Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 157

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 157

…it’s hard to keep a good man down…

Willard Libby himself has agreed to a sum for his part in the upcoming Billy Graham Crusades, apart from the others, with the understanding that he has complete scientific control over his part of the sin-smashing festivities. Even though he is but one of several featured guests, he feels it will be good way to get his message out — not to mention stretching his legs and ending his long disappearing act, i.e. institutionalization, death, funeral and all that good stuff.

He has been patiently and silently biding his time, ever since recovering from the effects of frostbite and catatonia. He continues to gain the strength and conviction to move forward.

“I have a exceedingly great need, one that is becoming ever more important to my ministries,” this imposing man of God from North Carolina has the skill of assessing the talents of people he comes in contact with, encouraging them to use their abilities to further God’s Kingdom.

“Mister Bannion, I won’t beat around the bush… well maybe I will… I am using some of that newspaper money to buy my ministry an airplane, to get me from place to place, including the crusades I have planned for London, England. Not only do I require help in picking one out, but I need someone to fly it. Would that be something that would interest a man like you?”

Ace looks over Constance to get a read from her. He is most comfortable with several thousand feet between his feet and the earth, she knows that. She also realizes that chaining him to the ground is counterintuitive; it’s hard to keep a good man down.

Her loving smile is her answer.

Martin Kamen is a voting member of the group and respects Ace’s freewheeling lifestyle, sticking his thumb way up.

“Reverend Graham, it looks like you found yourself an airplane driver.”


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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 156

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 156

Chapter Fourteen

 … AND READ ALL OVER

Because of William Randolph Hearst himself and his fondness for a man he never met, the entire Hearst newspaper empire, all 28 papers from across America, are directed to “puff” Billy Graham and his 1949 Los Angeles crusades. Graham didn’t need too much puffing considering that his California alter calls had blossomed from a compact 3 week event to a full 8 week Holy Ghost revival, already making him a national figure. Rare was the day when he didn’t make the front page.

Video footage from these prayer meetings would make their way onto Sunday morning television, meeting the stations’ FCC religious programming mandate and providing shut-ins with a pseudo church service.

Here in 1951, with “The Old Man” of the American free press nearing 91 years old, he is determined to back a cause which has a far-reaching meaningful legacy. Hearst is rich by any measure and diverting several million dollars to a good young man who shares his patriotism and anticommunist views, as well as a passion for the youth of this nation seems like a natural step. So, despite the protestation of son William Jr., the funds are entrusted to a stranger.

Graham does not turn down the money, why would he, when it is being placed in the hands of a good steward. And he doesn’t forget his friends. His Evangelistic Association is now well funded (by a dying billionaire with a guilty conscience as well the gratefully saved plebeians) and he sees the needs of the people at the bottom of the Libby food chain, specifically Constance Caraway’s efforts on his behalf. (Not to mention Martin Kamen who has directed most of his own grant money to pay for CCPI’s services in the first place). So, he places $100,000 dollars of seed money in Caraway’s care, with the caveat that she distributes it fairly amongst her foot soldiers.


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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 155

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 155

…“Hey that’s why we pay AAA for insurance, you know like for exploding garbage cans, accidents with driverless cars…

After accident the scene is medically triaged and processed by police, there is time to decompress. Everybody is in one piece, two such more bruised than the others, Edie with a stiff back and Fanny with a sore shoulder; if you are going to be in an accident, a hospital parking lot is the best choice. As opposed to, a funeral home, which would be skipping the survival scenario.

Eddie Dombroski is wheeled in to see the two new roomies next door in the persons of Fanny and Edie. Suddenly his spirits soar, given the new concerns about the important women joining him in this convalescent covey, a welcome tonic for a mending body.

“I thought I would drive up and visit Eddie… sorry about the car Connie.” Fanny is unnecessarily apologetic.

“Hey that’s why we pay AAA for insurance, you know like for exploding garbage cans, accidents with driverless cars…”

“The paranormal meter needle may seem like it’s bouncing around the red zone folks,” Billy Graham knows that they are not in complete control. “But I encourage you to call out to God when confronted with these confounding situations. I believe He is watching with intense interest and is poised to intervene. But He prefers to be called upon. When we call out for help, it is like an infant baby crying, for food, for comfort, for everything it can’t get by itself.”

Graham takes his leave following those words of wisdom, his own self being marred by the extraordinary experience.

“Like I was saying Fan, I am happy to see you and see you safe and sound. You can tell things have been a little crazy here.” Connie realizes that the unresolved issue is standing in the corner.

“It’s a good thing you have Ace around for protection.”  Do we detect a hint of sarcasm in Fanny’s tone?

fence2

Both sides of the Fence

“Yes, he is a definite upgrade from Martin and William.” Constance has to play both sides of the fence: Ace and Fanny, Fanny or Ace. Her emotions are a muddled minefield, with unresolved issues littered about. One wrong step will certainly injure one or the other.

But when it comes to what really counts, not a soul on the Libby team has a shadow of doubt.

There is no real compromise between right and wrong. Choose a side or the side chooses you. What you think may be a gray area is actually a temporary stop on the way to the truth.

You should never wonder about real truths; in the checker board of life, they will always be marked by either black or white (or so we think).


