Thursday, September 30, 2010

Missed Call

For four days I brooded...Whether I was in my office or at home....I brooded...I felt very bad about having given that man, Alvin Hunter, who I didn't even know by the way address to Arthur Conley or Ike Godsey or whoever the hell he was.. By doing this...I was partially responsible for him being dead.

I talked to Fathead Newton and his people.....They gave me a line on all the playas they dealt with in New York City. Kool Kat, Roscoe and I traveled to New York City and inquired about an "Arthur Conley" AKA "Ike Godsey"....Nobody there had ever heard of him....I went through the telephone books, I googled both names and came up with nothing. I even talked to some Detectives from the NYPD....Nothing...Nobody knew of any lawyer or player named "Arthur Conley" or "Ike Godsey" It was as if he and Nigel had vanished into thin air!

So there I sat in my office brooding when my boy,Sean Jackson walked in...

"Yo Kev...You got a visitor...That foxy cop lady that you talk to..." he said with a devilish grin....

I knew he was talking about Lt. Sissy Van Buren from Philadelphia Homicide. Why was she here? Had these two mystery men set me up to take the fall for Alvin Hunter's murder??

Sean left and Lt.Van Buren came in and sat down....I checked my Blackberry....I had a missed call on it from the day before....I didn't recognize the number...It indicated that a voicemail message had been left behind...I would listen to it later.

"Lieutenant...To what do I owe the pleasure?" I said, trying to sound devil may care, but not really feeling it at the moment.

"Well Kevin...I wish I could say that this was pleasure...but it's not....We caught a double murder this morning." she said.

"Oh Really?? Anyone I know?" I asked.

"You tell me?" she said and she plopped two photos, crime scene photos down on my desk.....There in one was Nigel....With a nice neat round hole in his forehead......The other person was Arthur Conley Aka Ike Godsey...His face was nearly unrecognizable...He had been pulverized.. His fingers looked mangled, like every last one of them had been broken...and it was quite clear that his neck had been snapped.

"Oh My God" I said.

"You know these guys?" she asked.Cops usually know more than they let on when they are asking questions....We had a very good working relationship. I decided not to lie.

"Yeah I know em.....I 've been looking for both of them for a couple of days now...They hired me to find a guy....They just wanted me to tell them where somebody was....It was that man that was found murdered a few days ago,Alvin Hunter...I found him, gave them the location, they paid me and that was the last I saw of either of them...Only...I didn't know they were going to murder that man." I said.

"We found a book of matches with your name and your phone number on it in the hotel room where these two were staying. First off...His name is not Arthur Conley or Ike Godsey..His name is Stewart Fall....The big one's name is Nigel Anderson." she said.

"Is he a lawyer?" I asked.

"Lawyer?? Him?? Oh my God, he really sold you a bill of goods...He's a player out of Newark,New Jersey....Nigel was his muscle.....They work for a guy named "Tulip"...He's kind of like the "man" in Newark, New Jersey....I don't think they killed Alvin Hunter.....He was beat and pulverized as badly as these two. Do you know why they were so interested in Hunter?" she asked.

"Well Hunter was part of a stick up crew.....They hit that bank in Northeast Philly for three mill,ten years ago....One of em, Wally Basemore got killed in a shootout with you coppers...The other two,Freddie Parker and Alvin Hunter went to jail.....Only Alvin got out in three years and appears to have gone straight....Freddie Parker is still in prison...That's all I know." I said.

"Hmmmm...That money was never found.....Somebody , Somebody in Newark was interested in it....but now there is a wild card....Somebody killed all three of them...But why??" she asked.

"Couldn't tell you that Lieutenant......" I said.

"Well....Just watch your back." she said.

"I don't really know anything." I said.

"Well,let's hope whoever killed those three believes that too." she said and she left.

I was working on a story for the magazine that should have been finished three days ago..before I got mixed up in this mess....I waved at Sheila as she and Sean Jackson left and everyone else left for the day...It was six thirty..I rarely ,if ever stayed at work this late. I called Sepia and told her I'd be late and then continued working.

It was a little after eight o'clock when I called it a day and left my office...It was eerily quiet.....Roscoe , Fathead's enforcer told me once that the best hitmen kill their victims and their victims never see it coming... So when I walked out into the outer suite of my office, I never saw the punch or the huge hand that lifted me off of my feet and slammed me into the wall....I felt the excruitating pain....I didn't see the huge fist that landed in my mid-section knocked the wind out of me and sent me flying across the room either!

A Huge , heavily muscled and bald headed black man who I had never seen before was about to stomp me....I grabbed his foot and twisted it and sent him falling to the floor...I managed to get to my feet ,but I was in extreme pain....He charged at me..I crouched and I landed about 12 good lefts and rights to his face.....I caught him with an uppercut that damn near ripped his head off and then clocked him in his jaw and sent him flying.... He quickly got to his feet and charged me again...throwing haymakers...I dodged them all and ripped his midsection with well placed lefts and rights and then cold cocked him in his jaw, sending him spinning around...I attempted a swift kick to his solar plexus , but he caught my foot , twisted my leg and sent me flying to the floor...

He lifted me up by my neck and put his massive hands around my neck..I kicked him as hard as I could in his privates and he let me go...I again punished his midsection with 10-12 lefts and rights and then planted more lefts and rights to his face...He fell to the floor.....I thought I had time to catch my breath....but he was up again and charging at me...I picked up an old steel chair that we had been meaning to get rid of and threw it at him with all my might....The chair hit him square in the head and down he went with a crash.. he didn't get back up! In fact...his head was bleeding profusely!

I called 911 and Homicide!!!!

"Can't stay out of trouble can you?" said Lt. Sissy Van Buren as we watched them load the big man onto the gurney...

"He tried to kill me." I said...

"Wow...Well he's in pretty bad shape....It looks like you tried to kill him." she laughed.

"I've got the bruises to prove it." I said trying to muster a smile....

"Him?,I know....That's Little Willie Basemore...He's a hitman....used to be a collector for a guy I think you know....By the name of Wally Gator!!!" she laughed...

"He's a Jersey guy eh?" I said.

"No...he's from here... Need a ride home?" she asked.

"Nah...I'm going to drive ...My car is out front." I said.

"Alright, go straight home Kevin...I don't want another call tonight." she laughed.

I finnally made it home.....Sepia took one look at me and said-

"Kevin, Oh my God...what happened to you baby?" she said.

"I was in a should see the other guy." I laughed...

I finally decided to listen to my missed call...What I heard chilled me to the core-

"Kevin...This is Arthur Conley....First real name is Stewart Fall and I aint no lawyer....Who I am isn't important....But listen to me....You could be in great danger....Get your wife and get out of town for a few days....Just do it.........Heyyyy, what are YOU doin in here?, Nigel, Shoot him...Shoot him (SOUND OF A GUNSHOT!!!) Heyyyyy get away from me...Get away from me...Willie...ya got it all wrong...Willie..AGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!"
He was trying to warn me about Little Willie......This phone call was at least twenty four hours old....If only I had listened to it!!

(To Be Continued.....)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


The next day I got up kissed Sepia, Then showered, shaved and got dressed...I got in my car and drove around town..No easy feat in a city like Philadelphia. The two guys, Kevin Parker and Alvin Hunter looked like playas...and so what better way to find guys like that than to talk to playas.

I ran into Fathead Newton's enforcer, Roscoe in a diner in West Philly....He and Ralph Mole were having breakfast when I dropped in and sat down at their table. If I had been anyone else...I might have been killed and dropped in the river...These were after all , gangsters...The diference was...I was kind of sort of a friend of theirs...At least someone they respected.

"Heyyy Kev..How you doin baby?" laughed Roscoe..

"Well, I'm doin..." I said.

"You must be workin on a case...You don't hang out in these parts much." said Ralph Mole.

"Matter of fact..I am workin on a case...Some big time lawyer in New York hired me to find these two guys...You know em?" I said and plopped down the two photos.

Roscoe and Ralph looked at them and they pointed to one photo.

"This one we know....The other one...I might have seen with him...but this one we definitely know...That's Freddie Boy...Freddie Parker...a big time heist guy..." said Roscoe.

"Really? I thought these guys was playas." I said.

"Freddie used to rob banks, payrolls, jewlrey stores...Man, this guy was of the best." said Ralph Mole.

"You said "Was" , What...He's dead?" I asked.

"Nah..He's doin a bid up at Rockview State Prison...Nine years....He's a guest of the state." said Roscoe.

"Okay..that's about him? You definitely don't know him?" I asked.

"Nope...don't know him." said Roscoe and Ralph.

"Well that's helped me find one..thanks guys." I said.

"Anytime Kevin, Anytime." they said as I left.

I went to an Attorney I did know, Robert Foxworth!! He had some pull with the people in the Department of Records at City Hall...They helped me find one Alvin Hunter.....I found his birth certificate, His drivers licensce with his last known address in East Oak Lane of all places and his record!! He ,Fred Parker and Wally Basemore had robbed a bank in Northeast Philly ten years ago...Three Million Dollars....Never recovered! Wally Basemore was killed in a shootout with police... He and Fred Parker were arrested and convicted and sentenced to 10 - 25 years...Only, Alvin only did three years and was paroled... Fred was in his ninth year in prison..He was eligible for parole next year.

