Things don't always go as you would want them to go. I looked at the dead body of 26 year old Carol Fisher. She had been mutilated by someone. Stabbed a total of seven times and then shot once in the head. The local police knew who the killer was. The problem was finding him. They had a name. They had proof. They had physical evidence that linked him to the crime and witness evidence. It was enough evidence to put him a way for life.
I was worned that he is a master of disguises. He can disapper with the blink-of-an-eye.
Detective Thomas McDonald looked at me when I was finished examining the body. "I heard about your reputation around here."
"What about it?" I asked
"If you can catch our killer, Charles Craig, I can promise a handsome reward." he replied.
I thought about it. Money. I needed money real bad. I was behind on rent for both my apartment and my office. Money is good.
"Fine. I'll take it," I said and I left back for my office. I reviewed the background and case file of Mr. Craig. This wasn't going to be easy, that was for sure. I decided to make a phone call to a few friends of mine to see if they would be interested in making some decent money in helping to find a killer who could blend in to even the smaller crowds.
It was dark and there was nothing I could do for the night. I'd have to start in the morning. So I went home for the night to get some sleep. The next morning, went to my office to make a call to a few friends to see if they'd be interested in making a few dollars in helping to find this killer.
"he also has a little apartment here too. Stays there when he's here doing work for Luciano." Shady said.
"Luciano?" I asked, "He personally knows Luciano?"
"You bet he does," Shady said. "Rumor has it, that he's Luciano's right hand man."
"Do you believe that?" I asked.
"No, I believe Mr. Meyer Lansky is," Shady replied, "They're always together."
"There you go." I replied. "Those rumors aren't real."
There was a silence between us.
"Is that all the info, Shady?" I asked.
"That's all I know, dick" He replied.
"Where is his appartment?" I asked.
"Out about two blocks from the Costello's Italian Diner. Just west of it. You can't miss the appartments. Last I heard, his room number is 409." Shady said.
I slid him a $20 bill. "Thanks".
As I walked out, there he was walking forty feet in front of me, was Mr. Craig himself. I followed him. I kept my eye on him. We walked through alley ways, through buildings, and I followed him right into a crowd of people. As I made my way someone accidentally bumped into me and I quickly lost sight of Craig but found him shortly afterward.
I approached him. I put my hand on his shoulder and spun him around. "Game's over Craig," I said. I spun him around to find it was the wrong person. "Who are you?" asked the man. "Sorry," I replied. "Wrong person." I walked way cursing to my self.
Craig must have known he was being followed and pulled a magic trick to disappear like that. I was mad once again, but I did know where his appartment was.
"Charles Craig, the murderer?" Alex Santanelli asked, his voice dubious.
Molly sat on the edge of his desk and smiled down at him. "Oh, my brother doesn't care about all that, he's dealt with far worse, let me tell you. I just wanted to know if you had a way to find him?"
"I could tell you the place he usually hangs out most days." Alex's voice was still dubious but Molly could see the obvious trust in his eyes. "I don't know that you should be seeking him out though, Amelia. He's dangerous."
Molly waved her hand. "Don't worry about it, I wont go alone."
Alex leaned back and thought. "Well, he hangs out in Luigi's bar most days in the south side. His brother Kevin however, might be able to tell you more if you track him down. I dont' know his address though."
Molly stood up and gave him another kiss on the cheek. "Thank you Alex, you've been a big help."
She gathered her things and ushered Nellie out the door before her, when Alex's voice stopped her.
"I'll ask around Amelia, I'll leave an envelope for you at the Tricky Mister if I find out anything you can use."
Molly winked at him. "Thanks, handsome."
And they left, Molly quietly pleased as they went on their way to scour the northeast side for any news of the murderer.
"Charlie,it's a note" I said and showed it to Charlie. It read : "Don't go to Luigi's bar,stop. It's a trap,stop. With sincere,Mother Goose".
"What does it mean?" Charlie asked. It wasn't hard to figure out. Mother Goose means probably Mother Craig,Luigi's place was rigged for a trap and Charles wasn't going there".
"We've got to warn the gang!" Charlie said and began to try and phone to the possible places they could be.
10 minutes later...
"No luck" Charlie said and I slammed my fist in thin air. "Quick,get in the car!" I said and we drove towards Luigi's.
20 minutes later...
"Charlie,look out for Marc. He could be in danger..." I said and drove past Luigi's.
"There he is!" Charlie cried out and I screeched the tires and turned around,while Charlie opened the window and shouted : "Get in!"
Marc looked around and saw that two guys were rushing towards him. Immediately,he began to run for the car and the two guys pulled out their pistols and fired shots at Marc.
One shot missed Marc and shattered a window. The second shot missed Marc also,hitting an orange in a market stall. The third one was a hit,ripping through Marc,making him fall. The fourth bullet yanked through his leg and the fifth bullet nearly missed his head.
