Chapter 26 The Dreamers
Mookie, Marvin, and I shot around for a little while longer. "I've got to get back to campus," I state. "I see you guys wearing sweat-shirts with a Knight on it. Is that some club or team you're on?"
"Ya," said Marvin, "we play for the Chicago Knights hoop team. Ya know, one of those teams that play in a late night league."
"You guys need some coaching help," I ask? I might be interested in helping if you needed some help.
"If you coach and you can also play, but not for more than ten minutes total of the games forty minute length," announced Marvin. "That way the teams cannot "sand-bag" a good player as coach and not take up a place on the ten-man roster. You still interested?"
I couldn't help thinking this was too good to be true. A spot opening up so quickly. Maybe these guys weren't so bad after all I thought.
"You've got a deal, I accept," I replied. "What time do you need me to come around for your next practice?"
"Practice is at four today," said Mookie. "Can you hang?"
"No problem," I said. "I'll be here. I hope the rest of the team will have no problem with you guys bringing a “cracker” along for the ride?"
Marvin smiled, "Once they see you shoot, they’ll think you must be Kunta Kinte's long lost son." We all started laughing. "See ya cracker," said Marvin as they headed to the other end of the court.
I grabbed my ball and started to head off down the street. As I got about one hundred feet past the court a white BMW 735 slowly pulled past and parked at the court. Mookie and Marvin slowly walked over to the car. Both boys stood back and seemed careful not to get too close or even touch the vehicle. Mookie glanced up to see me watching. He turned his back to me and put his hand behind his back, shielding it from the passengers. He motioned as best he could for me to get moving. I did just that.
As I got back to my dorm room I found the door opened and Father Spencer and Sergeant Jenkins inside with a man in some blue overalls, a leather tool belt, kneeling on the floor in the corner by the bed.
"Bob," said Fr. Spencer, "sorry about the intrusion. Phone Company, that’s all. Thought we had better get you a phone as soon as possible. Sergeant Jenkins took care of the speedy delivery. He’s almost done."
"Hey Bob," said Jenkins, noticing Bob's outfit. "Play a little ball today, did we?"
"Ya, I did, a little," I smiled, wanting so badly to announce my immediate success to everyone. "We'll talk in a moment." I pointed at the phone man.
"O.K. Father," said the phone man, "you're on the air," he announced. He quickly cleaned up his mess and left.
I looked out passed the door to make sure the coast was clear. Father Spencer and Sergeant Jenkins looked at each other.
"Bob, what is going on," asked Jenkins. "You are losing it already?"
"No, I'm in," I announce.
"In what," asked Fr. Spencer?
"The Chicago Knights," I beam. "I just went to shoot around over at Beaupre and two black kids were there, Mookie and Marvin, and they want me to assistant coach or something and even play part-time."
"You're kidding," said Jenkins with a look of amazement on his face. "How in the heck did you pull that off?"
"Don't ask me," I said. "All I know is I'm in and we have practice today at four. Sergeant, as I was leaving the court a white BMW pulls up and was talking to the boys. Mookie definitely wanted me out of there. Know why?"
"Yeah," sighed Jenkins, "Motown Matthews must be back. Big pusher in the area. We've arrested him dozens of times, he makes bail, locked up for a while each time, but is always back. Got more lives than any cat I know. Big trouble that one."
"Think Mookie or Marvin is working for him," I ask?
"Hope not," answered Jenkins. "We think he may be responsible for at least three of the homicides I mentioned yesterday."
"Sergeant, I got the impression they were being super-cautious," I offer. "They stood way back from the car, not too eager to get too close. Their motioning me away seemed to indicate they knew what kind of trouble had just pulled up. I'll try and find out more this afternoon."
"Bob, just be careful," stated Fr. Spencer. "We don't need to solve this case in one day, remember."
"I know Father, but I have to take advantage of every open door that comes along," I state. "I'll be careful."
"He's right, Father," chimed in Jenkins. "Just don't sound too nosey or ask too many questions at first. Let Mookie and Marvin do the offering. Most of these guys love to talk, anyway. They're like a gaggle of geese at a quilting bee. Each one's story has got to top the next. Don't worry, the info will flow."
Father Spencer and Sergeant Jenkins excused themselves to let me shower. Before he left, Jenkins gave me three special phone numbers to Jenkins' home, office, and private car phone. Jenkins pulled a small, hand-held portable phone.
"Bob, this is for you," said Jenkins as he handed me the phone. Carry this with you all the time in some short of gym bag or something. If you need me or Father, use it."
I took the phone, thanked him and closed the door. I moved toward the bathroom, placing the phone on the dining table. I go into the shower, sliding the curtain back and adjusting the water temp. I step in and let the stream hit me directly on top of the head. I made the water a little warmer and laid my hands against the front shower wall and just stood there half a sleep, half thinking about the white BMW. Were Mookie and Marvin peddling drugs? How much were they involved? I would find out soon enough.