Riverville Murder - Chapter 6

riverville cover lg

Case of the Riverville Murder

A Short Story by Ernie Whitenack

Chapter Six

Previously:

            Leaning back in his old wood office chair, he blows smoke rings at the ceiling and tries to fight the feeling of fear that comes each time he thinks of his granddaughter being in eminent danger.

            Carl, on the walk back to his office, suddenly realizes he must ramp-up protection between now and when Kelly leaves for Vermont. It could take several days to two weeks, depending on her employer’s needs.  

Somerville:     

            Frank Sullivan, wandering the streets while waiting for the All Erin to open, wonders if he has done the right thing.Should anyone find out I snitched, my life will be taken with dispatch,” Sullivan says to himself. “Should I leave here and head West or hop a flight to Dublin and disappear somewhere in the Republic?

                “But then,” Sullivan continues, “How can they possibly find out. I doubt the coppers will tell anyone. And yet this whole armament thing is getting bloody. I never bargained for that. And besides, Hurley treats me like some sort of lackey that doesn’t deserve any respect. Sure, and I must do some serious thinking on this.”

Riverville:

            That evening after dinner, Chief Michael J. Hendersen pauses on the front porch to light his pipe for the walk to the Adams house. Slowly descending the steps and turning onto the sidewalk, he ponders just how he is going to address the subject of the danger Kelly is in without frightening the devil out of the family, at the same time convincing Kelly that she must get out of the area for the safety of her life.  The family was already assembled in the living room as the Chief entered.

            “Kelly, your Uncle Carl received a phone call today from a member of the gang involved in the gun smuggling and the recent murder of a federal agent. This man strongly suggested you are in great danger if you remain in Riverville. Carl and I discussed your options and we agree that you should visit you aunt in Vermont as soon as possible. I know you are against it but you do not have a choice now. It’s the safest place you can go. What with your aunt’s brothers there, you have a built in squad of guards. In the meantime, I will talk to your employer about a leave of absence that is convenient for him. I am also doubling the volunteers that are now guarding you.”

            Kelly, sitting on the love seat that occupies the alcove with the large bay windows, with her face in her hands and her shoulders shuddering, cries silently. Her mother, moving to the seat beside Kelly, attempts to calm her. Eventually she stops sobbing, raises her head and looks around the room.

            “I’m sorry to put you all through this. I would give anything if I hadn’t gone to the pub that night. However, I did go and nothing can be done to change that. If a visit to Vermont is what you all think is best for me, then so be it. I’ll make the best of it. I’m sure aunt Helen and the rest will welcome me.”

            “Good” the chief said getting to his feet. “I will get things rolling first thing tomorrow and let you know when the move will take place. I don’t think this will go on much longer. We are hopeful, very soon, of identifying the two men that tail you every day. An FTA agent will be working at the station soon. And, your Uncle Carl and cousin Francis are going to the pub Saturday to do some snooping. In the meantime, your protection is doubled and will be strategically positioned to quickly intervene should any attempt be made by strangers to approach you.” 

“Thank you, Grandpa Mike. I know you are doing all you can.” Kelly said as she walked to the chief and kissed him on the cheek.

South Boston:

Mic Mitchell descended the front stairs of his apartment building, with the rain coming down hard and the wind blowing it nearly horizontal, he pulled his hat down tighter and the collar of his raincoat up higher. He glanced at the sky and shivered slightly. October in July, he thought as the dark ominous clouds raced across the sky.

Mitchell, taken under the wing of Scott Wadsworth when he was working on The Case of The Killer Pipe, had skyrocketed to a supervisory position and is on his way up at Swenson’s Plumbing Service; a job Wadsworth was instrumental in Mic obtaining to get him on his way to a respectable life.

     After a short subway ride, Mic entered the Swenson’s Plumbing Service building and quickly went to his office where he checked a wound on his left thigh through his trousers. The deep wound, obtained on a job a week or so ago, required constant attention to retard infection. His pant legs, being soaked from the rain, caused concern that the dressing might be wet. Mic retrieved the necessary materials to replace the bandage from a desk drawer, and proceeded to the men’s room to change it. He walked directly to the men’s room, entered the first stall and lowered his pants to observe the wet and sagging bandage. After cleaning the wound with antiseptic and applying a salve, he reached for the clean bandage just as the outer door opened to the accompaniment of loud voices obviously arguing.

