The Plunkett Murder

17 April 1922 – Boston Mass.

Thirty-three year old Harry Shaw walked up to the front door of 321 Kenisco Knolls, and knocked. He stepped back and rubbed his chin. It felt a little peculiar being clean shaven, as recently the former police detective and war veteran had taken to sporting a healthy chin of stubble. It was also a little out of the ordinary being sober, despite the 18th Amendment. Harry was a heavy drinker. Whiskey was his poison, but it didn’t quite dull the horrors of the Great War.
Reaching into the pocket of his sensible two piece dark suit he removed the telegram, the reason for his being there, and reread it.

MR. SHAW. HAVE NEED OF YOUR SERVICES. COMPENSATION WILL BE GENEROUS. THERE MAY BE DANGER. MEET ME AT 321 KENISCO KNOLLS, 12:00 NOON TOMORROW. KEEP IT CONFIDENTIAL. M. FELDSPAR.

The door opened and an elderly gentleman in a neat tan suit appeared. He was in stark contrast to the rundown outer features of the once stately old home and unkempt gardens.
“Mr. Feldspar?” checked Harry. The possible danger mentioned in the telegram had caught his eye and he subconsciously patted his Colt 1911 in his jacket.
“Please come in Mr. Shaw,” nodded the man. Harry entered a near furniture less old home with paint peeling off the walls. He was led through to a lounge where a young woman was waiting, “Please wait here.” The man in the tan suit then left.
“Morning,” greeted the woman boldly as she strode over extending her hand. Harry saw she was distastefully wearing trousers and buckle up men’s boots. She also wore a neat jacket and her auburn hair was much shorter than what women normally wore. “Dana Andrews,” introduced the fairly attractive youngster who was no older than twenty.
“Harry,” nodded the thirty-three year old, “Harry Shaw.”
“So you also get a cryptic telegram?” checked the young woman, taking out a cigarette and lighting it. She didn’t use an elegant filter like most women. Harry nodded, “So what is it you do Mr. Shaw?”
“Harry is just fine,” he told her, “I used to be a cop, before the war.”
“And since the war?” she pressed.
“Not much,” he shrugged.
“Well I’m an adventurer!” she declared, “I’ve flown my own plane cross country. I’ve climbed mountains in South America, and I am planning a trip to Antarctica.”
“Interesting career choice,” mused Harry indifferently.
“What, because I’m a woman?” remarked the fiery youngster.
“No, because its an interesting career choice,” declared Harry, mildly annoyed with her defensive attitude.
“Most men are intimidated by a strong woman,” she mused arrogantly.
“I wouldn’t know,” shrugged Harry, “I don’t care either way.” She seemed disappointed that Harry didn’t want to take her on verbally.
“This way please,” urged the man in the tan suite who they still were not sure was Feldspar or not. He showed them into an adjacent room with nothing in it besides a screen partition in the one corner. The man in the tan suite left and closed he door.
“Thank you for coming,” declared a strong masculine voice from behind the screen, “I have brought you here because I wish to hire you, and it suits my purposes to remain anonymous.”
“As you wish,” shrugged Harry.
“Approximately eight weeks ago a Mr. Dale Plunkett was found murdered in Dunwich. In all that time the police have found nothing. According to the articles in the popular press Mr. Plunkett was an expert art appraiser and art dealer of some repute. He was a resident of Paris and I believe he had come to NY on business. How he came to Massachusetts and what he was doing here are questions that have not been answered to my satisfaction. For my own reasons I need to know the answers. This is where you come in. I want you to investigate this for me. I will pay your $75 a day, plus expenses. I expect positive results in one week. I can wait no more.”
“So who are you?” frowned Dana, naively.
“You don’t think with the screen, and the fact he hasn’t introduced himself, that the man does not want his identity revealed?” checked Harry, a touch sarcastically.
“Thank you Mr. Shaw,” remarked the man, “I have my reasons for remaining anonymous. Now are you going to take the job?”
“I’m in,” nodded Harry. It wasn’t about the money, which was very generous, but rather that in recent bouts of soberness he had been realizing he needed to do something with his life again. He had been wallowing in self pity and depression for almost three years. Harry had a sizeable inheritance from his parents invested, and he easily lived that.
