* * *
Miss Porter walked back to the Pleasure Palace and used smelling salts from the first aid kit to wake their burglar. The man shook his head.
â€œI told you not to move,â€ Miss Porter said.
â€œI think we can agree you made the wrong move there, huh?â€ Capâ€™n Jack said.
The man looked up at the two.
â€œWhoâ€™s this?â€ he said. â€œThis your girlfriend?â€
â€œThis is the police,â€ Capâ€™n Scott said. â€œTold you one would be here.â€
â€œA lady cop?â€ the man said in disbelief.
â€œWell, Iâ€™m a pretty good shot for a lady cop, donâ€™t you think?â€ Miss Porter said.
â€œWhereâ€™s your badge, lady cop?â€ the man said.
â€œRight here, bucko!â€ she said, brandishing her revolver.
â€œPolice,â€ he said, blowing air out of his mouth. â€œPolice. Police.â€
â€œWhere are your friends?â€ Capâ€™n Scott said. â€œAt least mine are here.â€
â€œTheyâ€™re around,â€ the prisoner said.
He moved slightly and grimaced, then looked down at his leg.
â€œYour lady friendâ€™s creepy,â€ he finally said. â€œWhat were you aiming for, lady friend?â€
â€œNothing you need,â€ she replied.
â€œOh, sheâ€™s clever too,â€ the man said. â€œWhatâ€™s your name, honey?â€
â€œJust ask him your questions, why donâ€™t you?â€ she said to Capâ€™n Scott. â€œDo you have a broom here?â€
â€œI can clean up later,â€ Capâ€™n Scott said. â€œProbably better not to mess it up in case the cops do come.â€
â€œTalk to him,â€ she said, pointing at the prisoner.
â€œSo, whatâ€™s your name, guy?â€ Capâ€™n Scott asked the man.
â€œBob,â€ the man said.
â€œWell, Bob Smith, it looks like you are going to jail.â€
â€œWhatâ€™s your plan from there?â€
â€œWell, I figure Iâ€™ll sell some cigarettes, get a girlfriend â€¦â€
â€œLittle fellow like you, I donâ€™t think youâ€™re going to get one.â€
â€œOh, Iâ€™m little, but Iâ€™m wiry.â€
â€œWell, theyâ€™re big and wiry, so â€¦ good luck.â€
â€œWeâ€™ll see. Weâ€™ll see what happens.â€
â€œWhat are you getting from this? What are you getting from helping them? Have you seen what they do?â€
â€œYou canâ€™t even imagine what Iâ€™m getting.â€
â€œIâ€™ve seen it.â€
â€œWhat they tell you? Eternal life?â€ Miss Porter said.
â€œWho wants eternal life?â€ Bob Smith said. He looked at Capâ€™n Scott. â€œIâ€™m getting all kinds of good stuff. It is really good. Maybe you want to switch sides.â€
â€œLast time someone switched sides, he ended up with his brain in a can,â€ Miss Porter said.
â€œThatâ€™s why I donâ€™t want to have to switch sides,â€ Bob Smith said. â€œI donâ€™t want my brain in a can.â€
â€œNo, he switched sides,â€ she said.
â€œBrain in a can? Thatâ€™s crazy talk!â€ Bob Smith suddenly said. â€œThis a crazy lady you got there with you?â€
â€œWell, you just agreed with it! Sounds like you knew what you were talking about there, bucko!â€
â€œSo you havenâ€™t seen what they do,â€ Capâ€™n Scott said.
â€œI know,â€ Bob Smith said. â€œI know.â€
â€œI bet you do,â€ Capâ€™n Scott said.
â€œBut see, what you donâ€™t know is that working against them is bad.â€
â€œThatâ€™s the same stuff the last group said.â€
â€œNow, theyâ€™re all dead.â€
â€œLook, all I know is that they technology that makes ours look like weâ€™re beating rocks together, okay? This is a nice boat youâ€™ve got here. This boat is brand new.â€
â€œItâ€™s an all right boat. Itâ€™s a little bloody.â€
â€œThis is like a stick â€¦ yeah. Thatâ€™s her fault. This is a like a stick that youâ€™re trying to float on the water.â€
â€œYouâ€™re the one leaking,â€ Miss Porter said.
â€œSome of the things that theyâ€™re going to be able help those of us who help them when it all goes to hell â€¦â€ Bob Smith went on.
â€œWell, hereâ€™s what I know,â€ Capâ€™n Scott said.
â€œOkay,â€ Bob Smith said.
â€œIn the end, theyâ€™re not going to help us,â€ Capâ€™n Scott said. â€œIâ€™ve seen what they do to their friends. And, this gun has a notch in it. And Iâ€™ll put another one in it if they come for me again.â€
â€œA notch? What are you talking about?â€
â€œIâ€™m saying one of them isnâ€™t flying anymore.â€
â€œYeah, he killed it dead,â€ Miss Porter said.
â€œYeah, uh-huh,â€ Bob Smith said, obviously not believing the man.
â€œIt fell into theâˆ’â€ she went on.
â€œNow whoâ€™s telling tall tales?â€ Bob Smith said.
â€œHave you been to their cave on the mountain?â€ she asked.
â€œNo,â€ he replied.
â€œWell, if you want to go pay your respects â€¦â€
â€œDo you know how widespread they are? What they control?â€
â€œProbably outer space.â€
â€œThen why are they in hiding?â€ Capâ€™n Scott said.
â€œEverywhere,â€ Bob Smith said.
â€œSounds like theyâ€™re just big talkers with a couple neat guns,â€ Capâ€™n Scott went on.
â€œMaybe,â€ Bob Smith replied. â€œMaybe they donâ€™t care enough about us to destroy us. Maybe itâ€™s less troubleâˆ’â€
â€œYou sound pretty desperate to me,â€ Miss Porter said.
â€œâˆ’to just go around and do their businessâˆ’â€ Bob Smith said, ignoring her.
â€œYou think?â€ Capâ€™n Scott said.
