Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 168

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 168

…Don’t give me that sources crap, sonny, tell us who tipped you off and I’ll give you the real story…

All lighting is trained on the house, 360 degrees and forever, but nothing happens immediately. The hibernating bats don’t like it and scatter into the dawning day, as do any ghostly Greenwood-001apparitions from the house’s scary past.

The climax comes when the roof splits open and a fiery shaft shoots up into the dawning sky… and then it is gone, like it was never there.

“Turn off all the lights,” Daniels orders.

He and Constance hop out of the National Guard vehicle to take a closer look at the house. They are met by a young reporter carrying a camera and a notebook, “My name is John Krass from the Chicago Tribune and I cannot believe what I just saw. Can you explain that red light shooting out from the roof?”

In his peripheral view of the bewildering scene, Daniels sees L. Dick Cannon stumble out of the house in his pajamas. He sets out to corner him before he has time to collect his fragile wits, hoping he can make sense of the connection between Penty and this Science Fiction nutcase.

John Krass – Chicago Tribune

Meanwhile, Connie corners Krass. “Tell us how you found out about this operation and maybe we will give you a story that is fit to print,” Constance barters.

“I have my ways,” young Krass explains.

She has heard that before, from Daniels, “Don’t give me that sources crap, sonny. Tell us who tipped you off and I’ll give you some facts from which you can fashion some sort of factual story, instead of the horror tale that you are going to write.”

“I have a ‘guy’ in the 2nd District who tipped me off. He dished that something big was going to go down here this morning. Boysources did it ever!”

“Okay, I guess it doesn’t matter now…” she ditches the exact factual facts and goes on to tell the unsuspecting lad that they are  ghost hunters, hired to drive out spirits and demons at 5046, blah-blah-blah. He can get the real dirt from somebody else, which is advisable if he has a future as a reporter.

“Cool!” There is one born every minute.

Whether it is a newspaper legend like William Randolph Hearst or a cub reporter like John Krass who is looking for his big break; both want to put things down in black and white, in order for it to be read all over.

Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon

page 143 (end Ch. 14)


Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 156

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 156

Chapter Fourteen


Because of William Randolph Hearst himself and his fondness for a man he never met, the entire Hearst newspaper empire, all 28 papers from across America, are directed to “puff” Billy Graham and his 1949 Los Angeles crusades. Graham didn’t need too much puffing considering that his California alter calls had blossomed from a compact 3 week event to a full 8 week Holy Ghost revival, already making him a national figure. Rare was the day when he didn’t make the front page.

Video footage from these prayer meetings would make their way onto Sunday morning television, meeting the stations’ FCC religious programming mandate and providing shut-ins with a pseudo church service.

Here in 1951, with “The Old Man” of the American free press nearing 91 years old, he is determined to back a cause which has a far-reaching meaningful legacy. Hearst is rich by any measure and diverting several million dollars to a good young man who shares his patriotism and anticommunist views, as well as a passion for the youth of this nation seems like a natural step. So, despite the protestation of son William Jr., the funds are entrusted to a stranger.

Graham does not turn down the money, why would he, when it is being placed in the hands of a good steward. And he doesn’t forget his friends. His Evangelistic Association is now well funded (by a dying billionaire with a guilty conscience as well the gratefully saved plebeians) and he sees the needs of the people at the bottom of the Libby food chain, specifically Constance Caraway’s efforts on his behalf. (Not to mention Martin Kamen who has directed most of his own grant money to pay for CCPI’s services in the first place). So, he places $100,000 dollars of seed money in Caraway’s care, with the caveat that she distributes it fairly amongst her foot soldiers.

Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon

page 134


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Chapter Nine


Hughes telegraph (1866-1914), first telegraph printing text on a paper tape. Manufactured by Siemens & Halske, Germany; range: 300-400 km (WIKIPEDIA)

“What is coming through the wire?” asks Judith Eastman. “It looks
unusually long.”

She is speaking to Harv Pearson, in a rare moment when they are
in their Rochester office simultaneously. One or the other or both are
on the road most of the time.

“Might be a test run. It’s a bit early for news and there hasn’t
been anything worthwhile for weeks.”

Certainly not of the human interest variety, the kind that makes
good pictures and good press. They are at the mercy of the news and
news makers. Beginning with their first issue of the Pearson-Eastman
Journal, the blockbuster interview and pictorial of Teddy Roosevelt
in the American West, they had set the standard for finding great
stories, combining the two mediums into a must read for millions of
readers, i.e. subscribers.

Harv is the nearer to the information ticker, so he picks up the
end of the two foot and adding paper ribbon, reading his way back
to the busy machine. He keeps adjusting his reading spectacles like
they must be distorting the words.

“Does the cat have your tongue?” asks Judith playfully; curious as
to why his mouth is hanging open without so much as a peep.

“We’re headed for California,” he says simply.

“Another gold rush?”

“That is if the U.S. Mint isn’t earthquake proof.”

“You don’t say.”

____The Life and Times of a Black Southern Doctor 173

“Read for yourself,” he hands her the start of a frightening account.
“It’s on fire, Judith, my God, it’s only after five in the morning there.
Most people were sleeping when it hit, I would think that casualties
are high.”

“We wouldn’t get there for three days.” She recounts the train
ride back from Yosemite, in the Journal’s inaugural days.

“There is nothing else going on.” He laments the fluffy content of
their magazine of late, though no one in their right mind would wish
disaster on anyone for the sake of news. “If I know Jackson (his editor
at the Quincy Reporter) we’ll be lucky if we beat him there.”

“You mean your newspaper has room in the budget for that?”

“He watched me chase stories for years, not standard procedure for a small town rag, but I own it. He does not take that into account.
If I told him he couldn’t, I would lose my credibility. The Reporter
has the reputation of getting a big story first hand.”

“So, why don’t you sell him the Reporter?” This is not the first
time she has suggested that move, for mostly selfish reasons that
include taking away the one threat to his continued and permanent
presence in her life. She has passed that point where she has enough
emotional fuel for a return trip to her once lonely world. If only he
would take that final step concerning their relationship; a proposal
of betrothal instead of status quosal. “I mean, he has been running
it without much help from you for five years now, something he
pointed out when you were too busy to buy those new printing
presses. The poor guy is working himself to death while you are
doing a scant imitation of William Randolph Hearst.”

Harv Pearson is not as dense as Judith thinks. He knows that he
can never be a publishing giant, not with his love for the field and his
passion for their Journal. Selling out to Jackson is the right thing to
do . . . . but so too is marrying the woman he loves. That makes two
important items he hasn’t made time for. Should either or both grow
tired of his procrastination, it would literally be a crying shame.

“Judith?” He stops his preparation for a transcontinental commute
to a burning San Francisco, to prevent a fire at home. “What would
you say; no . . . . I was wondering if, I mean . . . . we haven’t really
discussed this, but . . . .”

“Yes!” she says with assurance.

“Yes? But I didn’t ask you a yes or no question.”


“Before the Internet and before that the computer, news was spread by a “ticker”. Science Fiction had not gotten past Jules Verne.”