The 23rd was filled with the same old, same old. O'Toole was his same jovial self, the coffee was still too strong, and the donuts were stale. For once my mail slot was empty. No new homicides last night, but I did have a message that the officer handling the shooting of Miss Ming was wanting another interview with me.
With nothing else on the desk, I had time to fight my way through to get a face-to-face with both O'Hara and Watters. O'Hara agreed to me in Harvard Yard; Watters, once more in the Common. With that done, I had a momentary sense of accomplishment, but then that question had been gnawing at my insides resurfaced.
How did Blake know that I was the cop covering the case?
How did Blake know who was covering the case?
It had to be ... who else could it be? The same guy who was so conveniently on the old man Flanagan's crime scene. it had to be Galloway. And who knew my routine about my weekly visit to Miss Ming's. It had to be someone in the department who knows my well-grooved routines. Someone like Galloway or Flanagan. At the thought of Flanagan being involved, I suddenly replayed those few seconds in front of Miss Ming's and for the briefest moment, I thought I could see Flanagan's form in the shadows of the back seat racing by. I knew I couldn't possibly have recognized him, but I swear I could see him.
The Harvard Yard and Mr. O'Hara. He offered me a ride, but I countered with a walk among the very public trees and in eyeshot of dozens of windows.
The big fellow jumped right in, "Well, do we know who did it?"
"Not sure, Mr. O'Hara, but we have a good lead. And I may need your assistance."
Now those words a man of Bill O'Hara's reputation was not expecting to hear. "What do you mean?"
"I need you to talk something through with Senator Watters before we break this case. You will need his help because your daughter's murderer has already implicated you in this Billington affair. You just don't know it yet."
O'Hara immediately started to get into his posture of intimidation, "Why in the h*ll would Senator Watters help me in my problems?"
"Mr. O'Hara, that is what he is going to talk to you about. You listen to him and you keep a cool head. Then a friend of mine from the D.A.'s office, a Tony Calabrese is going to talk with you and offer you a deal if you will turn state's evidence. You check with those high-priced lawyers of yours and they will tell you to take it."
O'Hara started to lean on me, putting his bulk to work. "Who do you think you are talking to, cop?"
"Mr. O'Hara. I believe I am talking to a man who has just lost his daughter and who has the smarts to survive to play another day. I believe I am talking to a man that takes care of family. And besides, one of your problems just got solve for you yesterday."
O'Hara's was building a good steam by this time. "And what might that be?"
"Mr. Benjamin Brown is no more. It will be in the papers tomorrow morning."
"Well, that's one thing."
I came to my summation, "When you get the call from Senator Watters, I'm telling you, you best talk with him."
He gave me no answer, but my sense was that he got the message and that he would talk with the Senator.
Old Gray got me to the Common and Senator Watters was waiting for me at our meeting place, the Swan Boats.
"Good afternoon, Senator."
"Yes, Lieutenant MacKenzie. Thank you for updating me on Molly's case. Do you have the guy?"
"Yes, Senator, we do. But I am going to ask you a big favor and I do so so that you can protect your family from some fierce scandal."
The Senator was tentative but he did manage to say, "Alright. What's this favor."
"Well, Senator, you are going to get together with Bill O'Hara. You're going to call him to set up a private meeting. And at that meeting, you are going to come clean with Mr. O'Hara about Molly."
"What, are you crazy?"
"No, Senator. He's going to listen to you because you are going to provide him some clout to help him with a plea deal. You're going to work out a deal to protect your family and your reputation from the news accounts while at the same time, pull some weight to help him with turning state's evidence."
"What's your part in all this Lieutenant?"
"I have some information that we will choose not to pursue, so that down the road you can help me settle an old score with a couple of dirty cops. And we will get Molly's killers and Mr. O'Hara will not die in prison."
"I'm not sure about this, Lieutenant."
"Senator, someone from the D.A. 's office, an Anthony Calabrese will sit down with you and work out the details. Then you have got to make the call to Mr. O'Hara. If you don't, this will blow up in everyone's face.
"The Senator had to ask, "Why are doing this? Why shouldn't I blow the whistle on you for even attempting this scheme?"
"Because you are a decent man and Mrs. O'Hara's a decent woman, and I have some innocent folks that I want to be sure will live long and happy lives."
He shook my hand and that was good enough for me.
I spent the rest of the afternoon and a good part of the evening in Tony's office, working out the details. I was sweating bullets about the whole thing; Tony was loving it. He could just smell the Governorship coming his way.
"D*mn, Mac, we've got 'em all."
"God, I hope so."
"Mac, go home and drink yourself to sleep. I've got it covered, old buddy, I've got it covered."