Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 123

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 123

…Constance’s “friend” Fanny is back home in Tallahassee working on a case referred to CCPI by attorney  Moore…

“Dr. Sapp speaking,” the Havana Florida doctor awkwardly answers his own office phone. Staff nurses have not made the smooth transition to office secretary, so he does not force the issue.

“My name is Fanny Stanwick from Jacksonville and I have been referred to you by our family physician.”

“Always happy to help my fellow doctors, what is your situation?” Had he not just dealt with a Jacksonville teen not all that long ago? Must be a coincidence.

“It’s not me,” Fanny does not lie about that, but she is no more a mother than a bull moose. “My daughter Millicent has missed two cycles and we are afraid she may be with child.”

“How unfortunate; has she ever missed before?”

“Well she is only…….,” she makes up a number, “…. 14.”

“That is awfully young Mrs. Stanwick.”

“It is Miss Stanwick doctor.”

An unmarried mother has a pregnant teen; if that isn’t a recipe for disaster. If he had a dollar for every white girl that had come a beggin’ to end her pregnancy, he would be rich by now. But he is rich and he has gotten many a Caucasian parent off the embarrassment hook. But he is old and he is tired of risking his retirement doing something that the state of Florida has deemed a felony.

“I’m not accepting new patients, but I do have names of good doctors who do abortions, most of them are in South Carolina though,” he is trying not to overuse that Alpha Campbell over at Laura Bell Memorial Hospital in Tallahassee, but he sees a desperate mother’s big puppy eyes and relents. “There is a Doc Campbell; he is black, but very proficient in the field.”


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 108

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 118

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 118

…Our life on this planet is not just about what are you going to do the next moment, day or week…

 “You seem to be convinced about that devil fellow,” wonders a curious Ace.

Agent Daniels responds, “I have personally witnessed one miracle and one manifestation in the past few weeks and add that to my involvement with World Agnostica and I can tell you that, with all certainty, that there is a full-fledged spiritual battle going on.”

“Are you still going to ride the fence about God, Ace?” Connie qualifies. It was one of those “stumbling blocks” to any relationship between the two of them; he is a real nice guy but…

“I didn’t know it was that important to you.”

“Choose a side and don’t be a wimp.”

AcePic3“She has a valid point, Mr. Ace,” comments James/Daniels/Spencer/Rogue/Cephus. “Our life on this planet is not just about what are you going to do the next moment, day or week; it is what are you going to do about your eternal soul?”

Ace Bannion is hard to nail down, whether it is getting him to stand still or any of those issues that are best left to the philosophical types.

“Well, we have some four days before the cargo steamer comes back to Rome, I think we are should take in some of the countryside,” Ace makes an executive decision about the present and tables that everlasting thing.

“And I thought we could head back to the states right away, you know, keep the devil on the run.” The lady doth protest too much.

“We can’t just hang around Italy and do nothing and since the roads have been rebuilt since the war, I can hear the hills and valleys calling us.”

Agent Daniels-001

“Wish I could join you guys, but I have to wait for my boss’ next move,” Daniels laments.

Libby Affair-001

“Which one?” she asks.

“All of them,” he replies.

“I know you will be in touch because ‘you have your ways’.”

“I do,” he chuckles, “and I will. The Libby Affair is far from over.”


Constance Caraway P.I.

Fence

Forever Mastadon


page 103

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 111

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 111

…“That gives us the weekend to bum around this Toddlin’ Town…

“That gives us the weekend to bum around this Toddlin’ Town.”

“Yes, I want to meet all the players in this game. This ain’t your ordinary cheating husband crap,” Ace speculates. Constance Knows.

In the time it takes to drive down Lake Shore Drive south, give or take 10 minutes, she has time to unravel the twisted tale of a missing scientist, two nosey broads from Florida, a relentless storytelling taxi driver and Satan.

“The University of Chicago is an amazing place. It is as diverse a college campus as you’ll find; nothing like the lily-white schools in the south. Willard Libby is a researcher slash professor here and the only reason we came up to the great white north,” when she and Fanny landed in Illinois their lives began to change. “He is an amazing story, was catatonic when we found him, but when you meet him, you wouldn’t know it.”

Libby Dead or Alive-001“So you have him stashed away somewhere?”

