Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 143

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 143

MeanwhileFanny is in Tallahassee

 … the check is made out to The Consolidated Association of Surgical Hospitals, I leave off the “the”…

What can you tell me about old man Lewis,” Fanny Renwick has examined the finances of the married couple in question and is narrowing down the irregularities. She is speaking with someone who should know plenty about the banker. Not only does Lewis own the mortgage to LBMH, but Alpha Campbell suspects that his wife may have had a tryst with him. Had he not had an affair of his own, it would have been more of an issue.

Worth Moore and Agatha Ambrose are also in the reception area of Laura Bell Memorial Hospital, with Fanny as they investigate the financial shenanigans of their client’s husband lewis state bankAngus. Moving money, for the sake of hiding it, does not make for marital harmony and George Lewis of Lewis State Bank may be in cahoots with the Scot.

“Well ya know, he is friends with Maggie Lou,” states the doctor, “and even gave us the money for this place three years ago, $300,000 dollars.”

“That’s about how much is missing from your joint savings account,” Fanny concludes while Agatha reacts to the sizeable sum. “Where do you send your mortgage payment to Doc?”

Fanny is on to something, suspecting that missing assets were being laundered, away from prying eyes.

“It’s to one of those newfangled post office boxes they have, no street address. Heck, I could be sendin’ our money to a total stranger.

“Here, I have the number: P.O. Box 13 Tallahassee Florida USA. I tried to give it to the bank directly, but Lewis said my $289 dollars should paid by check to that there box.”

“And made out to whom?” Moore hesitates to guess.

“The Consolidated Association of Surgical Hospitals… I leave off the “the”.”

C-A-S-H is the acronym. That is not funny!” The doctor is 62 years old, but Fanny does not suspect senility. She knows what it’s like to have blind faith; trusting, innocent and the opposite of wary. “I think we should find out who rents that post office box.”


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 124

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 129

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 129

 …Fanny finishes her fortuitous forensic foray in Florida…

The object of Eddie Dombroski’s admiration has zoomed through her investigation with amazing speed and skill. Fanny Renwick has delivered critical damning evidence that Dr. Sapp in Havana Florida routinely shuffles potential abortion candidates over to Alpha Omega Campbell. The Tallahassee doctor needs to be rescued from his own self, particularly when it comes to the extra cash generated by illegal abortions. Yes he has a mortgage for his own clinic, Laura Bell Memorial Hospital, but even more burdensome is his wife; used to having the best… of everything.

R. Worth Moore is delighted to have the ammunition to shoot a bad doc out of the water. With Fanny as his birddog, he will now be able to exercise local control over his well-meaning client. A.O. always contended that if a girl has her mind set on aborting her baby, she is going to find someone to do it, or even worse try it herself. The immorality issue aside, this old country doctor believes that he can counsel the troubled (mostly) teens, all the time recommending inclusion of the father. It’s when the male counterpart is unknown, or in places unknown, that this argument is ineffective and moot.

The absolute kick in the pants is when another doctor has started a failed abortion method and the woman is hung out to dry, unable to assign blame; it is just as illegal to seek an abortion as it is to perform one. Again, a new doctor to the case has to see the pregnancy to its end, but at whose risk? Doc Campbell has taken that risk too many times, only to be bailed out by his firecracker attorney. But longtime barrister James Ferrell’s life is at the end of its fuse and that entire forensic fortress will crumble upon his eminent passing; no Ferrell, no luck.

THE LIFE AND TIMES OF A BLACK SOUTHERN DOCTOR (1896-1959) (ISBN 978-1-4691-9018)

Alpha Omega M.D.    Episode Catalog here @ WIF


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon.


page 112

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 123

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 123

…Constance’s “friend” Fanny is back home in Tallahassee working on a case referred to CCPI by attorney  Moore…

“Dr. Sapp speaking,” the Havana Florida doctor awkwardly answers his own office phone. Staff nurses have not made the smooth transition to office secretary, so he does not force the issue.

