Measure of a Mann

Chapter 7

Measure of a Mann

Chapter Seven

Mary usually had a tendency to speed whenever she drove. However, right now she had a reason to. She and Maryanne Lawson got into Mary's car and drove right to the office. Maryanne saw that Mary was clearly angry about something that was said in the brief conversation that she had on the phone a minute ago.

When they arrived, Mary practically ran into the building. When she walked in, she saw that Stan wasn't wrong about the surprise visitor. Standing next to Stan and Agent Faber was Richard Mann, the last person that she expected to see. Everything that she had learned so far told Mary that this man was guilty of kidnapping his own son, but suspects didn't usually show up at the office of those investigating them, willingly.

Mary asked Maryanne to wait in the hall until someone came out to get her. She didn't want Mr. Mann to see her as a safety precaution, or for her to see him just yet. As she walked into the room she nodded to Faber, who stepped out to lead ex-Marshal Lawson to an empty room once everyone walked into another.

Then, Mary walked up to her suspect with fire in her eyes. Even if this man was innocent, she still hated the man for abandoning her partner, as her father had done to her. There were no good reasons for abandoning your family.

Stan spoke first saying, "Mary, as you know, this is Richard Mann. He is here because he heard about his son's abduction and came here to offer his help."

Mary scoffed and said, "After abandoning your son and pretending to be dead for thirty years, running away from him when he saw you a few nights ago, and then him going missing, you suddenly decide to show up now? You can't possibly tell me that my partner's abduction has nothing to do with you reappearing. You are our main suspect and I think that you know that. What is it that you really want? Are you here to make sure that we are no where near close to finding him?"

Mann responded, "I don't know how much you think you know Miss Shannon, but I am here to help you find my son."

Mary answered, "Your son is very smart, Mr. Mann. He may not have had the opportunity to tell me who it was that freaked him out the night of the gallery party before he was taken, but he did leave behind the case file of the explosion in which you, your partner, and a convict died in. That is how we discovered who you were. There were ashes and remains of newspaper clippings left out in the living room that the fire hadn't completely destroyed. They were mostly unreadable, but Marshall must have been reading them and stashed the case file where he knew I would find it untouched, before he was attacked."

"Despite what you think of me, I did not kidnap Marshall," Richard said. "I love him very much. I didn't know that he lived here in Albuquerque. I haven't known where he was since I died. Being a marshal, I knew how to disappear and hide in plain sight. I have done a lot of traveling to avoid being recognized. Thirty-one years ago, I was chasing after a very dangerous convict, Jake Cranston. Soon, my boss and I discovered that my partner was dirty and feeding this criminal information about those who were witnesses to his crimes. However, we were having a hard time proving that he was dirty. A few days before the warehouse explosion that killed my partner and the convict, I got into a confrontation with Cranston and his brother. It ended with the brother being killed and Cranston escaped. Before he did, he threatened to kill my wife and son. Then, the explosion happened and I somehow managed to survive, unharmed. I saw that my partner and Cranston were both killed, along with two homeless men whom I had seen as I was chasing after Cranston. However, Cranston still had loyal men on the loose that I knew would make good on his threat against my family if they learned I was still alive. I knew that everyone would believe that I was dead if I planted my badge, gun, and wallet on one of the bodies. I was right. I stuck around to make sure my family was safe and when I knew that they were, I left and have been on the run ever since. I didn't want to leave my family and never see them again, but I had no choice. I couldn't take them with me."

"That doesn't explain how or why Marshall was kidnapped, Mr. Mann," Stan finally spoke.

Richard continued on saying, "Somehow Cranston's men found out that I was alive several months ago. Men have been chasing me and it wasn't until after the party at the gallery did I learn that one of my men had betrayed me and was leaking my whereabouts to them. At the gallery, I told my men that someone had recognized me. I thought that it was one of the men after me. So, we ran. I didn't learn that the man who recognized me was my son or that he was kidnapped until I saw that news broadcast. I discovered that the man who betrayed me had sent men to find out who it was that recognized me at the gallery because he knew he wasn't one of his men. They must have followed him home and kidnapped him. Believe me, Miss Shannon, I am so sorry."

Mary pulled Stan and Faber, who had joined them as Richard Mann had begun his explanations, aside and said, "It is obvious that he is lying. That story is such a crock. Who would be stupid enough to believe that?"

Faber replied, "There are definitely some holes in his story and some things that do not make sense, but why would he come in to share all of this information with us if he was guilty? A man who wants to stay dead to everyone wouldn't usually go to anyone, especially the marshal service. He learned that his son was kidnapped. If it were my son, it would be the only reason I would come out of hiding and reveal that I am alive after all these years."

"I don't buy it," Mary responded. "I am telling you, Stan, something is wrong here."

"I agree with you, Mary," Stan said. "However, until we can prove it, we have to act like he is telling the truth. If he is guilty, hopefully he will screw up. Either way, let's hope that he will lead us to Marshall. In the meantime, let's go have a talk with Mrs. Lawson. Maybe she will have some helpful information for us. Do not let Mr. Mann know that she is here. I don't want to risk anything happening to her."

With that said, Mary and Stan walked into the room where Maryanne Lawson was patiently waiting, while Agent Faber went to go talk some more with Richard Mann.

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