“Yes, sure,” shrugged young Dana. She too had no financial worries. Her trust fund took care of her lifestyle expenses. She lived for the thrill of adventure and a murder mystery certainly grabbed her imagination.
“Thank you,” stated he faceless man, “My man Feldspar will show you out. Remember, one week!”
The man in the tan suite, Feldspar, returned and showed them out.
“Great! Where to begin?” mused Dana excitedly as they exited the front gate of the property.
“Well did you read any of the press articles on Mr. Plunkett’s death?” asked Harry. Dana shook her head, “Then it’s off to the library to check a few back issues of the Globe and possibly the Times.”
“Ok! Lets go!” smiled Dana.
***
Harry Shaw put down the eight week old copy of the Boston Globe and rubbed his chin as he thought, his brow deeply furrowed. It was just him and Dana, in the basement archives of the Boston Library. Some fast talking about being on official business had seen the startled librarian allow them full access.
“What you find?” asked Dana as she propped herself up on an elbow, as she lay across the broad wooden table there. Harry was trying to focus on the job at hand, as it had been a while since he was a detective in the NYPD. He was starting to find the attractive young woman quite a distraction. She had a rather unique alluring sensuality, which Harry doubted she was even aware of. Certainly research was not her thing as she looked positively bored.
“Well,” began Harry, leaning back, “The papers don’t reveal anything earth-shattering, apart from the fact that a milkman named Albert Pigeon discovered the body, and a Detective Inspector Dave Ferkin of the State Motor Patrol is handling the case.”
“You think one of them did it?” she asked.
“Unlikely,” responded Harry, “But I do think we need to speak to Mr. Ferkin.”
“Ok, lets go,” she smiled hopping up.
“The State Motor Patrol is in Springfield. That’s an eight hour drive,” revealed Harry, “Perhaps we should leave in the morning?”
“Ok,” nodded Dana, “I suppose I should go and pack then. Might be gone a few days.”
“Good idea,” nodded Harry.
“We can take my car!” she suddenly beamed, “It’s a new Lancia V4, and its pretty fast.”
“Sure,” shrugged Harry, happy to leave his Buick at home.
***
The smooth Italian V4 racing engine purred as the Lancia convertible flew down the main road to Springfield. Dana was all smiles as she gripped the wheel, her flying helmet, goggles and leather jacket on.
Beside her Harry Shaw tried not to look nervous as the vehicle tipped speeds in excess of 80mph! He was glad he opted for his Chesterfield coat and pure wool scarf, as he flipped the collar up to create more of a windbreak. Stuck somewhere between the beginning of spring and the tail end of winter, the weather was fresh to say the least. His felt fedora hat sat on his lap as trying to wear it in the convertible was impossible.
In the boot of the racecar was his luggage including his old army rifle, a bolt action Springfield .30 06. He debated with himself whether to take it or not, and in the end decided rather to be safe than sorry. Another important item he brought along was a brand new private investigators license. He had to call in a few favors from some old contacts, but he figured the license would give the investigation more legitimacy, and also garner more cooperation from the police.
“So how come you aren’t married?” asked Dana, shouting to be heard as the wind rushed by. Harry looked down at his left had where his wedding ring had been. It had been two years since the divorce.
“I was,” he told her, “For five years.”
“What happened?” pressed the brash young woman. She wasn’t one who thought long and hard before opening her mouth. In this case she did seem insensitive.
“Well apparently I wasn’t the man she married, after I got back from the war,” he told her, “I guess the whole thick and thin thing in the marriage vows had been forgotten by her.”
“Rough!” exclaimed Dana.
“How about you?” mused Harry.
“What?” chuckled Dana, “I don’t have time to get married! I got things to do, places to be! And I wont be beholden to any man.”
“Yes I can see how marriage might not be your cup of tea,” responded Harry dryly.
Six and a half hours after leaving Boston, the Lancia roared into the state capital of Massachusetts, Springfield. It was 14:30. Dana drove straight to the police station, where they got out. Going inside they inquired as to Detective Ferkin and were shown to his office. Harry hit him with all the official jargon and flashed his PI Card.
