Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #325

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #325

…He continues to sit on the Sheriff Joyce’s covert sex-life for all these years, but that’s not the best part – it turns out that this diddly-do continues to this day…

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“Now, tell me about that Joyce fellow, Lyn.” Robert Ford needs to know enough of the facts, to be of able support. He trusts Carolyn implicitly, not knowing her to bother with things she cannot influence, with an accent on success.

“Winthrop Joyce… Sheriff Joyce now, has been holding onto a potentially blockbuster secret.” Lyn sheriff-001Hanes knows of what she knows.

“What, did he beat a confession out of some totally innocent black man? Do you have proof about one of his cases, something that would bring him down?”

“No, I don’t know of his police work, at least nothing that would help us here. I bet that he has a spotless record, otherwise how could he have been elected Leon County Sheriff?”

   Folks in the South cherish and revere their law enforcement. Would you want one of those heavily medaled uniformed types walking up to you saying, ‘Boy, you ain’t been stealin’ watermelons from farmer Jones’ field, have ya?’ That may get you thirty days on a chain gang.

“County Sheriff is an elected position?”

“Why Robert Ford! I thought you knew all things uniformed –military or cop.”  She loves to keep her husband humble. What she has to say next would be of great interest to State, County, or local officials alike. “There was a time, before the war, really before the Depression, that then Sergeant Joyce enjoyed his visits to the county jail.”

“Okay, he loved being a policeman, what’s wrong with that?”

  “Nothing wrong with liking your job, but taking personal interest in inmates is.”

“What do you mean by personal?”

draw-me-a-story   “Like you are personal with me,” Index and middle fingers on both her hands are raised, implying closed quotes.

“Ohhhh…&?*&%$#@!

“I wouldn’t say it quite like, &?*&%$#@, but I think you get the picture, Kodak.”

   “Wow, that is intriguing, but how can you prove something like that? Isn’t the evidence trail a bit cold?”

“Normally it would, yes, excepting that head jailer is still the head jailer and the head jailer is my cousin. He continues to sit on the Sheriff’s covert sex-life for all these years, but that’s not the best part. It turns out that this diddly-do continues to this day.

“Why did your cousin bother to tell you, Lyn? Oh, I get it. He knew about you and Sara didn’t he?”

“Before I came to my senses, yes, Curt knew and he is very good at keeping secrets.” Carolyn still blushes, when the subject of her and Sara together comes up. Cousin Curt is retiring this year and he told me that he would love to blab about now. His pension is vested and cannot be revoked by the Sheriff.”


Alpha Omega M.D.

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Episode #325


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #318

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #318

…Out in the hallway, Mary Gray’s imagination is running away with her. To her ear, she hears a baby’s cry. “Oh, what a miracle!…

Magical art from Jae Nelle

Magical art from Jae Nelle

Despite A.O.’s lecture, his patient misses the third day. “My Daddy’s jetty wouldn’t catch Doc. I ain’t in no shape to walk here ya know.”

No legal disclaimer or otherwise would cover this procedure. He prays that the girl is bacteria free.

“I think you are about ready, Audrie. This should be the last time.” He will be glad to wash his hands of this one.

 Just as he spread the girl’s legs for the final gauzing, her weary uterus expels its lifeless occupant with absolutely no warning.

With the adept skills of Smoky Burgess (a catcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates in the National League of Major League Baseball) A.O. fields the exiting baby cleanly. Lillie Chevis lets out a shrill squeal in reaction to a once in a lifetime happening.

Out in the hallway, Mary Gray’s imagination is running away with her. To her ear, she hears a baby’s cry. “Oh, what a miracle!” she storms into 205 in time to witness the doctor placing a blackish limp little body into a bag. “I heard a baby crying.”

Lillie stops Mrs. Gray from advancing further than 10 feet away.

  “No, Mrs. Gray, you are mistaken. This baby has been dead in the womb three or more days. You knew that comin’ into this.”

Her daughter, dripping with sweat from the effort and the closeness of 80% humidity, lays motionless. She sobs uncontrollably, disoriented and amnesic. “Let’s go home, darlin’.”

  “Get a hold of yourself woman. You are 150 miles from home.”  He wishes that he have had Maggie Lou latch onto her and keep her at their house, which is on the same property as the hospital. He presses 205’s intercom button,

“Pack Audrie up good after I’m done scraping,” he instructs Lillie.

