Cap gave Dean and I an assignment today…. Go out to bum-fuck nowhere and find a missing item. Apparently the Governor's wife's cousin Mrs Morse (could we get any more far removed from important people?) got her panties in a twist about something being stolen. On top of this shit assignment he saddled Dean and I with a pair of rookies. Harrison Hart and Chucky Clubbs. Neither one of them look like they can wipe their own ass let alone help anyone solve a case. so off to this little runt of a town what did Cap say it was called…….Rowley?
Upon rolling into town after putting the rooks in their place, Hart says he graduated Harvard, What an Abercrombie. Clubbs says he's from Salem other than that he is an annoying son of a bitch. we rolled by the local hoosegow to find that the Sheriffs office is <u>Closed!?</u> What the fuck? these people and their disregard for the law, no wonder they can't keep people from robbing them. So we noticed that the shoe factory was still in production and the only other place in town that was opened was the diner, apparently they value food more than their safety, we ordered coffee and pie (This pie is phenomenal a local woman by the name of Mrs Lee makes them we found out). when asked about the sheriff station being closed the slack jawed local behind the counter then proceeds to tell us that the sheriff doesn't come in to the office on a regular schedule…..Excuse me? What's that story morning glory?……..I proceeded to educate the local genius here a thing or two about the importance of the law and wouldn't you know it one of the twits swiped my pie out from under me, I see how it is I'll remember this Hart.
After I get my Hackles up Dean reminds me we are to play nice here and gets me to calm down as make tracks to the Road house we are being setup in. Hart and Chucky want to talk to more people and investigate more, I had to remind them of police procedures as we are the visiting officers we have to contact the locals before we start any investigations (you would think they would know that being that already being closer to their academy days than me) . As we arrive at Reynolds' Road House we are greeted by one Mrs Reynolds. She says that the sheriff has authorized us to have one of the rooms upstairs. Dean proceeds to try and charm his way (What a schmoozer) into getting a second room. Mrs Reynolds said that she would have to get an ok from the sheriff to give us the 2nd room. When asked Why all she could tell us was that we would have to speak to the sheriff about that…….Well we would if he was ever in his FUCKING OFFICE!!! She told us that he is normally in on Mondays for a couple of hours……Dean gave me a stern look that telegraphed PLAY NICE!!! I bit my tongue for now……We also asked about the townsfolk and the factory being open on Sunday. she said that people in this town have been placing more importance on working than praying these days and told us that the pastor of the church was a Fr. Gregory. Dean asked for a wakeup call at 7AM and we made our way upstairs to our room we found that there were 2 queen beds setup there I took one and Dean graciously let the rookies share the other bed while he slept on a bedroll on the floor.
I woke up and noticed Dean just getting up and the 2 rookies sleeping like babies in each others arms. I then went into the john and did my normal morning routine of Shit Shower Shave. By the time I came out Chuckles and Hart were just waking up and Dean was coming back in the room saying he just got back from his morning run…….He was still wearing his PJs, barefoot and not sweating…….I call bullshit but just before I can say anything there is a knock at the door and Mrs Reynolds says its our wakeup call and breakfast is downstairs. I head down as Dean heads to the shower. Mrs Reynolds put out quite the spread. I asked her if she had any of Mrs. Lee's pies since my got swiped from me last night. She said she did not have any currently but could get some soon. By the time I was done with breakfast and ready to head out Dean and Hart had something to eat and thier morning java. Chuckles was just coming down the stairs as we were leaving. You snooze you lose Chuckles.
Upon arriving back at town square I noticed the state of things now seeing them in the sunlight. The town church is rundown while the businesses are kept up and the most pristine building in the square is the town bank. It seems this town abandoned Christian beliefs for the almighty Buck. Looking around as we head up to the sheriff's station I am noticing that most of the buildings have the name of Morse all over them (this is a company town if I ever saw one) also the townsfolk all look similar like they could be related. Could this be a whole town of inbreds?
