The Case of the Man In Black The Capital Eye agency is called in to solve the brutal murder of a billionaire’s ex-wife.

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Aug 10, 2018 No Comments ›› admin

FICTION
By Lynn Woolley

Editor’s note: This story was “suggested” by the lurid, real-life murder case involving Fort Worth multi-millionaire Cullen Davis. I brought back my old Duval Street gang – but now, they’re adults, and two of them have formed a PI firm in Austin called Capital Eye. The mysterious black-clad intruder provides the MacGuffin, and there’s the usual assembling of the suspects at the end. This story came years after the original five Duval Street stories – probably in the late 80’s.

The papers were full of it the next morning. Ellen Richards — ex-wife of billionaire oilman David Richards — had been stabbed to death, and her former husband was being held without bond. The politics that usually dominated day-to-day conversation in the Texas capital would be put aside for a while. Scandal, money, and murder made for better topics.

Howard Thornberry sipped coffee as he perused the story in the morning paper. Colleen, his secretary, was studying the article over his shoulder.

“All those billions,” she said, “and yet he resorts to murder. “Why didn’t he HAVE it done?”

“Maybe it was a crime of passion,” replied Thornberry.

“You’ve taught me better than that,” she said. “If the crime had been committed on the spur of the moment, he wouldn’t have had time to dress in black and put on a stocking mask.”

“You’re probably right.” He took another sip, and chastised her severely for the quality of the brew.

“You know, I met Richards once.”

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“Really? Before the divorce, I assume?”

“Yeah – it was at a society party. It was right after Morgan and I had started Capital Eye. We’d just wrapped up a case for a rich client, and he insisted we attend this affair. Morgan rather enjoyed it, but you know me…”

She cut him off. “Morgan Stewart WOULD enjoy hobnobbing with the Gottrocks. Anyway, that’s where you met Richards?”

“Actually, he met me. He was kind of fascinated with the case we had solved. It involved a murder and an inheritance – the whole bit.”

Colleen had a mischievous smile. “Maybe he’ll ask you and Morgan to prove his innocence in this case.”

“I suppose anything is possible, though I’m not sure Capital Eye is a highfalutin enough firm for Richards. Even if he did call, I’d have to go it alone. Morgan won’t be back from Houston for a couple of weeks.”

When the phone did ring, it wasn’t Richards on the line, but it was his attorney.

“Rex Walton!” exclaimed Thornberry. “It’s been a while.” The two had been old college buddies years earlier, but now Walton was a big time lawyer in Austin.

“Howard,” came the voice on the phone, “I need you to do some investigating for me. Richards has me on a retainer, and has given me cart blanch to do what I have to do to prove him innocent.”

“But Rex. You used to preach about ethics years ago. You said you’d have trouble representing a guilty man.”

“I know Howard, I know. But that’s just it. I’ve spent some time with Richards in his cell. He’s adamant about his innocence. He says he’s being framed.”

“Does he have an alibi?”

“Not one that would stand up in court. He was spending the night with his fiancé, Ginger Conley. She backs him up, but of course, that’s what you’d expect.”

“Okay, Rex, I’ll be frank with you. I was dying to get this case ever since I read the morning paper. Consider me part of the team.”

“Good. Can you interview Richards in his cell sometime today?”

“Sure. By the way, who’s the city detective in charge?”

“Lt. John Miles – you know him?”

“From way back. All right, I’ll see him and Richards. And touch base with you a bit later.” He placed the plastic back on its cradle.

Colleen was bubbling with curiosity.

Thornberry glanced at her, savoring the moment, and then explained briefly before heading for police headquarters.

***

Homicide Lt. John Miles was an old friend who had worked with Thornberry on several cases. Their respect for each other was mutual, though Thornberry felt that Miles lacked the powers of observation that a police detective should have. Thornberry sat down in Miles’ office, and waited for him to complete a phone conversation. Soon, the two men were discussing the Richards case.

“I’m glad you’re working on this case, Thornberry,” Miles commented. “But I’m sure you realize that we have a witness against Richards.”

“So I’ve read in the paper.”

“I’m heading out to the mansion in a while. Care to come along?”

“Well, maybe. I need to see if I can talk to Richards first. And I’d like to get the Police Department’s assessment of the case – that is, if you have the time.”

