The Id and The Odyssey; Episode 72

Rich Gets A Gift 

Smithson came in to The Beacon’s newsroom. He sat at the chair next to Rich’s desk. He read the copy.
“Looks good,” Dave said. “Sam write this for you?”
Rich nodded. “How did you know.”
“Sam is a seasoned writer,” Dave said. “You are not. I read a lot of stuff people write; you look for things. He must have a lot of confidence in you to leave you alone to take care of me.”
Rich smiled. “Apparently not enough confidence to let me write the story.”
“I don’t want too much getting out just yet,” Dave said. “I got an investigation that’s going to take more than I can do personally. I got some things I can’t tell you. I know you have been good to me and I’ll be good to you, but at this point I can’t let you in on what I got. I will tell you this, it is beyond Rockland. I think it goes down to Boston.”
“Was it a mob hit?” Sam asked.
“I think,” Dave said, “but I can’t be sure. I’ll give you what I got when it can be verified and when it can be made public. I’ll only have information that happens here, in Rockland. Keep in mind you don’t get anything that will hamper the investigation. What happens in Portland and Boston, it’s out of my hands. Nobody will let me in on that part of the investigation anyway.”
Dave stood, shook Rich’s hand. “Keep this in mind; a cop and a reporter can have a good relationship. It’s based on confidence and trust. I want things before it goes public and you want things to compete a story and inform the public. Sometimes our goals may conflict; we talk it over. You can even be critical of me, that’s your job. I may even have to haul you in for questioning and threaten you, that’s my job. But don’t screw with me or lie to me, kid.”
“I won’t,” Rich said.
Dave gave a crooked smile. “See ya later.” He turned and walked away. When he got to the door of the newsroom he turned back to Rich. “Hey, kid, your driver’s side taillight is out.”
“Thanks,” Rich said. “I’ll get it fixed.”
“Any time you get in trouble, give me a call,” Dave said.
“Thanks, again,” Rich said.
Dave left and Rich relaxed in his chair. “He’s tough,” Rich thought. “He could probably eat the typewriter.”
Rich finished work at seven. He picked up a pizza and brought it to his apartment. He opened a can of soda and sat at his table. As he took the first bite of pizza there was a knock at the door.
Rich opened the door. It was Dave Smithson with that half smile on his face.
“I saw you pick up a pizza,” Dave said, “and it looked like you had enough for two. So I bought a six pack.” Dave held out a six pack of Narragansett Beer.
Rich smiled. “Sure come on in, but I’m underage.”
“I’m a cop,” Dave said. “It’s okay.”
Dave sat the beer on the table and opened two cans with the opener on his pocket knife. He looked at the opens soda can. “Pour that crap down the drain. It will eat you stomach out.”
“Have a seat,” Rich said, “and let me have your coat.”
After a couple of bites and a swig of beer Dave said, “This is good pizza, but I always say there’s no such thing as bad pizza, just some better than other. I wish I could say the same about beer. There sure are some bad beers out there. Ohio has some bad beers.”
“I’m from Ohio,” Rich said.
“Yeah,” Dave said. “I know.”
“Is this an official visit?” Rich said.
“Would I give beer to an underage if it was official?” Dave said.
“It’s good beer,” Rich said.
Dave looked around the apartment. “You got quite a place here, Rich. It looks like you’re doing pretty good for yourself. The place is clean. I see you like to read. I figured you for a reader and good books too, none of the cheap smutty stuff.”
“Are you looking for anything?” Rich said.
“No, Rich,” Dave said. “I’m looking out for you.”
“Do you have anyway out of here in case of fire?” Dave said.
“My closet has a door that leads to a gable window. That’s where there’s a fire escape,” Rich said.
“When someone knocks you should always ask who is it,” Dave said.
“I’ll do that,” Rich said curiously. “Am I in danger?”
“No,” Dave said, “but seldom do we know we are in danger. It’s always good to be prepared.”
Rich and Dave had another slice of pizza and lingered over the first beers with small talk.
“I’ve got to head home,” Dave said. “I live about thirty minutes away. My wife wants me to watch The Fugitive with her.”
“I’ve heard about it,” Rich said, “but I’ve never seen it.”
“You don’t have to see what you live,” Dave said. He stood and grabbed his coat. He reached inside a pocket and pulled out a small revolver.
Rich’s eyes widened.
“It’s a .32,” Dave said. “You found it in Ohio and brought it with you. Exactly where you found it is up to you. Buy a box of shells, take that sailboat out on the bay where no one is around a practice how to shoot it. Have the guy at a gun store give you some safety tips. Don’t bother to learn to shoot at a target. It doesn’t do any good. Pistols are poor when it comes to hitting what you aim at.”
Dave handed the revolver to Rich.
“Is it loaded?” Rich said.
“Yeah,” Dave said. “If it don’t have bullets it’s a paperweight.”
Dave put on his coat and slapped Rich on the back. “Take care, kid.”
“Yeah,” Rich said. “Thanks.”
Rich placed the revolver under his bed. And slept that night like a man with a revolver under his bed.
The next day the story was published and the day after that it appeared on the back pages of the Portland and Boston newspapers.