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Saturday, July 7, 2012

             Reeling from the importance his sudden recall could provide, and not wanting to waste a minute to change out  of his vestments, Fr. O'Kenney rushed to the sacristy to find his cell phone.  He quickly dialed the number to the Sheriff's Office, where a young woman answered.

             "Good Morning...Sheriff's Office.  Where my I direct your call?"

              "Sheriff Beckett, please.  This is Fr. O'Kenney, over at Holy Family Chapel."

              " The Sheriff is off today, Father.  Is this an emergency?"

              "Well, not an immediate emergency, no.  But I urgently need to speak to him.  It's regarding the Rivera murder."

               " Has there been another death, Father?"

                "No, of course not!  This is about the murder last Friday, the one at my church."

                "I can schedule an appointment for you on Monday, Father.  Would 10:45 AM be okay?"

                " You don't understand, miss.  I have important information that is vital to this case!  I really need to speak to the Sheriff today."

                " I'm sorry Father O'Kenney.  As I told you before, Sheriff Beckett has the day off, and left strict orders that he was not be be disturbed unless it was an emergency"

                "But a man is dead, miss!  This can't wait!"

                "As the man is already dead, Father, and probably not going anywhere, I'm sure the 24 hours won't make a difference.  Do you still wish to schedule that 10:45 AM appointment?'

                Sweating in frustration, and trying to reign in his anger, Fr. Kevin replied, "No, that won't be necessary.  Just give me his home or cell number, and I'll try to reach him myself."

               "That would be quite impossible, Father.  The Sheriff does not give out his personal information.  Your best bet is to relax, enjoy your being the Lord's day and all, and see him tomorrow at..."

                "Yes, I know...10:45 AM!  Never mind!  I'll try to get hold of him on my own."

                 "Good luck with that Father."  And the call was abruptly disconnected.

                 Fr. O'Kenney sat down on one of the sacristy chairs, both angry and frustrated.   He could not fathom the lack of interest in solving Marco's murder.  The man and his wife were obviously not well liked in this town, but that was no reason for justice to be ignored.  It was his responsibility as a man of God... as a compassionate human being for that do what he could to help find the guilty party, and bring closure to this horrible event.

                Using his smart phone, he searched various sources for the Sheriff's home phone number or address, without any success.   It made sense that the man would not want his personal information published.  Being that he was not a parishoner,  there would be no church record of him either.  Snapping his fingers as a light bulb went off in his head, he remembered the church raffle, held just a few weeks before his arrival.  He had found the box with all the old losing tickets when he was cleaning out the rectory garage only last week.   Meaning to dump them in the trash, he had stacked it in a pile by the door, but hadn't gotten around to actually tossing the old garbage.  Good thing he was a procrastinator, as maybe the Sheriff had purchased a ticket and put the needed info on the stub.

                Changing out of his Mass vestments, and putting on some comfortable clothes, he located the box and began to dig through the hundreds of tickets, one by one.  The Spirit must have been with him, for after only about twenty minutes, he located a ticket purchased by Sheriff Beckett, who obviously could not pass on the opportunity to win a 55'' flat screen T.V.  The ticket, unfortunately, gave the same office number he had already tried this morning.  But the bottom line contained an unfamiliar address that Kevin hoped was the Sheriff's home location.

               "1642 West Parker Boulevard. Hmm...that's not too far.  It's nice today, maybe I should take the bike?"  Feeling pretty proud of himself for locating the missing civil servant, Kevin chuckled out loud. " Well, Sheriff Beckett...looks like I found you!  Put the coffee on, my friend, because company is coming."

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