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Death, Tampa, detective

Episode 11 – A Plan

Jack didn’t remember anything after that. He woke up on the floor with his head lying on a woman’s thigh. His pounding headache reminded him he had drunk too much. His aching body told him he was too old for this rowdy crowd and sleeping on the floor.

Turning his head towards the grandfather clock, he noticed someone had broken the glass face of the clock. The clock was still working, though. It told him the time was eight o’clock. Time to be at the office. Lucy wouldn’t be opening the office today.

Jack groaned and tried getting up. He could only sit. Surveying the room, he saw many bodies lying about. He saw Sam still sitting in the same chair. Jack slowly crawled to the chair.

“Wake up, Sam. It’s time to go to work.”

Sam didn’t move. Jack kept shaking him. After five minutes, Sam moved slightly and opened his eyes.

“Where am I?” Sam asked slowly trying to think of words to say.

Jack laughed, “Last night, you were drunk beyond the human ability to walk and think. You are in Mrs. Matthews’ mansion. Her daughter and son-in-law threw a big drinking party last night.”

“Oh!” Sam groaned.

“Get up,” ordered Jack. “It’s time to go to work.”

“I can’t move,” said Sam. “My body’s numb.”

Jack managed to stand using the chair. He couldn’t stop the room from turning around him.

An hour later, Jack and Sam staggered out of the house, holding each other up. At the front door, Sam stopped.

“Say, we didn’t thank the hosts for a swell party.”

Jack laughed, “I’ll thank them the next time I see them.”

A taxi driver took Jack to his parked car. Jack told the driver to deliver Sam to the Con Life offices downtown. Jack sat in his car awhile then fell asleep. An hour later, he was shaken awake by a uniformed cop.

“Hey buddy. You can’t sleep here.”

“Sorry, Officer. I was at a party at Mrs. Matthews’ mansion and, well, I got pretty drunk.”

“Oh. The Matthews’ place. She must be out of town. Her daughter throws some of the wildest parties in Tampa. On my beat here, I’ve seen drunks all over the road and the sidewalks. One time, I found a woman twenty feet up in a tree. Just leave as soon as you can.”

“Thanks, Officer.”

Jack started the car and drove to the office. After parking the car in his usual spot in front of the building, he walked to the corner diner for coffee. A couple of cups revived him.

By the time he climbed the four flights of stairs, the clock said eleven o’clock. Jack went into his tiny office, sat down, and went to sleep with his head on the desk. Drinking at Rollo’s was never this bad. He slept for an hour before the telephone rang.

“Hello?” he said groggily.


“Yea. This is Jack.”

“Where have you been?” asked the voice.

“Drinking. Who wants to know?”

“This is Brogan.”

“Yea. What do you want?”

“Haven’t you heard the news?”

“What news?”

“Mrs. Matthews was found dead in New York.”

Jack sat up, “Really?”

“Yea. She was found murdered in a back alley near a theater.”

“Any suspects?”


“Thanks, Brogan.” Jack hung up the phone. He slept another hour. The heat of the day finally woke him up. He decided to close the office and get some food. He went to the corner diner for a sandwich and more coffee.

Later, he drove to his apartment to change into lighter clothes. He then took a taxi to Rollo’s. Being early in the afternoon, Eddie was surprised at seeing Jack.

“Jack! You’re awfully early.”

“Just one drink tonight, Eddie.”

“Sure, Jack. I’ve heard that one before.”

Eddie brought the drink to the end of the bar where Beans was sitting in contemplation.

“Beans,” said Jack, “You’ll never guess.”

“Mrs. Matthews is dead.”

“But how . . . ?”

“Logic and reasoning, Jack. She the one getting the half mil, remember?”

“Yes. That’s true.”

“How was the party at Mrs. Matthews’ mansion? Did you meet Jane and her husband, Reggy?”

“No. I passed out soon after I arrived.”

“And all the people did the same,” replied Beans.

“What do you mean, Beans?”

“The host and hostess slipped everyone a ‘micky’.”

“But why?”

“Look, Jack. The party was planned all along to knock out everyone. Jane and Reggy wanted to kill the dog for the money. They blackmailed Dr. Gosling into giving them a drug to kill the dog. That was step one.”

“Step two?”

“The pair threw a wild party and spiked the drinks to knock out everyone. No one knew Reggy was missing from the party.”

“Step three?”

“Reggy went to New York and killed Bonnie.”

“Step four?”

“Jane, as the daughter, inherits the money.”

Jack took a long pull of his drink and looked at Beans in awe.

Published: 2010-04-16
Author: Fred Westmark

About the author or the publisher
Fred W. is a freelance writer of six film scripts, three novels, twenty-five short stories, and many blogs. He enjoys football and reading English authors. Traveling is a passion for him. He also writes articles on privacy for an Internet newsletter on

He is an avid and serious student of history. His favorite historical characters are Skooby Doo and Dr Who. Seriously, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and the French and American Revolution interest him.

He teaches collegW

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