Mrs. Gray is speechless. Staying at a Negro’s house? How did it come to this? She thought this whole thing would be done in an hour. Now it is four days and she must be civil to a black couple, who is holding her daughter against her will.

Audrie is too overwhelmed to protest. Mother Gray’s bigotry is tainting her good sense.

“No, Mr. Campbell, we’re goin’ to Concord… I’d rather take her to her Daddy’s.”


Alpha Omega M.D.

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Episode #318


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #315

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode # 315

… Equity, in the hot summer of ‘55, comes on the form of a distressed young woman, with $200 dollars in hand and a suspected dead fetus lingering in her womb…

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Is there a fairy tale character like Peter Pan flitting around Laura Bell Memorial Hospital these days?

braceT LFT          As blissful and carefree things are for the Fords, the opposite is true for Alpha Omega Campbell. He is actually blissfully ignorant and seemingly carefree to the point of carelessness. Things on Virginia Street are falling into serious disrepair and the doctor’s Image result for peter pan gifcash flow has slowed to the equivalent of the leaky bathroom faucet in his and Maggie Lou’s master bedroom.

To survive these lean days of the summer of 1955, one property after another is sold at less than market value. Demand for the land that Maggie had inherited from John Ferrell, has slowed in the wake of the Korean War.      Now, post-World War II was a very different climate. Returning GI’s were snapping up parcels in cities like Tallahassee, no matter what the cost. But that was when A.O. was in the midst of his heyday and in no need of real estate equity.

Equity, in the hot summer of ‘55, comes on the form of a distressed young woman, with $200 dollars in hand and a suspected dead fetus lingering in her womb. She is hardly Tinkerbell spreading pixie dust at the back door of LBMH. Instead, a massive cloud of dank dust rises into the Frenchtown air.

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“I’ve hired this musician to play a sad melody while I give you a sob story why I didn’t do my homework. It’s actually quite effective!”

  “I was bein’ treated at Havana. The doctor there gave me some awful tasting-stuff to settle my stomach. I’d been with child for four months and the mornin’ sickness was getting’ to me. My mother suggested I visit Dr. Wright, I don’t know why. He wasn’t my baby doctor; guess that he was away on holiday or such.”

          “When did you notice that somethin’ wasn’t right?” Campbell had put his stethoscope to her lower belly earlier and came to an early conclusion. He wants to peel away the layers of her previous treatment. “And why did you come to me, ‘stead of Doc Wright?”

          “Well, he said that you had a reputation for helpin’ girls like me.”


Alpha Omega M.D.

Image result for sob story painting

Sob Story by Schernego Roman

Episode # 315


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #308

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #308

…As soon as the nosey attorney’s car is down the street, Clavitt heads straight for LBMH, to rectify two small details concerning this case…

Image result for mixed up

All Mixed Up by Donna Bentley

“What do you mean you’re suing the doctor because his daughter can’t have children?” Campbell Attorney Sinclair Clavitt, an associate of R. Worth Moore, reacts to his first conversation with the attorney representing the Sanders family. Missy Sanders was a patient of Doc Campbell two years ago. “There is no record of your client being a patient of A.O. Campbell and all the way from Jacksonville you say… please? You insult my intelligence, sir.”

“She is married now and her obstetrician claims that she had an abortion and that whoever did it appointment-book2damaged one of her Fallopian tubes. The odds of her conceiving a child is so slim that her doctor says any baby would be a miracle baby.”

  “I am truly sorry for the girl, but my client has no record of a Missy Hart as a patient.”

  “Missy Sanders.”

He is corrected. “Yes, that’s who I meant, Missy Sanders.” Clavitt is beginning to secretly panic. Campbell is getting his patients confused, thereby confusing his legal counsel, which is not a good thing. “I’ll give you some advice; tell the Sanders’ that they are wasting their time and yours.”

“I’m about to get a warrant to see Doctor Campbell’s appointment book from 1952.”

“We have nothing to hide. Good day.” It is an abrupt separation.

As soon as the antagonist’s car is down the street, Clavitt heads straight for LBMH, to rectify two small details concerning this case. He had previously supervised the erasure of the wrong patient in the wrong year.

After breaking every speed limit by more than ten miles per hour, he explodes into the lobby of Campbell’s clinic. “It wasn’t Milicent Hart, A.O., it was Missy Sanders!”

“I get those young girls mixed up, don’t like knowin’ their names — can’t remember their faces.”

“That’s all fine, but if we don’t erase the Sanders name from your appointment book, you can bet that a very angry grand-childless father will cause you to lose you medical license, maybe worse.”


