K&H Round Robin
…..according to Patrick J McCreedy
Judge Callahan left the prisoner and his friends to continue their poker game and made his way across the street towards the hotel. About halfway he paused and shook his head at the sight of the hotel. Jones was right, or was it Smith? Open for all to see was the hotel lobby, restaurant, bar, and stairs. Tables, chairs, sofas were upturned; crockery, bottles, glass, cutlery, some broken strewn all over the floor.
He ventured forward accompanied by the sheriff and his deputies. At what was probably the entrance he yanked free the loose hotel sign – it was suspended by a single nail and likely to fall any moment.
Inside, they made their way to the rear of the building where some doors and walls were still intact. Judge Callahan carefully opened the door with a ‘Manager’ plate fixed to it. Inside the room seemed to have faired pretty well, the desk was standing as it should with a leather chair behind and a couple of high back ones in front. Even the pictures on the walls were still in place, though a couple of windows had cracked glass panes.
“Reckon this will do.” Judge Callahan remarked sitting in the large leather chair behind the desk and placing his bottle of beer on the desk.
“You boys can go now.” he spoke to the deputies who in turn thanked him and made their way back to the saloon.
“There’s no safe.” the Sheriff remarked looking behind the pictures and maps hanging on the walls.
“We’re not here to worry about safes” Judge Callahan reminded him as he opened and closed the desk drawers until he came across one with some paper and pencils in. He took out the paper and pencils and placed them in an orderly fashion on the desk top.
“Could you find me something to drink my beer out of” he asked the Sheriff who was irratingly looking behind the pictures again.
“Sure.” the Sheriff left the room to find a tankard or glass.
Judge Callahan made himself comfortable and wondered who would be the first to come to be interviewed.
He didn’t have to wait long – a knock on the door preceded the entrance of Patrick J McCreedy, usually known as Big Mac. Big Mac was followed by the Sheriff who handed a glass tankard to the Judge.
“Thanks Sheriff” Judge Callahan said motioning that the Sheriff could leave.
“Have a seat Mr McCreedy.” Judge Callahan invited Big Mac to take one of the high back chairs in front of the desk as he seated himself in the big chair.
Big Mac sat where directed and shuffled to make himself comfortable. With his cigar held in one hand he rested both on his cane.
Taking a sheet of the paper Judge Callahan wrote Big Mac’s name at the top and asked his first question.
“What happened here at Flint Rock Mr McCreedy?”
“Oh my, Judge, a whole bunch of stuff – I don’t know where to start.”
Judge Callahan leaned back in his chair “OK, let’s start by what brought you to Flint Rock”
Big Mac took a long puff on his cigar. “Well, Flint Rock isn’t the usual sort of town I visit.” he tried to assure Judge Callahan that he was a stranger to the town.
“It isn’t?” Judge Callahan queried. “Then why at this time?”
Big Mac, paused, carefully considering his answer, and if he could trust this Judge Callahan. He convinced himself that he could – why Bo Michaels had sent for him.
“It’s Miss Jenny” he blurted out.
“Miss Jenny? Why Miss Jenny?” Judge Callahan asked, somewhat intrigued.
“Yes, Miss Jenny.” Judge Callahan noticed that Big Mac seemed to enter a trance, in a world miles from where he was sitting.
“Why Miss Jenny?” Judge Callahan enquired again. Bringing himself back to the present Big Mac continued.
“You see Judge Callahan…” Big Mac surveyed the room and leant forward, actions that Judge Callahan found himself mimicking. “….Miss Jenny and me…” Big Mac paused again.
“Well?” Judge Callahan prompted, thinking this interview is gonna take forever at this rate.
“You won’t tell anyone yet Judge Callahan?” Big Mac almost whispered.
“Tell what?” Judge Callahan was getting impatient.
“It’s a secret…for the moment, or at least until I get to New York and back. Even my nephews don’t know yet – they’re Smith and Jones, mighty fine boys”.
“Has this anything to do with what happened here? Judge Callahan tried to move the conversation along.
“You see, I have to go to New York, taking Miss Jenny with me”. Big Mac continued.”
“Why New York?” Judge Callahan wished he would hurry up and get to the point of this apparent sideline.
“That’s were Tiffanies is. You see, Miss Jenny and I are getting married and Tiffinies is the best jewellers in the country. We’re getting our rings specially made, with diamonds….”
“Mr McCreedy…” Judge Callahan interrupted “I’m not here to discuss your wedding arrangements. Now if you please, perhaps you could explain why this town is in such mess?”
“The mess?” Big Mac was taken aback at being politely diverted back to the matters of importance.
“Oh, the town. Boy, you know when I first saw Miss Jenny, the whole earth shook. “Big Mac continued. “It must have shook for a good 5 minutes… you should have been here to see the devastation. Buildings sliding blocks along, some even fell into big cracks in the ground…..amazing”. The town folks were screaming and running everywhere.
“An earthquake? Judge Callahan suggested.
“Yes, guess it was…but some folks believed that the Lord was punishing all the people for their dishonourable and unlawful lives.”
Judge Callahan sighed…and poured some of his beer into the tankard and took a sip. He made some notes …leaving out any mention of Big Mac’s secret.
“What about the fires?” Judge Callahan asked once refreshed and Big Mac had finished relighting his cigar.
“Fires?” Big Mac queried. “Oh, those. Some of the boys thought it would be a good idea to make some firecrackers to celebrate the hanging being called off. You see, Sheriff Trevors is a good friend of theirs.”
Big Mac laughed. “Stupid men, stupid, they were.”
“Who?” Judge Callahan enquired.
“Wheat and that so called detective Harry Briscoe. Amazing they didn’t blow themselves to pieces. My nephews, Smith and Jones, very fine boys, tried to talk them out of it, but they wouldn’t listen.”
“What happened?” Judge Callahan asked.
“Don’t rightly know Judge ….I just saw the mining supplies store blow high of the ground and land yards away. Almost deafened me.”
Judge made a note to remind himself to ask Wheat and Harry about this when they came by for their interviews.
“How about Sheriff Trevors…what do you know about him?” Judge thought it was time to move the interview along as he wasn’t getting anywhere.
“Sheriff Trevors. A great man, very honest. Certainly not a murderer. It was self defence. The charges are false, he should have a retrial…no, an acquittal.” Big Mac stated his view on the matter. “He’s a good friend of my nephews, Smith and Jones, very fine boys…”
Judge Callahan signed…how many times had he heard that Smith and Jones were very fine boys. Realising that Mr Patrick McCreedy may be full of his own importance didn’t really know much about what happened. He made a few more notes and put the sheet of paper aside.
“That’ll be all for now Mr McCreedy, thanks for your time. I may need to speak with you again. So don’t leave town just yet.” Judge Callahan stood up and held out his hand. Big Mac shook his hand “Thank you Judge. Miss Jenny and I will stay as long as you need”. Big Mac flicked the ash from his cigar into the ashtray and made his departure.
Judge drank the rest of beer and shortly after there was another knock on the door.
“Enter” he asked as he prepared another sheet of paper.