Certain characters in this work are historical figures, and certain events portrayed did take place. However, this is a work of fiction. All of the other characters, names, events as well as all places, incidents, organizations, dialog in this novel are either the products of the writer’s imagination or are used fictitiously.
Intersections – Love, Betrayal, Murder –The Chicago Trilogy
Where Is Harry?
Claire: A Woman’s Journey – NY Heiress ` Chicago Madam
Richard: It’s In The Blood
Copyright © 2009
Linda Rae Blair
All rights reserved.
Linda Rae Blair, Author at Smashwords
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: People in law enforcement play a large part in this portion of The Chicago Trilogy. I have nothing other than the highest regard for those in law enforcement, whether civil or military.
Historical information on police equipment and the availability of what were then the most modern of inventions can be rather daunting. Special thanks to Captain Paul Broxterman of the Cincinnati Police Academy and Sergeant Tom Waller, Board Member of the Greater Cincinnati Police Historical Society, for their assistance and guidance with their force’s historical information. The information they provided was adapted to the Hamilton force for this book. Any errors in this adaptation are entirely my own.
The Bureau of Investigation (now known as the FBI), the Secret Service, and the police forces of Cincinnati and Hamilton, Ohio, have my apologies for any artistic license taken with historical issues.
I may have twisted history just a wee bit…I hope you will forgive me. After all, that’s what fiction is all about! Any errors should be blamed on the author as artistic license.
To Jeremy Douglas Chappell and the men and women throughout our country who enforce the law. Whether you do this as members of our military, National Guard, or as members of civilian law enforcement, here’s to you! Without you, there would be no civilization as we know it.
Times and law enforcement have changed a lot in the last one-hundred years, but thankfully there were then, and are now, a lot of cops out there like Richard—good cops forced to deal with shifts between politicians, whether crooked or honest; administrations, some of which were more focused on their own interests than the welfare of their citizens; and their fellow cops, sometimes driven by greed or pressures from outside forces.
We should be very grateful that the good ones do their best every day to keep us safe from the bad guys. They enforce the law while caring for the underdog and digging deep for the patience and strength required to face all that our so-called modern society throws at them. And they choose to do so on a salary that should shame the rest of us. Whether or not the times are truly better is best judged by them.
Thanks also to the families that live with the daily concern for your safety. We care too!!
FORWARD: In response to requests from my fans, Richard’s story is, at last, being offered as a stand-alone novel.
When I first wrote Richard’s story, it was intended to be the final section (“Murder”) of “Intersections: Love, Betrayal, Murder” also called “The Chicago Trilogy”.
Because “Where Is Harry” (“Love”) and “Claire: A Woman’s Journey - NY Heiress ` Chicago Madam” (Betrayal) were published as stand-alone novels prior to the publishing of “Intersections” many of you had already purchased the first two novels and wanted to be able to complete the trilogy in that format.
Some of this novel will be familiar to you, as it contains Claire’s Chicago experiences from Richard’s point of view. So don’t skip anything. Men have a very different way of looking at things!
Well, I listened! Here is Richard’s story. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
1908 – Hamilton, Ohio
The shots rang out and his blood flowed. His chest was on fire. It wasn’t supposed to be like this, he thought to himself. Someone had set him up, and he’d been warned but had refused to believe it.
Thinking of the woman he loved, he hoped she would find the strength to go on without him. Despite the problems that plagued their relationship, she would mourn him and mourn him hard. He resented not having more time with her. He knew he was dying. It wasn’t like they had often told him; he didn’t see any angels coming for him or see any light…yet he felt the life draining from him.
He only heard the horses and wagons and saw the lanterns and flashlights of his fellow officers rushing to his aid. It wouldn’t help; he knew that with a certainty that appalled him. How could he be so very alive with so much power rushing through him one minute and dying at the hands of a traitor the next?
The kids were both full grown now, but they would mourn. Oh, his sweet, little Millie; and that rascal, Richard…he found he was shaking from the cold now. How could that be? It’s mid-July and hot as a fire cracker, but he felt so very cold….
His partner was standing over him now—had grabbed his hand, but he didn’t hear or feel anything any longer.
“Hang in there, Danny boy,” Michael Williams shouted at him. “Hang on! Danny! Danny?”
Daniel Robert Martin was gone at age fifty-eight—killed in the line of duty. The beer would flow tonight, along with lots of stories about a good cop they had all loved and respected. Tomorrow they would start to really feel the loss. Tonight, numb with the shock of the sudden loss, they would drink to the memories of Officer Danny Martin—the best damned cop to walk a beat! Or was he?
Like Father Like Son
1886 – Hamilton, Ohio
It was a beautiful spring day. Annie had looked forward to spring with a thirst like a man walking across the desert. Sitting on the porch of their little frame house, she sat sipping on the soothing drink her mother-in-law had just brought out to her. As much as she sometimes resented this woman who everyone else thought was such a saint, she had to admit Clara had been very attentive in the last several months.
“How are you feeling this afternoon, Annie?” Clara asked her.
“Like some kind of freak in a travelling circus,” Annie pouted with an expression those who knew her saw all too often. “My back is aching so bad that sitting in this rocker is just about all I can do. I’ll be so glad when they finally get here,” she sighed.
“Tsk, tsk, Annie! You are carrying such a precious gift and, once they are here, you will very soon forget all the discomforts. You mark my words,” Clara laughed quietly. She had had problems getting close to Annabelle after her son, Danny, married her. The girl was a sensitive child and perhaps more selfish than one would hope, but Danny loved her and that made her family.
Clara recognized just how uncomfortable the poor girl was. She had carried a similar pair many years ago. Alright, she knew she had fibbed to Annie. She would likely never forget how uncomfortable she was at this moment, but hopefully she would not also suffer the memory of losing one of them before she could even hold it in her arms. It was a pain that Clara had never forgotten, not in the twenty-six years since the births of Danny and Alexander. Clara shook her head to clear the painful memory and went back into the house to check on her precious little granddaughter, Millie.