“Yeah, they had a funeral for him last week… yes I know it’s bizarre, but the man wouldn’t last a day on the street. Every brother and his mother have been trying to keep his mouth shut, permanent-like.”

“All this because he was shaving a few years off the age of Earth?”

“More than a just a few years and it turns out there is an unbelievable conspiracy to shut him up.”

“Ah ha,” he can appreciate a good put-on, “the bad guys think they have done just that?”

“Isn’t that beautiful?” she gloats. “But the hits just keep on coming—good, smart people are still at risk and there is no letting our guard down.” Ace can tell how serious she really is. “And good folks, like Eddie Dombroski’s family and our neighbor Betty are being kidnapped, Battles_grandeshot or bombed. This needs to stop.”

“Good, let’s stop the bastards, I’m in favor of that, but the last time I checked God could have stopped the devil, before he got going, but he didn’t and WE, little ol’ us is going to do it?”

“According to our Agent Daniels, the double agent’s double agent, a genuine real in-your-face act of God took care of one bad guy. That only ties the score in my book and I want to be on the winning side.” She cups his chin with her freehand, “Sometimes you pick the fight, other times the fight picks you.”


Constance Caraway P.I.

Pick Your Battles

Forever Mastadon


page 98

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 109

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 109

…Slow down sweetie, you lost me at ‘Hello Ace’…

Constance continues her twisting tale of woe to Ace Bannion, the newest addition to the CCPI team.

 Long_Story_Short“And what’s this stuff about the Devil? Are you sure you haven’t had some bad Chinese food or maybe psychedelic mushrooms?”

“I am not joking AB. There is some crazy stuff going down and it’s becoming downright dangerous. Beside the misplaced scientist, we have a dubious suicide, a mysterious man struck and conveniently killed by a lightning bolt, the guy we hired to drive us e-v-e-r-y-where gets shot trying to rescue his kidnapped wife… and that’s for starters.”

“Friendly little town.”

“And much closer to home, Fanny was abducted by guys named Bing Crosby & Gene Kelly, but I killed them the other day and since returning to Florida, Fanny finds out that someone tried to blow up our building leaving 1500 Lira behind.”

“You can always count on my help, you know that, but it sounds like it may be hazardous to my health.”

“Hey, we got the science-guy back, thankfully Fanny back, Eddie & Edie D. back and now you have my back.”

“Sounds like you have a back problem, when, about a week back?”

“Funny, very funny. This goes all the way back before the 1951 even got rolling.”

He is discovering that Constance has some pent-up frustration.

“I’m not just going to get back at them, I plan to get even,” she promises. “Are you up to a trip to Italy?”

“Why… because Betty found some Italian money blowing around in your backyard?”

“Not just that Ace, oh no! We’re kinda working with a CIA guy, with about 10 different names, and he tells us that he’s been inside the devil’s headquarters, in Rome. And, and that they are behind the Forever Mastadon movement who is behind all the kidnappings.”

“Slow down sweetie, you lost me at ‘Hello Ace’.”

“Do you want to help or are you here to make fun of me?”


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 97

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 108

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 108

Chapter Ten

 Landings

… Whooah, slow down…..they didn’t teach me that stuff at my school…

Constance Caraway has found her way to the lakeside airstrip peninsula known as Merrill C. Meigs Field. It has become an irreplaceable tool for Chicago commerce, an attractive perk for all those corporations that fill skyscrapers new and old, tall and small. Her mission there concerns one certain Beechcraft Bonanza with A1239XB on its side, containing one familiar pilot.

ALPHA 1239 X-RAY BRAVO on a southerly approach to runway 1-A; requesting permission to land.” This is Ace Bannion’s first visit to the island named Northerly and he puts down in the face of a north breeze. He gently whooshes his three wheels onto the freshly poured concrete and glides to a stop before the entire 3900 feet is used.

Once he has secured a berth for his plane, he heads for the Quonset hut that serves as airport control and terminal. At one end of the metal building stands a tall reddish-blonde with a steaming beverage in hand and whose identity is never in doubt. She is staring out a small rectangular window, riveted at the sight of a placid, mostly frozen Lake Michigan, mere yards away.

The man she calls “A.B.” for short is striding her direction, an Air Force duffle dangling from one broad shoulder, leaving his other arm free to engulf a longtime friend.

