Hard Boiled

The Butcher Case

From Beauregard's Perspective

“Amos’s nosy friend from the Epithet came by with a case. Duval seems like a nice guy, but he’s as sleazy as any of them journalists come. And I can’t shake the feeling that he either knows…or he’s going to. Hopefully Amos can keep his trap shut about that at least. But, I can’t say Duval’s case didn’t pique my interest. A series of killings that takes place over decades. Surely it can’t be the same killer, maybe someone emulating the originals, but it still gives me a bad feeling. The most recent murder was at Treme, so maybe we can get more insight of that from the police.

Dropped by the police department. Angel’s still in custody, so we might just have a bit more time before the Black Hand sets their sights on us. Honestly, I can’t say what we can even do. There’s the police, sure, and I trust Frank, but I can’t say the same thing for all his men. The clerk didn’t even know who I was. Must be another greenhorn. In any case, Frank gave us another lead on Duval’s butcher, at least where to start looking: the old police headquarters.

The old police headquarters was as nice as anyone could expect from that part of town, but with less squatters than usual. That is, none. It was suspicious at first, but then we went to the basement. The evidence room looked like it has been ransacked, probably by the squatters, but the evidence we were looking for, the scalpel, wasn’t there…Oh, and then there were moving piles of head and limbs. Kept my breakfast down, but it didn’t make it any less disturbing. They weren’t much of a problem, since we didn’t give much of a chance to fight back. We did find another lead after the fuss, the culprit may be some sort of medical professional…

Charity Hospital. Thank God this isn’t the only hospital in the city. Nancy did what she does best, and we got our leads on a few surgeons. With the murders going on at night, we thought it might have been one of the day surgeons, but after a bit more delving, we got an ace in the hole. A homeless man was admitted to the hospital, a man of a large form said the nurse. Even she wasn’t quite sure how to describe it, though. But, more importantly, he had the scalpel with him, but it’s still nowhere in sight. We also acquired the name of the surgeon who treated him, one Deerson. Don’t know if I got that name right.

Then…I, ah…To start with what I do remember: we drove to the surgeon’s house. Amos, Watson, and Nancy spoke with him personally while I, as usual, stayed in the car. I looked around for a bit, and that man with the cowboy hat was in the neighborhood, too–Watching us. Now, I’m sure that, at this point, it’s not just coincidence, and with his getup, I have a hunch of who he might be working for. But, with the rest of the crew, they talked with the surgeon for some time, didn’t seem like they were getting much out of him. Then they were invited in, and Amos signaled at me, and called his alligator pet. As useful as that gator can be, it still makes my head hurt how a live gator can actually inhabit and go to and fro the city through the sewers. It’s a safety hazard. But, I digress. The others went in the house, and I stayed by the door with my shotgun. I didn’t know what to expect, just like with the heads, but boy, oh boy… I don’t think you could have even called that guy human, but what caught my eye even more was that scalpel. And then it started to make a bit more sense, that homeless man had been the same way, and the only thing that connected these two incidents was that scalpel. So, I went with my gut and shot that scalpel clean out of his hand. And it worked. Thank the Lord.

But, after that…Amos said that I took the scalpel. We apparently agreed to turn Deerson in to the police, despite his odd case. The only way that would pass in…public court would mean hiding the details of his situation, which in itself is an act of perjury, but if Mr. Cowboy Hat is who I think he is, then maybe his people will take the case out of the police’s hands in due time. However, it was at the point that we handed over the surgeon that the story gets…even more complicated. Apparently, I left with the scalpel after telling Amos to speak to Frank, about the case. Honestly, that should have been a hint right there that I may not have been in the…right mind. Why would I even leave him alone to speak about such a matter with a colleague of mine? We’re just lucky he didn’t say anything excessive.

…And that’s where they lost my trail. Later, I woke up in the office, the scalpel off my person, and me with no idea what transpired in the last hour or so. Opened up a bottle of whiskey while I waited for them. Thought about what could have happened, where I could have been, but it’s all a blank. Now, there is the strong possibility that the scalpel is back in the wrong hands. Amos told Armand that the case had been solved, but I have a feeling that we might just hear from the Butcher again soon…I own up to my mistakes, and this is my responsibility. I’ll have to keep my eye out on the news, police reports…We need to get that scalpel back before any more damage can be done."

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