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The Eerie Exploits of Ranger Co. X: This Star Says I’m a Texas Lawman. Pt 3

companyxbadgeIntroductionPart 1Part 2

This Star… Part 1 – Part 2

Chris eyed the size of the file, “There’s no reason to duplicate any of the legwork Detective Sorenson has already done. Yeah, Jack, lunch sounds like a good idea.”  Looking back at the detective he added, “You got a spare conference room around here?”

Jack replied, “Alright then. You lot get settled in and I’ll go get us a pie.”

Detective Sorenson led the Rangers to Interrogation Room B, where they found a table, four chairs, a single light over the table and no windows. Jack slipped out to track down lunch, and the others hunkered down to pour over the notes, photos, and other documents. Eventually Jack returns with sandwiches and cokes (ed.: In Texas, all soft drinks are ‘cokes’ regardless of the actual brand). At the end of a couple of hours, the team was able to glean the following information:

crimescenephotoofpalmer• Three nights ago reporter Michael Palmer was found dead on the sidewalk outside of the hotel. The case was ruled a suicide.
• Palmer’s body was found by a porter on his way to work at the depot.
• Detective Charlie Sorenson was assigned to the case. He did not agree with official report, and requested assistance from Ranger Co. X to investigate.
• Prior to death being investigated all criminal activity was limited to vagrants and vandals.
• Hotel is owned by the Parr Group (George Parr, aka the “Duke of Duvall County.”)
• The Hotel was opened in 1912.
• A murder allegedly took place in 1922. A young socialite was killed (allegedly by her fiancé). No one was ever arrested for the crime, and there is no official record of the crime.
• A number of underworld figures were reported to have stayed at the hotel
• It was closed in 1951 when the former owner was arrested for tax evasion and was purchased by the Parr Group.
• Parr is content to leave the hotel vacant as “for tax purposes.”
• Palmer was investigating a story about a two Boy Scouts who were spending Halloween in an effort to prove that the hotel wasn’t haunted, but ran out before midnight claiming they had witnessed a ghost in the Panama Hotel.

Jack goes looking for a patrol man to direct him to a good pizza place.  On his return he remarks to the team, “I was advised to pass on the pizza. Hope everyone likes ham. What is it with us American’s and not being able to agree on what these beverages are called?”

“I ain’t too fond of ham on a pizza, but I suspect most of you wouldn’t enjoy th’ gumbo I’m used to either. I gonna live,” James said as he took his share of the files along with his pizza. Hopefully he’d notice something not yet seen.
Munching on his sandwich and sipping his Coke, something caught Chris’ eye, “Detective,” he said over his shoulder to the Galveston cop, “you got a photo for the Porter who discovered the deceased?”
Detective Sorenson had been leaning against the wall of the interrogation room, watching the Rangers devour first the items in the file, then the sandwiches.

Now, with Ranger DeHart’s question, he moved closer to the table. “I don’t think so. Said his name was ‘Buddy Jefferson.'” Then he looked at the Crime Scene photo. “Wait the guy on the right side of the picture looks like him, but its pretty fuzzy.”

There was something familiar about the man pictured in the photo, Chris rotated the photo so it faced Gabriel, “Does this porter look familiar to you?”
Gabriel takes a look, followed by each Ranger in turn. The consensus is that the individual in question might well be the porter from the depot, but the graininess of the photo prevents a 100% certain identification.
Jack notices Chris glance around the table. “Don’t look at me; I’m the new guy here. If you had a good pic of the porter I could compare the too. Dad and his cryptozoology made me pretty good at comparing photos, recognizing frauds… That kind of thing. I could probably say for sure that it was or was not him, but other than that? I have no idea what is going on here.”
Rod says, “You guys think we should look up that porter back at the depot? Maybe one or two Rangers won’t be as conspicuous asking around for him, instead of the whole group. The rest of us could check the crime scene or the Parr Group or follow other leads.”
“Yeah. Sure. I’m no Jack Sr., but I’m a little more of a people person than Pop was. Rod and I can follow up on one, the rest of you another?”
“Detective Sorenson, why didn’t you agree with the official report?” Gabriel asks.
Looking over at Gabriel, the detective said “He had no reason to kill himself. He was new to the paper, but the editors thought a lot of him. He was an up and comer, always hustling for a story. The hotel was a fun piece for him, not an assignment from the editors. One he pursued on his own.” He closed his eyes wearily.

“But there was also no real evidence of foul play. With other crimes on our docket,” he waved his hand wearily in the general direction of the squad room, “the decision was made to wrap this one up quick.”

Gabriel looked over the picture of the dead reporter…”Detective Sorenson, any clue if he went off the roof or out a window?”
“The coroner thinks it was a window. The damage wasn’t severe enough for a fall from the roof. There were several open windows in the upper stories.”
Chris looked over the now unkempt files that the Rangers had poured over, “Rod that’s just what I was thinking. Since Gabe actually talked with the porter, Why don’t the two of you head back over to the depot and ask him a few questions.” Seeing the crestfallen look on young Jack’s face, he continued, “Jack, it’s my neck on the line for bringing you in on this case. You’re staying by me for the time being. James you’re with me and Junior.”

The Ranger then looked over at the detective, “We all came in my car, can you rustle up some transportation back to the depot?”

“I think I could drop them off at the Depot. The Panama is just about across the street from there,” Detective Sorenson answered.

“One last question, Detective. Is there anything hinky about the Parr Group? off the record of course.”

“Well, the Parr Group is a property management company set up by the Parr family out of Duval County. If by ‘hinky’ you mean not completely above board, that describes the Parr family. They pretty much control the county down there, but they tend to deal more in political maneuverings than in murder, and we’ve never had any rumblings of illegal activity out of the Parr Group.”

“OK then, let’s saddle up fellas,” Chris the looked at Gabe, “One more thing before we split up. Gabe, you and Rod meet us over at the Panama when you’re done questioning the porter.”

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May 14, 2009 - Posted by | Gaming Notes, Other Systems, Play, Risus, RPG | , , ,

4 Comments »

  1. Minor edit…Gabriel didn’t make any comments about the pizza.

    Comment by Ruminator | May 14, 2009

  2. @Ruminator – Yeah, I know but what worked for the PbP setting with your avatar and the reply marks needed a minor editorial addition. I’d need some input for a change.

    Comment by Vulcan Stev | May 14, 2009

  3. James Freeman (New Orleans detective) made the statement.

    Comment by Ruminator | May 14, 2009

  4. @Ruminator – Sorry ’bout that. I missed it by that much. Fixed.

    Comment by Vulcan Stev | May 14, 2009


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