This short story is from my third book of short stories, I’m in the middle with review with three publishing companies with the first book. There’s a trilogy, this is a story from the third book. Intended to be humorous and historical. following in the footsteps of Doyle and, “The Five Orange Pips.” A murder mystery written with local historical antidotes and events. The hope is you like it enough to read it.
The Good Fellows Club
This story took place a fort night ago, in the cold December of 1954, high up in the West Hills of Portland, Oregon, at the historic Pittock Mansion, built in 1912; set amongst the tall dark green, towering, old growth Douglas Firs, located near Forest Park, where an exclusive, extraordinary club had gathered. The members of this special group had decided to take residence at the famous iconic landmark, each member had his own assigned individual quarters and office space to work and live in. They were called together to form an exclusive club.
“The Good Fellows Club,” would usually meet each night, ponder over financial facts and figures and eventually dine at 6:00 P.M. each night, come rain or shine. It was a diligent group of fellows iindeed. They always met in the huge, massive circular entry way, hang up their wet coats, hats and scarfs out to dry on one of the coatracks located near the front door. They would greet each other, pat each other on the back and carry on with their detailed meetings.
After greeting each other the members would usually walk directly south, go through two tall, large, massive doors that would lead the members into the huge stately living room located to the south of the entryway. The living room was a beautiful, massive decorative room, with wonderful views to the north and east vistas. Gold leaf decorative ornaments glowed in the night. Paintings and photographs, charts and notes were spread about. They would have a few bevies, and munch on bite sized Hors d’oeuvre and catch up with the latest goings on. There were several couches and chairs and tables situated in the room. They might share a smoke and sip on a local Lager or taste a good local wine.
After catching up with one another the members would again walk directly east, go through two more large, massive doors that would lead them to the formal elegant stately dining room. The dining room was magnificent, it had hand carved shelves and a beautiful chandelier was hung from the middle of the ceiling.
After dining on various local delicacies, the exclusive members would again directly walk south, go through two large, massive doors that would lead them to the stately study. The study was large and formal, a decorative fireplace was standing in the middle of the west wall, they would again congregate, do research, and talk amongst themselves. The study was stately, had books and maps and charts spread about. Massive shelves kept things in order. They might adjourn to the library.
There were two more massive doors that would lead the members to the library. The library obviously held books, books covering almost every subject imaginable. It had large couches and lamps, a few large desks, and beautiful carpets.
Usually when their meeting was finished the members would go back and meet in the study, say their good nights, and go up the elaborate decorative staircases that led to their quarters and would slowly they all would drift off to sleepdrift off and sleep into the night. Each room had its own fireplace. The kitchen was located to the west, off the dining room, The laundry room was located off the kitchen along with a large pantry room. Staircases from the kitchen would lead you to the basement. The Pittock Mansion had three floors counting the massive basement, upstairs there were the bathrooms and bedrooms. There were porches located off the living room and study. It was a mixture of wealth and talents. It was 1954, the wet cold winter of 1954. No-one would forget the goings on that cold dark winter.
This idea to form this group was the brainchild of the self- appointed president of the club, philanthropist, entrepreneur, and founder of this illustrious club, the ultra-fabulous, multitalented, Mr. Eric “Sedgewick” Ladd. Eric was famous in Portland, noted in just having saved the historic Pittock Mansion, the home that he now lived in and owned for the last two years or so. Several stories were written up about the famous restoration projects that he had taken on. He had recently tried to save the Portland Hotel, an iconic structure located in the heart of downtown Portland. It eventually succumbed to the wrecking ball.
For you see local developers had planned on tearing down the beautiful historical Pittock Mansion and wanted to now build homes where the mansion now stood. He had gone to court and viscously fought to save the historic home, it was a brutal battle, many members of his group of friends helped him save the massive home, eventually buying the palatial building and then decided to form a group of seven gentlemen that all had various keen talents.
The mansion would be their designated headquarters. It would be their permanent meeting place and permanent home. The idea was to form a “Club” if you will, dedicated to help save historical homes and buildings from the wrecking ball in the city of Portland, Oregon. The idea was to preserve and protect historical Portland’s rich past. They were hand picked out, introduced, and formally brought together, asked in finding ways in which to save these historical properties and give them historical registration, if possible, not allowing developers to proceed forward in tearing the homes down. They had been together for nearly five years now. They had saved three or four historical homes from demolition by this point in time. Some of the members had long chop sideburns. They all liked to go buy hats at “John Helmer’s Haberdashery.’
Through the years Mr. Eric “Sedgewick” Ladd had bought several historical homes and items that once belonged to the famous, “Lewis and Clark Fair and Exposition,” held in N.W. Portland back in 1905. Eric owned a collection of historical homes built for the fair, had purchased artifacts, including Mark Twain’s fence from his home in Hannibal, Missouri, and by this time had stored several statues, figurers and fountains, dozens of stained-glass windows, rare antiques doors, priceless rugs, and woodwork, including decorative molding in several of the homes that he had bought. His intent was in helping preserve the rich history of Portland’s past. He even owned a church.
He had just bought the replica of the “Lincoln” and the “Washington” homes and had also bought property (almost two acres) located down near the Vista Bridge. His idea was to build what would be called, “Ladd’s Colony” and the idea was to have special stores, shops and boutiques located in the Goose Hollow neighborhood, located under the Vista Bridge, constructed on the land he recently purchased.
He even had plans in saving, buying, and moving the famous Captain Kamm House that now sat on the grounds of what eventually would become Lincoln High School. It would be a colossal endeavor. His newly formed group had already proudly saved the historical Captain Kamm Home from demolition and had planned in moving the home. They had recently tried to save the historic John Reed home located near N.W. Burnside and N.W. 23rd. Place, the north entrance of Washington Park. Unfortunately, the city and its developers tore the historic home down before they could stop the demolition.
So, this extraordinary group of friends were formed, do-gooders if you will, each member having special talents that could help the group with its acquisitions, plans and goals. There were weekly meetings held, meetings with Mayor Ebenezer McDougal, meetings with the Portland Planning Commission, meetings with City Council, meetings with City Planning.
Several well-known debutants in Portland came to visit Mr. Eric Ladd through the years. Some of the members had known each other in high school, some since grade school. Most of them attended Lincoln High School, the oldest high school west of the Mississippi, built in 1869.
One distinguished member of this famous group, Mr. Colonel “Cheswick” Custard happened to be gay (not that it mattered), Mr. Custard had attended Jesuit High School, located in S.W. Portland. He wore big round silver glasses. He was well off, a smart man, liked to dance and had a positive outlook, he didn’t like negative talk and he had a curious mind. He liked to say, “Balderdash!” He was born in Dublin, Ireland. He had a bit of a accent or a brogue if you will. He was a live wire. He wore big gray baggy trousers with suspenders. One of his shoes had a hole in the bottom of its sole. He took bubble gum and patched his shoe. He didn’t like to live in the past. He was into Budisium. He had been in the “The Good Fellows Club,” for almost five years, since its inception. He was loud and vicarious, loved to cook and entertain. He was a gourmet cook.
His special talents were in working with Mr. Ladd in helping to obtain detailed, calculating information on all the projects with homes that had been noted in saving. He liked to dig, dig around and investigate. He was a noted Historian of Portland. Had taught at Vanport College, that would later become Portland State University. He had a column in the Oregonian. He did most of the research for the group and looked in to detailed notes with each project, he was like a Dr. Watson in a way to Mr. Eric “Sedgewick” Ladd, he did his investigative research and reported his findings to the entire group each Friday night with their meetings. He liked to work the daily crossword puzzles. He carried a big brown note bag of paperwork, had charts and detailed notes, he was well versed in obtaining permits and licenses.
