The One Shot That Killed Him - Part 2

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic
Continuation from part 1

Submitted: June 12, 2014

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Submitted: June 12, 2014

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The One Shot That Killed Him - Part 2

 

“So let me get this straight, the Professor is dead?” I ask Will again.

“Yeah, some fire in his lab. I didn't even know what was going on until the fire trucks pulled up.” Will, answers back, while Anita treats the gash on his head.

“Stop moving so I can fix this!” Anita snaps at Will.

“I'm fine, it's just a scratch. Slap a Band-Aid on it!” Will tells her.

“It's a little more than a scratch and it is right above your eye if you don't want it to become infected, let me clean it and then you can slap a Band-Aid on it!”

“Oh yeah and that Lauren dame fired us on the spot!” Will turns back to me.

“She did, did she? Everyone else ok.” I ask.

“Yeah, the other sister wasn’t even there. She must have left before I arrived, I never saw her leave.”

(Really?) I say to myself. “And no idea who took a shot at you?”

“Nope, but they were in a parked Plumber’s van that left in a hurry when I chased them.” 

“Yeah, I saw that van parked out there too.”

“What about this Chen woman? I’ve never heard of that agency before, which branch of the government is it?” Will asks.

“Exactly.” I say.

“So what’s our next move, partner?” Will says, dropping the question. “We’re not just going to let this thing go?”

“Not a chance; when a client dies on you, you got do something about it. You can't just let it lie there unfinished; otherwise it eats at your gut and it just lies there staring at you saying why didn't you do something about this when you had the chance instead of just letting it lie here. No, when you lose a client you got to do something about it.”

Anita seems confused by what I was saying, but Will understood; he knows the code that men like us live by, the unspoken code that only men understand, men that will enter the den of the beast, stare into the abyss unafraid, men that do what must be done, man-to-man.

“I found something in Shaw's apartment that will interest you, it might be a favorite hangout of his. ‘O’Keeffe’s on the Waterfront.'” I tell him.

“I thought that place was shut down?” Will says.

“Well, it seems it’s back in business, you want to check it out while I visit Mule at the Medical Examiner’s Office to get the skinny on the Professor's death.”

“Sure thing.” Will winks.

“Hold on! I don’t think it’s a good idea for you to go out by yourself. You took a pretty good shot to your head when you fell.” Anita says to Will.

“I’m fine!”

“No you’re not.”

“…Maybe I should go to the club and you can head to the Medical Examiner's Office instead.” I suggest.

“No! I'm fine I can do this!” Will snaps.

Anita presses a Band-Aid onto Will's forehead with extra pressure, clearly causing him to wince. Then she reaches for the phone on his desk.

“Who are you calling?” He asks.

“If you’re going to be pigheaded about this, I don't want you to go alone. I'm calling Geoffrey!” She tells him.

Seeing that he's lost the battle, Will doesn't try to overrule her.

“Hello Geoffrey? What are you doing? I need your help, big brother. Well put the magazine down, put on some pants on and get here as soon as you can.” Anita hangs up the phone and looks at Will and I. “What? He likes to cook from those Good Housekeeping magazines but doesn’t want like to get his pants dirty.”

“Ok.” I tell her.

Anita smiles at me but frowns at Will.
 
*
 
At the Medical Examiner’s Office, I had to slip the security guard a ten spot to let me in but it didn’t take 10 minutes for me to find my friend, Stephen ‘Mule’ Mueller. I call him Mule because for a little guy, he is one of the most stubborn men I know, but loyal and hardworking to a fault like a pack mule.

“Hey Mule; you by yourself?” I whisper to him, poking my head through the swinging doors.

Startled, Mueller jumps up from the table he’s working at and turns to me as he straightens his glasses.

“Geez, you scared me half to death! How did you get back here?” He asks me.

“Are you alone?” I ask again.

“Just me and the stiffs, you can’t be back here. You’ll get me fired!” He protests.

I walk into the room and look around, I see a corpse on his table and ask; “Is that Giovanni?”

“Yes; is he why you’re here?”

“So what do you know so far?”

