THE DAILY POST -
really don't understand what all of this is about," Artie Green muttered as
he led Detective Jim
Fitzpatrick, Officer Russ
Leeds, and Larry Rawlings down
the rows of filing cabinets. He turned and shot a curious and hateful look
at Larry. "And I really don't understand what he's doing here!
Don't you have some dirt to make up on some old woman in a wheel chair?"
"That's next week,"
Larry retorted, rather amused that he was deep inside the inner sanctum of his newspaper's
rival publication. "I've got more important things on the agenda for
just shut up," Jim ordered angrily. "I think it was a mistake to
even let you be a part of this, but..."
you're just a little afraid of what I might write about the shoddy work of the
Albanyville Police Department." A smug grin spread across Larry's
face. He knew that he had them exactly where he wanted them and, as a
result, he was about to land the biggest story of his career.
Jim winced slightly because
Larry had been completely accurate about the reasoning behind his presence with
them as they investigate the murder. Both the chief of police and the
district attorney had been breathing down his neck to arrest and formally charge
Reginald Callison for the murder of Annabelle
Lake, but he'd strongly
resisted. Something about the entire case just didn't sit right with
him. Jim was certain that Callison wasn't the guilty party; he was
positive that he was covering up for the real murderer. However, they'd
had no real proof of that and no evidence that might suggest who that murderer
might have been. Until now...
"I don't understand why
the pictures that I took at that party are so important," Artie mumbled
again as he paused in front of a file cabinet and pulled open the top
drawer. "Let's see....hmm....the engagement party---no, wrong
party---hmm... Oh, look! Here are some great shots I got of the snow
storm a few weeks ago..."
do I get the impression that you're stalling?" Russ questioned as he
watched the photographer carefully. "Are the pictures there or
"I'm looking! I'm
looking!" Artie furrowed his brow and took a deep breath. He
was less than thrilled to have a role in helping the police undercover evidence
that they might use against Reginald Callison. Of course, Larry's presence
didn't leave him with a good feeling either.
"Oh, this isn't getting
us anywhere!" Jim snapped and pushed Artie out of the way so that he could
take his own look. Within a few moments, he'd found the large envelope
with pictures taken at the ill fated party and smiled triumphantly.
"Here they are! Now, that wasn't so difficult, was it?"
"Well, if you'd given me
a chance," Artie mumbled and awkwardly looked away.
"Now, let's have a look
at these..." Jim carried the pictures over to a nearby
table---closely followed by Russ, Larry, and Artie---and sat down before
spilling them out onto the table to carefully and meticulously sift threw
"Those are some nice
shots, Artie," Larry nodded with a wicked grin. "I especially
like how you captured the essence of the Callison family. You really
should consider coming to work for The Examiner where your talents could really
"Shut up, Rawlings,"
Artie snapped angrily.
One by one, Jim and Russ
examined every picture closely for any glimpse of a woman wearing the elaborate
scarf. They saw pictures of Charles and
Burt standing side by side,
pictures of the intricately decorated cake that was created to help mark the occasion
of Burt's coming out as a Callison, pictures of Patterson Monroe and
Stephanie Lake, pictures of
Dane Manchester dancing with
Jim furrowed his brow and let
out a weary sigh. In all of the pictures that they'd seen, there'd been no
sign of the woman with the scarf. Until...
"Oh, my god," Larry
gasped as he pointed at a picture that lay near the bottom of the pile. He
could only see the edge of it, but... "Look! Look at
this!" He pulled the photograph out of the stack and put it on top so
that Jim and Russ could examine it further.
"Well, I'll be,"
Russ gasped when he took a good look. "Isn't that..."
"Hold on," Jim
muttered and reached out to grab another envelope that sat on the edge of the
table. Anxiously, he opened it and pulled out the silk scarf that he'd
found in Reginald's bedroom---the same scarf that had been worn by the mystery
woman. In an instant, he could clearly see that it was the same as the one
that was in the picture!
They had found their mystery woman.
"Oh, this is just too
good," Larry snickered with glee. "Well, boys, I guess I'll see
"And where do you think
you're going?" Jim questioned sternly.
"I don't mean to sound
ungrateful, but I've got a story to write!" Larry smiled and then
quickly turned to leave.
"Not so fast,
Rawlings," Russ spoke up as he reached out and grabbed him tightly by the
arm. "You've managed to force yourself on us so far.
What makes you think that you're just gonna cut out on us now?"
eyed him curiously. "You're not...ready to get rid of me?"
"Oh, we're more than
ready," Jim muttered, "but you're not going anywhere yet. We
have a couple of more stops to make."
glanced down at his watch. "I think it's time for lunch."
Larry's eyes grew wide with surprise. "We break this case wide open
and you want lunch?"
"I was think about Joe's
Cafe," Jim smiled and then turned to Russ. "What do you
"Sounds got to me,"
Russ grinned. "I'm famished."
"And, while we're there,
we can get Miss Wagner to give us a positive I.D. based on this
photo." Jim slipped the picture of the mystery woman into the same
envelope as the scarf and tucked it securely under his arm. "C'mon,
Rawlings. We have places to go and people to see."
As Jim, Russ, and Larry
quickly headed out of the room, Artie simply shook his head nervously. He
hadn't seen what had been in the picture, but was certain that it wasn't going
to be good news when what the police had discovered was finally revealed.