Measure of a Mann

Chapter 4

Measure of a Mann

Chapter Four

Fourteen hours later…

Marshall awoke slowly. His head hurt and his vision was blurry. He put his head back down on his chest and waited for the dizziness to pass. Finally, he put his head back up to take a look at his surroundings. He sat up from a cot, which his captors had placed him on and saw that he was inside a cell of some kind. He realized that he was being held in an abandoned jail, which explained why it was so dirty.

When several prisons were built in Albuquerque, old jails were torn down or used for something else; more useless information that Marshall knew. Apparently, this jail was somehow missed. Now that he thought about it, Marshall had no idea if he was even in Albuquerque anymore. He had no idea how long he was unconscious for. However, since the sun was up, it has been at least ten hours. Whatever they injected him with, it was powerful.

Marshall stood and walked over to the bars and tried to pry them off the hinges. He knew it was going to do him no good, but the bars were old and rusted. He wanted to at least try. He gave up after a few minutes and walked back over to the cot. He sat and waited for someone to come in and explain why they decided to kidnap him, although he had a feeling he already knew why.

As if on queue, the man whom Marshall expected to see walked in the room and took a seat in a chair that was placed in the middle of the room. It was the same man Marshall had tried to chase after at the gallery. Looking into the man's eyes for the second time that evening, he now knew for sure that he was the man whom he believed him to be.

The man spoke first saying, "You know who I am, don't you? I could tell from the look on your face at the art gallery that you did. How? Who are you?"

"A son would recognize his own father, wouldn't you," Marshall replied?

The man looked at the younger man in the cell more closely and asked, "Marshall, well I'll be! I never thought that I would ever see you again."

Marshall responded, "I thought the same about you. You were dead, or so I thought. So did Mom. She was devastated and she had to work double shifts in order to take care of me. I did whatever I could to earn money in order to help her out. I was just a kid. You left us alone with nothing and for what? What on earth was so important that you had to fake your own death and abandoned us? Now, thirty-one years later you come back into my life and kidnap me using thugs to help you, having no idea who I was. What is going on, Dad?"

"It's hard to explain, Marshall," he replied. "I did what I had to do to protect you."

"This is what you call protecting me," Marshall asked? "Kidnapping is against the law and on top of that, I am also a US marshal. My partner and boss are probably out looking for me right now. I became a marshal because I wanted to be like you. I read through all of your old case files that you had kept several times since I was a kid. I wanted you to be proud of me because you were a hero to me, but not anymore. Now I protect people from people like you."

"Marshall, this isn't what it seems," he replied. "I will…"

Marshall cut him off by saying, "There is no good reason for doing this. When I became a marshal, I collected the files for the case that I thought you were killed in and read them over and over. I knew something didn't seem right about the case. I just wasn't sure what it was, but I am beginning to get a pretty good idea. Your partner, Tony was innocent like he said he was, wasn't he? The traitor was you, am I right, Dad?"

Instead of answering his son's question, Richard Mann stood up and said, "I am sorry that I was forced to take such drastic precautions, but I can't let you go. I can't risk anyone finding out that I am still alive, or finding out the truth about me. I won't go to prison.

After that was said, Marshall's father walked out of the room and Marshall lay back down on the cot. He concentrated on everything that he had learned from the case and went over the details in his mind.

Thirty-one years ago…

Marshall was eleven years old and his father was a US marshal. It was his job to go after the fugitives who either jumped bail or escaped from prison. Marshall thought his father was the coolest person in the world and he was a hero. He wanted to grow up to be just like him. His mother stayed at home to take care of him until he started school. She found a part time job as a travel agent in a little office building down town. She worked only when he was in school. She felt it was important to be there for her son when he came home.

Ryan Combs was Marshall's best friend and the son of his father's partner. They were the same age and loved to play cops and robbers together. Ryan also thought his father was a hero too. They went to school together everyday, played in little league, and their fathers taught them both how to fire a gun and everything about them. Marshall and Ryan have been friends since they were six.

One night, Marshall snuck downstairs after going to bed to find his father and his partner in a heavy argument. His mother had decided to go out of town for a few days to be with her sister, while she went through a bitter divorce with her husband.

Marshall sat at the bottom of the stairs listening to the argument, even though he knew that he shouldn't. He heard Ryan's father begging his father to believe that he was being set up. That he would never betray him or his country. His father yelled that the evidence against him was very compelling and that he wasn't sure he really believed him. His partner begged his father for help and then left. Marshall quickly ran back upstairs before he was caught.

Marshall begged his father to take him with him to his work the next day. It was a Saturday and there was no one to watch him at home. He told him that he just wanted to come and see the rest of the marshals that were there. They had come over to his house many times for barbeques and parties and they were good friends. His father reluctantly agreed and Marshall kept his ears open to learn as much as he could about what was going on.

While he was there, he learned that Internal Affairs had been called in when the marshal service discovered that there was a mole inside the department after two witnesses had been killed in the last three weeks. He also learned that a large sum of money had been recently transferred into his father's partner's bank account as well as other pieces of evidence against him.

He didn't believe that Tony, his father's partner, was guilty of being a traitor. Marshall knew how much he loved his job and his family. The morning after Marshall had heard the argument; he confronted Tony and told him that he believed he was innocent. However, it didn't ease the bad feeling that was in the pit of his stomach. He knew that something bad was going to happen very soon.

Days later, Marshall's father and partner were called out to chase down an escaped criminal. The man they were after, Jake Cranston, was very dangerous. He had killed his wife, his neighbor, and three cops. The witnesses, who were killed recently, were witnesses against him and his girlfriend. He killed a marshal in order to escape.

Marshall's father and Tony were the first ones on the scene when Cranston was spotted and they chased him into a warehouse. However, before the other marshals and policemen could enter, the warehouse suddenly blew up. After the fire department had put out fire and went into what was left of the warehouse, they found four bodies that were completely burned and unrecognizable.

After the marshal service had autopsies done on them, both Marshall's father and Tony were declared dead, as well as Cranston and his girlfriend. Marshall locked himself inside his room when he found out and refused to come out, not even for his father's funeral.

He was angry and no longer cared that he still felt that Tony was innocent. He blamed his father's partner for getting his father killed and he blamed himself, no matter how hard his mother tried to convince him that it wasn't his fault. He also never spoke to Ryan ever again. He wanted nothing to do with him.

It wasn't until years later that Marshall began to listen to his feelings again about Tony's innocence. He had cooled down and knew that he was wrong to hurt Ryan as he had, which is why he had gathered every bit of information on the case against his father's partner and their deaths once he became a marshal himself. He tried to figure out what it was about the case that bothered him so much, but he never could. Not until today.

Back in present day…

Marshall now knew that his father must have been the one to set up Tony Combs. He didn't want to believe it, but the fact that his father was alive now and had kidnapped him in order to keep him quiet, was proof that it was true.

Marshall needed to know why and hoped that he would be able to figure it all out before his father decided to do whatever it was he was going to do with him. He also hoped that Mary and Stan would be able to find him in time. They needed to know the truth as much as he did.

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