My Life A Bit South of Normal

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

For Example, Take Maryland

On their way home from Haynes' dinner, Patten asked Caroline,"What do you know about Colleen - the lady we met tonight?"

"I've only seen her in the Tea Room twice. Blanche said that Haynes' was head over heels, school boy smitten with her at first sight."

"Really?"

"He asked Blanche as soon as as he could, who she was and did Blanche have her phone number. Blanche found it funny, especially given Haynes' normal conservative self."

"Well, I'll tell you as a warm blooded man, Colleen is one of the more striking women I have ever seen, present company excluded. And then she speaks and that deep rich sexy voice comes out. It's like a smoker's voice from someone who doesn't smoke."

Caroline laughed,"Why Patten, you sound as smitten as Haynes is?"

"Well, let's say I totally agree with his taste." He smiled and put his hand on her knee. "You know I love you."

"Never doubted it for a moment. I also find her interesting. More than that, I am thrilled to see Haynes' enjoying himself."

"Oh, I definitely agree with you there."

Blanche and Roy had almost the same conversation as they drove home. So every agreed that they found Colleen striking, exotic, and sexy. Most importantly, Haynes' seemed happier than they had seen him in a long time.

Back at Haynes' home, Colleen was helping Haynes' clean up, despite his insistence that she was his guest and her help was not necessary. They chatted about the evening. Colleen had several questions about the other guests, which Haynes was happy to answer.

"I really enjoyed meeting Parker and Bob this evening. Parker is so much like you. And Bob is a scream."

"We all love Bob. He is a lot of fun. Although I will tell you, it has been a while since I have seen him react to someone as he has with you. Don't get me wrong, a chic, attractive, well dressed woman or man never goes by him unnoticed. But you may as well been Disney World and Christmas wrapped up together. When you walked in the Tea Room with that green dress on, I was thrilled to know he was gay. There was no way I could have competed with him for you."

Colleen leaned up against the kitchen island holding her large red wine glass,"I don't think I have ever had so much attention in my life."

Haynes smiled and walked up to her. "My dear, I can assure you have. Either you are being extremely modest or you are totally unaware of your allure." With that he gently kissed her on the lips. He took her hand, "Now let's go sit down in the den where it is comfortable."

The following morning at the Station, the Sheriff, Mary Lou, and Mike made a list of the patients from each of the files they had looked at. They noted the patient's address, as well as the names and addresses of any close relatives mentioned in each file.

At first after seeing no rhyme or reason to the names, the Sheriff decided to send a copy of the list of names to Theo at the Bank and another to the local churches. Theo could cross reference the names with names in the bank's system. The churches could compare them against their roles. The Sheriff reminded them to remember that these were older folks so they needed to look way back.

Most of the addresses were PO Boxes in Gallagher. After checking with the Post Office Clerk, Mary Lou learned that none of the PO Boxes listed were legitimate. Some were box numbers that did not exist, others had been in the same family for generations. Mike checked any Gallagher street addresses that they found in the files. None panned out. Oak Street only had 5 blocks (100-500) therefore 603 Oak Street did not exist. There was no "261" Magnolia, given the 200 block stopped at house number 250.

Several files referenced zip codes of towns and hamlets in Atasi county - the names of the towns noted not only failed to match the zip codes, mainly they did not exist.  And, if they were on the map, the noted street address did not exist.

Mike gave Bunny a list to cross reference as well. She ran through the names, nothing caught her eye until she came to 'McKissick'. Knowing they had a 'Hugh McKissick', she made a note and continued down the list. Nothing else stood out. Bunny called Mike, "I think I found something, at least a name." Bunny told Mike about Hugh. Mike asked for his address. She looked it up, to make sure she was correct. "102 Pine Street."

"Thanks Bunny," Mike said. "Can you look through his file and see if any thing - a word, a name, anything matches another word on that list I gave you."

"Like more names and addresses?"

"No, look at the words. For instance if Mr. McKissick formerly lived on Maryland Street at some time, look back at the list I gave you and see if there is a 'Maryland' - a person's name, the state of Maryland, anything that matches."

Bunny replied,"I'm confused. Why are we doing this? What does the street Hugh McKissick lived on have to do with a name on your list."

"Bunny, we do not think these people are real. We think someone made them up. To make up names, one usually uses words of things around them or names or addresses in their past."

