Riverville Murder - Chapter 5

riverville cover lg

Case of the Riverville Murder

A Short Story by Ernie Whitenack

Chapter Five

Previously:

“Start tomorrow. I’ll inform the volunteers watching out for Kelly to expect you. Don’t go overboard on this, time is important. Thanks Charlie. I know you will do a stand-up job.”

“It’s doubtful that your volunteers will even see me, most of the time anyway. I’ll be using long focal length lenses that allow me to shoot from cover and at great distances. Of course, there may be times when I will have to be in the open, but I’ll look like a tourist,” Charley told Carl.

“We are anxious to get the pictures to the State Police ID group and the FTA. The profile might be handy”

That evening, Carl Hendersen walked to the Adams home where he sat down with Kelly and went over everything being done to protect her, explained who the men following her are and their qualifications.

“They are the best men on the force, Kelly, and all volunteers. So, you can see they are dedicated to a job they obviously want to do. I understand your frustration with the process. The only other thing we can do is put you up in a hotel somewhere away from here, or send you to Vermont and your aunt Helen.”

Kelly gave her uncle a hug while saying, “Thanks Uncle Carl. I guess I can stand it for a while, now that I understand it better, especially feeling I know the men and better appreciate what they must be giving up to help me. Most of them don’t even know me.”

Frank Sullivan and James Hurley, after a late supper at a Somerville diner, Walked, without   conversation, to the All Erin for a nightcap and found an empty booth. They sat there, sipping whisky without a word to each other.

“What in Heaven’s name are you brooding about Sullivan? You haven’t uttered a blessed word since you got home from Riverville,” Hurley blurted out.

“I’m tired, James. It’s a long, hard day on my feet keeping an eye on that girl, and to say the least, damn boring. I’m through unless you start swapping off more days than one a week. It’s not fair. Besides, she hasn’t changed her routine since we started this bloody thing.”

“You can’t quit on me now. She is bound to change soon.”

“The hell I can’t. I don’t see the point. If she was going to say anything to anyone, it would have happened by now,” Sullivan came back sternly.

“You don’t get it, do you? The point is to find a way for one of the South Boston boys to grab her, you ninny. Of course, she has talked. Now she has to pay for it.”

“You’re kidding. A nice young girl like that! How come you’re just telling me. I want no part in it.”

“You better change your mind, boy-o, or you’ll be answering to the boss his-self, or maybe someone he appoints to bring you in tow. I don’t think you will like that. And I’m talking as your friend now.”

“OK, OK, but I still need some relief. You should be swapping every other day with me, or get someone who will.”

“There isn’t anyone else free to do it, so It is up to me. I’ll start tomorrow. Now, shut up about it and start acting normal,” Hurley snapped.

Rain started falling lightly, as the two men left the pub, and quickly turned into a downpour.

“Devilish miserable weather, Hurley said as he turned up his collar. If it doesn’t clear soon, that shipment waiting in Portland will be worthless. The weather in the newspaper, says this is just the beginning. High winds are coming and a low-pressure system covering the country from Florida and Northeast for several hundred miles to sea, and heading across the Atlantic. Not good.”

The next morning, under a gray and threatening sky, Charley Maxwell rose a little early and pulled a large suitcase from under his bed. From it he selected several baseball caps, each having a different sports team’s insignia on the front. These were followed by T-shirts displaying various team names or mottos. Next came several brightly colored light weight wind-breaker jackets. He put everything in a small duffle bag. Then, he opened a drawer in his dresser and retrieved a plastic box containing several styles if mustaches and a small make-up kit, and put the box in the duffle.

By the time people started arriving at Kelly’s work building, Maxwell was settled in his car, about fifty yards away, and facing the direction from which Kelly will be walking; his Cannon thirty-five-millimeter camera, fitted with a five-hundred-millimeter telephoto lens, at the ready.

 Maxwell whispered to himself, “OK, here we go,” and started scanning the faces with the Cannon looking for Kelly. He spotted her almost immediately and continued to scan beyond her. He spotted officer Mike Marzano, so went back to Kelly and started over, trying to spot which one of the men is following her. It didn’t take long, as he was bobbing right to left and back again trying to keep an eye on Kelly between the heads of others in front of him. There is a shadow on his face from the Irish slouch hat he’s wearing. Charlie adjusted the aperture of his lens to account for the shadow and grabbed several shots of the man walking toward him.

The sidewalk being almost deserted and Kelly in the building, James Hurley crossed the street and went into the coffee shop while Maxwell was slipping into a yellow T-shirt with Eagles printed on the front, a bushy eighteen-hundreds gray mustache and a cap with a large P on the front. A green jacket topped it all. Maxwell followed Hurley into the coffee shop and saw him seated at the counter. After ordering a coffee, Maxwell left, crossed the street and sat on a bench waiting for Hurley to come out. He quickly raised his camera and got three close-ups of Hurley, who had yet put on his hat.

Hurley could not help but see Maxwell and directly approached him.

“Sure, and you’re taking a picture of me, are you?”