â€œâˆ’and weâ€™re not enough of a threat to even matter,â€ Bob Smith continued. â€œDo you kill every anthill you find if it doesnâ€™t have anything to do with where you live? You live on a boat! You go and smash the anthills?â€
â€œI mean, you were over here, checking out the anthill,â€ Miss Porter said.
â€œYeah,â€ Bob Smith replied. â€œThey keep an eye on their enemies.â€
â€œPoking it with a stick,â€ she went on.
â€œI didnâ€™t poke,â€ he replied.
â€œI guess weâ€™re pretty big anthills,â€ Capâ€™n Scott said.
â€œI was just looking closely,â€ Bob Smith said.
Miss Porter crossed to the prisoner and leaned over him. She put her knee on his injury and he groaned.
â€œThis pain that youâ€™re feeling?â€ she said. â€œItâ€™s nothing compared to what theyâ€™re going to put you through.â€
â€œWhoa! Whoa!â€ Capâ€™n Scott said.
â€œMake it stop then!â€ Bob Smith said.
She leaned in and he yelled.
â€œJesus Christ, lady!â€ he said.
â€œYou really want to rethink your life,â€ she said.
â€œWhatâ€™d you shoot me with, a cannon?â€ he groaned.
She took out her little snub nosed revolver.
â€œNo, this little thing, right here,â€ she said with a smile.
â€œSee, that puts you down,â€ Capâ€™n Scott said.
â€œWhatâ€™d you do, break the bone?â€ Bob Smith cried out. â€œIs the bullet still in there?â€
â€œNo, itâ€™s gone,â€ she said. â€œIâ€™m a doctor.â€
â€œDid you â€¦ youâ€™re a doctor?â€ he said. â€œDid you do surgery on me while I was out? God, it hurts!â€
â€œThat gun put you down,â€ Capâ€™n Scott said. He held up his .45 revolver. â€œThis gun puts them down. But hereâ€™s what Iâ€™m thinking: if theyâ€™re that powerful, if weâ€™re helpless against them, why lie to me?â€
â€œI havenâ€™t,â€ Bob Smith said.
â€œOkay, where do you get your information?â€
â€œOh! See, now, Iâ€™m not going to give you stuff thatâ€™s going to p*** them off at me. I havenâ€™t lied to you about what they can do.â€
â€œWhether or not you p*** them off, youâ€™re going to end up dead,â€ Miss Porter said.
â€œWe all are, honey,â€ he replied.
â€œYeah, well, see, with them, death isnâ€™t the end or the worst part of it,â€ she said.
â€œNo, itâ€™s not. People never listen to me and then always end up dead or worse.â€
Capâ€™n Scott heard a car engine nearby. They waited and about a minute later, two uniformed police officers came down the street to the dock and split up, one heading down the pavement towards Capâ€™n Scottâ€™s dock and the other heading along the shore in the opposite direction. The officer soon saw them on the back of the boat and headed towards them.
â€œHey, go distract them,â€ Capâ€™n Scott said to Miss Porter. â€œJust stall â€˜em for a couple minutes.â€
â€œHow?â€ she replied.
â€œNothing weird. Nothing weird, just go talk to them. Have a conversation.â€
â€œAre you going to kill him?â€
â€œNo. I just want a few more minutes until our guy gets here.â€
She left the boat and walked up to the police officer.
â€œExcuse me, maâ€™am,â€ he said to her as she approached. â€œWe had a report of a gunshot. Know anything about that?â€
He looked at Capâ€™n Jack as he spoke.
â€œIs Officer Bridges with you?â€ she asked.
â€œOfficer Bridges, no,â€ the policeman said. â€œOfficer Bridges is not here. We got a call from a concerned citizen about a gunshot in this area. Do you know anything about it?â€
â€œIâ€™m sorry,â€ she said. â€œYes. Iâ€™m sorry; Iâ€™m a little shaken up.â€
â€œThatâ€™s all right,â€ he said.
â€œI know Officer Bridges and â€¦â€ her voice started to crack. â€œâ€¦ and he, but â€¦â€
She broke down crying as the officer tried to comfort her. She apologized to him again and said something through the tears that was unrecognizable. He called to the other officer, who headed their way.
* * *
â€œWhat do you think?â€ Capâ€™n Scott said to Bob Smith. â€œYou recognize them?â€
â€œI canâ€™t see anything,â€ Bob Smith said. â€œIâ€™m in the bottom of your boat. And hog tied.â€
â€œIâ€™ll probably let you stay there. But what do you think? Do you have friends on the way?â€
â€œI figure just in case, Iâ€™ll wait â€˜til the cops I know get here.â€
â€œOh. See, youâ€™re shrewd. You could go far.â€
â€œYeah, not very far, because they donâ€™t have much use for us. You havenâ€™t noticed that yet? Why do you think they need us?â€
â€œYeah, they always do. It doesnâ€™t go so well for â€˜em.â€
â€œI donâ€™t know. I donâ€™t know. They can take you to other worlds.â€
â€œYeah, they can. Itâ€™s not nice, though.â€
â€œI donâ€™t know.â€
* * *
Officer Jordan reached Miss Porter and the first police officer, still trying to calm her down, motioned for him towards Capâ€™n Scott. Then Miss Porter pointed to the boat. The first officer escorted her back. When Officer Jordan saw the hogtied man, he put his hand on his holster.
â€œUh â€¦ whatâ€™s going on here, sir?â€ he asked.
â€œOfficer, thank goodness youâ€™re here,â€ Capâ€™n Scott said. â€œThis man broke into my ship and was stealing stuff. When I came to confront him, he assaulted me. Fortunately, my doctor friend was able to stop him. Weâ€™ve got him tied up. Heâ€™s been injured and sheâ€™s definitely been shaken by the incident.â€
The first police officer took Miss Porter back to the street, separating her from Capâ€™n Scott, while Officer Jordan had Capâ€™n Scott get the lights on the boat. Both officers took separate statements from the two and told them theyâ€™d probably have to come down to the station. When the man tied up on the floor protested loudly that the two were trying to kidnap him, Officer Jordan told him to shut up and kicked him. Capâ€™n Scott said he was sure people had been watching him for a long time and that he caught the man in his boat, stealing stuff, and then he assaulted him.