"Looks like you're lookin for a real hard case here Kev." said Robert Foxworth.

"Well, somebody's lookin for him and his partner...His partner isn't going anywhere...but I wonder if this guy is still around?" I said.

"Well, I pulled some more records on him...Apparently when he got out of prison, he went to community college and got an associates degree...Then he went to Cheyney State and got his bachelors...After that, he got his Masters, just last year at Temple...He's got a good job downtown at some company...He's a middle manager... Looks like this guy went straight." said Robert.

"Yeah, it does.." I said.

Still, I was curious.....I drove to the address... It was a modest little house on a tree lined street.

Not exactly a row house, there was a little seperation....There was two cars in the driveway..A white BMW and a White Toyota Carrolla... His fiance was a nice looking brown skinned woman in her early or mid thirties...They came out in the morning , kissed each other and drove off to their perspective jobs...I followed them for a few days...She taught school and he worked at a Bank..In many ways they reminded me of myself and Sepia....A young Black couple trying to make it. If this guy had been part of a bank robbery crew, that was way behind him.....But then, there was the question of the money....Where was it? He didn't live like he had three million dollars..He and his girl lived very modestly...

I did a further check of the records and found that he had gotten a loan for his house ,just like anybody else and had put twenty percent down...His car was pre-owned and bought off of a lot and her car was her own...Where was the money from the score?? I was certain that that was why he was being looked for....But that was not my concern...I had found him and that was all I was supposed to do. I appeared at the Park Hyatt as was agreed and I gave Arthur Conley the information he wanted.

"So Freddie Boy is in the slams huh? Hahahahahahahaha...He aint goin nowhere...But ole Alvin done gone the straight and narrow eh? Well how about that? I'll be damn...Good work Kevin...I was told you were the best...." he said and he gave me an envelope filled with hundreds...I counted it....120G's...

"Thanks Mr. Conley...I guess that concludes our business." I said.

"Indeed it does." He said. He and Nigel looked at me....I didn't suppose we were going to shake hands..So I just walked out of their suite and took the elevator to the street...Easiest money I ever made.

A few days later, Sepia and I drove to Clerow's house... He was fixing chilli and some nachos....His little daughter was running around and his wife, Cora-beth was sitting as his sister in law Anita was tending to her. Chance Howard, her boyfriend, and Robert Foxworth's law partner was over also...

"How's it going Clerow?" I said.

"I'm doin good Kev...just collecting my rents is all...kinda bored..You got any juicy cases goin?" he asked.

"I just finished one." I said.

"You did?" he asked... I put $3000.00 in his hands...

"That's for the baby." I said.

"Aww Kev, come on man, you aint gotta do that." he said.

"Just take it." I said. "This case was easy...All I had to do was find somebody...No guns, no violence, no surveilence....It was over in a matter of days." I said.

Just then Anita called out to us....

"Hey you guys....check out the news..." she said.

"A young man with a criminal past , who had turned the corner and straightened out his life was found brutally murdered today.... 36 years old Alvin Hunter was found badly beaten to death today... Police have no suspects. Story at 11:00" it said.

"Oh my God...That's the guy...That's the guy I was paid to find." I said.

I got on my phone and called the number that Arthur Conley had given me....It was no longer in service. I got in my car and raced to the Park Hyatt ......No one by that name had ever registered there I was told... I asked them to take me to the suite I had met them in....It was empty!!!!!!!!! I showed them the business card I had and I gave them the description of the other man who had been with him...Nigel......The hotel people told me the same thing...While they remembered seeing them, they were not registered guests. I asked them who the room was registered to and I was told a Mister Godsey...Ike Godsey!!

No one remembered ever seeing "Mister Godsey" and the bill was paid in cash.... I had been took ,hoodwinked, bamboozled and now a man was dead....I didn't like this....Mr. Arthur Conley ,Ike Godsey or whoever he was had a lot of explaining to do.

(To Be Continued...)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Face Of Evil

You would think that "The Bottom of The C.", Dollar Bill's Seafood Bar and Grill would be the last place that Sepia and I would go for dinner considering all of the mess we had just been in with the Ralph Scallion poisoning case...but here we were one night in the middle of the week that neither of us felt like cooking...Dressed like two African-American professionals that we were ,sitting at a table in the back with our laptops plugged in to the side of the wall.. We were both paying our bills on line and checking our accounts.... We were both drinking Long Island Ice teas and waiting for our meal to come...

I didn't notice him at first....He was brown skinned and tall, slender with a grey pinstriped suit on, white shirt and a very nice tie and very expensive shoes...Very immaculately dressed. Clean faced...Not a trace of hair anywhere on this man's face...and a short neatly cropped haircut. He had a big thick necked guy with him who was dark skinned and had a bald head.. They looked around for a few minutes, then like radar..They zeroed in on our table and just boldly walked over and sat down at the table with Sepia and I.

''Well Guys if I had known we were going to a party , I would have certainly dressed better." I said. I thought of Gus and how he used to look at me and go -"Always the smart alec!" and I smiled to myself. My wife Sepia looked a bit confused.

"Are you Kevin? Kevin Morris?" the tall slender man asked.

"Who wants to know?" I asked.

"Hey don't get smart ...the man asked you a question." said his thick necked associate. I turned and looked at him and smiled.

"Excuse me...I hear noise....but I don't see nothing." I said.

The big guy lunged at me...but I moved faster...I pulled his arm towards me and punched him hard two times in his rib cage...then I clocked him so hard that he fell into the next table and knocked over two chairs before he hit the ground with a splat...He attempted to get up...but fell back down...out for the night.... Dollar Bill and Ralph Scallion and another guy came running over to the table....The customers were all looking at us...The tall thin man looked at his unconscious partner and had a frown of disgust!

" everything want me to call the police?" asked Dollar Bil

"'s cool...the big fella over there's food didn't agree with him...He was choking..I uh just helped him out...He'll be alright ..." I said with a wink.

"Listen....I have a business proposition for you...I'm sorry about uh Nigel over there....You know how it is with young people...sometimes they uh don't act with the greatest discretion." the thin man said.

"I'm sure you'll explain that to Nigel when he wakes up." I said.

"Well uh..ruh..before we can uh discuss this're gonna have to lose the skirt." he said motioning at Sepia.

"Say What??" said my wife now totally annoyed.

"You know what man? First off...that "skirt" is my wife...and she's were just leaving weren't you?" I said.

"Hold up..Hold up...My sincere apologies to your missus....we got off on the wrong foot here..Listen.....My name is Arthur ..Arthur Conley...I'm from out of New York City...I'm an Attorney...The man I represent is looking for two guys..Two guys from Philly....I'm willing to pay you 60 G's a peice for their location..." he said.

"120G's for the location of two guys? You just want me to find them?" I asked.

"That's it..tell me where they are...and I'll pay you.." he said. He passed me a business card that had his photo on it and an address in Mid-Mahattan.

"Say I find these guys..then what?" I said.

"Then you pick up your money and you mind your business that's what...It's no longer your concern..The man I represent has been looking for these guys for a longgg time." he said

"You got photos of these guys? Names?? " I said.

"That's all I have...." he said and he passed me two photos of two Black men who looked to be around my age. "This one is Fred Parker....The other one is Alvin Hunter." he said.

"How did you find me?" I asked.

"I asked around about people who were good at finding people and doing favors....favors that the cops can't do...Your name came up quite a few times..." he said.

He pulled out $200.00 and put it in Sepia's hands....

"This is for you pretty lady, sorry about the trouble we caused...This should cover your meal." he said..Then he pulled out two peices of paper...

"This is my cell phone number....and this is where we are staying in Philadelphia....I need a number I can reach you at." he said.

I gave him my Blackberry number...By now , Nigel was waking up and getting up off of the floor. The tall thin man was straightening out his clothes....His lip was swollen and bleeding a little bit..He frowned and looked at me -

"Hard to find good help now of days......Keep the photos...Find those two mopes and give me a call..It'll definitely be worth your while." He said , and just like that..the two of them were gone.

"You gonna take this case Kevin?" asked Sepia with some concern.

"'s easy money...12o grand and all I have to do is locate some people." I said.
"Well Kevin..He said he was a lawyer...but he didn't look, talk or have the demeaner of a lawyer. I'm from West Orange ,New Jersey....but I know a gangster when I see one." said Sepia.

She was right...I had made the same observation....Since when did lawyers run around with muscle like Nigel? Nigel was a stone cold doubt about that.

"Damn laid that cat out...I didn't know you could fight like that." said Dollar Bill who had walked up to us.

"I used to box when I was in the service." I said, Which was true....I boxed for four years and a little bit when I got out of the service...but I gave it up....College sounded better and felt better.

"Who was them guys?" asked Dollar Bill.

"Trouble" said my wife.

