Friday, April 9, 2010

Chapter 35 The Dreamers

Chapter 35

Father Spencer got back to Chicago. Ben was waiting for him at Midway. Their ride back to campus was made in silence. What was there to say, really?

In his office, Father Spencer put in a call to Sergeant Jenkins. Jenkins had been grilling all of the suspects, if you could call them that, all night. They had finally gotten one of the triggermen to tell where Motown Matthews was probably hiding out these days. He was and the Police brought him down to the station at 9:45AM. They had been interrogating him for over 6 hours straight without a single break. It would go on longer if need be.

"You know, Motown, you will be here for as long as it takes," snapped Jenkins. "We're just going to keep bringing in the fresh bodies and keep asking the same stupid question, getting the same stupid answers, until you decide to give us the straight scoop on what went down last night. We have you at the scene with at least three eye witnesses. Two of your triggermen are prepared to testify how you planned it all out. We would just like to know why? Why did you have to kill so many? What did you hope to accomplish?"

"Man, I copping the fifth, dig," chirped Motown. "You got sompin on me, we'll dance in court. Wasting my valuable time with this jive."

"Think it's Jive, do you," snapped Jenkins. He slammed a portable cassette player on the table. "Listen to this choirboy." He played the tape from an interrogation of one of Motown's boys.

"We was at Motown's pad last Friday, planned the whole thing out on a napkin. Couple of his mule/players wasn’t quite keepin up. Thought he needed to teach them a lesson. None of us thought it was going down like this. Was only spose to be couple of shooters. Didn't know Motown brought in reinforcements. Would've skipped known that," said the voice on the tape. Jenkins shut off the tape player.

"I think that might get you life this time, Motown," said Jenkins sarcastically. "Twenty-five counts of murder. You might have to live to be two-thousand to make parole this time. That is unless you decide you want to spill the beans on your whole operation. If not, we'll play it the DA's way. He wants a piece of your behind worse that I do."

Motown sat silently in his chair. He had refused an attorney. He was much too smart to need counsel.

Jenkins couldn't imagine what was going through his mind. What could some guy who just killed over twenty-five people be thinking? Maybe that was the problem. There was no cause and affect to him. The only rule was he was not to be inconvenienced. No life mattered but his. What a shallow existence Jenkins thought. Jenkins motioned to two officers in the room. They moved toward Motown.

"Silence is golden," said Jenkins. "You can take up space just as well in the lock-up. Take him down."

The officers grabbed Motown by the biceps and lifted him out of the chair and took him down stairs. They had cleared out a number of cells to make sure the each of the shooters and Motown had their own cell.

Motown knew who the talker was there just wasn't anything he was going to be doing about it now. He also realized that maybe; just maybe, he wasn't going to be doing anything about it from the outside, probably for a long time as well.

Father Spencer had made his way downtown to the station. Jenkins assigned one of the junior officers to help Father get through the paperwork with the Coroner's Office. Bob's body would be transported back to Connecticut in two days. Father Spencer and Ben would both be accompanying the body. Miller Funeral Home made arrangement to pick them up at Bradley Airport.

The following two weeks were a nightmare for Sergeant Jenkins and his precinct. Countless press conferences, luckily handled by Captain Moss. He assured the community that HE had the perpetrators of the hideous massacre in custody and would be working with the DA's Office and would be seeking the death penalty for everyone involved. What grandstanding thought Jenkins. What election fodder for Moss.

He had enough to do making sure the evidence all fit, no loop holes, no conflicting testimony. He also had to make sure his witnesses didn't get cold feet and/or take a walk. That usually happened in all too many of these cases. No witnesses. No case. Wouldn't be the first time Motown got to the witnesses. Probably wouldn't be the last. Jenkins was determined those days were over.

The Funeral for Bob Lollar was beautiful. It seemed like the whole hometown came out. The street was lined with people as far as the eye could see. It was even being carried by the local cable company. Bob Lollar was certainly loved by the whole town.

Father Spencer and Ben stayed for the funeral and flew back immediately afterwards. There was just too much going on for them to be of much use or help.

Father Spencer told the Lollar's before he left that he was going to establish a Scholarship Fund in Bob's name that would annually pay the full tuition to some inner-city kid who wished to enter the ministry. The Lollars were grateful and knew that Bob would be proud and honored.

The Monarchs had a game that night that the President of the league offered to cancel and be made up later. The team decided to play the game and dedicate the rest of the season to Bob's memory. They all knew that Bob would not want the game called on the account of him. That was not his style. The team would wear black arm bands on their uniform with a gold cross embroidered on the outside.

The family was doing as well as could be expected. Billy and Gloria had grown quite close since her return from California over two months ago. She would be drawing her strength from Billy for a while. It was good that Billy was living with the Lollars. They had been treating him like their lost son ever since he got to town. A role he never really felt comfortable with, but now was truly going to be filling.

He knew what the Lollars were going through. He knew how he felt when his mother, sisters and grandparents were killed. There is nothing to be said. No way to prepare. You just must move on. He could only try and help everyone do just that.

The Monarch’s Owner had been in town and attended Bob's funeral, as well. He had spent the better part of yesterday and today in the company of Red Dodge, the Madison Monarch’s Manager.

Everyone wondered what was up with that. What did George want? What plan was he cooking up this time?

"Red," said George, outside the church fellowship hall where the reception was being held. "Let's go back to the park and your office. Got a couple of ideas I want to bounce off you," he added.

"O.K.," said Red. How could he refuse the Big Boss?

"Red," George began, "the big club stinks. It’s not the manager's fault, but the team is just not responding to anything he has tried. We've decided to really shake them up. Here's the plan."

George said the plan was to fire the manager and put him in charge of the Madison team for the rest of the season. Make Red the new manager of the big club and bring up at least three Madison Monarchs and make them instant starters. The players they replace would be given their immediate release and told to clean out their lockers within two hours. There is no doubt that would get a rise out of the team, just no telling if would have a positive affect and get the team to pull together. Only time would tell.

Red made it clear that he was quite happy with his Madison assignment, but that he would do all he could and be a part of the plan. The fact that he would be bringing some of his players made it more palatable.

Red and George talked about the immediate needs of the team and realized that pitching was most critical. Red made the decision to bring Billy Alan, Jack Meyers, both pitchers, and his toughest choice between Reggie Bond and Jon Tavy. He made the choice on Tavy because this had to be his last year in the minors and now was a good time to see if he could make the jump to the Show.

Red knew that Reggie was at least going to be in triple A next year, maybe even make the jump to the majors next spring training. Jon would not have that luxury, Red thought. George was not usually that patient. Now was the time. Red explained that later to Reggie, who said he understood and had no problem with Red's decision. Reggie wished Red the best and hoped they would be reunited next year in New York. Red promised to do all he could to make that happen. He reminded Reggie a continuation of the great year he was having would make that happen.

Red told George that he would like to make the announcement after tonight’s game. He also made George promise that he would re-stock the Meriden clubs' pitching. It was not fair to the other players who had a chance to make the playoffs to take their top two pitchers in the middle of a pennant race. George agreed.

The affected players and Red could easily make the trip to New York for tomorrow afternoons, Saturday game. George would call a press conference for 10AM tomorrow morning. The bomb would be dropped then.

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