Miles leaned back and took a drink of coffee. “No problem,” he said. “I was up last night interviewing all the witnesses. Here’s the story: As you know, the Richardses had been involved in a long and bitter divorce. She accused him of infidelity and vice versa. He accused her of marrying him for his money, and, of course, money was a prime topic when the divorce got to court.

“Mrs. Richards was able to hire a pretty good lawyer, and eventually, the judge granted the divorce, giving her the mansion, a string of nightclubs the family owned, and a sum of money. Still, the bulk of the estate remained with Mr. Richards.”

“Excuse me just a moment,” Thornberry interrupted. “With Mrs. Richards dead, what happens to the mansion and the clubs?”

“Under terms of the divorce settlement, they revert to Mr. Richards. In the event of his death, his 18-year-old niece, Andrea, who lives in the house, would inherit.”

“You say she lives in the house – still?”

“Yeah – she was orphaned some years ago, and lived with the Richardses ever since. Even after the divorce, she kept living at the mansion.”

“Who else was living in the house as of last night?”

“Charles Carr practically lives there. He was there spending the night when the murder occurred. He’s a bartender, and was Ellen Richards’ latest flame. The only other person is Mrs. Leona Sanders, the housemaid, whose room is on the ground floor. Each of the other three had a room upstairs last night. As the story goes, it seems no one was in a good humor with anyone else last night. To begin with, Mrs. Richards and Carr had a falling out over the nightclubs. Carr had been managing them, and she threatened to fire him. The disagreement involved a guy named Harold Ruffin. Ruffin was a beer and liquor distributor, and a friend of Carr’s. He came by the mansion last night, and Mrs. Richards openly accused him of shorting her on deliveries of liquor amounting to thousands of dollars. The story we get is that Carr took his side, and that angered Mrs. Richards. Because of the argument, Carr didn’t share Mrs. Richards’ bedroom last night.”

“That’s interesting,” said Thornberry. “Perhaps an intentional argument in order to be alone that night so he could murder her later.”

“A thought, I suppose. Anyway, Ruffin was gone by ten o’clock, and everyone in the house had turned in by about midnight. Less than an hour later, Mrs. Sanders let out a scream that awakened everyone in the house. They all rushed downstairs to find her standing near a back window with a flashlight. She was pretty shaken, but managed to tell about seeing a ‘Man In Black’ who ran away when she shined her light in his direction.”

Thornberry interrupted again. “And the man she describes fits David Richards?”

“ To a T. She says the Man In Black was wearing a stocking mask, but she managed to get the light on him for just a second. She says the man was Richards’ size – looked just like him.”

“Is Ruffin fairly close to Richards’ size?”

“Oh, fairly close.”

“And I suppose a flustered old lady could even mistake a slightly larger man like Charles Carr –IF that man was wearing a black suit and a stocking mask.”

“Anything’s possible, Thornberry. But she’s pretty sure of herself. We located Richards about 5 a.m. at his girlfriend’s apartment. She’s his only alibi, and we don’t consider her testimony to be very strong since she would obviously want to protect him.”

“Anyway, it wasn’t long before someone noticed that Mrs. Richards was the only member of the household that hadn’t come down in response to Mrs. Sanders’ scream. Carr went upstairs and found her dead of stab wounds. We were called in…”

“And after talking to Mrs. Sanders, you sent a couple of men out to find Richards. That brings me up to date. How about letting me talk to Richards?”

Miles indicated that could be done, and soon Thornberry was in a cell at city jail with the billionaire.

“Mr. Richards, I’m Howard Thornberry of Capital Eye. Rex Walton has hired me to do some investigating.”

“I remember you from a party, Thornberry.” Richards’ eyes were drooping from worry and lack of sleep, but he seemed pleased that Thornberry was on the case. “I’ll tell you what I’ve already told Walton. The divorce was final; she was out of my life; and I didn’t kill her. Sure – I hated her. There’s no way to deny that. But there were other…legal…means to go about getting the property back.”

“Who do you think killed her?”

Richards paused for a moment. “I don’t know,” he said in a non-caring manner. Ruffin maybe. Carr. Maybe the Man in Black was a burglar, and woke her up by accident, and had to kill her.”

“Did she always sleep in the same room – and with the window open?”

“Ever since we were married. She always insisted on leaving the window up. Until now, I never thought about someone climbing the trellis.”

“You think that’s how it was done?”