Annie’s body was so swollen with the twins she carried that she could hardly move. Her petite five-feet-two-inch frame was now handling the load of one-hundred-sixty pounds. Her heart raced every time she walked to the kitchen or out to the privy.
About three weeks ago she’d given up on the privy completely, now counting on Danny to empty the privy pot for her on a regular basis. She felt absolutely humiliated, but he assured her with a kiss and a gentle pat that he didn’t mind taking care of her and their babes.
If it hadn’t been for her mother-in-law helping out with Millie, Annie somewhat resentfully realized that she may not have been able to handle carrying the twins at all. They’d never really gotten along, but Clara Millicent Williams had put aside any differences they had had over the years. She had cooked meals, washed and ironed clothes for the entire family. She had also mothered three-year-old Millie as well as she herself could have.
Policemen didn’t make much money, so they didn’t have a very large house. Despite its size, it had a lovely parlor with a fireplace, and a kitchen that comfortably held their table and four chairs, the small ice chest, and the wood burning stove. They had electric lights, but didn’t use them any more than necessary. Annie preferred candle and lantern light which she thought made her face continue looking younger than its years. Somehow she didn’t like the way the electric lighting made her look. Danny assured her that she was beautiful to him in any light. But with the load she was carrying at present, anything that improved her image of herself was welcome.
They had three decent sized bedrooms on the second floor of the little house and were pleased that the twins would be able to have their own room. She didn’t want Millie to have to share her room, unless it became absolutely necessary. If the twins turned out to be one boy and one girl, they may have to rethink that later, but for now she would just be happy when they got here!
Annie was snapped out of her reverie by the view of her approaching husband, Danny, and father-in-law, Dan Sr., riding up on their horses. Both men were so striking in their dark blue police uniforms with their brass buttons, badges complete with the whistle-anchoring chain on their left breasts; the whistles tucked into the pockets inside their jackets. Then there were the tall-crowned hats complete with white metal wreaths on their heads.
Two peas in a pod, she thought! Both of them were tall—about six-feet-two-inches or so—both on the thin side and both had the look of a tough, streetwise cop. Even out of those uniforms, it didn’t take much to spot them as policemen. In the uniforms, they were a ruggedly handsome pair; one just a little grayer than the other. With their brown hair, bushy mustaches, and big brown eyes, if they had been closer to the same age, she thought, one might mistake them for brothers. Despite their problems in the past, she was glad one of them was hers.
“Hello there, beautiful,” Danny said as he removed his hat and bent down to kiss the top of her head. “How’s my wife today? Feeling any better?” he asked.
“No, but I suppose I’m not going to feel any better now until these two are born.” She tried to smile for him as she shifted uncomfortably in the rocking chair, but it really didn’t reach her eyes. She was just too tired. Thank God it wasn’t summer!
“Hi, Annie girl,” her father-in-law said, also bending down to kiss her. “Bless your little heart, I sure wish they would come soon; for your sake.”
“Well, I don’t think it will be long now. My back has been killing me for days now,” she replied as she once again shifted in the rocker. “I’ve been especially uncomfortable today.”
“Clara, dear.” Dan Sr. greeted his wife with a kiss when she walked out the front door onto the wraparound porch carrying little Millie. “And how is Grandpa’s beautiful little girl doing today?” he kissed Millie.
“Gapa! Gapa!” Millie shouted as she raised her arms waiting to be lifted into her Grandpa’s waiting embrace.
The whole group chuckled at the welcome Grandpa always received from Millie. She was indeed Grandpa’s girl.
“How was your day, dear?” Clara asked her husband. “Quiet, I hope!” She never really voiced the concerns she had over his job and its inherent dangers.
“Well, it could have been quieter. That drunken fool, young Patrick Mulroney, darned near cut his arm off at the paper mill today. He swore Billy Sullivan pushed him into the equipment and the mill manager called us out. Darned fool’s lucky he’s still alive. A few more beers for breakfast and that silly sot would be dead as a doornail!” Dan fumed. “I’m just glad he wasn’t armed. That idiot Billy’d probably be in the hospital too!”
“Watch your language, Gapa,” Clara whispered. “The walls have ears,” she said to him while tilting her head toward Millie. Like most three-year-olds, Millie repeated everything she heard and usually in the middle of Sunday morning church services. “Wazza idit, Gapa?” Millie asked.
“Now you’ve gone and done it, Dan Martin!” Clara stormed into the house to check on her dinner.
Dan and Danny laughed until their sides hurt.
Annie was trying desperately to keep a straight face. “You’ll both be laughing out the other side of your faces if Reverend Hooper gets that question next Sunday.”
With that, the three of them broke out into near hysterical laughter. Suddenly Annie grabbed the arm of the rocking chair and held on for dear life.
“Annie, honey! You okay?” Danny asked. He bent down in front of her and tried to hold her hand, but it was still white-knuckled on the arm of the chair.
“Danny, it’s started. The babies are coming,” she grimaced.
Everyone went into action. Dan Sr. took Millie into the house to Clara, told her what was going on and left to fetch the doctor. Danny helped Annie into the house. The stairwell to the second floor was too steep and narrow for him to carry her upstairs, so they just took a couple of stairs at a time—between contractions—and finally they reached their bedroom.
Danny helped Annie undress and get into one of her cotton gowns. Then he gently helped lower her into the bed. Soon he had nothing to do but sit and hold her hand or pace. About forty minutes later Dan arrived with the doctor, and the two Martin men were sent downstairs to keep an eye on Millie while Clara helped with the delivery.
They had been ready for the twins’ arrival for weeks. There were plenty of blankets for the babies, extra sheets, towels, and a fresh gown for Annie. Then there were the two little cradles made by Dan Sr. for their own twins—lovingly saved for the last twenty-six years, as if they were made of gold.
