"You're done, MacKenzie. Now, chomp down hard on your teeth."
"Just do it."
"Jeez," I yelled as my eyes broke into tears.
"Antiseptic, Mac. Let that dry and I'll get you a shirt." Doc, the old softy, had taken the time to retrieve my laundry from the crime scene.
As he helped me with my shirt, and I surely did need help, he suggested, "Tyke's Tavern?"
"Perfect, Doc. But what about Miss Ming?"
Doc gave me a slap on my back, "MacKenzie, I guarantee ya she won't mind waiting for awhile."
Tyke's was having happy hour when we arrived, two for one, although I always had the suspicion that Tyke simply stretched one drink over more ice in the glasses. Tyke tossed two of his printed napkins down in front of Doc and me. I liked those napkins. Each one had a different stupid little cartoon printed on it, plus the curly-cue Tyke's Tavern, all printed in shiny red ink. Tyke took our order without really asking it. "Two Whiskey Sours, MacKenzie-style and for the Doc, two Old-Fashioneds, Wild Turkey."
Men tend to wait until they start drinking before they start talking; women tend to do it the other way. Doc and I kept to that pattern. While waiting we checked out the patronage and took a stare into the mirror that rested by Tyke's collection of over-priced liquor.
The drinks arrived and thus we were able to talk business. "Doc, what's your appraisal of our Captain Galloway?"
My old friend, Doc Brewster, was one of the few around that had a working knowledge of Galloway but had no reason to worry about him, so I thought he might give me something. And he did. Point blank.
"Mac, I think he's dirty. And worse than that, I sense he's smart and dirty cop who has found a way to play both sides of the game."
I thought that Doc was rather ready with that comeback. "Doc, why don't you tell me how you're really feeling."
"Well, Mac, I don't trust cops who pick and choose what they take out of my reports. He always tries to make it work his way. Sometimes I get this eerie feeling he knows what happens before I do."
"Take that dead cabbie the other night."
"What about it, Doc?"
"Remember i told you it was three taps that did him in. When Galloway arrived he told me it look like a mob job because of three taps. Mac, the only person who would know that there were three head shots would be me. The last shot came from behind and the entry wound was covered up by one of the first two exit wounds, and this one never exited. The slug got caught following the skull. Kind of rare but it does happen. Now, how in the h*ll" did Galloway know that it was a three tap.?"
"I don't think so, Mac. When a cab driver gets bumped off, the first thing you assume is that it was a robbery, not a professional hit. Galloway was there, not because he happened to be driving by. No way. Somehow he was waiting for the call, and he wanted to be the cop to sign off on it."
I returned to gazing at Doc and me in the mirror. I knew Doc was on to something. But why did Galloway go out of his way to give me that JEB note? Because he didn't find that note in old man Flanagan's pocket, he found it in his own. Leave it on the scene like he was suppose to and forensics would have bagged it. And I would probably never see it. No, that note was for me to read. He was out to get me to get Blake before I stumbled onto something worse.
As I began Whiskey Sour number two, I muttered to Doc, "I think you should have been a cop, Doc. And whether you know it or not, I think you may have just loosen one helluva of knot for me."
"Oh, no mind, Doc. The less I say, probably the easier your life's going to be."