The Mark and The Mole
By E Walk
(Copyrighted by the author)
Edited by Radio Rancher
Chapter 16 - We're Dependents?
As we were getting into our vehicles, Dad handed his cell phone to me, "Doug, why don't you call the police and see if they can have someone meet us at the Harmon house. That way, we can make sure that the local authorities are involved in everything we do."
Dad Long concurred, "Bryce, I think that's a wise idea. It may save us time in the long run, since there has been at least one murder involved." Poor Chad and Tim were looking very bewildered.
When we pulled up in front of the house, there was a police car sitting there. As we exited our vehicles, two gentlemen dressed in casual clothes stepped out of the car. They approached us. The older of the two gentlemen said, "Good afternoon, I assume that you are the people who called about accompanying the Harmons' sons into the house. Hi, Father Lawler. I'm Detective Ralph Frazier, and this is Detective Ben Taylor. We have been watching this house because we are still not convinced that this was not a case of double murder even though the evidence points to it being a murder/suicide case. There are some things that don't seem to fit."
Detective Taylor took over, "Thank you for calling the station and letting them know that you were coming to the house. They notified us and told us that we were to provide any assistance we could. We would appreciate it if you let us observe what you do. We would like to see whatever you find, and determine if it might have some bearing on the case."
Frank looked at Chad and Tim, "Do either of you guys have a key to the house?"
Tim started to laugh, "Heck no! Dad said we were too irresponsible to have keys of our own. He had the locks all changed after Chad was kicked out. I do know where they kept a spare key though. We need to go around back."
We followed Tim around back and he went into a small storage shed. When he came out he had a key and opened the back door. As we entered, I could see that Chad and Tim were getting tense. I went and put my arms around them and whispered, "Guys, it will be okay. There are enough of us here to make sure that everything will be okay."
Dad Long looked at the boys, "Where did your parents keep their important papers?"
Chad looked at Tim. Tim responded, "I think everything is probably in his office. I know that he has a wall safe in there. I'll show you where Mr. Harmon's office was."
We had to walk through the living room where the murder had taken place and the three teenagers just stopped as we entered the living room. There was a chalk outline of where the bodies had been found and there were stains on the carpet that looked to be dried blood.
Chad and Tim started to look around. Chad noticed that there was a red light blinking on a box on the bottom shelf of a casual table at the edge of the sofa. Chad looked at the detectives, "May I see what's on the machine
Detective Frazier asked, "What is the machine?"
Tim answered, "Sir, it is an old tape deck that is like a tape recorder. Our Father would turn it on whenever he was talking to us so that he could remind us later what was said. Mr. Harmon has an entire shelf filled with the reels in his office. He got the player while he was in the Air Force."
The two detectives watched as Chad rewound the tape and pushed the play button. The next thing we heard was:
"Thelma, get your useless butt in here. I have some things I want to say to you."
"Thelma, what are you doing?"
"What's it look like you jackass. I am going to kill you. You have allowed them to take all of our children and you seem happy about it. I have had all of the degradation I can take. You have done nothing but belittle me and the children. It's too bad that you will never see them again."
A voice suddenly interrupted.
"Good for you, lady. That bastard left our Mother and us, and left us destitute. He was never man enough to even marry her. He just bred her and left her. Here, I'll help you pull the trigger. We want all the money that you have in the house, and never fear, we'll take care of the brats as well."
The next thing we heard was a gun shot. The unidentified voice yelled,
"Grab her Larry. Stick the gun in her hand and make it look like she killed herself."
The next thing we heard was another gun shot. A different voice yelled,
"Come on Mack; let's get out of here before the police show up. We'll come back later and get what rightfully belongs to us from the scumbag."
We could hear people moving across the floor and then we heard what sounded like a door being slammed shut.
Detective Taylor looked at us. "We're going to need to take this, whatever it is called, and the tape to the station when we leave. It has some evidence that might prove valuable to you gentlemen later. I suggest that you find what you need and then get out of here. I don't think these young people need to be exposed to anymore danger."
I was watching Chad, Tim and Kevin and they were all looking a little peaked. I looked at Father Lawler, "Father, why don't you take the young guys back to the church, and we'll be there as soon as we finish here. But first, Chad and Tim, where did your parents keep their important papers?"
Chad looked at me with a questioning look, "I think Mr. Harmon kept most of the important papers in his desk. He always kept it locked so I'm not sure. I have only been in his office four or five times. He always told us that we were not welcomed in there unless we were invited. I snuck in when I was younger and tried to figure out what he was hiding in there."
