Riverville Murder - Chapter 31

riverville cover lg

Case of the Riverville Murder

A Short Story by Ernie Whitenack

Chapter Thirty

Previously:

The minute Nancy saw Allan, she said, “It’s been too long, Allan, I hope you like beef stew.”

Despite Allan’s persistence that he hadn’t come to have dinner, Nancy insisted.

“Don’t argue, Allan. When her mind is made up, you’ll get nowhere, Scott said as he handed Allan a Scotch over ice.

A horn sounded at nine-forty-five just as Scott finished his breakfast. He grabbed his briefcase, kissed Nancy, and went to the waiting car for the trip to Somerville. “Had a great time with the boys last night, thanks. And Nancy’s beef stew is terrific,” Allan said as the car moved from the curb.chapt

At the Somerville police station, Scott and Allan are greeted like old friends by Winston Grant. After being escorted to a conference room, they find an elaborate tray of pastry, a large coffee maker, and all the necessary condiments sitting next to the tray.

“I figure it’s the universal coffee break time, so help yourselves, men.”

“So, you don’t think the young man Clark was ever connected to the Compton Hill gang. He does seem a little young for them. I’ll accept that. Do you think he was attempting to steal them for Dino Markos? I doubt that Clark, on his own, knew what to do with the guns had he been successful. Did either Clark or Markos mention the name Hofstadter?”

Chief grant sipped his coffee thoughtfully before saying, “Hofstadter? No, I don’t recall that name. It is possible that Clark was working for Markos. Otherwise, why would he even know him? Do you think, whoever this Captain Callan is, that he’s Markos’s buyer?”

“It looks that way, doesn’t it? Hofstadter has to fit in there somewhere. We know he is associated with Callan. I’ll try to pry it out of Markos when I question him.”

“Good luck with that, Scott,” Grant said. “Markos is a polite, quiet guy, but underneath he is tough as nails.”

“I have handled tough as nails before. That doesn’t bother me. Please have Markos brought in.”

“I will, but first, who in the hell is Callan?” Grant asked.

“Oh, yes, I almost forgot you didn’t know about Callan, sorry. He is a captain in the Boston Police Department and was an advisor and informer for Goddard. Possibly, his second in command.”

“God help us,” Grant blurted out. “How did you ever find that out?”

Scott went on to explain the whole thing, from Callan’s being overly interested in Scott’s findings to Mark Simmons’s suspicions. Then to the shooting of Simmons and the attempt on Scott’s life. And explained the temporary detectives on his staff, the bug, and recorder. Purposely leaving out Alice Nadeau.

Scott then went on to say, “It’s almost sure that Callan was the leak, before the raid, that allowed Goddard’s lieutenants to escape. Why Goddard didn’t disappear is beyond me unless he thought his bar under the Expressway was safe.”

Grant sat with his coffee in one hand and a cigarette in the other. And a look of disbelief on his face.

“And I thought it was over the day you arrested Goddard. What a spiderweb you are trying to untangle.”

Scott just smiled as Grant lifted the phone, pushed a button, and said, “Bring Markos to my conference room immediately.”

During the pause, Allan refilled his cup and selected another Danish. “More coffee, anyone?” he asked.

Grant accepted, saying, and you’ve been in on all this, have you, Allan? What a grand education in police work. I hope you appreciate that.”

“Yes, Sir, and gratefully.”

Markos, being pushed through the doorway by an officer, almost sent the pastry table flying. Allan moved quickly to catch Markos before he fell. He shrugged Allan off and glared at the officers.

“Was that really needed, officer?” Grant sternly said to the cop.

“He was giving me a verbal and physical hard time coming here, Sir.”

Scott spoke up, saying, Take the handcuffs off, officer. There is no need for them in here.”

Looking to his chief for affirmation, the officer removed the handcuffs, then threw a glaring glance at Scott, turned, and stood with his back to the door.

“Please sit down, Mister Markos. Would you care for some coffee?”

Markos sat stiffly, crossed his arms, and frowned belligerently at Scott without answering.

“I have some straight-forward questions for you. Your answers today could determine how aggressively you will be prosecuted. Cooperation will be to your advantage.”

Markos all but ignored Scott and turned to Chief Grant. “Who in the hell does this guy think he is? Why should I tell him anything?”

“This man is the Chief Investigator out of the Massachusetts State Attorney’s office, which should give you a hint of the depth of trouble you are in. You’ll be wise to answer him and do it truthfully.”

Markos looked at Scott, for the first time, with an expression of resignation, then slumped down in his chair. “What is it you want from me?”

“First, do you know a man named Gus Hofstadter, or have you ever heard anyone mention his name in conversation?”

“No, to both questions.”

“Scott made an entry in a small notebook, then asked, You were a member of the Compton Hill Gang and know Nathan Goddard. Did you ever discuss selling guns with Goddard?”

“Are you kidding? Goddard doesn’t know I’m alive. I collected the “numbers” money from the barbershops and variety stores.  Once in a while, I checked up on a girl or two to make sure they weren’t holding back any money from tricks. In those days, I was just a bug to most of the gang.”

“If you never discussed guns with Goddard, did you ever hear him talking of firearms to anyone else?” Scott continued.”

“He wasn’t up here very much, ya know – guess he spent his time in South Boston. One time I was sweeping up, and Goddard was in a room with some guys. Someone yelled down the hallway that he had a call about the guns. I got a little curious and asked around about getting a gun. Most people just laughed at me, but one guy laughingly told me there are plenty in the building – better grab one before they’re shipped to Ireland.”

“Did you hear who was calling Goddard that day?”

“I think so, but I don’t remember the name – Zebra, Zebroy, something like that.”

“Could it have been Zebrine?” Scott asked.

“Yea, yea, something like that -- could have been anything starting with a Z.”

“Now, about Captain Callan. How do you know about him? Was he ever at the warehouse? Did you see him with Goddard?

“Once,” Markos replied. “He was here with Mister Goddard, but I didn’t hear them talking. There was a lot of talk about Callan between some of the others, though. They always shut up when I was around. I figured maybe Callan was a sea captain, seeing that the guns were for Ireland.”

“You’re doing a good job, Dino. Would you like a cup of coffee? Then you can tell me about Bobby Clark. Are the two of you partners?”

Markos Shook his head and said, “No coffee, thanks. No, Bobby and me aint partners. I don’t remember where we met, but he is a friend. I told him about the guns, and Bobby asked me if I could sell them if he got into the warehouse and lifted them. He said we could split the money. I told him yes, I have a buddy in New York that kinda does that for a living -- is a supplier, you could say. I talked to my New York friend, and he agreed to buy the guns.”

