Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 128

Leave a comment

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 128

…Well, you may have your own airplane, but you’re no Fanny…

Mrs. Dombroski puts an end to Eddie’s Story Time. She has had enough warning of coming visitors that this goodhearted woman has prepared a home-cooked feast worthy of the Thanksgiving-type occasion. They are ushered into the dining area, the largest room in their Burnside Bungalow.

Eddie insists on being caught up on the recent goings-on of the Libby team, of which Ajax Bannion is now a part. He hears of further encounters with eerily unexplained episodes, raising goose bumps on his arms, having had his own close encounter not all that long ago. Those phantom structures and such are becoming the norm.

Of greater concern is the near loss of life from those nearest the investigation. He puts on a brave face about the present danger, but Constance reminds him that he was not a target, at risk because of his reckless actions. With him back in Englewood and Libby lying low in Hyde Park, things should settle down.

But it is obvious that Connie is still jacked about their adventure, going on and on about the Italian Connection from which they just returned. Like never before, civilian air travel has changed the way they can view the world and the relative immediacy of navigating the 10,000 mile, 2 and a half day roundtrip is graphic proof. In times past, it would have been three weeks on a slow boat to cross the big pond.

Well, you may have your own airplane, but you’re no Fanny,” Eddie speaks at Ace, being Fanny’s biggest fan. “That girl has a nose for trouble.”

“Don’t you pay any mind to that dirty old man! He has a huge crush on her.” Edie D. is a reality rock for her chatty cabby, not unaware of her husband’s fascination with an adventurous lure. It makes her feel like a real frump in comparison, but only for small bursts. He is married to her after all.

“CC needed a hand and I was glad to help. We go way back,” Ace will likely be judged on his continuing body of work, as well as how he treats the other of “his” girls.

“You seem like a stand up guy there Ace. If Connie has taken a shine to you, you must be top shelf.”

“He is good people Ed,” the P.I. from Florida confirms.

The Eddie D. seal of approval is a dubious, obscure award.


Constance Caraway P.I.

Seal of Approval-001

Forever Mastadon


page 112

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 111

Leave a comment

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

Leave a comment

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

Leave a comment

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 107

Leave a comment

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 107

…Once again, Constance intentionally avoids bringing up the subject of Ace Bannion…

Connie has gotten the message loud and clear, hearing of the attempted destruction of her Tallahassee roots, while driving over to Merrill C. Meigs Field to pick up Ace Bannion. It looks more and more that she may have to include him in this fight with an international aftertaste, feeling the need to retaliate in some way or shape or form.

She, in her detective(ly) duties, has been playing defense for the entire Libby Affair, at least from the standpoint of the opposition, other side. The only saving grace is the fact that Libby is alive and not dead. But Pentateuch is operating with undeserved impunity, even though he is basking in a fool’s victory.

“That does it, I’m going to call that CIA guy and find out where these people live.”

“What if that means going to Italy, where Agent Daniels has been undercover?” Fanny wonders.

“I don’t know Fan. I will do what I have to,” is the way things are left.THE LIFE AND TIMES OF A BLACK SOUTHERN DOCTOR

Fanny gets past revenge and gives her a report on the Campbell case, much less dramatic than the Chicago drama, but important in its own right. Doc Campbell has been a significant part of the Tallahassee medical scene for four decades and is need of backup from longtime friends. Fanny will gladly fill that role.

“Those cowards can’t keep dumping their smelly leftovers on Alpha Campbell. Do you know that he does not turn down charity cases to this day, whether they can pay or not.”

Constance encourages her partner to soldier on, but once again intentionally avoids bringing up the subject of Ace Bannion.

Worth Moore, L. Dick Cannon and A.O. Campbell are new players dotting the Constance Caraway landscape. The anti-God forces of Forever Mastadon and World Agnostica has been joined by The Church of Spiritual Engineering. Fanny Renwick has traded Windy City intrigue for Sunshine State shenanigans. Eddie Dombroski and his stories are on the shelf, but Ace Bannion has flown in to add his legendary dimension to the narrative.

