Big Ben did his job as my urban rooster and I got a quick start to the day. I was able to beat the shift change, catching up on the news with some of the nighthawks who worked the graveyard shift at the 23rd. When I did make it to my desk, there resting in my green leather swivel chair was one of those infamous plain Manila envelopes that I have grown to dread. Those things ought to come with a block letter warning sign, 'BEWARE OF CONTENTS".
As is usually the case, there was nothing on envelope other than my name in rather feminine, girly script. I called out to anybody listening, "Hey, anybody here see who dropped this by." O'Toole the Desk Sargent called back, 'Some cabbie about two o'clock stopped by and said he was delivering it from some fare in his cab. I think he said that it was some dame from Beacon Hill."
I tossed the envelope onto my desk to deal with it later, but first I needed a coffee fill-up. The night shift always knew how to make better coffee than the daytime guys, so I wanted to grab the last of the well-now aged brew. Like I was hoping, perfectly potent.
"Alright. Let's see what we've got." I unwound the red string and emptied the contents. A photograph, a business card, a pair of eyeglasses, and a note written on of all things Hotel Ambassador notepaper. "Oh boy."
I need you to know that I understand why you are so afraid. But I promise I will tell no one. The time we've had together will always be special to me. But now things have changed and I will soon be headed to New Orleans, there to live with my aunt and uncle.
I wish you only the best and if ever you need me, just call. But if you never call, know that all is forgiven.
The photograph was a snapshot from what appeared to be Cape Cod. There with their hair blowing in the wind were the good Senator and Miss Yellow Roses.
The business card? The Flanagan Detective Agency, est. 1949.
And I thought, "No way, the Honorable Senator Warren Waters is nicknamed Benji!"
"Hey O'Toole," I called out to O'Toole as he made his way to the locker room, "what company was the cabbie with?"
He stopped and thought for a moment, "How the hell would I know." He walked a couple of steps and then turned, "Wait a sec. He was with Checker. He was wearing one of those pins the Checker guys wear. Yea, Checker." O'Toole seemed rather pleased with himself for catching that detail.