      “Now, hold-on, what are you doin’ draggin’ me in here sayin’ it’s a matter of life and death?”

“In a matter of speaking, it is. Now, lower your voice and check under the stalls doors to see if anyone else is in here,”

Quickly raising his trousers, Mic stepped onto the toilet seat.

     His heels clicking on the tile floor as he walked past the stalls, the voice said, “No one is here. Now, what is this about?”

     Mic stepped off the toilet and continues with the new bandage while listening intently.

     “The boss got a call from Belfast last night -----”

“Mr. Swenson?” The other voice interrupted.

     “No, stupid, the one on C Street. Now listen. Everyone from the PIRA in Belfast to Connors in New York, to the boys in Somerville are worried about that Kelly Adams overhearing Hurley and Sullivan talk about the gun shipment and spreading it around. They want her quieted – permanently. And don’t mess it up like you did with that FTA bloke, understood?”

     “Understood, but this will take some time to set-up. I’ve got to know where she goes and what she does.”

     “Hurley and Sullivan can fill you in on that. They have been tailing her day and night. So, get on it quickly.”

     Mic heard the door slam as the men left but waited a bit before leaving the men’s room. Walking swiftly, he made his way to his office while ignoring a couple of people approaching him along the way.

     “This is Michael Mitchell. Please put me through to Scott Wadsworth. It’s very important I speak to him.”

     “Michael! It’s good to hear from you. How long has it been? Two months or so?”

     “Yea, about that. Scott. I overheard something this morning and I’m not sure what to do about it. It concerns a murder and someone I think I have heard you mention”

     “Why don’t I come to Southie and we can have lunch. This doesn’t sound like something we should discuss on the phone.”

     “Fine with me,” Mic said. “I’ll meet you out front about noon. See you then.”

     Over the years, since his bout with Nazi espionage agents, Scott Wadsworth grew his legal business and gained a good deal of notoriety for his investigative skills; skills being a result of his work in Army Intelligence and later with the FBI and Boston Police Department. He still maintains his offices on Charles Street South, but most of the time he oversees the Massachusetts Attorney’s Investigative Department.

      The black Lincoln stopped directly in front of Swenson’s Plumbing Service building just as Mic Mitchell scurried down the steps and walked quickly through the rain to the car’s open back door.

     The two men exchanged greetings and Mic said hello to the driver, Sgt. Allan Rockford of the state police in his chauffer’s black suit. The car headed out and traveled to Hanover Street, turned left onto Prince and stopped at Angelo’s Restaurant.

     Scott was greeted warmly by Angelo and led to a small private dining room lavishly decorated with Neapolitan tapestries. As they ate, Mic related to Scott and Charlie what he overheard in the men’s room; emphasizing that he is astounded over such a thing happening at Swenson’s. That everyone he knows there is a stand-up person and most are family men.

     “I’ve found out those traits mean absolutely nothing when it comes to crime, Scott said. “Remember Albert (Lucky) Ryan from The Killer Pipe case? He was a family man and owner of a highly successful and profitable business but under it all he was a thief, smuggler and responsible for several murders. I know Mister Swenson would never be part of anything like this. However, he has no control over the private lives of his employees.”

     “Yes, I remember, Mic replied. “Although I am trying to erase my prior life from my memory”

     “I can understand that, Mic. Perhaps, for your own well-being, you should remember the undesirables you have come across.”

     “You’re correct, I know of Kelly Adams through her detective uncle and her grandfather. She also has a cousin on the Riverville Police Department. I don’t know what I can do to help, but I’ll take a ride up there and tell them the story. Also, I’ll put one of my people on finding any known bad guys living, or with business on, “C” Street.”

     “Mic is there anything else you can tell me about the men in question?”

     “Nothing that I can think of. I didn’t recognize their voices. I did wonder what they were doing in the office and not out on a job; unless a job has been shut down for the day for some reason.”

     “Can you check on that and let me know? Also, if a job is shut down, I want a list of the men on that job.”

     “I’ll have it for you in the morning and bring it to the state house. I have some vacation time, so I can take a day tomorrow.

