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Monday, January 2, 2017

Chestnut


We had a wonderful week long vacation and wedding anniversary in New Orleans during Christmas Week, leading into New Years and then we returned to Philly....but only for a few days... The three of us ,Olivia, Beverly and myself ,Donnie Ray Alexander headed to our nations capital where both of my girls as I called them..Olivia, my wife and Beverly...her niece were honored at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund Gala for their past work in the area of civil rights...women's rights and the rights of prisoners in the past year..
 My wife is an Attorney, one of the best I've ever seen and I'm not just saying that because I'm married to her..I've seen my share...and she is by far the best..
Her niece and protoge' , Beverly West is just as good..Younger by nine years..She's followed in her aunt's footsteps and become an Attorney too...First imitating her and then finally finding her own style..

Me? I'm Donnie Ray Alexander...Investigator for their law firm and former New Orleans Homicide Detective... A chance meeting between Olivia and I during Essence Fest in New Orleans a few years ago led to me quitting the police force and moving to Philadelphia to work for her as a Private Investigator and marrying her, because I found I couldn't be without her...

The three of us have had some pretty memorable cases In Philadelphia where we lived and in Punta Canta, Dallas, San Deigo, San -Francisco, London ,Maine among other places...but none was going to be as strange as the one I'm about to tell you about...In Chestnut,Maryland...but wait...I'm ahead of myself..

 The night was fabulous...We were rubbing elbows with who's who of African-American ,Latino ,Asian and White Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Attorneys...

This was being covered by CNN,MSNBC, FOX , Al Jazeera and BET NEWS.....Of the major networks...I only saw NBC...

Beverly gave a glowing acceptance speech , which was followed by a few other speakers and then my wife, Olivia gave her acceptance speech...

I beamed with pride at both of my girls...It was a shame that our friends...Nelson, Josie, Paris, Kayla,Ray,Bonnie Shay and Ronnie Shay couldn't be here...Or Celeste  and Soloman...I hope they were watching the news..

Meanwhile, I was filling up on champaigne...Olivia walked over to me and kissed me on the cheek...I handed her my half filled glass...

''Easy on that Champaigne slugger...I'm too tired to drive us home.." she laughed...
''We are going back tonight?" asked Beverly...

"That was the plan....but my husband here is full of champaigne..." laughed Olivia..

"Amongst other things" I laughed...

Beverly giggled....

"So let's get two rooms for the night...We can leave in the morning." said Olivia..

"Good Idea." I said.

I made a couple of calls and found us a nice hotel in downtown D.C.  We had rooms right next door to each other...

II-
We got a good night's rest and had a nice breakfast at the hotel... After that we got into the SUV and headed home, back to Philadelphia PA.

We hadn't been driving too long, when I noticed...


''We need to get gas baby...We are running low...Maybe there is a rest stop along the way..." I said..

"I should have gassed it up yesterday....I'm sorry Donnie Ray.." said Olivia..

"Ahhh don't worry about it...Let me uh pull off at this exit here.....There's probably a gas station in this little town." I said.

"Chestnut.....Chestnut, Maryland...I've never heard of this town." said Beverly...

"Probably not on the map." said Olivia..
"Oh Boy....Stuff like this usually happens on TV...We drive into some strange town....and it's filled with secrets and we wind up in the middle of a murder..." said Beverly...

"You watch too much TV Shortcake." I laughed..

"We are just getting some gas and some air in these tires and then we are going home..."said Olivia.."Besides look at this place...What out of the ordinary could happen?" asked Olivia..

We had no idea at the time that we were just minutes away from something happening..

III-
Just as were pulling into town...it appeared they were gearing up for some type of outdoor festival of sorts..

It was unseasonably warm...



The people were all massed in the town square and food was being served...

 "Looks Like a celebration of sorts..." said Olivia...



"It is...It is....Our Mayor is celebrating his engagement..." said a stylishly dressed, older Black woman , who saw the three of us...

"Really?" said Beverly...."An engagement with all of this?  Our Mayor nearly got divorced and when they got back together there wasn't a peep!" said Beverly...



The older Black woman looked at Beverly and smiled..

"Such Cynicism...You can't be from around here...Where you from , Baltimore, D.C.?" she asked..

''We are from Philadelphia...We were in D.C. last night for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund Awards Banquet....My Niece and I got awards and we spoke." said Olivia , smiling...

"Ohhhhhhhhhh....so you gals are some kind of uh lawyers eh?" asked the woman.

"Yes...We are..."said Beverly...



"Ohhhhhhh...that is nice...You two related....You look like you could be sisters?" she asked...

"Yes....That's my niece.." said Olivia, expecting to get the same spiel they always got when they told people that there was only nine years difference in their ages...



