Friday, September 4, 2015

O'Hanlon on the Job - Day 34

The two detectives arrived at the house and noted how run-down it appeared to be. The gate was just barely hanging on with one hinge. There was an old, beat-up Ford in the driveway which seemed to indicate Tina Lyman might be at home.

Zeb noticed also that the bottom step to the porch was loosened. 

"Careful, Pix, or you could wind up on your face." Zeb cautioned him.

"Wow, you'd think that Lyman could do some work around here, since he does odd jobs for people." Pix replied sarcastically. 

Zeb pushed the doorbell and found it didn't work either, so he knocked.

A couple of minutes later, just as they had decided no one was home, the front door opened, revealing a woman, wearing a coat, and with a cigarette dangling from her lips. 

"Yeah,whadda ya want? I don't want to buy nothing, whatever ya might be selling!" 

She began closing the door in their faces.

"Wait, please, Mrs. Lyman?" 

Removing the cigarette from her lips, she peered at the two of them closely.

"Say, who are you anyway? How'd you know my name? Are you bill collectors? I ain't got any money, so you might as well leave!"

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

O'Hanlon on the Job - Day 33

"Before we go to the station, I think we need to go to Lyman's house and see if his missus is back, Pix. We might just get invited in."

"But, Zee! Didn't he say she was at her mother's?"

"Do we even know if he was telling us the truth? You know we never take anything as gospel told to us by a suspect, Pix. Besides, taking a look around his house may tell us something we need to know. If she's there and is willing to talk to us, we can take a surreptitious look around without being obvious."

"Okay, okay! Let's go, then."

Pixley put the auto into gear and headed for the little town that the Lymans resided in.

While on the way, Zeb took another look at the ever-growing file. He made a few notes about the conversation they had with Iva Jean.

"Say, do you suppose Iva was spinning us a yarn about a woman being there earlier this morning, after we left the crime scene? Maybe we need to send the tech back to check for more finger prints... I feel like we're missing something on this case...going nowhere fast."

"Yeah, Zee, I know what you mean. But we've only been on it a few hours; things are gonna pick up soon. I've got a feeling about it." 


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

O'Hanlon on the Job - Day 32

Zeb was still chuckling to himself when he got into the car where Pix was waiting, and saw the bag of cookies on the dash of the car.

"You handed me this bag of cookies and took off back upstairs; what was I supposed to do with them?" stated Pix.

"Why, take them back to the station, I suppose."

"Ha! I'll take them to Morton; he'll scarf 'em down and never know the difference."

"Now, Pix! We'll just toss them in the trash as soon as we get back. We both know they are full of cat hairs. I wouldn't do that to an anyone."

"Well...listen, what did the old lady tell you? Anything new?"

"Yes, she was telling me that she never got any sleep because of all the goings-on at the Lyman's apartment."

"Hmmm. You reckon maybe she done in the neighbor?"

"Nah! She's harmless. She can talk up a blue streak, but I don't take her to be a killer."

"Well, if you say so, Zee. All I know is I had a neighbor once who owned a dog, and she loved that dog. Dog got run over by another neighbor's friend...well, let's just say, that sweet little old lady got sent up for murder."

Monday, August 17, 2015

O'Hanlon on the Job - Day 31

Within a few minutes, Zeb was once again knocking on Miss Iva's door. 

"Why, hello, officer! Did you forget something?"

"Yes, ma'am, I did. I needed to ask you about the ladies that came to visit with your neighbor. Did she have any regular visitors that you might know of?"

"Well, that secretary of Mr. Whitaker sometimes came to see her. I heard them arguing one time. And there were some ladies that met there once in awhile to play some kind of cards. Now, let's see, what did they call that game? Some kind of ladies club... ah! Yes! I heard the call it a bridge club! Don't know what kind of bridges they talked about, but they sure could argue some times!"

"Do you know if Mr. Whitaker's wife ever came to see her?"

"Why, yes! Come to think of it, she was in that bridge club! She was one of 'em that got real loud sometimes, calling the others big cheaters. Mercy to goodness! I'm sure glad I don't have to listen to all that noise any more. A body couldn't get any sleep around here sometimes, cause they would stay till real late. Eleven o'clock even, sometimes!"

"Now, think carefully, Miss Iva Jean. Did the woman you saw leaving this morning look familiar to you at all?"

"'m sorry, officer. I can't say as she did. It was only a glimpse, you know, and I'd hate to put anybody in trouble that wasn't guilty of anything. You understand, don't you?"

"Sure, I do. Well, thank you for all your help. I'll be in touch. You take care, now, Miss Iva, ma'am."

Just then, Fluffy escaped again, and off went Miss Iva to chase him down.

Zeb headed for the elevator, smiling broadly to himself. 

"What a sweet old lady she is, and what a character!" he thought.

Friday, August 14, 2015

O'Hanlon on the Job - Day 30

As they left the apartment, Pix noticed the bronzed nameplate next to the old lady's door. 

