In marked contrast to our last visit, Mr. Brown seemed intent to have a heart-to-heart with me. After closing the door with an extra touch of care, he motioned me to take a seat with him on the wide leather couch. He appeared to me to be wanting a few moments to gather his thoughts. I sensed that he was more ready for me than i was even for him.
He started. "Lieutenant. You and I both know that I was having an affair with Molly O'Hara. Now, my wife knows, Molly's father knows, and now the firm knows, and I would expect that soon all of Boston will know. The firm is buying me out of the firm by setting me up my own practice in Manhattan. That's what this whole charade about a new branch office is all about. I will be moving there and after a prudent amount of time my wife and I will be divorcing. Molly's father knows who murdered Molly and he knows it wasn't me. I do not know who it was, Lieutenant, but I do know who killed poor Paddy Flanagan."
I felt obligated to jump into this confession somewhere along the way. "And who would have killed Mr. Flanagan."
"Lieutenant, I cannot prove it, but I sense and I'm pretty sure that it was Buster Blake."
"Why do I say that?"
"Because Paddy was Buster's boy but then he recently uncovered that Paddy had been feeding information about the firm to Bill O'Hara. You see, Lieutenant, Paddy was our delivery man for unofficial payments made by the firm to confidential sources." At this point, Mr. Brown stood and walked over to the nearby window before continuing. And Paddy was his driver when Buster had to do some of his nighttime work."
"Are you sure, Mr. Brown, that you're not letting your imagination get away from you?"
"Oh, I'm sure, Lieutenant"
"You know we will have to get your statement on record on this."
"Why would Buster have to get rid of old man Flanagan?"
"I reckon because Paddy heard or saw something that Buster couldn't have O'Hara knowing about."
I had to keep him going. "Like what?"
"I am guessing that it must have had something to do with the Billington case and that whole Checker Cab mess," Brown answered.
He spun and gave me an irritated smirk, "Oh, Lieutenant. You know very well what I'm talking about."
He was done and I figured that would be plenty for now. he made the offer, "Send someone over this afternoon and I will give my statement. I don't give a sh*t any more. And I'm not going to let them stick Molly's murder on me. I you like, you can send your friend Calabrese over."
I tried for more, but Mr. Benjamin Brown had said his peace.
"Alright, Mr. Brown. Please remain here at the office. I'll call you before noon."
"Thank you, Lieutenant."
He escorted me out. I was expecting to find Delores but Delores was off somewhere. So Mr. Brown offered to show me out but I assured him I knew the way.
On the drive back to the precinct, I kept thinking, "Unbelievable."
I called Calabrese, arranged for a police stenographer and we set a time for one o'clock. Calabrese's office confirmed the time with Brown. He would meet us there at that same back door.