“So how can I help you?” queried the slightly overweight man in his forties.
“I’d like to know what leads you might have in the Plunkett murder investigation,” requested Harry.
“None really,” admitted the cop, “Its what we call a cold case.” Harry nodded. He knew all about cold cases and wasn’t convinced this lethargic aging detective had tried too hard, before popping the case on the back burners.
“Any chance I might get a look at the official police report?” asked Harry.
“Sure,” shrugged the detective. He had it brought through and Harry proceeded to read it and furiously make notes, “If there is nothing else, will you excuse me.”
“One thing,” remarked Harry, “The coroners report?”
“You have to speak to the state coroner Dr Spurious about that,” responded Ferkin. They left his office and under the watchful eye of a constable, Harry finished his notes and handed the report back.
“Wow you’re a pro at this,” exclaimed Dana in admiration as they headed over to the coroner.
“I was a cop,” he reminded her.
Dr Milburn Spurious was having his coffee when they called in on him and the beady eyed little man was only to happy to discuss the Plunkett case and provide them with his report.
“If you are able to crack this nut, be a good man and let me know,” requested Spurious, “Because its had me scratching my head.” The little coroner wrung his hands continuously as he spoke, a quirky little tag.
“How so?” asked Dana.
“Well its really how the man died that puzzles me,” he revealed, “You will see in my report I’ve listed a number of causes of death. Mr. Plunkett was severely treated before death. I honestly cant think how all that happened.” Harry noted blood loss, strangulation, drowning in his own blood, constriction and crushing.
“What’s this about bite marks?” checked Harry.
“Oh that,” muttered the coroner, “Strangest bite marks I ever seen. I mean they could only be human, but the largest most misshapen teeth I have ever seen. This fellow must have been huge, that did this! Let me tell you, you wont have any trouble spotting him. He would have to be very large indeed with a huge mouth and powerful jaw.”
Oh, frightful!” gasped Dana with a shiver.
“Hmm and the police didn’t spot this fellow over in Dunwich?” mused Harry.
“Doesn’t seem like it,” shrugged Spurious.
After being able to glean nothing else they bid the doctor goodbye and left. Given the late hour they checked into a hotel for the night, The Tanassiss Arms.
***
“Harry!” called Dana, shaking the man roughly. Harry Shaw opened his eyes. He was drenched in sweat. Every muscle in his body was tensed, and he was gasping for air. He sat bolt upright and looked around in momentary confusion.
It was in the middle of the night, but he could not be sure what time. It was his hotel room at the Tanassiss Arms. The door stood open and Dana was in a gown and nightgown, seated on the edge of his bed. Her face was etched with worry.
“What…..what is it?” he asked, wiping his face.
“You were shouting,” she told him, “In your sleep. I could hear you in my room! Are you ok?”
“Oh that,” he sighed and hung his head, shaking it, “Damn nightmares. Sorry.”
“It sounded intense,” she told him, laying a comforting hand on his muscled forearm. She noted that he didn’t have a bad upper body build, and for a man in his thirties he wasn’t carrying any extra weight. On the contrary, he looked like he could do with a few more pounds. She also took note of the black skull tattoo on his left shoulder and a number of old puckered scars. If those were old bullet wounds then Harry had to have been shot at least six times!
“I suppose,” he shrugged.
“What were they about?” she asked.
“I don’t remember,” he revealed, “I never do. Must be stuff from the war.”
“Can I get you anything?” she checked with concern.
“I’ll be fine,” he smiled wearily, “Thanks.” He saw her out and then got down on the floor and did a hundred pushups. It the last four years he had discovered that only two things lessened the nightmares. One was physical exercise, and he figured that had to do with the body being good and tired. It also accounted for his still very decent build.
The other thing was booze. If he fell asleep rat faced he rarely had nightmares. Given that he was out of alcohol, he tried the exercises. He made a note to exercise more and drink less.
Harry got into bed and when he woke he recalled every detail of his most recent dream. Far be it from the nightmare though. The dream involved an auburn haired beauty and candles. Harry had a cold shower before dressing.
