Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 197

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 197

…they traverse the un-glaciated sliver of land named the Kettle Moraine State Park; bluffs, hogbacks, escarpments and kettles…

ROAD TRIP-001Thanks to a State Farm Travel Atlas and Ace’s keen sense of direction, they do not get lost on the twisting 130 mile trail through the Dairy State. Once they pick up Highway 67 outside of Lake Geneva, all signs count down the mileage remaining until you reach the city with the 5 letter Oconomowoc-001‘O’s in it. The road sign reads:

There are only 3 towns of note on this two-lane highway, an indication that there isn’t much else along the way. “You don’t go to Yellowstone Park to see skyscrapers,” the driver makes an analogy.

But not before they traverse the un-glaciated sliver of land named the Kettle Moraine State Park; bluffs, hogbacks, escarpments and kettles give it an out-of-place feel. “Are we still in the U.S.?” asks the passenger, even though she is the wiser.

Pabst Diner-001“Can we stop for a cup of coffee?” At 108 miles out of they have reached the inconspicuous berg named Eagle, 500 some odd folks who thrive on people traveling by automobile, hence the two filling stations, a general store and the Blue Ribbon Diner.

“I bet you that restaurant has coffee and a good home Pabst Diner Menu-001cooked meal,” Ace guesses. “Liver and onions, that’s what I’m hoping is on the menu.”

“Eeeuuwww!” Connie holds her nose. “I’ll settle for meatloaf and mashed potatoes.”

They stroll through the wooden screen door and discover a place frozen in time, like it hadn’t changed, even the stools at the lunch counter, since the 1920’s.

Wouldn’t you know, both of their menu wishes are not a part of the handwritten chalkboard list that includes homemade: chicken soup, pot roast, clam chowder and today’s special, the Friday Fish Fry.

“Liver and onion Special is on Sunday,” the cook (with long ears) reports from the back.

The would-be diners look at each other and say jointly, “We’ll have the fish fry.”


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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 196

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 196

…Come to think of it, you seem to know just about every Tom, Dick and Harry around this and every other country…

Tom Dick Harry

You don’t have hit old Ace over the head with a hammer. He can tell that Connie is feeling left out and now that April has rolled around, outdoor activity possibilities are sprouting just like the crocuses and tulips. Having spent her time in the nation’s second biggest city bundled up and dodging frozen precipitation, it is time come out of recreational hibernation.

“Well, as luck would have it, I have a friend who is an executive at Armour Meats up in Milwaukee and he has told me that one of the most lavish country estates in mid-America may be torn down soon. He said that if I wanted to see it, he would meet me there for a personal tour.”

“Just who isn’t an old friend AB? Come to think of it, you seem to know just about every Tom, Dick and Harry around this and every other country, than Eddie Dombroski has cousins!”

Eddie's Cousins-001

“Now hold on CC; I’m not talking about some schmuck shirttail relative here,” he is offended by being compared to a Chicago cabbie.

“Take it easy here Ace. Don’t be flappin’ your flaps. Eddie’s cousins are merely closer to home than yours and his stories… are stories.”

“But mine help get us around the world.” He should know better. “Okay, I get it. I should know better than to minimize one of your pals.”

“Alright then, your bud is a businessman in Milwaukee…? That is in Wisconsin. Is that where the estate is?”

“No it’s on Oconomowoc Lake.”

“I-can-no-more-walk on a lake?” Connie’s ears are playing tricks.

“No, o-c-o-n-o-m-o-w-o-c,” he is reading off a piece of paper or he would not come off so phonetically smart. “From what I gather, Oconomowoc Lake is the playground for the captains of industry and gangsters from Saint Louis to Chicago.”

“Gangsters, oh swell. Shouldn’t we be getting away from them?”

“Retired gangsters.”

“That’s better.” She reframes her position. “It would be nice driving through some scenic home-grown countryside for a change. Italy was a great adventure, but I want to cruise, not fly, out of Illinois on fresh pavement and forget about creeps for awhile.

“Let’s see what we can see, go where the wind blows us, miles and miles of smiles, up one hill and down another……”

“How about, we see if you can steer an automobile better than you can land an airplane!”

Constance hits below the belt. What’s new.


