Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #178

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #178

…I would rather be a beat walking cop on the streets of New York, enforcing the truth, than to be the sheriff in a corrupt county…

Officer Dibble

Top Cat Beat Cop (Officer Dibble)

“You don’t have that Clete punk in custody and some hotshot lawyer is calling the shots. Not in my lifetime.” Hank Blount has been blinded by his usurped power and his racial predisposition.

“I wouldn’t underestimate them.”

“Them?”

“They are employees of Herbert Love. Did you really expect him to stay out of it?” Straight talk usually doesn’t work with Blount, because he always has a way around trouble. “But that’s not the worst of it. The lawyer wants to talk to Charlie’s girl, Hank.”

“You know she is on her way to Panama City. She ain’t pregnant anymore and she won’t be around to tell her story. I am not in the mood to hand over the nigger and that little tramp is history. We’ll have the only witness, the guy who saw them trying to leave the scene of an accident.”

“They saved the girl’s life by prying open Charlie’s roadster and you know how fast he drives.”

“Do you like having a job, sheriff? I butter your bread, so you best decide which side you are on.”

Upon further review, weighing conscience and justice, the Calhoun County Sheriff removes his badge. “You’re on your own, Hank. No way am I goin’ to be part of this big a lie.”

Company Town-001   Blount turns to fraud. “Be out of your house in 48 hours. The Bank of Blountstown is calling in your loan. You should have made last month’s payment on time.”

“I told you why we couldn’t, the new baby and all…”

“You better be more loyal in your next job, if you get one,” Blount supposes.

“I may not get a job, but I am sure the district judge will listen to what I have to say.” The sheriff turns the tables. “And it won’t stop with this case.”

For as long as anyone can remember, Hank Blount is without slick retort. His unopposed power seems to be eroding, because of a previously least threatening source: a black man, in a hopelessly incriminating position.

He never calls “his” sheriffs by their names, not wanting to get to know them or their families, in full realization that he may discard them, for the slightest insubordination, at any given moment. “Perhaps I have spoken in haste, sheriff. I know what they teach you in police training, but sometimes you have to skirt the law to achieve justice.”

“Justice? Upholding the law is why I became a peace officer and I have come the conclusion that there is little of that in Blountstown. I would rather be a beat walking cop on the streets of New York, enforcing the truth, than to be the sheriff in a corrupt county.” There are times when morals trump money. “I don’t know where I’ll be sleeping two days from now, but I can assure you that it will be with a clear conscience.”

“They are going to ask why you resigned.”

“I will tell the truth. You will make up something.”

The sandy soil of Calhoun County is shifting as fast as did the bedrock in San Francisco; one is already being reconstructed, the other may not see that day in a Blount’s lifetime.


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Welcone to-001

Episode #178


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode # 177

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #177

…Gadsden County Sheriff, Cyril Odz, a Polish immigrant whose surname has been shortened from Odezicinski, walks up to 12 men carrying a railroad tie to ram Herbert Love’s front door…

Here-Comes-the-Sheriff

Here Comes the Sheriff by Shirley James

James Ferrell has the good sense to roust the Gadsden County Sheriff out of bed for support. He will precede James arrival, some 60 minutes hence, hoping to keep the situation from accelerating into inter-county war; with the knowledge that no matter who occupies the office of sheriff in Calhoun County, it is what Hank Blount says that goes. What is on the mind of Liberty County, God only knows. Perhaps Bristol’s close proximity to the Kingdom of Blount intimidates them.

  Gadsden Sheriff, Cyril Odz, a Polish immigrant whose surname has been shortened from Odezicinski, walks up to 12 men carrying, of all things, a railroad tie, prepared to ram Love’s front door in the quest for their man.

“Put that down, gentlemen, this is my territory.”

“We think there is a fugitive hiding in this house,” the one of the human mob who is tethering the animal hoard claims.

Cyril saunters up to the threshold saying, “Let me in, Herb.” He gives the 12 angry men a sideward glance, smacking of one-upmanship, as he enters.

12 Angry MenAfter a five minute cursory “search”, he tells those outside that there is no fugitive inside. He really isn’t lying, having heard Clete tell him that they just let him go back in Blountstown.

“What about that stolen truck down the road?” quizzes the Liberty lawman. “It was involved in a fatal accident three days ago.”

Calhoun County Florida2    “Mr. Love is pleased to get it back.” Cyril Odz is infuriating them.