She was right...Mr. Arthur Conley was as evil a man as I'd ever met!

(To Be Continued...)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

I've Got a Lover In Jamaica

'Why Don't we stop playing?"

'Why don't you stop?"

"Why don't we just go back to your place and make love?"

"Fat Chance."

Ahhh you know you want to
you really want my love..
Yet you insist
on a game of resist
when I attempt to kiss
You insist on a game of push and shove../

You know you really blow my mind...
oh am I dating myself...
Every time I see you in center city...
oh ,for telling you that I'm hating myself...
But in time...
in time..
Maybe I'll..
Just maybe I'll ,blow your mind..
and then you will feel the same way I do...
You'll want to make love with me too..

"Uhh I don't think so.."

But just in case you don't..
baby I think you should know...
I've got a lover in Jamaica..
I've got a lover
And she's cuter than you..
I've got a lover in Jamaica
She treats me better than you do..
She holds me, squeezes me
teases me..
pleases me all night long...
from dusk to dawn...
I've Got A lover in Jamaica.

"Then call her."

That's okay...
That's Alright...
Just walk away...
But on some other night...
You'll be lonely...
And you'll need me and me only...
and here's what I'll say-

I've got a lover in Jamaica..
I've got a lover
And she's cuter than you..
I've got a lover in Jamaica
She treats me better than you do..
She holds me, squeezes me
teases me..
pleases me all night long...
from dusk to dawn...
I've Got A lover in Jamaica.

"Get a life"

You blow my mind everyday
walking and talking in that oh so sexy way
With those fishnet pantyhose..
and those big shapely legs of yours..
and you can't fool a guy like me..
It's so obvious that you want me..

"No I don't."

Come On..
baby come on..
Come on...
you know you want me inside of you
deep inside of you...
so what are we going to do?


That's alright..
That's okay....
Do you know what I'm gonna say?/

I've got a lover in Jamaica..
I've got a lover
And she's cuter than you..
I've got a lover in Jamaica
She treats me better than you do..
She holds me, squeezes me
teases me..
pleases me all night long...
from dusk to dawn...
I've Got A lover in Jamaica.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Soups On!

I stood at Penns Landing with Chess and Chris Thompson, looking at the suite that they had agreed to let me use..

"Gee Guys Thanks for letting me use this space." I said.

"Hey many solids as you've done for us...don't mention it." said Chris Thompson.

"You sure this is gonna work man?" asked Chess.

"It's got to's the only gamble I've got." I said as I peered at the entrance. Peeping Tom and Lockpick Jackson came out and walked over to where we were talking.

"It's all set my friend...the room is wired for sound and video....and we have your lovely young pigeon wired also. Your wife helped her get wired up...It's in a place where he shouldn't find it."

laughed Peeping Tom.

I didn't ask...I could only imagine. Sepia, Bonita and Robert Foxworth came walking towards us.

"We are all ready Kevin." said my wife.

"Yeah...ready to snare your prey...I almost feel sorry though....In doing this, we'll also be letting that predator, Ralph Scallion back on the street." said Robert Foxworth...

"Robert....your jealousy is kind of turning me on." said Bonita.

"Huh...what?" said Robert.

"Really.....I'm really turned on...I've got something nice planned for you after this is over." she said with a seductive smile..

"Oh really?" said Robert Foxworth , who was now showing all teeth... Sepia,Chris,Chess,Tom and Lockpick all smiled sheepishly...I cracked up laughing.

Hours later, Clerow and I sat outside of ' Bottom of the C' in a rental car...We could hear everything... Sean Jackson was inside the restaraunt with a small micro camera ,snapping photos. Bonita, dressed to the nines came in alone and sat at a table in the center....

Domingus, the cook came out..He was surprised to see her....but that didn't stop him from going over to her table....

"Well hello Miz are wearing that dress baby." he said as his eyes nearly fell out of his head...I couldn't blame him....Bonita was an attractive woman..Robert was crazy for thinking about looking at another woman..

"Thank you Domingus...." she said coyly.

"You smell good too....Have you reconsidered going out with me?" he said. This cat didn't give up.

"I actually have...why don't you come and sit with me a minute....Your shift hasn't begun yet has it?" she said.

"Noooo..Nooo it hasn't..heh heh heh." laughed Domingus.

"Good ,sit with me...I'm getting ready to order." she said as he quickly sat down.

"I think I'll have the cracked crab salad and a mimosa." she said, smiling sweetly.

"Ohh no more of that clown's Lobster Bisque." said Domingus.

"Well you of all people can certainly understand why I wouldn't." she laughed...

"Yes...but thank goodness that clown is behind bars where he belongs." said Domingus.

"Funny thing is...I went to see him the other day and he says you were the one who poisoned me and Jack Gable." she said.

"Me? hahahahahahaha, of course he would blame someone else to take the blame off of himself."laughed Domingus.

"Well see, that's why I'm here....I beleive Ralph....I think you did poison me and Jack.....I know you meant it for Ralph....I don't even care..He's done...and so is me and him...but have something I need..." she said.

"I do?" he said.

"I know all about that poison leaf and the extract that comes from it....It comes from Guyanna. That's where you're from isn't it? Let's not be coy..I know it was you....and I don't care...I need you to do me a favor..." she said.

"A favor?? What kind of a favor?" he asked.
"I need you to whip up some of that soup.....I need somebody knocked off...." she said.

"What? What are you saying?" he asked.

"I've been taking care of my sick mother....She's damn near 100 and she's a pain in the ass...I've got a three million dollar life insurance policy on her, payable upon death...You whip up some of that soup and deliver it to me and I uh can uh make her got me?" said Bonita.

"Really? So uh , say I uh whip this soup up and deliver it...What is in this for me?" he asked...

"I'd be reallll grateful...reall know what I mean?? You've been wanting some of this for a longggg longgg time....You do me this favor and I'll not only give you a third of my profit...but you can have a night with me like you've always wanted." she said.

"Oh my God...Oh my don't know how long I've waited for this moment Ms. Bonita...Ohhh I've wanted you so baddd......and I kept seeing you with that clown,Ralph Scallion...I hate him so much....So last week I have enough...I loaded his soup with enough of my special herb to drop an elephant...only you allowed that other man to have some and before I could stop you, you ate some too...I felt so bad...I tried to shoot Ralph that night...I felt so bad..only he had a friend with him ....and they shot at me! Ohhhhh..I am so glad that you're alive." he said.

"Here's the address of where I'm staying in Philly....Bring that soup tonight ,laced up...lover....." she said and winked....

"Ohhh...Ohhh...I can't concentrate on my work...ohhhhh, I think I'm ejaculating in my pants..ohhhhhhhhh." he moaned.

"Come come lover,I hope you last longer than that tonight?" she said.

"Ohhhhhh..I will...I will...oh my god...I can't wait...som ova beetch..ohhhhhhhhhhhhh." he moaned.

Bonita left the restaraunt and got in my car, which by now was down the street! Clerow and Sean Jackson joined us. They were both laughing uncontrollably! Bonita was laughing too.
"Som OVA Beeetch...oh my god...this guy was off the chain." laughed Sean.
"Oh man and did he really shoot off in his pants?" laughed Clerow....I had to admit..I was laughing at that.
"Eeeeeewwwwwwww you guys...That was nasty...I am skeezed." said Bonita. "Kev , you got enough on tape to nab him now..." she said. Clerow and Sean concurred.

"Yeah, but I need him with the poison in his possession to really make it stick." I said.

We drove to Penns Landing and took our places in the suite that Chris and Chess had leased for us. Bonita sat in the living room in some lingerie so sexy...that Clerow, Sean and I were all wishing we weren't married for just the moment. She dimmed the lights.

Like Clockwork....Domingus arrived....

"Ohhhhhh Ms. Bonita...ohhhhhhhh my goddddd...I can't believe this...ohhhhhhhhh...." he moaned.

"Calm down lover..calm down before you won't be able to do anything.." she laughed as she licked his ear...

''Ouuuuuuuu ,Ms. Bonita please...take your clothes off...I have to have you now." he moaned.

"You got the soup?" she asked.

"Yes..right here...this will kill her quick and if they don't know what to look for...they won't even find this batch in the old girl's system...." he said.

"I should have used this on Ralph.." he said.

"Instead of what you did use?" she said.

"Yes...but I don't want to talk about him....let's make loveeee." he said.

"Okay...just calm down....let me go change into ....hahahahaha...nothing." she said.

"Change right here." he said...

"I'm shy....." she said as she exited into the bedroom....He laughed slyly and rubbed his hands together.

When Clerow, Sean and I emerged from the back room with our guns drawn....Domingus was completely naked....He was as shocked as were we!!!!

''WHOA...HEY MAN, PUT YOUR CLOTHES ON!" yelled Sean...

''OH LAWD" exclaimed Clerow......

By then, Lt. Sissy Van Buren of Homicide and three Detectives, Edwin "Duke" Baylor. Angela Belton, an old girlfriend of mine and Sgt. Danny Ho of Robbery-Homicide and three uniformed cops had entered the room...