Four hours later, Daniel Randolph Martin and Richard Alexander Martin came into the world screaming and kicking. While the doctor took care of Annie, Clara bathed and swaddled each of the little twins. She had counted all the fingers and toes and had reported their completeness to a tired, but gloriously happy Annie. After their first nursing, Clara put the babes into their cradles and called in the proud Daddy and Gapa.
The men stood there looking down at those sweet little faces, and Danny rushed over to his wife, “Oh, Annie, they are absolutely perfect—and identical.” He laughed and added, “How will we ever tell who is who?” He bent down to kiss his wife. “Annie, how can I possibly tell you how much I love you?” he whispered.
“Danny, I think that’s how they got here in the first place,” she snickered very quietly into his ear. It was amazing that she could feel so much better already, when the babies were only minutes old.
Dan Sr. held Clara to his side and looked down at the wriggling babies wrapped tight in their soft blankets. Each had a tuft of dark hair and big black eyes with just a hint of blue that would disappear in the next week or two. “Well done, Annie! Well done,” the proud new grandfather said. Then he realized that Clara was quietly weeping at the sight of the two precious babies in the cradles so lovingly crafted by him all those years ago. “We’ll go downstairs and give you two some privacy,” he said as he gently wrapped his arm around her shoulder and took her downstairs.
“It’s going to be hard for your mother and father, isn’t it?” Annie asked her husband. She even surprised herself. Annie Martin seldom put any thought into the feelings of others, except for Danny and Millie. But the loss of a child…well, that was a thought that shook even her.
“Only for a short time, sweetheart. Give them a day or two. They’ll be so involved in being the grandparents of these two that the old memories of Alexander will go back into the shadows again.”
“Oh, Danny, I don’t know what I’d do if something happened to one of our babies,” she cried. “I don’t know how they’ve stood it all these years. I know how hard it’s been for you. I can’t even begin to understand how hard it is for Clara and Dan.”
“I know, sweetheart.” Danny cradled her in his arms. “I think they manage to put it away in the past, until something forces them to remember. I talked to them about it when we found out we were expecting twins.”
“Oh, Danny! You didn’t tell me.” Annie looked up into her husband’s face and saw the pain.
“I didn’t want to upset you,” Danny explained. “They both assured me that they were very excited about the babies and would do everything to keep their sorrow to themselves. I think they really did a good job of it—until the cradles came out. Dad made those for Alexander and me, but they’ve kept them up in their attic all these years. Seeing them again, especially today, has made the memories come back.”
“I’m certain that in just a few days, everything will settle down. They’ll love both of these boys so much that the sad memories will fade away again.” He gently kissed his wife. “Now I want you to rest. Lord knows we won’t get much for the next ten years!” He grinned at her, with that grin that always turned her heart to mush and kissed her cheek. Taking one more, quick peek at his new sons, he turned and went downstairs to his parents.
Danny’s parents were waiting for him when he walked into the parlor. “She’s resting now,” Danny said.
“Good, she’s had a rough day,” Dan Sr. tightened his grip on his wife’s hand. “She’ll start feeling better now that it’s over with.”
“Leave it to a man to think the woman’s work is over with the delivery,” Clara laughed. She was determined not to spoil the day for her son and Annie. “They are beautiful boys, Danny! I’ll do everything I can to help her, as long as she needs me.” Annie walked to her son and hugged him fiercely. “You know how much I love you, Annie, and Millie. I’m sure I can spare some more for those two sweet little babies,” she laughed, trying to hide the sadness that still crept in after all these years.
“Oh, Mama.” Danny hugged his mother, and said “Don’t try to hide it with me. Remember, I’m the other twin! There are times when I feel like a part of me is missing, even though I never knew him. I’m so thankful that these two will have each other.” Danny loved his mother so. He hated to see the sadness in her eyes.
Clara lovingly reached up with her hand to her son’s cheek. It pained her to realize that her remaining twin still felt the loss. What a strange thing it was to know that his loss was as powerful as her own, yet so much different than hers—he had lost a part of himself. “I’m so thankful to have you, Danny. You’ve always been a real blessing to me. You’re a good son, a wonderful husband, and a devoted father. I’m so very proud of you.”
Breaking the mood, Dan Sr. asked “How about we take Millie home with us for a few days so that you and Annie can get the babies settled in?”
“I’m sure she’d love that, Dad,” Danny answered. “She’ll be able to sleep better for a couple of nights anyway, and she’ll get to spend time with Annie and the babies during the day when Mama is here.” Danny laughed as he heard his sons starting to wail upstairs, “I think she’s the only one of us that will get any sleep for a long time.”
“I’ll run upstairs and help her with this feeding. Then we’ll help Millie pack up some of her things for a visit, and we’ll go home,” his mother said as she headed for the stairs.
Dan Sr. watched his wife as she headed upstairs, and then he turned to Danny. “Having Millie with her will help keep her mind off of Alexander for awhile. She’ll be alright in a few days, Son. Don’t worry,” he said gently squeezing his son’s shoulder. “Try to get some rest tonight, if you can! I’ll stop by with your mother in the morning to pick you up.”
“Thanks, Dad.” Danny was sure he’d be working like a sleepwalker tomorrow and that it wouldn’t get better for many weeks. But he was happy as he could be, knowing that the babies were here at last and healthy. It was everything he could ask.
My, oh my, what a pair those two are, Danny thought as he watched his sons chasing a butterfly across the yard. Nothing was safe in their wake! At two they had mastered running and were well on their way to talking so that someone other than their parents and grandparents could understand them.
Each wore their wide collared shirts with pants cut off short and wide brimmed straw hats to keep the warm sun off their sweet little blonde heads. Running around in their fat little bare feet and full of energy they shot back and forth while the poor butterfly could only escape with its advantage of flying higher than either of the boys could reach. Other than their physical appearance and outfits though, the boys were as different as they could be. Danny no longer had any concern about telling them apart. All he had to do when he caught himself getting confused was to sit back for a moment and watch them in action.