He had pencils and scraps of paper stuffed inside of his shirt. He wore a Bavarian hat on top of his head. It had a Pheasant feather tucked outside of the hat. He was a character for sure. He was given a beautiful bedroom up on the second floor, it looked out over Forest Park and the Willamette River. He was well liked by all the knew him. He and Eric were partners if you will.
Most of these gentlemen in the club had been retired, made their hard-earned money, and didn’t have any relatives to hand their wealth down too. This club was formed in 1949, the brainchild again of one of the members, the oldest member, the noted Mr. Ladd, the prominent philanthropist that happened to now own the famous Pittock Mansion.
The mansion contained 14 bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, three studies of various sizes, a library, and a large basement that contained a maze of tunnels that led off to the carriage room and the servants’ quarters located near the home, off the back road. “The Good Fellows Club,” gave these men a place to congregate, it contained a large gourmet kitchen, a maids’ quarters, a five car-garage, carriage house, elaborate sustainable gardens, and a wonderful caretaker by the name of Mrs. Hazel Queensberry.
Mrs. Hazel Queensberry was a large rotund woman, reserved, was a hard worker, tied her dark brown hair up tight in a bun on the backside of her noggin’, where she wore a dark blue wool sweater that covered her large body. She was Scottish, a big Scottish woman she was. She was a big farm girl from Hermiston, had been hired by Mr. Ladd to watch over the members of this amazing group of men. She cooked, scrubbed, did laundry, and cleaned for them. She had a small room in the maids’ quarters located off the back road leading up to the famous mansion. It was a small house, located next to the carriage house.
Many of these extraordinary members had worked for years in their trade and field. Masters in their fields if you will. They had known and worked with each other through the years.
There was Mr. “Big” Dan Quasimodo, he was a Japanese American, he had a terrible deep scar on his right cheek that he received in a fight in the “Brewery” section of old N.W. Portland, down near The Blitz-Wienhard building, rumor had it that he had been in a viscous fight one night over a woman, nobody knew for sure. His family had been moved into internment camps in Hermiston during the last war. He had issues as to how his family was treated. He was a big bloke, usually wore a black tuxedo and tails when the group met, he had worked as a Engineer and Contractor in construction for nearly thirty years. He had helped restore many historical homes in the Portland area; he was well known in working with Mr. Ladd. He knew how to move big historical homes off their foundations.
Mr. Eric had worked with “Big” Dan through the years on several of his famous projects. Mr. Dan had a large crew that would help restore or take apart and salvage the homes and historical buildings that they had planned on saving and purchasing. He had a flat top crew-cut. “Big” Dan had gone to Lincoln and was reserved and not very polite, he stuttered from time to time. He had an elaborate library and liked to be left alone to study. He went by the nickname of “Einstein” He liked sports and followed politics.
Well, Mr. Quasimodo had worked for Mr. Eric when he was younger, while he was going to the University of Oregon. He had known Mr. Ladd for many a year. When “Big” Dan retired, Mr. Eric “Sedgewick” Ladd asked Dan to help Eric with acquiring the mansion and saving it from demolition a few years earlier. He lived in a beautiful bedroom located upstairs on the second floor, he had views of Mt. St. Helens and of Mt. Hood. He had a large drawing desk located in his room and had a small study to do his research. He had a telescope and a large globe of the world set up inside of his study. He had moved to N.W. Portland when he was younger. He was originally from Rockford, Illinois. He was a valuable part of the group of men.
On this rainy cold Friday night, the members had decided to meet, a famous local piano player by the name of Dr. Jonathan Svenson (and one of the members of the “The Good Fellows Club” I might add,) would usually stop in and play each Friday with his famous house concerts. He would play as the members feasted on food from Rose’s Delicatessens. The delicious food was spread about as Dr. Svenson played the priceless Yamaha piano that sat in the corner of the large palatial living room. People would often dance on the dance floor off to the study. They would dance to waltz’s or maybe the Argentinian Tango. Some of the members would gather, chat, and get on with the work at hand. Usually charts and maps and blackboards were set up in the living room, mountains of paperwork and books were scattered about.
There was usually a large fire of fresh cut fir burning in the decretive gold leaf fireplace, stacks of wood were kept out on the back porch. Dr. Jonathan had known Mr. Ladd for many a year, had played at Trader Vicks at the Benson Hotel, and played at several of the well-known jazz clubs located on N.E. Williams Avenue back then, he was classically trained and a proud member of the “The Good Fellows Club.”
He lived in a large room located upstairs looking to the South, it had a separate bath and sitting room where he had a small piano that he practiced on. He gave concerts about town and was asked to play with The Oregon Symphony from time to time. Sometimes he would go listen to jazz at the Jantzen Beach Ballroom. He had a mad love affair with one of the local socialites that was much younger than he was. He wore an ascot around his neck. He liked the seafood at Jake’s and at Dan and Louis Oyster Bar. He wore a Red Strawberry Barret on top of his head and had a goatee. He played in a few of the local night clubs from time to time. He was a flamboyant entertainer. He was well known in the local music industry. He liked jazz and listened to his favorite Thelonious Monk. He liked to give his famous house concerts. They would dine and be refined. They usually wore black tuxedos and tales. West Hills society people would stop in from time to time, they always had a Halloween party, fine looking, handsome woman would dress in big fancy dresses as they would be escorted in as their long plush, elegant cars pulled up in the long red brick driveway leading to the front door. Bentley’s, Cadillacs, swanky Mercedes’s, and beautiful Jaguars often adorned the property. Mr. Eric Ladd was a popular individual indeed, he was well liked and loaded with money.
Other prominent members of the club slowly arrived as the evening rolled along; each member was always contacted directly and promptly with each evening’s festivities that were going to occur on that night and any other night that they had scheduled in meeting.
Mrs. “Gabby” Farnsworth was hired by Mr. Eric “Sedgewick” Ladd to handle the secretarial responsibilities of the group, making sure important documents were in order, reminding the men of their meetings and making sure they got to their appointed rounds. She looked after the seven members closely, she was younger, very attractive, and kept a calendar for all the meetings and gatherings on and had a good relationship with most of the members of the group. She worked hard. She was Mr. Ladd’s official, exclusive private secretary. She was attractive, curvaceous, voluptuous to the eye. Some of the members of the group would flirt with her from time to time. She had modeled at Jantzen, Pendleton and Nordstrom’s. She had attended grade school at Ainsworth and attended Lincoln when was younger.
Sir Jubba “Lockjaw” stopped in. Originally from Saskatoon, Canada. He was an Architect and had known Mr. Eric from High School and had done business with him in the past. Big Jubba was Canadian and a hard worker. He had retired from being an Architect and had a master’s degree from the University of British Columbia in Architecture, had worked his way up through the years. He had been married a few times and unfortunately his third wife had recently died.
Being Canadian he had a large collection of snowshoes and hockey sticks that he kept on the back porch, it had recently snowed, and he enjoyed snowshoeing around Forest Park, he also enjoyed ice skating and would skate occasionally down at the “Ice Palace” located down on N.W. Marshall and N.W. 21st, the home of the hockey team back then, the “Portland Rose Buds.”