“The body’s badly burned, we’ll have to try to match his dental records to confirm the identity.” Mule tells me.

“So the fire got him?”

“No.”

“No?” I repeat back, like a parrot.

“No. He was dead before the fire started; no smoke in the lungs but I found a bullet hole in his chest and the bullet that goes with it.” He says, holding up a pan with the slug rolling around in it to show me.

“What is that a .38?”

“Yes; you know your slugs. One shot, right through his heart. That's what killed him.”

“Well, I’ll be; murder then?”

“Looks that way but don’t go blabbing to your friends about, not until the report is official.”

“All right but you’ll give me a call when it’s ready, right?”

Mule pushes his glasses back up on his pointy nose and says; “All right, yes. Now get out of here before you get us both kicked out!”

“Relax Mule, relax. You don’t want to end up on one of these tables do you? Maybe you need to get into a less stressful line of work.” I grin.

“Please, just go!” Mule stamps his foot and points to the swinging doors.

I hold my hands up in surrender and back out of the room to leave him to his dead bodies.
 
*
 
Will and Geoffrey pull up to ‘O’Keeffe’s on the Waterfront’ and park across from the club. They sit in the car for a moment, watching patrons going into the club.

“Okay, here's the plan. I will go in and look around, I want you to stay here and keep a lookout for anybody suspicious going in or leaving." Will instructs Geoffrey.

Geoffrey nods, as Will, gets out the car. Geoffrey slides into the driver’s seat and behind the wheel to keep watch. Will pays the cover charge and enters the club; he passes the coat checkroom, where a shapely redheaded coat check girl sees him and smiles. She holds up her hand and signals for Will to come over, by curling her finger at him as if she is reeling in the catch of the day. Will walks over to her but before he can say anything, she slaps him hard across the face and then she grabs his tie and pulls him in for a deep kiss. She steps back and slaps him one more time.

“You didn’t call me!” She says.

“Sorry, babe I’ve been busy.”

“You still have my number don’t you?”

“Right here.” He tells her, tapping his temple hoping she won’t call his bluff.

She smiles and tells Will she will be waiting for his call. Walking into the club, Will heads straight to the bar, passing the stage where a band is playing and positions himself against the bar, so he can get a good look at the entire room. The bartender comes up behind him and asks; “What’ll you have?”

Will turns around to the bartender and starts to give him his order but freezes when he recognizes the bartender’s face.

“Deke? What are you doing here?” Will asks.

“What? You think the newsstand is the only job I have; I also have a motorcycle repair shop, a landscaping business and I do some caddying at the country club on the weekends.” Old man Deacon Smith tells him.

“I had no idea.”

“What can I say, at my age I like to keep busy.” Deke smiles.

“So you work here every night?”

“Most nights, this is just a part-time gig for me. You working a case?” Deke asks.

“Yes, I'm looking for a fella who's gone missing and I think this is a spot he hangs out in.”

“Well, I see most everybody, what's the stiff's name?”

“Eddie Shaw.”

Deke pauses and tugs at his ear while he goes through his mental file cabinet. “Oh Yeah, I have seen him here, at least a couple of times. He is usually here with that Chadwick Dame.”

“Chadwick? Andrea Chadwick, you seen them here, together?”

“No, not her, the other one.” Deke corrects him.

“Lauren Chadwick!”

“Sure, they’re usually cozied up in one of the back booths but I’ve seen Andrea in here too. You know I'm kind of surprised that they've never run into each other here.” Deke pauses. “Speak of the devil, there she is now.”

Will turns to see where Deke is pointing and watches Andrea being seated at a table just to the left of the stage. A waiter brings Andrea a drink without asking, definitely a regular. She’s not alone very long as a man in a dark trench coat and hat joins her; he only sits for a minute just long enough to slip her a thick envelope and then leaves as quietly has he arrived. She finishes her drink and gets up and starts walking to the back of the club, passing Will at the bar and going through some velvet curtains behind the bar.

“Is what’s going on behind those curtains what I think is going on behind those curtains?” Will asks Deke.

“I don’t stick my nose in where it doesn’t belong. However; I think what you think is going on behind those curtains is the right thought.” He answers.

