1.- Friday night 7.30pm. Damn long week. I had sent Delores home early as I had plans. The Riverside was calling. A lowbrow dump on the East Side of town frequented by low life poets and wannabe musicians. The perfect place for an old cop at the end of his career to keep a low profile.
Raised voices filtered through my door. Through the frosted glass I could make out the figures of The D.A. and my boss. They were having words. Big Style. The D.A. Orestes was always on the boss’s case. Orestes -a big nasty bovine type always pushing you, typical Latino not to be argued with. My boss Vic Mackey is decent enough and we get on. If he is in a spot he knocks on my door especially if that broad Claudette from Narcotics is bus. A door slams and I hear Vic cursing loudly and I know he is heading my way.
Without knocking he blusters into my office. The door hits a chair and a bunch of files spread themselves on the floor. Vic is about to launch into a tirade of abuse aimed at Orestes but I raise a hand to stop him. “Aw fuck Dutch guess what’s come to light” he drawls. I pull out a Marlborough and offer him one. I take along hard drag and take the file he is offering me.
I open it up.
Outside in the alley I think I hear a dog howl but I cannot be certain. One word is written on the first page. I release a stream of smoke from my nose and take a long deep breath . This was unexpected . A verdict had been reached years ago, case closed, why should this resurface. Why now?
It was going to be a long night.
2. The building is empty and silent except for Clyde the Cleaner down the corridor, mop in hand. The clock shows 11 pm. My desk light illuminates the pages, bourbon bottle now half empty, ashtray full. The memories came flooding back as I took a fine toothcomb to the old files and new stuff alike. It was an open and shut case back then. The boy Marriott had hooked up with Lane, Mclagan and Jones, small faces in a big city. They hung on the hip side of Itchycoo Park causing trouble when people were trying to enjoy Lazy Sunday Afternoons. Clever kid Marriott, sometimes a little too clever.
These new files proof that this gang were hot property. The turning point was getting involved with Stan Holloway and Happiness Stan -real trouble these two along with Rene. I checked and re-checked my evidence from 44 years ago. What
more could be added. Marriott now dead ,after eating Humble Pie, the rest of the gang moved to Gasoline Alley with Rod Stewart. I wanted to shout at Orestes “look buster, this new evidence only confirms my original conclusions “Ogden’s” is a stone cold classic”. I’m not sure he would believe me.
I look out of the window returning to the present with a jolt . Across the street the neon MOTEL sign flickers in the dark rainy night. A train moans in the distance. I reach for my hat and switch off the light.
Signed: Holland “Dutch” Wagenbach
Words: Keith How