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 Category:  Mystery and Crime Fiction
  Posted: April 18, 2014      Views: 599
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Chapter 3 of the book The Bard of Bel Air
Detective Adrian observes attendees at the funeral
"Observations and Introductions" by michaelcahill

Suspicious circumstances has detective Adrian investigating the death of music mogul Johnathon Blackwell. A homeless man known as the Bard may have the answers.

Previously, we were at the mansion where Johnathon Blackwell, Senior passed away. Detective Adrian found the circumstances suspicious and intended to pursue an investigation of the case as a murder until her suspicians were put aside. We move ahead to the funeral where she is an observer. We have previously established that the Bard is already there in the background paying his respects. We join the story with Detective Adrian looking causually over the crowd.


Detective Adrian had a hunch about this case and attended the funeral. She kept a low profile. She had class and didn't plan to make a scene. She wanted to observe, get a sense of attitudes and behavior. She already knew that there was no love lost for the man that wasn't in the grave.
"Hello detective." Detective Adrian had a reputation for being hard to rattle, but Bruce Willis seemed to do the trick.
"Uh…hello…Mr. Willis…hee hee. How did you know…well, I guess it's obvious isn't it?" Small talk ran through her mind, but didn't quite make it to her lips.
"So, someone murder my wayward buddy here?" Bruce looked and sounded just like one of his larger than life movie characters. His smile had a decided effect on Tenaya, who struggled mightily to maintain her composure and keep her skin color from turning a blotchy red.
"What makes you think I'm not an up and coming country and western star?" She had managed a somewhat witty rejoinder to accompany a pleasant pink skin tone.
"No hat."
They both shared a laugh, properly subdued in respect for the occasion.
"Just tying up loose ends. High profile and all of that. Where were you on Thursday evening?" She had made a remarkable comeback.
"Oh, establishing my alibi with Jennifer Aniston. The question is, where will you be Thursday night?"
That smile left some doubt as to whether he was being charming or serious. Her heart maintained a nice rhythm except for the skipped beat.
"The usual. Looking out for Ms. Anniston's best interests."
"Well, I'll let you get back to it, Ms.?" He extended his hand.
"Detective Adrian. Tenaya." She shook his hand.
They returned to their previous activities. The smile never left his face. Her heart never left her chest. She continued to scan the crowd. The celebrities clearly were there to make an appearance. There was no outpouring of love or grief. The family made no outward display of grief either. It was an event that had "obligatory" stamped all over it.
The only sense of sorrow came from that homeless man fidgeting at the back of the crowd. He looked out of place in more ways than one. He looked human for one thing. He is who she wanted to question.
She walked up to the Bard and flashed her badge. "I'm detective Adrian. Can we talk for a moment?"
"Look, detective, I've already been through this. I knew Mr. Blackwell. We were friends. I know I'm not rich. You don't have to be rich to be a wealthy man's friend. I…"
The detective put her hand up to halt him in mid-sentence, "I know, sir. I wasn't questioning you being here. I assumed you were a friend paying your respects. I'm investigating Mr. Blackwell's death. I was wondering if you have any information?"
The Bard could talk when need be. He functioned and seemed to use his poetic gifts as a ploy sometimes. But, sometimes his verse just seemed to genuinely pop out as though it wasn't something he could always control.
The Bard got an all-knowing, all-seeing look on his face, and broke into rhyme,

"the pretty pistol packing blonde delight
is wondering what went down that night
when angels grabbed the Harpster's harp
and the doctor draped him in a tarp
Was it his heart that done him in
or could it be a terrrrrrible sin?
Could it be God's simple whim
or did some foul bastard murder him?
But  who, his wife…his daughter…son?
with bucks like his? Could be anyone!"

Detective Adrian smiled. She knew a little bit about "The Bard". He lived in Bel Air, if you could call a city your address when you are homeless. But, as far as she knew, he happened to constitute the entire homeless population of Bel Air. The people in Bel Air tolerated him to his good fortune. I suppose they found him amusing with his poetry and harmless ways.
It was clear that he suffered from mental illness, but to what extent might be difficult to determine. People often don't realize that the mentally ill are not at all above using their condition to their advantage. It can be a ticket to whatever they want. It can be a built in excuse to get away with anything. Someone mentally ill can shoplift and get away with a warning. "Oh, let him go officer, he's mentally ill." 
"He didn't mean to assault me, he thought I was his long lost abusive uncle, let him go."  So might say an assault victim with a bloody nose while the perpetrator suddenly doesn't even remember his name.
"Don't take him in officer, he didn't mean it, he's crying now. Don't be mean to him. He's probably just confused and hungry. I'll take care of him." Yep, tears and a free meal. Totally off the hook. Mentally ill, you know the drill.
The Bard clearly knew that he didn't tour with the Stones and help John and Paul write Strawberry Fields. But, if you went along with it, he'd take you on that ride. But, it seemed like he had memories of the Korean War that were real to him even though he was too young to have been there.
That left the detective with a dilemma. She suspected murder. She wanted to believe the Bard. But, could she? That would be a question to ask herself over and over. He had information. He definitely had information.
The Bard looked antsy.
"Is there something else?" Detective Adrian wanted to hear whatever he had to say.
"I need to take you to my house to show you." He looked anxious with his eyes darting around. "It's a secret though. You can't tell anyone. I'd get in trouble."
"Okay, Bard, it will be our secret. I promise." She put up her hand like a girl scout. She wasn't sure what other symbol she could use to solidify a secret solemn oath.
"Me no see
me no tell
me no lie
or go to hell…" The Bard's version of the Boy Scout oath.
Detective Adrian kept her hand near her service revolver much in the way a man in a crowd keeps checking his front pocket for his wallet. He seemed harmless, but she knew that no one could be assumed harmless. There were lots of dead cops that thought someone looked harmless. She had no intention of being one of them.
There wouldn't be anything to glean from this venue. The entire family was on her suspect list. Maybe some of the others here too. Well, The Bard here, he could have some real information. It was worth a few hours of her time to find out. At the moment, there were no other options to pursue. With bucks like that, it could be anyone! Yep, that was the most sensible thing she had heard in three days.



The book continues with The Will, Jagger and a Shakedown. We will provide a link to it when you review this below.

Author Notes
Quite a bit to establish and set up and I don't want to be in too big a hurry. The posting norm is to have each "Chapter" be somewhat complete. I'll try to conform to that when possible, but I don't want to alter the story too much just to have a little cliff-hanger at the end. If there is a less than thrilling chapter here and there, read page 341 of Moby Dick, not too exciting either. Hahaha. Don't go looking, I just made that up! Input and suggestions as always most welcome and appreciated. Thank you so much for your help so far. Excellent!! mikey


Johnathon Blackwell Senior-Harpster, deceased former owner of a music conglomerate.

Johnathon Blackwell Junior- Senior's son and heir apparent to the family fortune.

Lilith Blackwell- Widow of Blackwell Senior and claimant to the estate.

The Bard-Stewart Slater, homeless, writer, musician, mentally ill. witness to the death of Harpster amongst other things.

Detective Tenaya Adrian- lead investigative detective. Perhaps the only one that thinks there is a murder to investigate.

Lincoln- The Blackwell family butler.

Ruby Dancer- singer and Daughter of Harpster though she doesn't know anything about it.

Diamond Dancer- mother of Ruby and former mistress of Harpster. Refuses to tell Ruby anything about her father.

Dr. Khin- The Blackwell personal family physcian

Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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