“If Ruffin did it, that’d be the only way. If someone inside the house did it, then I suppose not.”

“But if someone inside the house is the murderer, then who’s the Man In Black?”

David Richards put his head in his hand. “That’s what I don’t know. Thornberry, you’ve got to help me.”

“That’s what I’m being paid to do, Mr. Richards. Tell me about what you were doing last night.”

“If you’re asking about my alibi, I don’t have much of one. I went out with my fiancé, Ginger, and we were at her apartment by midnight. We were together all night, until the police woke us up. They don’t believe our story, and we don’t have any witnesses who can prove we were at the apartment all night.”

“So the police believe you dressed in black, put on a stocking mask, went to the mansion, got past the security system, climbed the trellis, and stabbed Mrs. Richards, then came back to the apartment and went to bed.”

“That’s not true, Thornberry. You’ve got to prove it.”

“I’ll try, Mr. Richards. I’m going out to the mansion now – Lt. Miles is supposed to be out there.” Thornberry called for a guard to let him out.

***

“Do you ever sleep?” asked Thornberry as he arrived at the West Austin mansion.

Miles almost yawned and he let that suffice for an answer. “Big place, isn’t it?” he finally volunteered.

“Big and ominous.” He pointed toward the side of the house. “Is that the trellis I’ve heard about?”

“That’s it. Too bad those bushes haven’t been watered for a while. If they had, we might have found footprints.”

“The soil is pretty hard.” Thornberry bent down and raked his index finger across the ground beneath the upstairs window. Then, he gazed upward. “And that’s the bedroom with the open window?”

“Right. Mrs. Richards was sleeping in that room. There was a screen, but it could’ve easily been removed and replaced.”

Thornberry was still studying the scene. He reached out and grabbed the trellis. “Shaky old thing, isn’t it?”

“I know what you’re getting at, Thornberry, but it won’t work. Have you ever stopped to think that a client of yours just might be guilty?”

Thornberry smiled. “Well now,” he replied, “since my client foots the bill, that just wouldn’t be the right attitude to have.”

Miles cracked a smile and the two men walked around to the front of the mansion.

“Anybody home?” asked Thornberry.

“Carr’s gone back to his apartment – I’ve warned him not to leave town – and young Andrea’s staying with some distant relatives here in town.” He paused and then added, “Oh yes, Mrs. Sanders is here.”

“I wouldn’t mind talking with her for a few minutes. You already have, I assume?”

“Of course. She’s our prime witness.” He rang the bell.

Mrs. Sanders was a thin, gray-haired woman in her mid 60’s. She was very polite as she let the two men in and offered them something to drink.”

They gathered around a table in the family room as Thornberry sipped a glass of tea and asked a few questions. Miles didn’t ask any questions, but he listened intently.

“Pretty exciting last night,” said Thornberry. (It was a Thornberry policy not to start off with a bang.)

“A terrible night, Mr. Thornberry.” Mrs. Sanders took a long drink of tea. When no one else said anything, she spoke up again. “I’ve always known this was going to happen.”

“Why do you say that?”

“Look at this house, Mr. Thornberry.”

She paused, and both Thornberry and Miles glanced up at the high ceiling, the winding staircase, the fancy fixtures, and the deep carpet.

“This is the home of a spoiled billionaire and his equally spoiled wife. Neither of them could ever have enough. They both lusted after more money, power, sex, drugs, and I don’t know what all.”

Thornberry could see that Mrs. Sanders’ eyes were full of tears. “And things finally had to come to a head…”

“That’s what I’m saying. This…Charles Carr was part of it. He moved in after David lost the house in the divorce settlement. He never loved Ellen. He even made advances at poor Andrea when Ellen wasn’t around.”

“Why do you say ‘poor’ Andrea?”

A tear came rolling down Mrs. Sanders’ cheeks. “Because she was forced by circumstances – orphaned and all – to live in this house, with all that’s been going on. How could she finish school and have a normal life like any other teenager?”

“I can see how she might lead a different sort of life.”

“A miserable life. She hated both David and Ellen. Not that she didn’t have every little thing. It’s just that – well, she had to go through this divorce settlement, and she had to live in this house while David and Ellen were bringing home who knows what kind of people. Like Charles Carr, for instance.”

“Mrs. Sanders, what you’re saying is serious.” Thornberry had a grave look on his face. “I know that Andrea is an heir – and if she hated the Richardses as much as you say, then she had a strong motive.”