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 33 (end Ch. 13)

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 154

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 154

…“Do you know that woman… she saved us from unspeakable harm…

She is my partner, Fanny Renwick…

When We Last Left

Constance, Ace Bannion and Billy Graham are departing from their hospital visit of Eddie Dombroski, when they hear a symphony of city noises.

They barely notice the commotion, when another car rushes into their isle, blocking accidentthe path of an oncoming four wheel projectile. The blocking car is t-boned, nearly causing it to roll onto its side.

Ace and Connie dash over to the side of the car where the driver is slumped over the steering wheel. The car, that did the ramming, sits hissing and smoking.

“There’s no driver in that fool car!” Ace is the first to peer through fogged-up windows, while Constance and her nose for trouble, picks up on the telltale odor of singed hair. They both recognize the deep auburn hair in the other sedan.

Graham runs into the lobby to get some really nearby medical help.

“That was no accident Connie. Fanny saved us from being run down,” Both of Ace’s assessments are correct. Fanny’s actions saved them from a car without a driver?

The tall and lanky Graham leads emergency room staff to the scene, who give Fanny the care she needs.

“I do believe that car had bad intentions,” he concludes. “The police should be here any minute to arrest that maniac.”

“There was no driver,” Constance relays the improbable circumstances. She then turns to Ace who is still scratching his head, “Who expects to be run down by a speeding car in a hospital parking lot?”

“Nobody can predict accidents, Connie… and Fanny, out of the blue?”

“No, I had no clue that Fanny was coming back to town, though I bet you that Edie D. knew, probably going along with the surprise.”

“Surprise guys, I just came to save your lives,” Ace puts words into Fanny’s silent mouth.

“Do you know that woman… she saved us from unspeakable harm?” Graham raises his hands to the sky.

“She is my partner at CCPI, Fanny Renwick.”

“Wow, imagine that, just what you need, right when you need it. That’s how God works alright!”

“There is someone else in the back seat,” yells a nurse attending the wreck! “Get another stretcher!!!”

“That is Edie Dombroski, Ace!” She is freaking out. “This is getting g**-damned complicated!”

The tall and normally quiet Graham emphatically opposes her use of foul language, “Please Miss Caraway, do not use the Lord’s name in vain, it offends my ears, but burns His.”

The worst of people can leak out in the heat of the moment.


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Forever Mastadon


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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 153

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 153

…while standing in the parking lot of Saint Anthony’s, there  comes the sound of screeching tires…

As for Eddie Dombroski himself, he is pretty much a slave to the ventilator that keepsPopular Mechanics him breathing. Ace has brought him a Popular Mechanics magazine, which lights him up for a moment, but he definitely is not himself.

Billy Graham has summoned the hospital’s chaplain in order to bring a united spiritual front to the visit. Eddie has had his Saint Stanislaus Parish priest stop by several times, but a portable confessional is not what the man needs. Graham is a fierce prayer warrior that can save even the lost-est of lost, given the time to do so. The chaplain then will serve as spiritual reinforcement.

Eddie has related the strange dreams he was having concerning the devil and does so to this day. There is no doubt in Graham’s mind that they are in the midst of an epic battle, the Libby Affair folks are at the epicenter of Satan’s focus.

After an hour with some of his favorite people, there is renewed spring to this hospital bed. He asks about Fanny, about every ten minutes, telling Connie that he has his wife talking to Fanny every day, compared to every other week for Constance.

As they trio prepares to leave, while standing in the parking lot of Saint Anthony’s that’s not so large that you lose your car, there first comes the sound of screeching tires, a symphony of background noise of a big city.

They barely notice the commotion, when another car rushes into their isle, blocking the path of an oncoming four wheel projectile. The blocking car is t-boned, nearly causing it to roll onto its side…………..


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 132

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 152

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 152

…Eddie D. has lost a lot of weight, along with most of that quaint enthusiasm which fuels all those stories he relates…

Get well-001Being tastefully prompt is a virtue and at 5:55 PM on this early March evening, three interested parties have meet in the lobby and ride the elevator to the convalescent floor of Saint Anthony Hospital. In the confined privacy of the hydraulic lift, Billy Graham lays out his vision of his latest campaign for convert souls for the sake of Christ. He has lined up an impressive list of champions of the faith, as well as this growing harvest field of scientific substantiation. This young lion of evangelism is well aware that it is the “logical” mind, which must see tangible proof before believing on anything, holds the key to the hearts and minds of the coming generation.

And one thing he knows well is how to assemble crowds, point-in-fact the thousands that are flocking to his Crusades. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has an extensive radio reach in its own right, but it is the support from media giants like William Randolph Hearst that helps push him over the top.

In the course of the lift up to the third floor, Constance and Ace receive the background info for how Willard Libby is going to present his carbon dating truths to the world (The Billy Graham Crusades). It is the fastest way to disseminate what he knows to the widest audience, as opposed to the 300 stuffed shirts and the editors of Popular Science Monthly, his original launching pad.

As for Eddie Dombroski himself, he is pretty much a slave to the ventilator that keeps him breathing and the intravenous tubes that supply his nutrients. He has lost a lot of weight, along with most of that quaint enthusiasm which fuels all those stories he relates. He knows there are people in the room, but cannot focus well enough to interact with them. No stories this day.


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Forever Mastadon


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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.


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Forever Mastadon


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