Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 80

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 80

…Billy Graham bends the President Truman’s ear…

“Mr. President, we are approaching a slippery slope, a scenario in which religion is being pushed aside in favor of a godless society.” Billy Graham could not be more sincere.

“The Founding Fathers designed the Constitution around religious freedom, how can that be threatened?” wonders the leader of the Free World.

“There is spiritual warfare going on, Sir. Satan continues to exert his corruptive influence at every turn of man’s development and if he can assure his deceptions about evolution rule the day in America’s classrooms, God will essentially being shunted into an inconsequential corner, at least where the greater populous is concerned.”

Graham frames the danger with a story, “You are familiar with the analogy of the frog and the pot of boiling water, well the heat is being turned up on our people and they are ignorant of any danger. Before they know it, they will believe his pack of lies.”

“The devil you say? Like a rebellious child, he opposes God’s authority.”

“Yes the Devil and his minions. It seems to me that he is using the nation’s collective exhale from the horrors of the last war to swoop in and erode our moral fabric. And do not think for a moment that you aren’t a prime target for his misdeeds Mr. Truman. You are the leader of the free world, a world free to worship the God who created us in His own image. This nation looks to you for direction; an ethical President makes for a moral country.”

“And I thought Hiroshima had consequences,” Truman has quietly shouldered tremendous burdens in his service to the United States of America while not getting the credit for it. His dismissal of General Douglas MacArthur in the Korean Theater has people calling for his head, never mind all the other good stuff. “I had a discussion with my spy guy, Director Hillenkoetter, about the Libby Affair and he tells me they have an embedded agent, code name “Rogue”, deep inside the organization responsible and are in the process of penetrating the core leadership.”

An important ally has taken this matter to heart.

“Other than CIA involvement, I must leave a portion of this battle to those best equipped, like you and the Catholic Church. For my part, I will use my weekly radio address to reinforce the importance of God’s role in shaping the country and its policies… remind the people about why we fought for our independence… I might even use that ‘frog in a pot’ story, if you don’t mind.”

“The frog will never jump into already boiling water,” Graham underlines the punch line.

Harry Truman suggests, “That would be the President’s job.”


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 74

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 79

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 79

…The President’s Preacher…

As it turns out, The Libby Affair gets its own formal designation and has attracted the attention of those usually interested in only the biggest fish. Likely precipitated by the Italian Consulate and Ambassador to the United States Alberto Tarchiani, through Ambassador to Italy James Clement Dunn and up the food chain, the disappearance of Willard Libby, the death of the Pope’s brother and whispers of conspiracies all are attracting the eye of the White House. President Truman, already a lightning rod for controversy, has taken notice because of the “Preacher to Presidents” Billy Graham’s close involvement to the facts surrounding the Libby Affair.

In the course of their weekly devotional time, Graham points to the ethereal nature of the causes behind the affair and its evangelic tie-in, “I have had considerable dealings with all those involved in the mostly private investigation, no direct governmental concern, and I believe there are global consequences afoot.”

“Our Ambassador to Italy tells me of a recent visit by the Pope’s brother and his recent suspicious death. What details do you have to share with me,” Harry Truman needs an accurate assessment from a reliable source to know how to proceed.

“I would not be speaking out of class if I told you that I personally took interest in the meeting in Chicago, the one of which you refer to. Willard Libby was seeking the opinions of the Christian community about his very refined topic of the actual age of the Universe and our, I mean The Vatican and my, biblical interpretation. Considering all of our differences in doctrine, the single greatest area of agreement lay in the creation of mankind. We both laid out very similar views of creation’s timeline.”

“Why has this turned into a hornet’s nest Reverend Graham? Right now the free world is in a tug-of-war over the 38th Parallel and yet here I sit here with you like we are debating the merits of Sunday school.”

“Mr. President, we are approaching a slippery slope, a scenario in which religion is being pushed aside in favor of a godless society.”

“The Founding Fathers designed the Constitution around religious freedom, how can that be threatened?”

“The buck stops here” is a phrase that was popularized by U.S. President Harry S. Truman, who kept a sign with that phrase on his desk in the Oval Office The phrase refers to the fact that the President has to make the decisions and accept the ultimate responsibility for those decisions. Truman received the sign as a gift from a prison warden who was also an avid poker player. It is also the motto of the U.S. Naval Aircraft Carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75).


