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...)


Brenda said...

This is really good...I'm loving the whole thing..The murder, the love story between Robert and Bonita and the fact that for once Kevin is doing some actual legwork and not relying on Peeping Tom and Locksmith Johnson to bug somebody.

Sunflower said...

Very good story...But why is Kevin wasting time chasing Ralph Scallion..He never thought he was the guilty party in all of this?

James Perkins said...

Very good story....With Ralph Scallion off the street, the Killer is going to feel safe..Maybe get careless..Can't wait until the next installment.

Toni said...

This was the best installment so far of the three...I like that you're basically just using Kevin and Clerow in this and not involving his usual cast of helpers.

Angie B. said...

Please don't let the killer be "Dollar" Bill...I like him, hope he's around for more stories!

Tate2 said...

I figure..Since Ralph has slept with so many women, the killer must either be a jilted lover or the husband or boyfriend of one of the women he's bedded..It could be Reed Nelson or "88" for all we know!