Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 134

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 134

Chapter Twelve


…When I opened the door, something smelled like it was burning, but there was no smoke…

“something is burning””

“Hey CC, Fanny called while you were out,” Ace states matter-of-factly, oblivious to the corollary between a telephone call and fate.

Constance need not be filled in on the details. The fact that she failed to tell her partner that she has been in contact with Ace Bannion for two and a half weeks and never once told Fanny about it, well the most undesirable outcome of that oversight has come home to roost. In an attempt to spare Fanny the temporary anguish of Ace’s reappearance into their lives, she instead has severed the trust bond between sisters-in-arms.


“You didn’t tell her about me, did you? Ugh. Never mind, I know the answer to that. I don’t mind playing the role of the villain once in a while, but hurting Fanny Renwick was not part of the bargain. She’s none too happy Constance, can you blame her?”

Before she can respond to damning indictment of her relational misjudgments, Agent Daniels is on the front landing, banging on the entry with great urgency. Ace opens the door.

Not that one

“Bart Simpson was found dead in his office!” The normally unflappable man is disheveled and distraught, not the unflappable version they are used to seeing. “And I think the Chicago police may believe I did it.”

“Simpson? The name doesn’t ring a bell. Please calm down and tell it to me slowly,” urges a concerned Constance.

He takes a deep breath and straightens his narrow black necktie, “I had an appointment with him at his office over at McGraw-Hill in the Loop.” Now she remembers. “While I was in the outer office, I thought I heard something going on behind the door. When I opened the door, something smelled like it was burning, but there was no smoke and Simpson’s head was face down at his desk, blood trickling out of both ears.”

Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon

page 117

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 25

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 25

…“Maybe this entire hubbub about carbon whatever is leading us down primrose path…

“Fanny, you keep your eyes peeled for any mistakes those creeps made. As for you Martin, you best hope that they didn’t find what they came for.”

“You may think we scientists are a bungling bunch of stumblebums, but Willard Libby is no one’s fool. If you remove exclusivity from a clinical position, you may have just wasted 10 or more years of research.” Kamen knows of which he speaks. In 1940 he and Sam Ruben collaborated on the discovery of the radioisotope carbon-14. But they were lacking the connection between 14’s half-life and the predictability of previously existing antediluvian verve (scholastic for old ideas).

(Click on Image to Enlarge)

Constance remembers Martin mentioning that Libby was a player in the building of the atomic bomb. Maybe this entire hubbub about carbon whatever is leading us down the  primrose lane; a war-busting bomb seems to be a more inviting target than arguing how old a sedimentary rock or an Egyptian mummy is. Who cares?”

“My mummy is going to be 65 this year, looking forward to my father retiring from the railroad,” Fanny has a sense of humor only a mother can love.

Feeling that her dim-wit is being ignored, she adds something of substance, “Whoever messed up this office was not worried about being caught. They were not wearing gloves, can you believe it!? But the fingerprints are nondescript smudged, grimy, useless. ”

“That’s because they didn’t know what they were looking for.” Martin heads for electronics  terminal in the office. “Willard had the good sense to store his efforts using the Fail-Safe Method, one being the backup for the other. Palpable paper would be the obvious choice, but electronic storage makes sense too. At he time I was wondering why he was insisting on giving me the binary title code for such an important file.”

“There are smudgy fingerprints on that screen too; looks like they tried to pry it away from that gadget panel.”

“We’re not dealing with the brightest crooks in the crookery.” Caraway continues her crime scene assessment. “I think this means that wherever your Willard is, they still don’t have whatever they were after.”

“Maybe it isn’t just what he knows that they were after. Maybe they want to keep the man himself quiet.’

Just like the noise muffling attachment on the end of a handgun, it’s called a silencer.

Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon

page 24 (end Ch. 2)