"Then you must have been an oops baby." laughed the woman, looking at Olivia..


"Your Brother or Sister is much older...." she laughed...



"Ahhh my brother is about a decade older than me..." laughed Olivia..



"Ahhh knowed it...So what brings you two ladies to a place like Chestnut?" she asked..



" We needed gas and Air in our tires...My husband is at the gas station taking care of that now.." said Olivia..



"Ohhh that's nice....Well stay ,enjoy yourselves...Have some Barbecue....It's a celebration..." she said.

"Tell me about your mayor...and his bride..." asked Beverly....

Olivia smiled wryly.....

I had gassed the car up and got air in the tires...I came back with three plates of Barbecue Ribs, Pork and Beans and Potato Salad for the three of us...

"Thank you baby, you are so thoughtful..."said Olivia ,who kissed me..

Her lips were so soft ,I immediately got aroused.....



The Older Black lady smiled..

"That's your Aunt's Husband I take it....He a lawyer too? " she asked...

"No...He's our investigator..."said Beverly smiling...



"Ohhhhhh ,so he's a retired cop...eh?" said the woman...



"Wow....you sure are a very observant woman..." said Beverly...



"I was a detective myself once....32 years on the force...I'm retired....I worked for our Mayor...He is a Lawyer too.....Got his degree from Columbia...Practiced in New York City for a spell, then came to D.C., Where I met him....He was an ADA...a good one..We both were from here, Chestnut,Maryland...We both retired around the same time and we both returned here to Chestnut....He opened up a small practice and I went to work for him as his investigator...Worked for him for 10 good years...Until he became a judge and then ran for and won Mayor...Mayor Wilson Tucker...He's a good man and a good mayor and I don't say that about too many white folks.." she laughed with pride...
"So the townsfolk tell me that Mayor Tucker is getting engaged..."I laughed...."Excuse me..I'm Donnie Ray Alexander...Olivia's husband..." I said..



"I see by the way she laid that kiss on you just now that you're her husband...OR YOU OUGHT TO BE ."said the woman...As we sat at a nearby Cantina.....

Beverly and Olivia cracked up laughing...



The Elderly Black Woman laughed.. "Hi I'm Odessa..Odessa Robinson...I'm a retired Homicide Investigator and a Retired Investigator for our Mayor, Wilson Tucker..." she said.
"So tell me...Why is the Mayor's engagement such a big thing?" I asked.



"Because he's the first Mayor ever elected that was a Bachelor....This is a small town...Not a big city like D.C. , Baltimore or Philadelphia...We like our Mayors to be married and with a family....Well at least Married..When he was an ADA in D.C.  He had a reputation as somewhat of a ladies man...but when he moved here...He kind of settled down..Stopped chasing skirts and oh well, rumors started circulating that he might be gay....I knew he wasn't...but the rumors persisted....Until he ventured to Georgetown and started courting Ms. Helen Dubois..." she said..

"Helen Dubois.?? The Daughter of Federal Judge Jennette Dubois?" asked Olivia...



"Oh ,so you've heard of her...Yes..That one...Her mother was quite a litigator herself and a lobbyist for a major company at one time..."said the Elderly Black woman..."Baby girl was on a short list for the supreme court too..."she said.

"But she's like...She's my age....And your Mayor has got to be , well at least 70 ." said Olivia...



"He's 72 and I'm 63....Yes you're right...He likes young women...He always has..

"I'll say." laughed Beverly...

The Mayor couldn't seem to keep his hands off of his bride to be...He palmed her butt while they stood in the crowd....

"Wilson please....Knock it off...There are people out here.." said his fiance, Helen Dubois...

The Mayor looked like a naughty school boy...He was as red as a beat...

"You need to stop being so damn sexy....And after the way you put it on me last night...I can't help it..." he said..

"There will be time for that after we get married tomorrow night ." she said.

"I can't wait...Why don't we slip away and go to a hotel...?" he said.

''Wilson, will you calm down...My goodness...you act like you've never had sex before." she said disgustedly..
Unfortunately....Both Beverly and I had been standing close enough to hear that exchange......

I looked at her and said - "Small Town, Secrets..."

"That's gonna be you and Auntay in a few years..." she laughed...

IV-
I had gassed our SUV and got air put in the tires....At this point...We should have left...We really should have...But...If we had of...I wouldn't have a story to tell...

As we finished up our food....A Shot rang out..A Loud shot....!!!!

Mayor Wilson Tucker grabbed his chest and fell to the floor...

''Aghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh....Ah Don't Believe it...Ah Been Shot!" he yelled and crashed to the floor...


"Oh Lord!!" shouted Odessa Robinson...


