The view across to the hotel was all he could see from the window in his tiny room. Laying out on the new made linen bed clothes his bed so comfy he slept.Slept for the first time in days on this case.
The alley between Detective John James and the next shanty hotel along Paton Row had guests. Two men with pistols slowly slid up the narrow stair to James room. Hearing the creak of dry floor boards James awoke and from the pillow drew the gun from under his head just in time as the bedroom door burst open .Before anything they could do James had shot them both dead.
The Guard on the hotel opposite was at the window when James turned to look. He waved to say all was good and waited for the signal. It came to say witness asleep. James was not sure and raced from the room over the bodies on the corridor. Something had clicked in his mind.
Inside of witness protection the hotel room where Rita Coleman was being held was empty.The police man dead and so down the stairs he fled as the car sped away he wrote down the registration and fumbled for the mobile phone in his pocket. One call left on the charge and he got trough with trace just long enough to make it work. Back at his desk ten minutes later.
” So welcome back sir ,coffee in the kitchen if your wanting one.”
” Good man Hastings. Yes thanks one sugar, no milk. ”
” That reg sir traced to one Johann Berk an antique dealer Old Kent Road. ”
“Pick him up will you?”
“On the way in sir with PC Jones”
“Knew I could rely on you.”
” No trouble ,coffee .”
‘Lovely thanks. ”
“So who are they sir.’
“Search me. Heard them on the stairs aimed and fired as door flung back.”
” Bodies in morgue with Doctor Dee.”
“Good. I will take my coffee down to see him now.”
Down to the Morgue door he was welcomed by a very welcomed voice.
“Ah! Horatio dear dead eye dick, both corpses shot clean in the fore head. ”
” Hello to you too Dee.”
“Yes. One is Perry Holister, son to boss of Mafia in West End. He will be pleased with you John.”
“And the other?”
“Not a clue as yet just another hired gun perhaps?”
“Must be something heavy to send his loved son to finish you off ?”
” They got way clean with only witness to the murder.”
” Yeap! afraid so”
Time rolled over and Dee discovered the dead man was none other than Richard the Cosh Dean. Famous gunman from New York. Detective James informed and the chase was on for the witness.
” Detective James New Scotland Yard let me through. ”
“Glad its you Horatio .Your hopes may be sunk meet Rita Colman ,that was. ”
” Any facts on what caliber that shell in her head is Dee?”
“Not a magician just a wizard in my lab. Tell you after I remove her brain. ”
Back at his desk the Chief Super at his elbow. “Let us talk James .The whole fish is out of the net is it?”
” Seem that way sir. ”
” Where are we now Detective.”
” Sunk unless-”
“Come on man what is in that fast mind of yours?”
” One chance sir. If Rita saw it happen maybe Tom her husband saw the same.Both at that counter each time I go on for fish and chips.”
“Yes indeed from the counter the window looks right out into the street. He may cough up as his wife is dead because of this. Revenge may be on his mind. ”
The walk into the fish and chips bar was not easy as all lights off and door locked at front.Side door led into the room behind. Head in hands sat Thomas Coleman.
John James walked over to the armchair to console the poor man.
” Sorry it came to this Tommy nothing can bring Rita back .Will you help me nail the bastards that did this. ”
It was no bedside manner but his head nodded yes and that was result needed so very badly. Tom was set in a cell with machine gun guards all four of them.One in cell with witness two in the corridor one at the very back in small room where anyone coming through that door at front of cells could never see him.
The hours ticked by and at eight next morning Tom was guarded to the court without incident.
By 10.44 am he had given his statement to cross examination. The court now in session.
‘The bullet in Rita Colemans head fitted the gun that Johhny Logan used in the robbery and under four hours of fast arguments as he took stand he broke down and fingered Mob boss Stan Preston as orders came from him direct.
Logan and Preston indited on six offenses of murder received three lifetimes of sentences at HMS pleasure.
“You did it again James .The top room send thanks.”
“No rise in pay just thanks sir. ”
” Coppers lot is not a happy one dear John. Keep the chin up good job old son.”
” Something like that sir. Fish and chips anyone.On top room as they pay the bills let them give us celebration dinner on the bloody cheap sir. ”
” Go on then we did put away the most dangerous crew ever out of East End of London even Crays could not have dealt with Mob boss Preston. Not for me Im off for dinner at the Ritz .Comes with rank john.
Rank ,he thought as he made his weary way to buy fish and chops for all. Then it happened and out of a passing car window two shots fired at Detective John James brought the good officer crashing down to meet the pavement as the red Jaguar speed away.
He lay in his blood for just a minute before PC Jones was at his side ringing Hospital assistance as officer down.
All sat shocked in the office silence at the loss of such a man. Dee raced up to learn the truth that his friend for nearly 20 years lay on an operating table fighting for life. One shell passed through his left lung. The other hit in in the neck.
“So we can only pray sir.”
Yes but we can also trace that car .Two witnesses saw what happened but in waiting room one. Get to it lads we cant help Detective James any other way.
Continued next week.
Thank you for joining us and hope you found it interesting.
Yours Sir Kevin.
copyright Kevin Parr Bt 2020 July 18th