It was only two, maybe three minutes before a passing black and white pulled in. Two young patrolmen from the 19th who were returning from a domestic violence call just happened by. They called the ambulance and for backup. The burly one going by the name of Petrossky, or some name like that, confirmed my quick appraisal that she was gone, a bullet in the head. The other officer, a rather skinny kid, began securing the crime scene and trying to find a witness among all the gawkers. Out of all of them, only my two Hasidic angels were willing to offer a statement.
"Black Buick 1948 coupe, whitewalls, white guy wearing a black jacket and brown fedora, no license plate, took a left at the next block, three or four shots."
The ambulance arrived and saw that there was nothing left to do, but to try to shield the view of her from the public. They would have to wait for Doc and no telling how long that might take. It was only then that I began to feel a stinging pain in my lower back. When I reached my hand back to see if possibly some of the window glass had caught me, my hand came back bloody. The back of my shirt was ripped, leading me to check my jacket. It was less a hole and more a rip, but the bullet hole was there. From the feel of the scar across my back, one of the shots must have grazed me but good.
I called to the ambulance drivers, "Hey, I think you've got another customer over here."
Off came the jacket, off came the shirt, and then out came wads of cotton, needle and thread. It was well into the stitching that Doc showed up and I felt much better when he jumped in to finish the job.
"D*mn, Mac," Doc began his lecture, "you are one lucky SOB. Another couple of inches and it would have ripped through your spine. You're going to have to take the ambulance down to Saint Elizabeth's. You need more work than these stitches and we best pump a couple of pints of blood into you as well. Are you feeling light headed, MacKenzie?"
"No, Doc. My stomach is a little queasy and my hands hurt like h*ll from the broken glass, but I've still got my wits."
Doc helped me to the ambulance and gave the nod for the drivers to get ready to load the deceased. "She's dead," he called over to them after just a momentary check of her. The back of her head was a mess from the entry wound, and a good share of her blood was no longer with her.
As Doc passed the officers I gave them a firm command, "Fellas, I need those slugs. All of 'em."
So Miss Ming and I took a ride together and I gave her an apology for not catching the bullet for her. "To Protect and Serve." That's the motto on our patrol cars. "Well, we did a sh*tty job for you, didn't we, Miss Ming."