Corny Star Wars jokes aside, Captain Hamel did seem to have a sixth sense for knowing whenever Detective Bruno was near.
“Bruno! And bring the rookie!” he bellowed from his office the second Bruno stepped into the squad room, even though Hamel could not see him from his vantage point.
As always, Hamel was at his desk with a file open in front of him. This time, however, he greeted them with a huge smile.
“I hear your football prowess came in handy earlier,” Hamel said with a chuckle.
“That’s right, sir,” Wally replied humbly. “Just doing my job.”
“I don’t know why I didn’t think of pairing you two up earlier,” Hamel continued. “We could call you the Jock Squad…”
Wally’s eyebrows raised in curiosity, but Bruno jumped in before that line of conversation went any further.
“I sense a disturbance in the Force,” Bruno declared.
Hamel let out a loud sigh. “Always gotta be a wise ass with the Star Wars comments.”
“Look, sir, this whole thing ain’t sitting right with me,” Bruno pleaded his case. “We still don’t know if we even got a murder on our hands.”
Now Hamel raised an eyebrow. “The Nun confirmed the body wasn’t just a figment of the rookie’s imagination.”
Wally hung his head, but wisely remained silent.
“Yeah,” Bruno pressed, “but she didn’t see any sign of foul play, and said that it seemed like a natural death.”
Hamel threw up his arms in surrender. “Fine. Maybe it’s not murder, but we still got a missing body. So it’s kidnapping or a missing person case. Hell, it can even be trespassing or unlawful dumping. Take your pick, Bruno, but they’re all problems that need police intervention.”
Hamel looked up expecting some sort of quip from Bruno, but was surprised when it wasn’t fired at him.
“Look, sir, I ain’t got time for another orphan. Can’t you pass this off to one of the other guys? I’ve already got a full load…”
“Did I mention that the Mayor and the Commissioner play a round of golf with the Archbishop at least twice a month?”
“Who’s their fourth?” Wally chimed in from the corner.
Bruno closed his eyes and shook his head.
“What was that, rookie?” Hamel demanded.
Wally took a step forward. “Normally you play golf in pairs or a foursome. Three is literally an odd number, so I was just curious who their fourth player was.”
“I tell ya what,” Hamel replied. “The second you guys leave, I’ll get on the horn with the Commissioner’s social secretary and track down that vital piece of information.”
Bruno shot Wally a look that screamed, “Shut the Hell up!” louder than he could have if he’d chosen to speak the words.
Wally took the hint and vanished into the corner again.
“The Archbishop wants to know why there was a dead body on Church property, and he can complain about why he hasn’t received that answer to two men who can make our lives extremely miserable. For this reason, I have put my best detective and his loyal sidekick on the case. Have I made myself clear, Detective Bruno?”
Bruno nodded. “Crystal, sir.”
Bruno said a silent thank you that Wally had not demanded to know why he had to be the sidekick in this scenario.
Hamel smiled. It was the little victories that made his job tolerable.
“I can see something is still bothering you, and I got that ass chewing off my chest, so why don’t you tell me what’s wrong?”
Bruno did not need any prompting, but he did welcome the invitation to speak freely.
“If I’m gonna get anywhere, I’m gonna need to ruffle some feathers in the Gang Squad, Organized Crime, definitely at the DA’s office, and maybe even with some deep pocketed real estate developers who will probably have powerful friends.”
Captain Hamel nodded in understanding.
“You got all those connections from one corpse you ain’t even laid eyes on yet? That’s why you’re the best, Bruno.”
“Thank you, sir. But I can’t do nothing with what little info I have unless I have some weight behind me when I go knocking.”
“Understood,” Hamel responded with a devilish smile. “I’ll have your back. Go into this knowing you’ve got the full power of the Dark Side of the Force behind you.”
“That’s all I needed to know, sir,” Bruno replied with a nod. “Thank you.”
Bruno turned for the door, and nodded for Wally to follow. Once they were out of earshot, Wally finally whispered, “Do you think he’s ever seen a single Star Wars movie?”
“I highly doubt it,” Bruno replied with a sly grin.
TO BE CONTINUED…
Make sure you’ve read all 8 parts so you don’t miss any of the mystery!