Konan stood and turned from Watterson. “It could be nothing, but if Ashley’s grandfather has taught more than just Watterson the skills, he may have trained the killer.” Of course, it was possible he was the killer as well. Konan didn’t want to consider this possibility.
He walked out of the room and headed for the morgue. Ashley deserved to hear this new piece of information from him. “Plus, I need her to get him in here so we can talk.”
As he walked across the square, he considered how he could tell her without offending Ashley. It seemed to Konan that everyone he met had thin skin. It didn’t matter how much care you took; someone somewhere would end up butthurt.
Between the Mississippi heat and humidity Konan was soaked by the time he arrived at the morgue. When he stepped through the door, the cold air sent a chill through him.
A lone guard sat at the curved desk. He watched the monitors. Konan stepped to the desk and the guard looked up.
“Good afternoon, sir. Can I help you,” the guard asked?
“Good afternoon. I need to speak to Ashley, please. My name is Konan.”
“Ah, you’re him. Ashely has told us all about you.”
“Yeah. You’re a former detective with the 117th, right?”
“Yeah, that’s me.”
“It’s nice to meet you. I’m Jacob Mathers.”
“You’re Tia’s brother?”
“That’s right. You punched out my sister.”
“Of course, you are. Well….”
“No worries, hoss. There have been days when I wanted to punch her out. You can go on back.”
“Thanks.” Konan was at a loss for words, so he nodded and walked down the hall to Ashley’s office. She was neck deep in a new cadaver. She smiled at Konan when he walked in.
“Well, there he is. What brought you down here,” she asked. He forced a smile.
“Hey, Ashley. Could you touch base with your grandfather. I need to talk to him.”
“Sure. Is tomorrow, okay?”
“Tomorrow would be great.”
“Do you want to tell me what is going on?”
“I’m not at liberty to say right now. Do you have time for that coffee?”
She held up her hands that were covered with blood. She giggled.
“Now’s not a good time. Mrs. Johnson would go bad if I left her in this state.”
“Yeah, I gotcha. Maybe some other time.”
“I would like that.” Konan nodded and said goodbye. He walked out to the square and sat on an empty bench. The solitude did him good. He watched as people rushed by. Tomorrow he would be forced to question Ashley’s grandfather. “Maybe tomorrow I’ll have some answers.”
His thinking was interrupted by the ringing of his phone. He looked at the screen. It was the mayor’s office.
“This is Mayor Smith’s clerk,” came the clipped voice. “Mayor Smith would like to see you.”
“Okay. I am on my way.”
She hung up abruptly. “Freaking people, God forbid they use the manners they were taught.” A few moments later, Konan entered the foyer of the mayor’s office.
The secretary looked up when he walked in. She motioned for him to move to the door. He walked over and she opened the door. Silently, she escorted him to Mayor Smith’s office and introduced him.
“Mayor Smith, Mr. Konan is here per your request.”
“Send him in.”
Konan forced a smile at the iceberg that got him this far. She stuck her nose in the air and walked away. Konan walked in. Chief Janko sat in one of the two chairs facing the desk.
“Have a seat, Konan.”
Konan dropped into the empty chair. Mayor Smith glared at him and Janko.
“Explain to me, how the police and you have nothing on this killer. EXPLAIN IT. TO ME!” Janko stared out the window. Konan leaned back in his chair and remained silent.
“Sir, if I may-“
“You may not, Janko. Have you clowns even attempted to solve this case?”
“We are in the pro-“
“Shut your mouth, Janko! If I want to hear your lip, I’ll scrape it off my zipper!”
Smith glared at Konan. His silence further angered Mayor Smith.
“You,” he started. “You’re supposed to be some magnificent bloodhound. Some great thinker. What do you have to say for yourself?”
Konan looked Mayor Smith in the eyes. “Nothing. I have investigated leads; they have led nowhere. We have brought people in and questioned them. That has produced more leads. The police and I are investigating them now.”
“I don’t care what it takes, you find someone that could be good for it, and you nail them to the wall. Do you understand me?”
“No, I don’t understand. Did you just tell me to manufacture evidence and find a scapegoat?”
Smith jumped to his feet and got in Konan’s face. Spittle splashed on Konan’s face as Smith did his best to intimidate him. Konan wiped it off and smeared it on the arm of his chair. Veins protruded from Smith’s forehead.
“You find someone to take the fall. Do not make me do your job for you,” Smith snarled. Konan pushed his chair back and stood to his feet.
“I don’t work that way. Also, I don’t do threats. Find someone else to do your dirty work. Maybe you could use Tomas again. I have your email safely tucked away for future use.”
“You dare threaten me, boy?”
Konan drew close to Mayor Smith and smiled. “Boy? You see a boy, hoss, come put your hands on him.” Janko stood to his feet and put his hand on Konan’s chest.
“I think it’s time for you to leave, Konan. However, before you go, I want to say something.”
Smith turned to Janko. Konan sat back down. Janko stood next to Konan. “This man right here,” he gestured at Konan,” has worked non-stop on this case. The leads we have are generated by the work he has done. My officers have helped, but Konan has been instrumental in the process. He is not going anywhere. As a matter of fact, I move to reinstate him as a Detective of the 117th.”
“Reinstate him, time now.”
Janko pulled a badge out and took the Bible from the Mayor’s shelf. Smith ordered Konan to place his hand on the Bible and repeat the words he uttered. A moment later, Janko shook his hand.
“Welcome back, Konan. It’s time to find this killer.”