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The Second Time Around: A short story mystery
Posted by R. Wesley Lovil, Nov 2, 2008. 2477 views. ID = 1959

The Second Time Around

Posted by R. Wesley Lovil, Nov 2, 2008. 2477 views. ID = 1959
This post was written in 57246366 minutes.
A person from his past needs his help
This post has been awarded 12 stars by 4 readers.

I had just sat down to a cup of coffee and my morning paper when the door bell rang. I as I walked down the hall to the front door I was cussing the person who had disturbed my morning routine but when I opened the door all I could do was stare with my mouth open.
"Hello Richard, aren't you going to invite me in?"
"Oh sure, hello Silvia please come inside. Gosh how long has it been?"
"I would say ten years and two husbands. That is why I am here I need your help."
Of course why else would she come to see me unless she was in trouble. In fact the last time she came into my life she wanted me to prove that she didn't kill her first husband. I am a retired cop and I guess she thinks that make me some kind of private detective.
"Come into the kitchen I have some fresh made coffee."

As we sat down to coffee I tried to get caught up with what was new in her life for the last ten years. For one thing I didn't know about husband number two. She told me she now lived in Vegas and was married to husband number two for three years. Then she dropped the bombshell.
"George, my second husband was killed last week."
"That can't be, tell me what happened."
"I don't know I came home and found him on the front room floor. Now the police want to question me."
"Are you a suspect or a 'person of interest'. Maybe they just want information."
"That is what I am worried about with what happed with my first husband I am afraid they are going to suspect me. That is why I need your help."
"Please Silvia, now think hard I need you to give me all the details."
After filling me on everything she could think I told her to go back to Vegas and I would see what I could do to help her.

I guess now would be a good time to fill you in on our past. I met Silvia when we worked together for a rather nefarious company. We hit it off right from the start, She was incredibly beautiful yet still with a nice smile a great sense of humor. I of course was still married at the time so out time together was spent joking and flirting. I had gone to work after retiring, as a security consultant for this company with hardly any knowledge of what they did even what they stood for. Silvia and I were both lucky to get out with lives after her boss blew the headquarters up to escape the police. But that is another story that I should save for another tale. After Silvia escaped with her life I think she felt she needed to find a husband before it was too late. She ended up marring a man named Mendez whom I did not care for. I don't know it might have been jealousy but I do know I did not like him.

Silvia and I lost contact but I thought about her often and was quite please when she showed up at my house one day. After my wife invited her in and all of the hellos taken care of we were shocked to find out her husband had been run over by a hit and run driver. Then even more surprised to find out the police thought she might have something to do with her husbands death. I told Silvia that I would look into it and see what I could find out. As it turned out the police were mainly looking at Silvia because of the large inheritance she was due to come into because of her husbands death. With my backing of her and no real evidence against her they dropped the investigation and the case went unsolved.

Now back to husband number two, this was going to be more difficult because I had little if any credibility in Las Vegas so it would take more than my backing of her to keep her out of trouble. I new I had to go to Vegas and do it in a hurry. Since my wife had passed away from cancer I had nobody left in town except my brother.
I called him, "Hello John, I leaving town for a few days or so will you check on my place. Thanks, I am going Vegas to try and help Silvia Mendez well actually Silvia Cronin. You won't believe her second husband has been killed."
I knew this would get my brother going, he never liked Silvia and still thinks she did kill her first husband. Of course, now he will think she murdered number two also. I didn't let him talk, I told I had a plane to catch and hung up the phone.

Las Vegas

As soon as I landed in Vegas, I took a cab to the Police Station on the west side. It did not take long to learn that this was not going to be easy, sure they were giving respect to a fellow officer but no information. All I got was the usual 'this is an ongoing investigation and no information is being released.' Yet I still picked up some interesting tidbits as I hung around the station. I did find out that Cronin had been shot by a 38 caliber and they knew Silvia owned a 38 caliber that they could not find. Oh and one other thing, they were sure that Silvia had killed her husband. Well I knew different Silvia could not do such a thing, she was not a murderer. Now all I had to do was prove it.

My next stop would be Silvia's; I had to talk to her before the cops arrested her. I called her, told her I was in town, and headed her way. She gave instructions and her address and I said I would take a cab. As I left the station I passed a newspaper rack, I glanced at the headlines and stopped dead in my tracks. In headline print across the front of the paper it read, 'Black Widow Strikes Again'. I bought a paper, and then jumped into a cab at the curb. I gave the cabbie Silvia's address, and read the paper as he drove through the mad house they call Vegas traffic. The newspaper's article was a real hatchet job, the more I read the madder I got. 'Prominent Las Vegas attorney George Cronin murdered in his own house. His wife Silvia Cronin the lead suspect in the case was also a suspect in her previous Husbands murder, although no charges were ever filed.' This article had to be a leak from the cops or maybe the DA's office. By giving this info to some newspaper hack, they were swaying a potential jury pool. This also meant they had no hard evidence so they were using slander to make their case. By the time I got to Silvia's house I was fuming, the cops were trying to railroad her and if I didn't come up with something, she was going to be in big trouble.

Silvia address was in the upper class part of Vegas and her house definitely belonged there. It was a typical house for the upscale part of the desert. All of the colors were in desert hues and there was enough room for a small city on the grounds. When I got out of the cab, a pack of reporters rushed me but I ignored them as I rang the buzzer for Silvia to let me in. A butler (do they still call them butlers?) came out and personally let me to make sure no riff raff followed me. As I hugged Syl, I could tell she had been crying. I told her that everything would be all right and that I would take care of her, as I held her close I could smell her shampoo and wondered if I really remembered that aroma from our past.

