Once upon a time in Rushmore McKenzie’s life, the Midwest Farmers Insurance Group paid a reward of $3,128,584.50 for catching an embezzler giving Midwest a hard time. On a cold winter’s morning six years later, the man who gave McKenzie the check, Vincent Donatucci, arrives at Mac’s Falcon Heights home with an offer to pay him $125,000.00 more to act as go-between in a matter involving the theft of the Jade Lily.
An artifact known as the Jade Lily -insured by Midwest for $3.8 million bucks- was stolen from the City of Lakes Art Museum the night before. The ransom demanded by the “artnappers” (as Donatucci calls them) is a third of its insured value. The fee Donatucci offers McKenzie is ten percent of that ransom, but Mac just laughs it off at first. Why risk his life for money when he already is set for life with it?
Then Donatucci lets McKenzie in on something else: the thieves have specifically requested McKenzie to be the go-between. Astonished, McKenzie nibbles at the bait Donatucci has dangled before him, but Donatucci abruptly feigns indifference to the whole affair knowing all the while he has McKenzie hooked. McKenzie finally agrees to take the job for the offered fee plus expenses.