Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 26

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 26

Chapter Three

 CASTLES

 …Yet another detailed Dombroski anecdote finds them right to the front entrance of the main Tolentine building, looking every bit the castle…

The inimitable Eddie Dombroski has once again been summoned to the greater University of Chicago area. The path between his home and the prestigious bastion of higher education is a well-worn path. In the intervening three days after Constance and her compatriots did their sweep of Willard Libby’s campus office, he has ferried any and all of them, here and there and back again.

The girls share a guestroom at Kamen’s Kimbark address for convenience sake, just down the hall from the elusive piano teacher William, who seems to be more of an urban legend than real person. In the notable time they have spent in Hyde Park, they have yet to see him in person.

Here and there, there and here; today’s here is the Tolentine Seminary (in Olympia Fields Illinois) where they are to meet with a M. Joseph Franks, who has been talking to Libby quite regularly, Illinois Bell records have shown.

“I haven’t been this far south since my folks took us kids on a camping trip down by the Kankakee River. I saved my youngest brother’s crazy buttski after he fell into the water trying to catch a big fish, not with a pole but with his bare hands, dumb Pollack! It was a monster thing, about the size of our canoe. Jimmy couldn’t swim, but that didn’t stop him from jumping in after it.

Yet another detailed Dombroski anecdote finds them right to the front entrance of the main Tolentine building, looking every bit the castle, minus the mote and towering walls. Named for Saint Nicholas of Torentino, an Augustinian Friar, it is a sprawling property with that eerie look of inactivity, though well kept and stately. There is woman waiting for them as they enter the narthex.

“We are looking for a Joseph Franks,” Constance states with assurance. The staff is aware she is fishing for information about Willard Libby.

“That is I, Mary Joseph Franks, of the Holy Mothers of Augustinians… Willard Libby is my sister’s boy.”

“Knock me over with a feather.”


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 25

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 137

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 137

…At least one of Roy’s fears is laid to rest, that Francine would fall back into her old life, because it would be the easy thing to do…

thecreativepanic.wordpress.com

There is no need to ring the doorbell or let-loose the family German Shepard to race out a-barking, when you land a helicopter out at the helipad in front yard of the main house of King Ranch.

And when you have two teenage boys and five farmhands out doing chores, pitchforks are dropped {tines down}, feed buckets are left unemptied, the hose leading to the water tank is unattended and tractors return from the back-forty.

Life is simple when you live on a ranch {or farm if you prefer, but this is Texas}, free of over-the-top technology or extreme urgency; it can wait ‘til later, unless it’s mealtime.

“Uncle Roy!” Deke and Gus did not know when they would see him next. Once the rotors have wound down to a stop, they charge up to welcome the pilot, “Boy, are we glad to see you!”

“It looks like you taking care of things outside; otherwise the cattle would be greeting me,” responsibility is job #1 around these parts. States of mind are #2, “How are you guys doing? Have you shaken off that little Gulf episode, the one where you were KIDNAPPED?”

“We’re okay Uncle Roy. Francine talked things over with us at breakfast and everything is cool.”

“Did Miss Bouchette drive back to the city?”

“No, she’s inside making lunch… didn’t you notice her new ride? She parked her ‘Vette, can you believe it?!”

Certainly not immune to all the fuss, Francine exits the main house looking every bit the cowgirl.

“Hello there flyboy, can I offer you a sandwich and a glass of fresh-from-the-cow milk?”

You could knock Roy Crippen over with a feather.

At least one of his fears is laid to rest, that she would fall back into her old life, because it would be the easy thing to do. He would have bet Braden’s, farm that she would have brought the kids home, tucked them in {if you actually can tuck in a teenage boy} and left.

Wrong!


THE RETURN TRIP

Episode 137


page 168

 

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