When we get in the station I see just how lax the sheriff is. The man has totally let himself go to pot. He is one Fat Bastard! We introduce ourselves and inquire as to the situation here in town. The sheriff then asks for us to give him 5 minutes to which I said I will give him 10 as he lumbered up from his seat (I have no idea how that seat is not in 1,000 pieces) as he goes in the back Dean Shot me another look and told me again to play nice. I told him that i offered extra time and asked how is that not nice? the sheriff comes out with 2 deputies and introduces us to them (a couple of inbred bothers by the look of it) He says their names are Jimmy Taylor and Hank Wilson. We ask that he take us to see Mrs Morse and to see the crime scene.
The sheriff takes us across the square to the Rowley Historic society (He moves surprisingly fast for a man of his bulk) we see the point of entry for the robbers immediately it seems that there was a window broken in about 8 feet up and tire tracks that looked like a tin can was backed up to the wall and sped off. The bottom of the sill appeared to be cleared assumable to not be cut getting in or out of the window. The sheriff said this happened Friday night Saturday morning the best he can figure. (well if he kept the station open 24/7 he would know then wouldn't he?) we entered the building an met Mrs Morse. She was a knockout dame and I noticed Dean immediately turn on that Irish Charm of his. Chuckles and Hart were more interested in the window and where the artifact was removed from.. Questioning Mrs Morse we found that it was a rock that was stolen. (Jesus age Christ! A ROCK? Seriously? she is upset about a Rock?!) we learned that the rock has been in the town since the founding in 1673 and that it was recently moved into the Historical Society in 1922. According to Mrs. Morse the town was founded by Pilgrims and was closer to the shore and then built inland When the Town was built inland the rock was moved to what is currently the town square and used as a meeting place. She said that her family moved to the town after it was built inland. I inquired if there were records of the rock that she had and if we could have them. She obliged and took Dean and I to the back room where I am sure Dean wanted to "pump" her for more information as well. She said that she had no grudges with any townsfolk and the only enemies she could think of would be competitors in the shoe industry. I asked if there was any new people in town aside from us.
The Sheriff piped up and told us about a stranger that passed through last Thursday and Friday and spoke to the General store shopkeep Mr. Davis and the Librarian Ms. Hamilton. and said that he stayed at the Reynolds Road House in the room that he would not let Mrs. Reynolds rent. He told us he would let Mrs. Reynolds know to let us in there to check it out and after we cleared it we could use it. I asked the sheriff if there was anywhere else in town that would have records of town history we could look at. He suggested to talk to the Nancy Thomas the Town journalist and that she was a real firecracker. I noticed Dean perk up again. (Talk about a dog in heat he really is trying to hump someone.) After This we decide to split up and each take a rookie to interview the witnesses After a bad hand of rock paper scissors I get stuck with Chuckles, we decided that i would go interview Mr. Davis and Dean would go to see Ms. Thomas at the newspaper. and meet in 2 hours at the library. As he was leaving Dean said something about Dimensions and I told him not to play around with that shit and to remember what happened last time 10 years ago. He assured me it would be fine and that was in the past…..it still haunts me though.
Chuckles and I head off to the general store to find it fairly busy. Mr. Davis is behind the counter with a Kid. When I introduce myself and state why i am here all the customers clear out like bats outta hell. Mr. Davis was being a hostile witness and not wanting to answer questions because I just ran off his clientele. I told him I would give him a Lincoln if he played nice to make up for the lost business. He agreed and told me what he knew about the stranger, which wasn't much. He could not remember anything the man said to him or any defining features about the man other than he had long black hair and was about the height and build of Mr. Davis himself. He said that he had bought sheets of paper, wax, ink, salt, and salted cod. (was this guy a fishmonger?) Inquiring about other townsfolk I found that the town has a doctor and the office is a few miles down the road on Jefferson. As I was gathering this information I noticed Chuckles playin around with the kid in the corner (great now I am gonna have to make sure he isn't a pedo now.) after that interview was over we still had 1 and a half hours to kill looking around the square the Church stands out for not being as kept up as the rest of the buildings so we decide to check it out before we need to be at the library.
