Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 76

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 76

…“What is the date Martin?” asks the man who has been frozen in time…

“I don’t know how much you’ve understood about our conversations, but you are supposed to be dead, that is what Mastadon and most of Chicago is lead to believe, the rest of the world that cares thinks you are still missing. Either way we must keep you under wraps until we can know how to proceed from this point forward.”

FOREVER MASTADON — what a group of nuts that is!”

Can’t spell a lick, but they sure are potent,” Constance comments.

Spell Check 1951

“We found a scrap of paper with mastadon scribbled on it by you, but could not make the connection until recently.”

“What is the date Martin?” asks the man who has been frozen in time.

“January 4th. Do I need to add the year?”

“It should be 1951 by now, if it is not, I’ve lost more time than I realized.” He reflects on the passing of days, when they all run together. “How about that Wolfgram character, there is something greasy about him?”

Constance Caraway-001“No sign of him yet. He has left a trail, but that’s a story for another time.” Connie is happy to see the pieces of the puzzle fall into place. “By the way, my name is Constance Caraway and your escort is my partner Fanny Renwick.”

“I hired them after you went missing; the CPD (Chicago Police), DuPage County and Argonne security were no help whatsoever,” Martin explains

“I detect a bit of a southern accent, Miss Caraway is it?”

“Florida, Leon County.”

“Tallahassee I would guess?”

“Precisely Will, you may not remember but they were the investigators who fingered James East, the double agent at Argonne.”

“Splendid! The Manhattan Project was going too fast for its own good; I only knew half of the people involved in it.”

“We, Fanny and I are committed to see this thing through Mr. Libby. There are diverse forces at work here and it is becoming larger than the people involved, I’m talking a monumental struggle.”


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 72

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 74

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 74

…the CCPI gang needs a safe place to stash the latest discombobulated version  of Libby…

Whacked-out Willy (his new nickname) had called his office sanctuary ‘the best kept secret’ around and is proud of it.

But someone had found it about three weeks ago, as CCPI discovered, but nothing seemed to be missing and theSafehouse ensuing mess was restored to its previous disorder by Martin. The entire remote wing of the university had been since sealed from regular access. To this very moment, no one knows who broke in.

When it came to finding a safe place to stash the latest discombobulated version of Libby, they need not look any further than his office, a three room suite with its own bathroom. The biggest room by square footage is the 15 x 15 front room, serving as place of work, kitchenette and the den; a windowless covey hole is filled by books from top to bottom, end to end.

Most of those books would be classified as reference, a good number of which are historical in nature, the Civil War in particular. In the fiction section, the complete works of Ernest Hemingway dominate several shelves from the earliest days working for The Kansas City Star to his final days in Idaho; reporter notes in Kansas to The Dangerous Summer in Life Magazine. You get two guesses at who is Libby’s favorite writer, the first one doesn’t count.

“This place is not big enough to care for someone in Willard’s present condition,” Constance interjects, with full knowledge of the Kimbark house being off-limits as well.

“I know some people over at the Hospital, maybe we can get him into a private room psycho_wardon the fifth floor?” Martin proposes.

“Why the 5th floor?”

“That’s the psycho ward.”

“Tell them he’s your brother or something, just make sure that the doctor in charge is someone you can trust.” Connie wants to make sure the scientist is not nabbed again.

At that point Fanny enters Willard’s office suite, pushing none other than Willard in his wheelchair.

“Fanny!?” Her friend had been tending to Libby down the hall.

“He wanted to come, seemed to recognize his surroundings, he pointed the way.”


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 70

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 70

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 70

…Speak of the Devil…

“Why do I have this atrocious feeling that this Libby situation is not finished?” Pentateuch, the merchant of immorality, has been fighting an eternal battle, the battle for a world filled with unbelievers. The denial of God’s existence is almost secondary to his other mission: ‘If mankind does not believe that I (the devil & his minions) is real and walking among them, they a like ripe fruit from low hanging branches.’ “You tell me he has died, froze to death, instead of being locked away?”

“We didn’t think he would be exposed to the cold for so long,” Canisso proves just how imperfect evil can be.

“Do you not think the Divine One will seek to avenge this innocent man’s death? This wasn’t just an ordinary human, Canisso, he was about to tell the world that they have been lied to, the fraud of all time. After all, what is ten billion years among friends? To those of us who are ceaseless, the passing of time is of little matter, a million, so what. But to a human, it is maybe 70 years, most of which is spent clinging to their precious life.