Little Daniel was the trouble maker and when caught with his hand in the cookie jar, he was quick to blame Richard or Millie. If he caught the butterfly, he would undoubtedly come to Danny with pleas to get a jar in which the poor thing would remain trapped until it died. He certainly wasn’t a bad boy; he just had more spirit, curiosity and energy than even most two year olds. He was just never still, unless asleep, of course. He was also just as certain to comfort a crying mother when she burned her finger on a hot iron or got stung by a bee while cutting flowers for the table.
Richard was the peace maker; quick to step between Millie and a terrorizing Daniel, he always sought the peaceful way to settle a disagreement. If Richard caught the butterfly, he would hold it carefully between his two cupped hands and talk gently to it before tossing it back into the air to fly free again. While every bit as energetic as his twin when they were playing, he was also just as happy sitting and playing quietly with blocks or looking at the pictures in his mother’s mail order catalog. His was a gentle heart and his sense of justice was more apparent.
As for Millie, while she loved both her little brothers, she had to work at keeping peace with Daniel who constantly pulled her pigtails, broke her school pencils, and was forever swiping something from her room. She was closest to Richard, who never let Daniel get by with putting the blame on her or who was quick to share with her. But, when push came to shove, she would defend either of them from any outside source of trouble. She was acutely aware of her role as the older sister and took the responsibility very seriously.
Over the next two years the twins gave everyone who knew them a lot of laughs and more than a few gray hairs. Climbing rocks, chasing the neighbor’s big dog, bringing frogs and insects into Annie’s kitchen, leaving slimy unidentifiable objects in their pants pockets only to be found on laundry day, life was never dull in the Martin household. There were plenty of scraped knees and bleeding noses as they learned their limits the hard way, as most boys do.
By the time they were four they could throw and catch a ball with the bigger boys in the neighborhood, loved playing pirates digging up ‘treasure’ the neighbor’s dog had buried in the yard, they knew their ABC’s and counted to a hundred. They were their grandparents’ pride and joy, and a constant source of amazement to their parents. Their sister watched their boyish adventures from a safe distance, playing dolls with her friends and protecting both dolls and friends from marauding hordes of pirates.
It was a particularly hot summer day and there didn’t seem to be any respite from the summer sun in their near future. There was only one way to deal with three energetic children and a hot Sunday afternoon…take them on a picnic.
Clara and Annie prepared a big picnic meal while Dan and Danny gathered blankets and kept the boys occupied preparing the wagon for their trip to the farm where their friend and fellow police officer, Andrew O’Hara, and his wife Mary lived. Millie was occupied counting out napkins and making sure the salt and pepper holders were packed into the basket.
The boys were so excited about swimming in the O’Hara’s pond. They had packed their towels and extra clothes for their outing and were jumping and laughing with such excitement that they seemed oblivious to the heat which their older family members were already finding oppressive. Ah, to be that young again, Danny thought as he watched the boys frolic.
Dan came out of the house carrying what looked to be a very heavily laden picnic basket, “Just about ready son?”
“Yeah, we’ve got the wagon ready and the blankets are in the back. We loaded hay on the floor to make a soft seat for the ladies and the kids. Are the ladies ready to go?”
“Yes, they’re changing into cooler clothes and will be out in just a few minutes. That kitchen’s hot enough to fry eggs on the floor,” Dan replied.
“It’ll do us all good to get out of here today and spend some time in the shade and that pond,” Danny laughed.
Dan and Danny got the boys and Millie settled in the bed of the wagon just as Annie and Clara came out of the house looking much cooler than they had a half hour ago. With their wide brimmed hats and light weight cotton dresses with what their men recognized as a minimum of underskirts, the ladies were ready to go. Dan and Danny lifted their wives into the bed of the wagon and then each of the children and off they went.
It was a pleasant drive out to the farm. The ladies used their parasols to keep the sun off of themselves and the children, songs were sung, and horses and cows were commented upon as the wagon passed them by. Everyone was enjoying being out together.
The sky was so blue and the sun beat down with a fierceness that kept all the women in the shade of the huge oak trees that surrounded the pond. There were wild flowers wilting in the heat and children screaming with joy as the men tossed them into the air, just to let them crash down into the soothing water. The boys got into a row about who could swim the best. In reality neither of them was ready to swim on their own yet, although little Daniel swore he knew all there was about it and, as he said as he pushed Richard down in the mud at the edge of the pond, he ‘wasn’t askeered of anything!”
Their father and grandfather kept a close eye on both of them so they wouldn’t get too far from the shallow edge. Millie, on the other hand, could swim like a fish this year. She had gotten better and better over the last three summers. Now she was diving off of the little pier and jumping from the rope that swung out over the water. Danny sighed as he realized that they would soon have to tame these activities which would not appear ladylike for a young girl. He was determined to let her enjoy this last summer of freedom from such attitudes, despite a few sour looks from his wife.
Soon it was time to eat and they all dug in with great vigor, despite the heat. The result was that they were all sleepy almost immediately. While the women packed the dishes away for the return trip home, the men napped beneath one of the huge oak trees. As Clara lifted one of the baskets into the back of the wagon, she looked over at Millie and Richard napping peacefully on a blanket. Where was little Daniel? She wandered around the area down toward the pond. There was no sign of him. “Daniel!” she hollered, hoping he would answer from up in a tree or from a hiding place. When she got no response, she ran back to the picnic area. “Dan! Danny!” she screamed, “Quick, Danny! Wake up! I can’t find Daniel!”
Annie and the men all came running.
Annie was panic stricken. Then she said, “When I get my hands on that boy, I’ll throttle him good! Why, oh why can’t he sit still for a few minutes like the others?
“Don’t worry, sweetheart,” Danny said recognizing that parental panic she was choking down. He was already feeling a fair share of panic himself. “We’ll find the rascal. Stay here with Richard and Millie in case he shows up. Dad, take a look down by the lake. Mother, go up to the farm house and see if he’s up there pestering Mary. I’ll look in the woods.”
Everyone scattered except for Annie and the children. Annie paced and paced, calling Daniel’s name the whole time.