About five minutes later, they heard a police siren approaching. It stopped nearby and a minute or two after that, Officer Bridges and Officer McIntyre arrived on the scene on foot.
Officer Jordan told them that they wanted to take them down to the police station when they processed the prisoner. Officer Bridges recognized Officer Smith as the first policeman who had talked to the pair. The police told Capâ€™n Scott that they were going to impound his boat until they could pry the bullet out of the deck, where it had lodged after passing through the wooden wall of the outer deckhouse. They were also going to confiscate Miss Porterâ€™s revolver for evidence.
Once they got down to the station, they were questioned again. Capâ€™n Scott actually told police that he thought a cult was watching him. When asked why a religious cult would be after him, he related everything that had happened on Stratton Mountain. They told the man they wanted him to talk to a psychiatrist and that he would have to undergo a psychiatric evaluation, just to ensure he was not dangerous to himself or others around him. After a short time, they told him that they had contacted Butler Hospital and he would be evaluated there over the weekend.
Miss Porter was told that Capâ€™n Scott would be held until he could undergo a psychiatric exam as he thought there was some kind of crazy, religious cult after him.
â€œOh, I thought this was over after we took him to the home,â€ she said.
She asked to see him and the police officer said she could. She was led to another interrogation room and allowed to talk to Capâ€™n Scott.
â€œSo â€¦ they think youâ€™re kind of crazy,â€ she said.
â€œThey might be right!â€ Capâ€™n Scott said. â€œThis stuffâ€™s pretty weird.â€
â€œSo you told them about Stratton Mountain?â€
â€œWas it a secret?â€
â€œI mean, I just donâ€™t go parading around that Iâ€™ve seen things from other worlds. Itâ€™s not normal.â€
â€œI donâ€™t think Iâ€™m â€˜parading,â€™ but Iâ€™ll tell the truth to an officer of the law.â€
â€œAll right. Are you trying to get committed? Because I can put you up if you wanted to do the plan that we had.â€
â€œSee, that was kind of what I was thinking. If could just check myself in â€¦ thatâ€™d be an in.â€
â€œI donâ€™t know.â€
â€œHopefully the police will keep my boat in impound while itâ€™s evidence, so it would be safe, right? So, this is the time that I can leave my boat. This is the time that I can help you.â€
â€œI gotta get back to the boat when itâ€™s done.â€
â€œWhat is with you and this boat?â€
â€œIâ€™m not a rich man. This is my one source of livelihood. It literally is my life. Itâ€™s also my house.â€
â€œDo you have the money to commit yourself?â€
â€œI donâ€™t know how expensive this place is but Iâ€™m going to go with probably not. Do you?â€
She told him that she followed the Greek man and knew where he lived. She wondered what to do about him. Capâ€™n Scott suggested they talk to Bridges about that man.
* * *
Officer Bridges was one of the two police officers that escorted the prisoner first to Providence Medical Hospital, where he was examined and his dressing changed, then back to the police station where he was interrogated. It was not a pleasant interrogation but, from what Officer Bridges understood, the man claimed that he had been watching the boat for a few days, saw the owner leave, and broke in, hoping to get something to sell for cash. The interrogating officer believed what the burglar said and saw the entire thing as cut and dried. They had found a handgun on the man and were checking the prints against the perpetratorâ€™s. The man claimed he did not have a gun but that was doubtful.
The only name they could get from the man was Bob Smith and they could not get him to reveal an address, though the interrogation was continuing. It did not sound pleasant. He was getting a beating with a rubber hose. Officer Bridges also told his fellow officers that he had been helping Capâ€™n Scott out in watching his boat.
Officer Bridges was called into one of the interrogation rooms to talk to Miss Porter and Capâ€™n Scott. They told him about the suspicious Greek man and asked what to do about that. He got a description of the man and told her they would follow up on it.
* * *
On Saturday, November 21, 1925, Officer Bridges and Officer McIntyre went to the flophouse in the South Elmwood neighborhood. The landlord in the place was willing to let them into a room where a man who fit the description Officer Bridges gave them lived. The landlord told them the manâ€™s name was Achilles Kostopoulos. However, the room was empty and appeared to have been hastily vacated. Officer Bridges guessed that the man had fled after his confederate had been arrested.
Under one of the beds, the officers found a small, curved, ornamental dagger. They wrapped it in a handkerchief to take back to the station as evidence. On return to the station, Officer Bridges learned that â€œBob Smithâ€ had finally given his real name as Mark Reynolds. His small house was searched but nothing was found there by police.
* * *
Capâ€™n Scott was released from Butler Hospital in Monday, November 23, 1925. He had passed the psychiatric evaluation given to him, though insisted the creatures he had seen on Stratton Mountain existed. However, he was not deemed a danger to himself or others and was released. He had no place to live at that point, but managed to locate Miss Porter and she allowed him to stay on the couch at her apartment.
A short article appeared in Mondayâ€™s Providence Journal, buried on the back page. It noted that a joint raid was conducted by Greenwood Police and the Providence County Sheriffâ€™s Department on the squatters village near Stonecrest Hill northwest of the town. A dozen officers investigated the shooting at the camp that had taken place on Wednesday. Police also had a warrant to search for moonshine whiskey and a man by the name of Pleasant Marston was placed under arrest for assault and battery until the grand jury could meet in December to determine if an indictment would be brought against him. No moonshine was found in the squattersâ€™ camp, nor were any stills. Marston would be held pending the possible indictment as he was a vagrant and thought a flight risk.
Miss Porter took some time on Monday to purchase another .32 snub nosed revolver. She arranged to meet for lunch with Officer Bridges and Capâ€™n Scott that day as well. She noted that Capâ€™n Scott was thinking about being Doctor Huxtable.
â€œThose are some tough shoes to fill,â€ Officer Bridges said.