“And up until now, they have been properly bamboozled, choosing to believe their flawed science, rather than the Word of the God who made them.”

“God made us too, Master.”

Upon reflecting on that not small fact, Pentateuch reverts to his defiant nature, “We were His Angels also Canisso, but we seized the power to be His equal, while the others chose to hang around and worship Him.

“The meek shall not inherit the Earth if I have anything to do with it.”

What a bold stance to take, be it brave or delusional.

“Who among “them” would be willing to sell their soul Canisso?” the Dark Deceptor refers to that pesky CCPI bunch, which has not gone away. “One of them must lust after money, power, ecstasy, something.”

“That cabbie Eddie sure would like to be some sort of hero or famous or both.”

If any one of them can be had, Pentateuch will test them, tempt them, take them for his own.


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 66

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 68

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 68

…If “they” find out that he (Willard Libby) is still alive, all hell may break loose…

A Newly minted 1951 has brought with it what is referred to as a “January thaw” to the greater Chicago area. Instead of temperatures at or below zero, which only encourages any accumulated snow to stay put, 40+ degrees Fahrenheit is a welcome respite, a peek at what the coming spring will bring, later if not sooner.

The orchestrated sounds, from inside the grand Cadillac Theatre and Palmer House Hotel, have wafted away by now, so it is back to work in the bizarre case of the formerly missing Willard Libby. Constance Caraway Private Investigation has had a front seat to nearly all the newest developments and its amazing fluidity. There is a new twist around every corner and merely keeping everything straight is a chore.

Martin Kamen has been in daily contact with Superintendent Steinberg. He reports that Libby has been elevated from Stage Two Catatonia to garden variety incoherent, making it back to one word accomplishments; “bell” has been deciphered during fits of frustrated attempts at cogent communication.

With little hope of Willard making significant progress, Martin decides that between William and him, they can care for the man just as well, with the help of a nursing school intern or three.

“This all must remain hush-hush Martin, so we’ll have to do this in the dark of night, sometime after “lights out” and before “rise and shine”. You tell me that no one has inquired about his condition?” Connie asks.

“I must admit this to you,” Martin but not before sheepishly qualifying himself, “I had Elgin Hospital issue a death statement about a certain John Doe that had shown up there on December 16th, made all the papers around Cook and DuPage Counties. Just in case I have written an obituary as well.

Related image“I did not want to bother you and Fanny, though we’re not totally in the clear, I know. I also got a message to his Aunt Mary Joseph at Tolentine, letting her know that Willard has been located and that we would keep her informed. She is as elated as a nun can get.”

Mr. Beaker

“She won’t blab will she?” Constance stresses the need for absolute secrecy. “If “they” find out that he is still alive, all hell may break loose — and I mean that quite literally.”

“She seemed more concerned about the death of Ernesto Pacelli; she had found out that he was the Pope’s brother, not exactly a gold star for Tolentine. But she is keenly aware of what’s at stake; she has even taken in Will’s cat, Mr. Beaker.”


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 65

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 63

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 63

…Caraway & Renwick have been the best of “friends” ever since they met in Tallahassee 20 years ago…

“Can we afford all this Connie, the hotel alone is $40 dollars a night?” Fanny holds the money but it is Constance who controls it, a system of checks and balances that should make Congress feel guilty. Senators and House members go on oversea junkets, in the guise of fact-finding missions, when in fact they are on taxpayer sponsored vacations for themselves and three-quarters of their extended family… plus 2 or 3 loyal campaign contributors. Constance and Fanny are splurging by going a grand total of 60 blocks north of Hyde Park. “And I had to buy a new Polaroid after those creeps nabbed me, another $70 dollars plus sales tax.”

“That was $48,000 dollars I deposited at Northern Trust,“ she speaks to the LaSalle Street branch where she gave the Libby Incident money a safe haven, in a big-time hurry right after her spooky experience at 33 North LaSalle; in their well-gotten gains go a, scant block down the street and none too soon. “You should have the lion’s share of the remaining two thousand left, right?”

“I did advance Eddie $500 for January… and a $20 bonus for showing us a good time this week,” Fanny speaks to her discretion. “It was generous of Martin to pay him for December.”

“Good, that leaves us a good sum to celebrate in grand style!” Just what the new year has in store for them, is story as yet unwritten. “Let’s get back to Palmer House and get ready to ring in 1951!

