It was the tragic fate of Satie to be a humorous composer who takes his fun desperately seriously. He did his musical fooling with the solemn air of fulfilling a momentous artistic mission, and so spoilt the joke.
Manchester Guardian July 6,1926
Miguel wondered if George would show up to see the walk. He seemed less than enthused with his idea of walking from tower to tower in Highland Park. That seemed odd to Miguel because George was always suggesting more daring feats. When Jorge backed off from Miguel’s ideas George would jump in with agreement. Yes, walk across the river in Highland park from the tops of two trees. But, the tower walk was not to his liking. Oh well, he didn’t need George to support him anymore. He was ready.
Alex Douglas came into work very early the next day. He cautiously unlocked the front door wishing that the fire had been a dream. But the smoke smell brought him back to the reality that it happened and he had given his consent. What had he been thinking? He was in agreement that the gang involvement with the Boys Club was growing and that he wanted them out of his programs but now he wondered if “the boss” could really guarantee that outcome.
He walked down the hall checking to see if anyone had trespassed into the building through the burned out wall. Everything looked the same as it was yesterday when the police had come again. The new detectives worried him. They were too interested in Boys’ Club financial business.
He unlocked his office door and opened the two small windows along the top of the room. He could see the trees moving very gently outside and that brought a little breeze through the screen. He dropped his backpack and sat down with feet on the desk. He looked through his phone contacts and stopped at the name “Boss”. He touched the phone number and waited while it rang.
“Douglas? Why are you calling me?” The voice was low and strained.
“We have some trouble. Yesterday two detectives came by to check out the building.” Alex changed his right foot over his left, feeling muscle tension from extending his legs up onto the desk.
“A man and a woman who was very pushy. I thought you told me the fire investigation was over.” He lifted his legs off the desk and turned towards the breeze coming from above.
“What did they want to know?”
“They wanted the financial records.”
“God damn, interfering idiots. What did you say?”
“I told them they would need a warrant.” Alex listened for a response. The other end was silent. “Are you there?”
“Damn, I’m going to have to run interference. They won’t get the warrant.”
“Okay, are you sure?” Alex was standing now and pacing in his little office.
“Of course I’m sure, you idiot. And don’t call me again at this number. I’ll contact you.”
Alex looked at his screen and saw that the call was terminated. The black screen of his phone reminded him to get moving. He needed to act on his own behalf before the police blamed him for the fire and whatever else they were going to pin on him. He was innocent. But, it could look like he was guilty of accepting bribes and purposely destroying property to hide incriminating evidence. He needed to check in with George about what he knew about Miguel’s fall from the Highland Park towers. Should he shred some of the documents from contributors? Alex spent the morning looking through the filing cabinets and sorting files. He was determined to protect his reputation.
Stevie arrived at the Highland Park Police Precinct early. She sat on top of a long table in the back of the room. The sun streamed into the room with a vengeance. Four rectangular tables with cushioned chairs faced a podium. Two large white boards hung behind the podium. This room was so much more pleasant than the conference room in Seattle. Stevie scanned the faces. Reggie was not there yet. Several detectives chatted at the coffee maker off to the side. White cartons of donuts lined up by the coffee cups. Her mind wandered to the night before. The kiss was unexpected. Unexpected but not rejected. She smiled remembering his gentleness. How should she react when Reggie arrived?
Slowly more precinct detectives came in and migrated to the coffee machine. No one greeted her or even gave her eye contact. She and Reggie had fulfilled their assignment to contact the Boys Club manger. This morning she intended to push for a warrant so they could look through the records.
“Morning, Dangerfield.” Detective Mullins came up behind Stevie. He appeared from the other side of the room. “Are you ready to report on your visit to the Boys Club?”
“Yes, sir!” She awkwardly shifted towards the edge of the table and felt the table lift off the ground ever so slightly.
“There’s your side kick now.” Mullins pointed his coffee towards the door as Reggie entered the room. Stevie’s hands felt clammy as she looked towards him. Reggie stared at her steadily with a hint of a smile, then made eye contact with Mullins. He walked towards them and extended his hand.