“Well then, I guess I’ll have to have a look.”

“Be careful.”

Will pushes himself away from the bar and walks to the back and through the velvet curtains. When Will wakes up, he finds himself sitting in a chair with a knot on the back of his head that feels like Mount Everest and someone has started playing the drums on his head again.

“You all right there, Laddie?” A voice says to him.

'Will's eyes start to focus and he can finally see a familiar face that addressing him.

“Ian or is it Liam Connor?” He asks.

“Liam, my brother’s still locked up.” Liam “The Irishman,” Connor tells him.

“So the question is then, why aren’t you?”

“I got out on a technicality.” He smiles.

“Oh, so you ratted somebody out?”

“I ain't no Rat, and who told you?” The Irishman barks, just before he smacks Will in the face.

Andrea lets out a muffled cry of shock.

“So you don't know this guy? He tried to follow you back here.” The Irishman questions Andrea, as he takes the envelope from her and tosses it on his desk.

Will spots a glimpse of some large bills inside the envelope.

“I've never seen him before, I don't know who he is.” She answers. “But he’s cute.”

“Thanks.” Will answers.

The Irishman hits him again; Will is starting to get a little tired of being a Punch and Judy doll but doesn't want to try anything, as he just realizes there is a large husky man, standing behind him. He's probably the one who gave him the knot on the back of his head.

“This guy's a shamus, I'm guessing you're here working a case but it's not about me, so it must be about her.” The Irishman surmises. He stares at Andrea for a moment and then turns back to Will. “Are you working for her old man, the Professor?”
Will doesn’t say anything, at first but then turns to Andrea. “I guess you haven't heard or maybe you just don't care. There's been an accident, a fire at the estate. Your father is dead.”

“Stepfather.” Andrea mutters.

“What?” Will says, not understanding her.

“What?” The Irishman says, not understanding Will.

“What?” Andrea says, not understanding why The Irishman doesn’t understand. “What did you say about my stepfather?”

“There was a fire in his lab, he died in the fire.” Will breaks the news to her.

Andrea steps back in disbelief. “I don’t believe you, you’re lying!”

“Check for yourself.” Will says, tilting his head towards the phone on The Irishman’s desk.

Andrea rushes to the desk and picks up the phone to call the estate.

“Hello, Caruthers can I speak to the Professor? What? Is that you, Sis? What’s going on why can’t you put the Professor on the line? Come home now; so it’s true…” The phone receiver falls out of her hand.

The Irishman picks the receiver up and hangs up the phone. “So he’s dead?”

Andrea nods yes.

“What about the deal?”

“What deal?” Will questions.

The Irishman looks over at Will and tells the large husky man to “Get rid of him.”

The husky man yanks Will out of his chair and drags him out the private office and to the back lot of the club. The husky man pulls a pistol out of the waistband of his pants and aims it at Will; Will realizes he is out of options.

“Batter up!” Geoffrey calls out, as he swings a 2 x 4 at the husky man's head, sending him crashing to the ground.
Geoffrey drops the board and grabs Will.

“What are you doing here? I told you to keep an eye on the front.” Will says to him.

“I've been here before, remember? I know how this works.” Geoffrey grins at Will. “You look a little beat up, let's get you back to the office before Anita tears me a new one.”

“Probably a good idea, let's go.”
 
*
 
“So, it turned out to be a good thing that Geoffrey was on hand. Otherwise, I might have been in some real trouble.” Will admits to Anita and I.

“So, Lauren and Eddie Shaw? I never would've figured on that.” I say.

“Yeah; Andrea and The Irishman doesn’t make sense to me either. I don't see the attraction, something else is going on there.” Will adds.

“Maybe it's his rugged good looks and piercing eyes.” Geoffrey suggests.

Will, Anita and I stare at Geoffrey after that puzzling remark.

“Mm, I’m just saying I can see how a Dame might go for someone like that.” Geoffrey tries to clarify.

Still, nobody has a response for that.

“Wow, would you look at the time, I am really beat! I think I'm just going to go home and read the insides of my eyelids if you don't mind. I'll see you guys later.” Geoffrey says, backing out of the office, closing the door behind him.