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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 195

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 195

“Get up & stretch your legs, as Constance Caraway and her dashing friend Ace Bannion contemplate taking a side-trip.”

Chapter Seventeen

CALL HIM ISAAC

“When will the plane be fixed,” Constance asks a typical girl question, when the answer is guaranteed not to be a simple one.

Ace Bannion uses his teaspoon to stir his bowl of Corn Flakes, mixing the sugar down into the milk. “You know, I never used to like milk CC or boxed cereal for that matter.”

“What did you used to eat for breakfast, oh never mind, you’re changing the subject! That big thing you ditched on its belly, when does it get back in the air?”

“The Angel has an upset stomach,” Ace uses human terms to describe considerable fuselage damage. “But the Douglas sabotagerepair shop cannot touch her until the Civil Aeronautics Board can trace any possible sabotage back to Kansas City.”

“Dirty pool, I’d say,” she said with more than token certainty.

“Those guys need to be taken down; you don’t mess with thirty-five lives and get away with it. And with the Crusade switching to bus mode, for who knows how long, could be months, Billy told me to relax and make sure the rest of the schedule is tied up in a tidy bow.”

“Fanny and Worth are taking care of security for the Crusade for the next month, so that gives us a few days to burn, any ideas?,” Constance isn’t one for sitting around.

“It looks like Worth is fitting in quite nicely,” Ace is surprised that Fanny has brought the Tallahassee attorney into CCI’s everyday operations.

“Yes he is, filling a huge need since we have taken control of Graham security. They work so well together,” which is quite an adjustment for a previously small firm like theirs, “but that is them and we are us.”

You don’t have hit old Ace over the head with a hammer. He can tell that Connie is feeling left out and now that April has rolled around.


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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 192

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 192

…the human mind is a subconscious garbage can, which occasionally empties its contents in random order…

Fanny and Worth’s perplexity and confusion is shared by the other Libbyites, who as a group are subjected to similar horrible alternate worlds and nefarious nuisances as the other run-of-the-mill crusaders.

Other sample Libbyite dreams:

Nightmares2

— Eddie D. finds himself surrounded by giant crustaceans, who are avenging their friends’ death by cocktail sauce.

— Ace gets no warning of landing gear failure upon landing The Blue Ridge Angel, crashing nose first into three houses on the east side of Central Ave.

Constance watches in horror as Ace’s plane exceeds airport boundaries, bursting in flames, killing all aboard.

— Martin Kamen cannot find his way out of the escape tunnel beneath Argonne Lab, which has turned into a maze without an exit.

— Jennifer Goldwyn finds herself married to that Hollywood rapscallion Charlie Chaplain… who communicates with subtitles.

— Sister Mary Joseph is working as an exotic dancer at Atlantis Gentlemen’s Club, with dollar bills overflowing her bad “habit”.

— Edie D. sees her husband fall into a state of dementia, forgetting all those family stories about his multitudinous cousins. (She secretly hopes the dream does not end)

— Jesse James discovers that he was adopted by J. Edgar Hoover and that his real given name is Doogie Hoover.

Oh, the subtle cruelty of dreams in the human mind, likened to a subconscious garbage can, which has to empty its contents in random bizarre order. Good luck making much sense of it all.


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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 188

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 188

…Here are a few (unedited) conversations from Chicago Stadium Owner’s Box…

***Martin to Connie: “I don’t think I ever took the time to thank you for everything. You came all the way from Florida and made a stranger’s abduction your own personal fight and look at the results,” he spreads his arms wide, pointing out the unexpected fruit of her efforts.

Constance to Marty: “We’ve gone from a missing person investigation to a worldwide television broadcast,” what a difference 80 days makes.—

***Eddie D. to the food guy: “Do you have any more of those little flat things that taste like fish?”

The maître d’ to Eddie the buffet destroyer in the owners’ suite: “Do you mean the Baltimore Crab Cakes (you gluttonous heathen), yes I will get some more.”—

***Daniels to the Angel’s pilot: “Do you believe that those K.C. CAA guys were legitimate? In my world, I am a firm believer in Cause & effect.” The string of accidents is pointing toward a negative response.