     The next morning Mic arrived at the state house at nine-fifteen with a list of thirteen names.

     “Here’s the list, Scott. A crew was taken off a job on Commercial Street because of an Electricians Union problem. I guess it was a supporting move.”

     “Great, I’ll get someone right on this and see if we can narrow it down a bit.”

     Scott pressed one of the buttons on his phone and immediately his secretary walked through the door.

     “Annie, please get someone to run this through the ID section and see if there is anyone on this list having a criminal record. This might take a half hour, Mic. How about some coffee and a pipe?”

“Sure, why not!”                                                                                                                                                                                Annie located Scott in the coffee room and handed him a folder containing the records of three men. Scott took a cursory look at the records before standing.

“Thanks, Annie. I’ll be out the rest of the day. If you urgently need me, try the Riverville Police Department or that bag phone Allan keeps in the car. Oh yes, have Allan Rockford meet us at the back door, please. Let’s go Mic.”                                                        

Riverville:

Charley Maxwell was in place near Kelly’s work with his Canon fitted with a five-hundred-millimeter lens. He decided to stay in his car, partly because of the light rain and high wind, and shoot at a distance.

James Hurley followed Kelly to work a bit too close to suit Maxwell. He decided to speak to the officers following her about it first chance he could. The lens proved to do the job perfectly and he has several good shots of Hurley; who immediately went in the coffee shop when Kelly entered her building.

Maxwell started his car and drove to the sub shop up the street. The officers on duty that day retreated there from the rain about the time Hurley entered the Coffee Shop. The shop appeared empty, except for the officers seated at a table drinking coffee. Francis Hendersen being the only one he recognized.

“Good morning, Frances. Are these gentlemen on the job with you?”

“Hello Charley. Why yes, they are. Dad doubled the crew due to some new information that came in. I don’t know what that is, but it must be critical. Have a seat and some coffee,” Frances said and then proceeded to introduce the other officers.

Maxwell, after taking a couple of sips of coffee, “I noticed the bum following Kelly was a lot closer to her than the other guy I photographed. That concerned me and I wanted to bring it to your attention if you hadn’t noticed.”

“Yea, I noticed. We were talking about it before you came in. It would make it easier to grab her if a car pulled up beside her.”

“Exactly,” Maxwell replied.

“You’ve had years more experience on the beat than any of us. What do you think we should do?” Frances asked.

“I’d move the two from across the street and have them be ahead of Kelly a few steps, and the two behind Kelly, close behind the bad guy. Also, I’d have weapons cocked and placed where they can be easily drawn. I doubt an abduction will be tried in this area – just too many people. It’s more likely before or after she is in a congested area.”

Frances thought a few seconds the replied, “You’re right. We’ll do just that, and I’ll inform the sergeant about it. He will probably want to instruct the rest if the volunteers to do the same. Thanks, Charley.”

Maxwell finished his coffee quickly, stood up and shook hand all around saying, “Happy to meet you all. I’m usually in my studio and don’t meet new people very often. Now, I must get back to work. If I can find that guy, I want to do a good study of him and get back to my lab.”

The rain had stopped when Maxwell got back to his car. He drove back past the coffee shop and spotted Hurley turning the corner as if heading for the yacht club and the public pier. He stopped and waited a couple of minutes before turning to follow Hurley and parking in the small lot just short of the pier. He opened his duffle bag and fished out a Red Sox cap and jacket along with a short false beard, put them on and started walking toward the pier, his Canon hanging from his shoulder. Hurley was leaning against a light post at the end of the pier. Maxwell acted as if he was taking pictures in all directions from the pier and quickly shooting Hurley in the process. He noticed Hurley taking his raincoat off, and in the process, his sport jacket partially came off one shoulder revealing, in a shoulder holster, what looked like, a thirty-eight-caliber revolver. He swung the camera and grabbed three shots before Hurley could adjust his jacket. He continued photographing the area around the pier while getting closer to his subject.

“What are you doing?” Hurley asked.

“Me? I’m taking shots of the pier for the town. They plan to expand the pier this fall and need photos for the engineers. Sure glad the rain stopped. I’m on a short deadline as it is. Have a good day” Maxwell lied, turned and returned to his car. 