"Ohhhh myyyyyyy"

Domingus was first surprised...then he was enraged...

"WHAT THE HELL IS THIS??? IT WAS A LIE..A TRAP!! YOU BITCH!!!!!" He screamed as someone put a coat on him and a towell was brought out to cover the rest of him....I passed her the container of soup.......

"Kevin you should warn us the next time.." laughed Lt. Sissy Van Buren.

"Hell, somebody should have warned me." I said as Bonita, Sean, Clerow and all of the Police busted out in laughter....Domingus was the only one in the room who didn't find anything funny!


Ralph Scallion was cleared of all charges and released and Domingus was booked for murder and conspiracy and attempted murder...The cannister of soup had a larger dose of the poison than was used initially! Things weren't as rosie for Ralph Scallion, even now that he was free. Mabel, Debbie, Bonita ,Ingrid and even Suzie Wong refused to have anything to do with him...In a way ,maybe Domingus had gotten his revenge.....

Sepia and I were sitting in Josies a few nights later shooting the breeze with Gus..

"You wrapped up another one eh Kev?" he said.

"Yeah man..Hope I can relax for awhile." I said.

"Did Dollar Bill pay you? For gettin to the bottom of this?" asked Gus.

"Yeah..he gave me a thousand dollars and half off coupons for anything I might want at his spot."

I said.

Sepia busted out laughing...Gus did too!

"And your husband thought that Dollar Bill had hired a hitman at one point..hahahahahahaha, imagine that!! How would he pay him? With coupons??ahahahahahahahahahahaha." laughed Gus and Sepia....Everybody was a comedian!

(For Carlene...)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Nowhere Dangerous

Clerow and I sat in Josies a few nights later drinking beers and listening to Reed Nelson ,88 and the band play a few sets..

"Bonita came home today." I said.

"Yeah? that's great..I know Robert Foxworth is happy." said Clerow.

"Oh I'm sure he is....He's happier still that Ralph Scallion is in the cooler." I said.

"You still don't think he is the killer huh Kev?" said Clerow.

''No...I don't... Say Clerow....You were there that night, in the restaraunt...Tell me what happened...where you and Corrie were sitting..What you saw.." I asked.

"Well Kev, it was like this..Corrie and I were out all all of the commotion, I guess I forgot to tell you that she's pregnant again..." said Clerow.

"WHAT??? You're going to be a dad again....Oh man...this is great !!" I said.

"Yeah, hopefully this is a boy..." laughed Clerow.

"Wow...Imagine that!" I said, happy for him, sorry to have him running the streets with me almost getting him killed.

"Anyway, we had been out all day, celebratin you know? And we rolled up in Bottom of the C kind of late....But after I told Dollar Bill my good news he said...okay, yall are my absolute last customers.....Bonita was sitting two tables away from us by herself....I guess she was waiting for

Ralph Scallion to get off.....That uh other cook...The cat from Guyanna...Domingo..Domingus, yeah him..He come over to the table and he said something to Bonita...I guess he was making small talk...He looked like he was trying to make time... She laughed and kind of blew him off and he stormed into the kitchen...About a half hour later, Robert came out with a bowl of that Lobster Bisque that everybody be talkin about is so good..He had Crabcakes for himself...I guess he was tired of it....That guy, Jack Gable was at the table on the side of us and he remarked that the Bisque sure smelled good.....Well Ralph asked him if he wanted to try some...That he had a little left and he went in the kitchen and brought Jack Gable another bowl of it.....Jack and Bonita ate the soup and the next thing I know...Jacks eyes looked like they were rolling into the back of his head..He grabbed his chest and he fell over.....Bonita did the same thing...Only she through up all over the place and then passed out....That's when I called you!." said Clerow.

"Okay.....That's all I wanted to know." I said. I tossed twenty dollars down on the counter and got up...

''Hey boss, where we off to?"said Clerow.

"Nowhere dangerous...You can sit this one out Clerow...I'm just going to see Bonita and then I'm callin it a night. You should go home...Be with Corrie.." I said and patted my good friend on the back.

"Be Easy Boss." said Clerow as I left the bar.

I called Bonita and she said that it was alright for me to come over..She and Robert had just come back from the movies.. Lucky for me..She was at Robert's place and not at her home in New Jersey.

Robert was a lot more his old self than he had been the past few weeks..He was happier....He offered me a beer and the three of us sat down in his living room.

"Bonita..I wanted to ask you some questions....Not about that night but before...Had anything unusual happened before that night? Anything?" I asked.

"Well, I got a couple of calls....nobody would say anything , they'd just breathe..I'd say who is it , but they would just breathe and hang up...I tried to star sixty nine the calls..but I couldn't do it.

I think they called from a phone booth...I didn't recognize the number... I actually thought it was Robert.." she said with a devilish laugh...Robert laughed too.

"How about the other cook there...Domingus..He's from Guyanna right?" I asked.

"I think he has a crush on me...He was very flirty....even though he saw me with Ralph...He would ask me to go out with him....I told him I was seeing Ralph..He told me that Ralph was a playboy....He told me that Ralph was sleeping with that Chinese girl, Suzie Wong...And he told me that Ralph and Dollar Bill's wife had something going on too...I told him that he shouldn't gossip and he kind of got mad and stormed off. You know what's funny?" said Bonita.

"What?" I asked.

"I was actually there that night to break it off with Ralph....I was at the Hair dressers and I overheard Reed Nelson's girlfriend, Debbie telling her sister that Ralph calls her , begging her to come over and have sex with him and that she wasn't going to do it...She said she was sorry she did it that one time...because he called her at least once a week...Well, that was it...I decided that I didn't want to be wasting my time with him anymore...and then I got sick...Now he's in jail...."

she said.

"Yes..About that cook, Domingus....He ever ask you for your phone number?" I asked.

"Yeah...a couple of times...I always refused him....He asked me to go out that very night...I told him that I wasn't interested in dating anymore cooks...He got kind of steamed then and stormed into the kitchen...He 's too hot tempered for me." she said.

"Okay...well that's all I wanted to know..I'm not going to take up any more of your time...Robert, Bonita...Take care.. and get well Bonita." I said.

"Thank You Kevin...Thanks for everything..Tell Sepia I'll see her soon." said Bonita.

''Take it easy Kev."said Robert as I walked out the door and got in my car.

I drove by Dr. Farber's house next-

"Yes Kevin....That poison is made from a leaf that grows specifically in Guyanna....Nowhere else.

This chemical is banned by the U.N. It's considered a weapon of mass destruction..." he said.

"But someone from there could get it on the Black Market easily right?" I asked.

"Oh yes...I suppose that's possible." he said.

'Thanks Doc." I said.

I drove to 'Bottom of the C' and sat outside with my tinted windows up and the lights low...I watched Dollar Bill and his wife standing in an alley way ,making out like two teenagers...

"Ohhhhhh..Ohhhhhhhh..ouuuuuuuuuu.....oh Dollar Bill let's take this home, you've got me all charged up...ohhhhhhhhhhh..." she moaned....

He had his hand up her dress and she had her hands in his pants...

"Ohhhhhhhh, I won't make it home woman...ouuuuuuuuuu..." he moaned.

Then I saw Domingus leaving ..He heard the two of them...He looked even more disgusted...He stomped his foot and walked over to his car....

"SOM OVA Beetch" he muttered.....and there it was!!!!! The voice from the night before...It was him!!!!! Now I knew who my killer was....The only thing was ...How do I catch him?

(Conclusion Next!)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Margin Of Error

The next morning, I took a couple of tumblers of Coffee and some Krispy Kreme Donuts to the hospital...Sepia, Cora-beth and Clerow came with me....Chance was slumped in a chair by the window, knocked out....Robert Foxworth, on the other hand was running his hands through Bonita's hair and kissing her every other minute....She was now awake....

"Okay Robert...that's enough baby...I get the message..." she laughed...

"Girl, I'm just glad you're alive and well." he said.

"So I have to nearly die before you realize how you really feel about me?" she said half jokingly...

"No...uh...I..." he mumbled...

"It's okay Robert...We are even...Seeing you here at my bedside is enough for me.." she said.

"So we are good?" he asked.

"We always were good...I never said that I didn't want to see you ...I was just exploring my options like you do." she said and warmly stroked his hand...She leaned up and returned his kiss.

"Like I's gonna be all about you from now on baby." he swore.

"Don't make promises you can't keep Robert....let's just take it slow....You're with me now and that's a good thing." said Bonita.
"Yeah, more than I can say for that loathsome lothario who is the cause of this." snapped Robert.

"Forget about him baby...I have..." said Bonita, who leaned into Robert and kissed him long and hard this time.

"I hate to break up this Kodak moment folks...but I brought some eats!" I said as I made my presence known... I kind of felt bad witnessing those uh, tender moments.

"Heyyy Kevin, Sepia.....I hope you brought enough for me..after all that sleeping...I'm hungry." laughed Bonita.

"Sure did " I said as Clerow, Chance,Corabeth, Sepia,Robert and Bonita tore into the donuts and each took a tumbler of steaming hot coffee..