“That’s interesting,” Scott said. “Where does your friend sell guns in New York?”

“I don’t know. I’ve never been with him for that. I know he has a hidden compartment in his truck that always has guns in it. I guess he either peddles them or people come to him. He once told me that all the big guys in the city come to him for guns. I figured he was bragging, trying to impress me.”

“Are you from New York, Dino?”

“You could say that,” Markos came back somewhat proudly. “My old man had a candy store in Queens where he did small-time bookmaking and ran a numbers game. The old man got put out of business when he wouldn’t pass off his bets, for a commission, to one of the big bookies. Because I knew all the old gent’s customers, I came East for my health after the funeral.”

“He was murdered. I’m so sorry,” Scott said.

“Was his own fault. He was stupid not to hand off the bets – too much power behind those big bookies to say no.”

“You’ve been very cooperative, Dino. I’ll try to see that you don’t get bunched in with the top men of the Compton Hill Gang for prosecution. That way, you won’t have federal charges against you. Chief Grant will keep me informed, and I’ll help wherever I can. In the meantime, do not give anyone a hard time. It will turn around and bite you.”

After Markos left. Scott asked Grant, “How old is Markos? He seems in the late twenties or early thirties, but I think he is younger. I’ve known teenagers who try to rush maturity by dressing and acting older in an attempt to fit-in with older men.”

“I’ve had the same thought but haven’t looked into it. One of the detectives must have a sheet on him. I’ll let you know the minute I know his age.”

“Thanks, and please let me know when the state’s court days are and the assigned judge’s name. I mean, for the underlings of the gang.” Scott said as he left the building.”

“Are you going to try to get Markos and Clark off, Boss?” Allan asked on the way back to Boston.

“No, I couldn’t do that. They both need some rehabilitation, and they will not get that in with hardened criminals. I think Clark, as does Markos, has mitigating circumstances, namely a hard life growing up. If I find this to be true, I’ll write a report regarding both of them and present it to the DA and the presiding judge.”

Back in Boston, Scott checked his phone messages, pushed most aside, and called Matt Hart.

Matt answered instantly, saying, “I’m glad you called. I tried to get you in Somerville, but you were heading back. You asked for checks on Gus Hofstadter, Ned Zebrine, and Chuck Cressey. They came today. Will you be here tomorrow?”

“No, I can’t,” Scott replied. There is too much going on at the Italian Club that is being recorded. Lloyd Qualter and Al Guatino are reporting two or three times a day with things going on there. Occasionally I’ll have them bring the recorder in, and Annie transcribes the material, then they return to the club. Please send the reports to me by messenger. They are as crucial as the recordings in setting up an arrest.”

“Can do,” Matt said, “But please, keep me informed. I’m curious about Mark Simmons. Any word from him?”

Not a word. I’ll check with his family. The way they took to each other, I think he is mighty happy to be with the Hendersens, and that is beneficial for healing.”

“Yes, that was a good move on your part, Scott. But don’t you think he would be happy anywhere he is safe?”

“Naturally,” Scott answered. “You had to be there, though, to see the immediate bond between Mark and the Hendersens. In about ten-minutes, Mark changed from a placid recovering patient into a vibrant young man with a perpetual smile.”

“In any event, I’ll be happy when Simmons is able to come onboard. You’re lucky. The messenger service is in the building right now. The information about Gus Hofstadter, Ned Zebrine, and Chuck Cressey is on the way. You should have it in an hour or so – hope it helps with an arrest.”

Scott discarded several more message slips, people trying to sell him stuff, and made a couple of more calls when the hand radio made a squeaking noise, and Guatino’s voice came out of the set. “You there, Mister Wadsworth?”

“Yes, Al, what’s going on?”

“We thought you should know. You were the topic of conversation at the club for an hour or more this morning. Callan is worried that you are still messing around with The C Street gang, not being satisfied with the harm you have done already. This Hofstadter guy says he can get some out of state talent to put you away if Callan wants. Callan says he’ll think about it, seeing his own people couldn’t handle the job. You better be very careful from now on. Get some protection.”

“I didn’t think Callan would stop at one attempt. Thanks for the heads-up, but I have more protection than you know about, Al. I’m expecting an FBI report on Hofstadter to be delivered any minute now. I’ll know then just where he comes from and how powerful he is there. If I find it’s legal, I’ll consider a pre-emptive jump at Hofstadter and get him out of the picture. Anything else going on there?”

“Yes, Sr, Callan is telling Hofstadter how angry he is at Jason Atkins because he can’t get Ned Zebrine and Chuck Cressey moving fast enough in recruiting replacements. He says he’ll through them out if they don’t produce.”

“Interesting.” Scott comments. “What does he think he will do then? He’ll have no one.”

 “You and Buck come to my law office first thing tomorrow, and we’ll get all that transcribed. Also, I must give you lessons in proper radio procedure.”

“Boss, I don’t want to interfere,” Allan reluctantly said, “but don’t you think we ought to get those bullet-proof vests you requisitioned? Every other state cop had them issued weeks ago.”

“My God, I’m neglecting your safety, Allan. I’ve been so involved with logistics, I completely forgot about the vests. Please, forgive me, and don’t ever be reluctant to bring something important to my attention.”

“How about Buck, Al, and Mark, when he gets here? Can you up-date the requisition to include them?” Allan asked.

“I’ll do it right now, in case they don’t have them, and let the quartermaster know you will pick the vests up first thing in the morning. We can always return two if Buck and Al have theirs. I’ll walk to work.”

“Oh, yea, it’s my turn to buy coffee, Alan. How about it?”

“On my way, Boss.”

The messenger from the statehouse arrived soon after Allan left. “Please sign here, Mister Wadsworth. Big rush, huh? -- must be pretty important, huh?”

“You’ll undoubtedly never know, my friend,” Scott said as he tipped the man five-dollars.

Scott shuffled quickly through the sheets and found a stapled batch of six pages with Hofstadter’s name at the top. What the pages revealed astonished Scott, and he couldn’t believe this man was free in society. Sixteen warrants for outstanding traffic violations. That alone is enough to keep him in city jail for, at the very least, a week, even if he paid the fines. Two counts of bodily harm with intent to murder, and wanted for suspicion of bank robbery on Long Island. Then, the small things; suspicion of extortion, suspicion of organized crime activities, including prostitution and importing art without proper licensing, and of course, evading arrest; all emanating from various New York State agencies.

What an ideal citizen, Scott thought, if, in fact, he is a citizen.

