Two very different detectives become partners.
|It was dark. Way too dark. A darkness that made the police detective hesitate in doubt. So dark that he was compelled to make it lighter or give up on it here and now. So Police Detective Harold Lazlo sat at his grey metal desk drinking very bad coffee with lots of cheap powdered cream and stale, lumpy sugar. The coffee was worse than he had imagined. The office where he sat trying to control his gag reflex was filled with a motley collection of furniture and detectives. Beyond the office the view from the window across the room looked toward the Delaware River miles away. It was not a panorama of stores, high rise offices and historic buildings just a residential street that stretched off into South Philadelphia. Harry was hurrying and waiting. He was hurrying to send a finished report to an Assistant District Attorney so that charges could be filed and waiting for a new partner to arrive whichever happened first. Mondays were sometimes boring, sometimes busy and always long. Mondays, go figure. He finished the horrid coffee against his better judgement as well as better digestion and returned to his paperwork.
Harry was clearing his first murder on a Monday. Not a miracle, just dumb luck because the guy had murdered his wife in front of witnesses in a hardware store on Saturday evening. Harry had four witness statements and some further affidavits about the murderer's uncontrollable temper and drinking problem which were gathered on Saturday and Sunday. Fleetingly he hoped his new partner could type. Harry two fingered his way down the page checking the pocket dictionary for spelling. Rereading for continuity and sense. When Harry saw an unknown male enter the squad room he stopped typing. The man looked like a movie star in a hounds tooth jacket and an real live red ascot along with his razor creased trousers and two tone black/white shoes.. His resemblance to one of those recurring Universal Studios monster actors was striking but this guy wore it better. His features were more chiseled and his teeth were perfect. Yes. He was smiling at everyone in the room. Harry hoped he was lost but after a moment Mr. Horror Movie Actor walked straight to the Captain's Office. Harry hoped against hope this was not his new partner but hope lived only until the Captain called him into the office.
"Harry. This is your new partner. Detective Will Goodman meet Detective Harry Lazlo." The
Captain's office got smaller and the Captain's smile did little to reassure Harry. Everyone seemed to be smiling today but Harry.
"Hello. Just call me Harry." Harry put out his hand and it was grabbed and pumped like meeting a politician the day before election.
"Great to meet you Harry. Call me Bill but some guys call me Wolfman. Cause I look like that actor, you know the one I mean."
"There is a smart resemblance. I hope that won't be a distraction." Harry said flatly.
"Actually Harry, sometimes it's an advantage. Interrogations and court appearances seem to go better for me than some Detectives. Cause I look like that actor, you know the one I mean."
Harry sighed. "I know the one you mean. Can you type?"
"Sorry. Not a lick. I'm more face than fingers." Mr. New Partner was grinning to beat the band. Harry awkwardly tried to join in the smiling,
"Have a seat across the desk there Will. I'll be finished eventually then I can show you the way to the ADA's digs upstairs. Harry came give you the grand tour later. There's coffee behind me."
"I only drink tea but thanks just the same."
Harry shrugged. So far it was heads and tails, black and white, up and down. Opposites attact but can they work together. Harry had made due with worse. When he returned from upstairs the Wolfman started going through the drawers of the desk pushed up against Harry's. It was distracting but Harry kept quiet and typed. So far the new guy was no help yet Harry had served in the Marines with dopes, dumbells, fools and farmers during the war where most of them had turned out to be good people..
"So Harry, what did you do in the War? I was with the Big Red One. Saw a lot of Africa, Italy and Europe. How about you?" It was standard 'get to know you' conversation so close after the war.
Harry looked up and said calmly, "Marines. Pacific." Click. Click. Click. Back to Buisness. Harry vaguely wondered how they were going to get along and continued typing his report.
"So Harry. What have we got?"
Harry looked up. He decided it was pure interest. "We've got a murder. A domestic. Wife was the victim of a bunt force trauma with a hammer in a hardwear store no less. He didn't even buy the hammer just picked it off the shelf. We have three witnesses and a confession. We're done really."
His new partner nodded. "What did he say? The husband I mean."
Harry made a sour face and said, "She nagged him. She always nagged him. Even before they got married. She nagged him in front of three witnesses."
" She nagged him and he married her anyway?"
Harry smiled. "The husband said often times she nagged him for sex. He liked a lot that so he put up with doing chores and coming home after work."
"I'd put up with that myself. Why the hammer?"
"He seemed as surprised as anyone else about the blow to the head. He didn't clearly remember doing it. A reflex he said. The wits even said it didn't look like he hit her very hard. Just a tap but she was dead anyway. The husband wasn't real angry afterward. He was actually pretty remoseful."
"Well, I don't think he'll walk Harry. Do you?"
"Not likely. He did it. He knows he did it. Wits saw him do it. We know he did it. Soon the ADA will know he did it. Judge and jury are going to join the rest of us. Sad really."
The Wolfman rose and walked behind Harry and said, "Okay, if you want to gather me up a tea then I'll finish the paper. I can type faster than that with one finger. Then I'll get to meet the Assistant District Attorney sooner and we we can go to lunch."
"How would you feel about a ham and cheese and a beer?"
"That sounds like lunch to me Harry."
Just as Harry felt a glimmer of hope for his new shadow, the LT walked in and shouted, "Harry! New Guy! You're up. Delaware Avenue gym. A weight lifting incident. An violent assault on a male with a fresh foot injury and maybe a fractured skull. No other details. Get moving. Desk Sergeant has the address and a car is waiting at the door. Call it in as a crime when you're sure. If it's an accident get him into the ambulance."
Harry turned around and asked, "How did we get to the top of the list, LT?"
"New partner, new list. Hit the street gentlemen."
So much for a leisurely Monday. The victims were showing up and it was still the AM, the first hours of their first week.
Before they could get comfortable in the squad car, they were at the entrance of the Gideon Gym. Inside there were half a dozen men in sweats and shorts watching a motionless man on the floor in silence. The man on the floor was lying next to some scattered weights and metal bar. A young woman and a huge man were standing over him. Everyone looked at Harry and the Wolfman but the guy on the floor.