Robert Foxworth walked over to me and whispered-

"Did you catch that murderous bastard yet Kev?"

"I'm workin on it Robert...but I don't think he's our man....I think he was the target...and Bonita and poor Jack Gable unfortunately ate the wrong Bisque at the wrong time.." I said.

"And you know this why?" said Robert in an overly irritated tone that I wasn't accustomed to.

"On account that Clerow and I tossed Ralph's place last night and somebody tried to kill us, that's why...We think whoever that is could be the same guy who poisoned Bonita and Jack Gable and realizing he got the wrong people came back there to kill the right person, Ralph Scallion.

"Excuse me if I don't feel sorry for that bum." said Robert Foxworth.

"Look Counselor...I don't care how much you hate Ralph....I don't think he did this...but I'm gonna get him and I'm gonna get the person who did this okay?" I said.

"Okay..Okay....You need some back up?" he asked...It was all I could do not to laugh...

"Nah, Me and Clerow got this...Stay with your girl...If I need any more muscle...I'll call Kool Kat." I said.

Clerow and I left the hospital after an hour and got to work...The business of finding Ralph Scallion.

"Clerow...Ralph Scallion is a ladies man....and the best way to find a ladies man is to ask the ladies he's either been with or tried to be with....About a month ago..Robert had me do a scope on him....We caught him talking to all kinds of people..Your sister in law, Mabel for one....She turned him down...Reed's girlfriend, Debbie....the Pastors Chinese squeeze, Suzie Wong and Dollar Bill's wife amongst others...Let's talk to them" I said.

"Man, no wonder Robert hates that guy..He gets around, don't he?" laughed Clerow.
"Indeed...gets around doesn't even begin to sum it up!" I said. We both laughed.

We talked to Mabel Jenkins...She said she hadn't heard from Ralph in awhile. We talked to Debbie..She had gotten a frantic call from him! She told us that Ralph called her the night of the poisoning and begged her to let him stay with her...She refused..He then asked for money..She told him she didn't have the kind of money he needed...So that was that. I know that Dollar Bill's wife wouldn't help him...Still we went to talk to her anyway. We waited until we knew that Dollar Bill was at work. She told us that she had given Ralph five hundred dollars that night , but naturally couldn't let him stay with her and that she hadn't seen him since then.

Clerow and I went to the Mermaid Club.....Nobody had seen him there..We checked out Ciros...Goose eggs! We went to Mulberry Street ...He hadn't been seen there and finnally to Josies...By now it was night and we had spent the whole day searching for him.. Donald Smooth and Roscoe had people searching for him at my request and they sadly had nothing to report. I
wondered if Ralph had left town...He certainly had enough time to I gathered!

"He might be with that Chinese gal, Suzie Wong...The one Rev used to mess with." said Gus.

"Yeah? Suzie Wong. She's the only one we haven't talked to." I said.

"Yeah, if all his Black babes have turned him down....where else can he go? He can't hide in Mt. Airy or North Philly or West Philly even....He's in Chinatown......Trust me...That's the only place he got left unless he already split town...and if $500.00 is all he could get his hands on...That aint enough to hold him for two days." said Gus.

"'s all we got left...Let's go Clerow." I said.

"You didn't ask Gus for an address." said Clerow.

"I know where Suzie Wong lives....I was in her apartment building a long time ago during another case." I said.

We drove to the apartment building in Chinatown and killed the lights...We sat quietly....I turned on the radio....An old Temptaions song was playing...

" You've changed and it's showing've changed and it's showing , tell me...where is your love going...?"

It didn't take long for us to see our boy....Ralph Scallion emerged from the apartment building and walked down the street...We shadowed him on foot from a distance. I motioned for Clerow to stand down across the street. I stood outside of the small grocery store as Ralph went in. He bought a pack of cigarettes and some matches. He tucked them in his pockets and headed for the door and right into my smiling face.

"Hello Ralph...How's life?" I said as Clerow began walking across the street towards us...

"Aww don't shouldn't have come here....." He said and attempted to run... I ran after him...with Clerow in hot pursuit for three blocks and tackled him near the corner.. I was mad that he made me chase him and out of breath too. I had scuffed up a good pair of shoes and smudged a good pair of dress pants. Clerow stuck his pistol in the small of his back just so he didn't get anymore bright ideas....I grabbed him by his collar and pulled him up.

"How did you find me? Oh yeah that's right...That's what you do..." said Ralph Scallion.

"Yeah..that's what I do....Now enough about me Ralph...What about what YOU do?" I asked.

"You gotta know that I didn't step on that soup....Somebody is trying to either set me up or kill me." he said.

"Yeah...I figured as much when we went by your house last night and somebody tried to shoot us." I said.

"It's gotta be Dollar Bill....He must know that I've slept with his wife." said Ralph Scallion..

"Nah...He's not the subtle type...He'd of been much more he's not in the shape this guy was in last night...No way he could move that fast or handle a gun that well." I said.

"Maybe he hired a hitter." said Ralph... Clerow immedietly began laughing...

"We are talkin about Dollar Bill here...Not Fathead Newton." I said.
"Yeah, you right about that Kev." laughed Ralph Scallion.

Just then , two Police cars drove up!!!

"RALPH SCALLION!!! YOU'RE UNDER ARREST..SUSPICION OF MURDER..SHOW US YOUR HANDS!" came the command as a Detective ,dressed in a sharp suit and two uniformed Policemen appeared. Clerow and I turned Ralph over to them.

Ralph looked like he was ready to collapse....

" gotta believe me ...I didn't do this..I swear..I didn't do this." he said as they took him away and read him his rights.

Clerow and I watched as the Detective and the two patrolmen handcuffed Ralph Scallion and put him in the patrol car.. The Police must have followed the same leads we were following. The Patrol car sped off and soon , the crowd that had gathered in the streets to watch the entire thing had disapated.

"Well Boss, that looks like it's it...They got Ralph in custody...whether he say he had somethin to do with it or not...It's on the cops now." said Clerow.

I stood there in the late summer night thinking to myself that something was definitely not right...Something didn't fit.... There was a big hole in this entire story from the very beginning and if all criminals eventually make one mistake, what mistake had this criminal made?? I wasn't satisfied that this was over..but I was tired...I patted Clerow on the back and we got in my car and I dropped him off at his house.

Later that night...I was sitting in Josie's drinking a beer , when Gus walked over to me...

"Heard you wrapped up another case Batman." he laughed.

"Nah Gus...I didn't. This is far from over.Let me run somethin by you though. You think Dollar Bill would try to set someone up if he found out they were sleeping with his wife?" I asked.

"Dollar Bill? ,Over at 'Bottom of The C'??? Ha..If they was sleeping with his wife, he'd be relieved because then he'd have an alibi for whoever's wife he was sleeping with..." laughed Gus.

"Okay...but what if he was mad , you think he could hire a hitter?" I asked.

"Hire a hitter? You are talkin about Dollar Bill aren't you? That cheap bastard don't want to treat you to a Happy Meal at McDonalds....You know that....He aint about to hire a hitter..That aint him....You barkin up the wrong tree Kev...I'm sorry." laughed Gus as he walked away...

I thought again...Hitters don't take their business personally either...This guy who shot at us said that he would be back...He called me a bastard and an s.o.b.... I beleive he thought he was shooting at Ralph and that Ralph was suspecting him and had a little help with him.This was no contract killer..This person was taking this personally....This was somebody else....but who?

(To Be Continued...)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Fast Action Reactions

Clerow, his wife Cora-Beth , my wife Sepia and I sat in the hospital room where Bonita had still failed to regain consciousness... Dr. Winton Farber addressed us.

"We induced a coma and we have pumped her stomach.....We are going to bring her out of the coma and she should be fine...just a little weak...It's funny though...The other guy died instantly while her system fought it off and rejected it..You said that she brought some of it up at the restaraunt eh? Incredibe!! How one persons system fought it off and the other didn't." he said.

"Doc , this wasn't a run of the mill case of food poisoning though was it?" I asked.

"Well was definitely poisoning though...a rare poison from Guyanna...Never seen it here in the U.S. This is a first." said Dr. Farber.

"Could it have been mistaken for a seasoning ?" I asked.

"No..That's like asking me if Arsenic could have been mistaken for a seasoning..Whoever done this, knew what they were doing and they meant to do it...This stuff is poison and it shouldn't even be around food..." he said.

"So this was attempted murder?" I asked.

"Yes...I'd say so...This pretty little lady couldn't possibly have an enemy in the world could she?" he asked.

I didn't answer...but I got to thinking....Maybe she wasn't the intended victim...maybe it was Jack Gable, the dead fellow! I had to get back to that restaraunt...Maybe Ralph Scallion was back and could tell me something.

"Cora-Beth...could you take Sepia home....I've got to run down something." I said.

"Sure Kev." she said.

"What baby?" asked Sepia.

"Got to go back to that restaraunt! ,Oh , did you call Robert?" I asked....but no sooner had the words come out of my mouth than Robert Foxworth came into the hospital room...He looked bad...Like he had been up all night....His young protoge' Chance Howard was with him....He pulled me to the side.