Scott read on to reveal that Gustloff Hofstadter is indeed not a U.S. citizen, rather a Swiss citizen. Gustloff Hofstadter, at age forty-three, entered the country six years ago on an educational visa.

When Allan returned with the coffee, Scott read parts of Hofstadter’s report and said, “Obviously, the authorities don’t check on the expiration of these visas, or have never been able to tie this guy down to any one place. On their behalf, like so many small government functions, this one is probably understaffed and with insufficient funding to follow up on every visa infraction. I suppose the police know of this but can do nothing until they can arrest Hofstadter. It appears he is a slippery character, well versed in evading detection. It would be interesting, and possibly helpful, to know Hofstadter’s international background. Frank Gray can do that quickly through Consolidated News Service.”

Allan walked over to Scott’s desk, a sign he had something significant to say. Scott looked up, and Allan said, “Is it possible you are putting more importance on this Hofstadter visa thing than necessary? He’s here now and wants something from Callan. When we bag him, all the rest will take care of itself, don’t you think? Boss, I think you might be letting personal political agenda creep in here. I understand you have a large appetite for information and facts. That appetite can often, and unnecessarily, muddle up something straight-forward. If you, for curiosities sake, want to know Hofstadter’s life history, you can turn to Inspector Sullivan or Director Malison,”

“Sergeant, you continue to surprise me. Recently, about Nadeau having one-up on Callan. Then reminding me of the vests, and now, pointing out something that should be obvious to me in my position, and is, actually. You’re right; my curiosity can push relevance aside. Thank you for this, my friend, and for taking my advice about speaking up.”

“Happy to, Boss,” Allan said and returned to his seat by the window, feeling a particular pride in himself and the Boss.

The records of Ned Zebrine and Chuck Cressey, quickly scanned by Scott, reveal two hardened criminals in their mid-thirties. Both have done prison time for various small crimes. Jason Atkins is a story unto itself, having never been arrested for even a traffic violation. It gets interesting when Scott reads, he is the son of a Police Chief in a small, obscure town in the south-western part of Rhode Island. A sub-note indicates the chief, Danial Atkins, was federally investigated several years ago as being a go-between for the east coast Massachusetts gangs and the Rhode Island gangs. Insufficient evidence was found for an indictment.

Scott quickly radios Guatino, “Scott here, over.”

Guatino, here, what can I do for you, Boss, over.”  

“Are you still at the club, and is Jason Atkins there? over.”

“Yes, they are all here today. You’ll want to hear this recording, over.”

“Absolutely. See you in the morning, out.”

“We have a lot to listen to tomorrow, Allan. I’ll go into these reports thoroughly at home tonight. Let’s get out of here.”

As Scott settled in the car’s seat the next morning, he turned to Allan and said,” I want to run something by you. Why do you think the son of a policeman, namely Jason Atkins, would wind up a lieutenant in a gang like the C Street gang? His father is a Police Chief.”

“Hell, Boss. I’m no psychiatrist. I’ve known several guys to end up bad, in one way or another. I could never figure that out either. It’s not like they grew up poor in a bad neighborhood and had to struggle for respect. They were all from reasonably affluent families leading average held-together lives. A couple actually graduated from college.”

“Well, we don’t know a thing about Atkins home life, but his father, being a Police Chief, suggests it must have been about the same. Although there is some unresolved question, from the federal investigation, of the chief playing both sides against the middle,” Scott said.

“Then, it must be one of two things,” Allan replied. “Either his dad is dirty and brought Atkins up the same way, or he didn’t have a good home life and revolted, ending up a criminal. There is one thing I know about bad cops – most are bullies. Perhaps Jason Atkins was abused.”

“I’m inclined to think your first analysis is the stronger of the two. The Feds are seldom wrong, you know. It could explain why Jason Atkins has absolutely no record. I’ll make some inquiries about Jason and the family. I have some resources in Rhode Island.”

Lloyd Qualter is waiting in the Charles Street South office when Scott and Allan arrive. “Where’s Al this morning, Buck?” Scott inquires.

“I guess he got some bad food somewhere. He told me he was sick all night and felt terrible, looked it too – all pale and sweating. I hope it isn’t the flu. I sat next to him all day.”

“Sorry to hear it,” Scott said. But life goes on, so let’s get the play-back going.

“I set the counter to zero last night, listened to the whole day’s recording, and made a note of the essential parts. That way, we can move through it quickly.”

Qualter re-wound the wire until the counter returned to Zero, then fast-forward to seven. This is Callan chewing out Atkins about the lack of recruits from Rhode Island and threatening to talk to his father.

Allan comments, “We weren’t far off on that one, Boss.”

Following that, they listened to Hofstadter badgering Callan that he absolutely needs the guns from Somerville, that he made an agreement with Goddard, and buyers in New York are waiting for them. If they don’t get them soon, Callan can forget any further help from New York. This was followed by a long rant of foul words from Callan, directed at Scott for almost busting up a good thing.

Fast-forwarding again to sixty-two, Qualter said, “In between, they talked about Alice Nadeau – that she needs punishing for holding back the money for the guns until some fool got caught trying to steal them.”

The wire then revealed Callan cursing again at Scott and telling them how much he regretted his man failing to kill him, that he is hoping to get another try very soon. He tried softening that by bragging how he took care of the squealing Simmons kid. They were quiet for a while before Callan told Atkins to contract some experienced thieves to break into the warehouse and get the guns. He will not tolerate failure. Callan then told Atkins to ask his dad for help if he can’t do it himself, and while he was at it, to find a reliable hit man for that Wadsworth bastard.

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Ernie Whitenack was born in 1928 in Springfield, Illinois and moved to Massachusetts in the mid 1930's. He is a Korean War veteran, worked as a photographic illustrator for 43 years and is now retired. Oh, and in case you didn't notice.... he's a pipe smoker too.

Copyright © Ernest N. Whitenack 2020
All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced, stored in, or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, printing, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the copyright owner.

Riverville Murder - Chapter 32

riverville cover lg

Case of the Riverville Murder

A Short Story by Ernie Whitenack

Chapter Thirty Two

Previously:

The wire then revealed Callan cursing again at Scott and telling them how much he regretted his man failing to kill him, that he is hoping to get another try very soon. He tried softening that by bragging how he took care of the squealing Simmons kid. They were quiet for a while before Callan told Atkins to contract some experienced thieves to break into the warehouse and get the guns. He will not tolerate failure. Callan then told Atkins to ask his dad for help if he can’t do it himself, and while he was at it, to find a reliable hit man for that Wadsworth bastard.

“That’s it, Boss. Do you want me to give Annie the recorder and my list of stops?”