â€œHm. Maybe not then,â€ Capâ€™n Scott said. â€œIs that what you need? What do we need to do here?â€
Miss Porter suggested he change his crazy story from monsters to something else as the group in the asylum might have been working with the creatures on Stratton Mountain. He noted that it was a little late to change his story as it was on the police record. When she said that the doctor wouldnâ€™t have access to police records, he replied that the doctor would probably try to get hold of them. They realized that the doctors at the asylum wouldnâ€™t ask for them if they didnâ€™t know about them. She was still uncomfortable with him using the same story as she feared that the people could be connected.
â€œNot necessarily, but it could be,â€ she said.
She told him not to tell anyone that she was a doctor as people in Providence knew her as a librarian. She suggested that he tell them he was President Roosevelt or someone that he knew a lot about from history. She said she would claim her cousin had a psychotic break and now he thought he was someone else but she realized that psychiatrists were able to see through lies in many cases. Capâ€™n Scott suggested that they stick with the truth. He said that he could tell them he was going through some rough times and needed to get grounded once again. Heâ€™d say he wanted to check himself in for a month to talk to the therapists to try to get into a better mental place. She suggested that he could use the recent attack as part of the story as well. He said he didnâ€™t have to make up anything at all.
â€œI donâ€™t understand why an asylum would accept you,â€ she said.
â€œBecause Iâ€™m checking myself in,â€ he said. â€œAnd I have the money to pay for it, via you.â€
â€œI think it would best if you were there a couple of days to lull them into a false sense of security,â€ she said.
They discussed his making a distraction so that Miss Porter and Officer Bridges could get in. Then they talked for some time about a plan. Miss Porter suggested that Capâ€™n Scott get to the front security section on the second floor to try to release the boy from one of the cells. She described the boy to the man, but noted that if he couldnâ€™t get to him, he couldnâ€™t. She also wondered if the coal chute was locked. Capâ€™n Scott asked if sheâ€™d considered applying for a job there, but she noted she was a librarian.
Capâ€™n Scott told them to tell him everything they knew and what they wanted him to find out and then heâ€™d check in and they should come visit him in a week. They told him that they needed to find out what was in Freyganâ€™s lab and his personal quarters. Miss Porter pointed out that there were bars on the windows as well and that they had to figure out if the coal chute was a way they could get in or out. Getting keys would also help. Officer Bridges also noted that if the plan didnâ€™t work, they could shoot off some guns in the place and wait for the police to arrive.
They talked about fake identification as well. Capâ€™n Scott wanted at least two, one for the asylum and one for after. Officer Bridges noted that he knew a forger named Murray Stein whom he could probably â€œconvinceâ€ to make some fake identification for both of them if they wanted. They stopped by the police station long enough for Bridges to get his address.
Murray Stein lived in the West End neighborhood in a small apartment building. Officer Bridges knocked on the second floor apartment and the door was opened a moment later by a small man with short, curly hair.
â€œYes, can I help â€¦â€ Stein said.
He saw Officer Bridges and pushed the door closed but Officer Bridges put his foot in the door.
â€œHey, Stein,â€ Officer Bridges said.
â€œIâ€™m clean!â€ Stein said. â€œYou know that I have done nothing! Iâ€™ve gotten a job and everything!â€
Officer Bridges pushed the door open and walked into the tiny, one-room apartment.
â€œActually, Iâ€™ve got some people that want you to do that other thing,â€ he said.
â€œNo, no!â€ Stein said. â€œYouâ€™re just trying to get me arrested again, Bridges. Officer Bridges. Sir.â€
â€œWell, not today,â€ Officer Bridges said. â€œTodayâ€™s special.â€
â€œWell, Iâ€™m not doinâ€™ that anymore,â€ Stein said. â€œI donâ€™t do any of that anymore. None of it. Never. Not ever, ever ever.â€
Officer Bridges and Capâ€™n Scott noticed a drafting table in one corner. There was ink, various kinds of paper, and numerous drafting and writing tools that could be used for forgery. Stein moved to block it from sight.
â€œI got a nice job in a factory,â€ Stein went on. â€œI work 10 hours a day, six days a week.â€
â€œDoes it involve that?â€ Officer Bridges said, pointing at the drafting table.
â€œThatâ€™s a â€¦ hobby,â€ Stein said. â€œIâ€™m doing hobbies now â€¦ to keep â€¦ you know â€¦ so that I wonâ€™t be tempted like that psychiatrist said. I hobby so that I can actuallyâˆ’â€
â€œWhatâ€™s your hobby?â€ Capâ€™n Scott asked.
â€œCalligraphy!â€ Stein said.
â€œCalligraphy?â€ Capâ€™n Scott said. â€œThatâ€™s sounds pretty useful for us.â€
â€œHoney, look, do I look like a police officer?â€ Miss Porter said. â€œIâ€™m not working with them. Itâ€™s just Iâ€™ve had my life put at risk and we canâ€™t â€¦ people know my name and we need a safe ID for me and paperwork.â€
He softened a little bit.
â€œWell, I could possibly help you out, but, you know, if the police arenâ€™t gonna bust me for it,â€ Stein said, looking warily at Officer Bridges. â€œBut materials can be kind of expensive.â€
She glared at him.
â€œYou know â€¦ kind of expensive,â€ he said again. â€œFor the materials.â€
â€œYeah, and you can get arrested for it,â€ Officer Bridges said.
â€œNo, but I havenâ€™t broken the law!â€ Stein said. â€œI havenâ€™t broken the law, Officer Bridges. But I will be if, you know, if I give fake documents to this pretty lady here. Youâ€™re a very pretty lady, no offense.â€
â€œYou wonâ€™t get caught if itâ€™s discounted today,â€ Officer Bridges said to him.
Though it was very cold in the apartment, Stein was sweating.
â€œTheoretically, how much would the materials cost per ID?â€ Miss Porter asked.
â€œWell, you know, uh â€¦â€ Stein said. â€œAt a discount, at a policemanâ€™s discount â€¦ uh â€¦ how many IDs do you need?â€
â€œI just asked how many per,â€ she said.
â€œWell, how many do you need?â€ he said.
â€œDoes itâˆ’?â€ she said.
