Saturday, May 23, 2020

Llewellyn Hanson- Dead Detective-Chapter 5

Move over Poirot, a new detective is here - columns - Hindustan Times

Here is the Link to the Prologue, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, and Chapter 4.

A second later, Trout and Hanson found themselves in the office of Chief Skousen. He was preoccupied with the moving cards on his screen in the hope of concurring solitaire. Trout was beginning to understand why Hanson had a poor outlook on beats.

“I can’t believe he’s playing cards, I’m sure there are 1,000 things to do.” Trout said in a bit of disgust and assumed Hanson would join in, after all, bashing beats seemed to be one of Hanson’s favorite past times.

So he was surprised when Hanson said, “Don’t be too hard on Skousen, he’s one of the better ones and probably our only hope of getting this case opened up. But then looking up at the screen added, “but admittedly, he’s not very good at solitaire.”

“But what are we doing here?” Trout asked. “I hate to join your pessimism about the living but I don’t have much hope for Captain Driggs opening up the case, he’s hopeless.”

“True, but the reason I have hope and why we are here is the Chief here realizes that he’s hopeless and that might help us.”

“So, how are we going to get the Chief here to help?” Trout asked.

But the question was asked too soon. Because Trout could see irritation and indecision was spreading across the face of the chief. Noticing this Trout asked Hanson, “What did you put in his mind?”

“Simply Driggs.” Hanson said with some satisfaction. “Like I said, the Chief is a good guy, so naturally he hates even speaking to Driggs. But as much as he hates interacting with Driggs he realizes it’s his job to check in on him once and awhile, and is usually willing to do so with a little reminder.”

The Chief gave up on solitair and got up and leaning out the door yelled, “Driggs come in here a minute.”

Driggs obediently got up, worked his way through the maze of desks and entered with a rather bright smile underneath his ginger mustache.

“Driggs, how did that call go?”

“Well, Lung was a bit confused, as young detectives can be but I did a bit of, not to brag, excellent detective work and wrapped it up rather nicely. Once Lung finishes with the paperwork, we will be ready for the next case.”

As much as Hanson disliked Driggs, he had to give him a big thank you for what he had just said. Hanson had been pushing the Chief to do a little digging, knowing that even the most basic question would lead to Driggs total lack of investigation showing itself. However, the Chief had been resisting. Every question he’d ask would only lead to the thing he hated most, more time with Driggs. And it wasn’t as if it would end in good news. No conversation with Driggs ever led to good news. To find that Driggs doing anything even remotely correct would have left the Chief pleasantly surprised, and he had yet to ever be in a room with Driggs and leave pleasantly surprised. Surprised? Yes. Pleasantly? No.

As much as he hated to do it, the Chief was ready to count whatever blunder Driggs committed as a loss and move on, if it hadn’t been for Driggs last statement, that he was soon to be ready for his next case. Giving Driggs another case was the one thing he desired to do less than talk to Driggs, so he decided to ask, “Why was Lung confused?’

“Well, silly kid is so new. So he peppers the poor women with all sorts of questions, when it was obvious...well, obvious to a trained eye like mine, that it was a suicide. Luckily I did some investiation and determined it was suicide and closed it up with a bow.”

“How did you know it was a suicide?”

Driggs paused and then as if the next line was going to simultaneously impress the Chief and put an end to his question he said, “I found the note.”

It wasn’t pleasant but there came the surprise that so often came with talking with Driggs. “Driggs, you are a moron.” The Chief was not one for delicate speech.

“Excuse me Sir?”

“Driggs if your father wasn’t such an amazing detective maybe they would let me fire you, but they won’t. And they won’t let me promote you in order to get rid of you, the way your last 3 supervisors did, so I guess I'm stuck with you. But please, when you are on a case, listen to your junior detective, because if you don’t. I’ll make you junior.”

Driggs sat in silence.

Hanson was so enjoying himself that he almost forgot why he was there.

Trout said condemningly, “That was a bit harsh, wasn't it?”

Hanson feigned being hurt, “That wasn’t me, that was all the Chief.” He paused, “Okay, maybe I encouraged the junior thing.”

“How do you get in their heads?”

“It’s simple, just try it.”


“Now is as good as ever. What is the most likely thing the Chief could look into to open this case up?”

“The inheritance?”

“That might work, but I’d go with the gun.”

“The gun?”

“If Caden is telling the truth, then there is a decent chance the bullet in his head does not match his gun.”

“So, ballistics?”

“Just think about the gun and try to encourage the Chief to think about the gun. We can see where it goes.”

Trout did his best to telepathically push the thought of the gun to the Chief.

Hanson looking over at Trout said, “Kid, looking constipated doesn’t make it more effective.”

Trout tried to look less intense and still transfer the thought to the Chief.

Driggs had crawled into his shell and didn’t know what to say.

The Chief who now felt like perhaps he had been too harsh, softened as he asked, “Tell me about the scene?”

“Man had shot himself in the living room. Revolver in hand, whole in head. Seemed preety clearly a suicide.”

“Maybe you’re right. But don’t be so sure, simply because you found a note. How do you know it wasn’t the wife?”

Trout look a bit exasperated. “It doesn’t seem to be working.”

“You are doing fine, keep it up.” Hanson encouraged.

Driggs replied, “Trust me, wasn’t the wife. I could tell.”

“Like you could tell on the Dog Walker you let go that went on to kill another 4 people?”

“That was because…”

“I don’t want to hear it.” The Chief said.

“Did we do any clean up?”

“No. It was a suicide.”

“Did you at least bag the gun?”

Trout began jumping up and down, “It worked.”

“Keep your cool. Nice work, but we can’t guarantee it was you. So just sit down.” Secretly Hanson somewhat enjoyed the enthusiasm, but wasn’t about to show it.

Driggs paused, the truth was he did have someone bag the gun, but only because Lung had insisted. “Of course I bagged the gun.”

“Good, let me see it.”

“Oh, okay,” They got up and walked towards Lung’s desk.

Driggs took control as they got there, “Lung, where is that gun we bagged?”

“Right here.” Lung offered as he handed a gun in a plastic bag to the Chief.

“Lung, do you think it was a suicide?” The Chief asked.

“It was clear,” Driggs jumped in.

“Shut it Driggs,” The Chief said.

“I wasn’t sure, Sir.” Lung said with respect and brevity.


“Permission to speak openly.”

“Yes Lung, this isn’t the military.”

“It bothered me that the wife didn’t hear the gunshot, but I didn’t have a chance to look into things much.”

The Chief looked up at Driggs who looked as comfortable as a bull before a rocky mountain oyster cook out.

“Well let’s look.” The Chief put on gloves and carefully took out the gun. “A colt. Classic American gun.” The gun was a classic six-shooter revolver.

He turned to Driggs, “Can I see the photo of the body? This is a 45, it would have been a mess.”

Driggs discomfort level was rising. “I don’t think we have one sir,” he whispered. “But we could take a trip to the morgue.”

The Chief was now rolling open the chamber. “I don’t think that will be necessary. Lung, go back to that house, hopefully it’s not too late. We will be investigating this as a homicide.” He turned over the barrel as six bullets came out. “Driggs, you go to, but,” he said, turning to Lung, “this is your case.”

Here is Chapter 6.

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