“Oh no, I was taking a shot of the big coffee shop sign above the door. You see, my wife has never been to this area and I’m going to Newburyport on business. She wants me to take slides along the way. She couldn’t come because she sits the grand kids during the week. I have no deadline to get there so decided to take the costal rout. Fact is, I didn’t even see you there.”

Hurley sits on the bench and wonders if he can believe this guy. “Nice camera you have there. That’s a bloody big lens. What’s it for?”

“It lets me take shots from far away. This way I can get pictures of the beaches I see without taking the time to find my way to them. The wife also likes boats. I can shoot them at sea from a pier or beach, if not too far away. Well, guess I should get going -- never know when I’ll see a nice scene to take for my wife.”

“Yea, now, you drive carefully,” Hurley replied.

Maxwell, coffee in hand, strolls to his car, does a U-turn and heads down the road. He notices the sign pointing to the Public Pier and makes the right turn. The parking lot is almost empty and he parks right at the entrance to the pier. Retrieving his camera and coffee, he heads down the pier and recognizes officers Marzano and Hendersen standing with their backs to the railing.

“Good morning, gents. How are you today?”

Surprised at the stranger, Marzano answers, “We are just fine, how about yourself?”

“Well, I’d be just great except this thing is driving me nuts.” Maxwell answers while pulling off his phony mustache.

Gales of laughter erupted from the officers. As Charlie Maxwell removed his baseball cap.

“We were told you would be around photographing the bad guys. What’s with the disguise?” Hendersen asked.

“Just a precaution. I talked to one of your bad guys today after I took his picture leaving the coffee shop; a real tight head shot. When he asked if I took his picture, I told him I was photographing the sign above the coffee shop. I followed it with a cock and bull story of why I was taking pictures. I think he swallowed it. If he should talk to anyone about the incident, I’ll be just some eccentric old guy from Philadelphia that will never be seen again.”

“Very cleaver,” Marzano said. “Are you through here for today?”

“What is Kelly’s routine? Does she go out for lunch, or take a walk. Anything unusual before she goes home?”

“Not generally. She brings her lunch most every day. We are there at lunch break, just in case. This is rather routine stuff. However, we have to be aware that they could attempt to snatch her at any time.”

“I guess I’m through for today, then. I was hoping to do a photo essay on each bad guy, sort of a profile. It just doesn’t seem feasible – too much down time. But I’ll give it a couple of days before deciding. I need to know what they do during the time Kelly is working.”

“I wish we could help you there but we try to avoid any contact at all. We don’t want to be recognized a couple of days from now.” Marzano said.”

“Understandable. Guess I’ll go back and get this film in the soup. The Chief is anxious to see some results and get them to the State Cops for ID. I’ll be around for a few days, although you might not see me. If you want to talk about anything, leave a note on my car. I’ll hang a tattered Confederate flag from the antenna. The car will be within seventy-five yards of the coffee shop, and on the other side of the street.”

 Somerville:

Frank Sullivan leaves the diner after lunch, with a toothpick dangling from his mouth, and walks a half-block to a phone booth. Once inside, he searches his jacket for a slip of paper, and places it on the shelf beside the phone. He inserts a dime in the coin slot and dials a number. After inserting another dime, as instructed by a mechanical sounding voice, the phone started ringing.

“Riverville Police, may I help you?”

“Yes, I have important information about a pending kidnapping, and perhaps murder, of Kelly Adams of your city.”

“What is your name, sir”

“Now, you never mind that. Just put me through to the chief or a detective, or I’m hanging up.”

“This is Detective Hendersen. I understand you have some information you wish to give us.”

“And that I do” Sullivan said and went about telling how some people think Kelly should pay for telling what she heard in the All Erin pub.

“Is there anything else you want to say; like who intends to make her pay or who killed the ATF agent and dumped his body in the Atlantic?” Hendersen asked.

“On my mother’s grave, I don’t know. I know the agent was murdered but I don’t know exactly who did it; perhaps one of the hit-men from Southie,” Sullivan replied. “I’m not let in on a lot of stuff,” he continued and quickly hung-up.

Carl Hendersen immediately walks the short distance to the chief’s office and told him about the call.

“We have got to do something more to protect her, Dad. I don’t think two men, keeping an eye on her is enough. And, any objections she has are certainly nullified by that call.”

“I totally agree,” the chief replied. More men can be added along with a couple of two-man un-marked cars. That will make it eight men and a means of pursuit. Unfortunately, it offers no protection to a drive-by shooting. The best bet is to get her out of town to her aunt Helen in Vermont or somewhere equally remote. I’ll bet we can get some of Helen’s brothers-in-law, she has five, to watch the place. They are all hunters and crack shots.”

“I think you should put this to her, Dad. It will carry a lot more authority coming from you. Besides, she adores you.”

“OK, I’ll stop over and talk to the family after dinner tonight. If it’s a go, I’ll call her company in the morning, explain the situation and request she be given a leave of absence.”

The chief sits forward to retrieve a full bent apple from the stand on the corner of his desk and sets a match to it. To restrict himself, he fills three pipes each morning before leaving the house. These last him through the work day.

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 grand daughter being in eminent danger.

Carl, on the walk back to his office 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?”

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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 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 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.

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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 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.

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Keeping the smoking lamp lit since 1989