Sometimes he’d sneak away at night and dine at “Quality Pie.” He liked to go there late at night and make notes with current projects. He was loud and obnoxious at times. He was overweight. He was retired now and single, he had a big, large bedroom over on the east corner of the Puttock. He had beautiful view of Mt. Hood. He had helped Mr. Eric “Sedgewick” Ladd with several of his historical projects, almost his right-hand man with each home or building that they would try to restore. He liked to widdle wood and carve stuff. He oversaw many of the projects that the group of men took on. He added decorative woodworking to many of the restoration projects. He wore a big bandana around his neck and wore muck lucks from time to time and liked to play the acoustic guitar.
Sir Jubba “Lockjaw” had a drawing table, made all the drawings for each project, he had taught at the University of Oregon at one time, in the Architecture department. He wore wool knickers and wore a red rose in the lapel of his brown corduroy jacket. He wore a large black high-hat on top of his big noggin’ from time to time. He was a site to see.
There was a sudden loud knock on the front door. The large iron knocker attached to the front door made a loud thud each time it was knocked. The cold winter wind made a odd eerie noise outside as leaves flew in the wind and made their way into the entryway.
Mrs. Hazel Queensberry answered the door, there stood another member of this illustrious group, Captain Lamar Hassenpfeffer appeared in his long worn dark gray raincoat, wearing a large yellow scarf wrapped around his thick neck and sporting his famous dark blue captain’s hat, he wore it titled to the side, he was African American and had a black eye patch covering his left eye. He had lost his eye when a hawk flew down and nabbed his eye and flew away with it. He had a tattoo of the battleship Oregon on his big hairy chest, he sported a goatee and talked loudly and was cranky at times. He called woman winches once in awhile. He smoked a large carved wooden pipe and had a bit of a limp.
Out of college he had gone in the Navy, after his tour, he went into being a tugboat captain for the city of Portland, for a few years he even captained the famous, “River Queen” steamboat, paddleboat moored near Oaks Park. Many Portlanders could remember when the famous sternwheeler broke its ties back in the terrible winter storm of 1952. The huge paddleboat that night broke its main ties that blustery night and floated down near the Broadway Bridge, the captain helped steer the boat and ran it aground to where it now stood, down near the Broadway Bridge. He became famous for saving the vessel. Mr. Ladd would go have dinner at the River Queen restaurant occasionally and got to know the captain. Occasionally he would take excursion on the boat and take in the views of Portland.
Well, the good captain traveled up and down the Columbia Gorge in the large paddle boat and traversed up and down through the Willamette River. His left hand was missing a few fingers, one night when they had to cut a line, he sliced a few of his sausages off. He had captained the largest stern wheeler located in Portland; Mr. Ladd enjoyed riding the sternwheeler. A few years later the captain retired from being a steamboat captain, he was 26 years old by then.
He went on to Willamette University on the G.I. Bill, worked with the famous speech writer by the name of Karl Richie, who wrote for the Oregonian. He worked on huge advertising campaigns occasionally and had been a copywriter. He had worked as a reporter for the Oregonian a few years later and worked on several of the historical preservation projects for Mr. Ladd. He helped raise funding for several of the projects. He presented several of the ideas that Mr. Ladd had to City Hall, often attending Planning Commission meetings. He liked to take a nip from time to time from a flask that he kept in his coat pocket. He was multi-talented.
He was a big man; he had known Mr. Eric for years. Eric “Sedgewick” Ladd had asked the captain to become a member of the “The Good Fellows Club.” He handled most of the chartwork and planning with moving some of the homes that Mr. Eric owned. He had a room in one of the corners of the mansion, down on the main level, off the study overlooking the Willamette River, he also had a reading room assigned to him.
Outside, suddenly there was a large loud squeal in the driveway, the squeal of rubber car tires and of brakes slamming. Mr. Parker Jabberwocky showed up in one of his fine elegant cars. Mr. Parker Jabberwocky was a highly eccentric gentleman, high maintenance if you will, was a lawyer and was left in charge to handle the legal affairs of this extortionary group, he was known as being a bit of a city slicker, a party man, usually the life of any party. He wore dark sunglasses. He yelled a lot, was elderly and wore a moniker in his right eye and had a spotted handkerchief tucked away in the lapel of his blue sports coat. He forgot people’s names from time to time. He liked to look dashing and sounding eccentric. His hair was mussy, he was a bit phony in a way. He had just suffered a heart attack a few months back and he was under the weather. He had at one time been in several local famous cases. He enjoyed dining at Hubert’s and smoking fine cigars that he would purchase at Rich’s Cigar Store.
He had attended the Lewis and Clark Law School and had worked with the local District Attorney from time to time. Mr. Ladd had invited Mr. Parker “Spud” Jabberwocky to stay at the mansion and relax and recover. He ate and drank as the night progressed and told wild stories; outlandish stories that made everyone roar. He gave a bad time to Mrs. Hazel Queensbury. He was a bit of an alcoholic and at times and was known to pinch woman in their fannies. He enjoyed his cars and snow skiing. He lived on the upper section of the mansion. He liked to play croquet out on the front lawn of the Pittock Mansion. He wore Black and White Converse High-Tops from time to time.
The final piece of this well-known group was the famous local Philanthropist, and former city planner, Mr. Gino “Santangelo” Petrocelli. Mr. Patricelli had known these gentleman for years, he had taught at the University of Portland, in the Business Department for many years and had a reputation in knowing everything, he was a well-known know it all, most people didn’t like him, everyone knew him to know about lending and finance. He was the coach of the University of Portland’s golf team. He liked to hit golf balls off the cliffs and into the forest that surrounded the north side of the mansion. He asked Mr. Ladd if they could put a putting green in on the front lawn of the Pittock Mansion. He liked to practice his putting. Occasionally he wore a large safari hat on his head and usually carried a golf club in his hand or an umbrella. He was eccentric and loved it.
He had worked in the banking industry in Portland, helping fund local projects with land grant money. He had two bedrooms upstairs, located in the mansion, one to sleep in, the other one to do research in. He was a valuable piece with this group of men. He helped in handling all the funding and purchasing affairs and paperwork. He had an Oregon real estate lenience. He helped fund several of Mr. Ladd’s projects with restoration. He was a bit overweight and enjoyed picking his teeth with a toothpick. He grew up near the city dump located near what is now known as “Duniway Park.” He liked to wear blue stripped Osh Gosh B. Gosh overalls from time to time. He enjoyed playing Cribbage and reading The Oregonian. He liked to tinker about.
The dining room table was so elegantly decorated that night, fresh food was spread about. The large, shimmering gold candelabras glowed from the white candles that were set in the beautiful, ornate ornament. Everyone had an assigned seat with their names printed on decorative cards. The good leaf and ornate molding in the Pittock stood out, it was a beautiful mansion. Elegant tile floors, rugs and elaborate paintings adorned the walls. Special napkins and dining wear were set on the long table. Special Chrystal glasses were put out. The brick masonry work done on the mansion was imported in from Italy.
A small handbell was rung, Mrs. Hazel Queensbury brought out the dinner salad, that included Mr. Eric “Sedgewick” Ladd’s favorite; beet’s, cranberries, and walnuts, followed by the main course, tonight it was going to be Pot Roast with big Yakima Potatoes and fresh Marionberry Pie followed by chocolate ice cream, Mr. Eric Ladd preferred Rocky Road.
As the men settled in that night, Mrs. Hazel Queensbury entered the dining room, wound her way around in the room, and she then suddenly and directly walked towards Colonel “Cheswick” Custard and placed a sealed white envelope in front of him. It was addressed with his name on it. Everyone in the group looked at wonder as he slowly opened the envelope. “Is it your birthday?” asked one of the members. There was no note in the envelope, only seven dried rose pedals that fell softly, gently on the fine, embraided tablecloth as he emptied the envelope. They all laughed; nobody knew the significance of the rose pedals. It wasn’t of a laughing matter and Mrs. Hazel Queensbury knew it. They carried about as the night progressed. One of the two dogs owned by the group barked, Mr. Eric “Sedgewick” Ladd had two large Doberman, known by the name of Albert and Jackie. They were beautiful dogs and enjoyed sitting near the feet of the members, especially on cold winter nights.