â€œYou need more than one for yourself?â€
â€œYou need two?â€
â€œYou need two separate, brand-new IDs?â€
â€œYeah, itâ€™s not like youâ€™re creating aâˆ’â€
â€œYeah, but itâ€™s got to look right and it takes a lotta time to create, you know, I learned, before I rehabilitated myself, to â€¦â€
â€œJust how much per ID?â€
â€œWell, I donâ€™t think that $50 each, and thatâ€™s with the discount, is asking too much. So that would be $100.â€
â€œWhy are you so twitchy?â€
â€œBecause thereâ€™s a police officer here, asking me to break the law, and I feel like this is kind of a setup.â€
â€œHis world has widened.â€
Officer Bridges walked to the door.
â€œI donâ€™t know what youâ€™re doing,â€ he said.
â€œHow long would it take to make one?â€ Miss Porter asked.
â€œWhat all do you need?â€ Stein asked. â€œYou need driverâ€™s license, you needâˆ’â€
â€œJust driverâ€™s license,â€ she said.
â€œJust driverâ€™s license?â€ he replied.
â€œProbably a day. Twenty-four hours, maybe?â€
â€œOkay, do his first.â€
â€œWait, heâ€™s got some too?â€
â€œHe needs two.â€
â€œSo you each need two.â€
â€œSo you need four.â€
â€œYes,â€ Capâ€™n Scott said.
â€œYou are very good at math,â€ Miss Porter said.
â€œSo â€¦ Iâ€™ll need to see the money first,â€ Stein said. â€œThe $200.â€
â€œI can show you the money,â€ she said.
â€œYeah, show me the money,â€ he said. â€œAnd Iâ€™ll need a little up front.â€
â€œHalf first,â€ she said.
â€œHalf?â€ Capâ€™n Scott said.
â€œHalfâ€™s fine,â€ Stein said.
â€œWhy donâ€™t we give him half for the first one,â€ Capâ€™n Scott said. â€œOnce he makes it, pay him for that one. Then we know we can trust him on the rest and he knows were good for it.â€
â€œOkay, so $25?â€ Stein said.
â€œRight now,â€ Capâ€™n Scott said.
â€œRight now,â€ Stein said. â€œAnd then thereâ€™s gonna be another 175 coming when all four are done.â€
They nodded at him.
â€œFair enough,â€ he said. â€œAnd youâ€™re not gonna tell Bridges? Iâ€™m not gonna â€¦ I am so gonna end up in jail.â€
â€œNone of us were even here,â€ Capâ€™n Scott said. â€œWe donâ€™t know who you are, man.â€
â€œOkay,â€ Stein said. â€œWhen are you coming back for it? You coming back tomorrow morning?â€
â€œYeah,â€ she said.
â€œLate morning,â€ Stein said. â€œIâ€™ll need the 25 then.â€
She pointed at Capâ€™n Scott. He looked shocked.
â€œItâ€™s your ID,â€ she said. â€œDo you want to pay him?â€
â€œDo you?â€ he replied.
â€œDo you not have any money?â€
â€œI donâ€™t want to get involved in any kind of family squabble,â€ Stein said.
â€œI need to pay for the repairs of the bullet hole on my ship, so â€¦â€ Capâ€™n Scott said.
â€œYou know I saved your damned life!â€ she said.
â€œI had that guy. Do you want my help or not.â€
â€œThis goes beyond my help. You know there are people who are trying to kill you. This is more than just â€˜Hey, Iâ€™m going to pay you for one thing.â€™ This is your thing. Get your ID and Iâ€™ll get your boarding.â€
â€œThis ID is for the asylum. This is your thing.â€
They looked at each other while Stein watched nervously.
â€œYouâ€™re really frustrating me,â€ she said.
â€œIâ€™m not a rich man,â€ Capâ€™n Scott said. â€œBut Iâ€™m trying to help you.â€
â€œIâ€™m not that rich,â€ she replied. â€œI was trying to save other peopleâ€™s lives by doing this asylum thing.â€
â€œWell, I donâ€™t know anybody that Iâ€™m helping in this,â€ Capâ€™n Scott replied. â€œI think it behooves you to put the funds up to get me in to your plan.â€
â€œYouâ€™re really going to do this?â€
â€œDid I not explain it?â€
She stared at him.
â€œYouâ€™re a putz, Mr. Scott,â€ she said.
â€œAt least Iâ€™m not a Hutz,â€ he replied.
â€œI didnâ€™t agree to be buying your IDs. It was never asked of me and I am frustrating that you are springing this on me now.â€
â€œThe way I see it, weâ€™re checking me into the asylum on your dime. Thatâ€™s going to include documents if we need them.â€
â€œYou said you were going to help us. I didnâ€™t ask you to pay me for shooting that guy.â€
â€œThatâ€™s good, because it didnâ€™t cost you anything. Iâ€™ll be happy to buy you a bullet.â€
â€œWe staked out your place for you. I think that at least covers us helping you.â€
â€œYou staked out my place for two days. Iâ€™m going into the asylum for a lot longer than that.â€
â€œYou need boarding anyway. Your boat is gone and thatâ€™s your house.â€
â€œItâ€™s true, but if I wasnâ€™t going to be in the asylum, Iâ€™d be getting the boat back. Once I get the boat back, I can be making money.â€
In the end, Miss Porter paid. Stein looked very uncomfortable but took the money and told her to come back the next day around noon.
â€œTreat your wife better,â€ he whispered to Capâ€™n Scott as they left.
They found Officer Bridges in a nasty little lobby. A big, fat, greasy man sat behind an enclosed counter with bars in the front, flies buzzing around him. He watched the man carefully.
* * *
On Tuesday, November 24, Miss Porter and Capâ€™n Scott returned for the first ID. The name on it was John Thompson. The driverâ€™s license looked very good.
â€œAha!â€ Miss Porter said to Stein, whipping out the money. â€œYouâ€™re under arrest!â€
Stein went pale and then turned to look for a place to run.
â€œI knew it!â€ he screamed. â€œI knew it!â€
â€œHereâ€™s the money,â€ she said.
