Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 33

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 33

…A simple 2×3.5” handout gives them their first truly tangible clue…

The good news: Fanny is set free. The bad news: her hands are tied and they have pushed Schneiderher out of the car, somewhere near a rail yard. She is tossed into the heart of Midwest industrialization; factories, diesel powered trains and trucks. Needless to say, she sticks out, a Florence Nightingale in a Rosie the Riveter world.

As luck would have it, she is picked by Schneider Transportation truck driver within ten minutes. He questions not, her bound hands and rumpled appearance, “I’m headed to Wisconsin,” she is told.

“I’m taking Halsted all the way back into the city. I bet those guys are headed for the Loop,” Eddie advises. The Loop is what makes Chicago industry tick.

“Just get us back in one piece. We now have two missing people to locate.” Constance has learned to act in a calculated manner, unlike her spontaneous friend whom they now must add to their to-do list. “This is getting harder to figure out by the minute.”

“Well I found out how to get into this attaché.” Martin delivers the first of a series of fortune reversals. There was also some meaty paperwork tucked into a hidden compartment in this “cold war” era design. “There is a business card in here:”

The simple 2×3.5” handout gives them their first truly tangible clue.

“Agnostica? That implies that they do not believe “in” God or “a” God.”

agnostic

aɡˈnästik/

noun

 1. a person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God or of anything beyond material phenomena; a person who claims neither faith nor disbelief in God.

“That certainly is consistent with the religious theme we keep running into,” they continue to stumble upon more clues with each passing pothole littered on their path back through the Chicago South Shore. This briefcase is a huge coup.

“There is a list of names in here… and my name is on it.” Martin Kamen swallows hard upon seeing his name right below Willard Libby while above Fermi and Sam Ruben.


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 32

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