AT 11:00 a.m. the same morning, Allan Rockford guided the state police Lincoln carrying Scott and Mic, into a “GUEST” spot of the Riverville Police Department parking lot.

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

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 2019
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 7

riverville cover lg

Case of the Riverville Murder

A Short Story by Ernie Whitenack

Chapter Seven

Previously:

“What are you doing?” Hurley asked.

“Me? I’m taking shots of the pier for the town. They plan to expand the pier this fall and need photos for the engineers. I’m sure glad the rain stopped. I’m on a short deadline as it is. Have a good day” Maxwell lied, turned and returned to his car. 

AT 11:00 a.m. the same morning, Allan Rockford guided the state police Lincoln carrying Scott and Mic, into a “GUEST” spot of the Riverville Police Department parking lot.

A loud knock on the office door brought Carl Hendersen sharply to his feet with; “Come in please.”

“Scott! What a surprise. I don’t think I’ve seen you for a couple of years. Strange thing, but I was going to call you in a day or two.”

“Well, I’ve saved you the effort,” Scott said and proceeded to introduce Mic and Allan.

“To what do I owe this visit?” Carl asked as he emptied his pipe on a cork knocker?

Scott explained Mic’s position at Swenson’s Plumbing Service and asked Mic to tell the story. When Mic finished Scott added, “I have a list here of the men on the shift that was recalled. The underlined names have a police record. I hope it is helpful.”

“Thanks for being so alert, Mic. And, your efforts as well, Scott. We are aware of this situation and Kelly is being protected. This whole thing is tied in with illegal gun sales, the murder of an ATF agent and Kelly overhearing two men talking about a shipment leaving from Portland. We expect an ATF agent here soon to work with us out of this station. There is a constant tail on Kelly and we have men, all volunteers, watching the whole thing. In fact, our photographer has been photographing the two guys that alternate following her. I should have some shots today. I intended to call you and ask if you could run them through your I.D. people. I’ll also send them to the FBI. We have a feeling they are members of the Compton Hill gang in Somerville. That’s where the murdered ATF agent was working undercover.”

Another knock on the door interrupted their conversation and Charley Maxwell came in, apologized for interrupting and Handed Carl an envelope saying:

“Here are three sets of the pics I took of the guys following Kelly. One shows a holstered revolver when the guy’s jacket slipped open. I hope they prove useful.”

“I’ll let you know, Charley, as soon as I know. Thanks for delivering them.”

“He’s a good man,” Carl told them after he left. “He and I go back a long way and he is as concerned about Kelly as the family.”

The three men looked over the pictures before Carl pulled out a set and gave them to Scott. 

Rockford asked before they left, “I’m a sergeant in the state police and I’m surprised I haven’t heard of this before. Regardless of the job we have, every state officer is kept informed. Don’t they know about this murder and the harassment of Kelly?”

“No, not yet,” Carl replied. “Because of the complexity of it all, and the safety of civilians, we are holding off on other agencies being involved. However, that is about to end with the distribution of the photos. The ATF and FBI, and I suppose The Maine State Police, will all be working on this case. Well, it’s about that time. Can you join me for lunch? We have a very good cafeteria for a small-town department.”

Carl, upon Scott and Mic leaving, prepared the envelope with the photos for posting to the FBI. He left the mail-room and started back to his office when he heard his name called.

 “Sergeant Hendersen. Hold up please.” shouted the Desk Sergeant who hurried toward Carl with a civilian following closely behind.

“Carl, this is Henry Reichmann from the ATF. I was bringing him to your office when I spotted you. He asked to see you and the chief.”

Meanwhile, Scott, on the way to the parking lot, lit his pipe filled with Royal Blend. His thoughts being completely about Kelly Adams, and the fear she must be feeling, walks right past the Lincoln. Mic grabs Scott’s arm and directs him to the car.

“Mic, is there any way you can keep an eye on the men with records who work for Swenson’s Plumbing Service? It seems to me the Riverville cops have a hard road ahead with this case.”

“Yea, I can give it a try. I have pretty much of a free reign, concerning what I do and where I go, as long as the job comes in on time with a profit. The delay of the Commercial Street job gives me a reason to keep a close eye on its progress, and the men in question.”

