Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 31

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 31

Hindsight always provides the best view, Constance…

The letters F M are scrawled on the reflective glass, using a bar of soap.

F M —- F for what? Fanny? Then what does the M represent.

The meaning of the 2 letters is secondary to the fact that Fanny is nowhere to be seen. She scampers to the order counter. “Have you seen a skinny redhead about my tall?”

No.

Connie gallops out to their empty car. She sprints back inside to report on the mysterious happenings to the guys, who fan out to cover more ground.

“I’m thinking that our close call was no accident,” Eddie concludes.

The day manager of the restaurant blocks public entry down the restroom hall, allowing Martin to legally enter to women’s facilities. “F M, frequency modulation? Not likely.” Using his other senses, he wonders, “That smell, I know it….. CHCl 3, chloroform or dichloromethane.”

“That was used as anesthesia in early surgical medicine. Doc Campbell used it at his hospital back in Florida.”

“Correct and it is the fastest way to render someone unconscious, against their will.”

“She’s been kidnapped, hasn’t she.” Constance shivers at the thought. “How in God’s name did whoever know we were stopping to eat? Were we being tailed Eddie?”

“No! We’ve only gone 2 miles since we left the nunnery and we weren’t followed there or here.”

“In the world of cause and effect we have this: unknown device and missing woman. We must have a track-able gadget locked it in the trunk and we didn’t figure that out?.”

Hindsight always provides the best view, Constance.”

“But I allowed us to let our guard down and Fanny is gone!” That is no ordinary woman to her. Fanny Renwick is her housemate and partner in crime.

“Don’t think the worst, Con,” Eddie, while beside his self in worry, has to maintain a clear head; he is driving.

“If she’s still alive, there are four million people here-about – about being 2000 square miles,” Eddie then proceeds to bring up the worst.

“I get the feeling that Fanny may be a pawn/bargaining chip in this widening mystery. They may be contacting us sooner than later.” Martin draws a daunting comparison.

“Like your friend, Libby?”

“Let’s head back to the house and sort through the goodies we have. Just think, in oneRelated image secluded meeting we have a famous Evangelist in Graham, an incomparable scientist in Fermi, leading Catholic figures outside Rome, not to mention Willard Libby.”

“Don’t leave out that government guy, Wolfgram. If the US State Department or FBI is involved, who knows what is going on?”


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 30

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 30

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 30

…”Can you pass the ketchup Marty?” He hates being called Marty…

Once they safely gain White Castle’s dining area, standing at the counter, Eddie does the ordering, “A Variety Sack of 30 and three Cokes.”

Constance picked out a booth by the front window, where Homewood meets Glenwood. “Busy street,” she comments.

“I need to use the little girls’ room,” Fanny offers, “how about you Connie?”

“No, I’ll wait until we hit the road.”

“30 divided by 4 is….,” Eddie starts divvying up the bite-sized hamburgers and yet another family factoid. “The hamburger was invented in Seymour, Wisconsin. They have a Burger Festival every year and me and the family make the drive there pretty much every year, mostly for the bun toss and the parade. Great fun.

“7.5. You can have my portion,” Martin does the math.

“Eat up. Can you pass the ketchup Marty?”

He hates being called Marty.

Conversation is spotty at the booth, perhaps having to do with that mystery briefcase in the trunk or is it that Fanny Renwick’s is conspicuous by her absence?

“It’s been 15 minutes,” Of course it is Constance who would notice the prolonged potty pause.

Just then, there was the screeching noise of spinning tires, a black four-door sedan tearing out of the parking lot, heading north on Halsted Street.

“That is the same idiot who nearly ran us off the road,” notices Eddie, who knows his automobiles. “That ain’t no family car.”

“Relax, he is long gone by now,” Constance gets up to head for the ladies room. “I am going to check on Fanny.”

A “Castle” cleaning woman points the way to the washroom when asked. It is small, three stalls.

“Fanny???” She expects a rapid response, but gets none. The privacy booths are empty, doors partially ajar.

A quick visual sweep is easy, her friend’s purse is still on the wash basin, opened to the makeup compartment but it is what she sees on the mirror shocks her. The letters F  M are scrawled on the reflective glass, using a bar of soap.


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 29