Measure of a Mann

Chapter 5

Measure of a Mann

Chapter Five


Mary and Stan were still at Marshall's house, looking through what was left of it. The fire department finally gave them permission after several hours, to enter and look for evidence. They slowly went from room to room, hoping that Mary was right about Marshall leaving behind some kind of clue as to who this man was.

They saw that the house was completely trashed. Furniture was destroyed and broken, pillows from his chairs and couch were on the floor, and some of his windows and a mirror were shattered. Marshall had obviously put up one heck of a fight against his attackers. He even managed to kill one of them before they took him. Mary stopped searching for a minute and placed her head into her hands.

Stan walked up to her and asked, "Mary, are you all right?"

Mary lifted her head back up and answered, "No, not really. I won't be until we find Marshall. He has to be okay, Stan. He is the only partner I have ever had who understands me. The two of you, and maybe Eleanor, are the only friends I have."

"I am sure that your partner is going to be just fine," Agent Mike Faber replied.

"What on earth are you doing here," Mary asked as he came into the room they were standing in? "I didn't think that we would ever see you again. The FBI has nothing do with a missing US marshal."

Faber answered, "I came as soon as I heard because I thought that you could use all the help you could get. You both helped me a few times; I wanted to return the favor."

Stan said, "We could use your help. Thanks for coming."

"Just don't try to undermine me or tell me how you feel about me," Mary said. "Finding Marshall is our only priority. He has been missing for about fourteen hours now. Earlier tonight he and I were at a party. Marshall recognized one of the guests and ran after him as the guy left. Whoever he is, Marshall was scared that he was there, as if he had seen a ghost. We looked at the security cameras footage to get a picture of this guy and ran it through all of the databases. Whoever he is, it is like he doesn't exist. There is no record of him anywhere. Not even a driver's license or social security number."

Stan added, "The host of the party told us this guy introduced himself as James Moriarty, but we figured out that that was just an alias."

Faber replied, "That's right, James Moriarty is the arch nemesis in the Sherlock Holmes novels. I used to read them all the time when I was a kid."

Mary answered, "We figured that out because Marshall talked about Sherlock Holmes the other day. I'm glad that I was actually paying attention to him that day. Marshall has a tendency to ramble on about useless trivia. I realize now that it isn't so useless. When we find him, I promise to pay closer attention to him from now on."

The three of them continued searching throughout the house. Mary made her way into what was once her partner's study. She knew that he liked to sit in here when he was alone and read. He told her once that it relaxed him to gain knowledge on a new subject. To Mary, Marshall was the smartest person that she knew.

Mary put her hand on top of what was left of his favorite chair and suddenly remembered the safe that Marshall had built in to the floor, hidden by the chair. Mary shouted for Stan and Faber as she moved the chair and knelt down on the floor to try to open up the safe. They ran in and watched Mary as she wiped away the ash that was coving up the numbers on the dial and began to turn it.

It took her a few tries as she concentrated on remembering the combination. She was surprised when Marshall told her what it was several years ago. She didn't understand why, but he said it was a way for him to tell her how much he trusted and respected her. It was then that she realized she fully trusted and respected him too. No one else had ever given her the time of day because they saw her as rude, pushy, and cold-hearted. Marshall was the first one to see past all that.

Finally, Mary pulled open the safe and looked inside. She put her hands in and pulled out two folders. She saw that there was also his father's marshal badge, a baseball with an autograph of some player who she didn't know, and a photograph of her and him together, which was taken a long time ago at some office party.

Mary handed Stan one of the folders and opened up the other one. Stan announced that his folder contained Marshall's will. Mary quickly looked up at Stan, then back down at the contents of her folder. She scanned through the papers and saw that it was information on the case, during which his father was killed.

Mary didn't know much about her partner's father. She only knew that he was also a US marshal and that he was killed tracking down a criminal. Marshall didn't like to talk about him and she could see that it hurt him to. So, she never pressed him on the matter.

After shifting through the papers, she picked up his father's badge once again and opened it to look at the photo. She suddenly did a double take at the photo and stood up to hand it to Stan. He looked at the photo and then back at Mary.

She spoke saying, "Stan, Marshall's father is our suspect from the gallery, but how is that possible? Marshall said that his father died when he was eleven, while trying to catch a murderer."

Faber replied, "I guess that explains why Marshall looked like he saw a ghost. Do you really believe that he is the one who kidnapped him?"

"He ran from the gallery when he saw that Marshall recognized him," Mary answered. "It can't be a coincidence that he turns up alive and my partner gets kidnapped in the same night."

"He obviously didn't want anyone to know that he was alive," Stan said. "He probably kidnapped Marshall to keep him from telling anyone who he was. It has been over thirty years since he was supposedly killed. I doubt that he recognized Marshall as his son. I think…"

Mary cut in saying, "It doesn't matter if he knew that Marshall was his son, or not. He has him and God knows what he is going to do to him. Marshall was hurting, Stan. I saw it in his eyes, remember. This explains why. I should have pressed him harder and made him explain what was going on, but I didn't. I should have had his back, but I failed him."

Mary pounded the chair and Stan replied, "Mary, this is not your fault. If you had stayed with him last night, you might have been taken too."

"Please just tell me we are going to get him back," Mary said quietly. "I won't find a better partner. I don't want another partner."

"We will do whatever it takes to find your suspect," Faber replied. "All of the FBI technology and information is at your disposal."

Mary thanked Faber and they headed out of his house to go back to the office. They needed to go through the file and get in touch with someone who would know more about the case Marshall's father was working on when he faked his death. She was hoping that she would be able to speak with someone that worked directly with him, like his partner or boss. They had yet to learn how bad things were about to get.

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