“Any little thing you think, even remotely, might be important you call me. Give your name and you will be put through immediately.”

In the Chief’s office, Carl and ATF agent, Henry Reichmann, sit in front of the desk waiting for the chief to speak.

The chief sat his pipe in an ashtray and said, “The department is happy to have you here. I am hopeful that between us, we can shed some light on the murder of Clarence Anderson, and who is behind the illegal gun shipment out of Portland. I realize the latter is beyond our jurisdiction, however it fits right in with local problems here in Riverville.”

“I’m sure it will all come together soon. In fact, it is crucial before this spell of nasty weather ends, allowing the boat slips out to sea.” Reichmann replied.

“On another subject,” Reichmann continued. “You know we have a man in South Boston. Well, he has been there for five years, working on the fringe of the mobs and gaining their confidence. The ATF feels it is time for him to get out. At last report, now that he is doing odd jobs for them, the mobs are starting to ask a lot of questions regarding his background. He has a solid fictional background to answer with that is fully documented. However, slip-ups can happen and we want to get him home ASAP, both for his safety and his accumulated information. Perhaps you, with your Boston contacts, can help us make it go smoothly.”

“I’m sure we can, Mr. Reichmann. Just before you arrived, I was talking to Scott Wadsworth who heads the Massachusetts Attorney’s Investigative Department. He is an esteemed attorney and skillful investigator who has worked, on several occasions, with the FBI, Interpole, Massachusetts State Police and Boston P.D. He is the man to figure out the safest way to get your man out of South Boston. He, and an associate, are currently watching a couple of men who are likely to have been involved in the murder of Clarence Anderson.”

Carl Hendersen went on to explain how Scott and Mic became involved, the problem surrounding Kelly, and how it’s all intertwined.

“OK, we’re further along than I hoped. Oh! and please call me Henry or Hank. We will be seeing a lot of each other, and it will simplify things a lot.”

“Can you have Wadsworth come here soon? I want to get our man out of the state. Sooner or later there will be a slip-up and he’ll be in big trouble. They will assassinate him if they have any doubts about him at all.”

Carl responded, “I’ll call him this afternoon. I’m not sure how busy he is, but we can hope for the best.”

“Do you have any questions of me, chief?” Reichmann asked.

“Not today. Carl can show you to your office. Have you had lunch?”

“No, and I also need a place to stay.”

“Carl, please help Hank with lunch, and see if there are available accommodations at the “SeaSide”.

“It’s a nice place and they have a coffee shop; if you are a breakfast-eater.” The chief said, turning to Reichmann.

Once back in his office, Carl called Scott Wadsworth. Almost immediately after giving his name, Carl was put through. “That was quick. I didn’t expect to hear from you so soon.” Scott said.

“I’m sorry to bother you, Scott. Henry Reichmann, an ATF agent on this murder case, has taken up residence here in the station to work with us. I think you can be of immediate help if you have some time. It’s in the best interest of the Commonwealth. We would like to meet with you in the morning, if possible, and talk it over. I realize it’s Saturday, but I can only stress how crucial it is”

“I can do that. I’ve nothing planned until the afternoon. I have tickets for me and the boys for a Celtics game. Unfortunately, I have no transportation on weekends.”

“That’s OK. I’ll send a car to your house. Is eight-o’clock too early?” Carl asked.

“No, eight is fine. I’m still on Walnut Street; number fifty-eight.”

Sporadic heavy rain along the coast made the drive to Riverville a slow one, and at nine-fifteen Scott entered Chief Hendersen’s office.

The chief walked from behind his desk to greet Scott. “Good morning Scott. Sorry to bring you out on a day like this. It must have been a tough drive. I’d like you to meet Henry Reichmann of the ATF. He is assigned to work with this department on the murder of Clarence Anderson and the weapons shipment out of Portland.”

“I’m happy to meet you,” Reichmann said. “Your reputation as an investigator is well known in the ATF. That international case involving a stolen ancient artifact, a gourd pipe, is used as an example during training.”

“Well, I’m flattered,” Scott replied, somewhat embarrassed. “I’m happy to help if I can.”

The three men thoroughly discussed the predicament of the undercover agent in South Boston, and the apparent danger he is facing. Reichmann went over every detail of the agent’s documented, and fictitious, background and arrest record.