“So, like I was saying it seems like something else is going on between those two, but The Irishman tried to pencil me out before I could find out what it is.” Will says.

The pieces of this case are starting to float around in my head, like letters in a bowl of alphabet soup but I can't spell out any words.

“This is getting stranger by the minute, we need someone to start giving us the straight answers. I think I'll have another talk with the Chadwick sisters, they definitely know more than they are telling, maybe more than they’ve told to each other.”

“How are you going to do that, I'm pretty sure neither one of us is in a position to get back on the Luna Rossa estate.” Will questions.

“I'm not planning on seeing them at their house.” I tell him.

I pick up a newspaper lying on my desk and hand it to him so he can read it.

“The Professor's funeral is tomorrow, so you'll talk to them there?”

I nod to Will in confirmation.

“Why don’t you go home and rest up and I'll take a run at the sisters in the morning."

"Okay, call me if you need me. I'll be in the office, later on."
 
*
 
Morning comes too soon and I feel like I have hardly gotten any sleep, but I drive out to the Meadow Hills Cemetery, knowing this to be my best chance to talk to Lauren and Andrea. I park and walk over to the burial site, coming up from the rear; I see a large crowd of people gathered around the coffin. I look around and don’t recognize anyone at the service. I was standing there for about 10 minutes, listening to the Minister go on about what a loyal friend and companion Sparky was… Wait a minute, Sparky? I step forward and see an easel to my left holding a large picture of a white Cocker Spaniel, sitting on a pillow, posing for a picture. At that moment, a heavyset woman jumps up and flings herself onto the small casket crying, “Sparky, oh Sparky, you’ve left too soon! My little boy has gone too soon…"

Realizing, that I’m at a pet funeral, I leave and walk over to the Giovanni Service. I stand back by a tree, so I won’t be a distraction to the service. For someone as rich and famous as Professor Giovanni, I thought there be more people at the service to say goodbye. I see the sisters sitting down by the casket while Caruthers and 5 or 6 other people I didn't recognize stood behind them. The priest is finishing up the eulogy and I was about to move in, when I feel the familiar poke of a gun barrel in my kidney.

“Don't move, or I’ll drill ya!”

I don’t need to turn around to tell that it’s The Irishman doing the poking.

“So it's true, they sprung you. What are you doing here?’ I ask.

“I'm here to pay my respects, just like you.” The Irishman says jokingly.

“You have a funny way of showing it, most people bring flowers.”

“Keep flapping your lips, shamus and see what it gets ya! We’re already at the cemetery, I could drop you in one of these holes and nobody would be the wiser.”

“Well, I wouldn’t like that.” I tell him.

“I wouldn’t like that either.” Another voice adds.

I can feel the barrel easing off my kidney and I turnaround to see Ms. Amy Chen has gotten the drop on The Irishman.

“I like your timing.” I tell her, as I take The Irishman’s gun and slip it into my coat pocket.

“What is this, who’s the skirt?” The Irishman balks.

“She can’t say.” I tell him.

“Is it Christmas? I didn’t think we would be seeing each other so soon. Have you brought me a present?” Amy asks, in a sly tone.

“Sorry, I’m still shopping for gifts.”

“What are you two batty, it’s July.” The Irishman tells her.

“Shut up!” Amy and I both say, at the same time.

“So is that why you're here?” Amy asks.

“Fun and games.”

“I like games.” Amy smiles.

“Well, I thought I would play spin the barrel and see what falls out.”

Amy looks over at the funeral service and sees that it has concluded and people are starting to leave the burial site.
“Well, don't let me keep you and don't worry about your friend here, I’ll keep him company.”

I smile and start walking towards Lauren and Andrea.

“I remember you, you’re cute.” Andrea smiles at me.

“So you keep saying.”

“What is this, Dickson; you can't take a hint? Do I have to send it in a telegram for you, you're fired!” Lauren snaps.

“Well, technically I don’t work for you Sugar, so you can't fire me. I just had a few questions about the Professor.”

