A Tired Old Man Often Likes to Tell Tales

"Mr. Flanagan," I called out. 

He took a second to locate me, then called back, "Yup, that's me.  And who's callin' me?" 

"Mr. Flanagan, let me introduce myself.  I'm Lieutenant MacKenzie of Boston Police.  And I'm hoping that you might answer some questions."

He gave me a stare up and down, then reach for some smokes in his shirt pocket.  "So you're Mackenzie."

"Do we know each other, sir?"

"In a way," tapping out one of his Lucky Strikes then slipping it to his lips."You and my son I believe no each other quite well."

"Pat Flanagan.  You're Pat Flanagan's father?"

"Yep.  Course I call him Paddy."

"Well, I'll be.  How's that big old boy of yours doing?"

"Oh, you know Paddy.  Keeps on going, and keeps on getting himself in all sorts of scrapes."

"Well, you give him my best."  Now that was a little stretch but I've always believed letting bygones be bygones.  Until they screw with you again.

"Well, Detective MacKenzie.  What's your questions?"

"Mr. Flanagan.  Can you tell me anything about a young lady named Molly O'Hara?"

Oh, this man knew the question before I asked it, and now he was trying to figure out how hard I was gonna press him for answer.  For some reason, he gave me the easy way.  "You look like you could use a cab ride.  Where'd you like to go ... how about the Wharf?"

And so we took a cab ride.  I figured the old man found easier to talking to someone sitting in the backseat, keeping eye contact to an occasional glance in the rear view mirror.  And he told me the story of Miss Yellow Roses, the part he knew.  She was the lady friend of the well-heeled Mr. Benjamin Brown, the lady friend that Mrs. Brown had grown suspicious of and had hired the Flanagan Detective Agency to keep an eye on.  The old man and his son had been milking the secret account of Mrs. Brown for a good long while, feeding Mrs. Brown with a tantalizing bit of information every now and then, just to keep the checks coming.

The cabbie would take Miss Yellow Roses to various places of rendezvous around town, even out of town.

"Mick," I finally jumped in when the old man's story began to slow, "was the Hotel Ambassador one of those meeting places."

"Yep.  I'd call ahead and reserve a room for her in a name given me by Mr. Brown.  Then I'd drop her off, wheel around town for a couple of three or four hours and then take my place at the Cab Station down the street.  Then I'd drive to her apartment over in Beacon Hill."

"When did you last take her to the Ambassador?"

"Sunday, but she never showed up.  When I noticed the cop cars piling up in front of the place, I went to Bunky's to see if I had any messages."

"Well, did ya?"

"Yea.  Mr. B. told me that something had come up and that to forget the whole thing.  And then you showed up.  What happened to her?"

"Someone murdered her."

"It wasn't Mr. B.  He was with his wife having dinner over at the Senator's house."

By this time we had come full circle and was at Bunk's again.  "Thank you, Mr. Flanagan."

The old man swung around in his seat.  You can leave the case Dewars at Bunks.  And don't talk my boy, you understand?"

"Deal enough for me."

I got out, he drove off.  And I thought, "That was just too darn easy."


The End

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