“Kate-O, we need to tell the police what we found,” Drew protested as the bodyguard strained to push him out of the room. Drew was almost a foot taller than Katie, and perhaps one hundred pounds heavier. “The front desk man…”
“He was asleep, sir,” Katie replied with exertion in her voice. “He didn’t see us, and we didn’t see anyone else on the way up here.”
“I wonda who called da cops,” Tank mused, shouldering Katie aside to usher Drew across the hallway.
They could hear rapid footsteps coming up the stairs. Katie stepped around Drew, whose mouth Tank had covered with a meaty hand, and quickly picked the lock on the room across the hall. Without looking, she opened the door and entered, closing it behind the others.
“I don’t think they saw us,” she whispered, “but we need to keep quiet. OK, sir?” Drew nodded, and Tank removed his hand and deposited him on the bed. Fortunately, the room had been unoccupied.
“What…” Drew began in his normal, booming voice, but stopped short when Katie glared at him. “Why the secrecy?” He whispered. “We didn’t do anything illegal, and Parker was dead when we got there.”
“We can speak to the police after they calm down,” Katie replied. “That’s a pretty grisly scene in there, and they’re likely to be jumpy.”
“In da meantime,” Tank said quietly, “take a gander at dis.” He handed the notebook to Drew. “I found it under da bed as we was leaving.”
Drew flipped through the pages. “It seems that Parker was researching Indian cults in New York,” he said after flipping through the pages. He stopped at one and showed to Katie and Tank. It was a drawing of one of the knives, called a Kukri. “It says here that these weapons are primarily used by the Gurkha’s of Nepal and other Himalayan tribes.”
“Does it say anything about Parker being threatened by these Gurkha’s?” Katie asked. “Or any reason that would want to kill him?” Drew skimmed some more, but before he could respond, there was a strong knock in the door.
“Police,” the voice on the other side shouted as the door was kicked open. Two officers ran in with their revolvers ready. A third carried a shotgun. “All of you,” the one with the shotgun cried, “show us your hands!”
Drew, Tank, and Katie complied immediately. The officer with the shotgun turned toward Katie when the butt of the pistols in her shoulder holsters were exposed, and one of the other officers quickly disarmed her.
* * *
Drew, Katie and Tank were reunited in the Assistant Police Commissioner’s office. The preceding six hours had seen them disarmed and taken to the 23rd Precinct, where Katie, who had been handcuffed over Drew’s protests until all three were shackled, was separated from the men.
They had been individually interrogated by Inspector Olsen over and over again. By the time their three stories had been reiterated and they matched for the fourth time, Olsen received a message from Assistant Commissioner Frazier summoning him and the prisoners to Police Headquarters.
“You’ll understand our concern, Mr. Drew,” Frazier said in a conciliatory tone. “You and your colleagues were at the scene of a heinous crime. My officers were in a heightened state of alertness.”
“Of course, Commissioner,” Drew said pointedly, “but there was still no need to manhandle us and take us into custody. We would have volunteered anything we knew at the scene.”
“Your associate, Miss O’Hare, was rather heavily armed,” Inspector Olsen interjected, pointing to the pile of knives and pistols on the assistant commissioner’s desk. “That alone was sufficient cause for their precautions.”
“How so, sir?” O’Hare demanded. “I in no way threatened your officers, and we complied immediately to their commands!”
“And da cops din’t even ask any questions,” Tank added. “Dey just patted us down and cuffed us.”
“You had evidence on your possession taken from the scene,” Frazier replied firmly.
“And we were responding to reports of shots fired,” Olsen said, his tone rising, “and her’s were the only guns found on the scene. Nevermind that the only slug found was proven to have come from her .45.”
“We told you what happened…” Drew said
“Yeah, yeah,” Olsen said with frustration. “You came to see Maxwell, but he was already dead when you got there. You were attacked by the other two and killed them in self-defence.”
“So taking the notebook and leaving the scene raises questions,” Frazier said. “Why did you break into the room across the hall?”
“We knew your people would be hot,” Katie replied, “so we backed off until they cooled off.” The officials did not seem mollified. “We didn’t want them shooting at us when they saw what had happened!”
“We was just laying low until the heat was off,” Tank added.
“We did nothing illegal,” Drew interjected, “and we have cooperated with your investigation to the fullest. If there is nothing more, my colleagues and I will be going home.”
“Just one more thing,” Inspector Olsen said. “What do you think happened?”
“I don’t know,” Drew replied. “But it’s pretty obvious that those two with the masks and the knives killed my old friend Parker.”
“It’s a shame we won’t be able to question them,” Olsen said flatly. ‘You’re free to go, but don’t leave town.”
TO BE CONTINUED…