Cold Mac & Cheese and other musings

March 12, 2010

Dead Man’s Hand – finale.

Filed under: Uncategorized — D.J. Lutz @ 12:41 am
Tags: ,

The onlookers stood, jaws gaping open. “What’s this all about? I didn’t do anything. I was on the boat when he shot himself. These guys will vouch for me!” Trevor, looking more than slightly panicked, was reaching for any lifeline he could grab.
“I understand that you were on the boat, but that doesn’t mean you didn’t hire someone to come in and shoot Mr. Shellman. We had a tip come in right after Detective Baxter made the call to 911. Once your hired gun emerged from the water, about two blocks down the street, we were waiting for him. You better believe he’s already talking to the Commonwealth’s Attorney about an amnesty deal.”

Trevor knew he had been set up. Only one other person knew of his plan and that was…Sylvia Shellman. Looking right at her with fire in his eyes, he started to lambaste her for being a squealer. She cut him off with a scathing retort. “Look, you. I had to call the police. I didn’t think you were serious about it at first, until Bud told me that you were just using me to get control of the marina. Don’t play with matters of the heart, boy. You’ll get burned every time. Have fun in jail!” Sylvia had almost a morbid sense of glee in her voice as she told him off. Corporal Barrett, by now finished putting Trevor in cuffs, turned towards Sylvia.

“Before you say anything else, Mrs. Shellman, you are also under arrest for the murder of your husband, Drake Shellman…” Sylvia was in shock, hardly hearing any of her Miranda rights as they were rattled off by rote from the officer securing the handcuffs around her wrists. “I don’t get it,” she said. “I tipped you all off? And this is the treatment I get? I need a lawyer…”

With the two rats leaving the sinking ship by way of a blue and white taxi, the rest of the gang stood there in silence. Calvin helped Dallas search Sylvia’s car, where they found a bloody ice pick. “So, how did you know the lady killed her husband? I thought you already nabbed the gunman?”

Dallas Tippett thought for a moment, trying to put a tremendously complex story into a short verbal narrative. “Well, best I can figure is this – Trevor made plans to have Drake killed in such a way that it would appear to be a suicide. The gunman used chloroform, coming up from behind. We found the contaminated handkerchief part way down the chum chute. What the killer did not know was that old man Shellman was already dead. So all we have on Trevor Lancaster is conspiracy to commit murder and murder for hire. The gunman is being held for conspiracy and abuse of a corpse.”
Calvin acknowledged that this one was one for the history books. “Continue, please Mr. Holmes, how about the fair lady, then?”

“Not more than a minute after your call, another 911 operator received a call claiming that Sylvia was seen going into the office right before the shot was heard. Upon closer inspection, the medical examiner found the actual mortal wounds, two small holes in the heart, caused by an ice pick. Mr. Shellman had bled to death internally before the gunman ever got there. Since he was wearing gloves, he did not realize how cold Drake’s hands were when he fashioned the gun around them. And, if you remember, Mrs. Shellman got out of her car and, without prompting, said that she was sorry the old man was dead. When Bud Spenser called her, he only mentioned that they heard a shot. He had no idea who had been shot. The only way she could have known her husband was dead was if she did it herself. ”

“Geez, I guess that’s what happens when everyone wants to kill you. I guess Kay is one of the few who didn’t have a reason to kill him…”
“I’m sure, given the chance, she might have thought about it. Drake was putting a lien on her boat, somewhat unethically, but it would have been perfectly legal. Thank goodness she was with you when this all happened.”
“Yeah, that’s a relief. On the bright side, it looks like we may be sailing off into the sunset together, at least for a while. She’s selling her boat and we’re taking mine down to the Bahamas.”

“What are going to do? Will your pension cover all of that?”
“Not sure. Life is full of surprises. Drake Shellman found that out the hard way. By the way, have you been up on Bud’s yacht? That’s where they were playing cards.”
“No, why?”
“I took the nickel tour and saw the card table inside the cabin. Drake Shellman had pulled two pair, aces and eights with a nine of diamonds as a kicker.”

“And that’s pertinent how?”

“Officer Tippett, you’ll never make detective without knowing how to play poker, will you? Aces and eights – that’s the Dead Man’s hand…”
——-
After the police department had completed its job, Calvin Baxter returned to his boat. Kay had finished loading the supplies she had brought down at the start of the whole debacle.
“’Bout ready?” he asked.
“Almost. Need to get some ice.” Kay returned to the marina office with two ice chests. Opening one of them up, she filled it to the brim with ice. Carefully maneuvering the second chest over to the chum chute, she lifted the chute lid and dropped a plastic bag inside. Kay Francis had her cake and was eating it, too. Smiling, she walked back down toward the Concept 2, ready to move on with her life. They’ll never find that ice pick, especially since they don’t even know that they should be looking for one…

[The end?]

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