in the private files I keep on my computer on key customers. Let’s see, if it were summer, he’d be in Spain for sure, but this time of year my bet is that he is in Germany. He generally stays at four and five star hotels on the company expense account. But when the trip extends to private travel, he prefers to rent a room from a family with a townhouse, similar to an upscale Bed & Breakfast in England. Sometimes he'll do a short-term sublet of a studio apartment. Two of his favorite places to stay privately are xxx and yyy. He also stops by an American Express Office every now and again. He likes its having a bulletin board service, so also try leaving a message for him there in a couple of major cities, Munich1 and Frankfort for starters.”
The CPA called xxx, and was told I had moved on to Frankfort. He left a message for me in Frankfort at yyy and also at the American Express office there. Both messages I received the day he left them. About ten days later I flew back to the U.S. and found out about the massive on-going manhunt for me in Turkey.
Someone out there has what you need in his files, paper, computer, or in his head. Find that key person, and the rest becomes a whole lot easier.
1 Amercian Express no longer has offices in Munich, and Internet cafes made its bulletin board service irrelevant.
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