"Kev...I aint never seen Mr. F. like this...He was at Josies all night, closed the joint..Gus aint want him to drive so he called me..and I got him...He's just distraught man..." said Chance.

Robert was slumped over Bonita's bed...silent... I wanted to say something to him...but now wasn't the time.

"Stay with him Chance." I said as Clerow and I got in our car and pulled off.

"Man, Bottom of the C. is closed" he said.

"I know...but Dollar Bill is still up...He goes to Ciros after closing...Maybe he can shed some light on the dead guy, Jack Gable....Maybe he was the target!" I said.

When we got to "Bottom of The C" , it was closed , but a crowd of people were still around talking
about what had happened...I imagined all kinds of rumors were floating around. Clerow and I worked the crowd, asking questions about Jack Gable....It seemed that everybody knew him and everybody liked him...Everybody had a funny story to tell about him...yet not one person had a bad word to say about him....I found that strange.

From someone in the crowd..We found out where he lived...We drove to his house...We comforted his widow and his two grown daughters....He had four grandchildren....He was a family man...He had just recently retired from the Post Office....He definitely wasn't rich..just a regular guy it seemed and he definitely was not a playa...He didn't appear to have an enemy in the world from what we could see.

Next..Clerow and I drove to Ciros and just like I said...Dollar Bill was there...Blubbering like a baby and crying, with his head between the two huge breasts of some woman (not his wife) who was drinking with him....

"Oh's gonna be alright..." she said..

"Ohhhhhh...Ohhhhhh...I feel so bad....Could I stay with you tonight? I need someone to just hold me.....ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh..." said Dollar Bill.

''Alright Bill can stay with me tonight" she said.

" the check....I aint got no cash on me..."he said.

Clerow and I walked up to Dollar Bill...

"Bill hold up a minute." I said.

"I want to ask you about Jack Gable." I continued.

"What about him?...He was such a nice man...didn't have an enemy in the world...Always tipped well....Ohhhhhhhhhh my lord..I caint believe he dead...That was my friend...ohhhhhhh." wailed Dollar Bill.

"Bill, did he have a woman on the side? Maybe she had a jealous boyfriend?..." asked Clerow.

"Naw...Naw...Jack didn't play that..All the years I knowed him..He went home to his wife...He didn't cheat.." asked Dollar Bill.

"He owe anybody any money?" I asked.

''Nah Jack didn't gamble and didn't borrow money..He wouldn't bet more than five bucks on the Baseball game...." said Dollar Bill.

"Alright man...get some sleep." I said and winked. Dollar Bill looked at his lady friend and then shot me a sly grin....Clerow cracked up laughing and the two of us left.

"Okay boss...what now?" asked Clerow...

"I don't think this man was the target...but it couldn't have been Bonita....." I said.

"You think Ralph Scallion was the target?" asked Clerow.

"That's occurred to me...Only tonight...He ate crabcakes instead of the Lobster Bisque....That's not like him.....Lets roll by his spot...Maybe he's there." I said.

We drove by Ralph Scallion's place.... From the time we got there...I didn't like what I saw...The door was open...Ralph's car was not on the street!! We pulled our pistols and turned on the lights.
The place looked like no one had been here..The bed was made...The Kitchen was spotless and in the living room everything was super tidy...

Something wasn't right! Just then the side window exploded!! Glass went flying in every direction...Clerow and I hit the floor....

"Somebody's shooting at us Kev....Kill the lights" yelled Clerow... I crawled to the light switch and cut it off....I cracked the door open and saw a figure on the move...I fired two shots at the elusive figure...He turned and fired two shots back..I ducked behind the door...Clerow fired out the window at the figure.. He returned the fire... Clerow and I both fired at the elusive man..but it was dark and he was moving very fast.

"You bastard....I'll be back, you som of a beeetch ...." said the figure, which leaped into a black vehicle, I couldn't quite make out and pulled off into the screaching!

Clerow and I exited the house....A small crowd of people began to gather around outside.....they had obviously heard the little gunfight!

"You get a good look at him Kev?" asked Clerow...

"Nah....He was moving too fast..but I swear..something about that voice...I heard it before..but I can't place it.." I said.

"Phew...he tried to kill us." said Clerow...

"No..He was trying to kill Ralph.....Ralph was the intended target.." I said.

"Yeah..well Ralph needs to tell us somethin..I don't like gettin shot at for him." said Clerow.

"I hear that...We gotta find Ralph first....It's been quite a night buddy..I'm tired, how bout you?"
I said.

"Helll yeah...I call myself takin my wife out for dinner...and I witness a murder, see a friend take sick...Run into you and almost get kilt....quite a night man." said Clerow.

"Well, let's go home, get some sleep.....We'll get after Ralph tomorrow." I said.

"Now you're talkin jack." laughed Clerow as we got in my car and pulled off!

(To Be Continued....)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Deadly Bisque!

"Sepia, that was a wonderful meal girl....I didn't know you could cook like that." laughed Robert Foxworth, the attorney... He had joined my wife and I for dinner tonight. We had seen him sitting by himself in church and he had looked lost, adrift... I didn't want to invite him to dinner..I preferred my Sunday afternoons alone with my wife...but she looked at him and felt sorry for him and invited him over.

I was actually surprised to have seen him in church. Robert "worshiped" at the alter of some woman's bed... The few times we had seen him in church was when he was still seeing both of his ex-wives, Lt. Sissy Van Buren of Philadelphia Homicide and his second wife, Corrine...They had long since moved had he to several other women.

" you ever talk to Bonita?" he asked. And there it was..the question both of us had dreaded.

"Yeah Robert...We are working together on two projects...We are selling a house to this guy over in Jersey and we are buying some office space in that new plaza that Chess and Chris Thompson are developing." she said.

''You don't say? You two are going to move your operation over here to Philly eh? You may need some uh, er legal representation." he said.

"Conrad Nelson is representing us Robert." said Sepia.

"Oh." he said...He kind of looked disappointed.

"Why don't you call her Robert?" I found myself saying.

"Nah Kev....I can't do that?" he said.

"Why not? She asks about you?" said Sepia.

"Really? When she comes up for air after being with that , that cook?" he said disdainfully. He was referring to Ralph Scallion...the randy chef at the Bottom of the C. who he had me investigate a few weeks ago.

Bonita and Ralph had been seeing each other...Her seeing Ralph was no different than her seeing Robert....Ralph Scallion had been trying to sleep with a number of women...Other people's women... Mabel Jenkins, 88's success there! Debbie, Reed Nelson's girl, a little success, a one night stand. His boss, Dollar Bill's wife and the chinese girl that used to date our recently married Pastor Struthers.... Pretty darn successful there! It wasn't known if Bonita knew about Ralph's extra-curricular activities or not...but apparently she didn't seem to care ...or did she?

"I don't want to talk about it....forget it...." he finally said. "Kev..Sepia..thanks for dinner....I owe you guys..." he finally said.

"Oh think nothing of it Robert." said Sepia.

I walked him to the door...

"Call her...Go by and see her...Whatever she's got with him aint that serious..." I said.

"Maybe" said Robert.... I knew he was lying. He wasn't going to call her. I was surprised that a player like Robert Foxworth even cared about Bonita...I always viewed her as just one of his many women, apparently he cared for her more than he was letting on.

Once Robert was gone....I walked into the kitchen....Sepia was washing dishes...I walked up behind her and put my arms around her...

"You're going to get suds all over yourself Kevin.." she laughed....

"Hmmmm, a little water never hurt nothin." I laughed as I kissed her neck and licked her earlobes...

"Ouuuuu...ohhhhhhhh, don't start something you c-can't finish.." she said seductively...

"Just when couldn't I finish something?" I laughed...

"That is true.." she laughed. Just then, my Blackberry went off...Who could be calling me now? I wondered...

It was Clerow!

" might want to get to the Bottom of the C' right now... a guy just fell out dead and your wife's partner, Miss Bonita...she just passed out too and had to be rushed to the hospital." he said.

"What? What's goin on?" I said...

''Man, I'll explain when you get here. Just get here...Somethin aint right Kev." he said.

''What's not right Clerow...What's going on?" I asked.

"Kev..a man is dead...He and Ms. Bonita ate some of Ralph Scallion's famous Lobster know ..his specialty...the dish that has everybody comin here....It aint right that somebody dead behind it and Miss Bonita dyin from it. Somethin's up." said Clerow.

"Okay man..if You say so..I'll be on my way." I said.

''What's going on Kev?" asked Sepia.

"Clerow said something about a man passing out and dying at Bottom of the C. and Bonita falling out too and being rushed to the hospital." I said.

"What?" she said...

"Come on....we'll take my car...let's get over there." I said.

We drove over to "Bottom of the C." and sure enough , a crowd was surrounding the restaraunt.
Clerow and his wife, Cora-beth were talking to a distraught, Dollar Bill...the we walked up.

"Oh Kevin...Kevin..I'm so glad to see you." said Dollar Bill.