"Charlie,cover me!" I shouted and I stepped out of the car,returning fire. The gangsters immediately ran for it and I dragged Marc in the car.
"He's spitting out blood" Charlie said,as I laid Marc flat on the backseat.
"Hold on Marc... Just hold on..." I said and I immediately drove towards the hospital,going 90 miles per hour in the city,switching lanes and honking my horn...
Suddenly Molly stopped.
"I have a feeling we might want to go to Luigi's." she told Nellie thoughtfully. "After all its the first solid clue we have, plus Marc's all alone around there, it could be dangerous."
"Yeah, I think you're right. I can't imagine what the northeast side could hold for us in all of this." Nellie said, and Molly quickly hailed a cab and directed the driver to take them to Luigi's.
10 Minutes Later
Molly was startled out of her pensive reverie as Nellie suddenly sat forward.
"Was that Vulkie?" she demanded, and Molly craned over to see what she was looking at.
"It is!" Molly exclaimed, frowning slightly. "She's driving like a hellion. Is that blood...on the window?!"
Nellie gasped. "They must be going to the hospital. I see Charlie in the front, that could only mean..."
"Take us to the hospital!" Molly barked, then turned around in her seat to look at Luigis as it receded in the distance. A window was shattered, and there was obvious evidence of some sort of fight.
"This is not good." Molly said, her voice matter-of-fact as she stared grimly out the front window.
As the car sped down the busy street we all heard a loud explosion from behind us. Vulkie was swerving in and out of traffic sometimes in the wrong lane. Driving straight at on coming traffic.
" HOLD ON MARC!" I yelled over all the noise. Marc was going in and out of consciousness.
Vulkie looked back at me and I could only shake my head
" Vulkie you've got to step on it he's losing alot of blood." I said looking at my own clothes that were covered in Marc's life blood.
" Were going as fast as this bucket will go!" Vulkie yelled back at me.
When we finally got to St. Cathrine's Hospital we were being trailed by what seemed like the entire police force. Doctors and nurses were running around us poking and jabbing at our friend.
4 hours later.....
Dr. Robertson came over to us in the waiting room I stood up " How is he Doc?" I asked......
" He'll be fine you guys did really good getting him here as fast as you did."
By this time Molly and Nellie joined us......... " The whole town is buzzing about what happened. Sorry I missed the party." Molly said. Nellie was off talking to one of her police friends.
She returned to us a few minutes later I filled her in she told us " The police said were free to go. But they did tell me Craig's mom was found murdered someone strangled her with a garrote."
"A garrote?" I repeated " That sounds like Micheal "The Bulldog" Gambetti's signature peice of work" I said.
Vulkie looked at us and said " With Marc laid up we need to get out there and find out whats going on. We need to move now. Lets meet back here in 4 hours."
We all took off trying to get ahold of informants who could help us in anyway possible.....
Molly nodded at Charlie's words and exited the hospital briskly, turning the corner to find a public phone. Checking around to make sure no one was paying special attention to her, she quickly dialed a number and held the phone to her ear, running a hand through her hair as the other line was picked up.
"Nicolas, darling." she chirped, slipping easily into the frivolous tone of Amelia de Maltesse. "It's Amelia, no time for a chat at the moment I'm afraid, I simply need an address that I hear is rather hard to come by....yes. The name is Kevin Craig, have you got anything?... you ARE an angel. Thank you darling."
She hung up the phone and quickly scrawled the address on two pieces of paper, then hurried back into the hospital and gave one to the woman at the front desk, explaining that her friends would be back and if she didnt return to make sure they got it. Then she hurried outside and caught another cab.
The cab pulled up in front of the apartment building specified in the address, and Molly marched through the front door, presently finding the apartment of Kevin Craig. She knocked on the door. A tall man answered.
"Are you Kevin Craig?" she demanded, putting a wide smile on your face. "I was wondering if you could tell me where I might find your brother, Charles Craig."
He looked fearful, she mused, but ushered her in. "Of course! Are you a detective?"
She smiled slightly, and nodded. "Yes, I..."
She heard a small creak behind her and whirled to see a giant hulk of a man standing behind her. Reflexively she backed up and Kevin Craig grabbed her firmly from behind.
The huge man consulted something he was holding in his hand, and peered at Molly's face. He waved it once, and she saw it was an old picture of her, or rather of Amelia.
"Yep, that's her." he said, dropping the photograph on the ground. "So you and your detective friends are causing a lot of trouble for our dear friend Craig,the Boss has some questions for you."
With that he produced a rag from his pocket and advanced on Molly, who was fiercely struggling to escape from Kevin. However much she struggled though, he held on firmly.
Smiling a little, the man forced the suspiciously sweet-smelling rag over her nose and mouth and even as she kicked him viciously in the shin, her head spun and with a tiny sigh, she let her impossibly heavy eyelids close and sunk down into the darkness.
"Good work." the man said, and slung Molly over his shoulder. He started towards the door, but Kevin called out after him.
