Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 159

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 159

 …Americans love the movies. Cold War Americans are fearful of communists. Movie Stars associate with communists. Connect the dots

Feeling frustration and fresh off another in a string of failed mischievous deeds, Pentateuch is pushing L. Dick Cannon into going public with his new Hollywood recruit, John Garfield. If Cannon get Garfield to join him on a publicity tour, Pentateuch is convinced they can offset anything that that damned Graham can put together.

Garfield has been blacklisted by the motion picture industry because of his alleged communist ties. His wife was a member of the Communist Party in the near past, but there is no real evidence that John himself had pledged allegiance to the group. But that does not matter to men like Wisconsin’s Joseph McCarthy, who choose to accuse huge numbers of American citizens with communist sympathy.

In the previous year the newsletter COUNTERATTACK published a report on the communist influence in radio and television. In the pamphlet Red Channels, the groundwork is laid for the blacklist, a toxic list of some 200 actors, writers and directors, following the original outing of the notorious Hollywood Ten of 1947.

This is an overt fearmongering campaign by anti-communist China and textile importer, Alfred Kohlberg. He has made it a simple equation: Americans love the movies. Cold War Americans are fearful of communists. Movie Stars associate with communists. Connect the dots

As a result of this ostracism, Garfield is ripe for the picking, with Spiritual Engineering giving him a liberal platform from which to operate. Never mind that he doesn’t really buy into as a religion. He can use it, just like it intends to use him.

But this blacklisting is a California thing and the only work he can get now is in New York on the stages of Broadway.

“I think I can get some of the other blacklisted people to join us. Most of them, probably like me, don’t have a clue about what diabetics is!”

“It is called Dianetics and its foundational principle is that all living creatures are trying to survive. Using the methods of Dianetics, I can get the human brain to cast off the negative thoughts that hold them back.”

“Well irregardless, we only want to tell our side of the story.”

“That would be ‘regardless’ and all we want to do is have you show us your public support.”

“Whatever… what’s with this we stuff, who is we?” Garfield is from Manhattan’s rough & tumble Lower East Side.

“Mr. Winters and I,” the mysterious Winters appearing out of nowhere to Cannon’s surprise. He has been writing Science Fiction for years, but seeing someone appear out of nowhere is quite another thing.


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 137

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 151

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 151

…How could such an imperfect creature like Eddie D. not jump at the chance of fame,fortune & immortality? It’s an insult to his craftiness…

Perfect is not the way these fine folks should be looking at things. There remains an interested party to certain things tied to the Libby Affair, which he can currently see or know. Pentateuch is a notoriously bad loser, even though he has an extended stay on Earth to his credit, rather than a permanent Lake of Fire address. Unlike the Divine One, who views a human lifetime as a blink of His eye, the Dark Deceiver treats every moment like it is his last. And that lightning bolt loss he suffered at Tolentine… he cannot let it go.

Even his dabbling in a phony bologna cult like The Church of Spiritual Engineering  does not loosen his grip on the satisfaction gained by getting even; a mere toy in the game of tripping up greater mankind, not just this current group of aggravating agitators.

Eddie Dombroski is a known quantity in this storyline, a significant player from Penty’s first contact with that pesky private eye from Florida’s panhandle, which by the way, is a favorite hangout of his oldest and wealthiest sinners. He has kept an evil eye on Dombroski, especially since Eddie turned down the opportunity to trade his eternal soul for a king’s life of fame and fortune. How could such an imperfect creature not jump at that chance? It’s an insult to his craftiness.

get_evenAs is Penty’s want, a daily check on this (f)ailing soul (Eddie) can only be a good thing, to his way of thinking. He might even have the chance to swoop in a snag that soul for the promise of one or ten more years of life. OR catch a whiff of who might still be in contact with the former chauffeur to the Libbyites.

Pondering Penty

Pondering Penty

He ponders, like demons ponder: ‘For one, Constance Caraway is a constant, like the proverbial pestilences of Egypt. She seems plagued by guilt, such a uniquely human emotion, though in this case, it has spawned another condition named, loyalty.

‘This Ace Bannion is a curious addition to this malevolent mix. And whatever happened to that empty-headed female twit of a sidekick? She was so fun to tweak, so predictable. But this Ace, a walking ego an two feet, is unpredictable with an historic heroic bent. He warrants my special concern.

‘And what of this Billy Graham? You must be kidding me! I thought he was going to just another flash in the pan, bible-stumping, do-gooder. What interest could he have with a dying commoner like Eddie? What is a national figure like him doing here?’

When things don’t add up, or when he can’t skew the numbers, it bothers him to no end.


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 131

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 149

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 149

… Cool your heels, play tiddlywinks, take a plane ride, anything, just stay out of the damned devil’s sight…

“Penty is getting plenty close,” Agent Daniels is warning Constance about their adversary’s new proximity. “I’m hoping that he isn’t able to track me sooner than 24 hours, ‘cause if I don’t stay in one spot, he can only guess.”

You’re not from around here, are you?

“You mean he is back at 33 LaSalle?”