"Yeah man, what happened?" I said.

"One of my biggest customers, Jack Gable was here eating Ralph Scallion's famous Lobster Bisque...when all of a sudden he began having convulsions....He went into cardiac arrest and by the time the Police got here...He was dead." said Dollar Bill.

"I heard another person fell out in here tonight too!" I said.

"Yes Kevin....that Real Estate lady....the one Ralph has been seeing...She and Ralph sat down to eat...He shift was over and he fixed her some and she took sick...She vomited over there in the corner and then she passed out...They rushed her to the hospital. I don't understand...Everybody loves his Bisque...We've never had a problem before...News of this gets out, I could be ruined." he said.

"Oh My god...I've got to go see about Bonita.." said Sepia.

"What about Ralph? Where is he?" I asked.

"He was in the kitchen." said Dollar Bill.

"He eat any of that Bisque?" asked Clerow.

"No...he had crabcakes tonight and a Corona." said Dollar Bill.

"Hmmm interesting" I said.

"Kev...Look....I'll pay you..I have money...Look into this..get to the bottom of this... A man has died..Somethin like this get out...I could get sued..I could lose my business...." said Dollar Bill.

"Come on Clerow...let's go talk to Ralph Scallion." I said.

We walked back into the kitchen but there was no sign of Ralph Scallion. There was another cook back there named Domingus though.

"Domingus..Where is Ralph Scallion?" I asked.

"He left a few minutes ago...He was very upset." said Domingus.

"I don't like the look of this at all....His famous Bisque.....He chooses not to have any himself and now, a man is dead and a friend of ours is in the hospital hanging on for dear life and to top it off..He's gone....Doesn't look good." I said to myself.

"What will we do next?" asked Clerow.

"Well for now...let's get our wives and get to the hospital to see Bonita...Tomorrow..we'll talk to the cops...See what the toxicology test says." I said.

Clerow and Corabeth got in their car and followed Sepia and I to the hospital....

"Kevin should we call Robert?" asked Sepia.

"Uhhhh, yeah, call him.." I said as we drove off into the warm late summer night!

(To Be Continued...)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A Matter Of Trust

Atlantic City is beautiful at night.....Part of it...The Boardwalk, the Casinos....The Shopping Center and the clubs directly off the Boardwalk....That's not the part Chris Thompson and I were in.

"Chris , Why are we stopping in front of this dump?" I asked.

"Elementary My Dear Chess." said Chris in a fake english accent!

"Years ago....There was a girl I was kinda kickin it with from out here.....and unknownst to me at the time...She was also kickin it with one Wallace Benson, known to the Philly streets as Wally Gator. You see where I'm goin with this Chess?" he said.

"You think he may be holed up here with old girl right?" I said.

"Now see, that's why you been my boy for all of these years Chess...You catch on fast!" laughed Chris as he loaded and cocked his gun and tucked it in the waist of his trousers. He let his shirt out so that it covered it. I followed suit and did the same thing. We walked up to the door and rang the bell.

Despite this desolate Atlantic City neighborhood...A pure vision of pure loveliness came to the door. Her name was Wanda...Wanda Ruffin and she had curves in all of the right places...Was wearing a denim blouse with what I hoped was shorts under them.. Had some of the shapliest legs I had laid eyes on in awhile and the smoothest honey brown skin I had ever seen. For it being this late at night..She smelled very good... She took one look at Chris and broke out into the most beautiful smile I had ever seen...

"Chris? Chris Thompson?? From Philly?? Wowwww.....What is going on?? How long has it been?" she said.

"Too long ya been?" said Chris who then took her in his arms and gave her a soft, gentle and long kiss, which she returned hungrily...

"Ohh's so good to see you." she said.

"You workin baby? You straight?" asked Chris.

"Yeah..I work at the Borgata....I make pretty good money..." she said.

"Oh uh ,excuse my manners..This here is my partner Chess....I think yall met once." said Chris.

No way...No way I could have met this fox and not remembered her I thought to myself!

"It must have been a long time ago Chris baby...I don't remember him. But I know you didn't come all the way from Philly just to introduce me to your boy....What brings you out here?" she asked.

"I'm lookin for your boy...Gator..and it aint a social call." said Chris.

"Oh, him? You never did like him much......He was here....He gave me some money...and he told me that he was going to do a little gamblin...then he had to be ghost...because he was wanted." she said.

"Yeah...he wanted alright....I'm surprised the Feds aint been here." said Chris.

"The Feds? Ouuu, he really in trouble huh?" she laughed..

"Where do you think he'd go?" I asked.

"Gator?? Only the biggest and the best for him....He probably at Borgata." she said.

"Okay, well that's where we are going....Hey listen babe....Here's a G. You never saw us okay?" said Chris.

"Mums the word baby.." she said.

Chris pulled her to him and kissed her long and hard...He ran his hands up her blouse and then down and allowed them to rest on her plump rear end....

"Damn girl...I gotta get back up here to see you before somebody snatches you up." said Chris.

"You been should have done that." she laughed as we walked to our car and pulled off...Headed for the boardwalk.

My Blackberry went off just as we were getting on the road...It was Kevin Morris.

"What's up Kev?" I said.

" may have a problem?" said Kevin.

"Yeah? What?" I asked.

''Somebody close to you is talking to the FBI." he said.

"What do you mean?" I said.

"You and Chris didn't just happen to come across that Car Theft ring by chance.....An FBI agent named Burt Shylock had been investigating Felix Washington for months and couldn't get anything on him...He knew about the warehouse...but didn't have enough evidence to get a search warrant or a warrant for a wiretap......That's where we came in...and our evidence was presented as some kind of surveilance by a 'neighborhood watch or concerned citizens group' ....What I'm saying Chess is that he had an informant...a confidential informant who gave him that warehouse....It's not any of my people...It's got to be somebody that was with you guys." he said.

"Kev..How do you know this?" I asked.

"My FBI guy, Special Agent in Charge Frank Cotton got the bust...and the guy Shylock ,who had been working this case for months was angry...He wanted to know how Cotton got the skinny on the warehouse....Of course Cotton didn't tell him about us....When I was leaving the Federal building I heard Shylock reaming his informant out and threatening to put him in prison if he didn't give him something good and soon....You said that that snake, Marco Gervay is the one that put you on to the guess is that he's the confidential informant." said Kevin.

"That's what I'm thinking too....Thanks again Kevin." I said.

I told Chris everything Kevin had told me and he just shook his head...

"I'm not surprised....that little wanna be is a snake...That's why I didn't bring him along or tell him about Kevin and his people or how we got the goods on Felix and Gator....We just gotta be careful." said Chris.

Just then...Chris's Blackberry went off...He never talked and drove so he gave it to me.

It was Donald Smooth!

"Yo Chris." he said.

"It's Chess man...we drivin." I said.

"Marco Gervay gave me the slip." he said.

"What do you mean he gave you the slip?" I asked.

"I can't find him....He aint in his apartment..Me and Lockpick Johnson went by there...Nobody at the Mermaid Club,Ciros or Josies has seen him..and he aint answering his phone...He's gone to ground man..Sorry" said Smooth.

''Don't Worry about it..We got his number." I said and hung up.

It didn't take us long to spot Wally Gator...He was leaving the Borgata with a guy..a guy who looked like he might be muscle...He looked like he was in a hurry....As he walked toward his waiting car...Chris and I got out of our car and walked toward them....

''Heyyyy Gator...Now how are you gonna just up and leave town and not say goodbye to us , after all the hell you raised?" said Chris with a toothy grin.

Wally Gator was stunned..But always ready with a quick quip.

''Remind me to kill both of you later...really!!" he said.

"Why put off later what you can do today?" asked Chris as he pulled his pistol.

Wally Gator smiled , then pulled his pistol....

"I really don't have time for this Chris...but what the hell..nobody I'd love to off more than you and your partner, Chess.." he said..

We both pulled our guns...His bodyguard pulled his gun too...and before any of us could get into anything!!!!

"FREEZE!!! THIS IS THE FBI!!!! SPECIAL AGENT , BURT SHYLOCK ON THE CASE BABY!,Gee, I always wanted to say that.....IT'S ALL OVER BABY BLUE! YEAHHHHH!!" came the voice of a short, fat white man.....Not the type of guy I'd imagine was an FBI agent.....He was by himself... Where was his back up? The FBI didn't roll like that!

"You a Fed?...You gotta be kiddin me....Butch..shoot him, then shoot Chris and Chess!" barked Wally Gator... Butch spun around and fired....Burt Shylock fired...Wally Gator fired..Burt Shylock fired again.... There was at least two more shots..I didn't know who fired them. When the smoke cleared...All three men were on the pavement.....Chris and I hadn't fired a shot!

Chris walked over to Wally Gator...A bullet had gone through his forehead and out the back of his head....He was dead as a doorknob!!....I walked over to the man named Butch....a bullet had gone through his heart and out of his shoulder blade...he too was dead!!! We both walked over to the FBI agent...Burt Shylock....He had been hit in the side...He was still alive....

