JUSTICE DELAYED: SS; EIGHTEEN

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic
A 36 year-old cold murder case is resurrected by DNA, along with all the places and people surrounding the killing.
Two ex-jurors play Holmes and Watson to pursue and capture the killer---and any accomplices.

Submitted: November 07, 2016

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Submitted: November 07, 2016

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 JUSTICE DELAYED

 A Short Story in Chapters

Nicholas Cochran

Chapter Eighteen

 

Allan Hamilton gathered his crew into his office and laid out the battle plans.

He felt very confident that Elaine Badwell’s choices were indeed the two jurors directly connected in some manner to the killing of Jemma Jefferson.

He assigned his first team the task of digging up and ferreting out everything about them.

He and his other two aides began a coordinated attack on finding the link to all the ‘persons of interest’ who had come out of the mists to populate the enlarging body of work that comprised the event of Jemma Jefferson’s death.

*  *  *

Allan picked up Peter around ten Sunday morning and he relayed to Watson, all the information that his staff had turned up concerning both the events of that weekend as well as the new people involved. 

After thoroughly granulating that bar of evidence, Allan told Peter about his detailed twenty-minute discussion with Elaine. 

Doctor Davies was overjoyed with the astonishing news from Sherlock.

They discussed the pros and cons of various scenarios; the possibility or probability of certain people being guilty; the manner by which they could present all this evidence to the Judge and attorneys without having to go through a two to three week jury trial. 

 

Shortly before Allan drifted his BMW i8 across the dirt parking lot of the Jensen Market, he and Peter had agreed to continue their investigations 24/7 through to jury call at ten, Monday morning, with the Doctor being in charge of keeping Allan and his staff—as well as himself—sound, sane, and awake.

 

Their appointment with Mrs. Corrigan was at two o’clock.

 Allanhad rather unsubtly suggested a breakfast meeting but Mrs.Corrigan, along with everyone else in the world, was a creature of habit.

One of Mrs. Corrigan’s habits was to sleep through the morning until noon.

Then she had fifteen hours to accomplish all the tasks that she had set for herself and her husband.

He, good sport that he was, joined her on the Sleep-In team.

 

Sunday, around noon, was the busiest time slot of the market, as most customers were preparing to return to the city. 

A cross-section of cottagers, fisherpeople, and hunters squeezed by each other in search of suitable souvenirs or items to stock up on for the coming week of their two-week vacation.

The day was sunny but cool. Despite the timidity of the wind off the lake, it was definitely sweater optional. On the eastern horizon some thunderheads warned of rough weather in an hour or so.

Both men entered and made mental notes of all the nautical equipment as well as the food and drink that was stowed on top of (as well as underneath) tall shelves on either side of narrow aisles. 

A number of ‘help-around-the-cottage items included chainsaws and small posthole diggers.

They also stocked ship-to-shore telephones.

“See anything helpful in here, Allan?”

“Not really, Peter, except for the customers.

"Something about their appearance is tickling my DEW bell, Distant Early Warning bell; reminds me of someone or ones on our jury.” 

He paused as he crinkled his brow, “Aaahh; maybe it’ll pop into my head along the way.

"Did you get directions to the Jefferson’s cottage—thirty-six years-ago cottage?”

“I did. Very easy. Shall we measure it; the distance from here to the cottage—or at least the spot where Jemma was found?”

“Yes. Absolutely. Excellent, Watson. That gang of guys and Jemma went by here and in the direction of the where she was found. 

"But before we leave let’s see if we can collar the owner for a few moments.

"I’m positive there are still ripples moving through the lake population and story-telling about Jemma, even after all these years.

"Maybe he can step away for a sec. Shouldn’t take much more than that. 

"That rumor we discussed driving up here; the one my crew dug up. I want to see if it might also be a rumor all the way around on this side of the lake.”

“Great idea . . . Sherlock.”

They laughed while they edged their way toward the main counter where they asked for a moment with the owner.

Sam Masterson was a short, balding, jolly man of sixty with the florid complexion from too much sun, or booze, or both. 