Mr. Ladd curiously looked at Mrs. Hazel Queensbury, “Where did you get this envelope?” Mrs. Hazel Queensbury lowered her eyes and titled her head and looked directly at Eric. “The envelope was found under the kitchen door, someone slipped this under the door.” They chuckled. “Well obviously someone is playing us a joke.” They continued with their meeting. Captain Lamar Hassenpfeffer offered Sir Jubba and “Big” Dan Quasimodo a cigar. They smoked as dinner was served. The dogs continued to bark.
So, the night dragged on, Dr. Jonathan Svenson played a repartee of music. The “The Good Fellows Club” enjoyed fine dining, they had made plans, tonight they were going to discuss their current plans with a new restoration project. They wanted to save the Kamm House, a famous captains home that now sat on the property of what was planned to be the new location of Lincoln High School. It was their main agenda. It would be a difficult undertaking.
After desert was served Mrs. Hazel Queensbury excused herself as the men gathered in the living room. They sat in fancy chairs and laid out paperwork and charts. They smoked and drank through the night. The dogs barked at the noises the wind was making. It looked like a Nor Wester was brewing up.
You could see Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Hood through the large front living room window, it was a beautiful view. The men discussed their ideas and plans, they scratched their heads and calculated things, they had rulers and protractors and large compasses, they sharpened their pencils and scribbled things down. “Big” Dan pulled out an abacus to calculate things, the meeting went on through the night. They had planned on moving the historic Kamm House from the location that it now sat upon, they wanted to move it four blocks west to the land that Mr. Ladd had acquired, he had plans to move the home to the new location and make it part of his, “Ladd’s Colony.”
Other ideas were brought up as the meeting continued through the night. Eric had been pondering an idea of his and now decided to present it to the group. After much discussion and in having listened to the details, the group finally decided that each man would have a life insurance policy made out in their name and that if anything should ever happen to that member, that the insurance money with the policy would be handed down to the other members, since they didn’t have any relatives or known survivors, well this would make the most sense, with the idea in mind that the “The Good Fellows Club” would continue through the years and if any of the members should suddenly die, that the group would look for another member and fill the void, and that the group would always include no more than seven members.
That’s where I came in, I had known Mr. Eric “Sedgewick” Ladd for years, My names Parker Ramsdhead. I had handled most of his insurance issues. Mr. Eric would call me the next day and get the policies put in place. Everyone agreed on the idea, the policies were put in motion, they adjourned from the meeting that night, Dr. Jonathan Svenson played another song on the piano and Colonel Custard blew the lights out on the large candelabra that sat on the long dining room table.
Well, unfortunately, a few days later, as the good Colonel “Cheswick” Custard was driving his beautiful, elegant Bentley down through the West Hills of Portland, traveling at a fast pace, his car went suddenly flying off the Vista Bridge, seems he had lost control of his brakes and the car went up on the sidewall of the bridge and plowed into the retaining wall and flew off the famous bridge exploding on impact down on S.W. Jefferson, landing on top of “Rose City Bowling Center,” that was located down below. His car was a fiery ball of twisted metal, his body was burned beyond recognition. The car had fallen through the roof as people were bowling. The City Coroner was called in. They found a ring that was attached to one of his fingers, his death was a tragic loss to the group of seven men. They would have dinner later the next night and discuss the events of this tragic day. His death was reported in the Oregonian.
So, they had planned to dine the next night, at the large dining room table located in the mansion. The large gold candelabras, elegant dinnerware, and cutlery along with fine Chrystal glasses were put out. Mrs. Hazel Queensbury, the caretaker of this group started to prepare the dinner that night. She had worked hard and was at a loss in hearing the news of Colonel “Cheswick” Custard.
As the men gathered around and sat themselves at the enormous elegant dark brown walnut table, they slowly sat down at their assigned seats. A seat was left vacant where Colonel “Cheswick” Custard would usually sit. His jacket was hung over his chair that he usually sat in. Each member was given a small glass of Peppermint Snopes Liquor. A toast was made and after each gentleman drank the liquor, they each tossed their glasses into the roaring maculate fireplace.
They sat down and discussed the tragedy amongst themselves. Quietly Mrs. Hazel Queensbury walked in and placed another envelope down on the dinner plate of Mr. Gino “Santangelo” Petrocelli. Nobody laughed this time, for when he opened his envelope six dried rose pedals that fell softly, gently on the fine, embraided tablecloth as he emptied the envelope.
Mr. Gino looked at everyone at the table and covered his face in horror with his hands. It wasn’t of a laughing matter. Everyone went to bed wondering what would be in store of this illustrious team.
Well, the next day as the day wore along and when dinner was served Mr. Petrocelli wasn’t at the table. Nobody knew where he was located. They checked his room and looked everywhere. He was not to be found. They continued with their business. They were concerned with his ware abouts.
A few days later, the manager of the Montgomery Ward’s building located on N.W. Vaugh contacted Mr. Ladd. “Mr. Eric, we have some unfortunately bad news for you, it seems as though Mr. Gino “Santangelo” Petrocelli has been found, unfortunately his body has been found at the bottom of one of our freight elevators shafts, looks like he took a spill from the twelfth floor, sadly it seems as though his body has been flattened beyond recognition, looks as though the freight elevator landed on top of him several times before his body was found.” The members looked at each other and were defiantly startled. “My word!” exclaimed Mr. Eric “Sedgewick” Ladd. The next night at the dinner table the five remaining members, each member was given a small glass of Peppermint Snopes Liquor. A toast was made and after each gentleman drank the liquor they tossed their glasses into the massive fireplace, two chairs at the dining room table remained empty.
Shortly, within a few days I was contacted by Mr. Eric in being the insurance agent again assigned looking into the matter. Again, it had been decided that if any member died that the insurance company handling the policy would pay out to each member that was still alive. With these two recent deaths almost $100,000 would be paid out to the surviving members. Alarming. The money was dispersed and that’s where I was called in to look at the matter. I had been in the insurance busines for over thirty years, had handled the policy for the group, we processed the claims and paid out the money. “Thank you, Parker Ramshead!” said Mr. Ladd. I was called in to investigate any erroneous issues or problems that might have occurred. Had these members been murdered? Had any foul play been performed? Was it the intent of the murderer to kill all the members except himself? It was a puzzle indeed.
It was my duty to investigate the matter. I called on the famous Portland detective, Mr. Jackson Q. Jackson. Known as “Action Jackson” We met at his office located near the Vaughn Street Stadium near the old Forestry Building. It was located upstairs, in a dark, dank office, the long hallway leading you to the door of the office looked like a tunnel with no end in sight. His office was in the “Warehouse” section off N.W. Vaughn. He had his name printed on the glass window attached to his door. He was a native Oregonian; this detective was tough. He had grown up in the Industrial section of N.W. Portland. Played high school football when he was younger and served in the Marines in the last war. He became a detective out of the service, lived in a flat near N.W. 23td and Raleigh. There was a woman’s brazier draped over one of the chairs in his office. Wasn’t married, single, dated woman and smoked hand rolled ciggies. He worked out at Joe Laprinzies gym, liked to box. Had been a detective for nearly 6 years now, had a bad reputation with roughing up suspects, the cops kept an eye on him, drove a Brick Red 50’ Buick. He had a tabby named, “Skippy.” He was stocky, well built, wore a green corduroy golf cap. He sported a big furry mustache and liked to hang out at, “The Beaver Café, or maybe at Dee Dak’s” He was known by the Portland Police Department in being a bit difficult at times in the way he use to leave some of the outlaws that he’d catch. He carried a Snub nosed .38 and a Colt .45. He practiced shooting his pistols from time to time up off N.W. Skyline in one of the large fields.