"Silvia, I know this will be difficult but we need to talk. I have to know everything so we can be prepared for what the police spring on us."
"Yes I know Richard; I can take it, where would you like to start."
"You are being very brave. The first thing; the police say you own a gun, do you know where it is?"
"No Richard, I do not own a gun but my husband did. I told the police that, I had not seen it for years and have no idea where it is."
"Silvia, I know the police have asked you all these questions already but they are not telling me anything so we will have to go over everything again. Just tell me as you told the cops so I'll know what they know. Where were you when you husband was murdered?"
"I was by myself in Red Rock Canyon meditating. George and I have been having, I guess I mean, were having problems so I went up there alone to try and quite my soul. As I told the police, I didn't see anybody, I didn't stop for gas, or to eat, nothing I just drove straight up there. I told them to look at my car there is red dust all over it. Where do they think it came from, the brick factory?"
"Did they check you for GSR?"
I saw the puzzled look on her face, "I'm sorry I mean gunshot residue."
"Yes they did wipe something on my hands and clothes and said it was inconclusive."
"That means they didn't find anything. Do you know if there is someone who would want to hurt your husband?"
"Well Richard he was an attorney, so he must have had some upset clients. But no, I can't think of anyone who wanted him dead. Someone has been calling the house asking for George. They would never leave a message; just hang up if he was not here."
"I will look into that, we can check phone records to check where the calls come from. Another thing, is, I mean was, your husband much of a gambler?"
"That was one of our problems, George bet a lot on sports. I told him, you can't call it gambling if all you do is lose, he didn't like that. It got so bad I opened a household account in my name only, so we could run the house. Of course, that made him furious but I didn't care we had to cover our expenses."
"That's a start, let me look at his files and see if I can find a regular bookie. Silvia we have to get you a lawyer so we can be prepared for whatever the police do."
Silvia told me her husband's partner was a good man and had already called and said he would represent her. I asked her if he could be trusted and she seem to think him an honest man. I didn't like this and told her so but she was adamant that she wanted this man to defend her so I let it go. I told her I was going to find her husband's bookie. She told me to take one of her cars but I declined not wanting to drive in Vegas traffic. I called a cab then kissed her on the cheek as I left.
In the taxi, I called my brother to give him an update. I told him of the problems we had. I explained about the missing gun, how she had no alibi, and that she and her husband were having problems. I told him the cops thought she did it and were not looking at anybody else for the crime. I mentioned the papers calling her the 'Black Widow'
"John I know that story was planted by the DA, all the evidence they have is circumstantial. It is all just a bad coincidence and all I have to do is prove it."
"Rich, you were a cop; you know all cops do not believe in coincidences."
"Well I'm not a cop now and let me tell you, just because you don't believe in something doesn't mean it is not true."
"You're just blinded by your closeness to her Richard. I think Black Widow is a good name for her, I not even sure of her innocence in the murder of her first husband."
"Look John I know you don't like Silvia, but believe me, I know she could not have done either of these crimes. After I prove it I will expect an apology from you."
I had the cabbie drop me off at George's office and with the keys Silvia gave me, I let myself in and started looking through files. I found an IOU marked paid that had address of a small betting parlor off the strip. I found another cab and had him take me to the address.
The name on the window said 'Louie's Big Time Parlor' but Louie's Big Time was in a small time office. Inside I asked for Louie, and wouldn't you know Louie was behind the counter.
"I understand George Cronin was a customer of yours."
"He might have been one of my best, why you wanna know you a cop?"
I told him who and what I was, and what I was looking for. I asked him how much money George owed him.
"Believe me more than I want to talk about, even though I picked up a bundle the last day he was alive, he still owes me."
"Do you have any idea who might have wanted him dead?"
"I don't think the wife did it, she is real nice. I will say when I went by his office; George and his partner were really going at it. When I left his office, I went out the back door and I saw the partner's car. It is a real nice Caddy one that I would like to have and as I was looking it over I think I saw a gun barrel under the front seat."
"Could you tell if it was an automatic or a revolver?"
"It was a revolver all right I could tell by the barrel."
"Did you tell this to the police?"
"No, you are the first one that has talked to me about it. I'll tell you, if it was up to me I would look into the partner."
I could see that if I went to the cops with this they would do nothing about it. They already had their suspect and all they had to do was prove it. It was time to get sneaky, I drove by the partner's house and got the make and license tag numbers. Then I dropped a dime on him to the 'We Tip Hotline' and said I had seen him trying to pick up schoolgirls and I think he had a young girl in his car now. It didn't take long for the Vegas police to spot him and when they searched his car, they found the gun. It turned out to be the same gun that had killed Silvia's husband. They arrested the partner and told Silvia they were sorry they had troubled her.
Silvia and I hopped the next plain to LA and Silvia moved in with me to stay. We were married by the end of the year and I was as happy as I had ever been.

I found these pages as I was cleaning out my brother's house. It makes me think of what Einstein said 'There are two things infinite; the universe and human stupidity'. My brother was so blind and so stupid he couldn't see he was marring the black widow. When I found his murdered body I knew she had struck again.
The Las Vegas reopened George Cronin's murder case and found out Louie the bookie was Silvia's cousin and the money paid was not to cover an IOU but to get Louie to plant evidence on the partner. Of course, no one knows where the Black Widow is now but I can't help wondering, who is she going to get to help her this time.

Copyright 2008 R. Wesley Lovil. All rights reserved. has been granted non-exclusive rights to display this work. For permission to reprint this item, please contact the author.

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This post has been awarded 12 stars by 4 readers.
This post is part of a writing prompt: Short Story
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Nov 3, 2008
Nice! A mystery! :)
   ~Posted by Douglas, Nov 3, 2008

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