Tim started to laugh, "Yeh, I tried a couple times to find out what was so sacred about that office that I did the same thing. All the drawers were always locked. One day he was talking to me and he opened the safe that was hidden behind a mirror."
When Chad opened the door and we went into the office, it looked like a typhoon had hit. The locks of the desk had been jimmied open and the papers were scattered all over the floor. The two police inspectors looked confused.
Detective Taylor was shaking his head, "This was not like this, this morning when we left. You gentlemen stay here while Ralph and I search the house to make sure that there is no one here. Please do not touch anything until we get back. Hopefully the persons who caused this to happen left some finger prints."
It seemed like forever, but it was really only about fifteen minutes before the two detectives returned. Detective Frazier shrugged. "It looks like whoever did this went through the entire house. The house is a disaster area. It appears that they entered the house through a window in the dining room that is in a recessed area and can't be seen from the street. The window was still open and we couldn't find any signs that the burglars, or whatever, are still in the house. We have called the station and the finger printing people are on their way."
Detective Frazier had no sooner said that than two more police cars arrived. Detective Taylor met the new arrivals at the door. He brought a gentleman in uniform in, "I'd like to introduce Captain Jackson."
As we introduced ourselves, the Captain paid particular attention to Chad and Tim. "Gentlemen, you have my condolences. We will do everything we can to get to the bottom of this mess. I understand that you have uncovered some new evidence that may be useful in solving the case."
Dad Long stopped anymore formalities. "Captain Jackson, the gentlemen tell us that their father had a wall safe, would it be possible to check to see if it was broken into?"
Captain Jackson looked surprised, "We didn't see any safe when we were searching the place and the desk was locked. Where is the safe and we'll have one of print guys check it first."
Tim pointed to a decorative mirror. "It's behind that mirror. The mirror swings open like a cabinet."
The finger print person quickly dusted the mirror and took what prints were on it and then opened the mirror and the safe was still closed. The gentleman dusted the safe and nodded to the Captain.
Captain Jackson turned to us, "Gentlemen, if you know the combination you have our permission to open it."
My Dad asked, "Chad, what did you say your father's, I mean Mr. Harmon's birth date was?"
Chad looked at Dad like he was some sort of nut, "Granddad, he was born on April Fool's Day in 1958."
Dad dialed in 04-01-58 and it didn't work. Dad had an idea, "Okay if you Father had been in military, he might have entered 01-04-58."
Dad dialed that number and the safe opened, "Bingo. Father Lawler, I suggest you take these young punks and get them something to eat while the experts here go through the contents of the safe. Chad, here is some money. You pay for the food since the good Father is babysitting you."
Chad threw up his arms, "Whatever Granddad, this is a conspiracy to keep me away from my sons."
Dad was so calm. "Chad, once we get to the bottom of this mess and get your ... Mr. and Mrs. Harmon buried, you will have more than enough time to spend with The Mark and The Mole. Now, get your butts out of here and relax. I don't think it would be good to expose you and Tim to any more danger and Kevin would probably go into shock if he were separated from Tim."
Everyone looked at Dad like he was some sort of mental case. But Frank agreed, "I think the three teenagers need to get out of here before these two detectives arrest them for standing around with their hands in their pockets playing with their penises. You all go. We have enough here to keep us busy for a while. We'll meet you at the church in an hour.
The three teenagers left with Father Lawler, and Dad Long took charge. He pulled out the contents of the safe and looked at the paper. He had Frank carefully record each document so the two detectives could see what he uncovered.
To make a long story short, Dad Long found out that Mr. Harmon had been honorably discharged from the Air Force after 22 years of service. He had not only been awarded a Purple Heart medal, but was also the recipient of a Medal of Honor. He had been stashing his retirement pay away in a separate account and the family had been living on what he had made from his insurance business. When Dad Long looked at the financial papers, all he could say was, "This 'gentleman' must have been saving for a rainy day."
The real treasure was when Dad and Frank came across the last will and testaments that were in the safe. They had been written two years ago, but Mr. Harmon had left everything to his wife Mrs. Thelma Harmon or in case she had died before him, his eldest son Chad would be the recipient of his money with the stipulation that it be shared equally between the other children.
Frank knew the lawyer who had drawn up the wills and called him. "Hey Alex, we are involved in the Harmon demise. We have copies of the wills that were written two years ago. Are these the latest will's that Mr. and Mrs. Harmon had? ... Oh, they had scheduled to meet with you to update them next week. ... So the ones that we have are the latest that you know about? ... Thanks, my friend. Talk to you soon."