â€œWait â€¦ are you a cop?â€ he asked.
â€œNo, Iâ€™m not a cop,â€ she said.
â€œAre you?â€ he asked Capâ€™n Scott.
The other man shook his head.
He finally took the money but looked very nervous about it.
Then she asked for an ID for Natalie Porter and for another woman. They agreed that she would pay for half for two more and she would come back in a couple of days for them. Capâ€™n Scott said he could start working on his as well. The name he wanted on that one was Chet Manly. Stein noted that he would make it Chester.
Miss Porter couldnâ€™t think of another name though Stein made many suggestions, including Stein.
â€œIt was a joke,â€ he said quickly. â€œIt was a joke.â€
â€œAh, I see what that is,â€ she replied. â€œYouâ€™re getting me back for that earlier.â€
â€œYeah, thatâ€™s okay, right?â€ he said.
He also suggested Murray and said he could spell it Murry. She like the name Bettie and he suggested Elizabeth Murry. She also noted that she was not paying for Capâ€™n Scottâ€™s other ID.
They left the man.
* * *
Miss Porter telephoned Holmes Sanitarium and found out that the cost of being committed at the place was $1,000 a month. Each month was to be paid in advance and, if a patient left early, the money would be prorated. She telephoned Officer Bridges and asked if he could contact Pendergast to foot the bill.
Officer Bridges telephoned the man. He told him they were sending a man in to investigate the asylum heâ€™d sent Manfred, though there was a good chance that most of the money would be returned.
â€œYou need a monthâ€™s pay for Holmes Sanitarium?â€ Pendergast asked.
Officer Bridges could hear the sounds of paper being flipped.
â€œWeâ€™re going to get most of that back,â€ Officer Bridges said.
â€œThatâ€™s a thousand dollars!â€ Pendergast said. â€œTo investigate this? Whatâ€™s wrong with the place? I checked it out! Itâ€™s the best one in the state.â€
â€œWell, we have reason to believe that some occult stuff might be going on there,â€ Officer Bridges said.
There was silence on the line. Then Pendergast sighed.
â€œAnd we donâ€™t want Manfred to get swallowed by this new thing,â€ Officer Bridges went on.
â€œAnd Iâ€™m supposed to get most of this money back?â€ Pendergast said. â€œYou said?â€
Pendergast sighed again.
â€œAll right, well tell me if you find anything,â€ he said. â€œIâ€™ll write you a check.â€
Officer Bridges stopped by his apartment and Pendergast wrote him a check for $1,000.
â€œThis is for Manfred, now,â€ the dilettante said. â€œI wrote â€˜For Manfredâ€™ in the memo.â€
Officer Bridges cashed the check and got the cash to Capâ€™n Scott.
* * *
That afternoon, Capâ€™n Scott took the train to Greenwood, R.I., and then walked across town to Holmes Sanitarium. He entered the place and talked to the homely receptionist, telling her he wanted to check in as heâ€™d gone through some things and felt the need for therapy. He paid the $1,000 and filled out the paperwork with the name John Thompson. He put down the address in Providence that Stein had put on the identification but left the contact and next-of-kin information blank.
The mealy-mouthed, unattractive woman took his paperwork and blew into a brass tube in the back.
â€œCheck-in,â€ she said in her thick, rural accent.
A few minutes later, an orderly with short dark hair arrived. The woman at the desk told him that Capâ€™n Scott was a self committal and that Dr. Freygan was rather busy right then, so Dr. Strong would have to handle it. The orderly took him down the hall and up the stairs to the ward. He opened the locked door that led to the ward and Capâ€™n Scott found himself in a hallway with several doors on either side. Each door had an eye slit and a food slot, as well as a piece of paper with a name on many of them.
The first door on the right past the door that closed off the ward had a brass plaque that read â€œLaundry.â€ The first door on the left had an old piece of paper on it that was yellowed with age and faded. The name upon it was Brian Timmons. The next door on the right had the name Janice Willowbe and the next one on that same side had the name Toby Smith upon it. Across from that was a cell with the name Manfred Donald upon it. The next room on the right had the name Emory Howard upon it and the last door on the right had the name Leslie Davenport while the last door on the left had no name. The orderly showed him to the next to last door on the left.
The walls and floor of the cell were padded and a cot was connected to the floor. Clean linens were on the bed. A window with bars on the outside stood in one wall. The room was cozy and a small vent was set in one wall near the floor. The orderly asked if there was anything he needed and told him heâ€™d return in a minute with a gown for the man.
â€œYeah, do they have any reading material?â€ Capâ€™n Scott asked.
The orderly said he could probably get the man some and asked what he was looking for. Capâ€™n Scott said heâ€™d take anything for now. The man said he would try to help him out.
â€œDid I see Manfred Donald over there?â€ Capâ€™n Scott asked.
â€œYes sir,â€ the orderly said. â€œHeâ€™s right here next door to you, sir.â€
â€œI knew him years ago,â€ Capâ€™n Scott said. â€œWould it be all right if I talked to him?â€
â€œHe doesnâ€™t talk, sir,â€ the orderly said.
â€œI just want to talk to him.â€
â€œAll right. Let me get your gown and your other items and Iâ€™ll be right back and you can talk to him.â€
The orderly closed and locked the door, returning in a few minutes with clothing for Capâ€™n Scott to change into. He changed and the orderly took his street clothes and said they would be stored for him. He said heâ€™d asked Miss Ballow about getting some books for him to read and then took him to Manfredâ€™s room. The other man was sitting on his cot, a little drool dripping from his mouth and a vacant look in his eyes.
â€œHow long do you want?â€ the orderly asked.
â€œJust a couple minutes,â€ Capâ€™n Scott said.
â€œAll right, Iâ€™ll be back in five minutes,â€ the orderly said.
He closed and locked the door to the room. Capâ€™n Scott tried to get Donald to respond to him but his eyes remained blank and he didnâ€™t respond to anything the man did. It was very disturbing. The orderly returned in a few minutes and escorted Capâ€™n Scott back to his room, locking him in. He returned about a half hour later with a small pile of books and magazines for him.