Churches, bah, I used to be Catholic and a good parishioner but after being a cop as long as I have and see as much as I have you question your faith and as in my case come to the conclusion God is dead. It has been awhile since I set foot in a chruch.
As We get to the door of the church Dean and Hart come strolling up. They seemed to be pulled to this husk of a building too. As we entered the only soul we see is a priest at the alter and I noticed all the candles in the place were lit even all the votive prayer candles. As we walked up the ailse I threw some coin in the poor box (God may be dead but the poor still suffer right?) the closer we get to the priest the younger he appears, must be a trick of the light in here. He Introduced us and we asked Fr. Gregory about the state of his church and why all the candles were lit. He said that attendance slowly evaporated over time and as for the candles he finds the light to be comforting because he does not like the dark. He told us that the church is maintained by a trust that is dwindling we asked about other institutions in town and he told us about the school run by Headmaster Thomas Marshall. We were also curious about if there is no interest in the church did people get married here anymore? He explained that there have been 3 marriages here since he has been in charge Sullivan, Woods, and Cole. We thanked the priest for his time and Hart knelt at the alter and started praying. Seeing this the Priest was overjoyed and joined Hart by the alter. (Like praying is going to do any good for anyone, just a bunch of hocus pocus)
After leaving the Church Dean and I were going to head to the library. Chuckles wanted to go check out the tire marks in front of the Historical society again. Dean and I made Hart go with him much to his displeasure. (Geez I didn't think I would have to explain the importance of Partners to these igjits too)
Dean and I entered the Library and introduced ourselves to Ms. Hamilton and much to Dean's displeasure Ms Hamilton looked to be in her 40s. (Can't win them all kid!) When questioned about the stranger she said all she can remember was that he had long black hair and was her height and build (she is a foot shorter than Davis and thinner so no telling what this guy's size is) she also remembered he was wearing and odd outfit, all black button up like a preacher's outfit but no collar was there. she said that he paced around the walls of the building and left. she also did not remember anything he said to her or his face. When asked if they had any records on town history she pointed to a book on a pedestal off to the side she said that is the book on the history of Rowley. I went to inspect the book and found that the town was established in 1639 by Rev. Ezekiel Rogers who arrived on a ship that came from England that carried the first printing press to arrive in the colonies that is now in Harvard University. Rev Rogers left England because he held non conformist Puritan beliefs and Founded the church in the town square in 1643 & 1645 the town built the Fulling and Grist Mills and in 1642 they built the Bridge and Damn over the mill river. The Morse Family came to Rowley in 1803.
At this point our two compatriots were back from their date and we exchanged information. Chuckles said he found a long black hair at the crime scene and noted that the glass was moved around in an unusual pattern. (this makes Mr Stranger prime suspect.) we told the 2 rookies about what we found in the book and all decided that the church should have more records if it is one of the oldest institutions here so we headed back to the church.
Fr. Gregory was delighted to see us again and we asked if we could see the chrurch records so we can get an idea of the town history he said that we were welcome to what he had but alot of the records were destroyed in a fire that happened about 20 years ago that also took the life of his predecessor. I asked if I could still see what he had and he escorted me to the rectory while Dean and the rookies stayed behind. (Dean looked a little bewildered I figured he was on to something and let him be.) Talking to Fr. Gregory in the rectory I learned that the Morse's were not baptized here or even married here Fr. said they moved around a lot and did not actually start staying in town permanently until a few years ago.
At this point Dean storms the room with his gun drawn to bear on the priest he accuses him of not being a real priest and sites many inconsistencies about the church. Fr. Gregory admitted he is not an ordained priest but he is catholic and that is good enough. Dean insisted that it is not because he did not have any training or schooling to be a priest to which Fr. Gregory pointed to a book on his desk (how ti be a priest) and said I have used this as my training. I pulled my handcuffs and told Fr. Gregory it was illegal to run a church without a license and impersonate a man of the cloth and asked that he come with us to the sheriff's station to be booked.
Can you believe the sonuva bitch rabbited?