Mrs. Sanders looked up with a start. “No. No, Andrea wouldn’t – she couldn’t! She’s just a young girl who’s gotten involved in all this quite by accident.” Mrs. Sanders was obviously disturbed by Thornberry’s remark.

He decided to change the subject. “You mentioned Carr with a great amount of disgust in your voice. What was so bad about him?”

“Carr was just another case of someone grabbing for money and power. Mrs. Richards was never poor, but she married David for his money. Carr was playing up to her for the same reason.”

“What do you know about the argument they had last night?”

“It involved some nightclubs that Mrs. Richards got under terms of the divorce. Carr was acting as manager for her. Carr had hired a man named Harold Ruffin to distribute liquor to the clubs. He came by last night, and Mrs. Richards accused him of cheating her out of some money. Quite a large sum, I believe.”

“So Carr was upset about her getting ticked off at Ruffin?”

“That’s right. It started an argument – you never heard such screaming and yelling. I imagine poor Andrea was hiding under her bed. Of course, this happened now and then. It’s just that last night seemed worse…”

There was a long moment of silence during which all three people sat with head in hand. At last, Thornberry popped the question he’d been saving.”

“Mrs. Sanders, tell me about the Man In Black.”

That question she was ready for. “The Man In Black, Mr. Thornberry, was David Richards. Plain and simple.”

“You could see through the mask?”

“It was a stocking mask, Mr. Thornberry. A poor disguise. It was David all right.”

“I’d heard that Ruffin was about his size.”

“He is. But it wasn’t him.”

“Try this on for size. Ruffin and Carr are friends — we know that. Suppose they made contact somehow after the argument, and planned to murder Ellen Richards. Since Carr was sleeping alone, he could grab a knife and do the deed; and then, Ruffin appears on the grounds as the Man In Black to provide an alibi for Carr.”

Lt. Miles straightened up in his chair, but he didn’t say anything.

Mrs. Sanders thought for a moment. “That’s possible. I hadn’t thought of that, but it’s possible. But, no, I’m still sure that was David I saw.”

After a few more questions, Thornberry and Miles were heading for their cars outside.

“Oh, did you want to see the murder scene?” asked Miles.

“Not necessary. I imagine it’s cleaned up by now.”

“It is. Of course, the photographer spent some time in there.” He paused, and then stammered, “Thornberry, come clean. Do you think Carr and Ruffin teamed up to kill Ellen Richards?”

The typical Thornberry smile burst forth. “I have problems believing a 180-pound man could climb that trellis. And let me put another bug in your ear. Ginger Conley probably weights a lot less than 180.”

He smiled again as he got in his car and drove off. Lt. Miles seemed a bit confused. He was going to try for a few hours of sleep before attending a bond hearing that might be set for Richards. Now, he wasn’t sure if he could sleep.

***

Back at Capital Eye, Thornberry was explaining a few developments in the case to Colleen when the phone rang. She answered it and handed it to him, indicating that Rex Walton was on the line.

He was on the phone for about five minutes, then, he explained to Colleen that Walton’s call had been for two purposes. First, he wanted to ask about progress in the investigation, and second, he wanted to inform Thornberry that the report from the Medical Examiner was in.

“Pretty interesting.” He rubbed his right hand across his chin.

Colleen had heard Thornberry’s end of the conservation, but she was anxious to know what Walton had said. “Did he have some information that might help out?”

“They always do a post mortem in any case that will go to court. They realize that the cause of death was from stab wounds, but they need the autopsy to use in court should a suspect go to trial. Two things came out of the report. First — and this might explain the lack of a scream — Mrs. Richards had significant traces of soporific drugs in her bloodstream – sleeping pills. Not enough to overdose or anything like that, but enough to deaden her to the point where she wouldn’t have reacted to a stab.”

“You mean the murderer stabbed her, and she was too doped-up to even notice?”

“Exactly. That was something I’d been wondering about. The other thing Rex mentioned is just as interesting. The Medical Examiner thinks the wounds were not administered with any great force.”

“What does that mean.”

“It’s a plus for Carr. You remember he played football at the University several years back. If he stabbed her, you’d think there’d be some force behind it.”

“I see what you mean – him being an ex-jock and all. Now back to the sleeping pills. Do you think she was drugged on purpose?”