Alpha Omega M.D.

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Episode #308


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #302

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #302

… “Do you think A.O. could take a look at my foot tonight? It’s been hurtin’ somethin’ fierce,” asks the house guest of Maggie Lou…

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“Do you want another cup of tea, Edwina?” Maggie Lou Campbell is entertaining a friend from Frenchtown. She enjoys showing off her home. 224 Virginia Street is two stories are filled with finest housekeeperthings that money can buy and kept to immaculate standards by a live-in housekeeper, who supervises the cook and the gardener/chauffeur.

“Yessum, please, Maggie. These little sandwiches is so good.” Edwina Stevens enjoys being entertained, especially being waited on by a real housekeeper, not to mention the chauffeur driven Cadillac that brought her for a visit. “Is that husband of yours workin’ late again?”

Maggie hesitates momentarily. She is beginning to suspect that her dear husband is involved in something suspicious. She has stopped going next door, as well as asking him about the details of his patients. He is paying the bills after all. “Oh yes, yes, Edwina, the man just ain’t slowin’ down.”

“Do you think he could take a look at my foot tonight? It’s been hurtin’ somethin’ fierce.”

“He’s very busy right now, told me he’d be really late, but check in with Lilly. I’m sure she can work you in tomorrow.”

“I believe I will do just that. I got to be scootin’.”

cadillac-1952-001“I’ll have Curtis bring the Cadillac over to the clinic.” The two old friends exchange a warm hug. “I hope that Alpha can fix that foot, I hate to see you limpin’ like that.”

“I”m kinda used to this cane, here… good for scaring’ away the bad ones.” She demonstrates a good whack about an imaginary head on her way out the front door and onto the well-worn path to the LBMH next door. It is past twilight by now and she uses the cane like a blind person. She aims herself toward the lighted front entrance, but does not reach her goal. Her elevated staff is in the wrong position to keep her already ailing foot from wrenching on a loose rock. She goes down at once, howling from the extra pain.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #302


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #296

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #296

…The Negro community in Florida will look back at what A.O. Campbell has done with great pride, and the promise that success is there for all who are willing to work hard…

LBMH

New Jersey was memorable for A.O. Campbell, after making the longest house call in his career. He delivered a healthy baby girl for his daughter Angela and it was nice seeing Camille Diaz again. She was so happy to be a grandmother, a tailor-made fit for a loving woman. It makes him wonder what it would have been like if she had been a part of his life. One thing for sure, she would make do with a lot less than Maggie Lou.

   He returns to Florida with a dark cloud overhead. His hospital has turned into a money pit and he has lost perhaps his greatest asset, his lawyer and friend, James Ferrell. His wife, Abbey and sister Agnes were with James to the end, trying to get him to pull through, but the antibiotics were no match for lungs filled with mucous. He used some of his last conscious moments to write a note to A.O. Campbell.Image result for watching you

Scribbled on a scrap of hospital paper, the one line read:

Be careful, Alpha. I think they are watching you. Call R. Worth Moore, he knows.

Shortly after that, the Ferrell legacy fell into the lap of the Ferrell women. Neither James nor Cyril Odz were able to produce a child and the Ferrell grocery chain, the pride of father John, was bought out by Food Fair a more national company. Why is it that a good longtime family like the Ferrells dies on the vine and the stinkers like the Lewis and Wilson clans reproduce like vermin?

The Campbells are hanging in there, but again without a male heir. With A.O. into his sixties, his empire an extension of John Ferrell – via Maggie Lou, there is a perceivable end to a historic dynasty. The Negro community in Florida will look back at what A.O. Campbell has done with great pride, and the promise that success is there for all who are willing to work hard.

LBMH-001 Success does come with a price tag. That and .75 cents gets you a ride on the bus to Panama City. That and $252.50 gets you a mortgage on a hospital. Unless he lives to be 88 years old, he probably will not see that debt retired. The plan was to pay it off in ten years, but that was contingent on other doctors, black or otherwise, working out of it.

And that did not happen. So on January 23rd of 1951, at the age of 62, when some lucky Americans retire with a pension, Mr. J.L. Lewis recommends Doctor A.O. Campbell for active staff appointment at A&M Hospital. His family simply needed the money. Vacant lots and run down houses do not pay the bills. Even the lots on Campbell Lake go unsold. Real estate taxes are gobbling up rental revenue.

Communist witch-hunts, yet another foreign war, blatant racism and back-stabbing friends, can be summed up with one word: inhospitable.