So, I called in Jackson Q. Jackson that day, to explain the situation. Detective Jackson Q. Jackson was lying on a coach in his office, his walls were decorated with notes and pin-up girls. He had a few wanted posters tacked up on the wall. He had filing cabinets and it had a small bathroom. His phone rang, he let it ring. “So, you want me to look in to these two possible murders?” I looked at him, “Well yes I do, I want you to see if there might be someone behind these brutal murders.” I gave him the facts and details about what I knew. “By the way, I wanted you to know that Mr. Ladd would like you to attend this Friday’s meeting at the Pittock, if you could show up around 6:00 P.M. I’ll make sure that you get fed.” He looked at me and smiled. I left his office into the cold wet night. “Thanks Mr. Parker Ramsdhead.” He was a likable guy.
So, Friday rolled around, and Detective Jackson appeared at the Pittock, pulled up in his Red Brick’50 Buick. He strolled up to the large ornate wooden door and knocked. Mrs. Hazel Queensbury answered the door. Mr. Ladd and the remaining five gentlemen invited the well-known detective in and showed him where to sit in the dining room. Mrs. “Gabby “Farnsworth sat in the corner and took notes. You might say she was very handsome.
There was a knock on the door, suddenly in walked Sargent Scottie “Hammer” Muldoon, a short stocky man, he worked for the Portland Police Department (homicide division.) Their paths had crossed before. Mr. Eric introduced the two. “Yes, I know of Detective Jackson Q Jackson, we’ve worked on a few cases together.” Sargent Muldoon didn’t exactly get along with the detective, matter of fact he didn’t speak to Jackson, He had a bad reputation on the police force. He dressed sloppy and had a rough stubble beard.
Mr. Ladd sat down and discussed the two murders with the two men. The other members of the club listened intently. “Insurance policies were taken out in each members names a few weeks ago, we all agreed upon it,” he said as they were sitting down to their dinner. Mrs. Hazel Queensbury entered the room, she was hysterical. “Murder! Mr. Parker “Spud” Jabberwocky has been murdered!” The members gathered in the dining room. They tried to calm her down.
Detective Jackson looked at her, “Where, where’s the body?” She sobbed as she tried to catch her breath, “His body is located down in the furnace room, located in the basement, he, he caught on fire and was burned beyond recognition1” They all followed her downstairs to the furnace room.
When they got there, you could surely see the smoldering remains of the body, his gold cufflinks were all that was left amongst the smoldering ashes. Somehow his clothes caught on fire as he stood next to the furnace. The detectives made notes. Nobody had heard a word when he caught fire.
Detective Jackson looked at the hysterical woman, “Did you find an envelope? Was there an envelope delivered while we were having dinner!” She cried through tears, “I did receive an envelope, but since he wasn’t at the dinner table, I thought I’d wait and deliver it once he arrived.” A hush went over the room. Three members missing now. Four members left. Five rose pedals were in the envelope when Detective Jackson opened it.
Sargent Muldoon looked at Detective Jackson, “What do you think?” Detective Jackson rubbed his jaw and scratched his forehead, titled his cap back on his head. “I’m not sure what to think Sargent. It’s odd, the motive, the facts are obscure, no real pattern to any of this. Some of this doesn’t make sense. This is going to take some work to solve this case.”
The members of the group went to bed and another meeting was planned for the next night. They had several meetings planned through the next few weeks. The members slowly shuffled off to bed, Mr. Ladd invited Detective Jackson and Sargent Muldoon to stay in the extra bedrooms. They agreed. It might make the other members feel safer. Watchdogs if you will.
The next morning the gentleman went about their business scurrying about, making their plans and calculations. Mr. Eric took notes on saving the Kamm House.
Later that night, as the gentlemen dined, they drank, a toast was made and after each gentleman drank the liquor they tossed their glasses into the massive fireplace, in memory to the third member to pass. As they ate their desert, Mrs. Hazel Queensbury entered the room, she again carried an envelope with her and put it down on “Big” Dan’s plate. He looked stunned. He opened the envelope and four dried rose pedals fell softly, gently on the fine, embraided tablecloth as he emptied the envelope.
“I want protection, I want your men to do everything they can in protecting me. I’m going to bed and retire. See to it that men watch my door!” He was hysterical. Sir. Jubba looked at “Big” Dan, “If it would make you feel any better, I’ll watch over you in your room tonight.” Mr. “Big” Dan looked at Sir Jubba and said, “Why yes that would be marvelous,” noted the captain. Detective Jackson looked at the gentlemen, “I’ll stay up with the Sergeant here and watch your bedroom, will keep an eye on the house through the night, I’ll check on your room later in the morning.” The men felt better in knowing this.
Some of the members climbed the ornate, decorated, elaborate stairs leading up to the bedrooms. The other members sat at the table and were worried. The night progressed. Detective Jackson flirted with Mrs. “Gabby” Farnsworth, she had great legs. Sargent Muldoon went to the study followed by Detective Jackson. Muldoon looked at Jackson, “So what do you think? Do you think Mr. Ladd could be committing these murders? What about the captain, what about Sir Jubba?” The detective looked at the worried Sargent. “He did come up with the idea on the insurance policy.” We discussed the goings on. A few hours had passed, and Detective Jackson looked at the Sargent, “I’m going to check on Sir Jubba and “Big” Dan. The Sargent sat in a big easy chair that stood in the study. He started to fall off to sleep, eventually he fell into a deep sleep.
Detective Jackson crept down the hallway and quietly opened the bedroom door of “Big” Dan’s. He was asleep, Sir Jubba sat on a couch located in the bedroom. He sat up, “Oh thank you Detective Jackson in watching over us, “Big” Dan is asleep and resting well.” The detective smiled and slowly closed the door.
As Sargent Muldoon had started to nod off and while Detective Jackson was checking on the men down the hallway, a sinister man dressed in a dark raincoat and sporting a hat was seen walking and scurrying about on the porch that wraps around the back side of the huge living room, creeping around in the cold, wet winter night. The figure broke a small window in the porch door located to the study, creped through the darkly lit study and startingly starts to choke Sargent Scottie with a rope. He tries to choke him to death while he was asleep in a plush chair. Sargent Scottie “Hammer” Muldoon screams, “Jackson! Jackson!” The Detective hurriedly runs into the study. He finds the Sergeant sitting in his chair with a rope around his neck gagging, and coughing. “Why someone broke in, they tried to strangle me! My word!”
Suddenly running into the room, Mr. Ladd bolts in, “I say, I just tried the doors to “Big” Dan’s bedroom, the men. their gone!” They ran to the locked bedroom door, they pounded on the door and started kicking the door down. The door swings open, Detective Jackson and Sargent Scottie Muldoon look around and see Sir Jubba “Lockjaw” lying on the floor, moaning, in agony and rubbing his head. “Big” Dan had disappeared, no sign of him anywhere.
The Detective looked out at the side porch door and could see that someone had stepped out onto the porch and ran out into the hard rain that night.