“Good morning, sir.” Reggie sat down next to Stevie on the table. His hand made contact with Stevie’s and he placed his pinky finger on top of her knuckles and brushed over them. Stevie pulled her hand away and looked around to see if anyone was watching.
“Come up to the front, Detectives. We are interested in hearing your report.”
She sat down closer to the front of the room and Detective Mullins started the meeting.
“Good morning everyone. Let’s get right into the developments on the Cervantes gang case. Symonds, where is Jorge Gonzales right now?”
Symonds stood and came to the front of the room. Stevie saw his discomfort standing before his squad in the way Symonds ran his fingers along the inside of his shirt collar. Mullins was a bully and she guessed this detective was always ready to defend his actions.
“Sir, he is at home, but we have a tail on his house and his older brother Juan.” Stevie saw him shift uneasily from one foot to the other. “We brought Pablo Cervantes in for questioning. He was hostile and uncooperative but he claims to be ignorant of his younger brothers wire walking.”
“Does he believe the Gonzales gang tampered with his brothers equipment?” Mullins asked.
“He refused to answer those questions.” Stevie noticed Symonds paging through his notebook. “We do have some informations back from the tech team after they examined the video that Jorge took just before the fall. The techs reversed the color values and noticed a figure behind Miguel just at the top of the stairway on the bell tower platform. The figure was wearing a baseball type hat with a white Olympics insignia. The rings stood out from the dark hat when they changed the colors.”
A rustle of muffled voices made Stevie glance around the room. Stevie waited to see if any of the detectives made the connection to the Olympic insignia. She looked over at Reggie. He met her glance and nodded his head that he knew who might wear an Olympics hat.
“Okay? Who might this mystery person in the shadows be?” Mullins asked.
“It could be anyone. These baseball hats are part of every teenagers uniform, especially gang members.” The comment came from an older detective named Spencer. “This information tells us that the compromised equipment happened on site, that morning.
“Has anyone picked up a picture of someone at the crime scene wearing this hat?” Mullins asked the question as a challenge. Stevie shifted her weight and put her hands under her sit bones. She wanted to speak up but she also wanted to wait. She saw Reggie stand.
“Detective Mullins, when we interviewed Jorge at the juvenile detention center we questioned him about how he and Miguel got involved in wire walking.” Reggie paused.
“Well, make your point Watts, we haven’t got all day.” Mullins said.
“He told us that Alex Douglas tried out for the U. S. Olympic gymnastics team.”
“Alex Douglas at the Boys Club?” Mullins asked. “I don’t believe he would hurt one of his boys. That institution has an important place in the community there.”
“Jorge also talked of a man named George who did the wire walking with the boys. He was also an experienced gymnast. My partner and I had an interview with Alex Douglas yesterday at the Club. He refused us access to his documents. I would like to get a warrant and take a look at their financial records. I have a gut feeling that there might be some incriminating evidence there.”
“I doubt that.” Mullins touched his head as if he had a headache. “Spencer, you look into that please. We will have our Seattle elite here find George the wire walker and see if he wears an olympic hat.” Quiet laughter filled the room. Mullins turned his back on Reggie and continued talking to the group.
“Okay, people. We again need to interview everyone there the morning of the murder. Did anyone see someone with a baseball hat at the scene. Symonds, check surveillance video around the towers and several blocks in all directions. Atkinson, go back to the tower and check for other evidence of metal filings or anything that might tell us more about how someone tampered with the wire that Miguel walked on. Let’s get to work, folks.”
Stevie stayed in her seat. This did not go the way she expected. Why did Mullins take them off the Boys Club angle? She looked over at Reggie and he also sat very still looking straight ahead.
“This investigation feels weird Stevie. I can’t help thinking we don’t have all the facts.” His voice became more quiet. “Why did the Highland Park Police Chief send for us? Who are we really here to investigate?”