“Friends”

“This is our first New Year’s Eve away from home,” Fanny reflects warmly on memories fashioned in Florida.

“Times, they are ‘a changing, Fan!”

The two women have been the best of “friends” ever since they met in a Tallahassee greasy spoon 20 years ago…


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 60

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 62

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 62

Chapter Six

 THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM

Constance Caraway and Fanny Renwick have been at it for 10 days without a break, well, Eddie's Cousins-001except for a hamburger break, but that did not go so well. And those long car rides, Argonne, Elgin, forth and back, an assault on their brains by way of tales. Eddie’s endless experiences make catnapping impossible and then there are his cousins…

While Martin carefully sorts through Willard Libby’s voluminous paper trail, in an attempt not to let one stone unturned, “which is the Hemingway work that shelters the C-14 theorem?” Libby himself is safely tucked away from the wicked, elusive FM and some days away from blowing that looney-bin.

As 1951 replaces 1950, Connie and Fanny treat themselves to several days at the Palmer House Hotel.

Having the luxury of having their own personal driver certainly makes this off-the-books escapade easier, without having to fight tooth and nail among the morass of people competing for the same rare taxi cab. To his credit, Eddie knows Chicago’s Loop better than any other Checker jockey, foreign or domestic; Eddie speaks English, well his version of it and is a good driver, ‘I ain’t run over no old lady for years,’ he will brag.

The Loop: defined by streets Wells, Wabash, Lake and VanBuren, is pretty much the cultural centre of the Midwestern America. CCPI’s two girl team will endeavor to take in as much of the potentially lethal female combination of shopping and chocolate.

Frango Mints, chocolate truffles sold at Marshall Fields Department Stores, are an early discovery on a leisurely stroll down State Street, but this prominent purveyor of plentiful profligacy actually serves as a double dip; confectionery treats and shoes for feets – sweets for the tummy plus new outfits from head to toe for a night out.


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 59

 

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 1

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CONSTANCE CARAWAY P.I.

Episode 1

 

Chapter One

 MANHATTAN MYSTERY

…Jimmy K. works for the neighborhood WESTERN UNION office, which encompasses a vital link to the outside world for CCPI…

‘Ding-dong, ding-dong, ding-dong’. Rapid repetition of this familiar noise tells the occupants of 455 East Tennessee Street that someone is at the front door and they may well have ants in their pants.

Molly

‘Ding-dong, ding-dong!’ There is an audible exclamation to the final two rings before the words, “I’m coming, for god’s sake! Do you want me to break my neck? Out of the way Molly!” Molly is an excitable yellow Labrador retriever, whose self-appointed duty is doorbell answerer. Almost a casualty of chaos, the 15 foot fresh-cut evergreen in the foyer, bedecked with colorful ornaments and light, rocks on its tripod base as they pass by.

The hurried woman comes from her upstairs office, home base for Constance Caraway Private Investigation. She had been on the phone with a fairly recent client, a guy named Simms, who has been ignoring her repeated mailed bill for work they had done on his messy divorce case. Five hundred dollars is $500 dollars and she was counting on the money for a little time away from “their” two-story building in downtown Tallahassee. And it is Christmas Eve to boot.

Henry JThe other person constituting the “their” portion and partner in the practice of legalized prying, Fanny Renwick, is out taking pictures of their debtor, a well-to-do retiree who owns the building adjacent to them. She captures him driving a brand new 1950 Henry J automobile, $2000 dollars at Cal’s Cars… and he can’t pay them for ridding the man of his gold digging floozy of a wife of six short months?

Constance grabs the huge door with brass handles, nearly dislocating her right shoulder, flinging it open.

Jimmy

“Oh—it’s you Jimmy.” The boy works for the neighborhood WESTERN UNION office, which encompasses a vital link to the outside world for CCPI. “Where is the fire, Jimmy? You nearly rang the bell off the wall.”

“My boss told me there would be a $1 bonus for me if I get this to you girls and back to the office in 5 minutes… down Molly, yes I’m happy to see you too.”

Constance orders Molly, who loves company and cannot help herself, to leave Jimmy alone. She backtracks to the banister, where her purse is hanging.

“Let me sign for that and here’s another dollar; I hope you bring some good news for a change.” Not every telegram bears a positive message, but she is a serial tipper regardless of the message.

“Thank you Miss Connie!”


~Forever Mastadon~

Episode 1


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