“My name is Fanny Stanwick from Jacksonville and I have been referred to you by our family physician.”

“Always happy to help my fellow doctors, what is your situation?” Had he not just dealt with a Jacksonville teen not all that long ago? Must be a coincidence.

“It’s not me,” Fanny does not lie about that, but she is no more a mother than a bull moose. “My daughter Millicent has missed two cycles and we are afraid she may be with child.”

“How unfortunate; has she ever missed before?”

“Well she is only…….,” she makes up a number, “…. 14.”

“That is awfully young Mrs. Stanwick.”

“It is Miss Stanwick doctor.”

An unmarried mother has a pregnant teen; if that isn’t a recipe for disaster. If he had a dollar for every white girl that had come a beggin’ to end her pregnancy, he would be rich by now. But he is rich and he has gotten many a Caucasian parent off the embarrassment hook. But he is old and he is tired of risking his retirement doing something that the state of Florida has deemed a felony.

“I’m not accepting new patients, but I do have names of good doctors who do abortions, most of them are in South Carolina though,” he is trying not to overuse that Alpha Campbell over at Laura Bell Memorial Hospital in Tallahassee, but he sees a desperate mother’s big puppy eyes and relents. “There is a Doc Campbell; he is black, but very proficient in the field.”


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 108

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 98

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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

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #331

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #331

…A double barrel dose of help: Kenty Johnson has money saved up and Kenty Jr. has the fresh blood of knowledge…

double-barrel-001

A.O. is taking his new lease on life in, in the spirit in which it is presented. Even as he watches familiar landmarks pass by as they ease up to his Virginia Street address. He is thinking about the future.

Maggie is waiting on the front steps of their house. What a welcome sight. There too are daughters Alpha, Laura and Zillah and their families. Maggie is seated in a wheelchair, one and all waving a hearty ‘welcome home’.

“Thank you, gracious Lord,” he proclaims tearfully.

But that isn’t all. There are other familiar faces.

“What’s Kenty Johnson doin’ here?”  Dr. J. Kenty Johnson is with his son, himself a newly minted doctor.

double-barrel2

“I needed a reliable source of information about your situation and Kenty came to mind. He filled in the particulars of your life, practice and such. AND he mentioned that his son was looking to make a difference in the Tallahassee community. And did we say that he fresh from medical double-barrelschool? A double barrel dose of help: Kenty has money saved up and Kenty Jr. has the fresh blood of knowledge.

One month ago, Alpha Campbell would have been bloated full of irrational pride, having suffered in silence for the better part of a decade. He was determined to find a way out of their money struggles and did not need outside help.

We all know what path that led him down.

“Well boys, don’t you think it is time we roll up our sleeves?”

Upon hearing Dr. Alpha O. Campbell utter that inclusive statement, his nurses who were hiding in LBMH for fear of their lives, come sprinting out the front door.

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LBMH

Somehow, Laura Bell Memorial Hospital looked whiter than normal that day… From down the street, a car streaks to the emergency side entrance, a man screams out, “My wife’s water just broke! Please help!”

“Scrub up, you Johnsons; we have a baby to deliver… Edwina will get you gowns and get her to the second floor…”

… The LBMH wing for whites.

(The End of the Beginning)


 

Alpha Omega M.D.

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Episode #331


page 312 (end Ch. 19)

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode # 316

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode # 316

…Well, he said that you had a reputation for helpin’ girls like me, you know, white girls not affording no more children and a husband out at sea….

Image result for merchant marine artwork

Out at Sea by Hans Breeman

“When did you notice that somethin’ wasn’t right?” Campbell had put his stethoscope to her lower belly earlier and came to an early conclusion. He wants to peel away the layers of her previous treatment. “And why did you come to me, ‘stead of Doc Wright?”

Well, he said that you had a reputation for helpin’ girls like me, you know, white girls not affording no more children and a husband out at sea.