“We just buried our stepfather, so you're not working for him anymore. Caruthers!” Lauren calls out.
Caruthers steps up and tries to grab me by my arm, I look at his hand on my arm and then I tilt my head and look him in his eyes. Wisely, Caruthers releases his grip and steps back.

“What do you want Rick, is it more money? Well, there isn’t anymore. It’s gone; Alexander squandered it on those damn inventions! Not one has brought in any money since our Mother died. There’s nothing left in the estate so there’s no point in hounding us!” Lauren says. “Why don’t you go peep in someone else’s window?”

“What?” Andrea says, clearly this is the first she’s hearing of this.

Ok, now I’m starting to get somewhere but I need more.

“Andrea, I thought you might like to say hello to your boyfriend, he’s over there.”

Andrea seemed confused by my statement, so I point to The Irishman standing at the tree behind me.

“What? You're not going to waive, Sugar. You might hurt his feeling if you don’t, He might think that you don't love him anymore.”

“He's not my boyfriend!” Andrea scoffs.

“Who is that?” Lauren demands, trying to identify the man and woman standing by the tree.

“Oh, Andrea didn't tell you. She has really picked a winner with that one, he's a low level thug named The Irishman.”
Lauren turns to Andrea and says; “Really? You don't have any respect for yourself or this family, do you think this is what mother would want for you?”

“Don't bring mother into this. Why didn’t you tell me about our inheritance?” Andrea fights back.

“Oh, don't be too hard on her Lauren; Liam does have a job. He runs a little club and gambling house on the waterfront, O'Keefe's. You know the place, don’t’ you?”

Lauren’s face turns pale.

“Yeah, it's a hot spot with all the ‘standup guys’ that like to take their girls there for a good time. Guys like Eddie Shaw.”

Lauren looks a little weak in the knees, but I keep pressing her.

“What's wrong Sugar, doesn’t Andrea know about you and Shaw? Say, maybe you too can go on a double date. If Shaw ever comes back.”

Andrea stares at Lauren; “Shaw! But we hate him.”

“I think that's just you, Andrea.” I tell her.

“It’s not what you think!” Lauren tries to tell her.

Andrea shakes her head in disapproval and takes a step back, turns and walks away from us at a fast pace with Lauren and Caruthers running after her. I won’t lie; I did get a small bit of satisfaction from making them squirm. I walk away, as Amy approaches me.

“Where's The Irishman?” I ask.

“Oh, I found him rather dull so I let him go. I can have my men pick him up again if you need him.”

“No, that's okay I know where to find him if I need to.”

“So, did you get what you are looking for? The conversation looked exciting, at least until everyone ran off.” Amy smiles.

“Insightful, but I still need to do a little more digging.”

Amy nods smiles and walks off; I head back to the office.
 
*
 
When I get back to the office, I walked directly into my private office and head for my desk. I toss my hat onto the coat rack and spin my chair around towards the window to take a seat and clear my head. The puzzle pieces swimming around in my head are starting to fit together now and I’m starting to get a clearer picture but something is still missing. Anita comes into the room.

“Are you all right? You came in here so fast, you didn't give me a chance to give you your messages.” She says.

“Sorry Sugar, you have something for me?" I say, swinging my chair back around to my desk.

"Yes, Will called, he said he would be in this afternoon; you had a call from someone in D.C. named Myers, I left his information on your desk and a Stephen Mueller called for you. He seems like a skittish character to me, I had to talk him into leaving a message. I wrote it down exactly as he told me to and left it on your desk, next to the other one.”

I looked down and see two folded notes in front of me.

“He was very particular that you don't call him, but he said you would know what the message means.” Anita adds.

I pick up the first note from Myers, unfold it and read the message. It brings a smile to my face and then I take a look at Mueller’s message, which keeps the smile on my face. I fold the note and put it down on top of the first message and pick up my phone to call Will.

(Hello?)

“Good, I caught you before you left.” I say.

(I was just getting ready to walk out the door; what's up Partner?)

“Don't come to the office, I want you to meet me at the Luna Rossa estate in about an hour.”

(The Luna Rossa estate, why?)

“I’ll tell you when you get there.” I say to him.

I look up at Anita and smile.