“No, he is 10 blocks north of you at 5046 Greenwood.”

She is not a native Chicagoan so some quick counting of streets leads her to conclude, “Does he know something we aren’t aware of?”

“I think he is using this Midwest location as a centralized contact point for those of us not given to spatial displacement.”

“Huh, say what?” spatial what? “How is it that you know where he’s at?”

“I have my ways.”

“I should have known.”

“You should have known,” Ace’s is playing the waiting game, mostly taking his Beechcraft out for daily spins up and around Lake Michigan, or basically wherever he pleases. He feels his skills are being wasted… until there is something to do.

“If you’re so good at second guessing, what do you think we are going to do next?”

“We’re going to fly down to Florida and see what Fanny is up to?”

“That may not be such a good idea — I believe she is carrying a gun these days!.”

“Scratch that idea,” he is not high on Fan’s list of favorite people at this moment and she has had time to stew about things.

“You are going to drive us over to that house on Greenwood, stake it out for a bit, kick the tires, rattle his cage, you know boogie with the boogie man.” Constance knows that Agent Daniels must be moving on to some other assignment any day and someone has to keep tabs on the Great Deceiver.

“That may not be the greatest idea Miss Caraway. As soon as you underestimate him, he will take a bite out of you,” warns Daniels. “I realize that you guys are restless, but Libby is working on his coming out party and you do not want to mess that up. Cool your heels: Watch Penty from afar, do property searches on the Greenwood house, play tiddlywinks, take a plane ride, anything, just stay out of his sight. Resist the urge to tinker and leave ‘him’ to me.”


Constance Caraway P.I.

restless

Forever Mastadon


page 129

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 144

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 144

 …Some men must think that we women are stupid, I’ll tell you… barefoot and pregnant that’s the way they want to keep us…

“C-A-S-H is the acronym. That is not funny!” The doctor is 62 years old, but Fanny does not suspect that senility has set in. Rather, she knows what it’s like to have blind faith; trusting, innocent and the opposite of wary. “I think we should find out who rents that post office box.”

“That won’t be easy Miss Fanny, the US Post Office is a government agency and they don’t give out (or collect) personal information,” Attorney Moore would know.

Not

“Fine, then we can do it the old fashioned way. What day is it today?” she asks.

“The 27th,” the doctor responds.

“Is this a leap year?”

The consensus is no,

“So mail your payment on Feb. 28th and I will be waiting to see who picks up their mail at box 13 on the 1st of March, or the 2nd or 3rd, however long it takes.”

Most men must think that we women are stupid, I’ll tell you… barefoot and pregnant that’s the way they want to keep us.” Mrs. Ambrose’s scathing assessment on the rights of women is partly personal and yet not so far out of line. Women have only been voting for three decades, but many a 1951 husband will tell her how to vote because he “said so”.

“I treat my wife like a queen,” Doctor Campbell tells the truth about his home life. “She has a cook, a gardener, a housekeeper…”

“Mr. Ambrose has all those too and she’s called ME! If you get me my money Mr. Moore, I will reward you and Fanny handsomely and then hire me some help!” Mrs. Ambrose is lament-ful.

“We are working for you in the name of justice.”

“God bless you two, you make a good team.”

They are indeed; people come to Worth with their troubles and for the last two of his cases, Fanny has come through with flying Fanny-001colors. He is fond of her, but in more than a professional way. She may be all business right now, a tough nut to crack, but given enough time he believes she could come around. After all, he has inherited all of James Ferrell’s former clients and his reputation is beyond reproach and isn’t hard on the eyes. Perhaps with Constance away, far away… maybe, just maybe he can have a chance with her?


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 125

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 142

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 142

…“Don’t play with matches?” Constance relates Smokey Bear’s advice…

Scene board-001Daniels instinctively backs away toward the safety of the February Chicago air (on the other side of the front door) exposing what, or rather, who was supposed to be a good-natured hoax.

The pranked private detective did not see this one coming. There reentering the land of the living is Martin Kamen, a bit charred, but none the worse for wear.

“Before you get too mad, we have to get Martin over to the safe house, like now! I am 99.44% sure that Pentateuch believes we died out at the lab fire.”

“Like Ivory Soap?”Too relieved to be angry and above being offended by being the butt of jokes, Constance gives Martin a bear hug, while speaking to the shadowy essence who will be moving on, “Stay in touch Agent Daniels,”.

“You can call me Jesse,” he confirms.

“I think I’ll stick with Agent.” She takes the towel off her head and snaps it at him like a bullwhip, then immediately turning to attack the other rascal. “Now I will deal with you Marty!” He hates to be called Marty.

Libby Dead or Alive-001

But they cannot tarry long at Kimbark, to conceal yet another of the undead. The once exclusive club adds another casualty, all for the sake that provocative isotope called carbon-14 and that provocateur, Willard Libby. “I think our arsonist was really after Daniels, though, by now, he doesn’t think much of me either.” He wipes some soot from his brow. “So the upshot is, both us were burned to death, as far as the news release will read when it hits the AP wire.”