"Miss Iva Jean Kinder," he read aloud. "Say, didn't she say her name was Ivy Jean?"

"Ah! Pix, you, being from the northern part of these United States, most likely wouldn't know that "y" is quite often added to the end of names ending in an "a". Believe me, it's quite common here in the South. Don't let it throw you." 

"Okay, I guess so, just seems a bit strange to me. Say, did you see all those cat hairs all over her kitchen table?" Pix inquired after pressing the elevator button. "I'll just bet those cookies are full of them. Probably what makes them so hard to bite, cause the hairs are gluing them together."

Zeb just shook his head, smiling at Pixley's ramblings.

By the time they reached the car, Zeb was ready to look at the files again. 

"Who was the woman in that apartment of Ruth Lyman this morning?" Zeb was musing to himself. "I should have thought to ask Iva Jean if she knew of any women who might have visited Ruth on a regular basis. No matter, I'm sure she will be calling us before the day is over. Just wait a couple of minutes, Pix, I'm going to go back up there for a couple of minutes. I may find she can give me some more information. I'll be right back. Don't eat all those cookies while I'm gone! "

Zeb left chuckling.  

Monday, August 10, 2015

O'Hanlon on the Job - Day 29

The coffee did smell really good; much better than the day-old coffee they quite often had at the station. The aroma coming from the cookie jar when Ivy Jean opened it was heavenly, too.

Pixley sat down and grabbed another tissue, but was happy to have the oatmeal cookie on the saucer offered to him. He took a draught of the coffee and it felt soothing to his upper palate, where the itchy feeling occurred just before he had sneezed. Ahhh, he thought.

Biting into the cookie, he found it quite hard.

"Oh, Detective, these are dunkers. My recipe makes them a little crunchy, so they are really good to dunk into your coffee and eat them that way. Try it! You'll see."

As he sipped his coffee, Zeb just sat quietly observing the action of the two people and smiling.

Pixley dunked the cookie and, doing so, happened to glance down at the table, where he saw a few stray hairs. 

He decided, all at once, that he could do without the cookie or the coffee. 

Taking the napkin from his lap, he laid it over the cookie and decided to just drink the coffee, although hesitantly. 

"I just realized, Miss Ivy Jean, that I'm really not hungry. The sneezing,  you know, really bothers my appetite. Thank you, anyway. What I had was delicious."

Zeb decided it was time to get to the crux of the reason they were here. 

"Now, you say you heard some noises coming from Mrs. Whitaker's apartment while ago, before we got here?"

"Oh, yes, I did. So I was heading for the door to watch and see who it was when they left. But then, Fluffy, that bad kitty, jumped up on my kitchen table and I had to come back in here to fuss at her. By the time I had got through talking to her, I realized they had left. I just got to the door in time to see it was a woman and she was getting on the elevator. Then, poof! She was gone. I ran to the window to see if I could tell who it was when they got to the street. But no use. I'm sorry, that's all I can tell you."

Pixley looked at Zeb. It seems they had another suspect to add to the growing list.

"Well, thank you, Miss Ivy Jean. You have certainly been most helpful! Is there anything else you can tell us?"

"No; but if I think of anything else, I'll certainly be sure to call you. Here, take some of these with you. I'll just put them in this paper poke for you."

"Thank you kindly, ma'am." Zeb smiled down at the old lady, and took the sack of cookies. "I'll share them with the others down at the station. I'm sure they'll love them. Bye now. Thank you for all your help."

Miss Ivy Jean beamed up at him and patted her hair, giggling like a school girl. 

"You're more than welcome. Bye now."

Friday, August 7, 2015

O'Hanlon on the Job = Day 28

Zeb locked the door after the three left the apartment and headed next door to the adjoining apartment.

"Come on in, officers! I'll just shut these three kitties into my bedroom. Now, Blossom, don't you fuss! Lilly Mae, you get out of that basket of clothes! Come on, girls! I have a treat for you!"

She opened a can of cat food and the three cats followed her, crowding around her feet.

Within minutes, Ivy Jean was back with the two detectives, and handing a box of tissues to Pixley.

"Ker-choo! Thank ker-choo, ker-choo, you!"

"Come on in and have a seat, now, in the kitchen, and we'll talk! I'm sure you'd like some fresh coffee, wouldn't you? I just made it. I was awakened about thirty minutes ago by noises from next door. I had just gotten back to sleep in my Big Boy lounger. All that noise last night and then the activity when you fellas came to investigate, I had lost a lot of sleep!"

"Did you say thirty minutes ago? Are you sure? "

"Well, of course, I am! I looked at my mantel clock! Please, have an oatmeal cookie or two?"

Pixley started to speak, but another sneeze interrupted his speech. After catching the sneeze, he shook his head no, waving the old lady away.

The two men sat at the kitchen table. Zeb had enough experience talking to witnesses to realize they weren't going to get any meaningful information without abiding to her wishes. She was lonesome; it was as simple as that.