“Personally, I doubt it. There’s no telling what went on in that house from day to day. I wouldn’t doubt that Ellen Richards, Ruffin, Carr, and who knows who else were into all sorts of drugs. Of course, whoever killed her might have known she was out of it.”

“Is that a good sign for David?”

“Walton might argue it in court. In all honesty, I imagine Richards knew her habits as well as anybody. Tell you what, Colleen. Would you look up a couple of phone numbers for me?” He mentioned the Butlers – where Andrea was staying – and the apartment of Charles Carr.

“Colleen,” he said, “I think I know who killed Ellen Richards, and why. But before I call Walton, I’ve got to find out a couple of things.”

After the calls were made, Thornberry smiled that smile of his, and then phoned Walton’s office. The conversation was brief and to the point. The bond hearing had been set since Thornberry had last talked to Walton. The lawyer’s secretary suggested that Thornberry might head for the courthouse.

***

It was just a small hearing room in the Travis County Courthouse, and it was packed. Thornberry was glad that he knew the head bailiff – otherwise, he might not have gotten in at all. He pushed and shoved his way to the front of the room. Already, character witnesses were testifying in an attempt by Walton to free his client on bond. Walton was cross-examining, but soon, he passed the witness to the State.

After Walton sat down, Thornberry edged his way over to where the attorneys were seated, and whispered something. After the prosecutor had finished, Walton asked permission to approach the bench.

“You Honor,” he said almost in a whisper. “An investigator I put on the case has some evidence that might make a difference here. I’d like to request a brief meeting in your chambers with all the residents of the mansion, as well as Richards and Miss Conley.”

The judge frowned, and gazed at Thornberry who had seated himself in the jury box with about ten reporters. “Any objection from the State?”

The State lawyer indicated no objection.

But all the people in the courtroom – including the reporters – objected. They let out a moan as the judge made the announcement that the proceedings would no longer be held in open court. Many of them got up and left the room, but the newsmen all seemed willing to wait out whatever was to happen.

Soon, the cast of characters assembled in the judge’s chambers. Thornberry and Walton were whispering to each other while David Richards – still accompanied by a bailiff – took a seat next to Miss Conley.

All the people that had been present at the mansion on the night of the murder were there. Carr and Ruffin sat next to each other. Mrs. Sanders was discussing some aspect of the case with Andrea.

Two members of the prosecution team, a court reporter, Lt. Miles, and one other bailiff rounded out the assembly. Presently, the judge spoke.

“This isn’t open court, but we will have order, and we will record the proceedings,” he said. He glanced at Walton. “Counselor, proceed.”

Walton stood, and looked reassuringly at Richards. Then, he said, “As most of you know, I’ve hired Howard Thornberry of the Capital Eye agency to do some investigating on behalf of my client. Mr. Thornberry has put together a few facts, but when he called me about them, he learned that this hearing was in progress. In the interest of getting to the truth, and thereby, having my client released, I’ve asked him to state his findings before this group.” Walton sat down next to Richards, and Thornberry stood up.

“I’ve always felt,” he said, clearing his throat, “that in a case like this one, it’s the simple things that get overlooked. I always try to avoid letting the case get complicated in my mind. Sometimes, first impressions prove correct.

“In this case, I made a number of observations quite early that I still feel to be true. One of them is that the trellis leading to the second floor bedroom would not support the weight of a fully grown man.”

Richards was listening intently, his eyes fixed on the private investigator.

“Of course, that alone doesn’t clear Mr. Richards. He still could have been the Man In Black, because a woman might have been able to climb the trellis.”

Ginger Conley arose with a start, and then slowly sat back down as Thornberry went on.

“Be calm, Miss Conley. That’s just one possibility I’ve considered. Another is that Mr. Ruffin and Mr. Carr teamed up to commit the murder.” He threw quick glances at each man in turn to make sure they were listening. “Consider the facts. Mr. Carr hires Mr. Ruffin to handle the booze at the nightclub chain. Later, Ellen Richards discovers that she’s being cheated out of a great deal of money because not all the drinks she’s ordering are getting delivered. It took a long time for her to find this out. Why? Because Charles Carr is running the clubs. Does he know? I think so. I’ll bet that if a warrant could be obtained, the State would find that half the money Mr. Ruffin cheated from Mrs. Richards is in Mr. Carr’s bank account – most likely, a secret one.”