Alpha Omega M.D.

THE LIFE AND TIMES OF A BLACK SOUTHERN DOCTOR

THE LIFE AND TIMES OF A BLACK SOUTHERN DOCTOR

Episode #296


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode # 292

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #292

… It is so ironic that James Ferrell occupies room 209 at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital, not the hospital he fought so hard to save…

Meanwhile Caption-001Down where the rubber meets the road, nearer to God than Alpha Centauri, James Ferrell clings to life Image result for where the rubber meets the roadafter a ghastly battle with pneumonia. He had been working himself harder than ever, warding off the ever increasing blows being thrown at Doctor Alpha Omega Campbell. In his attempt to maintain A.O.’s flawless reputation, which has become a full time chore, Ferrell put his own health at risk. Having a physician for a client should be a good thing, but in this case, the doctor is not in the house.

He is in New Jersey to visit brother Hosey. No – that was the company line. Angela Ophelia Diaz is expecting any day, nine months pregnant with a certain Florida doctor’s second grandchild. He had not completely severed his ties with mother Camille Diaz, the woman who took him under her wing when he really needed it, and has been checking in from time to time over the past thirty years. He was motivated by his overriding sense of responsibility, being the pregnant girl’s father and all and not having financially supported either of them… other than an occasional birthday present.

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Meanwhile, his attorney was juggling real estate in an effort to keep Laura Bell Memorial Hospital afloat. Legitimate revenues are not paying the bills, other than the rental properties, and even some of them have fallen into disrepair. Roofs need roofing, broken windows remain broken, and tenants are becoming untenable.

It is so ironic that James Ferrell occupies room 209 at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital, not the hospital he fought so hard to save. Lilly Chevis is at his side, personally attending to him as a representative of LBMH, helping to make the 70 year old man as comfortable as possible.

He was always stopping by the clinic, making sure the bills were being paid and keeping track of the patient register. There have been whispers about late night visits by mostly young white women. He suspects that abortions comprise the bulk of those calls.

Ferrell has been dying a little bit at a time, with the knowledge that the doctor will be indefensible somewhere down the line. The racial climate leading up to 1950 has been spiraling downward. It is becoming fashionable to flaunt the differences between whites and blacks. Whites feel they can be openly hateful and blacks are becoming increasingly vocal in protesting injustice, which has a polarizing effect that trickles down to the otherwise ambivalent. Unfortunately for people of color, the law comes down on the side of prejudice and that can scare the best of lawyers.


Alpha Omega M.D.

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Hanging by a thread by Do Ho Suh, textile and thread sculpture

Episode #292


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #272

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #272

…That’s not all he wants to rub,” she pats her bottom, “you let ‘em do it once and they think they can do it all the time…

Typewriter-001

We get letters“We’re getting a hundred letters a week, Lyn. The test audience wants to know why Constance Caraway is working without a partner. What about a dashing tall, dark and handsome type, you know the FBI or even better, the CIA that would give it an international flavor.”

Stanley Rogers – Editor

“Christ almighty, Stanley. The day Constance teams up with some damned government freak will be a cold day in hell.” Carolyn Hanes has had it with editors, not that Stanley Rogers is a bad one, but he one of the new breed editors who are what she considers as, overly concerned and influenced by the readers. “The last time I listened to you, and it may have been the last time I do, you talked me… I mean her, into marrying that sleazy politician.”

“You didn’t have to make him sleazy,” the editor reminds her.

“If it walks like a politician, somewhat upright, with two legs and a male brain, he has to be sleazy.”

“Fine, but did you have to have him sleeping with everything wearing a skirt?”

“Everything is right,” Lyn gloats. “Remember, you don’t have to be a lady to wear a skirt.” Stanley blushes. “What about you, Stan? I can lend you one of mine.”

“All right, enough of this silly talk. What are you doing tonight? Old man Harper wants to rub elbows with his star writer.”

That’s not all he wants to rub,” she pats her bottom. “You let ‘em do it once and they think they can do it all the time.

Fanny-001  “He is the publisher and that was three books ago – before he found out about your ‘friend’.”

Sara/Fanny.

 There isn’t a day that goes by without some memory of her or the character she inspired. The true essences of fictional Fanny and so-real Sara have always been interchangeable, to the point that Lyn would mentally confuse the dressmaking housemate with the picture taking investigative partner. Sara would bristle when she was called Fanny. Likewise, Sara’s name used to occasionally appear in the same paragraph with Constance Caraway. That is what editors are for.

