THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 97

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 97

While Gus is wondering what gift Francine has brought, the slightly elder brother is more interested in the bada-bing…

chocolate_birthday-cake__five__abstract_pastel_painting_by_carol_engles

Chocolate Birthday Cake abstract pastel painting by Carol Engles

“You have a Texas-sized thirst Miss Francine!” the bartender comments.

“Thank you and I will be back later,” she draws a deep breath and heads toward the mountain of gifts.

Like fire ants in a rainstorm, the McKinney boys are getting closer to the nest. Gus has spotted the pile of presents and Francine to boot, “Hey Deke, look who’s here!”

She was the only person who could steal the spotlight from Uncle Roy.

“Holy cow Gus, did you invite her?” Deke looks for some glass reflection to finger-comb his hair . “You have guts Gus!. Boy, she is prettier in person than she is on TV.” bada-bing-001While Gus is wondering what gift she has bada-bingbrought, the slightly elder brother is more interested in the bada-bing.

Francine places her gift carefully to one side of the growing pile, trying to act naturally in spite of her nerves, anxiety caused at the sight of Uncle Roy.

Said Crippen is in the midst of a reenactment, perhaps the tackling form he used on Gherkin Dogman or whatever his name was. “Notice how square my shoulders are to the target, head up, all the time driving my legs.” He sounds like a football coach speaking to Pony League footballers, when in fact he was using the demonstration as a diversionary tool… after all Francine was here, what now?

He takes his Camelhair sport coat back from the woman who was holding it for him, thanking her over-politely to convey the fact that they were not indeed here together, should Francine even notice; who, having seen the exchange peripherally and pretending not to.

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This pointless posturing went on for 15 minutes as each waited for the other to crack. It is an unfortunate distance for them to be separated by, after all it’s not like they are ex’s of the other.

That they are not alone or free to interact in a more private setting isn’t helping. Not knowing what the other is thinking does factor in the standoff. Separately and together, she and he play it oh-so-kool, willing to allow randomness to take its course.

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THE RETURN TRIP

Episode 97


page 92

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 128

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 128

…Well, you may have your own airplane, but you’re no Fanny…

Mrs. Dombroski puts an end to Eddie’s Story Time. She has had enough warning of coming visitors that this goodhearted woman has prepared a home-cooked feast worthy of the Thanksgiving-type occasion. They are ushered into the dining area, the largest room in their Burnside Bungalow.

Eddie insists on being caught up on the recent goings-on of the Libby team, of which Ajax Bannion is now a part. He hears of further encounters with eerily unexplained episodes, raising goose bumps on his arms, having had his own close encounter not all that long ago. Those phantom structures and such are becoming the norm.

Of greater concern is the near loss of life from those nearest the investigation. He puts on a brave face about the present danger, but Constance reminds him that he was not a target, at risk because of his reckless actions. With him back in Englewood and Libby lying low in Hyde Park, things should settle down.

But it is obvious that Connie is still jacked about their adventure, going on and on about the Italian Connection from which they just returned. Like never before, civilian air travel has changed the way they can view the world and the relative immediacy of navigating the 10,000 mile, 2 and a half day roundtrip is graphic proof. In times past, it would have been three weeks on a slow boat to cross the big pond.

Well, you may have your own airplane, but you’re no Fanny,” Eddie speaks at Ace, being Fanny’s biggest fan. “That girl has a nose for trouble.”

“Don’t you pay any mind to that dirty old man! He has a huge crush on her.” Edie D. is a reality rock for her chatty cabby, not unaware of her husband’s fascination with an adventurous lure. It makes her feel like a real frump in comparison, but only for small bursts. He is married to her after all.

“CC needed a hand and I was glad to help. We go way back,” Ace will likely be judged on his continuing body of work, as well as how he treats the other of “his” girls.

“You seem like a stand up guy there Ace. If Connie has taken a shine to you, you must be top shelf.”

“He is good people Ed,” the P.I. from Florida confirms.

The Eddie D. seal of approval is a dubious, obscure award.


Constance Caraway P.I.

Seal of Approval-001

Forever Mastadon


page 112

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 86

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 86

…Connie suspects there is more than piano tutoring going on between William and the Dean’s daughter…

The Dombroski involvement in this universal affair is part and parcel the result of Eddie’s chance offer of livery; a simple airport fare differs greatly from risky short-term employment. They had provided cover for themselves in renting the Packard sedan for him to drive, but protecting Eddie’s personal interests had not crossed their minds. Eddie will not be of any good service until his wife is found.

“Do not touch anything Eddie, we’ll be over soon… 45 minutes,” she dons panty, bra, slacks and blouse while concluding the call, asking Fanny, “Is William with Martin?”

“No, I saw him trying the bathroom door knob while you were in the shower.”

“How about Martin and Willard…?”

“They have been staying at Will’s office ever since he snapped out of his coma,” Fanny serves as the crew’s social secretary, sees all & knows all of everyone’s everything.

“Good,” Connie runs back down the hallway to the common bath, barging in without knocking. “Get the car William!”

With nary a towel to cover him and a beet-red face he reacts, “This better be important Constance, I have a lesson scheduled with the Dean’s daughter.”

“You can tickle her ivories another time sonny,” she has seen the two together and suspects there is more than piano tutoring going on between them, “get dressed and warm up the car, we have a friend to help.”

“Poor William,” Fanny expresses sympathy for a nice young man who is challenged when it comes to romance.

Constance is not the least bit concerned about that. Ramifications are spreading like an allergic rash, with benign redness leading to serious discomfort. And for all his foibles, Eddie has been nothing but loyal to them despite the uneven cadence of his employ. Never once was his wife to be part of the deal. Innocent coalitions have lead to collateral damage.


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 78