“Yes, Al, and give her a demonstration on the fast-forward function and how it works with the counter.”

When Guatino came back, Scott asked, “Al, can that wire be copied somehow?”

“Gee, I don’t know. Nothing of that was mentioned when we took the class at Salinger Radio Company.”

“OK, Al, I’ll call them. You stay put until I find out if Salinger can make a copy, then you can either take care of that chore or get back on Callan – or both.”

Upon quarrying Salanger Radio, the manager told Scott, “Absolutely. We make copies all the time. We use a very fast speed on a unique transfer device, so a person can wait for it. They are used as back-ups or when a wire is full. We are working on a conversion to Vinal seventy-eight RPM records – best for a large audience. That takes four days.”

“That’s great,” Scott responded. “Someone will be there this morning, a Sergeant Guatino. Are you in a position to loan me another play-back unit? We are nearing the end of a huge case and don’t want to tie up the one we are using.”

“We can do that, Chief Investigator. I’ll see that your sergeant has one before he leaves.”

“The Commonwealth of Massachusetts thanks you. You are helping us take a step in maintaining the safety and security of its citizens.”

Scott then called Matt Heart and briefly told of the new evidence, asking him to come to his law office in the morning and bring the District Attorney.

Next, he contacted Harry Malison. “Harry, I’m about to finish off the Southie gang. In the morning, I’m meeting with my boss and the D.A. to listen to some phone tap recordings. I find this case involves Rhode Island and New York, massive abuse of a student visa by a known gangster, and a new stash of weapons we’ve uncovered that were slated for Ireland before we disabled the gang. If I’m correct, these findings and interstate activity makes it of interest to the FBI.”

Immediately, Malison asked, “Where, and what time?”

“My law office at nine o’clock.”

After that, Scott contacted Chief Winston Grant in Somerville and asked if he might be interested in the meeting.

“With a passion, Scott,” Grant said. “After talking to you the other day, I’m feeling a little left out.”

“We can’t have that. I’ll call on you to talk about the new-found guns and explain Dino Markus and Bobby Clark.

Scott leaned back in his old squeaky office chair, lit a pipe, and turned to Allan. “Allan, should I ask Dick Taranto to this meeting. I don’t want him to feel left out, but more importantly, I think he should be here, despite what Hart might have said to him regarding Alise Nadeau.”

“I’m with you, Boss. He is the Assistant Police Commissioner, and you are planning to arrest one of his captains. I think, if you don’t ask him, it is worse than Mister Hart talking to him about dropping his investigation of Callan. In the future, you might find it difficult to get cooperation from him.”

“Right on, again, Allan,” Scott said and dialed Dick Taranto.

Scott buzzed Annie and asked that she have six copies each made of the recording transcript. “Also, Annie, please get a cable off to Inspector Sullivan, Dublin Interpol, asking for information on Gustloff Hofstadter.”

It didn’t take long for Sullivan to answer the cable. Scott was digging into some of his own business for the first time in days when Annie announced that Inspector Sullivan is on the phone.

“Frank, I sure didn’t expect such a fast response. What do you have?”

“Frankly, not much that will help you, I expect. Hofstadter is comparatively small-time, although he is wanted by most countries in West Europe. Just petty stuff on a small scale.; burglary, extortion, smuggling, and the like.”

 “Is Interpol looking for him?” Scott asked.

“Not in a big way. His home is Uster, outside of Zurich, Switzerland. He and a couple of student friends hatched a plan to swindle a bank there. This happened fifteen years ago. The plot was discovered and thwarted, and the boys reprimanded – all but Gus Hofstadter. He simply disappeared. The next time he was heard from, he was in France. Interpol only wants him to answer some questions about his father, a well-known Swiss financial figure. There is a theory he might have instigated the swindle.”

“Then I guess you don’t have a great interest in making another trip here to talk to him,” Scott said.

Sullivan was quiet for several seconds before saying, “I’ll ask around and find out just how cold the case is. In any event, if you have charges against Hofstadter, I’ll know where to find him, if necessary.”

“He is deeply involved in this case, maybe on a federal level. So, yes, his where-a-bouts will be known.”

Finishing up his work, Scott, returning a pile of folders to Annie and finds Allan helping her collate the transcriptions. “How’s it going? Almost through?” Scott askes.

“Almost,” Annie replies. “If you need Allan, I can finish up in five minutes.”

“No, you two finish what you are doing, and then we can all lock-up together. Big day tomorrow. Get a good rest so you will be at your best.”

Allan appeared at Scotts front gate at seven-thirty the next morning. After two beeps of the horn, Scott came through the gate and looked at Allan, not wearing his typical tweeds. But looking smart in a double-breasted blue blazer, gray flannel trousers, white button-down shirt topped by a quietly striped tie, his black Loafers shined to a high gloss

“Good morning, driver. Where is Sergeant Rockford today?”

“OK, Boss. You wanted me at my best, so this is part of it. I can change if you wish.”

“Actually, I appreciate you being so conscientious. Sorry for the kidding. I couldn’t help it.”

“Don’t mention it. The right kidding says a lot about friendship.”

When they arrive at Charles Street South, Al Guatino is waiting for Scott with the duplicate recording wire and the borrowed play-back unit.  

“I’ve set yesterday’s part to zero for you,” Al said. “Here are the counter numbers you will want. If you wish to go back for some older days, turn the control to rewind. This will take a lot of hunting, so I suggest you hand out the transcripts and use those instead.”

“Well done, Al. I hope you can locate Callan this late. Try the club first. At this point, we need all we can get that is incriminating. Is tomorrow OK to return this unit?”

“The manager at Salinger said to return at when convenient. So, when you are ready, let me know.”

Scott’s guests arrived soon after Guatino left. Each within minutes of the others. Scott escorted them to a conference room. Chief Grant came with John Guilford of the ATF in tow.

While setting up the equipment, Scott said, “This is a wire recorder we have been using to record telephone conversations and general discussions at the Italian Club in South Boston.

First, though, here are the reports on four individuals attached to Callan; Jason Atkins, Gus Hofstadter, Ned Zebrine, and Chuck Cressey,” Scott said while Allan handed them out. “You will be hearing these people on the recordings. Please take special note of the part about Danial Atkins, Jason’s father. If it proves to be accurate, and with the Hofstadter info, it turns this case into interstate gangsterism, which takes it beyond us. That’s why I invited Harry Malison, District head of the FBI, to this get-together. I’m also glad John Guilford from the FTA is here. John headed the team that sidetracked the shipment of weapons out of Portland earlier in this twisted case.