“Where is he, Mama?” Mille asked while hanging onto her mother’s waist.
“I don’t know dear, but Daddy will find him, you’ll see,” she said with much more confidence than she felt. “Daddy will find him.” Something was terribly wrong. He should hear them all calling him. She could hear the voices of the others from their different directions. But there was no answer. Then she heard her father-in-law’s voice from the lake and was instantly filled with dread.
“Danny! Danny! Come down here quick!” Dan screamed as he dove into the water. Frantically he swam out toward the center of the pond where he saw that mop of wet blonde hair. His heart felt like lead when he reached little Daniel just as the boy started to sink completely. Grabbing the boy’s hair, he pulled him back to the surface and started pulling him toward the shore as Danny reached them both.
“Danny, go back to shore and get Annie away from the water. Try to keep her calm, I’ll get him back to shore.” Dan looked at his son who now realized the meaning of what his father was asking him to do. “It’s been too long Danny,” his father said as he kept a tight grip on the lifeless boy. “You take care of Annie. I’ll take care of Daniel.”
Danny’s heart was broken but he knew his father was right. His body felt as if it was filled with lead weights. He had to protect Annie. She shouldn’t be there when the boy was pulled out of the water. There would be enough time to say goodbye later. Surely she would need her husband to hold onto first. As tears flowed down his cheeks they mingled with the pond water as he sped back to shore where his wife was screaming for Daniel. When he reach shore with his body feeling heavier than it had ever felt as he climbed out of the water and stumbled as he ran toward his wife.
“Why aren’t you helping him?” Annie screamed at him. “Why aren’t you helping him?” She tried to get past him to get to the boy and his grandfather as they reached shore. “Get out of my way, Danny! Daniel, Mama’s here baby; Mama’s here! Let me go!” She struggled like a wildcat to get out of his grip; beating at his chest and shoulders to free herself.
Danny hung onto her and held her back. Holding her tight against him, “It’s too late, Annie. He’s gone,” he whispered to her and felt her go limp in his arms. He lowered her to the grass and held her as they watched his mother and father pull the lifeless body of their grandson out of the pond. Once they laid him out on the grass, Clara gently smoothed down his hair and Dan closed those empty brown eyes that had been so very full of life just an hour ago.
Danny helped Annie to her feet and they went to their son. When Annie dropped to the ground and grabbed Daniel into her lap, Danny felt his heart break. How were they ever going to live through this? He’d never felt so helpless in his entire life.
Then he saw Millie and Richard holding each other and he moved over to them and pulled them into a tight embrace. Dear God, he thought, now Richard had lost his twin too. He determined right on the spot that he would do everything he could to help his children through this. That was one thing he could do; he would hold together what was left of his family.
Once they were able to pull Annie away from Daniel, they wrapped him in a blanket and put him into the wagon where Annie once again hung onto her son. Dan and Clara sat up front and Danny climbed in back with his wife and their children, trying to console each of them. It didn’t take him long to realize that Annie was off somewhere. Her eyes were glazed and she didn’t answer him. When he reached for her, she didn’t even look at him.
As soon as they reached home, Dan went for the doctor and once Danny was able to pry Annie away from Daniel, Clara took Annie and the children into the house. Once Clara had Annie upstairs, Danny brought Daniel’s body into the house and gently laid him on the sofa in the parlor. Then he slowly climbed the stairs to go to his wife.
Annie was curled up tightly on their bed with Clara sitting beside her talking to her quietly. When she saw her son come into the room, Clara got up and went downstairs to give them privacy.
“Annie?” Danny whispered as he sat beside her. “Annie, dear, what can I do for you? Do you want some water?” he asked.
Annie was completely silent and didn’t even seem to realize he was there. After a few more tries, Danny kissed her on the cheek and went downstairs to his mother who was now crying quietly as she looked down at little Daniel. Stepping behind her, he wrapped his arms around his grieving mother and she turned into his arms where they just stood weeping together.
Finally Clara pulled herself together and stepped back from him. “Oh son, this is so much worse than losing Alexander,” she said wiping her eyes on her skirt. “He was gone before we even knew him, but this! This!” She looked at her heartbroken son. “Annie is going to need your help and your patience to get her through this,” she warned him. “I don’t know how she’ll react when she comes out of this shock she’s in.”
“I know, Mama,” Danny responded with a voice cracking with grief. “She won’t look at me or answer me when I talk to her. It’s like she’s gone away somewhere.”
They turned as they heard Dan and the doctor come in the front door. Old Doc Logan went to Daniel and then looked up at Danny. “I’m so sorry, Danny,” he said shaking his head sadly. “I still remember the day I brought the twins into this life,” he said as he patted Danny’s shoulder. “Where’s Annie?”
“Upstairs,” Danny responded. “She doesn’t seem to hear anything we say to her,” he continued.
“She’s in shock,” Doc Logan said as he turned to go upstairs. “I’ll go see her and then come back down to take care of things here,” he said still shaking his head as if he still couldn’t believe the boy was gone. It always saddened him to the very core when a child died and the older he got, the bigger a waste it seemed. Now in his early seventies, it was especially difficult to lose a child. He’d be sure to have his wife, Sarah, come to see Annie later in the week to see if there was anything she could do for her.
Entering the bedroom, Doc Logan saw that indeed Annie was in shock. She was curled up and shivering as if she was cold, in this damnable heat, and staring at a wall. “Annie, girl,” he said quietly as he sat beside her and checked her pulse. “Annie. I want you to sit up now, Annie. Come on now,” he said as he helped her sit upright. “Annie, this is one of the worst things you will ever go through, but you have a husband and two other children who need you. You need to snap out of this now,” he said firmly but quietly. He was rubbing her hand. Then he took her face in his left hand and turned it toward him. “Annie, I want you to talk to me now,” he said. He saw her blink and focus on him.
