87 Goody! Two Shoes!

“Starting with your list, then.” Martin quickly deferred.

A condo owner storing a bike in the unit could be fined for wheeling it through an undesignated common area or over a finished floor. Check the condo docs first.

A condo owner storing a bike in the unit could be fined for wheeling it through a designated common area or over a finished floor. Check the condo docs, first.

“The brakes were cleanly snipped, the work of a moment with the right tool. The family agrees the bike was never properly hung up. It leaned against the back wall, without the kickstand. If the snipping was easily done, this print collection we’ve got going here doesn’t mean very much. And no other reports of tampering in the garage or  common areas. Looks very specific to the Karons. There goes your mischief theory.” Martinelli’s brainstorm petered out.

“Let’s say that’s right. Are we waiting for another incident? Nicely spaced a week apart each time? At that rate, we’ll be buying a unit here ourselves, just to be in the area in a timely manner. Maybe this crowd needs a cop, not a concierge.”

“Ha.” Martinelli now felt his mind free to soar as his underling resumed the mental lifting.

“And I don’t think many people do check their vehicles before driving, as a general rule. Most people just throw a car into gear and go.”

“And then drive like shit.”

“A warning message could fit the facts here, given what’s happened last week. But who’s doing the warning and what about? Most residents oppose the development next door so why go after a committee member who’s leading the charge against it? But is there a tie-in? Are we back to the Mangolds?”

“This is too Mickey-Mouse for Mangold, that’s what I think. Like Guy says, there are other ways to deal it out, in business. I mean, he has a whole ferry boat could be blown up. Why mess with a girl’s bike?”

“Woman’s.”

“Watch it, Martin.”

“You said it first. What about the Doyle woman, then? Piece of work, that one.”

“Have you noticed how she’s always there somewhere, but always just out of it somehow? I have a sister like that. Complete pain she was, still is. Never to blame. A supreme goody two shoes.”

“Know that story?”

“What story?”

“About the real Goody.”

“I suppose you’re going to tell me. We’re almost back at the station, so it’ll at least be quick.”

“It’s short and it’s old, three hundred years old. Back then Goody was a common name for a woman, or a wife, or a witch.”

“No differences between those?” Martinelli commented. “They were smart, back then.”

“Anyway, an educated young woman lost her home and all her belongings to a heartless landlord. She had only one shoe left, though maybe it was her right shoe.” Martinelli groaned.

“In reduced circumstances, she took up work as a traveling tutor and eventually obtained a permanent position as a schoolmistress. Finally able to afford a whole pair of new shoes, she announced to her students, “See, I have both shoes! Goody has two shoes!”

“O-kay. Thanks. What’s this got to do with my sister?”

“Well, from that woman, happy about her new shoes and her improving situation in life, we get an expression that means a prissy, vain female.”

“Now I get it. Very pleased with herself. That’s my sister all over. Know any more helpful fairy tales, do we?”Chapter 87 Goody!Two Shoes!

“Bet you didn’t know that the original Goldilocks was an old, female vagrant. She’s fared better than poor Goody, over time. Goldilocks is now a rosy-cheeked, golden haired innocent. Much like Miss Doyle, if you can believe her press, though when you get closer up, she’s not so young as she should be.” They had pulled into the car park but stayed in the car, gassing. Even their bad puns were better than office buzz.

“Comes to us all. My wife blames it on gravity.”

“Gravity? Oh, you mean the one that brings things lower.”

“Is there another kind?”

“As in, the gravity of the situation. I don’t mean that Kitty Doyle looks serious, and therefore older. No, I was surprised to find her older than she sets herself up as being. Faking her age, like.”

“My wife calls me ‘craggy’ these days, says it’s an improvement from looking ‘dorky’ when I was younger.

“See, this is the thing. I never think about Mrs. Martinelli as being older because I’m always waiting for her to say something funny.” Martin refrained from commenting on Martinelli’s physiognomy.

“Maybe funny to you.”

“When’s the last time you think Kitty Doyle said something funny, or laughed? Crabby faces look older.”

“I’m more interested in what she says that’s true, or not, than what she looks like. We should have a match on these prints tomorrow, courtesy of our bluebird of happiness technician. See to what a low point a career in the force can bring a man down to? More gravity.” From time to time, Martinelli considered the policeman’s lot, and his own descent into cynicism on the flip side of what he suspected was the same coin.

“We never asked Lee who she knew for certain handled her bike, did we?”

“Other than her girlfriend that was there, no. You think there may be others?”

“We should ask her, or find out if there are any, before we start rounding up the usual suspects.”

“Like Doyle, you mean?”

“Let’s just say instinct tells me not to trip off the Kitty early warning system. Save her for when we’ve actually got something.”

“What if we ask Mrs. James to ferret that out from Lee? They seem tight enough. Maybe she’ll be more forthcoming with a friend than with us. She is sixteen and old enough to be keeping secrets from her parents, well, her family, shall we say.”

“With an aunt like hers, I might be careful to watch what I said for fear of where it might come out again.”

“I got the feeling that Carrie prides herself on her discretion but that since this was a family matter, she’d tell all.”

“Maybe. I’m sure Mrs. James would rise to the occasion. But let’s wait and see what tomorrow brings. Think I’ll just check out from here and slip into the night. You can go in – you’re the young lion on this team – and face the other lions. Don’t call me. I’m going home to hear what amusing things Mrs. Martinelli has to offer. See you in the morning.”

*     *     *     *     *

Kitty’s belongings would not fit into the church truck, not all at once. Woody and Tad didn’t mind a bit; they got paid by the hour, a bit more for overtime and it was already near nine and turning dark, even in the sunset sky. Before setting out on their second westbound leg, Kitty, who by now knew the way, said she had a quick errand to do and would meet them soon, out at the place. She was in charge, they’d quickly learned.

At the downtown post office drive through, she extracted from her bag the police destined envelope. It was past the last posted pick-up time. She smirked as she watched her leather clad hand stuff that lode bearing mail down into the last box in the row; tomorrow more promising for her than for some of the mopes this post would break.