A story proving that one man can make a difference--unfortunately.
Normally, Martin thought of walking distance as about three puffs on a cigarette. Any more than that and you'd gone too far. Nevertheless, he was into his second Pall Mall before it dawned on him that his car was either lost or stolen. The idea shocked him. The car, a 1959 Cadillac Sedan de Ville bearing Congressional plates, was not the sort of vehicle thieves would find enticing. In fact, nobody that knew him seemed to understand Martin's attachment to the relic. And, of course, he never bothered to explain that the first grown woman he'd ever seen naked drove such a car. Most people would likely see that as some sort of retrograde fixation, Martin being only thirteen at the time. She had been a friend of his mother and she drove a black-on-black convertible. The closest Martin could come to that had been the rose-colored Sedan de Ville.
As he trudged on in search of his car, it occurred to Martin that he was being followed. He was hearing what sounded like footsteps dogging him. He turned to look, but there was no one to be seen. However, as he walked along, the sound continued and Martin was becoming irritated. Suddenly, he wheeled around and shouted at the top of his voice, "What happened!" It wasn't what he had meant to say, but that was moot since no one was there anyway. He walked on beginning to feel sorry for himself and dreading the possibility that his car was lost forever. And then he realized what the noise was. It was he. Actually, it was his shoes. They were full of water and making a squishing sound with each step he took.
Tiring of the quest, Martin hailed a cab, which turned out to be a police car. The rest of the evening--or rather morning since the police report cited 2:15 am as the time Martin had been taken into custody--was spent entertaining law enforcement while waiting for his attorney to appear. When the man finally showed up, it wasn't the one Martin had been expecting. Instead, it was an attorney he'd met only once in order to finalize Martin's purchase of a racehorse that died a week later.
"Don't say anything to anyone," the attorney told Martin.
"What do you mean?" Martin wanted to know.
"What do you mean what do I mean?"
"What about my car?" Martin asked him.
"That's exactly what I'm talking about. You're going to need a good criminal firm. There's one in particular that I can recommend."
"Why would I be in need of a criminal just to report my car stolen?" Both men chose to ignore the mistake.
"Please allow me to advise you against trying to formulate a defense at this stage without the help an attorney."
Martin wanted to extract a fuller explanation but the man was gone. So, too, was Martin as the police escorted him from the building. Bail had been arranged.
The sergeant waved him off. "Have a nice day, Senator."
Copyright 2010 Stephen Mitchell