“There you are,” he said. “That’s a girl,” he patted her hand. “Now, is there anything you want? Something to drink? Or a little something to eat?” he asked her all the while keeping her focused on his face. He knew she was unlikely to want anything but keeping her focused outward for awhile was his main purpose right now.
“No,” she answered dully.
Alright, she was coming back a little, he thought. “Alright, Annie girl. I want you to stay here for a little while longer. I’ll send up Danny.”
“No!” she responded vehemently. “No!”
“Why, Annie dear? Why don’t you want to see Danny? You two need each other right now,” Doc Logan assured her.
“He fell asleep and then he left him!” she shouted. “He just left him out there! He should have saved him! He’s a policeman; he supposed to save people, but he didn’t save his own son. He just left him,” she cried as she wrapped her arms tight around herself.
Finally the crying had started. Doc Logan was relieved to see the tears. As to her irrational blame on Danny, it wasn’t entirely unexpected. Dan had told him everything that had happened on the way back here. “Annie, dear, there was nothing that Danny could do for the boy. It wasn’t Danny’s fault the boy wandered off; and when they found him, he was already gone. He was trying to get back to you to help you when you found out. He didn’t just leave Daniel. And who better to bring Daniel’s body to shore than the grandfather who loves him so much, heh?”
Now the crying took over and he just held her and let her get it out. When she finally seemed to run down, he laid her back on the bed. “Now Annie, I want you to take a little nap. When you wake up, you’ll need to spend some time with Danny and the children.”
Annie nodded and closed her eyes. When she awoke, Danny and the children were at her side waiting for her. They all mourned together and held each other until it grew dark in the room. “Where is Daniel?” she asked.
“He’s in the parlor, dear,” Danny answered. “Arrangements have been made. We’ll bury him tomorrow. For tonight he’s here with us.”
“I want to see him, Danny,” she said as she started to get out of their bed.
“Alright sweetheart,” Danny gripped her and held her up. He could see that grief have sapped her of any strength. Slowly they went downstairs and then to the parlor where they sat up well into the night with their dear little son in the small wooden casket the doctor had had delivered after he left.
Clara and Dan had dressed him in his Sunday clothes and combed that mop of what had turned to dirty blonde hair as the boys grew older. He seemed so small now and so quiet and unlike the boy that had been so full of life only this morning.
Danny finally managed to get Annie back upstairs and to bed around two in the morning, then he went back down to watch over Daniel until his parents arrived around 7:00 AM.
By noon they were at the cemetery, burying their little boy. Daniel wasn’t certain that their life would ever be the same. His wife had withdrawn from him, his daughter clung to her mother and his remaining son could often be found talking to himself as if Daniel was there in the room with him. Slowly Richard accepted the loss of his twin and started to rely on his grandparents and Danny for his consolation. Annie was another story.
Clara tried to help with Annie but Annie had pulled away from her too. It seemed to all of them that she would never recover from the loss of her son. To some extent Clara understood, all too well; but even in the midst of losing Alexander all those years ago, her family had been such a solace to her. Annie seemed to resent all of them for just being alive.
Annie appeared to be determined to keep all of them, except Millie, at arm’s length and finally Clara had to face that she had lost her relationship with her daughter-in-law. More than that, she was terribly afraid that Danny had lost his wife and Richard, his mother. It was obvious that Annie never had much, if anything, to say to Danny anymore. Unless she was wrong, which she seriously doubted, Annie was now sleeping in Millie’s room. Of course, she would never ask her son about anything so personal. She’d have Dan talk to him.
Buried in Work
As Danny and his dad rode to work that morning, Danny was quiet. Dan had learned to let his son have his ‘thinking time’ when he needed it, so they rode side by side in silence as they had so very often since Daniel’s death.
Danny considered himself the lucky one. He could get Daniel’s death off of his mind by working. Annie, on the other hand, retreated from him more and more and that was another loss that he felt very acutely. There just didn’t seem to be anything he could say or do to get back what they had before Daniel’s death.
If it hadn’t been for his father, Danny didn’t think he could have survived the next six months. Dan kept him focused; made certain he spent quality time with Richard and Millie. Dan was his anchor in a world that seemed to be slipping away little by little.
No matter what they tried or how long they waited, Dan and Clara were unable to help their son’s relationship with his wife improve. Once the children were both in school, Annie busied herself helping out at church and at one event she met the well known Cincinnati potter, Mary Belamy Storer, who was organizing a charity event. She had taken an instant liking to Annie, despite the differences in their social status, and Annie had been more than willing to give her spare time to the various causes that were dear to Mrs. Belamy Storer’s heart. This, of course, left even less time for any involvement Annie might have had with her own husband and son. Annie had said she needed purpose and, despite the needs of her own family, she buried her grief by helping these charities by organizing various functions in Hamilton that would add to what was being done in Cincinnati by the more prestigious ladies of that loftier society.
As more and more time went by Annie and Danny spent very little time in each other’s company. While Millie and Richard were still close for the first few years after Daniel’s death, eventually the fractures in their parents’ relationship caused them to spend less and less time together as well. What time they did have together was often spent avoiding conversations about their parents. By the time they were teenaged, it was easy for them to go for days without seeing one another except at bedtime when they would try to spend a few moments finding out what the other had been up to during the day. They tried harder and harder to stay close but it became more and more difficult as the years passed.
By the time Millie graduated from high school, she and Richard had grown apart although they remained fond of one another. However their alliances, Millie with their mother and Richard with their father, were clearly a sore point with both of them. Annie shut out both her son and her husband and felt no hesitation to blame their current state on Danny; Danny included Millie whenever he could and never made a negative comment about their mother.
Danny had now accepted that he no longer had a marriage, but he never gave up on his children. He wanted them to know that he was here for them, no matter what. He thought he had succeeded in that and it would have to be enough for him. His days were spent buried in his job; his evenings trying desperately to let his children know he was there for them.
“Dad, did I ever tell you how glad I am to have you for a partner?” Danny finally asked.
“Can’t say as you did, son, but since I’ve felt the same, guess I never thought it needed saying,” his father responded as he smiled over at his somber looking son.
