Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 142

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 142

…“Don’t play with matches?” Constance relates Smokey Bear’s advice…

Scene board-001Daniels instinctively backs away toward the safety of the February Chicago air (on the other side of the front door) exposing what, or rather, who was supposed to be a good-natured hoax.

The pranked private detective did not see this one coming. There reentering the land of the living is Martin Kamen, a bit charred, but none the worse for wear.

“Before you get too mad, we have to get Martin over to the safe house, like now! I am 99.44% sure that Pentateuch believes we died out at the lab fire.”

“Like Ivory Soap?”Too relieved to be angry and above being offended by being the butt of jokes, Constance gives Martin a bear hug, while speaking to the shadowy essence who will be moving on, “Stay in touch Agent Daniels,”.

“You can call me Jesse,” he confirms.

“I think I’ll stick with Agent.” She takes the towel off her head and snaps it at him like a bullwhip, then immediately turning to attack the other rascal. “Now I will deal with you Marty!” He hates to be called Marty.

Libby Dead or Alive-001

But they cannot tarry long at Kimbark, to conceal yet another of the undead. The once exclusive club adds another casualty, all for the sake that provocative isotope called carbon-14 and that provocateur, Willard Libby. “I think our arsonist was really after Daniels, though, by now, he doesn’t think much of me either.” He wipes some soot from his brow. “So the upshot is, both us were burned to death, as far as the news release will read when it hits the AP wire.”

“I hate to ask the obvious question, but did Sparky take the bogus info, or did he just torch and run?”

“Yes he did, he took the file right before he trapped us inside an inferno,” he looks over to his colleague, “and fortunately I remembered that hint you planted in my brain months ago.”

“Don’t play with matches?” Constance relates Smokey Bear’s advice.

“No, he found the floor trap door,” it “was” Willard’s office after all. “I don’t suppose you were able to save any of my things.”

mastodon

“The file cabinet was fireproof as you know.”

“I was talking about the mastodon model I had on my desk.”

“I wonder if Penty saw it. I’m sure he would appreciate the irony.”

“We can only hope that he gets the point and leaves us alone,” Constance is tiring of the chase. “Let’s lay low for a while.”

“I’ll be right here, waiting to see what my obituary says.”

“Here lay Martin, dead and broken hearted, thought he’d live, but off he was carted.”

“Poetry, Fanny would love that one!” Ace brings up a sore subject.

“Fanny …….…” Constance trails off mournfully, knowing that things with her and her friend are not going well.


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 124

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 56

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 56

…a prisoner of his own mind…

“We will leave him in your care, but I need your personal guarantee that you will not tamper with him. As long as he maintains physical viability, leave the rest alone. I mean it.” Martin takes responsibility for his friend.

“Message received loud and clear,” the doctor hears.

“And I will be calling you every day for updates on his condition. And if anyone else calls about his considering his health or lack thereof… you tell them he didn’t make it. No one beside us is to  know that he is still alive.”

“I think I understand where you are coming from. That is agreeable. If you call me at home, at this number,” he hands Kamen a doctor’s script with his home telephone, “say 8:00 PM sharp, I will be available.”

‘Don’t leave Martin; I have things to tell you. Mastadon was misspelled, I don’t know why. Wolf told me that they were in control; a Mastodon is like a Wooly Mammoth, lived 12,000 years ago, identified the age of one correctly sometime, I do not remember. Take me with you, I know you told Doctor to fake my death, don’t allow that to be prophetic. The dinosaurs walked the planet with the mammoth and humans. I sure could go for a plate of steak ‘n eggs. Take care of Martin, you mystery girls, he is my only hope, tell him to look in my bookcase, it is behind FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS.  Hemingway is one of my guilty pleasures; hear that he drinks whiskey, smokes Cuban cigars loves adventure. I want to be the swashbuckling type, danger around every corner. My complete paper is behind THE SUN ALSO RISES, do not know why I had to hide it something about mastodon there too. Never did trust that Wolf, but he was at the meeting in the woods by my house, Auntie Joe didn’t like him from the start, should have booted him out.’

“We are going to head back to the University Doctor Steinberg. Maybe the answers we are looking for is right under our noses.”

Will Libby hears clearly and would nod his approval if only he could move his head.

‘The bookcase Martin, Hemingway, Wolf’

From a prisoner of his own mind.


Constance Caraway P.I.

