“Turner, Turner, He’s Our Man”
“Everything is alright for against the backdrop of ordinary life It's the easy laugh that gets you through
Your working day and the hogwash
Sad but true, he's a clown in broad daylight.”
-Sung by Rex Sexsmith
(“A Clown in Broad Daylight”)
We had to call in a lot of favors; thankfully I had them to ask. My friends in the FBI were none too happy to hear that I wanted to bring yet another problem to their doorstep.
A few years back, D.C. was the murder capital of the country. I sure didn’t want to bring back those kinds of statistics, but I was going to have to go and follow the only lead we had.
Turner Platt had a history. He was a War Hawk; for just about any reason, he was banging the drums for sending in troops. Of course, he had never worn even of Boy Scouts’ uniform, much less served his country in the military, but he took any affront as reason to call in the Marines.
He also would have gotten rid of the 19th Amendment (and probably the 15th & 16th too, truth be told) He hated anything that broadened the voting base past free, white landholders, or anything that raised taxes for any reason. Despite that he spent that tax money like it was water from a never-ending spring.
Platt was also a solid millionaire, probably several times over. Funny, because he had come into office owning a pair of suits and one pair of worn out shoes.
His contacts were powerful and ruthless. But it is doubtful that they knew he was in any way connected to the Church of the Soul Purge, or they would have stumbled in their run away from him. Even his underworld cronies would have jumped out of the window rather than be seen as his pals.
This was going to be a chance to use my celebrity. Harry, Max and I would just walk into Platt’s office. Of course we would do it in the company of a brigade of reporters who would want to know why the billionaire (yeah, I hadn’t checked my bank account in weeks, but I had crossed that line) P.I. wanted to meet with the Conservative Firebrand of the Congress.
We would walk in and close the doors.
Then we would talk.
We might even threaten.
It only took 4 phone calls before everyone knew. We stopped calling because everyone else we called already knew and was planning on being there.
They asked me a lot of questions. Was I going to become a financial supporter? Was I investigating something the Congressman was involved with? Was I working for his wife? Was I investigating him for a civil rights violation? More questions than even I had thought of and none of them were about the Church.
Someone even asked me if it was about the three secretaries he had had affairs with and then fired? That was news to us. We had to ask the reporter some questions. Seems this guy was sleazier than even we had known. Some church member he, right?
When the day came, we arrived in a stretch limo. I rarely if ever use them, but this was for the cameras.
Platt had been informed I was coming, so he met us on the steps of the Capital, with an outstretched hand. I didn’t take it, which fueled flash bulbs a plenty.
He was pelting me with “constituent-friendly” talk. I said not a word. The reporters threw questions as though they were flying fish by the herd flipping over us.
Turner Platt walked us to his office and held the door open. By this time he looked like the school boy on the threshold of the principal’s office.
I knew it was a dodge.
He knew who I was.
When the door closed his face changed. It showed nothing less than abhorrence.
I’m sure I returned the look.
© C. Wayne Owens