“Well, just for the record,” Danny smiled back somewhat hesitantly, “I’ve always been glad to spend time with you; working or otherwise.”
He was exhausted. Danny and his father had been partners for several years now. Being a cop was getting tougher and tougher on both of them. He knew that his dad had to be even more worn out than he was. The force was small and officers were appointed, not hired on merit and skills. While all had to attend the School of Instruction, some, like the Martins, were earnestly interested in serving and protecting the public and had sought the position for what they could offer instead of what the job had to offer them. Others took the opportunity only with the goal of getting power by moving up the ladder in the force or politics. Neither of the Martins gave a damn about politics or power. They just loved the job.
Hamilton, the county seat of Butler County, had grown so fast the police force could hardly keep up. The force hadn’t existed before 1875 and gambling and all sorts of criminal behavior had gone rampant for several years before the department was started. Finally Mayor McGuinnes created the Hamilton Police Force but by the time Mayor Ladder went into office, he pretty much had cleaned things up without Mayor McGuinnes’s support. He had even tried to shut down the bars on Sundays. The Mulroney’s and other ‘good citizens’ of Hamilton pretty much ignored Ladder’s effort.
Danny found himself gritting his teeth.
Dan looked over at his son, “What’s the matter son?”
“Oh, I was just thinking about those damned Mulroney boys and how I’d love to clean up that little hornets’ nest out at the paper mill. You just know they’re up to something over there besides making paper! No one has set eyes on Billy Sullivan since young Patrick’s accident. You just know they did him in, but try to prove it!”
“Well, son, someday one of those boys is going to get stupid drunk and spill his guts or make a mistake and then we’ll find out what it is. Until then, their daddy keeps things wrapped up pretty tight over there. All we can do is keep our eyes open when we have the opportunity to get on premises and see if we can spot something. Who knows, maybe the boys don’t even know what daddy’s up to. He always was a no good son-of-a-bitch, that Patrick,” Dan said working himself into a lather. Neither of them could tolerate those Mulroney’s.
Danny just sat thinking. Now, fifteen years after the Department had been created, Cincinnati was spreading closer and closer and that meant that its criminals were closer and closer to Hamilton. In one forty year period the population of Hamilton had grown from a little over fourteen hundred to well over twelve thousand. It was even larger now.
With the cotton, flour and paper mills, various manufacturing and retail establishments, as well as multiple banks, the crime rate was harder and harder to keep under control but they were doing it. Then there was the brewery spitting out over thirty thousand barrels a year! Just what they needed, Danny thought to himself. Those damned Mulroney boys and their friends could be counted on to fill the Hamilton drunk tank most nights of the week. The previous year, the department had gotten its first horse drawn wagon. Now they could pick up the drunks, dump them unceremoniously into the back of the wagon and let them sleep it off as they delivered them to the jail at City Hall in groups instead of one at a time tied to the backs of their own horses. The citizens of Hamilton saw this as progress. Danny saw it as spitting in the wind.
If they got one more newspaper in town where he was forced to read about that bunch of no goods, he’d be tempted to burn down their damned paper mill himself! The good honest citizens of Hamilton that attended the many churches that outnumbered the schools reminded him and the rest of the Hamilton police officers on a daily basis that something needed to be done! Unfortunately, the police had never been able to get solid evidence of what that bunch was really up to, other than trying to drink the town dry.
But, as modern as things were in Hamilton these days, Ohio still didn’t accept any responsibility for police oversight in Hamilton or anywhere else except Cincinnati. It was up to the Chief to oversee the department and the State didn’t care a whit for how he did it. That could make things tough for the small force’s cops out on the streets. With Chiefs coming a going like they did these days, you didn’t always know who was rubbing elbows with who until you got yourself slapped on the wrist.
Dan and Danny had been appointed to the force together when it started in 1875 and had become partners just two years later. Danny knew that eventually his dad would want to retire, but he hoped they had a lot of good years ahead of them yet.
“Let’s get out of here and get some lunch, Dad. I need some air,” Danny decided he needed to get his mind under control. He’d been wandering all morning and his paperwork still wasn’t done.
They walked down the street a couple of blocks to Jane’s Café. Jane was the widow of a railroad worker who had been killed in a nasty train accident two years ago. She was a sweet little thing who didn’t look like she could whip her weight in butterflies. Yet, there she was, from 5 am until 9 pm everyday but Sunday when, as Jane said ‘took some lazy time,’ and she didn’t come in until 9 am so she could have Sunday dinner ready for her customers. Both the Martin men were very fond of Jane and they took special care to patronize her restaurant whenever possible and even kept a special eye out while on their daily rounds. They’d shooed young hooligans like Sean and Paddy Mulroney out of there more than once.
“Mornin’ Jane,” Dan said as they walked in the door and sent the bell ringing furiously.
“Morning, officers!” Jane responded. “What can I fix for you two this fine day?” Jane smiled at the pair, her blue eyes shining.
“You got any of that fine stew of yours, Jane?” Danny asked.
“Sure do. I even have a hot apple pie in back…in case you’re hungry enough,” she said smiling back at them.
“When have we ever not had enough room for your apple pie, Jane?” Danny grabbed a chair at a table toward the back where they could see the rest of the room.
It wasn’t a big place but Jane had tables and chairs enough to feed her usual crowds and a little counter with stools for those who preferred them. She kept the place as neat as a pin right down to what always looked like freshly washed and ironed red and white gingham curtains and matching table clothes on the half dozen small square tables. The wooden floor was always as shiny as a brand new penny. Today the placed smelled just like apple pie and Danny found his mood improving almost immediately.
“I don’t know how that little five foot pistol does it,” Dan said as he sat down next to his son. “She’s here seven days a week but she’s always smiling and keeps this place clean as a whistle. Not to mention the best cooking in town…short of your mother’s, of course,” he added quickly.
