The Angel of San Diego

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Chapter 34 - Amateur Detective

“Ah, Lt. Hawk, I was hoping to see you. I have some theories about this case I’d like to discuss with you.”

“Funny. I was thinking the same thing.”

Nancy felt relieved. “Won’t you join us, Lieutenant? We were just talking about the case.”

“So, I heard,” Lt. Hawk sat down. Malissa came out of the lunchroom with two hot coffees. She gave one to Lt. Hawk and the other to Mr. Carter.

“Thank you,” Mr. Carter said. He took a sip, “Perfect. How did you know I liked honey and lemon in my coffee?”

“She’s psychic, too,” Lt. Hawk said.

“It runs in the family,” said Nancy. You didn’t put anything funny in that coffee did you?

No, Mom, I only put lemon and honey in it.

“Fascinating, I would love to talk to you about that. In addition to my addiction to Mystery novels I am also intrigued by psychic phenomena.”

“Perhaps that can be arranged,” Nancy said.

“Yes, but you were explaining your theory on this case…” Lt. Hawk coaxed.

“Of course, Lieutenant, the case is more pressing. First, I must tell you that I have not been totally honest with you all. My name is Carter now, but I was born James T. Cartier. The crypt where you found that horrible torture room is my family crypt.”

Lt. Hawk interrupted him: “I have to warn you that anything you say could be used against you in a court of law. Are you sure you shouldn’t be talking to a lawyer instead of me?”

“I know my rights, Lieutenant. I didn’t tell you about the name change because I didn’t want you to think what you must be thinking now.”

“How do you know what I am thinking? Are you a psychic too?”

“Educated guess, Lieutenant, I know it looks incriminating, but I am not your perpetrator. Let me give you some family history and I will make it perfectly clear that I couldn’t be your ‘man’.”

“Go ahead, we’re listening.” Lt. Hawk decided to let him talk hoping he might slip up and give himself away.

“My family came here from Europe two generations ago. They took the name Cartier from a magazine. My real family name is Von Dracula.”

“You’re kidding! Are you trying to tell us that you are a vampire?” Lt. Hawk Scoffed.

“No sir, nothing as exciting as that; vampires are a myth. My distant relative was Vlad the impaler. He was a sadistic beast who tortured and impaled people. He would put the victims on display outside his castle. He took great pleasure in it. He was no Vampire in the mystical sense. It was rumored that he drank the blood of his victims; hence, the legend was born. No, he wasn’t a magical creature. He was a madman – accent on the man.”

“I’ve read about him, Hawk,” Malissa began, “Jimmy’s telling you the truth about that.”

“What’s all this got to do with the case?” Lt. Hawk asked.

“Another family secret…I have a twin brother.”

Another scarecrow running around…? Lt. Hawk shook his head quickly as though he misheard him, “A twin you say?”

“Yes, Lieutenant he was sent away to a sanitarium when we were quite young because he had developed an obsession with our evil ancestor. He began torturing the neighborhood pets. It was quite gruesome. To avoid a scandal my parents had him committed to a sanitarium up North somewhere.”

“Where up North?” Malissa asked.

“That’s just it. I haven’t been able to locate it or him. When I learned that the crypt had been turned into a torture chamber, I immediately thought of Jake.”

“Did you say, Jake?” Lt. Hawk asked.

“Yes. That’s what he called himself. You see, my brother was born Jason Lake Cartier. He was a schizophrenic. I think they call it multiple personality disorder these days. As Jason, he was kind, studious, and sweet. Never a problem at school or home, but Jake was evil and the opposite of everything Jason was.”

“You’re talking as if he were two separate people,” Lt. Hawk said.

“Exactly… With this mental disease, he became two separate people living in the same body. Neither of them knew this was the case. In fact they weren’t even aware of each other at that time.”

“Do you expect us to believe…,” Lt. Hawk began.

“It’s quite possible, Hawk,” Nancy said; “There are a number of documented cases dealing with multiple personality disorder.”

“Thank you, dear lady,” Jimmy bowed slightly. “I can’t tell you how much it pains me to talk about him, but it’s time for the truth to come out.” He reached into his coat pocket and brought out an envelope. “This is all the information I have – birth certificate, et cetera. You can find him a lot easier with your resources than I can since you have the authority of the law behind you.”

The Lieutenant took the envelope and looked at its contents.

“Hopefully, this will help you find him before he can make another torture chamber and begin to kill again.”

“Would you mind coming to the station with me to make a formal statement? It will also give me a chance to start running checks on the contents of this envelope. Maybe we can locate that sanitarium.”

“Of course, Lieutenant, I’m here to help and I mean to see it through.”

“Good. Well, if you ladies will excuse us?” Hawk rose from his chair.

“Yes and thank you for the coffee, Malissa,” said Mr. Carter.

“Don’t mention it.”

With that the two left together.

“I was kind of hoping we had our man. He certainly looks the part,” Malissa sounded disappointed.

“How did Hawk get here so fast Malissa?”

“He hadn’t left the building yet. He was downstairs briefing the security men here to be on the watch for strange people or packages.”

“They don’t come much stranger than Mr. Carter.”

“You sensed that too?”

“It doesn’t take a psychic to figure that out, dear.”

They laughed.

“You know, mom? I think Lt. Hawk is really fond of Robin.”

“I know he is dear,” she replied. “Your food is cold. We should get it warmed up for you.”

“Yours too… There’s a microwave inside.”

“No thanks, I’d rather have mine cold. You know how those infernal machines drive me crazy; almost as much as televisions do.”

“I’m glad I didn’t inherit that from you, mom. Being a professor means a lot of microwaving. Why don’t you wait here while I go inside? I’ll nuke yours while I’m doing mine.”

After lunch, they returned to Robin’s room to watch over him as he slept. Several hours later he was told of the new developments in the case.

“That makes sense,” he began, “When he’s Jake, there are no memories of his other self. That’s why I could only see him in the van. No last name, no clues. I’ll bet that if I read something Jason touched I would get no vibrations of Jake either.”

“It also explains the two voices in the crypt,” said Malissa. “Jake and Jason were arguing.”

“But I thought Mr. Carter said these multiple personalities didn’t know about each other,” Nancy put her knitting down in her lap.

“Evidently, our Mr. Carter isn’t the great detective he thinks he is, or there’s been a new development in Jason’s disorder.”

Malissa added, “Yes. In some cases the personalities have been known to have conversations with each other, although neither of them realizes that they are talking to themselves.”

“Well, maybe we can help tomorrow when the Lieutenant brings the evidence by,” said Robin. “Does anyone else here get the willies just knowing there are two guys that look like Mr. Carter running around?”

A cold shiver ran down Malissa’s spine. Nancy pretended to concentrate on her knitting.

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