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“.…. Please reverend? This is not something I am proud of, but we all have our jobs; as you say…..”

“.…. I’ll not tell you anything…..”

That decision, dare I say; can be most unfortunate for you….. If you are wondering why you cannot move, it is because I have paralyzed you, by interrupting the neurological path ways of your systematic bodily operations…..”

.…. You insight blasphemy in his place of worship…..”

“.….... No! On this, I must disagree…….. For this patron of faith, whom is not here to currently protect you; he is, shall I declare no god of mine…... I must congratulate you holy man however, on your strength….. Many a man larger and tougher than you, have I regularly interrogated; that were brought to tears at the revelations of permanent paralysis, and of quite possibly death…..”

“.…. It may seem right now, that god; he is not with me and yet I still live to preach his words…..”

“Waste not your useless prattle of non existent gods on me….. For one, such as you; that shows so great the fortitude against torture, I am now forced to implement a new technique in order to get the information I am seeking for….. You will tell me what I need to know…..”

“Do your worst China- man! You are nothing but an upper class thug!”

“.…. Please Reverend? We are an ancient peoples, and we take great pride in many a practice….. Have you heard of the Chinese method known as acupuncture?”

“.…. Pins and needles?”

“Quite correct…... What you Americans do not know is that: such a technique, can be used to instigate pain as well as to cease it…..”

“Hoodoo nonsense…..”

“Oh no my dear Reverend…... It is, as we say in China: One of many an ancient art….. These needles, thirteen in the set; they have been passed down from one generation to the next, since the days the warlord Genghis Khan; has this extreme method of torture been used…..But it is only maintained by those with the wisdom to understand the science…..”

“Do your worst China! I’ll not break….. You, you’ll have to kill me; but you’ll never get any information out of me…..”

“.…. Such extraordinary courage and fortitude….. You are real, man of god….. Now, I must again reconsider my method….. This is most unfortunate…..”


“.…. We are not a stupid people….. I will not waste time, in the torturing of one whom will never break….. You are of a seasoned age….. A man of later years in his life….. You must have children and quite possibly grandchildren….. Of their existences and of their locations, I shall have no difficulties in finding…..”


“.…. Perhaps, but as you say; we all have to do our jobs….. Now my dear Reverend, I will ask you one more time….. Where, can I find the Private Detective you call the Rook? Where can I find the Rook’s shadow? The one, you Americans know as the Mouth?”


“Trevelle? The warden wants to speak to you.....”

“.…. Tell him, I have nothing to say….. You have already condemned me..... Why don’t you let me sleep?”

“Hey guard?”

“Lights out Al!”

“If the kid next door don’t have words for the warden, I’ll be more than happy to chew on his ear…..”

“You heard me Karpis! I said lights out!”

“.…. The prisoner giving you some trouble Ned?”

“Yeah! He’s a stubborn hot- head, this one…..”

“I’ll take care of him…. On your feet Trevelle, now! Don’t make me pacify you, and drag your lazy ass out of there!”

Armond Trevelle reluctantly rose to his feet.

.…. Great job you guys are doing; locking up innocent people…..”

“Tell it to the judge next time you see him!”

“.…. Yeah, yeah….. I wouldn’t want you two stooges getting all physical on me….. You may break something…..”

“.…. Ha, ha, ha…..”

“Shut- up Creepy, or I’ll shut you up!”


“This beach house, it is such a marvelous place….. Crazy stupid detective, he can be so trusting…..”

Minerva slowed her pace as she ascended the stairs, an appeasing tune reaching her ears.

“.….. Well, well, well….. The proprietor of the house is a listener of upper class music….. Bach, if I am not mistaken…..”

Minerva locked the door to the bath and made a quick search of the cabinets and of her surroundings. Not finding any visible devices, the woman drew down the window shade and she then lowered the lights. Removing her gun belts, one from her waist and the other from around her chest; she laid the weapons within arm’s reach of the bath.

The music instantly soothed her, as she slowly undressed. This was a welcome splurging of comfort that she had not been witness to in many days. Such luxuries, they are a little difficult to come by when you are in so hazardous a business. Black and blue marks, and stitched cuts: multiple wounds of past confrontation situation, sting at her body as she lowered herself into the bubbling bath tub.

Prepared for her, a table and a tray with glasses and with a chilled bottle of wine: Red- Rose; not her favored, but welcome to effect the aiding of her comfort.

“Now, I have much more appreciation for you Rook; and for your friends….. Of all the men I have encountered, you stand out as a visible savior to my thoughts and memories of past terrors…..”

Minerva reached for one of her gun belts, the woman instantly reacting to a wrapping on the bath room door.

“.…. Miss Minerva?”

“Yes Graves?”

“Is the water sufficient?”

“Oh, yes; that it is Graves….. The wine, it is a welcome comfort as well…..”

“Excellent..... Call on me if you have further need of me……... It is time for me to begin preparations for supper….. I think roast lamb chops and greens will go nicely…..”

“Sounds delicious Graves….. Thank you.....”

“Enjoy your bath Miss Minerva…..”


What’s that?”

“What’s what?”

“That! Right there, on the floor….. In the front of the cell…..”

“Oh! That, it’s some kind of hoodoo powder line drawn for protection from the spirits, or some such nonsense….. These people, they at times place their faith in the hands of bizarre practices…..”