“Harry, you’ll be particularly interested in Gus Hofstadter, and I have more info from Interpol. I’ll tell you about it later.”

The men quickly went through the reports underlining passages and making comments among themselves.

When they became quiet, Scott said, “The recordings you will hear, and I have transcripts for all,  are pertinent sections from many hours of surveillance at the club in one day. You will see the correlation between this and the reports you’ve just read. There may be some things you do not understand. Hold these until we are through. Then, I’ll either explain them or attempt to find your answer in a week’s long effort to listen in on happenings at the club. I have some other transcripts from previous days we can turn to.”

After listening to the recording, the room remained silent for several minutes before Harry Malison stood and paced back and forth. “That is a lot to sort out and absorb, but two things I’m sure of. One, I want to arrest Hofstadter. Two is to take a hard look at Danial Atkins and, hopefully, break the chain connecting him to organized crime. Anything the FBI can do to help finalize your problem, just ask. My office is open to you all.

Chief Grant, sitting with his elbows on the table and his head resting in his hands, suddenly stood and said, “If Callan hires some hoods to steal the guns, I will have to add more security to the warehouse. I can use some help with that – more experienced help.”

Matt Hart replied, “I can help you there. We’ll work it out after this meeting. Perhaps John Guilford can join us.”

Scott took the opportunity to call on Chief Grant, asking him to relate the events surrounding the discovery of the weapons and Clark and Markos’s involvement.

“So, in conclusion, you can see Markos was familiar with Goddard, but not personally because of his low position in the gang. He did see Callan and Goddard together at the warehouse and heard of the weapons but knew nothing more. Through interrogation, Scott and I concluded that Clark is simply a victim of circumstance and not involved with either gang. On the other hand, Markos will be prosecuted as a member of the Compton Hill gang only. The connection between Callan and Goddard is the highlight of Markos’s answers, further establishing Callan’s guilt.”

Dick Taranto violently pushed his chair back, stood with his hands firmly planted on the table, and with authority said, “OK, now let’s simplify this. There is enough evidence against Callan and what is left of the C Street gangsters, as well as Hofstadter and Danial Atkins, to make arrests on actual charges. And, if not charges, on suspicion of crimes. And you have only heard part of it. I was secretly investigating Callan until I was told I was interfering with a state investigation and ordered to stop. I have evidence, as well. And I venture to say Scott and his people have accumulated supporting evidence through interviews and recordings in the previous weeks.”

Taranto continued, “We have done enough. With the threat of another attempt on Scott’s life and possible theft of the weapons, it is time to act. I agree that the FBI take care of Hofstadter and David Atkins. If necessary, the state can always get to them. That the evidence is compiled in a comprehensive way and warrants obtained. Then, put together a combined task force of Mass State and Boston police to arrest this bunch, either together or individually. Such task force to be commanded by Chief Investigator Wadsworth. There is no question of his abilities.”

“Thanks, Dick,” Scott said. “If there are any objections to the Commissioner’s comments, speak up now.”

Scott waited a couple of minutes and said, “As there are no objections, I ask Commissioner Taranto to join me in this task and FBI District Director Malison to be available for advice. With my secretary, two detective Sergeants, Qualter and Guatino, and Sergeant Rockford, we will have more than reliable help.”

            “Now, I want to tell you about and applaud the work of the people I just mentioned. They have gone all-out to intelligently and skillfully assist me. Allan’s job description says he is my driver. Believe me, he is more than that. He is highly intelligent and astute, having offered advice and opinions immeasurably helping me make decisions or change the direction of my thoughts. Even at times when not asked,” Scott added with a Smile.

Scott lifted the phone and buzzed Annie, who shortly entered the conference room pushing a rolling cart of coffee and pastries. She took Scott aside, telling him she thinks she has every word of the meeting recorded.

“How did you do that? You don’t have an input for the wire recorder.”

“I sat your Dictaphone, on slow speed, by the door. I hooked the microphone over the doorknob and turned up the sensitivity. I figured it was worth a try. I’ll take it back now and see how successful I was.

Scott stood there, shaking his head and smiling when Allan walked over. “What’s up, Boss? You look like the provable cat.”

He told Allan of Annie’s ingenuity, and they both had a good laugh. Meanwhile, Chief Grant and Matt Hart move away from the others and stand by the windows.”What is your problem with more security at the warehouse, exactly?” Grant asked.

“My city has a relatively small, under-budgeted police force for its population. Presently a patrol car circles the warehouse every half hour. We do that because of the warehouse’s previous use and to deter any return of that gang. Catching that Clark kid was on a tip. To ramp-up security for a known break-in will cut us very thin in the rest of the city.”

“Unfortunately, that’s an old story in cities where, whatever council it is, continually keeps police and fire budgets low to maintain some obscure statue or old schoolhouse. Actually, no one cares about them except for a couple of townie board members.” Hart expounded.

“That’s about the size of it,” Grant agreed.“What can you do to give us a hand?”

“I can temporarily assign volunteer state police to your force, men trained in surveillance and apprehension. Ideally, they can be stationed, on three eight-hour rotating shifts, inside the warehouse and outside observing the doors. That will take eighteen volunteers – not easy to get. However, we can work out a shift plan regardless of the number who volunteer. This will free-up your people to increase drive-by patrols.

Everyone circulated around, talking, drinking coffee, and eating pastries. Harry Malison found Scott in a corner talking to Allan. “Scott, are your guys at the Italian Club right now?”

“Yes, they spend most of every day listening in. Why do you ask?”

“If you have communication with them, I’d like to know if Gustloff  Hofstadter is there.”

“I do, Harry. Come to my office, and I’ll radio them.”

Qualter answered the radio, “How the meeting, Boss. Quite dull here – a lot of depression.”

“The meeting went well. Is Hofstadter there. The FBI wants to know.”

“Yea, he showed up about a half-hour ago.”

“Let me find out why Harry wants to know. I’ll get back to you.”

Harry answered quickly, “I want to get a man there and follow Hofstadter when he leaves. If I’m going to arrest him, I want to know a bit more about him.’’

Back on the radio, Scott related Harry’s needs and asked, “What kind of car do you have today?”

“It’s an old dark green Chevy two-door coup. I don’t know the year. Will this FBI guy let us know who he is? We don’t need another questionable character in this drama.”

“I’ll make sure of it. Thanks, see you the next time you get here. Keep in touch.”

Scott gave Harry the car information and a description of Hofstadter with his home address, then said, “Make sure your man identifies himself, so there won’t be any confusion.”

“Right, Harry said. Now can I use your phone? I need to get this moving.”