â€œIf you need anything, you just holler, sir,â€ the orderly told him.
â€œAll right,â€ Capâ€™n Scott said.
He asked the orderly if there were others places he was allowed to go or if he could go outside. The orderly told him he could go outside if he wanted. He noted there was a socializing room upstairs where he could talk to other patients. He said that most of the patients in Holmes Sanitarium were not self-committed so some of them had some problems.
â€œThereâ€™s a man across the hall here who thinks heâ€™s â€¦ not Napoleon, that other guy,â€ the orderly said, snapping his fingers. â€œWellington! Thinks heâ€™s Wellington. That general that Napoleon fought.â€
â€œHe made the right choice on that one,â€ Capâ€™n Scott said.
â€œGets mad if you call him Napoleon,â€ the orderly said.
He pointed in the direction of Leslie Davenportâ€™s cell.
â€œThe way he talks to people, sometimes they mistake him for Napoleon,â€ the orderly went on. â€œIt really upsets him. Donâ€™t call him Napoleon. It makes him very angry.â€
He told him that he would have times during the day where he could wander in those areas or outside. The doctors would see him twice a day and the orderly thought he remembered Miss Ballow saying that Dr. Strong was going to be seeing him.
â€œAll the patients that youâ€™ll be dealing with are relatively safe,â€ he said. â€œNone are violent on this hall.â€
He also noted that the man could have visitors anytime he wanted during the open hours. The rules said that he had to be locked in his room when he was not elsewhere.
The orderly looked tough but seemed normal enough to Capâ€™n Scott.
Later in the day, Dr. Strong came to his room. He was a middle-aged man with graying hair and a black mustache. He wore pince-nez glasses and carried a clipboard. He gave Capâ€™n Scott a basic psychological evaluation and questioned Capâ€™n Scott, whom he called Mr. Thompson, why he felt the need to be committed to the sanitarium. When Capâ€™n Scott was vague at first, Dr. Strong told him that the more detailed he could be, the more he could help the man.
â€œI know this might sound strange, but Iâ€™ve been having a lot of trouble trusting people,â€ Capâ€™n Scott said. â€œWould you might telling me about yourself instead?â€
Dr. Strong seemed amicable. He noted that he had worked for the sanitarium for about three years, ever since Dr. Freyganâ€™s workload got too heavy for him. He said that he lived in Greenwood and was 48 years old. He told Capâ€™n Scott he had been in the psychiatric profession for the last 20 years and noted that the sanitarium had a very good reputation and record for helping the mentally disabled. The sanitarium had seen a good release of people committed for various psychological difficulties. He said that he also specialized in psychological hypnosis, allowing him to regress his patients and sometimes recover memories via hypnosis when that seems helpful. He told Capâ€™n Scott that the orderly, Smith, said that he knew Manfred Donald and they had been working very diligently with Donald though there had been absolutely no response from the man.
â€œHeâ€™s completely cut himself off from the world,â€ Dr. Strong said. â€œWeâ€™re not sure why. If we knew why, it might help. Is that enough?â€
â€œItâ€™s a good start,â€ Capâ€™n Scott said.
â€œSo, youâ€™re having trust issues?â€
Dr. Strong tried to steer the conversation towards what Capâ€™n Scottâ€™s trust issues were and what those issues stemmed from, where the issues came from, and why he felt the need to commit himself to a sanitarium. Capâ€™n Scott glazed over the questions and asked questions about the asylum itself. While he continued to try to steer the conversation back to Capâ€™n Scottâ€™s trust issues, he was willing to tell the man a little bit about the sanitarium as well.
Later, another orderly took him upstairs to the recreation area where he met the patients that were on his hallway, or at least those who would talk to him. The man had dirty blonde hair, a rural accent, and seemed very short with him. He told Capâ€™n Scott to leave Janice Willowbe, a middle-aged woman, alone, as she had a terrible fear of people. He pointed out Toby Smith.
â€œHeâ€™s paranoid,â€ the orderly said. â€œYou can talk to him but donâ€™t get behind him.â€
He also pointed out Emory Howard, who was sitting on a bench, staring into space and not reacting to anyone around him.
â€œHe doesnâ€™t respond to nothinâ€™,â€ the orderly told him. â€œYou can talk to Leslie Davenport over there. Donâ€™t call him Napoleon. He gets angry.â€
Capâ€™n Scott found that most of the other patients were not much for conversation, but he was able to have a long and detailed chat with Davenport. The man continually called for his sword and his horse and constantly referred to Capâ€™n Scott as â€œMajor.â€ After a while, he started to demand that Capâ€™n Scott salute him whenever he saw him, telling him not to forget to salute. Capâ€™n Scott saluted the man and Davenport dressed him down for saluting him incorrectly when he made an American salute. Davenport taught him how to salute as a proper British soldier. He also lamented the fact that none of the people there were in uniform as they should be. He thought all of the other people around him were soldiers.
* * *
When Miss Porter and Officer Bridges next met, Miss Porter asked him if they should search Strongâ€™s and Freyganâ€™s houses. Officer Bridges didnâ€™t know about Strong, but thought searching Freyganâ€™s house would be a good idea. Then she remembered that Freygan lived on site at the sanitarium. She was able to find Dr. Strongâ€™s address in the directory, however. There was no listing for Freygan.
* * *
Capâ€™n Scott had soon met all of the orderlies at the sanitarium. Farley Blaine and Grange Greer were both surly and rural. However, Phillip Smith, who had first shown him to his room, and Gregory Burgess were much more friendly. Gregory Burgess was heavyset and overweight, as well as very quiet. Capâ€™n Scott also met Dr. Freygan briefly, though the Dutch doctor did not have to time talk to him for very long. He soon learned about the rest of the staff in the sanitarium as well. Bettina Marston acted as the cook and cleaning lady. She was older. He also learned of Bristol Knegin, the administrator of the sanitarium, an older man who also seemed somewhat rural. He spotted the groundskeeper but only through his window. He learned that the manâ€™s name was Standish Schlect.