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Willard Libby’s bookcase

Forever Mastadon


page 54

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 55

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 55

…Might there be something like “brain freeze” going on with him? …

Art by Cure Joy

“The patient has taken a step back since yesterday. He is catatonic, as we refer to it. We think he is fully conscious, but he has no way of communicating.”

“How did this happen overnight? You mentioned yesterday that he said the word “wolf”.” The very reason that Constance made the connection to the scientist, while talking to Steinberg over the telephone, was that this had mentioned the word wolf, as in Wolfgram. “And twelve hours later he cannot speak?”

“He wasn’t exactly a chatterbox before, you understand. We were only able to pick out a couple of words, like wolf and masta – master – masto – something with mast in it.”

“We think wolf is part of a proper name, not the animal, but as for mast, he had scribbled mastadon on a piece of paper in the last place he was seen,” Martin is grasping for meager shreds at this point.

“The Ice Age elephant? Interesting but I cannot say I get the connection to anything I’ve heard thus far.

“All I know is that Security found this man, unconscious in a snow bank outside the front gate. He was hypothermic and we did our best to treat his frostbite. It was only after he had regained consciousness that we started the mental evaluation process. For all we knew, he could have been an unmanageable dementia victim dropped off by a family who were at wits end and did not know what to do.”

Brain Freeze by Danvenky deviantart.com

“In a freezing cold pile of snow, I don’t think so? Might there be something like “brain freeze” going on with him?” Constance grasps at the same scraps of hope as Martin.

“A brain freeze is popular vernacular for misplacing car keys or forgetting what you were about to say,” Steinberg has come to the conclusion that there are no solid conclusions to be had. “I know you were hoping to take Mr. Libby back with you, but as a mental health professional, I would be doing both you and him a great disservice if I release him to you folks now. He needs a medical hospital’s facilities as much as he does the psychiatric, which would be here at ESH.”

“We will leave him in your care, but I need your personal guarantee that you will not tamper with him. As long as he maintains physical viability, leave the rest alone. I mean it.” Martin takes responsibility for his friend.

“Message received loud and clear.”


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 53

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 15

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 15

“Mastadon is misspelled,” Fanny seldom lets on that she is a great speller…

“We are looking for your friend and colleague who left the grounds undetected.”

“Not exactly true,” Kamen had to completely vet Constance and Fanny, before allowing them to view secret government material. “He had been using the IBM Supercomputer to research ancient animals, specifically from the Ice Age.”

“You mean like why men behave like Neanderthals.” Fanny rarely lets her science knowledge bleed into casual conversation.

“No, there was a picture of a Mastodon on his desk,” Martin hands them a lithograph with the handwritten word, all in lower case scribble: mastadon.

“Mastadon is misspelled,” Fanny seldom lets on that she is a great speller.

“You are correct Miss Fanny! Why didn’t I notice that?! It’s mastodon with an “o” not “a”.”

The power of observation, an acquired talent, is what makes Constance and Fanny perfect for the field they have chosen.

“Willard would not have made that mistake,” he contends.

“That’s a pretty weak clue, but any clue sure beats a handful of nothing.” Constance racks her brain for their next possible move.

“There is one more thing.” Martin Kamen fires up the small monitor in front of them, the view screen for the supercomputer which occupies a room the size of the Argonne cafeteria. “There are remnants of a de-crypted memorandum from the Pope:

 HUMANI GENERIS

(Concerning Some False Opinions Threatening to Undermine the Foundations of Catholic Doctrine)

Pope Pius XII

Encyclical Promulgated on 12 August 1950

 

  1. We must resist these fictitious tenets of evolution.

 

“Heady stuff, even for a scientist.”

“Is Mr. Libby a religious man?”

“Not that I know of, but then again religion and science make strange bedfellows.”

“… ‘fictitious tenets of evolution’, that implies that it fundamentally opposes the foundational dogma of Creationism.” Though not an outspoken proponent of all things religious, Constance Caraway has deep roots in the Baptist Church, her father having been an elder at the Tallahassee Baptist Temple; but don’t remind her of the night of her violin solo, at the 6P service on Resurrection Sunday in 1921.


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 15

No Fan of Hunting

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Beryl Markham

“I suppose if there were a part of the world in which mastodon still lived, somebody would design a new gun, and men, in their eternal impudence, would hunt mastodon as they now hunt elephant. Impudence seems to be the word. At least David and Goliath were of the same species, but, to an elephant, a man can only be a midge with a deathly sting.”

― Beryl MarkhamWest with the Night

No Fan of Hunting