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 71

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 71

…Eddie D. has a dream PART 1…

That next night, while Eddie D. was back at home having finished his Elgin undertaking, with that and the rest of their doings continuing to be shielded from Pentateuch, asleep in his bed, he is given a dream.

He has a vision of himself sitting up in bed and being lead away by a comely waif. They go to an unknown place, like nothing Chicago has to offer, lofty and commanding. Below he can see himself, at some ceremony being presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Howard McGrath, the Attorney General of the United States. It seems weird, to this dreamer, that he is receiving an award for civilian service, when he is in fact a member in good standing of the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars). But in this alternate reality, he is rewarded for his heroic work in capturing foreign nationals who were threatening the nation s during the end days of WWII; Communists, Nazis, Fascists, sympathizers, spies.

“We the members of the Cabinet of the United States of America hereby award Edward Eddie's Cousins-001Francis Dombroski the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of these United States.”

All of Eddie’s many repeated stories whither in the specter of this fresh personal notoriety. Not only that and but all of his cousins were there cheering him adoringly, how cool is that?

The headlines will read:

“Chicago’s Eddie Dombroski to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Roosevelt”

He doesn’t realize that the Medal of Freedom is fairly common, as compared to the Medal of Merit or certainly the Medal of Honor, but none of those matters as Eddie is honored as a hero.

As good as that makes him feel, Eddie D. is sensing that same bone chilling cold that occupies a part of his recent memory, at North LaSalle Street and the phantom 39th Floor. ‘But I am a hero, my neighborhood is holding a block party in my honor, Mayor Kelly has declared November 12th Eddie Dombroski Day with the Key to the City and all,’ he whispers longingly.


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 67

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 69

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 69

…Constance’s tolerance level for Eddie’s tales is shrinking…

Ear-Ringing

“Eddie!”

Constance calls out mockingly, with their newest jaunt back out to Elgin in mind. Of course he cannot hear, but his ears must be ringing in anticipation of when and where he will be going.

Having returned to the city in daylight last time will make this trip less contentious, though he hasn’t lost his flare for humor, “I charge extra for more people, plus if he needs a wheel chair… you must think I’m a handicap transport?”

“Would you like to join the ranks of the disabled Eddie?” Fanny has a knack for keeping him in line.

Eddie's Cousins-001“Easy Fan,” here he goes, “I’ll have you know that my Cousin Johnnie’s boy has polio and when he has go to Cook County Hospital for his treatments, good ol’ Eddie and his Checker are ‘Johnny on the spot’! That trunk can hold two wheelchairs, patients and all. I remember one day, I think it was January too, the snowdrifts were higher than the roof of my garage and my nephew went into some spaz-attack……….”

“Eddie!”

Constance’s tolerance level for Eddie’s tales is shrinking.

And so they go, on to retrieve Willard Libby from his own personal hell, never mind that the mental health professionals working with him were well-intentioned.

When the Forever Mastadon confederation hatched their scheme of snatch and dump, they counted on Libby being declared hopeless, helpless, any-the-less locked in a padded room for the rest of his days.

They did not want his blood on their hands, so his life was to be spared; not an act of compassion, rather a result of their leader’s eternal guilt. Eternal guilt is akin to eternal regret, the fate that awaits those who do not subscribe to the lordship of that carpenter’s son from Judah (Jesus)

Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 65

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