South Boston:

Qualter and Guatino, somewhat cramped in the old car, sit in a variety store lot. Guatino is operating the recorder while Qualter is slumped in his seat, head back and eyes closed. He comments, “Man, this is a long day. All they do is worry and argue. Callan hasn’t got a clean word in his head. I‘m getting tired of it.”

“It’s the life of a detective, pal. We won’t be doing this forever -- Hey, open your eyes. A blue Buick is roaming around the neighborhood – could be the FBI.”

The Buick stops in front of the store. The man goes into the store and emerges, lighting a cigarette and walking directly to Qualter and Guatino, who retrieve their revolvers. The man knocks on the window with one hand and shows his badge with the other.

Qualter cranks down the window, and the FBI man says, Nick Constance here. Make like you are giving me directions. Which car is Hofstadter’s?”

Qualter points out Hofstadter’s car, and Constance goes back to his Buick and drives off. He wasn’t seen again for a half-hour when Qualter spotted him backed into a driveway of a For Sale house on the other side of the club.

In Boston, Dick Taranto and Scott deeply review the transcriptions and select those to present to Judge Millstone. Allan returns to a chair at the end of the table with the last coffee from the urn. Taranto notices the movement and checks his watch.

“Allan, go home. It’s ten-thirty. My car is our front; I’ll take Scott home.”

On compulsion, Scott looks at his watch and says, “I’m sorry, Allan. I lost track of time. By all means, go home. First, check to see if Annie is here. Send her home if she is. I’ll apologize to her in the morning.”

“What time tomorrow, Boss?’

“I’ll walk to the statehouse. Unless I call, come in when you feel like it. I might be going to the courthouse, but not sure.”

Allan showed up at eleven o’clock as Scott and Dick Taranto were finishing compiling and packaging the transcripts. “Ah, glad you are here, Allan. We have a one-thirty appointment with Judge Millstone. We’ll leave when we finish here, have some lunch and go see the judge. It will be tight getting the warrants on the strength of the transcripts. I hope the judge is in a good mood.”

-------------------------------------------------------------

Ernie Whitenack was born in 1928 in Springfield, Illinois and moved to Massachusetts in the mid 1930's. He is a Korean War veteran, worked as a photographic illustrator for 43 years and is now retired. Oh, and in case you didn't notice.... he's a pipe smoker too.

Copyright © Ernest N. Whitenack 2020
All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced, stored in, or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, printing, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the copyright owner.

Riverville Murder - Chapter 33

riverville cover lg

Case of the Riverville Murder

A Short Story by Ernie Whitenack

Chapter Thirty Three

Previously:

Allan showed up at eleven o’clock as Scott and Dick Taranto were finishing compiling and packaging the transcripts. “Ah, glad you are here, Allan. We have a one-thirty appointment with Judge Millstone. We’ll leave when we finish here, have some lunch and go see the judge. It will be tight getting the warrants on the strength of the transcripts. I hope the judge is in a good mood.”

On the way, Allan said, “Boss, I have a question that might sound ignorant, so excuse me if it is. In the years before I was assigned to be your driver, I was in on some compelling cases. We met in a squad room and got orders from a superior and executed them. Only a couple of times did we have a full-blown meeting. I’m wondering why you have so many meetings and interviews?”

“No question is stupid if you learn something from it, Allan. This answer is, it’s the difference between investigation and detection, although the two often overlap.”

“When investigating a committed crime or one suspected of being committed, investigators study, examine, and probes all elements and people associated with a crime. Then he confers with other experts to build the best course of action and direction.”

“A detective, generally, is on the crime before an investigator. His job is to discover involved parties, to recognize falsehoods, detect the motive, and the overlapping part, determining if the offense has actually happened, then apprehend and make an arrest.”

“I see,” Allan said. “That’s the reason for all the mysterious banter with Miss Nadeau and the recent trip to Somerville. Thinking back, you actually investigated Mark Simmons before letting him into your circle. Even contacting Inspector Sullivan about Hofstadter, after you knew all about him, was an investigation of sorts, and so was the Simmons family meeting!”

“I think you have it, but remember that the functions of both can be blurred at times.”

“Now, get back to the task at hand, and don’t drive past the courthouse,” Scott joked, causing Taranto to laugh and told Allan not to pay any attention to Scott’s sarcasm, that it was an intelligent question.

Almost immediately, Scott and Dick Taranto were ushered into Judge Millstone’s elegant office. The judge blurted out,” I was wondering when I would hear from you again. You promised to keep me informed.”

“I know I did, your honor, and that is what I’m doing today. I have been swamped, what with a new turn in this case almost every day.”

“I understand,” the judge said. “Now, bring me up to date, but do it in ten to fifteen minutes.”

Scott set about condensing the last couple of weeks into a continuous stream of words, occasionally stopping to breathe and answer questions presented by the judge.

“Excellent, Chief investigator, done in precisely eleven minutes. Now, tell me why the Assistant Commissioner of Police is here with you and what you want from me,” Judge Millstone demanded.

Dick Taranto quickly answered, saying, “Since your question is regarding my presence here, I feel I should answer. Scott and I have teamed up to hatch a plan to finally end the C Street gang. Together we have worked diligently, almost through the night, in preparation for this meeting. Individually we investigated Captain Claud Callan of the Boston Police Force. Finding that my work could interfere with the state’s, we joined forces.”

Immediately Scott said. “Thanks, Dick.” And turned to the judge,

“Sir, in these envelopes are all of the recording transcriptions collated by date. Together they hold enough evidence against the gang’s leaders and others to put them away for a long time. We need your advice on the legality of using the recordings and/or the transcriptions as evidence. If you approve, arrest warrants are needed.”

Scott then explained that the FBI is actively working to arrest Gustloff Hofstadter and look into Danial Atkins’s activities, a possibly dirty police chief in Rhode Island.

“I suppose you are in a hurry, Scott? The judge asked. There’s an extremely large amount of material here. With the help of my staff, it could take a week.”

“We are monitoring Callan everywhere he goes and recording events at the Italian Club. We have addresses for all the actors in this drama. And state troopers stand ready to move in at the push of a button on a special radio. I think we can wait for a week. It won’t be easy waiting for your verdict, though. It’s been a long haul for me.”

“I’ll move things along as fast as accuracy allows. By the way, when this is over, I want to see a demonstration of this wire recorder phone tap and your extraordinary radio.”

“My pleasure, Judge. I guess we have taken enough of your day. I look forward to hearing from you.”

