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Friday, May 18, 2012

A Song of the Past: Installment Eight

(Previous installment.)

Tuesday, 4:00 PM
 “Detective O’Reilly, you have a visitor.” It was the desk officer, greeting Deirdre upon her return to the station.

“And who might that be?”

“Alvin Blaine, the fellow you had in here the other day.”

“Well, I’ll bet this is the first time young Alvin has ever come into a police station voluntarily.”

“No doubt.”

“Where have you put him?”

“He’s in Interview Room 8.”

When Deirdre arrived at the room she found Alvin in his habitual posture when seated, slouched low in his chair, his feet on the table. He was wearing a Georgetown sweatshirt.



“Now Alvin, how can you be a fan of both UConn and Georgetown?”

“Well, my cousin, he played ball for UConn, but John Thompson’s my main man.”

“Ah, John Thompson’s okay, but Jim Calhoun, now there’s a coach.”

“Yeah? How many Final Fours UConn been in?”

“Alvin, you’ve got me there. But we made the Elite Eight last year.”

“Yeah, and how you gonna get any further with that little fat boy playin’ point guard?”

“El-Amin? You watch: the little fat boy is gonna win them a championship this year.”

“You wanna put some money on it?”

Deirdre’s eyes widened. “And what would your friends and mine make of it if they saw either of us giving the other money?”

“Yeah, I guess you right.”

“But what was it you wanted to see me about?”

Alvin looked around the room as if searching for cue cards. Finally his eyes went to the floor. “I was thinking about what you was saying the other day. And I do wanna see the man who did Ben caught.”
Deirdre looked at him encouragingly.

“Ben told me about a week ago he knew something that was gonna make him a lot of money, even more than dealing. It was a secret he knew about somebody, and he expected the man gonna pay him good to keep him quiet. Seems like he decided to keep him real quiet.”

“Did he tell you anything about the man?”

“Some rich white guy. I think he some Wall St. dude, or somethin’. Real Brooks Brothers. But he didn’t tell me no name or nothin’.”

“And what about the secret. Did he say anything about that?”

“He said it was about something that was hid for a long time, but if his man didn’t pay up, it wouldn’t be hid no more. That’s all I know.”

“Can you think of anyone who might have seen him with this man?”

“Naw. Wasn’t like he was hangin’ with him or nothin’. He musta met him somewhere, but I never knew ‘bout it.”

Deirdre’s mind was working feverishly. Was there anything else to ask, something Alvin wouldn’t think of on his own? Perhaps one thing. She decided it was worth a chance.

“Alvin, wait here for a minute. There’s something I want to show you, to see if you recognize it.”

She came back to the room with a photo of the tie tack and put it on the table in front of him.

“Look carefully at this. Not the tie tack, but the symbol on it. Have you seen it anywhere?”

Alvin studied the photo for only seconds before answering. “Yeah. Ben spray-painted that on the wall of the projects ‘cross the street from the train station ‘bout a week ago, maybe the night after he told me he was gonna get a lotta money. I axed him what it was, but he just said if his man didn’t pay up, lotta people was gonna find out what it was.”

“Alvin, you’ve been a big help. If you think of anything else, call me, or stop in again.”

She reached her hand across the table to Alvin. He took it with a slight look of surprise. As they shook she said to him, “Alvin, we’re gonna get this guy.” A smile spread across his face.

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