***
“What a dive!” exclaimed Dana as she slowed the Lancia upon entering Dunwich. It wasn’t really so much that the place was bad looking, as much as it was so small. It was a typical little Massachusetts rural hamlet. Harry thought it looked quaint.
“Not much choice in accommodations,” mused Harry dryly as they pulled up outside the only inn in town, The Wayward Traveler’s Inn. Harry collected their luggage as they entered the inn in the sleepy little town.
“Ah good afternoon!” greeted a woman in her sixties, “My names Dorothy Hertig and this is my place. Welcome!” She looked most pleased to see customers. Harry and Dana introduced themselves and ordered separate rooms.
“So did you know Mr. Plunkett, the man who was murdered here eight weeks ago?” checked Harry, “I’m a private investigator looking into the case.” After reading the police reports and going through his notes, he had picked up a few discrepancies.
“Oh yes, poor man. And so decent too!” sighed Dorothy.
“It says he left for supper at Wheatly’s, and wasn’t seen alive again?” checked Harry. Dorothy nodded. “Did he or did he not return his key before leaving?” According to the police reports, one said the key was found on him, and the other said he left it at the inn.
“Oh he left it here,” confirmed Dorothy. She plucked it off the board and showed it to Harry.
“Why does that look different to my key?” checked Harry, examining it in relation to the room key he had just been given.
“It shouldn’t be,” remarked a surprised Dorothy. The keys were examined and indeed the key Plunkett returned that night was no room key. It was smaller and had the number 222 molded into the head. It turned out that Dorothy always used her master key to lock and unlock the rooms so hadn’t noticed the difference. When asked if he could have the key, Dorothy had no objections. The key was no good to her.
“You think the key’s a clue?” checked Dana as they dumped their luggage in their rooms. Harry nodded.
“The police reports stated that in Plunkett’s luggage was a piece of paper that read NY/Boston 222,” revealed the sharp eyed detective, “I bet a dollar it’s a railway locker.”
“Brilliant!” gushed the young adventures, “Boston it is!”
“Hold your horses,” smiled Harry, impressed with her enthusiasm, “That’s another eight hour drive and we just got here. Lets follow a few leads her and maybe leave in the morning.”
“Oh, of course,” half smiled the auburn haired looker.

“Welcome to Wheatly’s,” greeted Bill Mullins the manager as the couple entered his establishment that evening, “Table for two?” Harry nodded and they were shown to a table in the neat, recently refurbished colonial era tavern, where the staff were all dressed for the age.
“Nice place,” remarked Dana.
“Thanks,” beamed Bill, “We just finished doing the old place up, thanks to a generous donation from the Rothenfelder Foundation.”
“Oh yes the millionaire,” mused Dana, recalling reading quite a bit about the man who was arguably one of the richest in the world. Economist, art connoisseur, and philanthropist, Rothenfelder did it all.
“He even liked the place so much he bought up the old Gravestone Farm as a little rural retreat!” added Bill.
“So he comes here often then?” gasped Dana, very surprised.
“Well, I suppose,” shrugged Bill, “I only met him once when he came here to open the restaurant.”
Bill took their orders and headed to the kitchens. Dana waited till he was gone and then checked no-one was in ear-shot. She definitely liked the clandestine aspect to investigating.
“So what’s next?” she checked excitedly, speaking just above a whisper. The two went through Harry’s notes over supper and reviewed what they had discovered during the day. The local doctor confirmed what was in the Coroners report. The local constabulary that handled the initial stages of the investigation were marginally competent local yokels. Plunkett had not spoken to anyone besides Dorothy. The town of Dunwich appeared to have some dark secrets, and on a few occasions they heard reference being made to the Whately Burning, where a local man died in a fire on his farm. The murder site revealed no new info but was interestingly not too far from both the old Whately ruin, and this Gravestone Farm.
“I guess its Boston tomorrow to check out that locker,” shrugged Harry. Dana nodded and the two finished their meal and retired to the inn.
***
“Are you excited?” asked Dana, almost bouncing up and down with excitement herself as Harry inserted the key into Locker 222 at the Boston Train Station.
“A bit,” smiled Harry turning the key and opening it. Therein lay a number of newspaper pages and clippings along with a telegram, a telegram receipt, and a single .32 caliber bullet.