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 74

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 78

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 78

…no phone calls, telegrams, letters, walks along the Midway Plaissance or sit-down Chinese food…

“I hate to be the one to tell you Willard, but you are dead… sorry.” Constance delivers news few dead people ever hear.

“When is the funeral, I’d love to see who shows up.”

“I love that angle. Who could resist eavesdropping on a steady stream of science-types, speculating on what you were working on at the time of your death and about what a good guy you were?”

“Or listen to the whispers from the folks who only pretended to like you,” Libby is aware of the petty jealous nature of scientific research.

“I don’t want to burst your bubble, but the rest of the world knows you as merely missing. World Agnostica-001Your death, as an unidentified indigent in Elgin, is for the benefit of Wolfgram and the other Mastadon creepy creeps,” Constance clarifies. “Oh and by-the-by, it appears that misspelled Mastadon is a just a cheesy front for a more globally active organization named WORLD AGNOSTICA UNLIMITED.

Indubitably! Our ambassador to the U.N. warned me at Tolentine about some nefarious society with bad intent, so that doesn’t surprise me,” the former basket-case concludes. “So what am I supposed to do with myself while my friend Martin and his beautiful sidekicks are out defending Creation’s honor?”

Lay low, that’s all we ask. Your input is critical to our ultimate success, with your informational conference (in the future) as the dangling carrot for your cooperation, so no phone calls, telegrams, letters, walks along the Midway Plaissance or sit-down Chinese food. Martin will be your guardian and will help you from behind the scenes. He will be your mouthpiece, right Marty?”

“He hates being called Marty.”

“This is the real Willard Libby is, that proves it!” Fanny refers to how Eddie D. gets under Martin’s skin with that flippant nickname. “The hospital nicknamed you, Whacked-out Willy.”

Ouch!

From the mouth of babes…


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 73

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 77

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 77

I hate to be the one to tell you Willard, but you are dead… sorry

Tolentine

Tolentine Seminary

“There are diverse forces at work here and it is becoming larger than the people involved, I’m talking a monumental struggle,” Constance tells Libby something he already knows.

“That is exactly what Billy Graham told me at Tolentine. I would have never thought in, excuse me, “a million years” that a simple deductive scientific fact would cause such a commotion.”

Speaking of the Tolentine Summit, Constance has a sad update, “I must tell you something troubling Will, but Ernesto Pacelli was found hanged in Rome.”

“That is too bad, he was such a nice fellow, sure was protective of the Catholic Doctrine.”

“He was the Pope’s brother,” Constance interjects.

“You don’t say? He never let on to his lofty lineage. Modesty is in such short supply.” Willard Libby’s clarity has been miraculously restored, no visible signs of the trauma he had endured for weeks. He now must face a world that has given him a different role. “So you tell me I am dead.”

“We had to protect you while we sorted through some things and death seemed to be the best solution at the time, faked of course. WhenFM dumped you at Elgin State Hospital, they mysteriously tried to give you a chance to survive, when they had earlier done things to you that would make that result difficult. Dr. Steinberg agreed to go along with our plan,” Constance lays the groundwork for what is to come. “Had they killed you outright, which by not finishing you off demonstrates flawed logic, your carbon dating stuff may never have made it out from behind your Hemingway collection? The only other people who agree with your findings would have trouble defending their opinions; who listens to ‘religious zealots’ anyway?”

Sad but true.  Good news muddied by overenthusiastic do-gooders.

“I hate to be the one to tell you Willard, but you are dead… sorry.”


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 73

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 76

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 76

…“What is the date Martin?” asks the man who has been frozen in time…

“I don’t know how much you’ve understood about our conversations, but you are supposed to be dead, that is what Mastadon and most of Chicago is lead to believe, the rest of the world that cares thinks you are still missing. Either way we must keep you under wraps until we can know how to proceed from this point forward.”

FOREVER MASTADON — what a group of nuts that is!”

Can’t spell a lick, but they sure are potent,” Constance comments.

Spell Check 1951

“We found a scrap of paper with mastadon scribbled on it by you, but could not make the connection until recently.”

“What is the date Martin?” asks the man who has been frozen in time.

“January 4th. Do I need to add the year?”

“It should be 1951 by now, if it is not, I’ve lost more time than I realized.” He reflects on the passing of days, when they all run together. “How about that Wolfgram character, there is something greasy about him?”