“Ace Bannion,” she screams! He ditches his duffle to make it a full frontal embrace.

Cee Cee,” he calls her CC for short. A running joke concerns a possible child together, ‘How about Dee Dee?’ AB-CC-DD has iambic pentameter symmetry.

Small talk catch up quickly turns into informational excess.

“… and the half-life of that carbon isotope proves it!” she explains.

“”Whooah, slow down…..they didn’t teach me that stuff at my school,” Ace is getting it with both barrels.


Constance Caraway P.I.

Ace Bannion-001

Forever Mastadon


page 96

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 105

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 105

…What better excuse can there be than a 5’8”, drop-dead gorgeous, whiz-bang of a private eye…

It is a severe clear afternoon on this late January day, the visibility being 10 miles on the ground, but 100 miles at 2500 feet. For a dedicated flyer, there is nothing that compares to the unparalleled freedom that a nearly empty sky provides. If driving a car is like navigating a colony of ants, flying can only be compared to… there are few comparisons; cars require paths to get from point A to point B, whereas the same trip is a straight line in a plane.

Ace Bannion is as straight-in-a-line as it gets. Seldom does he waste time bogged down on the complexities of the ground, which is why he has not been weighed down by such earthly burdens like wives and children.

But even a bird needs to set down every once in a while and after training pilots for the military the past six months and this  free spirit is in need of a diversion. What better excuse can there be than a 5’8”, drop-dead gorgeous, whiz-bang of a private eye; none that he can think of, so it is off to point C² – Constance Caraway.

C-squared could divert the moon in his estimation and is the best excuse for a layover he can dream up. They have flirted with more than friendship over the past two decades, but for one reason (him) or another (Fanny) it never materialized. But when she mentioned that she could use some help AND that Fanny was a thousand miles away in Tallahassee, well he did not hesitate to file a flight plan from San Diego to Chicago and get his single engine prop airplane pointed in the right direction.

Why a knockout like her would not have gone to Hollywood to be in movies or marry a movie star or some powerful titan of industry is inexplicable to him.

As for she, Constance doesn’t understand why someone as darling and downright dashing as Ace has not married some lucky girl by now. God knows he has had one hundred & one chances.

The two do have a good time when the opportunity presents itself, so why not now, smack-dab in the middle of the 20th Century?


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 93

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 100

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 100

…Fanny Renwick takes on a case of her own…

Fanny in Action

Fanny is genuinely exciting at having the chance to spearhead her own investigation, even if it means leaving Constance back in Chicago.

The one thing cannot be said about Fanny Renwick is that she has a hard time making new friends. She is an engaging woman with a cleverly dry sense of humor. She may not fall in the category of classically beautiful, but if you attempt to guess her age, which is redacted in 38 states & Canada, you would likely be wrong on the high side. It must be that fresh freckly-faced look.

R. Worth Moore had known of her peripherally, going through the records of the racially charged murder case of Laura Bell; for which four white young men from prominent Tallahassee families were convicted. Back then (1931), this was a small-sized college town with considerably less people than the 28,000 it has now. The local blacks were supposed to know their place. That Negro doctor and his family needed to be reminded of that, which was carried out in a murderous way.

Fanny Renwick, with the support of her partner Constance Caraway, was instrumental in bucking that trend, solving a case where everybody but the victim’s family wanted it to just go away. She had made the Campbell family and their welfare sort of a pet-project.

But just like the good-whites of Tallahassee wanting to pretend that no one of consequence had died, there is a white doctor over in Havana who no longer has any interest in a young woman’s welfare. Now that white girl is in trouble and besetting old Doc Campbell.

This is a rightful cause and Fanny is going to take it up with vigor.

“I may be just a country girl Mr. Moore,” and dumb like a fox, “but I intend to nail that doctor, before he ruins anyone else’s life, whether they’re from Jacksonville Florida or Jackson Hole Wyoming.”

“Do you snow ski?” he wonders if Fanny really knows Jackson Hole.

“No.” How many women from Florida know anything about snow?

“You’ll have to let me teach you sometime.”

Was he flirting with her? She will let him down at a different time, having no experience with either powder snow or potential beau.

“Who are the principles over east? Alpha Campbell doesn’t need this aggravation. Give me the names and addresses.”


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


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