Monday, June 3, 2013

Devil at Dusk - Installment Number Six

1950's female private eye
Brooksie van Pelt 1950's Private Investigator
Photo by Dave Haworth

Howdy friends! Welcome to part six of Devil at Dusk:

The next day I was up bright and early again. My plan was to go to each location that every one of the murder victims had been found because I did not want to leave any stones unturned in this investigation. I made a lunch, got a thermos of tea then got my note pad and camera.  I made my way to my car; the first place I went to was the farmer’s house. I knocked on his door and his wife answered. I introduced myself and I explained that I was taking over for JT, who had been very ill lately. She called upstairs to her husband the farmer, his name was Walter and her name was Eunice. Walter came down stairs and I went through introductions with him also. I asked him if he minded if I went out to his field and had a look around. He said sure thing, he said he would even show me where he found the body. I let him lead the way and he takes me out to a big open field alongside his house. He says this is it; this is where he found her. I kneeled down, looked real close at the ground and found nothing, then I gazed out upon the open field. I walked a few feet in each direction scanning for something out of the ordinary; I could not see a thing. I was not really expecting to find anything but you just never know what you may find in these circumstances. I turned to Walter the farmer and thanked him for his time. I got into my car and went on my way.

The next stop was the location by the railroad track; I drove out to it, parked my car and had a look around. I walked several feet in both directions and found nothing. As I was walking back to the original spot where the body was found I noticed the sunlight was shining on what appeared to be a small semi shiny object which was just a couple inches from the track and a railroad tie. I bent over to have a closer look, and then I took out my note pad and made a few notes. Next I took out my camera and snapped a picture. With a gloved hand I picked up the object, it was a cufflink. The cufflink was sterling silver with the letters AMB on it (the letters were black onyx inlaid on a mother of pearl background). I do believe these letters are initials and what is even more curious is that the last initial is “B” just like the note regarding a Mr. B and his 3 pm appointment with JT on the very day that JT had fallen ill. I pulled out a plastic evidence bag from my pocket and dropped the cufflink into it.

I went back to my car and I was off to the final destination. The park which was in the middle of town where it had been reported that the last victim had been found. I went and had a look around, I came up with nothing. At least my day had been fruitful (one out of three was not bad) and for that I was thankful. I was heading off to the sheriff’s office to deposit my evidence. I got to the sheriff’s office and said hello to Sheriff Holifield and to Deputy Miller. I told Deputy Miller that I had something to add to the evidence on the murder investigation. I showed him the cufflink, I told him I went to each of the locations where the victims had been placed and had a look around. I told him I did not come up with anything else except that cufflink. It was starting to look as if the killer’s initials really were AMB; at least that was where the evidence was pointing to. Deputy Miller said very good work Brooksie! I thanked him and told him I had to be on my way because I was going to the hospital to see how JT was doing, I told Deputy Miller goodbye. On my way out I told Sheriff Holifield goodbye also.

I was on my way to the hospital now, I pulled in and parked. I stopped off at the nurse’s desk to see if anything was new or different with JT. The nurse said no, not really, this was of course so disappointing. I was hoping that JT would be on the mend right now. I said hello to Mr. Pruitt who was stationed outside JT’s door.  I asked him how things were going and he said that there was nothing new to report. I went into JT’s hospital room and pulled up a chair next to JT’s bedside. I spoke to him, letting him know what I found in regards to the case. I told him how the family was doing and that I was doing okay also. I stayed for about a half hour then I had to be on my way. On my way home I stopped off at the office to drop my notes off in their appropriate file.

Because I had some surveillance to do that night I went home and took the rest of the afternoon off to rest up because I had the feeling I was in for a long night. I went in to lay down, soon I was having a dream that I was being chased by a giant monster and it was very dark out, I was back in Chicago. The monster chased me down an alley; I looked up at it and realized it was a dinosaur and not really a monster. I just happen to have a chicken leg in the pocket of my trench coat (I remember thinking in my dream that was a random thing to have in my pocket) I threw the chicken leg at the dinosaur he snatched it up and devoured it. That gave me just enough time to escape! I started running down the street and as I was running I was yelling…dinosaur!!!  Finally my dream ended with me running to my apartment that I had been living in when I was in Chicago. I made it inside and shut the door, I leaned against it. I was all out of breath from running so hard.

Eventually the time came for my alarm to go off, I turned it off, and I got up and got ready. At this time I remembered my very strange dream and I wondered what the meaning was behind it. Next I collect all of the things I am going to need for the night; I get my note pad, camera, binoculars, a snack and some water. I put on my trench coat and my fedora with my hair pulled up underneath it, so at first glance while I was in the car a person could not readily tell that I was a woman. I got into my car and drove to Mr. Leonard Johnathan  Boggs’s office (he sold life insurance for a living). His wife told me he was normally off at 6:00pm and it was now 5:45pm when I arrived, I parked down the side street where I could see the front door of his office but where I would not be easily spotted. I saw Mr. Boggs step out of his office; he was middle aged with a round reddish pink face (looked like due to hyper tension) and a thick neck. His hair was dark reddish brown and thinning on top, he had his fedora in his hand and he placed it on top of his head. Then he shut and locked the door to his office. He actually kind of looked like a male version of his wife Mrs. Boggs. He was a few inches taller than her and had a round stocky body.

Mr. Boggs gets into his car and drives off; I soon get behind and follow but not to close. He only drives about 5 blocks and parks his car in front of Ling’s Garden. Ling’s Garden is a Chinese restaurant with Ling’s Lounge that is attached to it. Mr. Boggs or Lenny goes inside Ling’s Garden the hostess seats him by the window; he takes his time eating his meal. When done he goes out to his car, I thought he was going to leave but instead he pulls out a slim case that looks like a case that would hold a pool stick. He turns around and goes back this time he enters the lounge. I get out and peak inside the window, the joint is jumping (it is a Friday night). There are a lot of men in there with just a few women. I noticed there were three cocktail waitresses on board that night; the cocktail waitresses were all very friendly with the customers. When Lenny walked in, a cocktail waitress with long dark hair gave him a big hug and a kiss on the cheek. She pointed to the only bar stool that was open at the end of the bar.  It appeared that she was talking to the bar tender, and then she retrieved a drink from the bar tender and set it down in front of Lenny.  It was obvious he was a regular there and that the cocktail waitress even knew what he liked to drink – the drink looked dark amber in color – possibly whisky on the rocks.

Lenny gets his pool stick out and joins in on the next game of pool. In the mean time the dark haired cocktail waitress was off schmoozing with the next man that came through the door. I mused to myself… I bet she made pretty good tips. I watched all of the other cocktail waitresses and they all acted the same; very accommodating and nice with big toothy grins. I could just imagine them saying aw honey, darling and dear to all of their customers that walked in the door. I stayed on and on into the night watching as Lenny drank more than a few whiskeys on the rocks and played pool. He socialized with the guys and flirted with the cocktail waitresses. This was night life in small town America.  Soon it was approaching 1:00 am and Lenny puts his pool stick back in its case in the mean time I get into my car. He tells everybody goodnight and struts out to his car. He ends up at his house; he goes inside, shuts the door and turns off the porch light.

To be continued…

Thank you so much for joining me for installment number six of Devil at Dusk! Stay tuned next week for part seven! 

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