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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Eddie Collins

Eddie Collins lived in a very tony neighborhood and in a very nice two story apartment complex....It turned out that my boy Clerow had rented this apartment to him.... It was a few nights later and we were sitting outside his apartment..

"Yeah boss..We rented that to him about three months ago...He lives on the second floor.."said Clerow ,who sat in the car with me ..Owen Todd sat in the back seat...

"He pays his rent on time every month...Always in cash..No checks...No Credit card or online payments..Cash...He's a New Yorker..."said Owen Todd..

"What does he do for a living?" I asked.

"He gave us the same old tired line Kev..Businessman....You know what that means right?"said Clerow..

"Yeah...Gangster!" I said and the three of us laughed...

"Anybody live with him?" I asked..

"Nope....Keeps the shades drawn..Leaves every morning at 8:00 am and comes back around 5:00 pm like he's working a job...Then leaves around 11:00 pm." said Owen Todd..

"Where does he go?" I asked..

"He goes to Stoleys sometimes...Other times Aqua  Bar..Some nights...Minks.." said Clerow..

"He bring any lady friends back?" I asked.

"No...I'm surprised...A young single man....nice car, cash to blow...You'd think he'd have a harem of women flowing through the spot." said Owen Todd.

It was a quarter til eleven....and like clock work...Eddie Collins walked out of his apartment...He got in his car and pulled off...

Clerow had the key...He gave it to Lockpick Johnson and the code to the alarm...Lockpick Johnson ,Peeping Tom,Sean Jackson and I went inside..We wired the place for sound and video and cloned the phone..All in twenty minutes and were out and gone...

II-
We had two more stops that night...I hated doing this....Bridget was my friend and if she found out I was spying on her, she might not ever speak to me again..Which was why I was going to make sure she never found out..

We stopped at Lady Chatterlies Lover, Panties and Bras for the Discriminating woman.. her lingerie store...Again..Lockpick Johnson, Peeping Tom, Sean Jackson and I were in and out and quietly wired the store for sound and video...and cloned the store phone..I had Bridget's cell phone number and easily cloned that phone so we could listen to her calls..

The next stop was her other lingerie store..."Simply Underwear"..It was a perfect drill- Lockpick Johnson, Peeping Tom, Sean Jackson and I were in and out and quietly wired the store for sound and video...and cloned the store phone.

That done...Our work for the night was finished...I would be able to listen and look into Bridget's world for as long as it took for me to determine if this Eddie Collins fellow was up to no good or if he was innocently dating Bridget Jones....

Part of me wished that Hoagie would just simply ask her these things...

III-


I met with Hoagie  the next day in Josies...We sat in a booth in the back ,far away from prying ears...

"I've been watching Bridget's stores...both of them and listening to her calls...her business phones and her personal cell phone...and so far this guy hasn't called her... He goes somewhere...I don't know where yet ..everyday from 8:00 in the morning until 5:00 in the afternoon....Then he leaves every night from 11:00 until 3:00 in the morning." I said.

"Where does he go at night?" asked Hoagie..

"Nowhere near Bridget....He goes to Stoleys....Aqua Bar and Minks...then he comes home...Doesn't bring back any ladies...Doesn't talk on the phone..Only leaves to buy groceries..Pays everything in Cash.."I said.

"And you don't find that a little strange?" asked Hoagie..

"Strange maybe...but no sign of anything untoward." I said.

"Hmmm" said Hoagie..

"Sit tight...I'm going to look into this guy a little more and see what his story is...Find out where he goes during the day." I said.

Hoagie smiled..

He patted me on the back...

"They told me you was good.." he said.

IV-


There was a guy who knew everything about every major playa in the area...A man known only as "Pink"...His real name was Eric Thomas and despite his colorful nickname...He never wore Pink...He usually wore a Green silk shirt and black slacks....

He hung out in Minks...


I stopped in Minks...a night later and motioned for "Pink" to sit with me...

"What's up Kev?" he asked..

"Eddie Collins, what you know about him?" I asked..

"Hey man, when did I become Google?" he said..

"Pink? Pink...I am insulted...It's not like I'm a cop...I'm not...."I said.

"Cops were here weeks ago askin about some white boy who killed two dudes...He bought a gun and a silencer from some people I knew." he said.

"People you knew right? Did you give the cops the hypothetically speakin rap?" I said laughing..

"Hell Kev...I wasn't gonna put myself in...Guy comes to me...He says he needs a piece and a silencer..Me, bein a facilitator and all...pointed him in the direction, you know...Then this kids wants someone to steal a car for him.."said Pink...

"And you didn't think that sounded shysty?" I said..