Sir Jubba “Lockjaw” was asked what had happened. “Well, I, I was asleep, why next thing I knew “Big” Dan was struggling with someone and next thing I knew I was hit in the head with something hard and heavy.” He rubbed his head. Mrs. Hazel Queensbury showed up to help him with his wounds. “You poor dear,” she said.
Detective Jackson and Sargent Muldoon stood over in a corner of the bedroom and talked amongst themselves while the cold winter rain fell, they discussed what had happened. “So, Sargent, you’re viscously attacked, Mr. “Big” Dan Quasimodo here is whisked away unceremoniously, and Sir Jubba is assaulted. Where is Captain Lamar Hassenpfeffer My word!”
Detective Jackson and the Sargent walked out onto the large porch off the bedroom of Mr. “Big” Dan Quasimodo. One of the small windows to the porch door had been broken. A small porch light was on, and you could see large footprints, footprints with heavy mud, and the marks of what looked like a body being dragged out on the porch, the marks continue down a small set of stairs, and then it could be seen where the body was dragged down the nearby “Wildwood Trail”. They started to head north down, “Wildwood Trail.” Detective Jackson started to follow the trail as Sargent Muldoon tagged along. “Look, look!” yelled the Sargent, “Why these footprints, they lead down “Wildwood Trail”, they continued hiking down the famous trail located in Forest Park.
Suddenly the Detective and Sargent looked up behind them, up on one of the cliffs, leading up back toward the Pittock Mansion, they could see a figure pushing a huge, large, round boulder that came crashing down towards them, it came rolling at a great speed down the trail. They narrowly ducked out of the way; Detective Jackson pushed Sargent Muldoon at the last second before he would have been crushed.
“My word!” yelled the Sargent. Detective Jackson started to run back to the Pittock, the Sargent followed in his footsteps. As they got closer to the famous structure, they could see that Mr. Ladd, Captain Lamar Hassenpfeffer, Sir Jubba, Mrs. Hazel Queensbury and Mrs. “Gabby” Farnsworth are all out on the porch waiting for them. “Where’s “Big” Dan?” replied Detective Jackson, has anybody seen him?” There was no sign of the missing member of the club.
Suddenly a loud explosion is heard, out near the “Old Stone House,” located down off “Wildwood Trail.” Detective Jackson and the Sargent rush off down the trail as the others are asked to stay and watch over the remaining members. As Detective Jackson and the Sargent Scottie “Hammer” Muldoon get closer to the famous structure located in the heart of Forest Park, they could see the remains of a body lying in a pile of rubble, crushed, left beyond recognition. Cement boulders were lying about, another of the members had been killed. They identify him as Mr. “Big” Dan Quasimodo and decide to head back up the trial to the mansion.
At the dinner table that night the remaining members, including Sir Jubba, Captain Lamar Hassenpfeffer and Mr. Ladd are present. They make a toast, and after each gentleman drank the liquor they tossed their glasses into the massive fireplace. Detective Jackson looks at Mr. Eric. “You have dynamite stored here? Where do you store it?” Mr. Eric “Sedgewick” Ladd looks at the Detective, “Why yes we keep explosives in the carriage room, we’ve been trying to get rid of some boulders off the old road in the back off the carriage house, we had a recent landslide.
As the members are dining, suddenly Mrs. Hazel Queensbury appears with another envelope, this time it’s given to Sargent Scottie Muldoon, who was sitting with everyone at the large dining room table. The Sargent blinked, “Not me!” he replied. Detective Jackson looks at the envelope. He opens it and there’s a note found inside, no rose pedals included inside of the envelope this time, the Sargent is relieved. Detective Jackson opens the envelope and pulls a note out of the envelope, it’s addressed to the Sargent. Detective Jackson reads it aloud. “Why it’s a note from the groundskeeper, Mr. Anthony Walbash.”
Mr. Walbash oversaw and took care of the grounds of the Pittock Mansion for many years, he was famous, all the children that visited always got a special flower that was grown by the popular gardener. He was elderly, near retirement. He had gray hair, a large bushy mustache, he had lived in Portland all his life, drove a big green ’42 Ford pick-up, he wanted to meet Sargent Scottie “Hammer” Muldoon down at his quarters near the carriage house, He wanted to meet them around 10:00 PM that night. He had news that he thought they should know about with them investigating the case. It was nearly 10:00 PM, Detective Jackson and the Sargent decided to take one of the side trails off the south side of the mansion that led to the carriage house and down to the maid’s quarters. As they approached the carriage house they heard a shot that was fired, they rush in and find the friendly groundskeepers body lying on the floor of his quarters, shot in the head, a side entry door is left open, as though someone had escaped out the side entry. “Well Sergeant, another murder, no rose pedals with this murder,” says the Detective.
The next morning a meeting was scheduled, a meeting was called in the dining room at 6:00 P.M. that night. The remaining members had their dinner, including Detective Jackson, Sargent Scottie, Mr. Eric “Sedgewick” Ladd, Sir Jubba “Lockjaw” and Captain Lamar Hassenpfeffer. Suddenly, and like clockwork, Mrs. Hazel Queensbury enters the large dining room and delivers a note directly to Captain Lamar Hassenpfeffer, he is startled, and lets out a cry. He opens the envelope, and three rose pedals fall softly onto the soft tablecloth.
“I want protection, I want more protection, I demand it! I want you to call more backup in!” The Sargent tried to calm the captain down. He reassures him that a back-up unit would be called in, he makes a call to the Portland Police Department and asks for the backup. Shortly a black and white Portland Police Department squad car rolled up in the driveway, three officers get out and are directed by the Sargent, their told to keep look out into the dark wet winter night. One of the police officers is situated outside on the porch door off the study. The other two are situated on the North and West sides of the Pittock Mansion.
Detective Jackson excuses himself; “I’m going to go to bed, it’s been a long night.” The Sargent looks at the Detective, “I’ll watch over the captain.” Within a few minutes while set-up in the study the Sargent was sitting in his favorite chair once again when suddenly the lights go out, one of the dogs (Jackie) let’s out a cry as the door to the porch swings open, it startles the Sargent. The large door to the study slams shut. The Sargent is startled and awakens. He feels around and tries to find his revolver that he has kept in a side holster of the inside of his jacket, “Who, who goes there?” The Sargent gets up and looks about the room, he runs upstairs and knocks on the captain’s door, no one is there, nobody is in the bed and soon Detective Jackson arrives, along with Mr. Eric “Sedgewick” Ladd and Sir Jubba “Lockjaw.” Mrs. Hazel Queensbury peeks in. “Has anybody seen the captain?” says Detective Jackson. Nobody says a word. The storm outside rages on.
“Well, the captain is missing, hopefully will find him, says the Detective, The Sargent directs the back-up unit to search the surroundings of the Mansion, a few days later, while the remaining group was having a slow, leisurely breakfast, one of the officers’ appointed as back-up walks in and looks at Detective Jackson. “Sir, may I have a word with you?” Detective Jackson looks steelie cold at the officer on duty, “Yes, yes what do you want?” The officer on duty fumbles a bit and then struggles to find the strength to tell him of the horrible news, “Sir, I didn’t mean to disturb you, Detective Jackson, Sargent Muldoon, well some of the boys with back-up have found the remains of Captain Lamar Hassenpfeffer. They found his body up near the Willamette Stone; they found his body near the famous marker.” The room went silent, five members now murdered.
“What was the condition of the body?” said the Detective. “Well sir his arms and legs and head were cut off, almost as though it was done by a surgeon, clinical like. What was left of the body was just the torso, his famous tattoo of the battleship Oregon tattooed on his hairy chest. His body was found beyond recognition, following the trend with the other murders,” noted the Sargent.