''Donnie Ray....Donnie Ray....The Mayor's been shot..!!!" screamed Olivia.
"Oh My God!!!" said Beverly....

"Both of you....Ms. Odessa...get down!!!!" I said..

I looked around...

I saw a man running...I saw an officer running after him....

"Wait here.." I said.

I joined the police officer...

"He ran that way..." I said..

A woman in the crowd ripped a piece of his jacket off, but he pushed her down...

The Officer and I gave chase....

Whoever this guy was..He could motor....He had a block long lead on us and it wasn't easing up...

He ran into a rooming house..

"Officer...he's in that rooming house...Let's go!" I said as we both ran into the rooming house...

Thank God there was only two floors...

I saw one room open...I pulled my .38 smokeless and charged in....

There I saw a skinny ,blond haired white man in his boxers, sitting on the side of the bed...The jacket he had been wearing with the tear in it was on the floor and so was a .38 smokeless...Still smoking..

He looked like he had just woke up......He looked at me..


"Who are you?" he asked..

"Who I am isn't important...But there are some people who are going to want to talk to you."I said, with my gun still aimed at him...

He looked up at me and said...

"Mister I aint got no money....If I did, I wouldn't be sleeping in this rooming house." he said.


"You just shot the mayor." I said.


"WHAT?  Man you crazy...I been in bed sleep for the past 8 or nine hours.." he said.

"That gun yours?" I asked.


"No...I never seen that gun in my life...You got the wrong man." he said.


"This Jacket yours..??" I asked.


"Yeah....How did it get ripped?" he asked.

''When you were running from the crowd.."I said..


"What crowd?" he said..

By now , six policemen and one detective had arrived...

"Here he is guys..." I said..

"Thanks fella...Who are you?" asked the Detective...


"I'm Donnie Ray Alexander....I'm a private investigator... I'm here with my wife and her niece...They're attorneys...We uh stopped through to get gas and uh kind of joined in your celebration when this happened.."I said.

"Yeah, well thanks for catching this guy for us..." he said.

"How's the Mayor?" I asked.

"He's dead!" said one of the policemen....

The Detective kneeled down and picked up the gun with a pencil and put it in a plastic evidence bag and the officers handcuffed him and were about to read him his rights.....

"Say, where is the other officer? The guy that was chasing him with me?" I asked.

"What other officer?" said the Detective..
I looked around...The guy who had been chasing him with me was nowhere in sight...

"He must have come back and got you guys.."I said.

"No....There was no other officer...This here is the entire police department...I'm the only detective and these are the only five uniformed officers in the town..." he said.

The suspect looked at me..


"You got the wrong man..I aint killed nobody...I been here all night...I swear." he said.

"Tell it to the jury pal..."said the Detective as they walked him out of the rooming house in handcuffs...


V-
 Olivia and Beverly drove up in the SUV...I got in...

"You caught the killer Donnie Ray?" she said.

"I caught somebody..." I said.

"What do you mean?" asked Beverly...

"Well...Some woman ripped a piece of his jacket off and the jacket was there on the floor of the room...So was the murder weapon, the gun..It was still smoking...and he was sitting on the bed in his drawers looking like he just woke up...but that was him alright...I guess." I said.

"Let's get out of here, let's go home.." said Olivia..
As we drove through the streets, there was pandemonium...People were screaming, hollering and two police cars were sitting idly by....

"Funny, a killer ,knowing the police were in hot pursuit would run into a rooming house and take his clothes off and sit on the side of the bed." said Olivia..looking at me sideways...

"I know and he wasn't even out of breath when I caught up to him Liv...He looked like he was just waking up..."I said.

"And he left his jacket and the murder weapon on the floor by his bed so that whoever was chasing him could catch him?" asked Beverly...

"And his pants...Where were his trousers?" I asked..."He was in his boxers when I found him.."I said.

Olivia looked at me with those soulful eyes...

"You know...I'm an Attorney....I look for holes in stories..." she said ,smiling..

"I was a Homicide Detective...And this looks too neat....too wrapped up....Something smells to high heaven Livy..." I said.

"Even I see that...."said Beverly...

"You guys want to go back?"I asked..."I mean, it's none of our business.."I said.

"It bothers you dear heart...So It bothers me too." said Olivia..

''Ahhhhhh, I uh kinda like you too Donnie Ray...So uh...If My Auntay wants to go back...Count me in." said Beverly,smiling and kissing me on the cheek...

And so we turned around and headed back to Chestnut....

(TO BE CONTINUED)



3 comments:

Toni said...

You never take a day off...Missed this yesterday..Nice start!

Angie B. said...

Nice start to a new year...New Olivia and Beverly story!

Sunflower said...

I like it..Small town intrigue and mystery!