Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 78

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 78

…no phone calls, telegrams, letters, walks along the Midway Plaissance or sit-down Chinese food…

“I hate to be the one to tell you Willard, but you are dead… sorry.” Constance delivers news few dead people ever hear.

“When is the funeral, I’d love to see who shows up.”

“I love that angle. Who could resist eavesdropping on a steady stream of science-types, speculating on what you were working on at the time of your death and about what a good guy you were?”

“Or listen to the whispers from the folks who only pretended to like you,” Libby is aware of the petty jealous nature of scientific research.

“I don’t want to burst your bubble, but the rest of the world knows you as merely missing. World Agnostica-001Your death, as an unidentified indigent in Elgin, is for the benefit of Wolfgram and the other Mastadon creepy creeps,” Constance clarifies. “Oh and by-the-by, it appears that misspelled Mastadon is a just a cheesy front for a more globally active organization named WORLD AGNOSTICA UNLIMITED.

Indubitably! Our ambassador to the U.N. warned me at Tolentine about some nefarious society with bad intent, so that doesn’t surprise me,” the former basket-case concludes. “So what am I supposed to do with myself while my friend Martin and his beautiful sidekicks are out defending Creation’s honor?”

Lay low, that’s all we ask. Your input is critical to our ultimate success, with your informational conference (in the future) as the dangling carrot for your cooperation, so no phone calls, telegrams, letters, walks along the Midway Plaissance or sit-down Chinese food. Martin will be your guardian and will help you from behind the scenes. He will be your mouthpiece, right Marty?”

“He hates being called Marty.”

“This is the real Willard Libby is, that proves it!” Fanny refers to how Eddie D. gets under Martin’s skin with that flippant nickname. “The hospital nicknamed you, Whacked-out Willy.”

Ouch!

From the mouth of babes…


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 73

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 73

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 73

Chapter Seven

 AUTHORSHIP

Nearly every literary work has a creator, the one individual who is responsible for it, an ascribed acknowledged credit. Most of us, writer or reader, have an erudite bent, an area of interest that we are attracted to for whatever reason, be it passion or curiosity.

Authorship can be applied to:

  • A book
  • A philosophy
  • An idea

 

If you copy text from a book and claim it as your own without acknowledging the author, it is called plagiarism.

Now you can be defiant and assign authorship to nothing or no one, but by merely claiming so does not make it so.

So, if this wonderful world on which we live was created for our pleasure, would it not be wise to at least give credit where credit is due?

The University of Chicago serves as a magnet for a wide variety of academic pursuits. Its centralized location in North America makes it the perfect place for like-minded individuals to congregate.

As an example, when it came to developing a war-busting-atomic-bomb, Chicago became to logical choice to do so; not so good for testing it safely, but a swell place for a think tank to flourish.

Willard Libby was not on The Pile Team at Argonne National Lab, but he did play a role in taking it to completion with the greater Manhattan Project. It allowed him to establish a platform from which he could work on other things, like radiocarbon dating.

His office in a remote wing of the Humanities Building at U-Chicago is well “lived in”, a home away from home if you will. If you want to steal something of value from his home in Olympia Fields, you might net yourself a color television or a short-wave radio. However, if you want to make off with something of value from his office home, you would need to find it first. He called it ‘the best kept secret’ around and is proud of it.


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 69

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 44

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 44

…We have a Mr. Steinberg on the line wanting information on an unknown mental patient of his…

The news on the other “good guy” at the Tolentine Summit turns out to be the opposite of fruitful. Fruitless best describes the result of the attempt to speak with Ernesto Pacelli. The word from Italy is that the Pope’s emissary was found hanging his quarters at a Rome hostel, one day after returning from the States.

“Suicide? That is about as coincidental as Fanny’s abduction.” Martin’s assessment matches Constance’s conspiracy theory, as well as statistical coincidence.

“If the conspirators are taking out the ancillary participants, what are their plans for Willard Libby?”

“Am I ancillary Connie? I need a dictionary to know where I stand.” Fanny Renwick, in moments of insecurity, will verbally test her partner, as it applies to her commitment to “them” as a couple.