(Okay, I’ll meet you there.)

I hang up the phone, while Anita smiles back.

“I know that look; you’ve cracked it haven’t you?” She says.

I reach into my pocket and pull out a business card that Amy Chen had given me. I hold a finger up to signal for Anita to wait as I made another call. Clearly, I have exasperated Anita by making her wait.

(Yes?)

“Hello, Ms. Chen? I was wondering if you could do me a favor and meet me at the Luna Rossa estate, in about an hour and bring our friend from the funeral this morning?”

(And why would I want to do that?)

“Let's just say Christmas is coming early this year.” I tell her.

(All right, I'll meet you there, but I'll be expecting presents.)

“Oh, I think you be getting everything that's coming to you.”

I hang up the phone.

“Well! Do you know or not?” Anita asks again.

“Yes. I know who killed the Professor and I have a pretty good idea as to why.”?“Well? You’ve got me on pins and needles over here! Who is it?”

“Well…”
 
*
 
I pull up to the Luna Rossa estate and stop at the gates. I get out of my car and walk up to the buzzer and press it, waiting for a response.

(Yes?)

“It's Richard Dickson, I'm here to see Lauren Chadwick.”

(I'm sorry; Miss Chadwick is not seeing visitors at this time.)

“Look; Caruthers. Tell Lauren I have information regarding her father's death.”

(Stepfather.)

“Yeah, yeah, stepfather, just tell her what I said.”

The speaker goes silent and I'm standing there for what feels like just a little shy of 100 years, when I hear a motor kick on and the gates start to open. I get back into my car and drive up to the house; I get out of the car and start up the steps. Caruthers has already opened the front door for me and is standing in the entryway. I walk inside and into the Foyer, when I see Lauren coming down the stairs. She’s wearing a long white silk robe that’s tied at the waist. She doesn't look too happy to see me.

“Well, what information do you have about my stepfather?” She asks, stopping halfway down the staircase.

“This is information both you and your sister are going to want to hear, where is Andrea?” I ask.

“She's in her room.”

“Can you get her?”

Lauren sighs and starts back up the stairs. She walks down the opposite hallway from her room to Andrea's and knocks on the door.

“Andrea, can you come out? Mr. Dickson is here and he has something to tell us both.”

(No. Go away!)

Lauren places her hand on the doorknob and tries to turn it, but the doors locked.

“Andrea, stop acting like a child and open this door!”

(No!)

I can hear that Lauren is not getting anywhere with her sister, so I walk up the stairs to join her at Andrea's door.

“Come on Sugar, you don't want to miss out on this.” I tell Andrea through the door. I can see the flicker of her shadow, peeking under the crack between the door and the floor; she's pacing.

“Do you have a key for this door?” I whisper to Lauren.

“I don’t know where it is, I'd have to have Caruthers open it.” Lauren shakes her head.

(Don't try to come in here!)

I hear the click of what can be only one thing, the hammer on a pistol being pulled back. I push Lauren out of the way and I put my shoulder into the door, breaking it open. The force of the door swinging back thumps Andrea off her heels and on to the hem of her blue silk bathrobe, as she tries to regain her footing, I rush in and grabbed the gun in her hand. She lets out a painful moan as I twist the gun free. Lauren runs into the room behind me.

“What are you doing Andrea?” Lauren yells at her.

“I wasn't going to use it, I just wanted to keep you out of my room!” Andrea says, rubbing her hand and wrist.

“Sure you weren’t Sugar, I should take you over my knee and give you a spanking. Didn’t your mother tell you never to play with guns?” I snap at her, as I check the gun and slip it into my coat pocket and grab her by the arm.

“Let go! Where are you taking me?"

“Downstairs, where we can have a proper conversation!”

I pull her out of her room and drag her down the stairs, with Lauren following. We go into the dining room, where I sit Andrea down in a chair that’s towards the end of a long dining table. I tell Lauren to take a seat at the end of the table, by her sister.

“All right, you got us here. Now what information do you have about Alex?” Lauren demands.

Before I can speak, Caruthers comes into the dining room.

“Ms. Chadwick, there is a Ms. Chen at the front gate. She says she is expected.”

