If you missed chapter 1, click HERE.
Deviled Yeggs told me in the interrogation room that I needed to start from the last time I saw Janis Ozolins alive. So, this is my story (Mashie Niblick) of what happened from the last time that I saw Janis Ozolins alive until Pauline saw him dead on the office floor, sprayed with green fertilizer.
I said to myself but out loud, “This is it, Mashie Niblick. You are either going to run away and hide or you are going to follow your heart.”
I jumped when Janis chuckled behind me, “I thought you were a flight risk, so I am keeping an eye on you until you get in Pauline’s car. Nothing is going to keep you from going on your date tonight, an honest good date. Do you have all the information I gave you?”
“I have it in my pocket, and you must be pretty good. I didn’t hear you sneak up behind me. Either that or I have lost a step.”
Janis smiled, “No, Mashie, you haven’t lost a step, but I have seen you with Pauline these last few months. I think you are in love. That can dull your skills as you say.”
My thoughts went to another place, another time, when someone close to me had gotten tortured because my skills were dulled by my emotions. But that was then, and this was a new life. Pauline and I had chemistry. What could go wrong when your job is the location of the hole on each green and make sure that the greens stay green? That cannot possibly be a lethal occupation, right?
Janis said, “Come by the office when you return. I want to talk to you about something important. And remember, he who smiles may not be happy.”
I then left the office and met Pauline at her car. We then went to a restaurant by the river, one that Janis suggested. We watched a movie, the latest superhero movie. Pauline likes them. Then we walked along the river walk.
When we returned to Janis’ office, I held Pauline and was about to kiss her for the first time, and then Pauline screamed. I turned and saw Janis on the floor. His body was already getting cold. And I inspected the spray equipment. There is a handle on the spray pump that acts as a dead man switch. It’s missing. The sprayer will not spray without it. That will be the part that you will find hidden at the house where someone is going to be framed.”
At that point in the narrative, Deviled got up and left the room, nodding for Jim to continue.
But Poached had to ask the next question. “Are you saying that you had not kissed Pauline that night or you had not kissed Pauline ever?”
“Poached, I am taking things slow.”
“Sounds more like turtles and sloths than people in love to me.”
Jim interrupted, “Let’s keep this professional. Mashie, why did Janis want you to return to his office?”
I replied, “He had information for me that he thought was important. He said he had seen the Devil, and he knew who the Devil was.”
“Was he just talking about a spiritual devil?”
“No. Janis was an immigrant from Latvia. There was a crime boss nicknamed the Devil, for a variety of reasons. I never learned who he was, but he was on my radar. If I could just run through those people that I may have seen back then and compare that to the people at Hoity-Toity, I would know who the Devil is.”
The door opened and Deviled brought with him someone that I never wanted to see again. He said, “And speaking of the Devil, it’s my old friend, Mashie.”
I replied with a sneer, “You have a strange definition of the word ‘friend,’ Jack.”
Deviled looked confused. “What do you mean by ‘Jack?’ This is Willard Millard Fillmore, a guy you used to work with. How do you get Jack out of that? He says folks around the office call him “Will Mill Fill.” He says he is a descendant of the president.”
I sneered even more. “He says a lot of things. Sure, we called him Will Mill Fill to his face, but behind his back we had to admit that he was more related to a donkey than an ex-president, and he is wild. So, everyone referred to him as “Jack Ass.”
Will Mil Fill folded his arms, leaned against the wall, and laughed. “When we heard that you were in trouble… again. I just had to be the first on the scene.”
Then something clicked in my head. He was first on the scene, but he was way too quickly first on the scene. The details of how Will Mill Fill operated rushed into my head. I had to act, and it had to be fast, before someone else died.
I stood up. “I have made my statement. Deviled, will you take me to my car? I’m out of here.”
Poached and Jim muttered about how they had no idea that I had a car. After all, I was homeless, but Deviled did not miss a beat.
“Sure, Mashie, you are not under arrest. I can take you to your car and Jim and Poached can get to know you old ‘friend.’” He even used air quotes. Deviled just might me the friend that I needed.
Millard Fillmore was the thirteenth president of the United States. He had a son, Millard Powers Fillmore, who never married and had no children. Thus, Will Mill Fill was not telling the truth – about a lot of things.
Although “Jack Ass” is used as a slur. An ass is a wild donkey. “Jack” refers to a male, while a Jenny Ass refers to the female of the species. But as a tease, we will soon learn that there is more to the nickname than just a stubborn animal name.
As for “Willard,” it rhymes with Millard and I had an old boss by that name. If you called him Willard, I heard he would get very angry, so I never did.
As for a famous “Jack” whose name had nothing to do with “Jack,” I propose C. S. Lewis, “Jack” to his close friends. The legend goes that at the age of four years old, after their dog, Jacksie, passed away, C. S. Lewis insisted on being called “Jacksie.” He would answer to nothing else, but he eventually accepted “Jacks” and finally “Jack.” He said that he really did not like “Clive Staples.” Thus, it was “C. S.” professionally and “Jack” to friends and family. Usually, people known as Jack might have been John to begin with.