A Hot Day Down South…the reconstruction continues…unedited…incomplete…

“Mayor Smith, former Detective Sergeant Thermopolis Konan has arrived per your request.”

“Send him in, Abbie. Thank you.”

Abbie turned the knob and shoved the door open. Konan walked into the expansive room and looked around. It was exquisitely furnished with antique furniture and lamps. Smith’s desk, a beautiful cherry piece, hailed from the 1800s. The walls were adorned with framed art and scattered amongst the paintings and penciled drawings were photos of Smith shaking hands with famous business folk, politicians, ministers, and athletes. 

“Come on in, Konan. Have a seat there next to Chief Janko. How’ve you been doing? You enjoying your retirement?” Konan sat in the empty chair and gave Smith a fake smile. 

“Everything has gone well, mayor. Every day is Friday when you have nowhere pressing to be.”

Smith leaned back in his plush black leather chair and laughed. Konan grinned, Janko scoffed, and Smith clapped his hands in show of Konan’s good humor. He wiped his eyes and muttered, “Every day’s Friday…” He leaned forward, his cold eyes holding Konan’s even gaze and asked, “Are you having a hard time staying busy?”

“Why, sir? You offering me a job?”

Smith grinned and wagged his forefinger at Konan. “Not quiet, but I would like to hire you to consult on this case with the other detectives. You could possibly earn your job back, in time of course, if an opening arose.” Janko squirmed in his seat and wiped at his mouth. 

“I don’t think that’s a good idea, sir.”

“Hush, Janko. None of your detectives, save Lilly, know how to work this case. You said that yourself.”

“Yes sir, I know what I said, but to bring Konan back, it’s…it’s…not good, sir.”

Smith and Janko locked eyes, and Konan said, “I agree with Janko. It’d cause havoc in the chain of command sir. Chief Janko and his detectives will catch this guy. I don’t need to get involved in this case. Besides, I’m not Sherlock Holmes, and I don’t consult on cases.”

“Exactly,” Janko growled, as he pointed his finger in Konan’s direction. “Lilly and the others can coordinate, and we’ll find this guy.”

Smith’s cheeks flushed red, and his nostrils flared, while at the same time his eyes narrowed, and his voice became a barely perceptible rasp. “Both of you idiots shut up. You’re going to help us, Konan. This town will provide you with transportation, and you can fill up at the police precinct garage. On top of that you will receive a stipend of 150 dollars per day, plus expenses. I don’t expect you to work for free, but I do expect daily updates from you and Janko.”

“You don’t understand, mayor. I don’t work for you, and I don’t have any desire to come back. Lilly asked me to consult and I turned her down.”

“Some friend you are,” Janko sneered. “Two people dead, and you won’t move a muscle to help.”

“Don’t lay that at my door, hoss. I punched out your buddy at the Christmas party, didn’t I?” Konan leapt to his feet and grabbed Janko by the throat. Smith stood and snapped, “Put him down, Konan.”

Janko’s face was beet read, and beads of sweat dotted Konan’s bald head. Both men sat down and tried to compose themselves. Smith pointed at Janko and said, “I expect you and your officers to conduct themselves as professionals, Janko. You’re to work with Konan and ensure he has whatever he needs to do the job.” Konan went to retort, but Smith put his hand up stopping Konan from going any further. “You either help, or sit in a holding cell until this case is solved.”

“You can’t do that,” Konan yelled. 

“Try me,” Smith snapped. “I’ll have an officer claim he heard you threaten the president, and Janko will hold you under the Patriot Act. Try me and see if I won’t.”

“This is bull,” Konan growled. 

Janko chuckled and said, “Please, give me a reason to arrest you. I swear I’ll beat the brakes off you, boy. Either do what the man wants, or go to jail. It’s real simple.”

“Put me in jail,” Konan said. “I’m not being coerced into working for you.”

Both Smith and Janko sat perplexed by the stubbornness of the former police officer. Janko let out a heavy sigh and shook his head. Smith turned and pulled a Bible down from his shelf and set it on his desk. He opened the center drawer and took out a badge. 

“Sir, what are you doing? This isn’t right…”

“Shut up, Janko.” He looked at Konan and said, “You’re not making this easy for me, Konan. There are two victims in two days, and I need this killer caught. You’ve got the necessary experience, and you did the job well, but you’re stupid. For some reason, you are your own worst enemy. Will you please come back?”

“With full pay and my retirement benefits?”

“Yes, if that’s what it takes.”

“Fine, sir. I have one request.”

“What’s that? I want Lilly as my partner.”

“Done,” Janko snarled. He slouched down in the chair and shook his head. Mayor Smith handed the Bible to Janko, and he motioned for Konan to put his left hand on the Bible. “Raise your right hand, and repeat after me.” Konan repeated the oath and finished with “So help me God.” 

Smith extended his hand to Konan and said, “Welcome back, Detective Konan. Now get out there and find me a killer.”

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