Murders in Progress

Episode (4)

Does the Name Nancy Loomis Mean Anything?

          “Does the name Nancy Loomis mean anything?”

          “Sir, do you have some information you wish to share with the Kimmel County Sherriff’s Bureau?”

          Ruth liked the word ‘Bureau’ better than the word ‘Office’.  It sounded vaguely Federal which, she felt, gave it more ‘Oomph’.  Sheriff Leland didn’t.  But then again, Sherriff Leland never answered the phones.  So Ruth figured the two of them were whoever she said they were. 

          “I don’t know.”  Ramey was on a disposable cell phone he had picked up in the city.  He had a box of them.  After watching all of the TV shows he figured one could come in handy.  And he had been right.  He couldn’t have these calls traced back to a practicing dentist.  That could cause all sorts of difficulties.  “I’m not certain, I mean.”  Ramey was looking out his car window at a flower stand.  He was working his way, left to right, through the various hanging baskets of assorted flowers, slowly pronouncing the name of each.  This seemed to keep the flashes of horrible imagery, terrible things really, from overwhelming his thoughts.  “Petunia,” he said softly.  “Chry-san-themum”…

          “Sir, you’ll have to speak more loudly,” Ruth said in her Passive Aggressese, getting a bit annoyed.  After all, this was Federal Business.

          “I don’t know!”  Ramey shouted.  Then tried to calm himself, moving onto the next hanging basket of florals.  “Begonia…  I mean, I’m not sure.”

          “What information is it that you wish to share with the Kimmell County Sherriff’s Bureau?”  Ruth said again, mustering all of her authority.  These ‘informants’ were so flakey.  She had often told Sherriff Kimmel, ‘sometimes I wish we could just haul them in and beat it out of them with a rock!’, which had gotten a laugh.  But she also wondered if Sherriff Leland hadn’t become a pussy.  After all, she was the one in the trenches. “Is there information that you wish to share with the Kimmell County Sherriff’s Bureau?”  She growled more loudly, “…sir.”

          “I don’t know.  I mean, I’m not sure if I do or not.  If the name Nancy Loomis means anything to you, that is, if it figures in a current, by that I mean an, on-going investigation, then, I figure, I do.”

          “I know what current means, Ramey,” Ruth said, finally discarding all of her patience.

          Ramey looked at the cell phone as if he had been cheated.  He had asked the fellow in the city directly: ‘Is this phone traceable?’

          “How do you know my name?” Ramey asked, the disbelief creeping into his voice.

          “You’re my dentist!” Ruth barked.  “Everybody around here knows your name Ramey.”

          Ramey flushed.  “Well fine, then!”

          “What is it you want Ramey?  … for the fourth time.”

          “I need to know if the name Nancy Loomis, figures in any way into your investigation,” Ramey’s voice trailed off softly, “of the recent murders…”

          “I’m sorry sir, but ….”

          “Ruth, it’s me, Ramey!”

          “And I told you, I know who you are, RAMEY.  But we can’t reveal any information on an ongoing INVESTIGATION.”

          “Well then, for Pete’s sake! Ruth.  Just tell me if the name Nan-cy Loo-mis  figures in any way in what is currently happening in the investigation.”

          “That would be to reveal information.  This phone is for incoming information: tips and leads only.  Now if you would like to leave a tip or a lead, or any other information you may have or know of relating to the current INVESTIGATION, I would be happy to write it down and relay it to Sherriff Leland.  Do you have any of that information?”

          “I don’t know!”

           “Well then, perhaps you could call us back when you do know, sir.”

          “That’s not my job, that’s your job,” Ramey pointed out.

          “Are you phoning to tell me my job Ramey?”  Ruth’s voice went from Passive Aggressive Bureaucratese to actively hostile in a quick second.  Which was a relief, Ramey felt.

          Ramey quickly said the names of three more flowers.

          “Okay, Ruth.  Let’s do it this way.  You’re into me for $300. of past dental work on two old fillings with a deteriorating crown coming up that could fracture any second, given the nature of this ‘fractious’ conversation.  Now do you really want to give the only practicing dentist within 50 miles – as the crow flies – trouble?”

          “Are you trying to threaten a Federal officer, sir?!”

          “YES!” was Ramey’s curt reply.  You didn’t stay in a dental practice long without learning to play trump.

          Ruth ground her teeth, then stopped, remembering what Ramey had just said.  Then Ramey could hear her polished nails clicking on the desk as she thought it through.  The one with the big phony rock on it struck loudest and last.

          “Okay Ramey,” Ruth said.  “I’ll give Sherriff Leland the message.”

          The finger with the big rock on it struck once again.  Then, dial tone…  Ramey smiled.  Sherriff Leland was a patient with a lot of gum problems.  He’d get back.

Photo by Carl Nelson

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2 Responses to “Murders in Progress”

  1. fishclamor Says:

    Laughed many times! This is my favorite!!!

    Keep me posted of any more progress!!

    –fish clamor. At fish clamor.wordpress.com, login like this:
    Id fcvisitors
    Password guest

    I think that’s what it is….

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