Preparations were made, the remaining members were startled and worried. The Detective and the Sargent decided to take a spin up to the famous, “Willamette Stone.” The body was covered when they got there, in removing the sheet that covered the body they could see that the body had been clinically dismembered. They took notes and took photos, they could see where a car tires and the tracks was left in fresh mud, and it looked like the car took off to the East traveling down N.W. Skyline. They took notes.
Within an hour they made their way back to the Pittock Mansion. News reporters had gathered to cover the latest murder. The murder was in the Oregonian, the local newspaper. Detective Jackson and the Sargent discussed the clues, they had made notes, taken photographs, compiled detailed information, and gathered in their findings, everything was plotted out and noted, not one stone left to be unturned. The clues to the puzzle were taking shape. The Detective looked at the Sargent.
The next day another meeting was called, the last two remaining members gathered to make a toast to another fallen comrade later that night. A toast was made and after each gentleman drank the liquor they tossed their glasses into the massive fireplace. They sat at the table as Mrs. Hazel Queensbury served them dinner. They looked nervous. They said their good nights and retired to bed. The Detective and Sargent made their way to their assigned bedrooms, the back-up police officers took to their posts stationed around the Pittock. They tried to sleep peacefully through the night.
The next morning Detective Jackson and the Sargent gathered around a small table located in the dining room, sipping coffee, and eating Oatmeal. The Detective looks at the overweight Sargent, “Yes, I need to talk with Mrs. Hazel Queensbury, the note that she delivered a few nights ago to you Sargent Muldoon at the dinner table has me puzzled. I’d like to know when she was given the note.” He called for Mrs. Hazel Queensbury. “You don’t suspect that Mrs. Hazel Queensbury committed the murders, do you?”, said the Sargent as he looked puzzled at Detective Jackson. “No, I don’t think that she committed the murders, but I do think that Mr. Anthony Walbash might have given her a clue as to who our killer or killers maybe!”
Mrs. Hazel Queensbury entered the kitchen and bowed to the gentleman. Detective Jackson looked at the frazzled caretaker, “Mrs. Hazel Queensbury, the night that you were given this note, did Mr. Anthony Walbash give you any other clue or indicate to you anything else that might be of a concern?” She thought to herself as the rain continued to pour outside, fog had rolled in and it engulfed the mansion, “Well sir Mr. Anthony Walbash had noted that he moonlighted in helping burry people up at Mt. Calvary Cemetery, he had done this for years.” She thought a moment, “He asked me if I believed in ghosts.” Detective Jackson made notes and looked at Sargent Muldoon, “Thank you Mrs. Hazel Queensbury you’ve been a big help.” He looked at the Sargent, “Muldoon, grab your coat and hat, I want to go up to Mt. Calvary and check on the gravesite of Mr. Anthony Walbash. I have a hunch.” The two men went outside and climbed into Detective Jacksons Red Brick ’50 Buick and headed up N.W. Burnside to the gravesite of the former groundskeeper of the Pittock Mansion. Sargent Muldoon looked at Detective Jackson as they headed up the hill, “What do you think?” The Detective kept his eye on the road and noted, “Well Sargent, I find it interesting that Mr. Anthony Walbash noted to Mrs. Hazel Queensbury that he had mentioned and asked her, in her believing in ghosts. Where do you usually find ghosts Sargent? Maybe in a graveyard?” They soon made their way to the gravesite.
They arrived at the cemetery and drove around a few curves until they reached the gravesite of the poor groundskeeper. The Detective and Sargent spent a good hour digging up the grave, within an hour or so they reached the coffin. The Sargent stood back as Detective Jackson opened the large coffin. To know body’s surprise, when he opened the fresh berried coffin, no body was found to be inside of the coffin.
“Exactly what I suspected Sargent, the body is gone, this confirms what I believed, that none of the bodies with, “The Good Fellows Club” that were supposedly murdered and buried will be in their coffins, that the murderer or murderers has substituted the real supposed bodies, that these bodies that we have found were not the bodies of the murdered members at all, that these murders have been a fake, a fraud, that these bodies that we’ve found were actually the bodies of people that have recently died in the last few months, that whoever did this used the dead bodies in making it look that the noted members of, “The Good Fellows Club,” had been murdered.” Sargent Scottie “Hammer” Muldoon had a look of shock on his face. “Quick, Muldoon, let’s head back to the Pittock, I believe we might have another murder on our hands!” They raced back to the Pittock and drive up just in time to notice the backup police officers are huddled in the front of the entry of the Pittock Mansion.
“Detective Jackson, Sargent Muldoon, we have some unfortunate news, says one of the officers on duty.” The Detective and Sargent look at the officer, “Obviously someone else has been murdered, who is it?” asked the Detective. “Well sir, it’s, well it’s Sir Jubba “Lockjaw”, we found the remains of his body at Washington Park, floating in the revisor, his body was found beyond recognition, it looks as though his body went through the water turbines that power the revisor, looks like he may have been pushed. His body was ripped to shreds.”
Sargent Scottie “Hammer” Muldoon and the Detective make notes and decide to head over to the revisor in Washington Park. When they arrive, they find the mutilated body floating in the water, almost stripped beyond recognition. The Detective and Sargent make notes and soon return to the Pittock Mansion.
As they arrive, and go inside to the study, Mr. Eric is found handcuffed and surrounded by the officers assigned to watch guard at the famous mansion. “I knew that Mr. Ladd was guilty of these murders! He committed these murders! He wanted the insurance money, he’s the one that committed these brutal, brutal crimes,” yelled Sargent Muldoon. They glared at the frightened man. Sargent Scottie is assigned to watching over Mr. Ladd as Detective Jackson discussed the goings on with the backup in charge, while the Sargent watches over the frazzled suspect in the study.
The Sargent looks at Mr. Ladd, “So what do you have to say for yourself? You killed these men in trying to receive the insurance money it’s all quite clear!” exclaims the Sargent. Mr. Eric buries his hands in his face, “Why Detective Jackson, Sargent Scottie “Hammer” Muldoon, I could never commit these crimes!” exclaimed Mr. Eri.
The detective calls in Mrs. Hazel Queensbury once again. “As you received the envelope from Mr. Anthony Walbash and delivered it to Sargent Muldoon that night did anyone else know of the envelope?’ asked the Detective. She looked at the Detective, “No, no I didn’t know of anyone, I had no idea as to who may have seen me that night or what the envelope contained.” The Detective made a few notes. “Why it’s obvious that whoever killed these men suspected or knew about the envelope.” He made a few more notes in his small pad. “I believe that Mr. Anthony Walbash indeed had seen a ghost, or should I say, saw one of the murdered victims that was supposed to be dead one night, that he saw this person and wanted the Sargent to know about his findings. That’s when he was murdered!” The Sargent and the officers in charge are startled by the findings. Mr. Eric “Sedgewick” Ladd was dumbfounded.
Shortly Detective Jackson goes into the large library room located to the east of the study, he starts to look around for clues, the good Sargent is left back in the study in charge of watching over Mr. Eric “Sedgewick” Ladd. “So, Mr. Eric you killed these men for the insurance money, it’s quite obvious.” Mr. Eric sadly looks at the Sargent, “Why I couldn’t kill these men, I don’t have the stomach to do anything like that,” exclaims the poor man. “Why, it’s quite obvious that you committed these murders, something that any murderer would say with denial,” says the Sargent. Mr. Eric bows his head down and twittles his thumbs nervously.
