As O'Toole left the room, in walked the Captain, already looking flustered and irritated and the shift hadn't even started yet. He slapped me in the chest with a file folder, "Here's your info, MacKenzie. You're meeting with Wild Bill at 2:00 today. Over at the morgue. I hope you got something to tell him about his sweet little girl."
He walked on, happy that it would be me and not him that would be breaking the bad news to this mean bear of a man. "Lord, why me?"
I opened the folder to find one of our famous BPD blue case sheets. Case number in the right corner, date of the crime on the left. Victim's name? Kathleen Mary O'Hara. Age, 26. Place of Death, Hotel Ambassador. Cause of Death, Homicide, Strangulation. Lead Investigator, Ian MacKenzie.
I thought her name was Molly. But then again, in Irish families all the children seem to pick up a nickname along the way. Well, then after that a listing of her belongs, the crime scene photos, and a whole lot blank space waiting to be filled in.
I bagged the contents of the manila envelope and stapled it to the file, unlocked my bottom desk drawer, and stowed it away. I should have turned it all into the Evidence Clerk, but I always liked to flaunt the rules a bit. Why not live a little on the wild side?
First stop today, Checker Cab Central. Only three blocks away. I'd walk.
Checker Cab Central was once the parking garage for the old Woolworth's Building, now but five stories of dead end warehouse for every nearby business. You entered Checker Cab, both cabs and pedestrians by descending down this ramp into the bowels of Old Boston. It was always a honky, noisy, oily, fumy bustling place of constant come and go. At the hub of this underground commotion was the dispatch office, a glass and wire cage three steps up from the concrete floor. In the cage sat a well-worn redhead, a hard-nosed city gal who looked tougher than the cabbies she commanded all day,
She was barking through her headset for cabs needed at the train station and fast, a late train from New York had doubled the traffic. She seemed to be on overload, so I waited by the window. No need to catch her in a rushed moment and besides I figured she'd appreciate any patience I'd offer her.
I was wrong. Suddenly, "Well, what the world do you want?" I started to pull out my badge. "I know who you are, MacKenzie. Do you remember you sent one of my best cabbies up the river last year. Make it quick."
"I need to see your cabbie log for cab 46." She started to reach for a huge, stuffed three-ring binder that sat on her desk., but then she stopped. "46 you say." With that she stood up and climbed out of her cage and walked me back to the owner's office. "MacKenzie, I think you best talk to Mr. Krieger, the owner. He should be in a few minutes. Have a seat." And so I did.