James Ferrell will thwart them. “Do you have a man named Willy Campbell in custody?”

“No, he is in the Calhoun County Jail.”

“Where did the alleged accident take place?” James asks pointedly.

“Outside Rock Bluff,” Hansen replies.

“Accident in Liberty County charged and incarcerated in Blountstown, hummm. Wouldn’t have anything to do with the victim, would it? I suggest you tell Mr. Blount to transfer the accused to Bristol. And we look like to speak to the deceased’s girl friend. She is a witness to the accident.”

“You can expect us to be right behind you.” Herb Love nods his approval Ferrell’s way, confident that he will see justice done.


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Gadsden County Sheriff-001

Episode #177


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #176

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #176

…what may have happened to his most valued employee, his new truck and the man now pounding on his front door…

The Seminoles by James F. Hutchinson

The sound of barking blue-tick hounds spurs well-meaning fugitive Clete Wilsup on. They have trailed him all the way from the central time zone, though not entirely onEscape2-001 foot, showing no signs of giving up, regardless of jurisdiction.

Seminole Ridge is an interesting topographical feature. The ridge is a part of a 30 mile formation extending well into Georgia and is reminiscent of escarpments carved into the earth by the glaciers. Florida and glaciers are far from synonymous, but so are freedom and Blountstown.

Clete is not a spiritual man, yet he feels like he being led to the Love homestead by some unseen force, The ancient sounds of Seminole Indian drums getting louder the closer he gets. At the peak of the crescendo, the two warrior ponies greet him; he will sprint the final mile up the drive, sapping what is left of his dwindling strength.

   “Herb, do you hear a knock?” wonders Phoebe Love, making sure it is not part of a lifelike dream. Before he can answer, they hear it for sure, with an accompanying, “Mr. Love, let me in! The police is after me!”

“That sounds like, Clete. Where are my pants?” A thousand scenarios have been playing in his brain, in an impossible attempt to guess what may have happened to his most valued employee, his new truck and the man now pounding on his front door.

A chorus of whooping barks spill in with Clete. The door is latched and questions follow.

“Willy’s in the Blountstown jail. A fancy car drove into us, while I was driving, killed a Blount and they be blaming Willy. They wouldn’t listen to me, I tried tellin’ them, but this guy Blount owns the town and the law.”

Love does not hesitate in picking up the receiver on his telephone.

Leah-001“Who is the party you wish to call?” begs the graveyard shift operator.

“James Ferrell in Tallahassee.”

After a dozen or so rings, lawyer Ferrell picks up his end, completing the circuit. “I…uh…. can I call you in the morning?”

“Meet me at the homestead.”

“Herbert, is that you?”

“It is and we have a serious situation to deal with. I made a huge mistake and we have to correct it. Willy is in jail and his apprentice his being chased by dogs.”

Company Town-001 “In Quincy?”

“No, Willy is in Blountstown. Cletus is here.” Herb is beside himself. “I cannot believe I thought we could do business with that man. It sounded like he had changed.”

“Oh my. I’ll be right over.” In the short time he has been e back home, James is very aware of Blountstown justice. And the day he turns down a client who literally supports his entire practice (on permanent retainer by the Pearson-Eastman Journal) is the day he commits professional suicide.

“That was Herb, Abbey. Where are my pants?”


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #175

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #175

 …By the time anyone notices it missing, Clete is thundering up Route 12 and the safety of Quincy, Florida…

“Now go get that Clete idiot, before I elect another sheriff!”

Clete Wilsup is no fool, a little slow maybe, but not dumb enough to think he his in the clear. After he was let go, he made a bee-line across the bridge connecting Blountstown to Bristol, each are seats for their respective county, prepared to put as much distance between him and trouble. He does make one important stop: at the Liberty County Highway Department where he sees the Mack truck parked inside a fenced area, next to the smashed Chadwick. The one thing authorities had not counted on was the spare key in the bottom of his right shoe.

Under the cover of darkness, in a town whose wooden walks are rolled up at ten o’clock, the mesh fence is no match for the Mack truck. By the time anyone notices it missing, Clete is thundering up Route 12 and the safety of Quincy, Florida. He is fearing for Willy with every piston stroke. “I gotta get to Mr. Love. I’m ain’t stoppin’ for nothin’,” is his anthem.