As they exited the courthouse, Allan stood, shielded by the car, looking at the buildings across the street. Scott noticed the pistol in Allan’s hand, held tightly to his leg. His head moving from side to side as he scanned the building’s windows and rooftops. Scott nudged Taranto and pointed out Allan’s activity.

In the car, Taranto said, “This is the very place where someone tried to shoot you, Scott. Is that what you were looking for, Allan?”

Not knowing how to take the question, Allan simply said. “Yes, but remember, there are Mass State Troopers close by doing the same thing.”

Later that day, Scott said to Allan, “That was good thinking and readiness at the courthouse. Have you ever had to shoot someone?”

“No, I haven’t – a couple of close ones, though. I’ve often wondered if I could do that and how I would feel afterward.”

Scott placed his hand on Allan’s shoulder and said, I doubt there is a responsible cop, or military person, in the world who hasn’t had the same thoughts. When it gets down to the gritty shoot or get shot, you will act as you’ve been trained. You will have regrets, but when your mind sorts it out, they will fade away. Trust me, I know. And don’t think my hand wasn’t on my Webley Mark VI.”

Sunday morning dawned clear and cold as two FBI cars, containing four agents, pulled to the curb near Gustloff Hofstadter’s apartment building, a monstrous complex noted for its exclusiveness. One car could watch the underground garage exit, while the other kept watch on the front door. It wasn’t until ten-thirty that Hofstadter’s vehicle pulled onto the street. The agents followed until Hofstadter slowed and entered the parking lot of Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church.

An agent asked on the FBI radio, “Anybody know how long a Lutheran service lasts?”

An answer came back, “Depends on what Lutheran group that church belongs to, I’d say between forty-five minutes and an hour. My grandmother was a Lutheran.”

“OK, men, we have a wait. We can bag him as he comes from the church or continue to follow and see if he is up to anything today. I’m for following. I’d hate to see any bystanders hurt if things get rough.”

The same day, in a small town in southwestern Rhode Island, two FBI agents walk into a restaurant across from the police station, take a window table and order a large breakfast. An hour and a half later, they decide they have been there as long as possible without folks getting curious. They casually walk up the street and back again to their car.

“Newt, Let’s make a pass or two by his house and see if anything is happening there, the driver suggests.”

“Might as well, Bud. It’s sure Atkins isn’t here.” They drive past and see an older man and a younger one on the side yard passing around a football.

“Could that be Atkins and his son, the one hooked up with the C Street guys?” Bud asks his partner.

“Only one way to find out. Drop me off on the street behind the house. I’ll come through the properties and watch until you approach the older guy. Then, I’ll move in and handle the young one. Try to move your guy away from the kid.”

Bud brought the car to a stop, as to block the Atkins driveway. He got out and walked to the side yard, “Chief Atkins? May I speak to you for a minute or two?”

Atkins tossed a shovel pass to his son and walked toward the driver, while Newt walks swiftly through the properties to the kid. “Stand right here, son. That’s a Police Special, you feel. The FBI is arresting you for interstate racketeering. Place your hands behind your back and keep your mouth shut.”

When the chief reached Bud, looking at him inquisitively, Bud grabs Gant’s arm, forcing him to the pavement, and handcuffs him. “Davis Atkins, you are under arrest by the FBI on charges of interstate racketeering. Bud opens the car’s rear door, saying. “Get in the car, please.”

Newt follows suit with Jason Atkins, and they head for Boston, with Newt half-turned in the front seat to watch the prisoners.

Scott, sitting in his parlor after church with the boys, demands, “Now, don’t get the newspaper all messed up. There are things in it other than comics and sports, you know.”

The telephone sounded as Scott started reading the financial section. In the kitchen, Nancy picked up the phone, listened for a minute, and said, “Hold on, please, I’ll tell him – Scott, telephone,” she shouted.

The excited voice of Detective Qualter told Scott, “All hell is breaking out at the Italian Club, Boss.

“All right, calm down and start at the beginning.”

“Because things are coming to an end, we decided to work the weekend. We picked up Callan as he came out of that dump where he has breakfast. He went to police headquarters and stayed an hour. Then, went to the club.”

“He called everyone to get there ASAP. Most weren’t even out of bed. It took about two hours for them all to get there when Callan drop the bombshell. Hofstadter thinks the FBI is after him, and in Rhode Island, the FBI has arrested David and Jason Atkins. Callan found out because they are being held at the BPD  Right now. That’s how. Callan and the lieutenants are arguing about what to do. Callan wants to hang in because they are FBI grabs and probably have nothing to do with him. He reminded them that Jason’s old man is as crooked as they come and works all over New England. Ned Zebrine and Chuck Cressey want to skip out and get lost in New York or Los Vegas, but Callan says they can’t give up what’s left because Wadsworth will probably be dead in a few days, and they will have the guns to sell.”

Scott thought for a minute, then said, “I didn’t think Harry would act that fast. As you can see, it puts us in a position of rushing to make our arrests. I wish he had told me. It will take a week to get the warrants from Judge Millstone.”

“Why not just grab them on suspicion, Boss. That will give us forty-eight hours anyway, and you don’t need warrants.”

“Perhaps, Buck, I don’t think they are going anywhere. The lure of money from the guns will keep them together. I’ll call Judge Millstone first thing Monday anyway and get an opinion.”

“Can you and Al stay with Callan the rest of the day and come to my law office in the morning?”

“Will do, Boss. Hold on, Boss, Hofstadter just arrived. He wants to know what is so important on Sunday that his service called on his car phone. Just cursing now by Callan – something about the guns.”

“I’m glad you’re so devoted, working on Sunday. Stick with them. See you tomorrow.”

No sooner did Scott hung up when Dick Taranto called and started telling Scott about the FBI.

“I know, I know,” Scott interrupted Dick. “My Italian Club crew decided to work this weekend and called me earlier. Hofstadter is still free. He is at the club. You can bet the FBI guys are waiting outside. I just hope they don’t do anything crazy and blow everything.”

“Can you get ahold of Harry and ask him to back off from Hofstadter?”

“I was about to try when you called. I just finished talking to Qualter,” Scott replied.

“OK, I’ll hang up. Let me know what happens.”

Scott found that Harry Malison was nowhere to be found and left call-back messages, and contacted Qualter on the Salinger radio.

“Buck, do you see anything there that looks like FBI agents?” Scott asked.

“Yea, Boss, a couple of guys at the far end of the parking lot. They pulled in after Hofstadter.”

“I want you to get over to them and ask them not to arrest Hofstadter today. It will mess up the state’s plan to eradicate the C Street gang. Show your badge first, and tell them you are working on my orders. One of you stay at the back of the car. There is a chance they are Hofstadter’s men. Get back to me on this, please.”