“Oh, she's with me, Caruthers. You can let her in and I am also expecting my partner, Mr. Owens to be arriving any minute. Make sure he gets in too.” I instruct him.

Caruthers looks to Lauren for guidance and she nods her head in agreement.

“Very well then.” Caruthers acknowledges and then leaves the room.

“Well?” Lauren questions.

“Cool your heels, Sugar. We’ll get started in a minute.” I tell her.

About 3 minutes later, Amy Chen enters the dining room with her two associates and between them a very disheveled Irishman in tow. It looks like he’s been slapped around a bit.

“I hope we’re not late?” Amy says with a smile.

I see she’s wearing the same dark blue suit as the last time I saw her and has her clutch bag under her arm.

“No, come on in.” I waive her in. “I think you know everyone but I’m not sure the Chadwick sisters have had the pleasure yet.”

Lauren and Andrea turn and look at Amy but neither one of them appear to be in the mood to make new friends.

“Lauren, Andrea. This is Ms. Amy Chen, she’s with the government and an associate of your Stepfather.” I tell them.

“Are you the one who’s going to tell us about Alex?” Lauren asks.

Amy is puzzled by her question and looks to me but before she can start her own line of inquiry, Will comes into the dining room.

“Am I late?” Will asks while checking everyone’s position in the room.

“Just in time, Partner. Please, everyone have a seat.”

Amy takes a seat at the far end of the table, while Jones pushes The Irishman into the end seat opposite Lauren. Will and I remain standing, as do Jones and the other guy with him; everyone is staring at me so I begin.

“You know since Will and I took this case, we have been threatened, shot at and lied to and it all stops now.” I tell everyone.

“What does this have to do with Alex’s death?” Lauren demands.

“Well first off, it wasn't an accidental death. It was murder.”

Everyone jumps, startled by a loud scream Andrea lets out. I stare at her in disbelief and she says; “Sorry, I saw a spider.”

"Murder? How do you know that?" Amy asks.

“I have my contacts too, Ms. Chen and a little birdy told me it was death by lead poisoning.”

“He was shot?” Amy surmises.

“Yes it was one shot that killed him, right through the heart.”

Everyone turns his or her focus to The Irishman.

“What is this a frame job? I didn’t kill him, I never even met the guy!” The Irishman shouts, as he looks at everybody else in the room. “This Dame’s Muscle push their way into my club and drag me over here for a frame up, well I’m telling you I'm not playing the patsy for this!”

“Relax Liam, I never said you were the killer.” I tell him.

“Okay then, that’s more like it. I guess I'll be going.” The Irishman tries to get out of his seat, but a strong hand from Jones keeps him down.

“I didn't say you could leave either, we’ll get to why you're here in a minute. As I was saying it was murder, shot with a .38.” I pull Andrea’s gun out of my pocket and set it on the table.

“Hey, that’s a .38.” The Irishman says, looking down to the end of the table.

Andrea stares at the gun in front of her and says, “That's not mine!”

“Funny, I think I remember taking it out of your hand a few minutes ago. What do you want to bet if I turn this over to the police, they'll match it as the murder weapon?”

“But it’s not mine, I got it from downstairs in the Study. I just wanted it for protection!”

“Protection from whom?” I question her.

Andrea goes silent and turns slightly in The Irishman’s direction, which gets him riled up again, but Jones holds him in place.

“Liam relax, it’s still not your turn.” I tell him.
 
“She's right, that's not her gun! Alex kept a .38 in his Study, I remember that.” Lauren tells me, in an effort to protect her sister.

“Really, you remember that do you?” I say to her.

“Do you know who the killer is or not?” Amy asks again, growing tired of my questions.

“Yes, the killer is in this room and I have a name written on this piece of paper.” I take the note that had been on my desk out of my coat pocket. I lay it down on the table by the gun.

“So I asked myself, who stands to gain the most by the professor's death?”

At that moment, Lauren jumps up and grabs the .38 from off the table and aims it at me.

“All right enough of this! I did it, I shot him and I'm glad I did! He murdered my mother and he left us in ruins.” Lauren cries out.

**


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