They were still laughing when Jane approached their table with two hot bowls of stew and half a loaf of her homemade bread. She recognized the appreciation on their faces as she put the bowls down in front of them. “Now gentlemen, don’t you go eatin’ those plates. I’ll need them for the dinner crowd!”
“You know we’ll clean up everything but the plates, Jane!” Dan responded eagerly reaching for his fork.
Shaking her head and laughing, Jane went back to get their coffee. Then, setting down their cups, “Have you two met the new officer yet…Michael…um…Michael Williams, I think he said?”
“Yeah, he came in yesterday to meet all of us. He won’t start until next week. He’s moving down from Dayton so that’ll give him some settlin’ time,” Dan answered.
“With all the comin’ and goin’ over there, I don’t know how you boys keep track. I guess you two have been there longer than any of the others,” she offered.
“Yeah, that’s true enough.” Dan agreed. “If anything should keep them on the force, it should be the proximity to your place, Jane. If the new guy’s been in here already, somebody sent him to the right place.”
“Thanks fellas. Makes a girl feel good to know all her work is appreciated,” Jane replied as she left them and attended to her other customers.
“Girl’s a little fireball,” Dan said as he took a huge bite of the fresh bread.
“Yeah,” Danny sighed. “I can remember when I thought the same of Annie.”
“How’s that goin’ these days, Danny?” his dad asked.
“Same as usual. She won’t move back to our room and doesn’t have much to say to me. It’s almost as if I’m a boarder in my own home,” Danny said quietly so he couldn’t be overheard. “Dad, I didn’t just lose my son that day…I lost my wife too. We just don’t have any contact or anything to say to each other anymore.”
“I’m sorry to hear that,” Dan said sitting back in his chair. “What are you going to do, son?”
“Nothing I can do but just keep the peace at home for Millie and Richard’s sakes. But I have to tell you dad, it’s really hard to even go home these days.”
“I’ve been blessed to have a wonderful lifetime with your mother. Don’t know what I’d do in your place, son. Have you ever…?” Dan raised an eyebrow and let that finish his question for him.
“No. No I haven’t. But it sure hasn’t been easy. I don’t know how much longer we can go on this way,” Danny raised his napkin to his face to hide the tears filling his eyes. When he got himself back under control, “It’s not like she was the only one of us that lost Daniel. Poor Richard has suffered so. It’s like a part of him is gone. He used to dream of Daniel and wake up crying. It’s been better the last few months but I know he’ll never get over it entirely.”
“No, I’m sure none of us will but…” Dan stopped as one of their fellow officers came running through the door.
“Officers Martin, come quick. It’s Mrs. Martin. She’s been hurt…”
Both the Martin men shot out of their chairs and headed for the front door. As they got outside, Dan stopped and grabbed the young cop, “Which one? Clara or Annie?”
“It’s your wife, Miss Clara, sir. I’m so sorry!” The young cop’s face told Dan everything he needed to know.
“Where is she?” Dan asked.
“They took her to Doc Logan’s office,” the young man responded.
Dan and Danny both ran for their horses and tore off to the doctor’s office. When they arrived they found several other officers outside. They moved back and let Dan and Danny through to the entrance of the little clinic. As they entered the young doctor who had taken over his father’s practice a few weeks earlier came to meet them.
“Dan, I’m so sorry. She was gone before they got her here,” he said as he reached for Dan’s arm to brace him.
Dan moved the doctor aside and went into the next room. Danny and Doc Logan stood there listening to the sounds of Dan Martin’s grief.
“What happened?” Danny asked as tears streamed down his face.
“She was down at the mercantile and as she came out she was hit by a wagon. Young Brady Johnson was pulling the wagon up for his mama and the horses got spooked by a fist fight between Paddy Jr.’s youngest son and the Whitaker boy. It wasn’t anyone’s fault; just a terrible, terrible accident Danny.”
Damn to Mulroney’s, Danny thought. Will they never be rid of them? Now they’d cost him his mother. Danny rubbed the tears from his face and pulled himself together as much as possible as he moved into the next room where his father was weeping over the body of Clara Millicent Martin. He didn’t know how they were ever going to survive without her, he thought as he looked down at his mother’s face. She looked as if she was just taking a little nap. He’d never forget this moment as long as he lived.
“Dad,” he just reached for his father’s shoulder.
Dan bent down and kissed his wife and wiped her disheveled hair back from her face. “I should have been there. I should have been with her when she…” he couldn’t finish the sentence. He couldn’t say ‘when she died.’ Not now. Maybe later…not now.
“Dad, let’s go. We have to tell the family and make arrangements. They’ll take her to the house later if that’s what you want.”
“Yes. Yes. To the house…that would be good. She should be at home now.” Dan looked up at his son’s sad face and saw the tears streaming down his cheeks. “She’s the best wife a man could ever have, you know! The best wife a man could have. I wish yours was as good to you, son.”
“I know Dad. I know. Let’s go,” Danny helped his father out of the room, then the office and then used a neighbor’s wagon to take him to Danny’s where they found Annie getting ready to leave the house.
Annie took one look at her father-in-law and her husband and knew instantly that something terrible had happened. “What is it? What’s happened?”
“It’s Mom. She’s gone. I’ll explain later. Go get the children and bring them home first,” Danny said.
“I’m on my way out, Danny. Why don’t we just wait until they get home. It’s only another hour or so before school lets out,” Annie argued.
Danny turned on her so suddenly that, even though he had never raised a hand to her, she jumped back away from him. “What kind of a selfish monster are you?” he spit out from gritted teeth. “How dare you put your social engagement before telling our children that their grandmother is dead? Go get your children, Annie! Both of them! Now!” Then, pulling her toward him, “And don’t plan on going anywhere for the next week. You will be here with your family where a mother and wife belong. Is that understood, Annie?”
“Yes. I’ll g-g-go g-g-get the children right away,” she stammered and ran from the house.
The next month was a nightmare for the entire Martin family. Clara had been laid to rest alongside her son, Alexander, and grandson, Daniel. Dan and Danny took the following week off wor
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