Now you See it

Now you See It by David Macfie

Fletcher was visiting McGiver again. The detective had been asked, by his boss, to follow up a complaint the department had received about the motel.  Fletcher was with the police department and McGiver was the manager at the motel.

“McGiver, the complaint was that there’s drug dealing going on out of a couple of your rooms. What can you tell me?”

McGiver was immediately on the defensive. His shifty eyes flitted from side-to-side, as if searching for an escape route. Fletcher let him squirm for a while.

“You clearly know something, so I’m going to be patient. I think you’re frightened and I can offer you police protection, if necessary.”

He pinned the manager with his gimlet stare.

“Now, spill it, before I lose my temper.”

McGiver wriggled and twitched, eyes flitting frantically. Fletcher kept him pinned like a butterfly on a display board. Finally, the manager wilted and slumped into his chair.

“They’re gonna kill me,” he moaned, in a blue funk. “They told me not to talk or they’d torture me until I’d want to die just to end the pain. I can’t risk it, you must see that?” He was almost gibbering in terror.

“Look, McGiver, you know I can’t walk away from this,” Fletcher said, calmly. “I understand your situation. Can you organize someone to cover for you here for a while?”

“Yeah, my brother’s unemployed so I give him a chance every now and then.”

“Call him and tell him to come immediately. Tell him he needs to be here for a couple of days.”

Half an hour later, the brother arrived. McGiver did a quick briefing then said he’d call to say when he’d be back.

Next thing, Fletcher drove away with McGiver in the passenger seat.

“I don’t understand,” he whined. “Where are we going? I don’t see what good this is going to do. Where-ever I go, they’ll find me and kill me.”

“We’re going to my place. We’ll have a nice chat and you’ll stay with me for a while.”

“No. I don’t see that working. They probably saw us drive away. They probably recognized you. They’ll find your place in no time. If I go there, I’m a dead man. I can’t talk, they’’ kill me. You won’t be able to stop them.”

“Pull yourself together, McGiver,” barked Fletcher, scornfully. “Here’s what we’re going to do. First you’re going to tell me every last detail of what you know, starting with who threatened you and finishing with all you know about the operations at the motel. You got that much at least?”

McGIver nodded, but his face was slack with fear, and his eyes glistened with unshed tears of terror. Fletcher nodded too, grimly but reassuringly.

“Then you’re going to look at some pictures. I’ve been investigating the drug gangs for a while now and I have quite a lot of evidence, including pictures of the main men. If you can finger the bully-boys, I’ll know who the bosses of this gang are. Now talk.”

He switched on a portable tape-recorder, noted the time and those present and told McGiver to begin. Once he’d started, a dam broke inside the corpulent little man. He talked all the way to McGiver’s place, and then some once they were inside. He knew pretty much everything about the activities at the motel. Fletcher grinned at him.

“Well done McGIver. I’m real glad you’re such a nosy, or should I say observant, little bugger,” he said.

McGiver managed a weak smile in reply.

“Now relax,” advised Fletcher. “I’m going to organize some twenty four by seven protection and then I will type up your statement for your signature. The protection will bring the pictures. You’ve given me enough to catch the operations guys red-handed, at the motel. I’ve no doubt, some of them will sing. Then we’ll have more than enough to nail the big guys. It’ll be all over by the day after tomorrow.”

McGiver sagged, with relief.

“I didn’t know you’d gone so far,” he admitted. “Maybe, they won’t kill me after all.”

Now, you see it!” exclaimed Fletcher with a grin.

Over the next few hours, McGIver watched Fletcher at work. The man was tireless. The protection arrived and delivered the mug shots. Then they set up their protection routines and procedures, and the little manager finally relaxed. They clearly knew exactly what they were doing.

Fletcher, took McGiver through the pictures. There were clear images of the three goons, who’d visited the motel to put the fear of death into the manager, and McGiver, unhesitatingly, pointed to each of them.

“Good,” said the detective, approvingly. “They’re big Max’s boys. I’ve got a ton of stuff on him already. Now, let’s talk about the take-down at the motel.”

Over the next two hours the two planned every aspect of the clean-up operation to remove every member of the gang, who were operating out of the motel. In this planning, the manager’s detailed ‘observations’ were crucial. He’d recorded everything from deliveries to customer visits. Once they were happy that they had it right, the two drove to the station to talk to Fletcher’s boss. In short order, the plan was turned into a fully-fledged operation, scheduled for the following night. The station commander was impressed with the work done and complimented both McGiver and Fletcher. With everything sorted, the two returned to Fletcher’s place, ate Chinese take-away, drank a couple of beers and watched a ball game on TV.

The following day, the operation went like clockwork. The whole gang was rounded up and charged. Bail was rapidly applied for and denied, by the judge, who said that the weight of evidence made all of them a flight-risk.

Fletcher took McGiver back to the motel.

“Bye, McGiver. Be good,” he said in farewell.

“Now, I really did see it,” smiled the little man, in gratitude.