"But what does Maryland Street have to do with this?"

"Nothing," said Mike, getting frustrated."That was an example."

"I don't understand. What if he never lived on 'Maryland' Street?"

Mike took a deep breath, regretting ever asking for Bunny's help. "Bunny, that was an example. Let's just say, as an example only, Mr. McKissick lived on Maryland Street at some time in his life. When you look down the list of patients. If you come to a patient with the 1st or last name of 'Maryland' or someone with an address in the state of Maryland, or a town named 'Maryland' then make a note of that."

"OK, I think I understand. I'll get to this today." He thanked her and they rang off.

Bunny pulled up Hugh's file and went to work, carefully searching for words from the file that matched anything in the list of patients' information.  It seemed futile until she came upon one of his former land ladies - a 'Helen Alexander'. Sure enough, there a patient on the list with the same name. He lived in Whitney, Texas at the time. There was no correlation between that town and anything on the list.

She kept looking.  One of his references was 'Bernard Birch'. There was no patient by that name, but one who lived on Birch Street. One of his former addresses was in Clarksville, Virginia. Ironically there was a patient listed as 'Virginia Clarksville".

Bunny got very excited, she understood what Mike was doing now. She called Mike,"I like this detective work. This is fun."

Mike replied,"Trust me, it is not always fun. Was anything in McKissick's file?"

Bunny told him about what she had found. She added, "But, no 'Marylands'."

"I thought you might find something, but did expect that much. I think we can safely say this is more than just a coincidence." Mike paused."Let me see," he paused again,"that gives us 4 word associations with his rental application alone - McKissick, Helen Alexander, Birch Street, Virginia Clarksville." Mike was quiet for a moment as he made notes. "What kind of car does he drive?"

"Car?" asked Bunny.

"You know, make and model - like a Ford Thunderbird."

Bunny looked through the file,"It's . . . .an Oldsmobile. An Aurora? Is that a type of car?"

"Yep, not only that but we have an 'Aurora Kincaide' on the list. That makes 5." Mike thought for a moment. "Bunny did he name a college or tech school he attended?"

"Ummm, yes but it didn't match anything. Hold on. Here it is FPC in Borger,TX."

"Never heard of it, let me look it up." Mike was quite for just a moment."Bingo! Frank Phillips College and . . . . yes! We have a file for a Mr. 'Frank Phillips'." Mike kept going. "When he rented from Ms. Alexander, where did he live?"

"I checked that, there was no match - it was Whitney, Texas."

"Bingo!!!" Mike said very excitedly. "The LLC that ran the Sanatorium when it closed was registered in Whitney, Texas. That may be the whole enchilada."

Confused, Bunny asked,"Mike, I didn't find anything about Mexican food in his file?"

Mike laughed,"I'll explain later. This is great work. Thanks Bunny." They rang off.

Mike relayed what Bunny had found back to the Sheriff, "We have several coincidences with McKissick. 5 words and/or names match names of patients, 1 name matches an address, and the winner - he once lived in Whitney, Texas, where the LLC is registered."

"Just because he lived in Whitney, Texas doesn't necessarily tie him to the LLC," laughed Mary Lou.

"Maybe not, but considering his land lady while he lived there was one Helen Alexander - also the name on one of our files, we're getting a might cozy, don't you think?"

"Well," said the Sheriff. "Call the Judge and see if this is enough to get a search warrant."

Mike said he would, but before he spoke with the Judge, he called Bunny. "Hey, have you seen our Mr. McKissick lately?"

"No, but we never see him. He never has an issue, a complaint, and always pays his rent on time. I wish all our renters were like that."

"How about asked Della?"

"Hold on." Bunny put Mike on hold and went to Della's desk to see if she knew anything.

She picked the phone up. "Della said yesterday that Mr. McKissick's keys and last rent check were in an envelope in the night drop box."

"Any note?"

"No, but she said Larry had already gone over there to make sure the place was clean and it was."

"Do you have time to let me in his apartment?"

"Sure."

"Great, I'll pick you up."

"When?"

"As soon as I can get there."

Mike stuck his head into the Sheriff's office,"Sir we don't need a warrant after all."

"Why not?"

"Our Mr. McKissick left town yesterday. I'm going to check his place out right now."

"Well, sounds as if we are getting close to something."

Mike left to go pick up Bunny.

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