One Night on the Caribbean Queen

Weigand's Introduction

Inspector Weigand Becomes Entangled in the Story

Tuesday, August 23rd, 1921
Weigand gets in early and heads over to the morgue where Dr. Jasinski has been working all night on the autopsies of the bodies recovered from the ship. Because the bodies had to be moved in sections, the good doctor has them divided up into “blocks”. He tells Weigand that there were a total of 21 bodies recovered from the ship, but that the grand total weight of all the bodies recovered from the ship made the average weight per body approximately 80 pounds, well below what it should be. He also shows Weigand a cluster of all the metal objects pulled to the center of the mass of bodies (watches, glasses, rings, jewelry, fillings from teeth, etc.). There is, obviously, no evidence of an explosion. Jasinski thinks it is almost the opposite.

Heading into the police station, Jasinski has a few updates for him on his desk. The tires on the trucks at the crime scene in Indiana just outside Tremont are an exact match. The burnt body at the crime scene was doused with a mixture of vinegar and sarsaparilla, an ingredient in root beer. The Caribbean Queen is owned by McAllister Shipping Co. The owner is a man named Walter Jacob. The name on the registration in the car that Julius, Smith, and Grace all made their getaway in, Jacob Meany has an apartment in Chicago. Weigand decides to start there.

Mr. Meany’s apartment is a studio affair with a single room. The walls are plastered with boxing posters, some of them featuring Jacob Meany. A single picture on the wall shows Meany in front of a wood cabin standing next to an older man. Officer Debbins, investigating the scene with Weigand, accidentally knocks the picture off the wall and sees a small snippet written on the back of the picture, “Tom Wilson, Marigold, Indiana”. A book lies open to page 10 on the dining room table. The first ten pages appear to have been read over and over again while the rest of the book’s pages appear crisp. The book is entitled, “The Idea of Success” by Sebastian Dufrane.

Wednesday, August 24th, 1921
Paper pushing and updating charts.

Thursday, August 25th, 191
Weigand’s daughter wakes up early with a cough. His wife assures him that all is well and she will call if they need anything. Weigand gets into the office and, again, updates on the case await him. Dennis Buckwalter, a bartender who was scheduled to work the night of the explosion but called in sick, has been picked up for questioning by the police. Weigand enters the interrogation room and expertly picks out truths from lies, beginning by giving Buckwalter a cup of coffee. Buckwalter reports that Wylie O’Bannon and Vera Channing (“there’s something wrong with that woman”) were there regularly, but then amends that statement by saying that O’Bannon ran the place. He confides that Alan Waybright, one of the contractors who converted the ship to a speakeasy, was a good friend. Weigand gets the impression that Buckwalter is holding out on something, but Buckwalter digs his heels in and refuses to say. The rest of the day is consumed by paperwork.

Friday, August 26th, 1921
Weigand sets up an afternoon appointment with the Monaghan family, of which Vera is the older daughter and O’Bannon is thought to be a hitman. They pull up in front of the opulent house and are greeted by an armed guard by the name of Wallace McGillan. Shown in, they are brought in to meet Terence Monaghan who is working on putting together a radio from a kit. He does not have much to say, aside from saying that the explosion was not caused by a still exploding. He thinks someone is trying to muscle in on his territory. Talking with O’Bannon and Vera, they are all rather tight lipped, but Weigand doesn’t press them as the Monaghan family is very well connected downtown. O’Bannon says he was around the place. Vera mentions that she saw a “mousy little lady named Grace” on the top deck when she went up for a cigarette.

Saturday, August 27th, 1921
Weigand’s daughter is worse, it might be pneumonia. He takes off work to be with his wife and his daughter at the hospital. She has a speedy recovery and released on Sunday evening.

Monday, August 29th,
The trucks that were used in the getaway from the shoreline in Chicago and were also involved in the shooting on the road just outside Tremont are found. Weigand investigates the truck and finds the inside of the trucks have been covered with the same runes that appeared to be on the backs of the columns at the Caribbean Queen. Additionally, he finds a pile of vomit at the back of the truck that glows a pale blue color. Checking under the truck there are the remnants of some leather straps that apparently were used to hold something underneath.

Tuesday, August 30th,
An odd man named Professor William Smith enters the police station and demands to see the case files on the Caribbean Queen. Weigand politely and firmly tells him “no”, and then has him followed.

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday are uneventful.

Saturday, September 3rd,
Weigand is awoken by a phone call from the police station from Dr. Jasinski saying that there something he needs to show him at the boat. Weigand and Debbins pick him up at the morgue (he falls asleep on the drive out to the docks). As they pull up they see a man skulking around the ship. Investigating further, Weigand and Debbins enter into a gunfight with the intruder. Debbins is shot and Weigand attempts to subdue the man as he is climbing over the far side of the boat to escape. The man is knocked unconscious when he hits his head on the side of the boat. He is unable to be awakened but is taken to the hospital in police custody. From here on out, the police post another policeman who observes the scene from afar and is instructed to call for backup if anything else occurs.

Monday, September 5th,
Weigand receives a call that there is a man who apparently bribes the guard down at the entrance and enters the boat. He is a very finely dressed gentleman. Instead of engaging, Weigand has him followed.

Tuesday, September 6th,
Weigand is informed that there are two people picked up for causing a disturbance at the Monaghan Estate. One of the police officers following the well-dressed man from the boat says that those are the two people that he has been following. Their names are Grace Perry and Julius Coffin. The captain informs Weigand that he needs to go in and release them without questioning. Weigand enters the interrogation room and apologizes for wasting their time. He also casually asks the man if he was down by the docks yesterday.

Wednesday, September 7th,
Weigand’s Captain informs him that Inspector Beauleau had made some independent inquiries and had found that one of the victims in the explosion at the Queen, Katherine Gess, was an avowed member of the communist party. Not only that, she was affiliated with a violent, revolutionary sect of the communist party. He recommends that Weigand follow up on that lead, implying he would like the case closed.

Thursday, September 8th,
Weigand sees a newspaper article in the morning blaming the explosion on communists. The captain summons Weigand into his office and tells him that the case has been transferred to Inspector Beauleau. Weigand is off the case. Sighing and then deciding to head out for the rest of the day with his family, Weigand gets a last minute tip on a body that was discovered at the University. It is a man named Professor William Smith. He has killed himself by hanging, but no note was found. The office is a mess of papers. Questioning a fellow professor, he finds that Smith spent a lot of time with Julius and Grace.

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