“Damn!” exclaimed Dana as Harry collected it all.
“What were you expecting?” chuckled Harry.
“Don’t know,” shrugged Dana, as they headed over to a café coffee shop to go through the clippings, “Does investigation always entail so much reading?”
“Sometimes,” admitted Harry.
“I’m an action girl!” declared Dana, “I want to be out there doing stuff!”
“Research first and action later,” remarked Harry as they sat down and ordered coffee, “That’s how it usually goes.”
“Ok. So what we got here?” she asked, trying to look interested.
“Seems Mr. Plunkett was very interested in the affairs of Mr. Rothenfelder,” mused Harry as all the articles and clippings were about him. Most had to do with his unearthing of rare art objects.
“Maybe Rothenfelder wanted to buy something Plunkett had and when they couldn’t agree on a price, Rothenfelder had him killed!” suggested Dana.
“That is possible,” nodded Harry. Dana looked most pleased at this.
“Back to Dunwich?” checked Dana.
“I think we need to snoop around that Gravestone Farm and see what the millionaire is up to there,” nodded Harry.
***
“Now this is more like it,” gushed Dana as they stopped the Lancia off the road, opposite to the main gates of Gravestone Farm. The lights of the vehicle were off and it was around midnight. Dana looked quite fetching in her black leathers.
“Remember we just want to go and look around,” stated Harry, dressed in his dark lace bottom breeches and thick dark navy pullover, “So silence is the order of the day.” Dana smiled and nodded.
Harry removed an army satchel with a few pieces of equipment from the boot and slung it. He then took out his Springfield bolt action, and made sure his Colt 1911 was securely holstered. The two then crossed the road and hopped the wall, and started through a light wood toward the farm house in the distance, where a light burned in one of the windows.
“Aargh, what’s that smell?” hissed Dana after they had gone about fifty yards. Harry sniffed and made out the pungent aroma of rotting matter.
“Smells like something died,” he whispered back and glanced about in the moonlight.
“Why ……,” began Dana but stopped when Harry placed a finger to her lips. He had heard something.
“What the……?” he gasped as from behind a tree came stumbling a skeletal eyeless humanoid figure. He took a moment to register what he was seeing, but it really was a skeleton-zombie thing!
“Shoot it!” gasped Dana backing up. Harry shouldered the rifle and then paused, knowing a shot would raise the alarm. The thing snarled and reached out for him with bony claw-like hands.
Harry reversed the rifle and smashed it into the face of the thing. It took a step back and Harry clubbed it again in the head. It lashed out with a clawed hand, but Harry blocked it, batted the appendage away and clubbed the thing again, dropping it.
“Phew!” muttered Harry turning to Dana.
“Nice work,” smiled the young woman.
“Watch out!” hissed Harry as two more zombies appeared behind Dana, coming out the darkness. One grabbed her and tried to bite her. Both fell to the ground as Dana, to her credit, didn’t scream. Harry rushed forward and clubbed it in the head, the steel reinforced butt of the rifle cracking open the skull, killing it.
The other one slashed at Harry, carving him across the chest. He grimaced and bashed it in the face. It swung back and he ducked, smashing its skull in and dropping it.
“You ok?” asked Dana, getting to her feet.
“Scratch, and you?” checked Harry.
“Same,” grimaced the woman. Harry examined a gash to her neck that extended down under her collar, “It’s ok.”
“Shall we press on or go back?” he asked her.
“Onwards,” she smiled, “Its just getting exciting.”
Watching for zombies they made their way toward the farmhouse. A dog started barking and they stopped. Creeping forward they saw a massive black dog chained up in the yard. From the farmhouse emerged a man who went over to the dog and calmed it. He then looked out into the darkness, but Harry and Dana, in addition to the dark, had ducked behind a tree.
Dana’s heart leapt into her throat with all the excitement. She was also feeling her pulse race as the mans hands firmly pinned her to the tree as they hid. She could smell him. It was puzzling for her to feel so exhilarated. She had always viewed men as the opposition.
“Cant go there without raising the alarm,” whispered Harry.
“What’s that over there?” asked Dana, spotting light coming from a building down at a small pond.