The last things to come out of the safe were a packet with some money and some insurance papers. When Dad Long examined the packet, all he said was, "Doug, your children have been well provided for."
Now what did that mean? The Captain and the other two squad cars had already left so the two detectives and Dad made sure that everything was locked. We took the essential papers to do what it was that lawyers do. When we got to the church, Father Lawler and the boys were just pulling in.
Chad climbed out of the car and asked, "Can we go now?"
Dad Long was trying to be diplomatic, but it was hard, "Chad, you, Doug and perhaps one of the people from the state Children's Services Division are going to need to come back tomorrow to sort out the rest of this mess. Under no circumstances do we want you to go near the Harmon house. We will arrange for your brothers and sister to be here for the viewing. I'll make sure that Kevin and Kendra don't let anything happen to Mark and Jon."
Dad spoke up, "I'll come with you. We can always spend the night at my house and Mother's house."
That almost sent Chad into tears. "Granddad, please don't even suggest that. This is difficult enough without depriving me of my sons."
Father Lawler held Chad, "Chad, just do what you have to do to get through this ordeal. Your sons are young enough that they won't remember that their daddy left them stranded on a deserted island in the middle of Des Moines, Iowa. You and Tim need to be strong for your brothers and sisters."
Tim and Chad hugged Father Lawler and we went to get into the van. Dad Long was looking at the papers he and Frank had collected and out of the clear asked, "Chad and Tim, do you have military identification cards?"
Chad and Tim looked at a loss for a minute, but Chad answered as he pulled out an old wallet and took out a yellow card, "Is this what you were asking about?"
Dad Long had a huge smile, "Yep, this will make everything so much easier.
How many of the other children have one?"
Tim answered, "Dad and Mother, or rather Mr. and Mrs. Harmon took our three sisters to Offutt Air Force last August to get their cards. They said that Billy and Bobby were still too young."
Dad Long, continued, "As a surviving dependent of a retired military person, you all are entitled to some benefits until you reach a certain age. This is not something that I'm familiar with, but I will find out. I do know that you are entitled to medical care and some other benefits. Chad, unfortunately I don't think that Jon and Mark will be able receive the same benefits."
Chad was shaking his head, "Granddad Long, I'll make sure that my sons have only the best. I am glad that my brothers and sisters will be taken care of, so I can concentrate on my two sons."
Chad leaned back against me and it was like he tuned out the rest of the conversation that was going on in the van. As soon as we were parked at the house, he jumped out of the van and went to check on his sons. They were both asleep, but he picked them up anyway. He took them upstairs and got them ready for bed. He came back down and got the boys' bottles and went to feed them.
When he didn't come back down, I went to check on him. He was asleep curled up with a pillow and blanket next to the boys' cribs. I went down and had Tim take the other four little guys and get them ready for bed. I asked that they be very quiet because Chad and his sons were already asleep. I looked at Tim, "Tim, would you please come back so we can talk after the four young boys are in bed?"
Tim returned shortly and everyone else had departed for home; so it was Grandmother, Dad, Mike and me. Tim plopped his bottom on the sofa next to me.
He looked at us, "Am I in trouble or something? Why all the mystery?"
I held Tim, "Son, you aren't in trouble. I know that you will be fine. It's Chad that I am beginning to worry about. It was like when Dad Long said that all of you would be fine except for Jon and Mark, Chad went into a shell."
Tim looked up at me and grinned, "Dads, don't worry about Chad. He's a survivor. I am sure that he has to be exhausted and he only wants the best for his sons. Why else would he go to bed without something to eat? Speaking of which, I'm starved. Is there anything in the house to eat? By the way, who of us is going back to Iowa City tomorrow?"
Dad spoke, I think you, Chad and me should leave in the morning and then the rest can come for the viewing. We'll call Mrs. Young in the morning and see what she wants to do. We'll let Mother and Kendra here to take care of Jon, Mark, Jeremy and Jason. We can spend the night at my house and Mother's house.
Tim got a very serious look, "I don't think Chad will buy into that plan. I think he will insist that we take his sons."
We had not heard Chad come down the stairs, he was standing there in his warm-up suit, "What am I not going to buy into? Someone come tell me while I make a sandwich or something. I'm starved."
Oh to be a teenager again.
Author's Note: If you would like to read more of this story and other interesting stories, you want to visitwww.tickiestories.us.
Indeed, this is beginning to seem like a mystery story, isn't it? I am on pins and needles. I certainly hope that the two sons of that slime ball's first affair, are not able to hurt our heroes. They seemed pretty determined to do them harm or worse. I can hardly wait for the next chapter to find out what is going on.
Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher