Wednesday, July 29, 2015

O'Hanlon on the Job - Day 25

The two of them exited the door and entered the outer office area, where the secretary was buffing her nails. 

"Good-bye, fellas, come back and visit sometime." She smiled charmingly at the two detectives. Pixley winked back at her as they left the office.

Zeb just shook his head, knowing it did no good to reprove his partner, but gave it the old college try.

"One of these days, that winking is going to get you in a heap of hot water. You're going to use it at the wrong time and place. Then, whammo!"

"Nah! Just keeping the lady friendly to us. Never know when we might be able to use her help."

"Tell me, what was on the other sides of those doors, Pix?"

"Well, the first one was to the outer hallway and came out just around the corner from the one we just left. The second one, I'm not sure, because there was just darkness and I didn't have time to see. It gave the feeling of a fair sized space, though."

"Hmmm. Listen, we need to look into the death of his partner. It sounds common enough, but I wouldn't discount foul play. Whitaker strikes me as an oily individual, with very few ethics."

"Okay. Are we headed back to the murder scene, now?" Pixley asked as they stepped out of the elevator and headed to their vehicle.

"Yeah, I want to talk to some of their neighbors, maybe re-interview some of them. Especially, that lady who seems to hear everything going on, day and night."



Tuesday, July 28, 2015

O'Hanlon on the Job - Day 24

"Mr. Whitaker, why don't you tell us a bit about your partner's death....you said he died in a car accident. How did it happen.....do you know? And when was it? "

"Hmmm.  About a year ago, he was on a trip in a neighboring state, in fact, returning home. It was concerning an investment in our business. It was around twelve-thirty in the morning, and his car apparently left the road. He had, according to the coroner's report, a fairly high blood alcohol content. It seems he and Ruth had been having some trouble in their marriage. Oh, yes, he avoided talking about it, but I knew it existed."

"Where were you when you heard about the accident, sir? Do you rememember?"

"The morning news was on, and I was at home, shaving, getting ready for church. It was a Sunday morning, and my wife insists that I attend Mass with her. I always go, you know. Have to keep the little woman happy."

Whitaker flicked at imaginary cigar ashes on his tie,and smiled unctuously at the two officers.

"I see, well, we will be going now, but no doubt we may need to speak with you again before we're finished."

"Of course, of course! Anytime, detectives. My secretary will show you out. I have some important calls to make. You understand, I'm sure."

Pixley walked to one of the doors and opened it. 

"Oops. Wrong door. Sorry."

Then he walked to another one.

"Uh, oh... Sorry. Say, you got a lot of doors to this big office of yours."

"Come on, Pix, quit fooling around. This is the door to the outer office. We've got places to go yet. Sorry, Mr. Whitaker. We'll get out of your hair, now. We most likely may need to talk to you again."

By this time, Whitaker had almost lost his composure, and was rising from behind his desk. 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

O'Hanlon on the Job - Day 23

"Mr. Whitaker, you seem very ready to condemn Fred Lyman. Bad blood between the two of you? I don't think we've even said anything about the demise of Ruth Lyman, and yet you seem ready to put her in the grave. For all you know, she is alive and well. We are acting on a complaint her son lodged against you. He told us that you have been trying to bilk his mother out of her money. What have you to say about that?"

"Why...why..." Whitaker removed the cigar from his mouth and began to sputter.

He leaned forward in his chair, placing his palms on the desk.

"The nerve of that young whelp! Someone needs to teach him not to go around accusing honest citizens of thievery! I warned Ruth several years ago that she was coddling him and it would bring no good to her. But she wouldn't listen! Now, look. All sorts of trouble he has brought her way! He can't hold down a job, his wife left him, and he's depending on his mother for support. That's what he's concerned with! Where his next meal is coming from!" 

Pix looked over at Zeb and lifted his eyebrows. They were certainly getting an earful, for sure! Zeb just leaned back in the chair waiting to see if they were going to hear any more. He knew that sooner or later, a person's true colors would show through.

Monday, July 20, 2015

O'Hanlon on the Job - Day 22

"According to her son, Mrs. Ruth Lyman was talking to you late last evening, Mr. Whitaker. Are you denying that?"

"Oh, I thought you meant the last time I saw her in person! Yes, we were talking around midnight, and I heard her having an altercation with her son. She was trying to shush him. He was always interfering in her business. I think maybe he was always trying to get money from her. Bad business, if you ask me."

"What else can you tell me about your conversation last night?"

"Well...let me see. She had to finally hang up because he was becoming violent with her, demanding she not invest her money with my company, calling me a crook! The nerve of him! Ever since his father died in that accident, he has been trying to get his hands on her money. Poor woman! I need to go see her again."