Ajax Bannion to the G-Man: “Did I suspect that anyone would sabotage the plane? Hell no! I did my preflight inspection around the same time and didn’t see anything suspicious, but I did get their names. Here,” he hands over his pre-flight manifest.—

***Fanny to her new legal eagle: “What are your plans after the crusade program in done, and the days to come? she certainly doesn’t want Worth taking a midnight stroll or the next flight back to Tallahassee… without her.

Worth Moore to the reason he is staying in Chicago: “I am in no rush to head back to Florida Fanny. In fact, I was hoping that you would come up a visit my hotel suite, it has two king-sized beds.” The number of beds reference is to assure Fanny that his intentions are honorable.—

***AB to CC: I think I heard that lawyer asking Fanny up to his room. Maybe we could rope off the second floor at Kimbark for the night?”

CC to AB: We’ll see.”


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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 187

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 187

…A fly on the wall…

Here is a random (edited) sample of  comments from the Chicago Stadium luxury suite at Billy Graham’s Crusade stop:

  • fly on the wall“Let’s slide the window open, I don’t feel like part of the crowd,” Constance complains.
  • “My husband is allergic to seafood,” Edie D. knows her husband like a bee knows its hive.
  • “Have you tried the shrimp cocktail?” Newly released Eddie D. asks. “This sure beats hospital food.”
  • “I am impressed with Willard Libby. I learned things that I hadn’t considered before,” Worth Moore’s first taste of carbon— carbon dating that is, is enlightening.
  • “I’ll have you know that my sister’s boy never scored less than an A in school,” Tolentine devotee Mary Joseph is beaming with family pride, in light of her nephew’s starring role.
  • “I wonder if Willard is going to mention my name during his presentation.” Every scientist expects credit for his work. Martin Kamen is no different.
  • “I have agents stationed at every gate.” Agent Daniels has his attention focused on his walkie-talkie, not allowing his search engine to idle. Such is the scope of his personal investment in the Libby Affair and Forever Mastadon long before that.
  • “I was part of the original search squadron retracing Amelia Earhart’s flight plan. I was positive that we would have found by now.” Ace doesn’t brag, he merely inserts himself into aviation history now and then.
  • “This is what sheer terror looks like live!” Sam Goldwyn’s projector screen replays The Blue Ridge Angel belly flopping at Midway Airport.
  • “My shoulder is killing me,” Fanny tries to adjust her sling, the inconvenient result of her own heroic accident.
  • “We’re all sinners, each and every one of us!” Billy Graham broadcasts through the loudspeakers.
Saint-Sinner

Oscar Wilde


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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 186

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 186

…Gone is the spring-like weather of 2 days ago; ‘sleety days and Mondays always get me down’, but nothing will dampen the spirits of the Libbyites…

It is the third night of the Graham Great Chicago Crusade and it has been decided, byLibbyites-001 a straw poll of the Libbyites incl.: Constance, Fanny, Martin, James/Daniels, Sister Mary Joseph, Eddie, Edie, Ace and Worth to attend in unison, a united front of those whose lives will be forever altered by this experience.

Kimbark roomie, the elusive William the piano teacher, has a date with the Dean’s daughter.

Goldwyn the Jr. has two nights in the can (movie lingo for completed scenes) and is capturing the true flavor of what it means to come to Jesus. His wife of one year Jennifer is welcomed as an honorary Libbyite.

Gone is the spring-like weather of 2 days ago; ‘sleety days and Mondays always get me down’, but there is not anything that will dampen their spirits. Ever indulgent Ace Bannion has chartered a luxury motor coach for the occasion and with 100% attendance, good times they are a flowing. Though their guard is ever vigilant, the strange twists and death-defying turns are shelved for the Crusade finale, to make way for a good old fashioned southern worship service. Billy has promised them a special night.

The Libbyites occupy the owner suite, an enclosed luxury booth, one of fifty ringing the mezzanine, with the absolute best view (center ice). It also provides them self-service security, so they can be as carefree as possible.

If it were a Blackhawk Hockey game, team owners Arthur Wirtz or James Norris may be front and center with their family, friends and cronies, but the team is bad, bad, worse and they are on a long two week road trip. Thank God for small favors; those pesky sportswriters will fly away, fly away on the West Coast Swing with the team.


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Forever Mastadon


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