A departure implies leaving — a change from the usual.

The status quo is always subject to change.

Some changes are more welcome than others…


Constance Caraway P.I.

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Forever Mastadon


page 95 (end Ch. 9)

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 99

Leave a comment

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 99

…Fanny is genuinely exciting at having the chance to spearhead her own investigation…

CCPI is getting briefed on an upcoming case…

“James Ferrell’s (Campbell’s longtime “get his ass out of a jam” lawyer) health prevents him from doing his usual good job, if you know what I mean,” R. Worth Moore asserts. “This girl from Jacksonville was sent to Campbell by a white doctor from Havana and now she’s having trouble with her baby. She is afraid that it is going to be stillborn and with the anti-abortion sentiment flying around prosecutors’ offices down here, I don’t want A.O. getting involved but I am afraid it’s too late.”

“Fanny and I are up in Chicago working, but I think I can send her back to help.”

“Fantastic Miss Caraway, I will not forget this! I can wire you the money to a Western Union near you.”

“That’s quite alright, Mr. Moore. Doc Campbell is always there for us, I think we can wait until the job’s done.”

“I insist that the plane ticket will be on us. down in Tallahassee” Constance gives Moore their Kimbark Street Chicago address. The $50 dollar TWA ticket is usually reserved for the wealthy traveler, so if he insists, Constance will not protest too much.

Fanny is genuinely exciting at having the chance to spearhead her own investigation, a rare morsel of autonomy from her boss, not that she “isn’t her own woman” when quibbles between them arise.

“I’ve ordered a taxi to take you to Midway Airport, 5:35 TWA flight to Tallahassee with one stop in Baltimore.” After one flight to Chicago, Constance rattles off the itinerary like a pro.

“Are you going to miss me Connie?” she is fishing for affection.

She gets her hug, along with a dose of realism, “We have to keep things running at home. I think I’ll be able to clean things Ace Bannionup here and I will feel better having you away from this madness, safe and sound.”

Constance fails to tell Fanny that she has been contacted by Ace Bannion; of all the people on Earth, he represents the greatest perceived threat to the depth of their relationship.


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 90

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 98

Leave a comment

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 98

…Betty has been reading too many books, the kind that equate airplane pilots to rapscallions and womanizers…

Private lines are generally taken up by businesses like Constance Caraway Private Investigation, or in the case of Chicago just about every phone line is private.

Neighbor Betty dispenses one more tidbit to share with Connie from 1000 miles away, “Oh and one more thing… that scoundrel Ace Bannion called wondering where you were.”

“What time did he call?” The time of day will tell her what may be on his mind, along with, “Did you tell him where we are?”

“After I went to bed, of course and no, it’s none of his damn beeswax.” 8 P is late nowhere else in the world.

“Good job Betty, talk to you soon.”

The well-intentioned neighbor has been reading too many books, the kind that equate airplane pilots to rapscallions and womanizers. Ace, for all his ins and outs, is really cut from the same cloth as Constance. The two have an understanding, without the need to cater to ceremony or unnecessary pretense. Whenever they get together it is like time has been interrupted, stopped in between but easily carried on.

In this case, Ace has to wait while Constance looks into Attorney Moore’s inquiry. You have to take care of those hometown folks, it is plain good business. A good referral is worth 200 business cards, 2 newspaper ads (services section) and 1 radio spot (WTAL 1450 AM) put together.

The new lead lawyer for Dr. Alpha Omega Campbell has need of some good dirt on one of the doctor’s clandestine clientele. For his part, Doc has promised to stop doing abortions for those endlessly disparate white girls who need to have their affairs kept quiet; two or three hundred temporary dollars are not worth future aggravation. But even with his new residency at Florida A&M Hospital, that mortgage payment on Laura Bell Memorial Hospital comes due on the 1st.


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 89