"Hmmm. Very interesting, Mr. Whitaker. Now, can you tell me what you did after hanging up the phone?"

"Why do you want to know? Has something happened? Has she filed some kind of complaint? Has her son done something to his mother? She was fearful the last time we talked that he was going to do something desperate."

"Really? Well, that is interesting. Now, about what you did after you stopped talking to her?"

"Well, I was upset with how matters were going for her, she is a dear friend, you know. She and her husband and I were very close, him being my partner and all. We did a lot together socially all those years. That boy of hers has killed her, hasn't he? Finally it happened! You should hear some of the rows they used to have! How did he kill her?"


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

O'Hanlon on the Job - Day 21

Zeb leaned back into the chair, and resting his left arm on the easy chair, looked just as comfortable as Whitaker. 

Smiling disarmingly at Whitaker, he asked, "Tell me about your association with Mrs. Lyman, your dead partner's wife."

"Why do you gentlemen want to know that? What business is it of yours? Who are you, anyway?"

Zeb leaned forward, his red hair falling onto his forehead.

"Don't play the innocent with us, Mr. Whitaker. You know we are the police! I saw you noticing the badge on my belt as you entered the office." 

"Oh, all right...but why are you here? Has something happened concerning me?"

"When was the last time you saw Mrs. Lyman? When did you last speak with her?"

"Hmmm. Let me see... I remember talking to her last week. Why are you interested in that? She was wanting to invest some money with me. I told her that I needed to look into it further before taking any money from her."

"Really?"

"Yes, she was quite anxious. It seems she was in desperate need of increasing her money. Her son was bleeding her for help. He makes next to nothing with that crummy business of his."

Pixley was looking around the office as the two men talked, noticing the layout. There were two other doors in the office besides the one they had entered. He also noticed a folded afghan on the floor next to the plush couch. It looked as though the intent of the user had been to put it behind the couch and had missed.

"Hmmm," he thought. "Wonder if Whitaker uses the couch for something besides sitting?"

Monday, July 13, 2015

O'Hanlon on the Job - Day 20

"May we speak with you for a few minutes, Mr. Whitaker?" Zeb moved quickly toward Whitaker.

"Harumph! Why, yes, of course! You've come to speak to me about investing?" Whitaker asked nervously.

"No, I'm afraid not. If you don't mind, we'd like to speak to you in private, sir."

"Of course, of course! Annie, would you bring us some coffee? Maybe some doughnuts, as well? I haven't had a chance for breakfast yet. Would you offic...er, ah, gentlemen, come with me please?"

Zeb and Pix knew they had been recognized as police officers, even in their plain clothes suits. So much for taking Whitaker by surprise. 

As they entered the office, Zeb immediately was amazed by the plush carpet and large desk in the room. No expense had been spared in this room. A couch upholstered with costly materials and oil paintings on the wall, spoke of ostentation. The drapes on the windows had not been purchased at any dry goods store either, thought Zeb.

Harry pointed to a couple of occasional chairs near the mahogany desk, as he sat behind it, indicating they should be seated.

He picked up an expensive looking box on the corner of the desk and offered them a cigar. Upon their refusal, he took one for himself, clipping the end and lighting the cigar.

"Now, gentlemen, what can I do for you?" he asked, puffing the cigar..  

Thursday, July 9, 2015

O'Hanlon on the Job - Day 19

The two police detectives entered the building and looked around at the lobby taking note of the shabbiness that did not speak well of the success of the occupants.

Pushing the elevator button, they waited as the cage made its way slowly down.

After exiting on the second floor, the two followed the numbers to office number 213.

"Hmm. Well, I see a light is on. Someone got here early, it seems." This came from Pixley.

Zeb tried the door and found it opened easily. Stepping inside the door, he saw a young woman at the reception desk look past her mirror. She was applying a dab of lipstick to already red lips.

"Can I help you, gentlemen? Mr. Whitaker hasn't arrived yet."

"When do you expect him, Miss...?" Zeb asked her.

"Turner, the name is Turner. What is your business with him?"

"We just need to talk to him. It is between him and us. Is he a good boss, ma'am?"

"You have a nerve! Asking me such a question. I can't see how that is any of your business? Are you here about the m.."

Just then the office door opened and a man of about 60 entered.

"Oh, Mr. Whitaker! These men are here to see you!" The young woman looked quite relieved to turn them over to her boss.

Zeb watched as Harry Whitaker nervously straightened his already straight tie, and then adjust his collar.