Constable Mary Scott had been assigned to Sergeant Nick Rogers of homicide. The sergeant insisted that he should drive the police vehicle they used. This left Mary feeling very inferior to her new partner.
A body had been found in one of the big garbage bins. This oversize bin didn’t belong in the spot where it had been found. Nick told her they had to find out where it came from. The young constables wearing uncomfortable gloves had the job of searching through the garbage.
“What are we looking for; the corpse still had the rope around his neck didn’t he?” a young constable called Tanya asked Mary.
“Some identification would help,” Mary answered.
“Keep in touch.” Nick called through the car window.
“Oh! sergeant. You’re not going?”
Too late, Nick had driven off.
Mary went back to tossing rubbish around with a vengeance. ‘I don’t see how anyone would be strong enough to wheel this here. It’s a mini skip.’ she dragged more rubbish out.
“Hold it,” Tanya yelled. “What’s that?” It looked like an inside-out wallet.
Mary picked it up it was a wallet with nothing in it. It was, however an unusual piece of work.
“It is specially made. I don’t think anyone would toss a wallet like that away,” said Tanya.
Mary called the sergeant and told him about the wallet.
“Get Tanya to bring it in. You and her partner can keep searching.”
Now Mary was really angry. She kept at the job until there was no rubbish left to look through and the sun set, and everyone else was going, so she accepted a lift in the last car to leave, the sergeant wasn’t coming back for her.
That night she thought her back would break. She bathed but still thought she could smell rubbish. She stood under the shower and decided to drown herself. It didn’t work so then more shampoo and more conditioner. Lots of towels, lots of talc. Then to bed. The tears came and she cried herself to sleep. She dreamed that Nick was holding her in his arms and telling her he loved her. She woke with a start. The phone was buzzing. She picked it up and managed to get out a word that passed for hello.
“Oh! Hello. You got home okay. Go back to sleep I’ll see you in the morning.” Mary grunted and hung the phone back where it belonged on the first or second attempt, hoping to get back to her dream.
The next morning Mary wasn’t sure if Nick had phoned or not. She was ready to leave her flat when he arrived at her door to pick her up. It surprised Mary when Nick told her to drive. She felt nervous when she first took off. ‘This man’s chemistry is getting to me. Snap out of it,’ she scolded herself.
“We’re going to the synagogue, the one in town do you know it?” Nick asked.
“Yes, I know it.” Mary answered abruptly.
‘She’s mad at me, no breakfast, she must be hungry.’ Nick thought.
“Pull into the hospital. I’ll be out in ten minutes,” he ordered.
Mary sat in the driver’s seat and waited. She was very upset with herself. That old black magic was not going to ruin her reputation of a good cop.
Nick came out of the hospital in ten minutes, as he’d said he would. He got into the passenger side seat and handed her a small box. He opened one exactly the same and produced a steak sandwich. “Go on, eat,” he ordered
“Thank you,” she said.
“That’s better,” he grinned. “You don’t hate me anymore do you?”
“I never hated you sergeant.”
“Then call me Nick,” he said.
“Do you always shop at the hospital Nick?”
“Why not? They’re clean.”
“I never thought of that,” Mary smiled.
“It’s a nice little café. I’ll take you there for dinner some day,” Nick said.
“Is that a promise?”
“Drive carefully, don’t kill me and it’s a promise.”
Very soon they reached the synagogue.
The Rabi agreed with what Nick already knew. The wallet was the work of a Jewish family business in the city. There was a Jewish man missing and his mother was very worried about him. She was too upset to be troubled by the police according to the Rabi. However he gave Nick her address and asked them not to frighten her until they knew for sure the murder victim was her son. The Rabi also gave them the man’s fiancée’s address.
The Rabi identified the man as Lewis Kauffman.
The Rabi felt it was Lewis before he was shown the body. He knew Lewis was scared by someone and thinking of calling his wedding to Elizabeth Kelly off. Elizabeth was a sweet girl and had changed her religion so that they could have a nice Jewish wedding. The Rabi filled them in with information about the families He himself had told Lewis he should go ahead. He felt responsible for what had happened to him.
Mary had done the difficult task of questioning Mrs. Kauffman. According to the lady Mr. Kelly was a bigot. “He isn’t a very nice man, poor Elisabeth,” she said. The Rabi had already told them all this and Mary left the place with nothing new to report.
“Probably her brother or father,” Mary suggested.
“That’s who we are going to talk to right now,” said Nick as he got into the drivers seat. “I don’t understand why the girl changed her religion when she knew how her family would feel about it.”
“So Lewis lynched himself?” Mr. Kelly said after the sergeant told him why they were there.
“No, he was probably murdered.”
“Oh! So someone else lynched him?”
“It looks like that,” Nick agreed.
“Well I didn’t do it,” he said. “It’d probably take more than one man to hang him. He wasn’t a little guy,” he chuckled.
Elisabeth’s brother could not be found and Mr. Kelly said he’d have him call at the station. “But he didn’t do it.” Mr. Kelly insisted.
Nick and Mary returned to headquarters to find Inspector Fagan had returned to duty. They filled him in on all the details.
“It looks like it would take more than one man to do it unless,” Inspector Fagan paused. “I remember a case where a Jewish man was getting married to please his parents. It was a double suicide. Him and his boyfriend.”
“We better ask more questions,” Nick said. “Come on Mary, back to work.”
“Where are we going now?” asked Mary.
“Back to see Mrs. Kauffman. We have to find out more about her son.” Nick smiled at her. He had discovered he liked having her for a partner.
“Well you come in too. I didn’t get any information when I tried.”
The door of the Kauffman home was answered by a young woman who turned out to be Elisabeth Kelly. And Elisabeth was someone Nick wanted to see.
“I am sure dad and Ed didn’t do it. Dad was getting used to the idea and Ed couldn’t care less.”
“Did he have any special friends?” Nick asked.
“Not really. He spent a lot of time with the Rabi and at the Gym.”
“And how much time did he spend with you?” Mary asked.
“We were to be married. I loved Lewis very much and we decided it was better not to see too much of each other before the wedding.”
“I see. Can you give me the address of the Gym?” Nick asked.
“It was Sam Robins Gym down in the old warehouse on the corner of King Street and the main road.
They found the place without any trouble. Sam Rubins in tight jeans and no shirt was a gorgeous specimen with bulging muscles, shining tanned skin and platinum blond hair. Mary gasped. Nick looked at her and grinned.
Sam had a strange look on his face when they introduced themselves to him.
Yes he did know Lewis, he worked out with him, and Sam didn’t want them annoying his clients. “These guys are busy,” he said.
Nick looked up at the rafters. He thought he could see a spot where a rope had left its mark. “Okay, we’ll leave now but we’ll be back. They walked back to the car. Nick called headquarters for a team to come and search the place. Inspector Fagan came with them.
Sam tried to stop them but they knew their job. “Okay, okay I cut him down. It didn’t seem to be my business. I put the rubbish bin under him and he dropped in when I cut the rope. I didn’t kill him. He was dead when I arrived. I was expecting customers. I just wheeled the bin up to where you found it.”
“What happened to his wallet?”
“I didn’t touch him. If something’s gone someone else got to him before he was found.”
“Take him in and let him make a statement.” Fagan ordered Nick and Mary.
Back at headquarters Sam made his statement and was held until he was charged with a minor offence. A boyfriend soon bailed him out. He skipped bail and left the country.
Mary and Nick continued to be partners at work and in her dreams.
Until Nick finally kept his promise and took her out to dinner.
But that’s another story.