Twenty minutes later, the radio sounded, and Qualter said, “They didn’t like it at all, Boss. It seems they have been on Hofstadter since very early this morning. They couldn’t get him where it was safe for bystanders. However, they agreed but said they will take it up with Malison and left.”

“I hope they do,” Scott said. “I have a bone to pick with him myself. Anything going on there?”

“A big one. Hofstadter told Callan the guns will be here sometime Tuesday. The theft will happen at four A.M. Tuesday morning. Seems like the thieves have scouted the building and hope to enter through an abandoned air intake on the roof and leave through Loading Dock C. They must know where the guns are hidden.  Maybe you should let Chief Grant know.”

“Absolutely, first thing Monday. Great job, men. Come to the statehouse tomorrow.”

Allan arrived at Scott’s early and rang the bell by the gate. The gate onto Walnut Street opened before him, and Scott met him at the front door. Come in, Allan. Have I got news for you!”

Scott poured coffee for Allan and told of the previous day’s happenings, expressing his surprise at Harry not informing him of his plan.

“No rest for the wicked, as they say. From what I know of Harry Malison, his actions are entirely unlike him. It will be interesting to hear why. Allan said, “I feel sure he has valid reasons, don’t you?”

Scott shrugged and raised his eyebrows at the question.

At Scott’s office later, everyone is listening to the recording from Sunday’s surveillance when Harry Malison entered.

“Scott, the events yesterday concerning Gustloff Hofstadter were unfortunate. My agents should not have left but waited for Hofstadter to leave that club. I had no choice other than act quickly concerning the Atkins men and Hofstadter due to Washington’s directive. There is more to Hofstadter than you know.”

“If you say so, Harry. Knowing this would have made for a more relaxing Sunday for several people.”

Lifting both arms heads high, Harry said, “It was out of my hands, Scott. Orders are orders – you know.”

“OK, I’ll buy that. Right now, I have to warn Chief Grant in Somerville and talk to Dick Taranto. I’d like you to go to the conference room with Qualter and listen to the latest recording. That will bring you up to date. Then we will discuss a joint action to get Hofstadter and the rest – if you agree.”

Allan sat at his usual place by the window listening, and later as Scott made call after call, to Matt Hart, Dick Taranto, and Chief Grant, updating all on the events of Sunday. “Too bad you weren’t born with a built-in telephone, Boss,” Allan said.

“At least everyone knows, and Grant can alert those at the warehouse. My boss agrees to a quick joint state and FBI action at the Italian Club. To top it off, Grant wants me to come to Somerville today and look over the security and talk to the FTA.”

Harry Malison returned after listening to parts of the recording. “I see your concerns about getting Callan and that crew all together. More important, though, is your protection. Do you have enough?”

Yes, I do, but right now, the thing is that the State’s Attorney has agreed to a joint action soon. What are your objections, Harry?”

“None, after hearing the recording. In fact, I think it’s a good idea – More men and a coordinated attack should make it simple.”

Glad you agree. Now, I’m needed in Somerville. You get your logistic brain working on a plan of attack. Use Annie at my other office if you need help, and we’ll talk later.”

Allan pulled onto the highway to Somerville after navigating the Boston streets. After driving several miles, the police radio called, and a voice said, “We think you are being followed. It’s a maroon Cadillac with three people. Move to the right lane and be alert. We will attempt to get on their left side. Keep the radio open for more instructions.”

Allan sped up and moved to the right lane, loosening his thirty-eight special in its shoulder holster. “Get down, Boss; it looks like trouble.” Scott got down as he pulled his Webley. Allan sped up again when he saw the Caddie approaching. As it came almost parallel to Allan, he applied the brakes, and the Caddie went past, allowing them to see the three men. One in the back seat – two in the front. The one in the front had, what appeared to be, an Uzi machine gun.

“Boss, When I move, you concentrate on the back seat. I’ll take the front. Then I’ll Jam the breaks to a sudden stop. Hopefully, the state car can jam them off the road.”

Allan lowered the windows and accelerated quickly. As they closed on the Caddie, Allan saw the man having trouble getting the Uzi out of the window. Allan raised his thirty-eight and put two rounds in the man’s forehead. The Uzi fired upward, shattering the windshield and causing the driver to swerve. Almost simultaneously, Scott firing his Wembley through the rear side window, smashed the metalwork around the back window of the swerving car, its power spraying the gunman with sharp shades of steel and glass. Another round entered his throat, ultimately killing him. The driver attempted to get away, but the state car was in the right position to force the Caddie off the road. After it was over and more state troopers appeared and took charge, Allan continued on to Somerville.

Scott turned to Allan, saying, “Looks as if you answered your own question about using your weapon.”

“Truthfully, it’s all a blur. I guess I acted on instinct. Maybe I can put it all in sequence in a couple of days.”

“Only partly by instinct,” Scott said. “Don’t underestimate your training and your need to save both our lives. You did it perfectly, My friend. You’ll be getting a medal -- and a raise if I can manage it.”

In Summerville, Scott, Allan, and John Guilford are in the warehouse being shown around by Chief Grant. “Well, what do you think of the security and positioning of police?”

Scott responded, “I don’t know how much more you can do. Although, if it were me, I’d like a master switch for turning on very bright lights at strategic places. It can startle intruders and might disorient them – to say nothing of a visual advantage. The crooks are going to be using flashlights and aren’t expecting anything else.”

Later, John Guilford questioned Scott and Chief Grant about the Provisional IRA connections to the weapons.

Grant motioned to Scott for an answer. “I think that PIRA contact is over,” Scott offered.  “Gus Malone, the Provo contact, is presently in Interpol’s hands, and Global Mortgage and Loan no longer exists. Callan has no interest in Ireland. He needs money to keep the gang going and for recruitment. Naturally, there might be others somewhere in the U.S. with a PIRA interest. I don’t know any.”

“That is certainly reasonable, Scott, and I’ll pass it up the ranks,” Guilford said. “I would like to hang in the fringes of this operation, as before, just to witness the finale.”

“Fine with me,” Scott said. “Be at my law office at eight o’clock tomorrow. We will be doing the final strategy for the arrests, which might occur that afternoon or evening.

-------------------------------------------------------------

Ernie Whitenack was born in 1928 in Springfield, Illinois and moved to Massachusetts in the mid 1930's. He is a Korean War veteran, worked as a photographic illustrator for 43 years and is now retired. Oh, and in case you didn't notice.... he's a pipe smoker too.

Copyright © Ernest N. Whitenack 2020
All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced, stored in, or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, printing, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the copyright owner.

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