"What about my payment?" he called.
The man stopped, and reached into his pocket..
"Course, I forgot. Here's your payment." he said jovially, and turned to shoot Kevin Craig right between the eyes. He moved on, whistling a tune, and didnt even bother to shut the door behind him.
I awoke to a dimly lit room. Everything seemed fuzzy. I tried to sit up but couldn't. A sharp pain ripped through my chest. Then I remembered it. The whole thing.
I was walking away from the man I had mistaken as Charles. Vulkie and Charlie pulled up and yelled for me to get in. As I made my way to their car, two men fired at me. Two bullets ripped through me.
I fell unconscience they brought me here. I looked around the hospital room. A nurse was in there tending to my IV. "I'm glad to see you awake," she said.
"Glad to be awake," I replied quietly. The doctor entered the room just then. "I'm happy to see you up, Marc." he said, "I'm doctor Warren Robertson." he continued, extending his arm for a hand shake.
"It's nice to meet you, doc." I said shaking his hand.
"Your wounds seem to be healing. but it will take some time. Lucky for you, no organs got hit. The first bullet just missed your spinal column by a mere 2 millimeters, while the second bullet barely grazed your leg. You're a lucky survivor."
"Thanks doc. Listen, I'm in the middle of working on a case. How long until I can get up and start back on it?" I asked.
"With your torso wound, I'd say a minimum of five days."
"Five days???!!! I dont' have five days! I'm trying to find a killer working with the MAFIA!" I yelled
"I'm sorry Marc. You'll have to stay here over night-"
"I"m not staying here over night." I snapped. "I reached for my IV cord to pull it out-needle and all.
"I wouldn't do that if I were you. That pain medicine is keeping you from extreme pain."
"Let me tell you something doc!" I yelled. "I was in the great war! I know what pain is. I've been shot before. I know how to deal with the pain!" I said.
"Fine, we'll have you checked out by morning. I can't let you leave tonight. The earliest I can get you out is tomorrow morning." The doctor said impatiently. Then he walked out of the room. The only thing I could do now was wait for the gang to come in.
Molly came to very slowly.
Her vision was fuzzy, and her head seemed impossibly heavy as she lifted it and blearily looked around. She was handcuffed by her left wrist to a chair in a sparse room. A table was before her, as was a new man before her, calmly leafing through her notepad.
"Didn't your mother ever teach you it was bad form to read a girl's diary?" she asked, her voice scratchy from lack of water. She let her head fall forward, her red hair falling from its previously perfect style as she willed her rusty brain to think.
The man chuckled. "You keep a very interesting diary, Miss..."
"Maltese." Molly said with a sigh, running her hand through her hair and surreptitiously checking to see if her gun was still safely stored in the front of her dress. It was; she couldn't help but raise her eyebrows in surprise at their lack of thoroughness.
The man must have read her mind, for he leisurely stood and crossed around the table, looking down at her with an almost kind expression.
"You aren't armed by any chance, are you Miss Maltese?" he asked.
"Not a chance." she said with a smile, and then sighed as he shook his head slightly and with a flicker of a grin, reached down the front of her dress to clasp the handle of her gun.
"Good lord, Tiger, at least buy me dinner first!" she said with a grin and a bat of her eyelashes. He laughed and sat back down, spinning her gun idly on the top of the desk.
"So Miss Maltese, tell me why you're hunting for Charles Craig..." he asked, his black eyes boring into hers.
Leaving the hospital to get my head clear,I saw a car rushing by. "Nah,nothing" I murmered as it rushed by and there stood Ace,on the other side of the road.
"Ace" I murmered and I blank minded walked to the other side,not knowing there were cars coming. Charlie immediately pulled me back on the street and yelled : "What's the matter with you?!"
"Sorry,one of my visions..." I said (See Josèe for reference).
"Ah,you told me about them. Stuck for life eh?" Charlie said and I nodded. "Yeah..." I murmered and walked a while with Charlie.
"Charlie,business has been slow for me at the moment" I began and he sighed. "Same for me Vulkie,same for me" as Charlie patted me on the shoulder.
"This is my first case in three months. I needed to get out. Staying with Joseph and Heimlich isn't really making my life easier" I said and Charlie nodded.
"Well,they also need time for themselves. So do I,so does Marc,so does Molly etc. etc." Charlie said. We stopped at a bar. "I'll buy you some drinks" I said and Charlie smiled. "Thanks" he said and so we entered the bar...
3 hours later.
Returning to the hospital,we saw that Marc was awake. "Hiya Marc. So,where's Nellie and Molly?" I asked and he murmered something about not asking how he was doing. "Nellie's over there" he said and pointed to Nellie,who immediately waved back.
"As for Molly..." Marc began slowly and I sighed. "Let me guess,not returned yet?" I said and he nodded.
"Great..." I said and Charlie took a seat next to Marc.
"Let's wait for her" Charlie said and we waited for 5 hours...
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