At the Gadsden side of the Liberty County line there is a line of cars blocking the road, two or more private cars being checked inside and out. That tells Clete that they are probably looking for him, but don’t know he has the Mack.

“I ain’t stoppin’ for nothin’, so you best scatter boys,” he advises without letting up on the throttle.

In the range of his headlamps, is a frantically waving constable. The look of terror on his face is priceless, with five tons of 10 gauge steel bearing down on him at full speed. Clete sends him flying, as well as two police cruisers. A hail of bullets bounces off without effect.

Quincy 8 Mi    Just 8 more miles to Quincy.

          At mile seven the engine sputters, bringing the truck to a stop. “You can stop truck, but I ain’t.” It runs on a finite amount of fuel, he is running on adrenaline. In the voiding black of this moonless night, across a long flat expanse, he sees the bobbing headlamps of five cars. It is after midnight and he must assume to be the object of their haste.

Time to test his cross-country skills. He has never been there, but he he knows that Herbert Love lives somewhere to the west of Quincy, north of Route 12; on one of the oldest farms in all of Florida, with two huge equine statues at the head of a mile long driveway. Willy told him that it was a twenty minute walk from the ice plant, just after Seminole Ridge.

Poor Willy. Will he ever work for Love again? Clete cannot fathom the possibility.


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Escape2-001

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #174

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #174

…Says here two men and a truck have not returned to Quincy. Sounds like you planned to hijack that truck… Rock Bluff is on the way to Georgia…

Edward Lamson-Henry

Art by Edward Lamson-Henry

The soft-top-cop Ford arrives at the jail, which is next to the law offices of Blount Blount & Jones, Willy his herded away from Clete. He has talked him out of trying to Justice2-001set the record straight. Folks in these parts are not very good listeners anyway.

  Instead of a cell, Willy Campbell is locked in a damp, rancid cellar. He will not see the light of day for two days. Neither will he see Clete, his best chance at exoneration. It is a taste of Southern justice at its worst.

On the third day, the door swings open, casting light on the windowless cellar. Without a word, he is pushed up the stairs by the sheriff himself, plopped into a chair in a small room. The door is shut behind him, only to be opened straight away by an all too familiar face.

“So what do you have to say for yourself, boy? Did you know that it was my son you killed?” He had buried Charlie hence. “He lives twenty-two years only to be run over by a truck, driven by a damned nigger.”

“Where’s Clete? He’ll tell you ‘bout what happened.”Old Road sign-001

“We sent him packing, but maybe we shouldn’t have, seeing that we got this missing persons report. Says here two men and a truck have not returned to Quincy. Sounds like you planned to hijack that truck… Rock Bluff is on the way to Georgia.

“We, I mean Clete tooka wrong turn. We was turning around when a speeding car plowed into us. Mr. Love knows we wouldn’t steal his truck, he’ll tell ya so!”

“Whether you were stealin’ the truck or not, my son is dead and you are going to pay.”

“What ‘bout the girl? The one wit dat baby in her. She knows they was goin’ too fast, not lookin’ out fo trouble.” It turns out that they were rushing to an appointment for an abortion. She ends up getting one, but she will not be admitting it any time soon. “We saved her life, we did.”

railroadedcover

“Trouble is what you are in.” Period, end of story. “Put him in the darky cell, give him bread and water… don’t want to be accused of mistreating a prisoner.” It’s his town and obviously his influence goes across county lines. “We better go after the other guy Sheriff, can’t have him talking. And let Hansen (Liberty County Sheriff who was out on a cattle rustling call that fateful afternoon) know we are handling the situation.” He is ignoring jurisdiction, for his own self interest. Not a good idea.

“Shouldn’t we let Gadsden County know what’s goin’ on?” asks the Calhoun County lackey.

“Tell them the truck they were looking for was involved in a fatal accident. They will find out the rest later,” Blount plots it out. “Now go get that Clete idiot, before I elect another sheriff!”


Alpha Omega M.D.

jail

by Billy Dee

Episode #174


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #165

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #165

… “So now I won’t know anybody,” Alpha complains, aware that he already stands out on the Tufts University campus, like a wart on Mona Lisa’s nose…

“Don’t play that race excuse in my around me, Campbell. Besides, if that were the case, the last case I take at Beacon Hill would be Campbell vs. B & O Railroad!”

It took a while for the subtle hint to sink in.Bullitin Board-001

“Last case? What are you talkin’ bout, James.”