Scott, after listening intently said, “I agree, considering all the questions addressed to your man, he is under some sort of suspicion. Despite that, it appears his I.D. will hold-up, at least for a while. That’s not to say we should hesitate in removing him from danger. I have a lot of resources at hand, so a well-planned extraction can be easily executed. Give me a couple of days to come up with some ideas. I’ll see you first thing Tuesday morning, if it is convenient for you, and we’ll kick around a plan or two.”

 “We are very grateful, Scott, and look forward to hearing what you come up with. I feel certain it will be a very solid plan.”  Reichmann said, as Carl left the chief’s office.

That evening, Francis Hendersen is in his room preparing for his Saturday night appearance at the All Erin Pub. He just finished checking his 32cal. ankle revolver and Minox Camera and decided to add one more item; a one-pound, leather-wrapped, Black Jack. As he attached the camera behind a button hole at the front of his jacket, Carl knocked on Francis’s bedroom door before entering.

“Son, I don’t want to spoil your evening, but as things have progressed, I don’t believe this trip to the All Erin is relevant. We have sufficient photos of those men, and there is no other reason to enter into a potentially dangerous situation. I want you to abandon the idea and inform Tony Marzano of my decision. If, after this case is resolved, and you want to have a night out, get Tony and go. According to Kelly, it sounds like a fun place.”

“OK, Dad. you are the boss. I can’t say I’m not disappointed. I was looking forward to something other than walking a beat. It does get a bit tiresome, especially out on the flats.”

“I know, I know, Son. We have all been there at one time or another. It is an unofficial initiation for rookies. You will be out of there soon.” Carl said as he left the room with a grin on his face.

South Boston:

In a dingy bar, hidden away on a back street under the expressway at the edge of Southie, two men sit at a bare wooden table in a back room; each with a bottle of Smithwicks Ale. Jerry Mc Dougal and John Byrne are handy-men for the various mobs working out of South Boston.

Byrne takes a swallow, puffs on his pipe and says, “Seems there is a suspected mole or spy working here, according to the C street boss. His name is Sean Keogh, or so he says. Could be anything, really. We are to keep an eye on him and investigate his background, as much as we can, without raising suspicion with any authorities. I’m to pick up a dossier on him tonight. We’ll meet here tomorrow at one-o’clock, look it over and decide where to go with it.”

“I suppose they will want us to arrange his disappearance should we find out he’s dirty,” Mc Dougal responds.

“Now, let’s not be think’n of that as yet. A heap of work comes first. Then it’s the boss’s decision not ours, thank the good Lord.” 

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

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 2019
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 8

riverville cover lg

Case of the Riverville Murder

A Short Story by Ernie Whitenack

Chapter Eight

Previously:

Byrne takes a swallow, puffs on his pipe and says, “Seems there is a suspected mole working here. according to the C street boss. His name is Sean Keogh, or so he says. Could be anything, really. We are to keep an eye on him and investigate his background, as much as we can, without raising suspicion with any authorities. I’m to pick up a dossier on him tonight. We’ll meet here tomorrow at one-o’clock, look it over and decide where to go with it.”

“I suppose they will want us to arrange his disappearance should we find out he’s dirty,” Mc Dougal responds.

“Now, let’s not be think’n of that as yet. A heap of work must be done first. Then it’s the boss’s decision not ours, thank the good Lord.”

Boston:

Monday morning, amidst a drenching rain, Scott Wadsworth made the trek, so often made before, from his home on Beacon Hill, down Walnut Street, across the common and on to his office at Charles Street south. A large umbrella, protecting him, and his Oom Paul pipe, from the weather.

As Scott entered the office, Annie rushed to help him shed his raincoat and hat, took the umbrella to an ornately tooled brass stand and wiped the moisture from his briefcase.

“No calls this morning, Annie, unless it’s the governor. I have some heavy thinking to do.”

“Yes sir. Shall I bring your usual coffee later?”