  “Really… all the way from Jacksonville and he knows ‘bout a little ol’ black doctor in the Panhandle. Did he tell you I ain’t got a wing at my hospital for white folks? My doctor friends don’t think I have the right to fix up whites. I reckon you all must have different colored blood under that pale skin; Blue blood Confederates are you?” A.O. knows that the lies he was told as a youth, was that slaves were inferior to their white masters. He has left much of that emancipation baggage behind, though the memory of being rushed across the railroad trestle still is fresh in his 20th century mind. The saying of that time was, ‘Once a slave, white-folk-bingo-001always a slave.’

How ironic it is. White folks have the money to pay for his services, but they cannot occupy a single bed at LBMH. House calls and services rendered at FAMU Hospital do not put a dent in the $250,000 mortgage, now a mighty anchor tied around his ankle. His beds are occupied by people caught in the margins of society.

“You have to help me Doc Campbell, my baby ain’t movin’, I know it.”

  “Do what’s right Mr. Campbell!” Enter Mrs. Mary Gray. She had been mulling around in the background, watching her daughter, Audrie Franich, twisting A.O.’s arm in an attempt to bring this nightmare to an end. “My little girl needs some way out of this mess.”

          Mary Gray’s tone was not at all kind, downright demanding. It was like she was making a deal with the Devil; the only way out, but distasteful none-the-less. She appears to not have much use for black folk, though it may be a fruitless prejudice, especially in northern Florida. But unavoidable does not translate into acceptance.

“Go in and see Nurse Lillie and tell her to take you to Room 205.” Down and down the slippery slope. A.O. Campbell has a soft spot for folks that have seemingly nowhere else to turn.

(Lera Lynn music featured on True Detective)


Alpha Omega M.D.

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Episode # 316


page 298

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #310

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #310

…They’ve been after what we got for years, given up by now I ‘spect, seein’ they got the other Negro doctors to turn they backs on my hospital…

LBMHLettie goes to the back storage rooms and basically spends the ensuing half-hour praying, pretending like she was having difficulty. She tries the patience of the men in the lobby.appointment-book-001

          “Do you need help? I know a little about filing.” Essington will do anything to get his hands on the evidence. “What’s in that box?” He turns it around to see 1952 written on the side.

          “Well I’ll be switched! I’ve gone by that box a hunred times.”

          The book in question is not on top, but not on the bottom either. If he would have sniffed January 24, the smell of a fresh pink eraser lingers, as well as the warmth of brand-new fingerprints hidden from the human eye.

          “This is it, officer. We can go.”

          Lettie Golden has done her job.

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Sinclair Clavitt is doing his, laying out the facts and ramifications of consistently breaking the law. “You white-onlyare going to have to stop these abortions. They are going to watch you like a hungry gator watches a bullfrog.
And you will not treat white folk without havin’ a white wing in that hospital of yours. They have been lookin’ the other way, I swear, but with this flap about the Sanders girl, that will stop. I know enough about your, well, for the lack of another word, enemies, that if they smell blood, your blood, you best check your back.”

They’ve been after what we got for years, given up by now I ‘spect, seein’ they got the other Negro doctors to turn they backs on my hospital.

Image result for they're always after me lucky charms “That might be true, about some, but some others that you actually trust, may be quietly working against you.”

“What you talkin’ about?”

“Have you seen your son-in-law lately?”

“You mean, Franklin, no? But Laura says he’s been really busy.”

“Word has it that he’s been selling off your property.”

“We’ve got to pay some back taxes, not to mention you and Mr. Moore, keepin’ you busy too.”

“If you’re working at keepin’ us busy, now’s a good time to stop,” sound advice from Sinclair Clavitt. He has taken to the 65-year-old, doing his level best to make the doctor’s last years golden. His senior partner, R. Worth Moore, specializes in courtroom action, leaving the foot-soldierly duties to the younger man. But a day like today, he could do without. “Okay, Alpha, I’m going to trust you on this. You know what’s at stake. Just make sure you look both ways when crossing the street.”

never-turn-your-back-on-a-friend


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #310


page 293

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