He learned that Dr. Freygan lived in the sanitarium, though Dr. Strong had a home outside of the grounds. The two orderlies that he got along with had only been there for a few years while the other orderlies had been there before that. At one point he was taken to an examination room downstairs and Dr. Strong gave him a physical exam. He was also offered experimental therapy, hydrotherapy, or even electro-shock therapy if he wanted. However, Dr. Strong didnâ€™t think the man needed any of those things, though he did think that he had to open up to him.
Dr. Strong didnâ€™t know much about the orderlies that were at the facility before he was there. He did know that most of the staff lived on the grounds. Dr. Strong and the two orderlies that Capâ€™n Scott got along with were the exceptions. He also learned that Dr. Freygan was not around a lot because he was working on some projects that were taking up a lot of his time.
* * *
Officer Bridges was not happy to learn that his daughter, Rose, was still telling stories about her grandfather visiting. She told him that one night, which he later figured out was the same night that Miss Porter had shot the intruder on the boat, her grandfather took her to a â€œwonderful fairy placeâ€ with three moons.
Soon after that, he was able to purchase a well-trained one-year-old German Shepherd. He also paid to have the back yard of his house fenced in for the animal. The dog would go into an aggressive mode when told to â€œSic.â€ It cost him $10 from the farmer he talked to.
* * *
Miss Porter returned to Murray Stein, getting her identification for Natalie Porter on Wednesday. On Thursday, she picked up the identification for Elizabeth Murry. He said heâ€™d have Chester Manley reading on Friday but she noted that they would pick up that identification the following week. She said she didnâ€™t want it and wouldnâ€™t pay for it as it wasnâ€™t hers. He was disappointed with that and tried to give the woman a little advice on marriage.
â€œSometimes the wife has to be the one who carries the burden,â€ he said. â€œOf the load of money.â€
â€œAnd you would know this how?â€
â€œOh, Iâ€™ve been married twice.â€
â€œUh-huh. Seems that your advice worked out rather well for you.â€
â€œYeah, I learned a lot from my mistakes.â€
â€œYeah, well, heâ€™s not my husband. Thank goodness.â€
â€œHE is not my husband.â€
â€œWhat are you doing Friday night?â€
â€œI didnâ€™t say I wasnâ€™t married.â€
â€œI donâ€™t see a ring.â€
â€œSo, youâ€™re saying that I have to wear a ring?â€
â€œNo, Iâ€™m asking if you want to go out Friday night.â€
â€œHeâ€™ll be back for his card later.â€
She left him.
* * *
Officer Bridges and Miss Porter went to the asylum on Friday, November 27, 1925, to visit with â€œJohn Thompson.â€ It was very overcast that day. When they arrived, Miss Porter wandered around the building as if she was admiring the place. No one was around and she wandered to the coal chute that she knew was on the back of the building. A quick examination of chute proved that it was not locked and the latch would be easy to open. However, it was very, very narrow and she was unsure if she would be able to squeeze in. She thought she might, just barely. Officer Bridges, who was smaller than her, might have an easier time getting through the coal chute, but she guessed that it would be a tight fit for him too.
Capâ€™n Scott looked very well rested when Orderly Smith escorted him into the visiting room. Then the orderly told them to call when they were finished and left, closing the door behind him.
Capâ€™n Scott told them everything that he had learned at the asylum: the staff, the patients, and all of the rumors or little bits of information he had found out. Officer Bridges noted that he might be able to cause a ruckus if he told Wellington that the girl who was afraid of people called him Napoleon, and had his horse and sword. Miss Porter also suggested playing off three of the patients against each other to cause some kind of distraction.
â€œSo, whatâ€™s the plan for where, when, and why?â€ Capâ€™n Scott asked.
Miss Porter told them both about the coal chute in the back that Officer Bridges might be able to wiggle down. She noted that it was latched but not locked and that it would deposit him right next to the laboratory. He pointed out that if they got caught, they were trespassing.
Miss Porter asked about how many people were around at night and Capâ€™n Scott told her he hadnâ€™t noticed many people at all. It seemed like the orderlies that lived off-site, Phillip Smith and Gregory Burgess, worked more during the daylight hours. He only saw Grange Greer and Farley Blaine in the halls after dark, and not often. He knew that those latter two might actually live in the building.
When Miss Porter asked about keys, all he knew was that all of the orderlies and the doctors carried a set of keys. Miss Marston, the friendly woman who cleaned as well as cooked for the asylum, also had a set of keys, apparently. When Officer Bridges asked for their names, Capâ€™n Scott was able to tell him the names of the four orderlies, the receptionist, and the cook and cleaning lady, as well as the groundkeeper. Officer Bridges wondered if they lived in town.
Capâ€™n Scott also related that one night, he had woken up and heard what sounded like music playing and people laughing. It had sounded like it was from a long ways away, probably on the other side of the building, downstairs. He couldnâ€™t make out any of the voices or the words, but it almost sounded like a group of people were having a party.
Officer Bridges noted that they would need to find keys if they were going to explore the place. Miss Porter said that if they could get hold of keys, they could cause a ruckus by unlocking the inmatesâ€™ cells. Capâ€™n Scott knew where the linen closets and most of the upstairs rooms were, as well as a few of the downstairs rooms that he had seen when he had gone outside onto the grounds one day.
They talked about getting over the wall at night and then Officer Bridges getting in through the coal chute and letting her in. Then they could search the place at their leisure. She mentioned Capâ€™n Scott getting the prisoners out as a distraction and then rescuing the child from the secure ward. They would need the keys to make any of that happen, however.
Unfortunately, there was a single street on the back side of the asylum with several homes on it. That side would be the best to approach the asylum, though they would have to watch out for homes with dogs that might alert their masters. Capâ€™n Scott suggested a second ladder to get back out but Miss Porter noted that they could pulled the ladder up onto the wall and use it on both sides. She said they would have to time it well. They talked about using the distraction while they snuck around the place, but the plan was not set in stone. Miss Porter also suggested cutting the telephone lines.