“Lets check it out,” suggested Harry. They headed down to what looked like a gazebo on an island in a small body of water.
As they got to the wooden walkway leading out to the island a mighty roar erupted from the gazebo that chilled the blood.
“Oh my ……,” gasped Dana, as a large black shape, roughly seven foot tall, vaguely humanoid, and thickly muscled came bounding out the gazebo and straight for them. Harry’s first instinct was that it was the thing that made the strange bite marks. The rifle came up to his shoulder and forgetting worrying about the alarm, he aimed and fired.
He hit it square in the chest but it barley flinched. Working the bolt he fired again and was working the bolt for a third when the big ape like beast was on them, batting him off his feet and clean six feet to the left.
Harry hit the ground hard, having lost his grip on the rifle. He heard Dana scream and came up to a knee to see the beast gripping Dana. The resourceful young adventuress slipped out her leather jacket, freeing herself and leaving the beast just clutching the garment. The beast was audibly wheezing, possibly from the two full metal jacket .30 06 rounds to the chest.
Harry drew his Colt 1911 and opened fire. The black hairy ape beast flinched and turned back to Harry who kept firing. The beast staggered and fell as Harry emptied the 7round clip into it. He immediately reloaded and rushed over to Dana.
“You alright?” he checked. She was holding her arm but nodded.
“What was that?” she gasped.
“Some ape beast,” shrugged Harry as he holstered his .45 and retrieved his rifle. The dog at the farmhouse was barking, “And its definitely what killed Plunkett.”
“An astute observation,” a voice declared. A well dressed man, not the one with the dog from the farmhouse appeared. His voiced was heavily accented, possibly German.
“Who the hell are you Hans?” sneered Harry, leveling the rifle at the man.
“That’s not nice,” mused the German, “Especially after you killed my little Gorilla pet, Kurlitz.”
“So you ordered the death of Plunkett, why?” asked Harry.
“You have no concept of the war raging between the left and right hands ignoramus,” spat the German cryptically.
“Now who’s not being nice?” mused Harry. The man glared at the two of them and then in a hypnotic voice addressed them.
“Put down you guns. Come with me to the house. We will talk,” he suggested. Harry’s rifle fell from numb fingers.
“Harry?” gasped Dana.
“Harry is with me now,” smiled the German, “You can come too, or die!”
Dana knew she had to think fast. Harry needed to snap out of the trans fast. Biting her lip she made her decision. She stepped up and kissed Harry on the lips giving full tongue and placing his right hand on her left breast. She gasped as the hand gave a gentle squeeze.
“Thanks for that,” blinked Harry, shaking his head.
“No!” screamed the German, drawing a compact pistol. Harry whipped out the Colt 1911 and pulled the trigger twice before the man could fire. He hit the German in the throat and head. The Hun dropped dead.
“I didn’t know what else to do,” blushed Dana. Harry just smiled. After searching the man’s body they went over to the Gazebo to find it was the gorilla’s lair. A trapdoor there lead down to a group of cells where curiously no-one was housed. Each cell looked lived in and each cell had a partially completed art object in it. Before each art object was a pile of sand.
Taking a small ebony horse statue and some dust the two fled. Curiously too the dog was still barking over at the farmhouse, but the man there did not come and investigate. The two investigators returned to their rooms at the inn.
***
“It’s fine,” winced Dana, favoring her shoulder and arm. Harry gave her a disdainful look. From the war he had extensive first aid experience.
“And if it gets infected?” he asked, “Do you know how terrible a gangrene death is?” Dana gulped.
“Ok,” she nodded. They were in her room and Harry had his medical bag out after cleaning and binding the scratch to his chest.
“Sit,” he ordered her, patting the edge of the bed, “And take off your shirt.” Dana blushed but complied, removing the top so that she was just in her brassiere top. Harry noted the scratch was deep and he took out a tweezer to remove pieces of dirt and bone from the zombie.
“How does it look?” she asked.
“Looks great,” smiled Harry as he got to work, “But the scratch doest look too good.” Dana gasped and blushed more as she smiled. Harry gently cleaned the wound, applied salve and then bandaged it.
“Must I put my shirt back on now?” she asked.