"Look man...He paid me...That's all I care about...I'm not a social worker..I aint all up in his business...You aint even payin me..." he said..

"Nonsense..."I said and peeled a few bills off...."Now..EDDIE COLLINS...THE BOOK!" I said.

Pink looked around...Then ordered some drinks...

"What you drinkin Kev?" he asked..

"Whatever you're having." I said.

"He's a New Yorker....He's got a package....Meth,Coke,Heroin....He sells to the middle managers..He aint got nobody on the street corners..Nothin like that...The young boys buy from him...He comes through here once a week....I hear he stops at Aqua Bar and Stoleys too... He's paid there....but the pick up is somewhere else....And it aint no warehouse either.."said Pink..

I had an idea where......This had been tried before...Why would they try it again? And Was Bridget aware of it? I hoped not....

"Pink, you know where his stash is?" I asked.

"Kev..I don't do drugs...don't sell drugs...I have no idea...But I'll tell you one thing...Whoever he deals with keeps things real quiet...They come in here order some drinks...They talk...They pass him an envelope..He makes a call , they shake hands...and within an hour...He's gone and they gone..That's all I know.."said Pink..

I smiled....peeled off some more bills and put it in his hand...

"Thanks Pink...I knew I could get the straight skinny from you." I said.

"Yeah...Kev, don't let that get around.." said Pink...

I smiled..and got up and left..

In the basement of the building where my company, Morris Communications called home was Morris Investigations...The secret home of my private investigation agency...Here ,armed with equipment and files that could rival a modern police department..ME and my operatives...Clerow, Sean Jackson, Peeping Tom, Lockpick Johnson and Owen Todd looked into Eddie Collins...

He was born and raised in New York City,Educated in Public Schools...Got A GED....Did a stint in Juvenile Home, one adult conviction for possession of a controlled substance and conspiracy to distribute which resulted in a three year stint in State Prison...No trouble since then...

He had an associates degree in Administration of Justice from CCNY and a bachelor's degree in business administration from St. Johns...Impressive...

He was tall,about my height, Slender, brown skinned with a pencil moustache and dressed immacculately...

What surprised me the most was that a guy doing business like him didn't have a tiger...a goon or lieutenant by his side...He was a slick one...This Eddie Collins...but what was his connection to Bridget??

I was soon going to find out..

V-

I picked up a call off of Bridget's phone...

"Hello.."

"Hi baby..."

"Who is this?"

"It's Eddie.."

"Wow...Another country heard from."said Bridget.

"I been busy...but I was thinkin about you...Did you get the flowers I sent?" he said.

"Yes..They were beautiful..Thank you..."she said.

"Listen...I got a little free time..How bout we go out,have some drinks?" he said.

"Where do you want to go?" she asked..

"Well..Josies, Aqua Bar,Stoleys...we both go there...How bout someplace different..Bristol's rooftop joint...Sky Bar?" he said.

"My friend, Olivia told me she's been there....Ouuuu that sounds nice.."said Bridget...

"Cool...I'll stop by at 7:00 pm..Okay?" he said.

"Okay..sure!" said Bridget...

Bridget's phone rang again.....This time it was Hoagie..

"Hey girrrl." he said in his rough gravelly voice..

"Hoagie?" she said..

"Yeah baby..." he said.

"Oh wow...Nice hearing from you." she said.

"Baby..I was thinkin...Maybe you and I could ...well uh ,Listen...I got a little free time..I'm not teachin a course or trying a case...How bout we go out,have some drinks?"he said..

"Oh Wow Hoagie..." she said..

"Look..I know...Josies, Aqua Bar, Stoleys...We both go there...How bout someplace different, Club Montreal...?" he said.

"Oh Hoagie....I've always wanted to go there...Olivia and Bev told me that they were there and how much they enjoyed it."


"Livy and Bev are moving up in the world."laughed Hoagie..Thinking about his two protoge's....





"But Hoagie...here's the thing...I can't go out with you tonight..I uh already have plans..."she said.

"Oh come on, you can hang out with Sissy and Angie any time.."he said.

"It's uh not Sissy and Angie,Hoagie...I'm sorry...Maybe some other time.."said Bridget..

"Uh yeah...It's cool ,maybe some other time.." he said and hung up...

I was sorry I had heard this conversation..

(TO BE CONTINUED)

Monday, April 20, 2015

Ever Love A Woman?


A Friday night in the city of Philadelphia...It found me heading to Josie's Bar and grill ,My usual watering hole...

My wife, Sepia was home with the baby and her friends, Bonita Foxworth, her business partner, Eva Carona,our new friend, Josie Boyd, Bernadette ,the hair dresser and Sheila..Sean Jackson's wife. A kind of girl's night...