“Oh yes, please. I think I will need it,” Scott said with a smile and sat at his desk. He lifted a yellow legal pad from a desk drawer. Methodically, he retrieved three, newly sharpened, number two, pencils from a ceramic mug and placed them next to the pad. He sat there for several minutes staring at the rain making abstract patterns as it as it ran down the glass. He looked away and selected a pipe from the rack on the credenza behind his desk, then returned attention to the window while fumbling with the pipe. Scott puffed, tamped and relight several times over the next ten, or so, minutes. Finely, he placed the pipe in an ash tray, picked up a pencil and started to write.

Annie gave a quick knock on the door and walked into Scott’s office with his mid-morning coffee.  Scott glanced at the wall clock across the room and was surprised that the clock read ten-thirty.

“Thanks, Annie. I sure lost track of time.”

“From the look of your pad, you’ve been writing steadily for two and a half hours. You need a break.”

“You’re right, Annie. Thanks for remembering the coffee,” Scott said, as he removed a dozen pages from the pad and handed them to her.

“Please transcribe these for me; double spaced. I’ll have more by noon.”

“What do you have against the Dictaphone? It’s brand new and you have had lessons using it.”

“Old-fashioned, I guess. I just can’t get used to talking with no one listening.”

Annie smiled and retreated, with the pages from the legal pad, to the outer office.

Scott continued working on a plan to rescue the ATF investigator and save his life. The hope is, the extraction can be executed within a couple – three at the most – days and without any fuss or conflict. Finally, he removed another pipe, long since without embers, from between clinched teeth, laid down his pencil and pressed the button used to summon Annie. Glancing at the wall clock, he was surprised to see the day had passed and the clock read five-thirty.

Annie appeared almost immediately and handed Scott the typed transcription from the morning.

“Oh Annie, I’m so sorry. I know I told you I would have more by noon. The day just slipped away from me, and here it is a half-hour after your quitting time.”

“Well, its nothing I didn’t expect. I know how important this is and I don’t mind staying late for something like this. You are forgiven,” Annie said with a smile. “It looks like another hour, or so, to transcribe what you have in front of you. And, you should call home and let Alma know you’ll be late.” Annie said as she swooped the pile of papers from Scotts desk.

“I owe you, Annie, and don’t let me forget it,                                                                                                                           

Riverville:

The next Morning Scott, and his driver Sgt. Allan Rockford, arrived at the Riverville Police Station, as promised, to go over the plan with Carl Hendersen and AFT investigator, Henry Reichmann.

After discussing the plan several times to extract agent Martin Wolfe from South Boston, Scott interjected:

“As you can see, I have called on the state police detective squad exclusively to execute this operation. This doesn’t mean you aren’t welcome to participate. However, it’s essential, to totally pull off this charade, that uniformed officers, and plain-clothed detectives, make the arrest. Starting last night, detectives are observing Wolfe’s movements in an effort to determine just when and where the phony arrest will be made. Unfortunately, this will take a couple of days. Even then, there is no guarantee agent Wolfe will not change his pattern at the last minute.”

“What safeguards will be in place to react to a change in pattern by Wolfe?” Henry Reichmann asked.

“Radio communication,” Scott answered. “All cruiser and personnel radios will be tuned to an exclusive radio frequency that cannot be detected by a scanner. This way everyone can move instantly. It’s like a last-second signal change by a quarterback. All involved will know just where to go, and do so on command. The only difference is that the quarterback can be anyone who spots a change in Wolfe’s movement.”

Henry Reichmann stood from his chair and stretched. “Seems as if you’ve covered all contingencies, he said as he walked around the room. “I, for one, want to be there. I’ve worked with Wolfe several times. It will be reassuring for him to see a friendly face, and will quickly understanding what is happening.”

“Fine with me,” Scott replied. “How about you, Carl. Do you want in as well?”

“I don’t see the need, and there is a remote possibility that I might be recognized if there are civilian observers. Having someone connected see the arrest, and report the incident back to the gang, is the whole point in the arrest. I don’t want my presence getting back to the Somerville bunch. It might just put too many questions regarding the whole thing in the minds of the wrong people.”

“I’m glad you see that, Carl. That thought came to mind last night as I was going over the operation. The possibility is quite remote, as you say, but remote possibilities have a way of coming to life. I can recall several that almost destroyed careful plans.”

“OK, where do we go from here, Scott?” Reichmann asked.