“Only if you want to,” chirped Harry. Dana smiled and didn’t reach for her shirt.
“Does whiskey really dull the pain?” she asked. Harry nodded. Dana got up and removed a fine bottle of illegal Canadian whiskey from her bag. “Well I’m in pain!” she declared and popped pulled the cork out with her teeth like a tough cookie. She took a long swig and offered it to Harry. She grimaced and there were tears in her eyes as she was unaccustomed to the fiery liquor.
“Me too,” shrugged Harry and had a long pull. The familiar warm burn reached his stomach and a warm feeling washed over him. He offered the bottle back to Dana who stretched out on the bed and stoically forced another long swig, as though proving she could drink!
“Hey its working!” she coughed. She had another swig and offered it back to Harry.
“Are you trying to get me drunk?” he asked, not taking a swig.
“Maybe,” she shrugged taking the bottle and drinking more. She then placed it on the bed stand and clambered onto Harry’s lap, her hands on his cheeks.
“I think someone’s had too much,” mused Harry.
“Shut up Harry Shaw!” she ordered and kissed him. The two fell backwards onto the bed. Harry was never going to offer more than nominal resistance. He peeled the gorgeous young woman out the remainder of her clothes and got stuck in. She allowed full access, but Harry sensed she was terribly nervous, and tense. He realized why when he began to rock his pelvis and enter her. She winced and grimaced as he pried her open and tore through her virginity. She had never been with a man! Harry savored the moment and gently brought them to mutual climax, before both dropped off into a post sex alcohol induced coma.
***
“Well it wasn’t quite what I had in mind when I hired you two,” mused the faceless man, as Harry and Dana once again stood before the screen in the rundown Boston mansion.
“Admittedly it wasn’t what we planned to have happen,” stated Harry. Dana said nothing. She hadn’t said much since they both woke naked the next morning and left for Boston. He wasn’t sure if she regretted their interlude or not.
“But be that as it may,” continued the man, “You have inadvertently struck a blow for us in a war I doubt you are aware even exists.”
“The left and right hand?” checked Harry.
“I take that back. You do know,” mused the man, “The German you killed was named Dunkerhertz, and was a rather prominent agent for the Left Hand.”
The man went onto reveal that likely it was Dunkerhertz, using Rothenfelder either as a pawn or accomplice, that had somehow found a way to raise ancient art masters from the grave to produce new mater-pieces. These reincarnations were reduced to dust with the death of the man, and this explained the unfinished art objects and dust in the cells.
“So what now?” asked Harry.
“Our business in concluded,” stated the man, “Feldspar will pay you. Very soon I may call on your services again. Thank you and good bye.”
Harry and Dana took the money and left. Back at Dana’s car they stopped and moment of awkward silence followed. Harry broke the quiet.
“I don’t regret last night at all,” he told her, “And my estimations of you have only increased.” She regarded the man thirteen years her senior.
“I don’t know what came over me,” she shrugged, “That’s not me. I am no man’s woman!”
“And you aren’t,” confirmed Harry, “Last night was two comrades in arms celebrating. Having fun! It doesn’t make you my woman.”
“So what we shake hands and go our separate ways?” she checked, tears welling in her eyes.
“We can,” nodded Harry, “But we don’t have to. We could take out some time to convalesce from our wounds and get to know each other better.” Dana swallowed and seemed unsure. Harry was no shrink, but after the war he had read quite bit, mostly to try get his head right. Dana fitted a very specific pattern. Since her parents died she likely lived behind a mask, putting forward the image of the strong independent woman, while really still was the timid frail child who yearned for affection and security.
“I still want to climb mountains and fly the Pacific, and explore the Antarctic,” she declared wiping away a tear.
“Sounds like fun!” smiled Harry, “I’ll cheer you from the sidelines. But now lets go rest.” He put his arm around her and he felt her shudder, as though letting the mask fall to the ground.
“I’d like it if you came with me,” she ventured.
“Also a possibility,” smiled Harry as he opened the door and let her slip into the passenger seat of the Lancia. Harry then got behind the wheel and roared the sports car off. His family cabin in the Catskills would be perfect for a little rest and recuperation.
*

This post was submitted by Trent.


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