“.…. Yeah, I guess I get that; sort of, but what is it?”

“.…. It is mostly: crushed eggshells, salt, and white pepper…..”

“Geese! What are these people going to come up with next? What’s the spook doing?”

“.…. Meditating..... Some of the other prisoners, they believe he is communing with spirits…..”

“Congratulations..... You really know how to freak a guy out…..”

“.…. I will leave you to your discussion…..”

The Jamaican born, meditating man of their whispering interests; slowly raised his brows and opened his eyes.

“Do you have that which I told you to bring G- man?”

“.…. Yes! This is the picture of the one…..”

“.…. And, what have you; of the genetics, G- man? I need samples of this ones’ actual existence…..”

“There was very little to find….. We found a little blood at the scene, and we have finger prints…..”

“.…. Keep the prints for your paperwork G- man….. They will do me very little…..”

“.…. Here, in this vial is a sample of the blood….. Will it be enough?”

“.….. Perhaps….. Place the vial- within the box….. leave me to my communion….. I will work this offering to the one that empowers me-when I am prepared…..”

“Right! I’ll be going then…..”

“.... Take careful days time to consider your options G- man….. For, I see a blackness upon your soul….. This blackness, it cannot be so easily removed…..”

“Freak! Don’t waste my time with your nonsense!”

“Scared G- man? You should be!”

Reacting with the speed of a panther, the Jamaican man grabbed for the others’ right arm.

“What the?! Release me!”

“You are in too big a hurry G- man….. You forgot to leave your offering…..”

“.…. Guard? Get in here! Damn psychopath, he just cut my wrist!”

The guard looked to the Jamaican man.

Has the business been completed?”

“Yes! He and I, we now have an accordance... Fear not G- man….. This man, he will be silenced before night fall tomorrow…..”

“Get me the hell out of here…..”


“Amateur! Use white cooking wine with sauce for lamb chops…..”

“Quite an extraordinary talent you have for an intruder….. Your dialect, Chinese I believe…..Do you frequently stalk chefs inside their kitchens?”

“.…. I seek but information, and then I shall be gone…..”

Ah, yes.….. Information, the tools of gangs, of mobs, of investigators, of militias and of syndicates alike….. Tell me shadow- walker? Do you like knives?”

Graves’ throwing of his select piece of cutlery, nearly catches the intruder off from his guard.

“.…. Nice throw from somewhat of an unexpected adversary….... You might wish to clean this knife before you use it for anything else culinary…... I am SYNGH- DUCT- TOH..... My past acquaintances, know me as The Knife…..”

“.…. well then, it is a good thing; I am practiced in the use of knives…..”

“Please servant man? It is not my contract to kill you….. Tell me, where can I find the Rook and tho one known as Marty the Mouth?”

“Oh, my.... Ho curiously unexpected….. You are not looking for my charge then…..”

“.…. This depends on whom your charge may be…..”

“This is somewhat of a real disappointment…….. I was so looking forward to a good scrap….. First, I must Know this..... The Reverend? What have you done to him?"

He too, is not considered by my contract; as target for execution….. I, but threatened the man; making him fear a truth of family harm….. Not the most honorable of ways, but he left me with no alternative…..”

“.…. He lives?”



I tire of this….. Must I now use the same method against you?”

“You may find me to be more of a challenge than you expect….. No matter….... You can find Marty the Mouth on Alcatraz Island….. The Rook, he is investigating a dirty cop…..”

“Are you so treacherous a man as to give up your allies so easily?”

“I am a man of truth and of honor, and of my word…... You are now interrupting my supper plans between me and my lady guest….. Is this all that you seek?

The sounds of Graves' lady guest descending the stairs, drew his attentions away from the intruder for mere seconds; and the one calling himself The Knife was gone.

“Who were you talking to graves?”

“.…... A Chinese assassin…. Mickey Dolor, he must have had him commissioned…... A new contract for the capture of Marty…..”

“.…. What did you tell him?”

“Only what he needed to know, that we will be left alone for our supper….. Hungry my dear?”


“You must be joking? You want me to stay in the shadow of two of Mickey Dolor’s stooges?”

“We have received words of shank attacks with your name labeled on them Trevelle!”

“.…. So! Get me out of here!”

“Be practical Trevelle! Whether the court decision was right or wrong, until it is to be proven otherwise; you have a sentence to complete…..”

“Right! One way or another….. I am looking at death by execution…..”

“.…. We have a new doctor, that is in the need of an assistant of sorts….. Someone that will keep the hospital block clean for inspection…..”

“.…. Yo, want me to be the hospital janitor?”

“.….. During the evening hours, the hospital is where you will serve your time…... You will sleep in your cell during the day, and until the executioners of your pending shank- attack are apprehended; you will be guarded by your sister’s charges…..”

“.…. Minerva?”

“Yes..... The two idiots, they allowed themselves to be taken into custody….. They did this for her, just to get inside so that they can protect you…..”

“What’s in this for you Warden?”

“.…. I don’t like the thought that an innocent man may be rotting in my prison….. There is someone that is currently looking into the details of claimed suspicions related to a theory of conspiracy…..”

“Okay Warden, you’ve got my attention…..”

“Good! Have a seat? We need to have a chat…..

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