Constance Caraway-001“No sign of him yet. He has left a trail, but that’s a story for another time.” Connie is happy to see the pieces of the puzzle fall into place. “By the way, my name is Constance Caraway and your escort is my partner Fanny Renwick.”

“I hired them after you went missing; the CPD (Chicago Police), DuPage County and Argonne security were no help whatsoever,” Martin explains

“I detect a bit of a southern accent, Miss Caraway is it?”

“Florida, Leon County.”

“Tallahassee I would guess?”

“Precisely Will, you may not remember but they were the investigators who fingered James East, the double agent at Argonne.”

“Splendid! The Manhattan Project was going too fast for its own good; I only knew half of the people involved in it.”

“We, Fanny and I are committed to see this thing through Mr. Libby. There are diverse forces at work here and it is becoming larger than the people involved, I’m talking a monumental struggle.”


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 72

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 75

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 75

…you are supposed to be dead, that is what Mastadon and most of Chicago is lead to believe…

“He wanted to come, seemed to recognize his surroundings, he pointed the way,” Fanny explains her actions.

Once inside the door, Libby just about leapt from his seat screaming and pointing at the wall of books, “Bell, bell!”

“That is what Doctor Steinberg told me he was saying…. Bell, do you mean one of these?”

“Bell!”

Constance goes to the wall, while Martin tries to cajole his friend. Alexander Graham Bell is there, as is the Liberty Bell, no bell peppers, but she makes her way to the Hemingway collection, pulling out For Whom the Bell Tolls, thereby exposing a legal sized manila folder to the light of day. Farewell to Arms and The Sun Also Rises must also come away in order to get the bulky unlabeled envelope out.

Martin sees what she is doing and gallops to her side. Fanny tries to calm the frantic Libby, but cannot, as he leaves the wheelchair on his own, though his atrophied leg muscles fail to hold his weight. Bedlam has broken out with no notice.

“My paper…!” Willard Libby beckons like a shepherd finding that one stray sheep.

“Willard, are you… do you… I mean is that really you, back with us?” Martin is beside himself.

All he can do is cry tears of joy from the kneeling position, holding his face in his hands.

“It must be like coming back from the dead,” Constance is thrilled.

“How about being buried alive?” captive Libby adds to the subject himself. “I was screaming out to you at Steinberg’s House of Pain.”

“I don’t know how much you’ve understood about our conversations, but you are supposed to be dead, that is what Mastadon and most of Chicago is lead to believe, the rest of the world that cares thinks you are still missing. Either way we must keep you under wraps until we can know how to proceed from this point forward.”


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 71

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 74

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 74

…the CCPI gang needs a safe place to stash the latest discombobulated version  of Libby…

Whacked-out Willy (his new nickname) had called his office sanctuary ‘the best kept secret’ around and is proud of it.

But someone had found it about three weeks ago, as CCPI discovered, but nothing seemed to be missing and theSafehouse ensuing mess was restored to its previous disorder by Martin. The entire remote wing of the university had been since sealed from regular access. To this very moment, no one knows who broke in.

When it came to finding a safe place to stash the latest discombobulated version of Libby, they need not look any further than his office, a three room suite with its own bathroom. The biggest room by square footage is the 15 x 15 front room, serving as place of work, kitchenette and the den; a windowless covey hole is filled by books from top to bottom, end to end.

Most of those books would be classified as reference, a good number of which are historical in nature, the Civil War in particular. In the fiction section, the complete works of Ernest Hemingway dominate several shelves from the earliest days working for The Kansas City Star to his final days in Idaho; reporter notes in Kansas to The Dangerous Summer in Life Magazine. You get two guesses at who is Libby’s favorite writer, the first one doesn’t count.

“This place is not big enough to care for someone in Willard’s present condition,” Constance interjects, with full knowledge of the Kimbark house being off-limits as well.

“I know some people over at the Hospital, maybe we can get him into a private room psycho_wardon the fifth floor?” Martin proposes.

“Why the 5th floor?”

“That’s the psycho ward.”

“Tell them he’s your brother or something, just make sure that the doctor in charge is someone you can trust.” Connie wants to make sure the scientist is not nabbed again.

At that point Fanny enters Willard’s office suite, pushing none other than Willard in his wheelchair.

“Fanny!?” Her friend had been tending to Libby down the hall.

“He wanted to come, seemed to recognize his surroundings, he pointed the way.”


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 70