Solitaire, Part 5

Eddie has captured the burglar Red Ace.  The local police captain, Edison O’Mally, wants some answers from our hero.  Come back tomorrow for part 6! 

* * *

Captain Edison O’Mally of the Arcadia Police Department stood near the door while a uniform took my statement outside the Funeral Parlor.  Two more uniformed officers were rolling Red Ace into a custody wagon, the bubble from the popgun having not dissolved yet.

“So you just happened to be having a quiet drink when a known criminal entered the bar in a completely unrelated coincidence?” the office repeated back to me, incredulously.  I’d had to embellish my story a little bit to protect the not-so-innocent (me).

“That’s correct, Officer Higgins,” I replied, my face attempting to beam honesty and settling for not completely giving everything away.

“So, how come five other patrons report that the suspect was seen at your table, having a rather heated conversation with you?” Higgins was good.  He could actually ask a question and could compare facts to each other and see when they contradicted each other.  Most of the uniformed officers I’d seen over the years were the type to accidentally ended up asking the wrong person the wrong question, like, “Was it you what done the deed, then? Oh God, why are you pulling my spleen out through my mouth?”  Higgins was one of the good ones, which was making him a pain in my ass at that moment.

“I’d asked him to pass me a coaster.  He didn’t want to.  Wasn’t a very neighborly burglar, I can tell you,” I said innocently.

“Hazzard,” O’Mally called as he came over to us.  The captain, the walrus tusks of his gen-mod gleaming, nodded at the officer taking my statement.  Higgins nodded back and stepped away.  “Care to tell me just what the hell is going on?”  His jowls quivered slightly, as a walrus’s jowls are wont to do.  O’Mally thought his gen-mod made him look intimidating, but mostly it just game him fish breath.

“Captain, as I was explaining to your man Higgins here, this whole thing is completely innocent, just a big misunderstanding.”  I attempted to put an arm around O’Mally’s shoulders, but the look he gave me made me think better of it.

“Drop the act, Eddie,” O’Mally said.  “Be straight with me.”

I sighed.  “Fine.  I’m working a case, all right?  Red Ace is my one lead on it, and I managed to trick the guy into meeting with me, but he wouldn’t give up anything.”

O’Mally nodded, sending his jowls quivering again.  “We can give you some time in the interrogation chamber with Red Ace, Eddie, but I don’t know what else we can do.  Most of the evidence linking this character to those burglaries is circumstantial at best.”

“Right,” I said, turning up my coat collar.  “I’ll be down at the precinct in an hour.”

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