He wore a perpetual smile and always appeared to the customers as though he had hit the lottery.

He was delighted to take a break and the three men went behind the market to the spot where Mr. Washington was standing when he saw the gang of loud guys—and maybe Jemma being dragged past at some time around midnight Saturday.

Sam turned and gave his best genuine smile.

“What can I do for you boys?”

Allan asked him the question.

Sam didn’t hesitate. “That’s absolutely the God’s truth. Everyone around here believes that and our reason for it is also the reason we all think it’s true.”

*  *  *

Gail Bernal spent all night at her office. She ordered a pizza and found some Jim Beam in Carlos Fryer’s bottom drawer. 

As the sun rose from below the blackish-blue horizon of the hills behind the city, some whitecaps on the Pacific caught the sun, sending flickers of sunlight in all directions.

Ms. Bernal was not tired. 

On the contrary, her adrenaline was pumping new ideas, approaches, and strategies into her frontal lobe at a frightening rate.

She switched from bourbon to coffee, typed on her computer, and paused occasionally to dictate other ideas.

The mysterious caller had given her so many things to first formulate and then to somehow connect, that she was prepared to take bennies or pots of coffee like Balzac, in order to be fully prepared to approach Judge Tan and Hilo in the Judge’s chambers before saying a word to the jury.

She filled out subpoenas for witnesses, called her favorite investigators to take and serve them all through the weekend as she continued to produce them.

The appearance date was Monday.

***

On the drive to the other side of the lake to interview Mrs.Corrigan, Trevor Ransome’s mother, Allan discussed with Peter, the further information provided by Sam. 

Before pulling into the Corrigan’s circular drive, Allan used the voice-changer app to call Gail and relay everything that Holmes and Watson had discovered, discussed, and deduced.

Gail sounded cranked up and ready to burn some serious legal rubber.

She thanked Allan repeatedly and asked him—“whoever you are”—to keep supplying her with the latest information right up to ten am Monday morning.

She gave Allan a couple of other numbers where she could be reached or paged. 

Then she thanked him again, and, as an afterthought, “maybe we’ll meet some day . . .”

Allan disconnected.

*  *  *

You see Watson, Trevor Ransome is clearly the son of SethRansome.

"See; look right here; this photo.

"Now isn’t that the exact replica of Trevor; they could be twins. I think the photo was taken about the same time; you know, at the same age.”

Mrs. Diana Corrigan reappeared with coffee and biscuits. 

“Here we are, gentlemen,” smiling while she set the large silver tray on the burlwood coffee table, “and now we can talk.

“Always have to have nourishment, right Doctor?”

“Assuredly, Mrs. Corrigan, absolutely true. Particularly if you aren’t sleeping; like Allan here. 

"He tells me he hasn’t had more than four hours sleep since Thursday night.

We have been on a fast track for this case, Mrs. Corrigan. Your help is very much appreciated."

“Not at all, Doctor Davies. I hope I can be of some help”

Diana Corrigan was a tall woman with a small premature hump, kyphosis.

Age had done some of the work but most of the curvature resulted from the revisitations of haunting memories.

She colored her hair an attractive auburn, a shade exceptionally complimentary to her hooded hazel eyes and immaculate dentition. 

Mrs. Corrigan retained a fine figure, suitably covered in a white blouse.

Her black bell-bottom trousers were a nod to the Seventies, proving—in the sartorial arena—that sometimes you shouldn’t knock out the old just simply for something new. 

Her face had lines from flashpoints in her life, particularly the death of her first husband, Seth Ransome. 

He had died in a boating accident involving a weed-tangled propeller. 

No one ever discovered what had gone wrong and Dianarefused to talk about the subject. The coroner had no trouble in identifying the propeller marks on Seth’s arms and throat.

“All right,” sighing the mourning sigh that precedes all talk about the death of a loved one, “just how can I help you?”

End of Chapter Eighteen


© Copyright 2017 Nicholas Cochran. All rights reserved.

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