“I’m sorry, Lyn, I keep forgetting she’s gone.”


Alpha Omega M.D.

The Hawaiian Spy-001

Episode #272


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #256

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #256

…The plight of the Negro community has not changed, yea, surely worsened by the continuing Great Depression, as the world-wide economic downward spiral is called…

Blessings III by John Holyfield

Blessings III by John Holyfield

The death of Princess Olla has never left the mind of A.O. Campbell, not merely because of the manner in which she died. Laura Bell was like a mother to him, going back to the days of his lengthy visits to San Luis Lake and that dear German couple, the Endlichoffers. These people were like family to him and seeing that his parents Willy and Amanda lived only long enough to see the Great War end, (plus a year or two), Princess Olla was his family. Oh yes, there are sisters Agnes and Francis, whom he has set up in a house in Tallahassee. And he has Hosea. Oh my, Hosey, now there is a relative for you, as in, ‘You can choose your friends, but family chooses you’.

And then there are Maggie Lou and the girls. They make sure he keeps busy. He can scarce afford not to, with three females perfecting the art of spending money. The result: he has been beguiled by the lucrative, if not, illegal, world of abortion.  ‘Somebody else will do them if’n I don’t,’ he says to himself. ‘With less skill and care,’ he adds.

   And then there is his dream of building his own hospital. He can see it there on the empty lot next to their house on Virginia Street, just a few steps from where Laura Bell was left for dead.

dream

The plight of the Negro community has not changed, yea, surely worsened by the continuing Great Depression, as the world-wide economic downward spiral is called. This is like telling a starving man that he needs to go on a diet. These impoverish people’s health suffers as bad as or worse than their jobless quagmire. And with the number of black doctors increasing yearly, what better a place to come to the aid of their own? Care would be given, regardless of ability to pay. A.O. wants to provide a place for black doctors to practice outside the present restrictive structure, to make an absolute difference in the lives of the needy.

Where will the money come from? Dream high and tread lightly.


Alpha Omega M.D.

6th Avenue Unemployment Agency by Abraham Harriton

Episode #256


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #255

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #255

Chapter Fourteen

LESSONS NOT LEARNED

…Maggie Lou Campbell is proud of how she has raised her girls; much like a breeder of horses feels about a champion thoroughbred, though horses do not sleep as much…

Zillah, Laura, A.O. & Alpha Campbell

L-R = Zillah, Laura, A.O. & Alpha Campbell

“But Mother, my tennis lessons don’t start until twelve o’clock. What time is it now?” asks a groggy Zillah Campbell.

“It is almost eleven and your breakfast is cold. You said you were coming down an hour ago.” Maggie Country Clubgoes through this struggle on a daily basis, not that the problem isn’t any of her doing. Zillah is the youngest of her three daughters and the most spoiled, without question.

“All right already. I just don’t know why I have to learn a sport I am no good at.”

“If you want to fit in at the country club, playing tennis is a must.  Look what it did for Alpha? She married a doctor.” Mom is proud of how she has raised her girls; much like a breeder of horses feels about a champion thoroughbred, though horses do not sleep as much.

“Tennis didn’t get her, Vaughn Mizzell spreadin’ her legs did.”

“You best take that back, young lady. How can you be so cruel?”

“I’m only sayin’ what Laura told me. She says she plans on doin’ the same with real estate guy, McLoud.”

Just what Maggie wants to hear? “We’ll see about that! I will not have my daughters gettin’ a reputation for sleepin’ their way into a marriage.” The scariest part of the courting of Laura Campbell is that Franklin McLoud is as close to white as a black can be. That is not so bad, if it isn’t for whom his associates are.

1937 CC P.I.-001

They could be the very villains that Carolyn Hanes writes about in her singeing novel about murder and other shenanigans in fictitious Atlanta. It was most cleverly done, with Constance Caraway and Fanny Renwick first investigating the death and disappearance of an old woman, then discovering the smelly undercurrent of blatant racism and corruption. As the people of Leon County began to read, as is customary when the author is a local, the hum on the streets becomes deafening.

The book came out earlier in 1937. Currently, near the end of the same year, certain anonymous folks have launched a campaign to ban the book in Florida, for what they claim is its homosexual undertone. Curiously, they are not about to bring it to litigation, likely fearing that the authorities would read the book and relate her story to the dark days of 1931 Frenchtown.


Alpha Omega M.D.

CC P.I. Deadly-001

Episode #255


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