“Come on Fanny, you know what I mean. That Pacelli guy was a mouthpiece for the Roman Catholic Church… not the Pope, not even…,” she remembers something else, “…we’ve completely forgotten about Cardinal Stritch, he was a late arriver to Tolentine,” she refers to that entrance as described by Sister Mary Joseph. “He is the Archbishop of the Chicago Diocese, a pretty big local fish in his own right!”

Before she can pick up the phone to dial the University switchboard and get the Cardinal’s number, the black desk phone rings proactively. She instinctively backs away, deferring to the man of the house.

“Martin Kamen,” he states with assertion.

“This is Mildred at the phone hub, Professor Kamen. We have a Mr. Steinberg on the line wanting information on an unknown mental patient of his, a man who keeps referring to the University.”

“Indeed,” he covers the phone with his palm. “I think someone may be calling about Will!”

“Take the call, I’ll jump on the extension,” she runs up the stairs, excited about the only outside reference about the man since they came to Chicago, almost a week ago.


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 43

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 24

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 24

…“This place is a mess, Martin, how does this guy know where anything is…

Scott Brown Art

Constance – Martin – Fanny

“This whole case is leaving an international aftertaste in my mouth.” Constance is concerned.

“Okay already, I get your point. It’s not like I’m going to plagiarize his work. I will break into his office, without a key or permission and we’ll see what we can find. It’s at the end of the hall.”

One, two, three they hustle down the polished granite floors of the Humanities Building, prepared to find a way to the other side of the door labeled:

“Stand back!” Tailing behind, the slightly built Martin Kamen prepares to bust down the door in a rush.

“Martin, you don’t need to…”

But he does anyway, putting every ounce of his 160 pounds, but the black oaken door swings in to the left without resistance. Kamen finds himself face down on the floor.

“… do that!” giggles Fanny. “Constance picked the lock,”

“Apparently.” He dusts himself off, having bruised his ego, not his body.

“This place is a mess, Martin. How does this guy know where anything is?”

“Willard is a neat freak. I would say that someone has been looking for something. I was here on the 18th and it was as neat as a pin.” Martin had been in here many times, but he had never used a discerning eye when looking about.

“Let me guess, there won’t be any record of who had the opportunity to do this?” Constance surmises that universities are trusting by nature, “That would be too easy.”

“We have an excellent campus police force, I’ll have them come and check this out.”

“What am I, Swiss cheese? I’ll take it from here and I’ll let you know when you can call in those cardboard cutouts for cops.” She is not impressed with any of the security she has seen, whether here or at that supposedly “top secret” national lab out in nowheresville. “Fanny, I see that you are dusting for prints, keep your eyes peeled for any mistakes made by the creeps who did this.”


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 23

 

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 23

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 23

…”Ace Bannion is an old friend… with an airplane. A bad rabbit with bad habits…

“Where do we start Miss Caraway? There are a dozen angles to consider here,” Martin supposes

The Independence

Constance’s most urgent task is to digest this mounting mystery menagerie before it gets unmanageable. Ugh! Logistics are limiting their ability to get from here to there.

Her thoughts drift to an acquaintance, in her past of some renown that could be of great assistance to them but he is busy probably flying XF-86 jet fighters in the Korean War or flying President Truman around the world aboard the Independence.

An almost mythical human being, he would have the ability to transport them to most anywhere in the world at the drop of a hat, comparatively speaking.

“Ace Bannion,” the one solitary male in the world with which she has ever displayed the slightest interest. But his jet setting lifestyle does not mesh well with her relatively dull world, thus her relationship with Fanny.

“What or who is Ace Bannion?”

“An old friend… with an airplane. A bad rabbit with bad habits,” she references a convenience they do not possess; that and he smokes cigars. “Forget Ace, we need to nail down exactly what Willard Libby either has, or knows, or is about to expose, that has attracted so much attention.”

When in doubt, start at the beginning. “Can you get your hands on Libby’s notes and figure out what is so damned important?”

“There is the matter of professional courtesy.”

“Pardon my French Martin, but good manners and a dollar bill gets you a $1 handful of day-old crap.” This is one frank female behind those penetrating blue eyes.

“That paper was his baby, but your point is well taken. There is something in his research that has triggered an international incident.”

I don’t know about an incident, but we still haven’t identified the right clue to know where he is. This whole case is leaving an international aftertaste in my mouth.”

“I will break into his office and see what I can find; it’s at the end of the hall.”