“I hate to ask the obvious question, but did Sparky take the bogus info, or did he just torch and run?”

“Yes he did, he took the file right before he trapped us inside an inferno,” he looks over to his colleague, “and fortunately I remembered that hint you planted in my brain months ago.”

“Don’t play with matches?” Constance relates Smokey Bear’s advice.

“No, he found the floor trap door,” it “was” Willard’s office after all. “I don’t suppose you were able to save any of my things.”

mastodon

“The file cabinet was fireproof as you know.”

“I was talking about the mastodon model I had on my desk.”

“I wonder if Penty saw it. I’m sure he would appreciate the irony.”

“We can only hope that he gets the point and leaves us alone,” Constance is tiring of the chase. “Let’s lay low for a while.”

“I’ll be right here, waiting to see what my obituary says.”

“Here lay Martin, dead and broken hearted, thought he’d live, but off he was carted.”

“Poetry, Fanny would love that one!” Ace brings up a sore subject.

“Fanny …….…” Constance trails off mournfully, knowing that things with her and her friend are not going well.


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 124

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 109

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 109

…Slow down sweetie, you lost me at ‘Hello Ace’…

Constance continues her twisting tale of woe to Ace Bannion, the newest addition to the CCPI team.

 Long_Story_Short“And what’s this stuff about the Devil? Are you sure you haven’t had some bad Chinese food or maybe psychedelic mushrooms?”

“I am not joking AB. There is some crazy stuff going down and it’s becoming downright dangerous. Beside the misplaced scientist, we have a dubious suicide, a mysterious man struck and conveniently killed by a lightning bolt, the guy we hired to drive us e-v-e-r-y-where gets shot trying to rescue his kidnapped wife… and that’s for starters.”

“Friendly little town.”

“And much closer to home, Fanny was abducted by guys named Bing Crosby & Gene Kelly, but I killed them the other day and since returning to Florida, Fanny finds out that someone tried to blow up our building leaving 1500 Lira behind.”

“You can always count on my help, you know that, but it sounds like it may be hazardous to my health.”

“Hey, we got the science-guy back, thankfully Fanny back, Eddie & Edie D. back and now you have my back.”

“Sounds like you have a back problem, when, about a week back?”

“Funny, very funny. This goes all the way back before the 1951 even got rolling.”

He is discovering that Constance has some pent-up frustration.

“I’m not just going to get back at them, I plan to get even,” she promises. “Are you up to a trip to Italy?”

“Why… because Betty found some Italian money blowing around in your backyard?”

“Not just that Ace, oh no! We’re kinda working with a CIA guy, with about 10 different names, and he tells us that he’s been inside the devil’s headquarters, in Rome. And, and that they are behind the Forever Mastadon movement who is behind all the kidnappings.”

“Slow down sweetie, you lost me at ‘Hello Ace’.”

“Do you want to help or are you here to make fun of me?”


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 97

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 95

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 95

…There are a number of givens that Pentateuch takes to his cold, cold heart…

“When was the last time we ran from a fight?” asks Constance

“How about that alley behind Doc’s Drugs when we were cornered by that Doberman Pincher…?”

“Other than that damned dog, Fanny!”

“Then we should stick it out for a while, to see how things fall in place and hopefully not fall to pieces,” no Eddie, no joy.

“Chin up there dear Fanny, we will see this thing through.”

Directly on the heels of those positive thoughts, Edie Dombroski emerges from her private isolation, “Eddie made it through surgery! They tell me he has a 65% chance of being his old self again!”

Edie is just happy her hero is alive.

Everyone else is hoping that the near-death experience erases some of those 2,000 stories and perhaps 4 of his shirttail relatives.

A group hug breaks out, unabashed joy replaces doubting despair. For the three women who did not know each other when the sun rose in the east, are now bonding just as it sets beyond the promising western horizon.

Back at Via Catone, Cephus/Spencer/Rogue/Daniels reports back to an already frustrated Pentateuch. Strange and mysterious are the ways of this disreputable despot and how he knew of Canisso/Wolfgram’s unfortunate encounter with nature’s wrath is unsettling.

“A random bolt of lightning? Please! Those measly humans will blame “Mother Nature” for something like that!” This incident only adds to the deep-seated jealousy harbored against the Divine One and his powers. “Alas, poor Canisso.”

“There is no trace of his body.”

“I doubt that he was taken into the heavenlies.” There are a number of givens that Pentateuch takes to his cold, cold heart:

  1. =There is a Heaven
  2. =There is a hell
  3. =He will never be #1

1. “You are going to tell me that, that old woman is still alive,” Period.

2. “You have failed to satisfy your terms of conscription,” True.

3. “I need to replace Canisso,” Fact.

Inadvertent successor or no, Cephus/Daniels has reached his objective without having to whack-a-nun. He will be able to witness World Agnostica Unlimited’s most dire activities and have a hand in FOREVER MASTADON’s day-to-day.

If all goes according to the CIA’s plan, both will crumble from the top down.


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 86