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The Waiting Room

~ Chapter Eighty-Four

Saturday Night Specials

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Crane held the paper close, his eyes scanning the information. He mumbled as he read.

“This is not possible,” the constable grumbled, dropping his arms down, the paper held between both hands.

“Not probable,” Sparrow replied to Crane as he sauntered to the constable’s side.

“I could not but help notice that your package has seemed to put you in distress. Let me offer you a fine round of rum to ease your anguish.”

Jack shook a bottle of the amber liquid in Crane’s direction. “Hate to drink alone, ye know, though at times me company is all I can stand in this Hell hole.” Jack narrowed his eyes as he glanced around the gathered men before coming back to Ichabod Crane.

“No, no, thank you, Captain. But I am working and besides, I do not partake of hard liquor.”

Jack winced. How could someone not enjoy the fine flavor of a well aged rum.

The pirate then shrugged, uncorked the neck and gulped a mouthful of the liquid heat. He brought the bottle back down, wiping at his mouth and smacked his lips.

“Suit yourself, Constable. All the more for meself, then,” he leaned towards Crane, emphasizing his words. The smell of the rum on Jack’s breath sent the constable back a step, bringing his hand to his nose.

“Now,” Jack continued, looking down at the bullet in the bag, “what appears to be impossible?” He lifted the bag to have a better look but Crane snatched it from him. Jack frowned as he looked to the police inspector, then let his eyes fall to the bag.

“What’s so bloody important about the damn thing?” he asked, waving the half-empty bottle in its' direction.

Crane tugged at his jacket as he stuffed both the bullet and the report back into the envelope.

“It was a Saturday Night Special.” Crane explained.

Jack pursed his lips, gazing back at the man who spoke.

“Saturday Night Special?” Jack inquired, the words spat out the side of his mouth, slurring from the drink. “Didn’t know that there were guns ye could only use certain days. I find that fascinating. What would one use on Tuesday, say, if one had a mind to eliminate certain parties?”

Crane watched as Sparrow tried to stay standing, wobbling in place, moving slightly, facing the opposite direction, and still he put the bottle to his lips to take more rum. The New York cop was amazed at how much the pirate consumed in a day and remained intact. It was already late morning and the man had already downed two bottles of rum.

Jack turned to face back to Crane and as he did the Constable caught another whiff of the inebriated pirate. Crane could barely catch his breath.

Good Lord, he thought. This man was in desperate need of a bath. The constable brought a scented handkerchief to his nose to ward off the offending odor.

“Saturday Night Special refers to cheap, junk guns, my dear Captain. Nothing extraordinary about them. Dime a dozen, so to speak. Practically anyone can purchase them, legally or illegally and they sometimes are just cast aside after a crime, never to be found.”

“And that is where that bullet came from?” Jack noted as he pointed to the envelope.

“And that is where the bullet came from. You are correct Captain Sparrow.” Crane viewed the Room. “But I am afraid everyone here, present company included, surrendered their arms for inspection and I fear not one falls into the category of a Saturday Night Special.”

Sparrow looked to the mangled computer that once graced Mort’s desk.

“And why, pray tell, Constable, is it so important to find the person who pulled the said trigger of this unremarkable gun?”

“Find the gun that shot the bullet, find the man who pulled the trigger, and in finding the man, identifying who among us needs closer supervision. After all, if the culprit was willing to shoot Mr. Rainey’s hardware, in the open and in a roomful of men who were armed as well…well, Captain Sparrow, I can only surmise that this criminal mind may be willing to do further harm to protect his information.”

“But I am sure, Constable Crane, a fine upstanding officer of the law, such as yourself, must warrant a thought on who is responsible? And if you do succeed in finding this marauder, what are your plans, if any, to confiscate said weapon and curtail the dog from doing further assaults?”

Crane became depressed at the question.

“I do indeed have a thought and to quite honest, Captain, I do not know if there is anything I can do about the whole situation.”

Crane thought about a past conversation and what was being protected. If he did indeed positively identify the man he thought was the shooter, arrest may not be an option. He felt as if his hands were tied.

“No, dear Captain, there is probably not a thing I can do about it.”

“Then forget about it, Constable, and come have a drink with old Jack. It will do ye a world of good. Forget yer troubles and all that!”

Crane sighed and looked at the pirate.

“Perhaps you are right, Captain. Perhaps I will come to the bar with you and have that drink! But just one, mind you!” Crane held one finger up, indicating he meant business.

“One it is, Constable! And perhaps if you find the taste to yer liking, another? But fer now, one is a good start!”

Together, Sparrow and Crane made their way to the bar, and in their absence from the table, a manila envelope disappeared.


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