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 22

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 6

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 6

…You must be from China sister. That is clear down by the lake….

Once the Constance and Fanny retrieves their suitcases, they now must find their way to the University of Chicago. At least when traveling by train, the paths leading away from downtown Union Station are much easier to follow.

“I can see the skyscrapers from here, but this airport is out in the boonies,” laments the frustrated 3rd grade teacher.

As if on cue, a boxy yellow car pulls up alongside them.

“Where are you headed ladies?” yells the bold driver of a Checker automobile painted in striking yellow with a Taxi light affixed to the roof. “It’s mighty cold out and ain’t nowhere I can’t take you.”

“That’s a triple negative,” the librarian mentions.

Shush,” Constance pokes.

“We’re looking for the University of Chicago,” Fanny blurts “Is it nearby?”

You must be from China sister. That is clear down by the lake.

“We saw a thousand lakes on the way here, which one is it near?”

“Are you for real? Michigan, come-on, that big one over that way!” Eddie points.

“My friend was merely kidding sir; we know where the university is located. We just need a reliable way to get there.”

6137 South Kimbark

“My name is Eddie, not sir and Avondale Avenue will take us to Lakeshore Drive, bing-bam-boom.” Eddie Dombroski has been a cabby since his discharge from the Army at the end of the Second World War. “That’s unless the wind drifted that snow we got last night, then we could cut down State Street to 55th.”

“Splendid! 6137 Kimbark and don’t spare the horses.”

“Horses?”

“That is just a saying Eddie,” explains Constance. “Just get us there quickly.”

“I don’t speed on slick roads are Missy, but I do know all the shortcuts.”

“We have the utmost confidence in your driving.” They have no other alternatives, but just in case, that yellow taxi is built like a Sherman Tank.

“Let me introduce us: my name is Carolyn and this is Sara.” She points to Fanny, fending off an approaching elbow with a timely wink. “We are visiting a high school friend who has made it to the big time.”

“You mean like Benny Goodman, or maybe that Rita Hayworth? She ain’t got nothing on you, if I must say so myself.”


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 8

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 2

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Constance Caraway P.I.  Episode 2

…We are research scientists with previous ties to the MANHATTAN PROJECT and I suspect some sort of foul play…

“Thank you Miss Connie!”

Jimmy K. calls her by the shorter version of her name, the name she blames her mother for. It is told that Mom had morning sickness for much of the eight months she carried her baby; constantly ill, hence Constance. Mrs. Caraway insists that she is named after a great-aunt from her father’s side. A side trip to the National Archives, while doing some research on another case in Washington D.C., helped Constance disprove that bogus tale. Do not try to sneak something past her; you can’t hide from the prying eyes of a P.I.

Need Truth – Will Find is the tag line below the letters Constance Caraway Private Investigation painted on the opaque mottled glass on the massive front door; motto and credo.

She closes that door which seems to creak more and more these days. Behind the door she opens the telegram as if it were a gift from the coming Christmas morn… RriiippP!

W E S T E R N  UNION

NEWCOME CARLYON – PRESIDENT  J.C. WILLEVER – FIRST VICE-PRESIDENT

RECEIVED AT MAIN OFFICE 221-23 MONROE STREET- ALWAYS OPEN

To: CONSTANCE CARAWAY INVESTIGATION       TALLAHASSEE FLORIDA

24 December 1950

MESSAGE:

I am contacting you because of your previous work at Argonne National Laboratory DuPage County Illinois.

I cannot go into to great detail at this time. I believe that a colleague of mine at the UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO is in grave danger, as I have not heard from him several days.

We are research scientists with previous ties to the MANHATTAN PROJECT and I suspect some sort of foul play.

Please meet me at 6137 South Kimbark near the university campus a.s.a.p. Please call me at UOC-495-2101 between 12 PM and 4 PM to confirm.

MARTIN DAVID KAMEN

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS

Just as she re-reads the tantalizing-ly titillating telegram for the 10th time, her roomy Fanny Renwick, after being out for the morning, walking tall and proud after being out for the morning returns with her not-so-subtle Polaroid & its “electric eye” hanging from her neck and 5 crisp $100 bills (+ a fiver for interest) in her hot little hands.


Forever Mastadon ~ 

Episode 2


page 4