Ivory Wilson

Summary of Part 1: Down at the docks, Nina examines three dead bodies surrounded by empty bullet casings. She finds business cards in the victims’ wallets identifying them as owners of Sharks Nightclub, an Irish gangster hangout. Their names are Ben Austin, Gillton Lucker and Charles Johnson. Nina visits Austin’s widow and learns that they had been dealing with an Irish gangster, but the widow doesn’t re- member his name. Nina goes to Sharks and meets Mitchell, the bartender. Mr. Fitzpatrick, the new owner, shows her the paperwork from the sale and tells her he was at the bar at the time the men were murdered.

The next morning, Nina starts her day in Captain Newton’s office. “I met the new owner of Sharks Nightclub,” Nina tells him. “He’s an Irish gangster named Fitz.” Captain Newton nods and tells Nina that Mr. Fitzpatrick came from Ireland and has been muscling his way in on small businesses and nightclubs along the waterfront, keeping far from the Italian side of the city.

Captain Newton then asks Nina if she’s ready for a new partner. Thinking about Giambi, Nina tells him, “No, sir. I’d like to do this one alone.”

“Ah, Nina, the lone wolf,” Newton responds. “There’s no room for lone wolves in this department. I’ve seen too many people like you. All that hate you’re holding inside is going to kill you, Nina. But maybe you really aren’t ready for a new partner yet. So, I’m going to let you see this case through. But after this, no more.”

Nina smiles and says, “Thank you, captain.”

“Just get out of my office and solve these murders before I change my mind.”

Nina leaves the headquarters and returns to the crime scene for clues. She slowly walks through the scene she last saw with the dead bodies. If two bodies were riddled with bullet holes, she wonders, why aren’t there more bullets that missed or that passed through the victims? Why haven’t we found bullets lodged in the wall behind where the bodies were found? Confirming that the victims must have been shot elsewhere and dumped at the docks, Nina considers that Mitchell the bartender probably knows more than he’s saying. Nina’s hunch is that the men were killed at Sharks, probably in the basement. She remembers the paperwork Fitz showed her and considers that Fitz wasn’t taking any chances that the former owners would go to the police. That’s why they were murdered, Nina reasons, and their bodies dumped here at the docks with a handful of shell casings spread around to make it look like the shooting occurred far from Sharks.

Needing to think through her next steps, Nina drives home to her grand- parents’ house, where, as always, a glass of milk and a plate of cookies are waiting for her. As Nina is biting into a cookie, her cell phone rings. “Hi, this is Ms. Austin,” the voice on the phone says. “You said to call you if I remember something. Well, I remember Ben and Charlie talking on the phone with someone Ben called Fitz.”

“Thank you so much for calling, Ms. Austin,” Nina replies. “You’ve been a very big help.”

And now it’s time to rattle some cages, Nina thinks as she gets back into her car and drives to Sharks for another discussion with Mitchell. Peeking in the window, Nina doesn’t see Mitchell at the bar. Instead, there is a young woman with blond hair cleaning things up behind the bar. “Where’s Mitchell?” Nina asks. “And who are you?”

The young green-eyed Irish girl says, “Mitchell doesn’t work here anymore. I think he’s moving to Spokane. I’m Greeley.”

Nina flashes her badge at Greeley and asks, “Is there a basement here?”

“Yes,” Greeley says, pointing toward the back. “The steps are back and on the left.”

Nina pulls out Harry, her Colt. She tells Greeley to stay behind the bar, and she goes to the basement stairs. Walking down the stairs, Nina is greeted by the smell of fresh paint. When she reaches the basement, it doesn’t take her long to see bullet holes in the walls.

Meanwhile, upstairs, Greeley is talking to Fitz on her cell phone. She hangs up as soon as she hears Nina coming back up.

Nina returns to the bar and asks whether Greeley has Mitchell’s home address. Greeley hands Nina a stack of business cards. “If we have his address,” she says, “it will be in this pile somewhere.” Ten minutes later, Nina finds a card for Mitchell and an address: 1700 Lexington Avenue. While Nina is going through the cards, two men enter the bar without her seeing them. They stoop behind some tables waiting for her.

After finding Mitchell’s address, Nina realizes that Greeley is beginning to look a little nervous. She hears a noise behind her and realizes instantly that Greeley has set her up. The two men jump up, one wielding a knife, the other circling around. Acting on reflexes, Nina kicks the man with the knife in his head, knocking him off his feet and turning over three tables. She turns back around and slams Greeley’s head on the bar, knocking her out. Then she faces the second man, judo chops him in the neck, and knees him in the face. As the man she judo-chopped is falling to the
floor and moaning in pain, the man who had the knife reaches for his gun. Nina draws Harry, shoots, and kills the man instantly. The second man stands, puts his hands in the air, and begs Nina not to shoot. She handcuffs him to a bar stool. Returning Harry to his holster, Nina walks behind the bar, where Greeley is still passed out. Nina draws beer from the tap and pours it on Greeley’s face. As
Greeley starts to stir, Nina tells her she has only one question: “Which airport is Mitchell flying out of?”

Greeley looks up and says, “O’Hare.” Nina pulls out her cell phone and calls Captain
Newton. She asks him to send some squad cars to Sharks. “I’m heading to O’Hare to see if I can stop Mitchell from getting on his flight to Spokane.” Peeling away from Sharks, Nina pushes her car to the limit and covers the 20 miles to O’Hare in 15 minutes. Nina parks illegally at the departures curb, meets up with the airport police, and learns that the Spokane flight is delayed and Mitchell has not yet checked in. This gives them time to set up a stakeoutnear the airport entrance.

About two hours later, still watching from her car, Nina sees a dark blue Range Rover pull up. Fitz sits in the driver’s seat as Mitchell exits the front passenger side and retrieves two bags from the trunk. Nina uses her radio to alert the stakeout team to move in. Drawing Harry and approaching Mitch- ell, Nina announces, “You are under arrest. You witnessed the murders, and you dumped the bodies at the dock. Right now a police car is at your home, and they have found blood on your car’s back seat.”

While the airport police escort Fitz and Mitchell away, Nina smiles and thinks about the milk and cookies waiting for her at her grandparents’ house.

The End.