I headed to Josies where I saw Clerow, Owen Todd, Lockpick Johnson and Sean Jackson all whooping it up at one table , while Chris Thompson, Chess, Donald Smooth and a few of their associates were at yet another table munching on barbecued wings and drinking micro brews....
Here was something new.....I saw my friends, Attorney Robert Foxworth and his young protoge' Chance Howard knocking the micro brews back..I smiled..

"Go easy there counselor.." I said..

"Hey Kev" said Chance...

"Hey Chance.." I said...

Robert Foxworth came up for air and smiled...

"Heyy Kev..What's shakin babes?" he said..I could tell he was already drunk...

I just laughed and shook my head...

I walked up to the counter and said hello to my main man, Gus...The owner and head bartender...

"Micro Brews eh?  Something new for you Gus?" I said smiling...

"That was your girl, Honey Brown's idea... I was hesitant at first...but hell it's brought me a whole new younger clientele..She was right on the money.."laughed Gus..


"Making her your manager and chief of staff was a good idea huh?" I said..

He laughed..

"Sure was...She's been with me since she got out of high school...She has a head for business.."he laughed...

Just then Honey Brown walked by..

Just then Honey Brown walked by...

"Honey Bee.." I said...

She walked over to me and looked around and gave me a soft sensual kiss in the lips...We had been doing this since we were teenagers and what surprised me was that it never led to anything beyond that.. It surprised her too!

"Ouuuuuuu, both of us is gonna wind up divorced one of these days if we keep this up..."she laughed..

"I won't tell if you won't.."I laughed...  My wife,Sepia was at home and her husband, Organist, B-Flat was in New York with the Liquid Love Band...

"The man who asked about you is here...Over there in that booth drinking himself silly." she said and pointed..

"Thanks Doll." I said as I got up and walked towards the booth.

This ,even though it was Friday...Was business...

My name is Kevin Morris...I am a Private Investigator...

II-


The man, Franklin Trevor "Hoagie" Carmaichel wasn't just anybody...He was a lawyer..a very established lawyer...Called the dean of Black Philadelphia lawyers...The list of people he mentored was a who's who of every attorney I knew...ADA Keith Wallace,My good friend, Attorney, Robert Foxworth, Attorney, Olivia Bennett-Alexander, Beverly West, her niece, Nelson East, her boy friend....Celeste Tate, former ADA, now in private practice, Soloman Foster, former ADA ,now in private practice, FBI Deputy SAC, Sharon Hopkins, who is also a skilled attorney... Chance Howard, Cole and ADA,Nina Rios..  They all say that Hoagie was a genius and a great teacher...It must have been true...because every last one of them was a brilliant litigator in their own right...




So you have to understand...I was honored when he called me and asked to see me..

"Mr. Carmaichel!" I said...

He looked around....

"Hey man..my name is "Hoagie.." I'm Mister Carmaichel when I'm in court..."he said and smiled and shook my hand....

"Okay..Hoagie....Your reputation precedes itself...I've heard much about you.." I said.

"And so does yours....The cops ,the FBI,The DEA all say you're the best private investigator money can buy...and even a few lawyers say so...." he said...He passed me one of the five drinks he ordered that he hadn't gotten around to drinking..

"Here drink this."he said.

"I'm a fairly good judge of people...and a man who is sitting alone and drinking like you has got something on his mind...." I said.

He was silent...He passed me an envelope...I had 10G's in it...

He was silent for awhile...I put the envelope in my suit jacket pocket...

"You ever been in love Kevin?  Ever love a woman?" he asked...

"Yeah..I'm married to her."I said.

"Good for you.....I would marry this woman if I could..." he said.

"Okayyyyyy...Who are we talking about?"I said.

"A woman you know....She was your client once I heard...Which is why I'm hiring you..." he said.

"Oh?" I said...I had had some pretty foxy clients over the years....my last one being young Eva Corona...and before her, Josie Boyd....Olivia Bennett-Alexander, Beverly West, Carol Redding, Sharon Ferrell-Hopkins to name a few..I thought to myself..

I looked up and three women I knew walked into the bar...

Lt.Sissy Van Buren, looking nothing like a cop tonight in a skin tight red dress that acentuated every curve...Lawd that woman was something...I mused...
Her close friend, Detective Angie Barlow, Jimmy's wife...and at one time...my first girlfriend..

And my former client and businesswoman, owner of Lady Chatterlies Lover, Panties and Bras for the discriminating woman..Bridget Jones..
They saw us sitting together and they smiled and waved as they walked to their booth which was across the club from us...After awhile...Micro brews were delivered to their table..

