Take a small town in southern Alabama, and a young lady, just slightly out of step. Add gnarly family trees, entrenched traditions, and everyone living with skeletons in their closets - welcome to Gallagher. There one will find an extraordinary cast of insane characters. And, it could only happen in the South.


Friday, February 9, 2018

You Ain't Gon'na Pay, We Ain't going to Tell

Mary Lou was on the phone when 2 characters, she quickly recognized walked into the station. There was no way Mary Lou could have forgotten this pair. When her call ended, she spoke, "May I help you?"

"Yesum, my name is Delmar Flynn and this is my wife, Ruthanna."

Mary Lou waited for him to continue.

Ruthanna spoke,"Delmar saw sumpen' and needs to tell you about it. But, this's the second time we've been here. This time I think we should be paid for our services - before Delmar talks."

"Mrs. Flynn, I will be more than happy to help you.  Sheriff Quitman would appreciate anything you or your husband think he should know."

"No'am," this time you will have to pay."

"Mrs. Flynn, I do not have the authority for that. You need to speak with Sheriff Quitman."

"Is he here?"

"No, he is not. But if you want to tell me, I can pass the information on to him. I'm sure he will contact you after I speak with him."

Thankfully, Mike walked in,"Mike, do you remember the Flynns?"

Of course Mike did. They were unforgettable. "I do, what can I do for y'all today?"

"First, it's gonna cost you," Ruthanna replied. Once again Delmar was mute.

"Well, mam, we cannot pay you."

Ruthanna quickly said, "Delmar, we need to leave. The Deputy will have to find this out on his own."

"Mrs. Flynn," Mike said very diplomatically, "You realize if you have evidence of a crime and fail to let the authorities know. You could be guilty of accessory to the crime."

"I ain't no 'cessary to any crime. Delmar here is."

"Did he share what he knows with you?"

" 'Course he did."

"Well mam, that puts you in a quandary."

"No, it don't." She turned, "Delmar let's go. They don't need to know any how."

Mike shook his head. "Mr. Flynn, since you have told us you know something, I suggest you share it. But, that's up to you. I'll let the Sheriff know you came in."

Delmar broke his silence, "Deputy, I think you should know. . .

Ruthanna interrupted, "Delmar, you shut your mouth. If they ain't willing to pay, we ain't gonna tell."

Despite Ruthanna's declaration, Delmar continued. "See, Wednesday night I was on my way home. I was on Boulevard street when I saw 2 men messing with what looked like a dead body in a car."

"Home from where?"

"Night out with the boys."

"Drinking with the boys?"

"A swig or 2."

"Were you driving?"

"No sir, ain't had my licenses for a while. Judge took them away."

"These 2 men were putting a dead body in a car?"

"Yessir."

What color was the car?"

"Purple. . . no, maybe blue. May have been white. Don't quite remember."

"OK, exactly what did you see?"

"Well, I was walking down Boulevard street on the way home. I saw 3 men and 1 of 'um looked dead. The 2 live ones were setting the dead one in the car."

"Then what happened?"

"They got in another car and left."

"What kind of car did they get in?"

"It was big, like a box?"

"Do you remember the color?"

"No sir, it was dark?"

"If you were going home, why were you on Boulevard? That's not close to your house."

"No, sir. I got a little lost. Took a wrong turn. Didn't have my bearings. It had been a long night."

"What time was this?"

"Sometime after suppertime and before midnight."

"You sure about this, not later."

"No sir, I know it wadn't after midnight." He paused, "The missus makes me come home before midnight or she ain't gonna give me no walk'n money for the week."

"Delmar, thank you for sharing what you saw. I'll pass this on to the Sheriff. Every little bit we learn, always helps."

"Will the Sheriff pay up?" asked Ruthanna once more.

"No, Mrs. Flynn. I doubt it."

"Delmar, lets get out'a here. These folks just stole that from us." They turned to leave. As they walked out, Ruthanna hit Delmar on the back of his head with her pocketbook. "You lazy thing. I told you not ta tell unless they were gonna pay up." She added in a loud voice, "You're an idiot - stupid idiot - stupid drunk idiot."

After they left, Mike turned toward Mary Lou, "Whatcha think?"

"Everyone in town knows Madison was found dead in his car. It wouldn't be hard to learn where he lived."

"True, but Delmar says he saw 2 men putting a dead body in a car on Wednesday night. I'm not sure who knows that Hollis said it didn't happen on Thursday. Madison died on Wednesday night." He paused."The same night of Delmar's story."

"Awfully funny he says he saw this and  Rev. Barker's car. Didn't both die from natural causes?"

"That's what Hollis said. However, Mrs. Marlboro did not want an autopsy and Mrs. Barker was bat shit crazy at the time."

"I think Ruthanna took what everyone on street knew. Probably told Delmar what she wanted him to say." Mary Lou paused."My money says Delmar comes home every night lit."

"I don't know what to think. I'll see what the Sheriff thinks."

The phone rang again. Mary Lou answered it. After  listening  for a second or 2, Mary Lou said,"You do, that's great." She paused again, "No, he's not here but I'll get him down here. How 'bout y'all come on down here." Pause. "Thanks Pearce." They rang off.

"Pearce Phinnigan is bringing Hugh McKissick down here. They want to see the Sheriff."

Mike pulled his phone out of his pocket and called the Sheriff. The conversation was short. He rang off, "He's on his way back. When it rains it pours."

The Sheriff was back at the station before Pearce and Hugh arrived. "Let's just sit and talk with Mr. McKissick. I am interested in his story. Let's see if he will talk before he lawyer's up."

Pearce walked into the station. With him was a nice looking young man, clean shaven, dressed in very nice casual clothes. "Sheriff this is Hugh McKissick. Hugh, this is Sheriff Quitman and his Deputy, Mike." The 3 men shook hands.

"Let's go in my office, it's a lot more comfortable in there." The Sheriff turned to Pearce and Hugh, you gentleman want sump'um' to drink? I think Mary Lou has coffee and Coca-Colas."

Both men asked for Coke's. Mary Lou brought them their drinks as they got settled in the Sheriff's office. 

The Sheriff started,"First off, Mr. McKissick, you are not under arrest. You are what they call these days, 'a person of interest'. I hope you can help us."

"Sir, please call me Hugh."

"OK, Hugh, what brought you to Gallagher?"

Meanwhile in the front office, the phone rang. Mary Lou answered to learn it was Cliff, from Clint's Home of the Dearly and Departed Deceased, on the other end. " 'Morning Mary Lou. Is he in?"

"He is but he's talking with someone - behind closed doors. Can I help you?"

"Yeah, tell him to call me. I think I found something he needs to see."

"Something he knows about?"

"Nope, don't think he expected this."

"I'll get him to call you as soon as he comes out." They rang off. 

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