"Nice Shootin got both of them!" I said...Chris cracked up laughing at what I said.

"Who...Who ...Whoooo the hell are you guys?"he asked.

"We are gamblers....Wally Gator owed us money." I said.

"Well, you better get out of here...the police will be coming don't want to get mixed up in this." said Shylock who was in pain.

"I'm callin an ambulance for him....You got an FBI number I can call?" asked Chris.

"'s in my my pocket..uhhhhhhhh." he moaned.

I went in his pocket and got his wallet..I called the local FBI, told them that there had been a shooting and that one of their men was down! Shylock almost looked like he was grateful.

"Thank two...get out of here.." he said.

He didn't have to tell us twice!


FBI Agent, Burt Shylock survived his wound and got credit for taking down notorious gangster,Wallace "Wally Gator" Benson. He told the newspapers that "two kind hearted Negro men" saved his life.

We caught up to Marco Gervay....In Josies....Me, Chris ,Kevin Morris and Donald Smooth sat with him in the bar one night and he told us his story..

"Man..Burt Shylock caught me cold....with enough dope and coke on me to send me up for 15 years....I can't do that kind of time there are people in the joint that don't care for me too know what I'm sayin? The only way I could get off the hook with him was for me to give him something big...on a major playa....So I gave him Felix Washington.....I never liked him nohow....When Wally Gator got out of jail and entered the picture...Well...that made it even better...That's why I came to you guys...I knew yall was gonna set him up..Only I didn't know yall would call in another agent...When That Cotton guy was in the paper gettin all the credit, Burt blew his top...I had to give him Wally Gator's location....I'm just glad he got to him before you guys did." said Marco.

"He wasn't at the address you gave us....He was at the Casino." I said.

"For the life of me I don't understand that guy..Who has time to gamble when you got the Feds and the cops on you? He shoulda made a bee line for an airport." said Marco.

"Like you're gonna do right?" said Kevin.

"Huh?" said Marco.

"You can't stay in town now that people know you gave Wally up to the Feds....Nobody will work with you and you might get some young punk on the come up or some of Gator's or Felix's friends who are still around....ya never know ." said Chris.

Marco's eyes got wide....He got up and without saying a word...Left the bar.....Kevin looked at me, I looked at Chris and Donald Smooth....We all busted out laughing......

"Like Felix and Gator had friends...ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahha..." laughed Chris and Donald Smooth... Kevin and I looked at each other and we laughed heartedly too!

(For Ellis)

Saturday, September 18, 2010


Kevin had quite an operation...For Muscle he had Kool Kat, Gus's two guys, Eddie and Albert and a babe who was quite good with a shotgun named Big Nasty...Donald Smooth joined them for good measure. They took over an empty house directly across the street from this warehouse. They arrived in a van with a cat we knew named Locksmith Johnson, who could break into anyplace or anything..and a white guy named Peeping Tom who was an ex CIA agent..He was a wiretapping expert... Kevin and his main men, Sean Jackson and Clerow rode in another car with Chris and me.

"We've been watching that warehouse around the clock.. We counted six guys who run it...They are in and out...There is only one time when that place is completely empty and when it is...Peeping Tom and Lockpick Johnson are going to do their thing...get in, get the place wired for sound and video...Kool Kat, Eddie , Albert and Big Nasty will supply their on ground protection...Sean here will
be taking photos from the ground and providing them with a scope of the block...and me and Clerow are in the house." said Kevin.

"Some set up..I'm glad you're our friend and not our enemy." laughed Chris. Kevin and I smiled.
We had all known each other since grade school.

"Damn Kev..You on some military stuff here." I laughed.

We parked in back of the rowhouse...and we entered from the back... Kool Kat, Donald Smooth, Big Nasty, Eddie and Albert had an arsenal in there...It looked like they were ready for war in Iraq...

Sean Jackson had telescopic lenses and special cameras for taking photos at night set up all around.. Kevin was like a general...telling every player what his or her part was...Chris Thompson nodded...He liked Kevin...what's more...he respected him as did we all.

Then the moment came....The last of the six guys left the warehouse....Locksmith Johnson ,who had been masquerading as a homeless man for days had gotten a good look at their security system..he said that it was pretty basic and he had no problem disabling it and getting inside the warehouse with Peeping Tom. Eddie and Albert, armed with sub-machine guns , which God only knows where or how they got them..went inside with Tom and Lockpick..Kool Kat, and Big Nasty
guarded the outside...

Sean Jackson kept a watch on the outside and kept communication with them through his cell phone, While Chris, Kevin, Clerow and myself sat on pins and needles and waited. In little less than an hour , they were all out and back in the house.

"We are all set....We have monitors in here and recording equipment...It was cool of you to wire us up to that street light Chess...." said Kevin.

''Yeah...somethin I used to do back in the day..Remember all of those block parties Chris?" I said

"Indeed I do." laughed Chris.

"It's showtime fellas..Kill the lights..." Said Kevin.

One night was worth a thousand...We videoed and photographed a half dozen cars being unloaded off of two or three trucks and being driven on to an adjoining lot...We got good video and good still photographs of several people coming and going and leaving with a lot of the stolen cars...but most importantly we got photos of Felix Washington, driving up with two or three of his soldiers, collecting money, smiling and leaving...This went on for about a week without them knowing and then we got the photo opportunity we were looking for...

"Chris, Chess....look!!! Oh my God...I'm about to pee my pants...It's our boy...Wally Gator!!! Oh man...this is the coup de grace!" said Kevin..

"Felix...Felix...Felix my man...what's goin on baby?" said Wally Gator...

"Everything is everything.....I know what you here for....Your cut.....Here it is ..." said Felix as he passed Wally an envelope.

"No sign of no cops?" he asked.

"Man, they haven't got a clue...." laughed Felix.

"This is bribe money babes...I'm gonna buy me a jury....I already got a Judge....You watch..I'm gone be back on the streets and have this place hummin...." bragged Wally Gator.

"I know dats right man..." laughed Felix.

"You send that money to Judge Creighton?"asked Wally...

"Yup..and I sent some to a couple of perspective jurors too, just like you asked."said Felix.

''What about that other thing?" asked Wally.

"The hitter? I got him...a cat outta A.C. named Wilt Mannerly...He's good...I meet with him tomorrow." said Felix..

"Aint nobody seen Chris Thompson, Chess ,Donald Smooth or Kevin Morris....They must have got word that they bein hunted...That Marco Gervay is missin too." said Wally.

"You think he told em?" Asked Felix.

"Nah...they hate him as much as we do..hahahahahahahaha." laughed Wally Gator.

''Listen man..I'm out...I gotta go back to my place...I can't be seen wit you ugly ass gangsters.."
laughed Wally Gator as he and his body guards got back in his car and pulled off.

Chris laughed and slapped palms with me....I turned to Kevin and his people.....

"Hey what you do baby!" I laughed.

"Always Chess...I got a friend at the FBI that will be quite interested in these photos and the video." he laughed.

The next day...The FBI and the Philadelphia Police raided the warehouse, They arrested 56 people....impounded all of the cars and traced most of the cars that were sold ....Felix Washington
and 39 of his associates were all arrested...They had no idea how they had gotten caught..They never would...Special Agent In Charge , Frank Cotton got the credit for the bust, but he knew he had help from us street guys...

A warrant was put out for the re-arrest of one Wallace ''Wally Gator" Benson....He had already gone to ground... We told Fathead about the would be hitter,Wilt Mannerly....The would be hitman's bullet riddled body was found outside of the thirtieth street train station early in the morning...The FBI also arrested Judge Burton Creighton.

That night, Chris and I sat in Josies and had a beer...

"Wow..We owe Kevin and his people big time...Nobody got hurt...we got our payback and they never even saw us." I laughed.

"Yeah, but Gator is still out there...I want to holler at him...real bad." said Chris.

Just then ,Marco Gervay walked in and sat down with us once again, uninvited.

"Wow..I heard about the big bust....a lot of people got knocked.....That was you guys huh?" he asked..We said nothing.

"Well, that was a good tip wasn't it? I told you..You get Gator and Felix with that car thing rather than the drug thing." he said.

"Where is he Marco?" I asked.

"Funny you ask that Chess....I got a line on him...I got an address where he's holin up....The Feds
are turnin this city upside down tryin to get to him....but I know where he is...He in Jersey." said

"Really?" said Chris.

"He's in AC...He left here early this morning." said Marco.

''And you know this why?" I asked.

"He been lookin for us..I been lookin for I got a few people that tell me things." said Marco.

"You got an address?" asked Chris.

"Yup, this is it."he said.

"You're really scared of him huh?" asked Chris.

"'s just that I aint got the resources to go after him like you guys do." he said.

"Whatever man..we'll keep in touch" said Chris. Chris said it in a way that Marco knew was the end of the conversation and time to go...he got up and walked over to the bar.

"Chris...this could be a trap." I said.

"I know..that's why I told Donald Smooth to watch him and that if anything happened to off him...Now feel like a drive to Atlantic City ?" laughed Chris.

(Conclusion Next)