“I’ll call and give you a report daily. When the time seems right, I’ll have you picked up here by Sgt. Allan Rockford, whom you know. I suggest you be armed. We will be in one of the detective’s cruisers for the operation.”

Carl Hendersen escorted Scott to the parking lot, said hello to Sgt. Allan Rockford.

“Carl, how is it going with Kelly?” Scott asked as he was about to get in the car.

“She has permission for a leave of absence from her job, and her father and I will be getting her to Vermont very early Saturday morning. Those goons following her don’t show up until late on Saturday. We hope they will think she is just staying home. By the time they discover she isn’t around, she will be well entrenched at her aunt’s house and well protected by four male cousins. The boys are all six-foot bruisers. Three did military police work in the U.S. Marines at one time or another. The fourth, and oldest, served 12 years; most of them as a hand-to-hand combat instructor. Farm work, along with a small lumbering operation, keep them in top shape.”

“Sounds like an ideal hide-away. I hope she enjoys her stay in Vermont.”

Scott returned to his office at the state house to find a pink phone message on his desk telling him Detective Cpl. Mark Simmons called, and a number where he can be reached after three o’clock. A second message sheet, from Michael Mitchell, asking him to meet for lunch at the Parker House, that he has important information.

Scott made a few necessary calls, before leaving his office and making his way down to the Parker house.          

In Parker’s Restaurant, filling rapidly at twelve-ten, Scott spotted Mic, about in the middle of the room, at a table for four. The two exchanged greetings, placed their order and waited for the waiter to bring their drinks, Parker’s Single Malt, a famous fifteen-year-old single malt from Islay.

“So, Mic, what do you have”

“I’ve been keeping my eyes and ears open on the Commercial Street job; even been hanging around for the second shift. Yesterday, just as the first shift was ending, Albert Nunsay, one of the men from the list with a record had a couple of visitors. They stayed talking after the second shift came to work. I selectively asked around to see if anyone knew who Nunsay was talking to. A person I trust said, “No one you want anything to do with.” I pressed him and he told me they were Jerry Mc Dougal and John Byrne, a couple of Southie hoods and suspected killers. I casually walked close to them but could not hear a thing because of work and traffic noise. I asked Nunsay if he is working a double shift and if the two with him were new on the job. He told me he was through for the day and his friends just happened by.”

“Good work, Mic. The more names we can gather and investigate the closer we will be to solving one murder and preventing a couple more. The ATF is attempting to track the arms shipment and the money that paid for it. If a discovery there coincides with arrest here, we might just clear up everything. I’ll get moving on these three names this afternoon. Let’s eat.” 

At three-ten Scott called the number for Detective Cpl. Mark Simmons, “Cpl. Simmons, Wadsworth here. What do you have for me?”

“I’ve been observing Martin Wolfe, alias Sean Keogh, for several days regarding suspicious activities. This is prior to your request for an observer. Naturally, I did not know he was under-cover. Well, his movements have changed considerably. Previously, he was all over Southie, moving from business to business and occasionally visiting several bars, as if running errands. For the last three days, he has been late leaving his apartment and only a couple of times has he repeated any visits. Mostly, he goes out to take meals, and then lingers longer than usual. He hits a pub or bar in the late afternoon and nurses a couple of drinks. Sometimes he eats where he drinks and other times he goes to a cafeteria or a Chinese restaurant. It appears to me that he has been cut him off by whomever he was doing erands. I’m thinking the mob is getting suspicious, and thought you should know about this change.”

“Good work, Simmons. This is exactly the type of info we need. I’ll see that you stay on this job. Soon you’ll be issued a radio and given instruction regarding the frequency. We are about to enter into a rather large operation to extract him, via a phony arrest, out of what has turned into a dangerous situation for him. We are afraid the mob will assonate him. You will be notified of a strategy meeting in the next couple of days. In the meantime, stay with him and be aware of anyone else who appears to be observing him. An attempt on his life can come anytime. I received some information earlier today that will hopefully shed some light on other aspects of this complicated case.

“Yes, Sir. I’ll stay with him and keep my eyes open for anything else. I have a better picture of the situation now. Thank you. I look forward to the strategy meeting.”

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

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 2019
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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Keeping the smoking lamp lit since 1989