Hoagie sighed......

I looked at him...
"Bridget?" I said.

"Very good..." he said.

"Not really....Sissy and Angie are married..recently married at that...It wasn't hard...but I thought Bridget and my man Chazz were involved?" I said ,puzzled..

"No..They kind of cooled their relationship off months ago..."he said..

"And you're seeing her?" I asked..

"Well uh,not exactly...We've been out a couple of times and I've paid her a visit a few times...but she may be in a little bit of trouble..,which is why I called you." he said.

"Trouble?" I asked.

"Yeah...Lately, she's been seen with one of her late father's Lieutenants...a New York guy named Eddie Collins...Just moved here a few months ago...He's been at both of her stores a lot and she's been seen out with him..."said Hoagie.

"Maybe they are dating..."I said.

"Could be...but he's not the romantic type...If he's around...Something is a foot." said Hoagie..

"Come on Hoagie...Her best friends are the Lieutenant of Homicide and all of her female detectives...The Deputy Special Agent in charge of the FBI and the Area Special Agent in Charge of the DEA are her friends and frequent customers...He'd have to be a fool to be trying to shake her down or
puttin the squeeze on her.." I said.

"That's what I want you to find out Kev...And I want you to keep this completely confidential...I don't want her knowing at all...nor her cop friends..." he said.

"You're willing to pay me this much dough to do so little?" I asked..

"I'll ask you again...You ever love a woman?" he said non-chalantly...

"Point taken.." I said.

"Just find out if she and Eddie Collins are dating or if he's into something else...I just want to know that's she's alright...If she's cool and she's legitimately dating the guy then...Well then I'll move on..but like I said..This guy is a stone cold gangster....If he's around...Chances are he's up to no good."said Hoagie.

III-
The lights dimmed a bit and Symphony Sam came to the center stage...

"Ladies and Gentlemen, we got a real treat for you.....It's been months...but our prodigal son has returned to Philadelphia and Josies....Everybody give a warm welcome and show your love to REED NELSON and his boy "88" on the ivories....!!" he said..

The crowd went wild as "88" and Reed Nelson took the stage with their little band and began playing...

I hadn't seen Reed myself in a few months...It was good to see them both playing again...The crowd agreed...

I even saw Gus...snapping his fingers to the music and clapping his hands...

Just then Bridget walked over to where Hoagie and I were sitting... Reed had just finished his first set.

"Hi Franklin...Hi Kevin." she said...

This big hulk of a man, the Dean of Black Philadelphia Attorneys....melted like butter upon seeing Bridget....but who could blame him...The woman looked damn good!

"Bridget!!! How are you doing?  Sit down."he said...

She sat down..He smiled...

I got up...

"Oh I didn't want to break anything up..."she said..
"Oh No..Nooo..We were just finishing  up ." I said and got up and headed towards the bar..

I felt like I was taking this man's money, like there wasn't much for me to do...

As I walked towards the bar...I ran into Sissy...

"Hi Kevin.." she said with that melodic ,sensual voice of hers..

"Hey girl...Haven't seen you out much." I said.

"I'm a married lady now Kevin....but my hubby is out with Keith Wallace, Rico,Duke and Basil Robinson tonight ,so I'm out with my girls..." she said.

"Where is the rest of your girls?" I asked..

"Carlotta is at Tyriq's house with Sirena and the kids...Sharon and Hop are probably at home...in bed and Hazel is on her way here." said Sissy...

"My wife and her friends are at my house tonight.."I said..."I'm just out gettin a little air."I said.

"Not working tonight huh?" she said..

"Nope." I said.

"I saw you talking to Hoagie..." she said.

"Yeah, just conversation...We are in each other's fan club."I laughed...I then asked Sissy...

"So those two...?" pointing at Hoagie and Bridget...

Sissy frowned...

"They've been seeing each other for a little while now...Hoagie is clearly smitten...I don't know how Bridget feels about him....It's been casual...Chazz is still calling her and some new guy from New York..Eddie Collins is in the mix..."said Sissy...

"Wow...Her date card is full."I laughed...

"Why? You want to date her too?" laughed Sissy...

"I'm a happily married man." I said.

"You'd better stay that way too..."laughed Sissy...

"I promise you...I plan to." I laughed..as I walked away...

From a distance...Angie smiled and waved at me..

I waved back....

I got a text just then....It was Hoagie....He was texting me....Eddie Collins's Philadelphia address...

I smiled...

The night was young...I had a few hours to kill...

I left Josies and got in my car....I drove off into the warm, early spring night air...

And so here we go...A new case had just begun...

(TO BE CONTINUED)