In the Lobby a Lady Waits

I swung by the station to let the Captain know that his info about Miss Yellow Roses belonging to the Senator was not quite on target.  When I arrived, the Captain was "on call".  In other words, he was at the track, betting the ponies.  I did get caught in the hall by a Patrolman named Kersey, one of last year's rookies that I thought had a chance of becoming a decent cop.  "Hey, Lieutenant, Doc wants you to give him a call."

The phone at the desk was busy.  So one of the pay phones along the entryway would get the job done.  Cling!  I had learned that you best give Doc at least fifteen rings 'cause you never knew what he had his hands into.  It took only eight. 

"Doc.  MacKenzie."

"Hey, Mac, glad you caught me I was just about to turn out the lights.  Remember I told you we had two other stiffs that night the young lady at the Ambassador got it."


"Well, one was a lady found near Old North Church, in a parking lot behind the Church.  Well, she was strangled just like your lady friend.  And get this."


"She worked as a housekeeper at ... the Hotel Ambassador."

"Really.  What are the odds of that?"

"What were her name?"

"A Sally Murphy.  Thirty-five.  Divorced.  Lived at a rooming house on Marlboro Street."

"Anything else?"

"She was carrying a bit of cash, but her pockets were turned inside out, like someone was searching for something."

"Wait.  Did you say Marlboro Street?"

"Yea, 876 Marlboro Street, a place called Bowen's Boarding House for Women."

"Well, I'll be da****.   Doc, be sure to send a copy of your report to me.  Who's handling the case?"

"I thought this a bit strange, MacKenzie, but it has Galloway's name on the form."

"Captain Galloway.  What in the world ..."

"Yes, Mac.  I didn't think Captains ever took cases."

"Thanks, Doc."

On the way home, I picked up a couple of tins of tuna to treat old Boo.  As I walked to my apartment, I spotted a Checker cab parked down the street.  It got me to wondering.  The door man let me in with a tip of his hat and then with a bit of surprising news.  "Lieutenant MacKenzie, there's a lady waiting to see you in the lobby.  She looked decent enough so I said she could wait for you there.  I hope I didn't mess up."

"No, Billy, that's fine.  A lady, eh?"

Sitting there in the dark blue Queen Anne chair, dressed in her quite proper and professional dress, the recently gained acquaintance, Mrs. Devonshire.

"Mrs. Devonshire." I offered my free hand to offer a handshake.  She stood to greet me.

"Detective MacKenzie,"  she said almost as an apology.  "I've been asked to deliver this material to you."  With that she handed me one of those infamous Manila envelopes, then tucked a small  white in my jacket pocket.  "Please don't call me, Mr. MacKenzie." 

With that she hustled toward the door as a Checker cab pulled up.  Strange, I thought that the cabbie did not get out to assist the lady.  She just hopped in and off they went.  Had to have been Flanagan.

"What's with the envelopes today?" 

Up the stairs, past the barking poodle, fumble with the keys.  "Hey Boo.  Got tuna tonight."


The End

22 comments about this story Feed