Carr and Ruffin did not speak.

“When Ellen Richards discovered all this, she became angry and started a fight when Ruffin dropped by the mansion. Perhaps she threatened to throw Mr. Carr out of the house, or worse yet, inform the authorities of what was going on. At any rate, because of the argument, Carr slept in another room that night. It’s possible that he stabbed Mrs. Richards and Mr. Ruffin played the part of the Man In Black as a diversion, or to pin the blame on David Richards.”

Only the breathing of those present could be heard as Thornberry paused.

“But then, that’s just another possibility. Here’s a third angle: Andrea Richards has something to gain from Mrs. Richards’ death. Suppose she and Mr. Carr teamed up to commit murder. Suppose HE was the Man In Black. He could’ve left the front door open, made an appearance as the Man In Black in the backyard, then, after a change of clothes, entered through the front, pretending to respond to Mrs. Sanders’ scream. While all that was going on, Andrea could have slipped into Mrs. Richards’ bedroom.”

Mrs. Sanders was shaking her head no, and Andrea took hold of her hand.

“Mrs. Sanders informed me that Miss Richards did not care for – I believe ‘hated’ was the word she used – for the Richardses with the adultery, and drinking, and drug use that went on in the mansion. And we all know that Andrea was an heir to a fortune.”

Thornberry asked for a glass of water, and taking a sip, he continued: “Getting back to my first possibility – I don’t believe the murder was a conspiracy between Mr. Richards and Miss Conley. As David himself pointed out to me several hours ago in his jail cell, he still had legal means available to him to recover the mansion. And I believe him when he said he was with Miss Conley all night.
“As to my second possibility, I believe I can prove it impossible with one statement: Andrea Richards and Charles Carr slept together last night.”

Carr’s mouth flew open, and the room broke into chatter. The Judge quieted things down and instructed Thornberry to continue.

“It was just an idea I had after I was told that Carr had made some passes at the young lady when Ellen Richards wasn’t around. I confirmed my suspicions by confronting Andrea on the phone earlier this afternoon. I also told her that it could help tremendously if she and Carr could vouch for each other’s whereabouts overnight. But did they team up to commit murder. Not if the Man In Black was really the size of David Richards. We all know that Mr. Carr is considerably larger. I’m afraid that leaves just one possibility.” He paused, and then turned to his right.

“I’m terribly sorry, Mrs. Sanders.”

The woman, now sobbing, put her head in her hands as Andrea tried to comfort her.

Thornberry continued: “It had to be a woman, either way. The trellis would not support a man’s weight, and the Medical Examiner’s report indicated a light thrust of the knife. To me, that meant the killer was most likely a woman. But already, I had suspected Mrs. Sanders. It struck me as suspicious that she was the only person that saw the Man In Black. In her early statement to Lt. Miles, he was ‘Richards’ size,’ or he ‘looked like Richards.’ But after it was established that Richards’ alibi was weak, she became surer of herself, and she told me that she saw the man’s face and it was Richards. I began to realize that there never was a Man In Black. He was created for two reasons: to provide her with an alibi, and to put Richards in jail for Andrea’s sake.”

“You see,” interrupted Walton, “Mrs. Sanders is really a decent woman. She hated the state of affairs the family had gotten into. She wouldn’t have killed Ellen for herself, but she wanted Andrea to inherit the mansion.”

“And for that to happen, “ said Thornberry, “she needed to get rid of both Ellen and David. After she murdered Ellen, the second step was to have David sent to prison for life, leaving Andrea clear to take over the house. She also knew that with both Richardses out of the picture, she’d also be getting rid of Carr and Ruffin indirectly.”

Walton stood up. “And as Howard explained to me during the recess, only someone inside the house would have known for sure that Mrs. Richards was on sleeping pills last night. She never screamed because she never knew she was being murdered.”

Thornberry said, “Under the circumstances, Your Honor, I hope the court will be lenient.”
The closed-door session ended, and the throng of reporters was astounded to see a bailiff with Mrs. Sanders in custody.

It was getting late when Thornberry arrived back at Capital Eye. Colleen had already left for the day. The phone was ringing, and he let it buzz several times before answering. “Capital Eye. Oh, hello Morgan. The Richards case made the afternoon news in Houston, huh? Oh sure, I suppose we have a chance to get the case…”

THE END

© 2018 by Lynn Woolley. All rights reserved.

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