The Sargent reaches for his smoking pipe, reaches around inside of his jacket, and can’t find any smoking tobacco. “Say Mr. Eric, do you possibly have any smoking tobacco?” The poor handcuffed man looks at the Sargent, as the Sargent ruffles through his coat. “Why heavens no I’d never touch the stuff.” He points over to one of the glass containers that Captain Lamar Hassenpfeffer had, he used it to store his tobacco and left it in the study. “There might be some tobacco in that container belonging to the captain.” The Sargent goes over to one of the desks nearby that has books and paperwork stacked upon it. He reaches for a glass container that once held the captain’s tobacco.
Undenounced to them a sinister figure is hidden behind a curtain, watching, and looking into the study as the two men discuss the captain’s tobacco. The hidden figure was hiding behind a curtain that led to a door leading into the study. The figure slips away into the library, hidden as Detective Jackson looks for clues around the massive, decorative fireplace. The Detective measurers things out in the library, paces off steps and mumbles a few things, Suddenly Muldoon screams, “Jackson! Detective Jackson!” As he runs into the study, the Detective was worried in hearing the pathetic screams from the Sargent as he ran into the study.
When the good Detective gets to the study, there is Mr. Ladd sitting in a large chair handcuffed. “Where is the Sargent, what have you done with him?” cries Jackson. “Why, why Detective Jackson I, well I don’t know what happened to the Sargent! I was talking to him, discussing the recent happenings, discussing the latest murder. I had pointed out the empty tobacco jar belonging to the captain. Once he saw the empty container he ran through the study and made his way towards the library, at least that’s what I thought! He wanted to tell you of his findings, he wanted to discuss the empty tobacco jar with you, I haven’t seen him since!”
Detective Jackson runs back into the library and searches for clues, he goes up to the massive fireplace and feels around, the backup officers in charge watch in wonder as Mr. Eric and the backup enter the room to see the goings on.
“Why Detective Jackson, what, what are you doing?”, says Mr. Eric. The Detective searches about, feeling around for anything remotely possible in unlocking what the detective believes could be a secret, well-hidden underground passage, or tunnel. “Why Mr. Eric, I believe that there is a secret underground passage located in this room, that Sargent Muldoon is in serious trouble, that possibly he’s been abducted and that his life could be in serious danger! We have no time to lose!”
He paces steps across the room, “38’ wide by 30’ deep is this size of the room,” says the Detective. “We have no time to lose!” He starts to pull on some of the ironwork on the mantel of the huge fireplace. Pulling and twisting anything remotely tied to opening the secret tunnel. Reaching for anything that could possibly open a door. The famous Detective frantically feels around the massive mantel and suddenly, per chance pulls on the plume handle of the fireplace, slowly one of the cement walls to the fireplace moves and the Detective opens it. “Why, why Detective, this must be the old smugglers tunnel that leads down to the one of the rooms in the servants’ quarters, leading out to the back driveway that goes down to N.W. Portland!”, cries Mr. Eric “Sedgewick” Ladd.
Detective Jackson pulls a flashlight out of his coat and instructs the officers in charge to be careful as they walk slowly down the wet, mangy, dark tunnel, within a few moments a dim light can be seen in one of the rooms leading to the service quarters. They slowly walk down the dark, musty tunnel, walking and stepping slowly along old wood stairs that leads the men to a door leading them to a room. They hide behind the door as they slowly pier inside.
There standing in the servants’ quarters are all the members of “The Good Fellows Club,” everyone who had thought to have been murdered. Mr. Eric Ladd let’s out a gasp. Sargent Scottie “Hammer” Muldoon is tied up and gagged, sitting in the corner. Detective Jackson pulls out his revolver and slowly makes his way into the room, the others follow his lead. “Hands up! You’re all under arrest!” exclaims Detective Jackson. The men are startled, Mr. Eric enters the room and can’t believe his eyes. “Why, why, you men are all alive! Why, I thought you were my friends!” The Detective looks at Mr. Ladd and instructs the officers on duty to arrest all of the men. As they put the handcuffs on, Sir Jubba “Lockjaw” looks at Captain Lamar Hassenpfeffer and exclaims, “Why its your fault you fool! You and your tobacco! If you hadn’t left that container empty none of this would have happened! You and your stupid idea with the rose pedals thinking it would fool the detective!” They tussle, suddenly and without warning the captain pulls out a revolver, Detective Jackson pulls out his revolver and shoots the hand of the captain, knocking the gun out of the captain’s hand.
“Check his revolver Sargent, I believe that one shot has been fired from that pistol, the bullet that killed Mr. Anthony Walbash!”
“Why you fools!” yells the captain. As they untie Sargent Muldoon, he looks at the Detective and explains, “They were going to kill me, luckily that you got here when you did, they have a getaway car parked down on the backroad, they were going to kill me and take off in the car waiting out back and take the insurance money!”
Some of the backup officers are directed to the backroad and surprise and arrest the driver of the car. Shortly police squad cars arrive and whisk the six guilty men down to police headquarters to be charged with taking the insurance money, and booked for the murder of Mr. Anthony, they’re booked and charged. They find money belts stuffed with the cash on the men. Mr. Eric Ladd is set free.
The Detective looks at Mr. Ladd, these men had a plan, they were going to fake the murders, collect the money and leave you to be the fall guy or the dupe.”
The next day as Mr. Eric, Sargent Muldoon and Detective Jackson are found in the offices of the famous detective. Mrs. “Gabby” Farnsworth is included in the meeting, sitting on the detective’s desk, flashing her pretty legs.
“So, Detective Jackson, in summarizing this case there are a few things I’m not clear on,” said the Sargent. “What about the funerals and the corpses, what about the dead bodies?” Detective Jackson looks at the Sargent, “Simple Sargent, as local folks in this community died, these men noted the deaths, gathered up the corpses and prepausally dug up the graves, they took the fresh corpses and substituted the dead bodies of the supposed murdered members with their corpses. They destroyed the bodies beyond recognition with each death.” The Sargent and the police on staff were amazed. The Sargent looked at Detective Jackson. “Why did they kill Mr. Anthony Walbash?” The Detective slowly looks at him and says, “Simple, Mr. Anthony Walbash had been digging up the bodies for, “The Good Fellow Club,” he was in on the murders and got paid in helping them. He had been taking the corpses’ and would help the men in using the dead corpses and making it look like they had been murdered. Maybe he felt guilty and that’s why he wrote the letter.” The men could hardly believe the words that the Detective had told them.
Detective Jackson looks at the group gathered in the office. “Mr. Eric here helped me with the clue in noting the captain’s tobacco jar being empty, noting that the good Sargent here had run into the library to let me know of his findings and that’s when they abducted Sargent Scottie “Hammer” Muldoon and whisked him down the secret tunnel.”
“So, Detective Jackson, what about the tattoo on the corpse of Captain Lamar Hassenpfeffer?” said Mrs. “Gabby” Farnsworth. The Detective winked and looked at the young secretary, “Simple, the captain was astute in printing with tattoos, he could easily ink a fake on the dead cadaver. It was fresh, the tattoo had been made within a day, it was another clue that came my way.”
As I wrote a reward check out to the Detective, Detective Jackson declined the reward, “That reward money should go to Mr. Eric, why he was the one that pointed out the empty tabaco jar in the study.” He smiled and said, “Why if it hadn’t been for Mr. Eric, Sargent Scottie “Hammer” Muldoon here may have not been
discovered and rescued.”
They all smiled and laughed as they wrapped up this mysterious case.
Sir Eric would go on to pick new members for his illustrious, “The Good Fellows Club,” he would go on to move the Kamm House and build his famous “Ladd Colony.”