“I have given my notice to the partners; I am leaving Boston for a nonexistent practice in Tallahassee. Heck, I was just above the janitor on the list of partners, staring five Hamilton bottoms right in the face, so-to-speak. Father has told me that most of the lawyers in Tallahassee are state legislators. Nobody there to deed land or bring suit against those mad motorcar drivers. Do you know that more people died from crashes last year than in the entire Spanish-American War?

   “And we miss the panhandle.” He gathers in Abbey’s hand. Boston is crowded and dirty, as are most cities in the Northern Colonies.

   “And nobody knows anyone. There isn’t anyone like crazy old Edna Finkle around. Up here, people like that are put into what they call a sanatorium, threats to society they say. I did one pro bono case…”

“Pro boneho?” say what, Alpha wonders?

“Pro bono, you know, without fee. I fought to keep a street urchin from going into the worst orphanage I’ve ever seen, got a couple in Cambridge to adopt him. One of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done.”

“And it nearly got you dismissed from the firm,” reminds his wife, who remembers the icy stares from James’ cohorts.

“That is the very reason we are moving back. That baggage car you had planned on riding in, Alpha, there is no room, filled to the roof with our things.”

“So now I won’t know anybody,” Alpha complains, aware that he already stands out on the Tufts University campus, like a wart on Mona Lisa’s nose. Even master DaVinci could not have made him blend into the scenery.

“In four more years you can do the same thing we are doing. There aren’t any more doctors than there are lawyers down home, at least the kind that save lives, not take ‘em.”

.Hosea-001  “Say, don’t you have a brother in New Jersey? Perhaps you could see him more often,” Abbey innocently suggests.

“Both times I took the ferry to the Boardwalk, he was in jail.” Alpha hangs his head in shame.

“Anything serious? We could stop and get him out… I know some judges in Atlantic City.”

“Whores and stealin’, are you good at those things? If you were to keep him out jail, he’d ‘bout wear your pro boneho out. Hardly worth the skin on his sorry bones.”

Time for a country lawyer to go home. The country doctor will get there eventually.


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Boston

Newspaper Row Boston

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode # 163

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #163

…Such terms of endearment are harmless among friends…

dummkoph

John Ferrell now confides his unilateral decision to include Maggie Lou in his newly drafted will. to his friend and neighbor, caretaker of his unforeseen burden.

"I speak German"

“Ziggy?” He regains the attention of the doctor turned logger. “I need to tell you about a change in my last will and testament.”

“Vhat?  Vhat ezz dis nonsense. You are as healthy as your finest horse, dummkopf.”

Such terms of endearment are harmless among friends.

“No, I’m not foretelling my demise. I am merely concerned about Maggie Lou’s future.” He doesn’t have to tell Ziggy of his plans now, but disaster seems to lurk beyond every turned calendar year.

“Proceed.” Ziggy puts down his saw, conceding that all the windfall wood will not be collected and cut-up in one day.

Property  “This is a legal document which I am leaving in your care. To make a long story short, it bequeaths the listed land holdings to Maggie Lou upon my death.”

“Vhat about Martha unt James unt Agnes… unt Laura? Does not Laura deserve za same consideration?”

“Maggie Lou represents the future. I do not want the magistrates to decide the exact line of parentage; leaving this portion of my estate to my blood child should not cause the smallest stir… except from my family, which will be richly taken care of. We are speaking of a million dollars or more of business and personal holdings, to be split among them, as compared to patches of mostly unoccupied land in the currently less desirable sections of Tallahassee.

          “Mind you, that yes, they do not have prior knowledge of these properties, but neither have they legitimate rule over whom I leave them to.

          “Princess Olla, or as we refer to as, Laura Bell, will have insurmountable difficulties in administrating her part of my will; too many doubts and lingering bitterness will surround my passing. That is why I have established a living trust, appropriating this portion to Maggie at and not before the age of 21.

  Ziggy-001       “And until then, please live a long life, for the sake of Laura. Her very essence is life on San Luis Lake. In Frenchtown, she will be just another black woman with a light-skinned baby. In your house, she is family.”

The proceeding soliloquy is awakening legal propriety in a previously unenlightened cohort. “I am afraid that eet eez me wheech eez zee dummkopf. Of course I vill guard that vich you leave, Maggie Lou – or Frieda vill for zat matter. You can count on us, Johann.”


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