Big Ben did his work and did it in his usual cold-hearted way. And speaking of cold so was the shower. My glass of orange juice, toast with butter and marmalade, the next pressed white shirt in the closet, black trousers, black shirt, black socks, my Thom McCann casuals and the first real decision of the day, which one of my five ties would have the privilege this day. Wallet, gun, badge, change, keys, and the remainder of my everyday stuff, and I was ready to launch.
"Be good, Boo." Down the hall, almost to the elevator, but on this morning I did a short u-turn. No barking dog. Oddly I thought, "I hope everything is okay with Sarah.."
I push the button to call the elevator. The brass arrow rotates upward, 1 2 3. Then comes that gear sound that precedes the opening of the doors. And then, "Yip, yip, yip." I found the dog.
"Good morning, Mr. MacKenzie. We went for a walk, didn't we, Pooky."
My world made sense once more. "Ah, I found the dog. All is good with world once more."
But as I approached Mickey's for my Morning Globe and coffee, surprise number two came my way. "Moving kinda slow, MacKenzie," cracked my good friend Bill Scarborough.
"Bill, what ya doing on this side of town? Mickey, newspaper and coffee, please."
"Mac, we've got to talk."
I grabbed my coffee and paper after Mickey felt my three quarters in his palm. "Yes, Bill, what's up?"
Old Scarborough did look a bit on the concerned side. "Mac, I reckon you got the call on the arrest Galloway made on that dead cab driver."
"Yea, they got that walking muscle of Macready's, ah what's his name, oh, yea, Butchy."
"It's a bum case, MacKenzie. Just a setup deal that's going nowhere. The tip and identification came by way of one my snitches. He's my inside guy to O'Hara's boys. Galloway cut him a deal on one his sons busted in an armed robbery over in Worchester. Mac, I think Galloway is trying to bury this case until its dead cold."
"Bill, you sure about this?"
"D*mn sure, Mac. Those files you gave me on that accountant Billington ... Galloway's wife's bank account numbers are showing up in all the wrong places."
"Jeez, Bill. What are you going to do?"
"MacKenzie. I'm about to lose my pension here. Can we really trust your D.A. friend Calabrese with something like this? I mean, if we blow the whistle, can he deliver the verdict? Mac, if we go with this it's going to be either Galloway or us."
I never saw Big Bill this rattled, never. "Bill, we've got to be dead on in this one. But if you're sure, Tony's the man. Daggum you, Scarborough."