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from Killing Time In LA by Kenneth Lawson

Copyright © 2020–2021 Kenneth Lawson

Chapter 4 Day Four, Sunday, June 12, 1949

 While the sun had long ago peeked through the blinds in our bedroom window.

 I didn’t move. I didn't move for some time. Finely the call of nature way too much for me to ignore. Having done that . I made my way to the kitchen. Within a few minutes, the smell of coffee  filled the small bungalow 

While I nursed my first cup of coffee waiting for it to cool down enough to drink.

The scrap of paper  I found on the table became a list of names. The first name on the first was Lane Hardy, followed by a close second by Emma Hardy, and bringing up the third was Clearance Hardy. 

Three question marks were below the names. These were the two guys Clearance had met yesterday.  And the third question mark was the lawyer, and a fourth could easily be the change in cars. 

 Below that I wrote down what they had in common, married, family, and the biggie;  college. They all taught at the college.  Well, most of them. I didn’t know if Clearance had any connection to the college. But it wouldn't surprise me to find he did.

 As the coffee was cool enough to drink, I finally found some bread for toast.  

As it was about to pop in from the small two slice toast I heard the doorbell. 

. As I made the trip from the kitchen to the front door I Instinctively reached for the revolver that lay on the bedside table . Peeking through the glass in the door I saw it was only Walt. I lay the gun down the  nearby end  table and unlocked the door.

 “MMm coffee’s already going. Good. “ He said as he came in and headed directly to the kitchen.

“And good morning to you too.” I  followed him in the kitchen after relocking the door and collecting the revolver and replacing it on the  bedside table on my way though.

By the time 

I got into the kitchen. He had laid the stack of files he had in his hand down on  the table and found a cup. 

“Brenda up yet?”

“She should be anytime. We were later than usual last night.” 

By Now I was sitting in my usual chair at the table. Walt was parked in the odd chair.  Brenda came in as I took a sip of coffee. 

“Morning Hun,” I told her as I put my cup down.

“Morning Brenda,” Walt said over his coffee.

“Morning guys.”  She bent down to me and we kissed. 

“What's All This?” She asked as she sat down in her regular chair.

“I was about to ask the same thing.”

“ This is what I found out about the Hardys from my sources in the Military. 

I called in a few favors last night.”


“I’ll say you did.!” I pulled the top file off the stack and opened it.

Over the next hour or so.  Brenda made breakfast and we went over the files Walt had brought with him. The overall theme of the flies was the  mathimaniticans contribution to the development of new aircraft and  Emma had worked with the defense department in recounting agents for foreign operations. Her expertise helped weed out undesirables and weirdos. 

 As for Clearance. He didn’t find much about him. He didn't appear to close them. From what he could find he had seen Lane and Emma in several years.  He ran his own business  on the other side of the state.here's the y?”


Apparently they all came from the same area. They went to the same schools and graduated close together.  Lane went to university and studied math and math theory and came up with some new ideas, Ideas which got him his job at the college he’s at now.  Clearance went into business on his own. After a short stint in college.


Walt told us he was still waiting for reports from some other sources. But as far as he could find Clearance was clean. At least nothing since the war.


The business that Clearance ran was related to the defense industry. Walt didn’t have a clear idea of exactly what he did but whatever it is it involved government contracts. Which meant money. And lots of it. Especially during the war. Which explains how he could afford to come out here at the last minute and hire me. 

Yes I wanted his money. But not at the expense of a guilty man going free, especially if it was him. Which as far as I could see was a definite possibility.

   He wouldn’t be the first one to hire a detective to prove he didn’t do it, but in the end did do it. While it hadn’t happened to me yet. I knew it could happen. With his odd movements yesterday and sudden interest in his brother. From what little we can find out so far he hadn't seen in several months if not years, we weren’t discounting him. In fact, he was at the top of my list. Until I get a better candidate.


Most of the morning was spent reading over the reports that Walt had brought over. I knew better than to ask where most of this came from. There was information that I  knew Bob would love to have if he could get it. I knew he couldn’t.

I filled him in on the finding at Lane’s office. 

About mid-morning Walt said he had to leave.  

Right after Walt left Bob called.

“Jim, The stakeout on  Clarence Hardy just got pulled. The top brass don’t want me spending any more time on it. I’m pulling my guys off it as soon as I can. I’ll let you know if they have anything interesting to report. So far from what they’ve said he’s been behaving himself.”

“Ok, I figured as much. You get anything on the  lawyers?”

“Still working on that, being it's not an official case, I can’t just ask.”

“Yeah, I know. Walt just left. He brought me a whole pile of files on Hardys. Makes  for some interesting reading.”

“Yeah, I’ll bet. Listen, I’m going to show the papers we found in his Office to him. You want to sit in?”

“Yeah give a bit to get over there. Oh and I’ll  bring you the files  Walt brought this morning.”

“Good. Meet me in my office.”


 I hung up and packed up the files Walt had left me in a big leather bag I had stashed in a back closest.

 After telling Brenda where I was going and what Bob said about the stakeout on Clearance, and that  I’d call h...

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