Too Little to Go On

Started by Tommy Sloan at May 31, 2020 9:30 PM
January 24, 1924
162 Views
8 Posts

Tommy Sloan

Federal Agent
176
?Years Young
114 Posts

"Fulfill the prophecy;
Be something greater;
Go make a legacy;
Manifest destiny"


Tommy stretched and pulled the last sheet of paper out of the typewriter, then stuck it at the end of a file. He had started typing up his notes as soon as he got back from Gracie's, but had gotten sidetracked a few times with other jobs. He'd also done a little bit of digging on some of the names Gracie had given him. Now, a day later, he was finally done.

He glanced through the small window by his desk down at the side alley that ran along the edge of the bureau office building, then went over to Morris's desk. He cleared his throat, tossed a file onto Morris's desk and began talking without waiting for the chief to look up.

"This here's the file for the O'Doul case so far, Chief. Lots a' little trails to follow here," he started, crossing his arms. "You want me to give you a minute to read the file, or you want me to just sum up?"

He had lots of nervous energy. He'd put off the report from his meeting with Gracie until now, but that wasn't it. Giving Morris a report on this particular case was as nervewracking as waiting for confession when he'd done something wrong. But there was more riding on this report than Tommy's soul.


Dan Morris

BOI Chief
114
?Years Young
11 Posts

Dan picked up the file and began to peruse it.  "Give me a few minutes to read it and I'll get back to you."

After Tommy had left, he read through the report.  It wasn't long and in went into great detail.  The boy was good at putting in all of the relevant information he had probably collected so far but there was a problem.  There just wasn't enough to warrant giving it more time than he already had.  The boy would probably be disappointed but there more important things to do then look for the killer of a small-time wannabe.

Going out into the main office area, he acknowledge of few of the other agents in the room.  The new man, Mark Carson was busy on a phone call chasing up a couple of leads into some bootlegging operation in North Miami.  That was the type of things he wanted all of his men to do - going after something that was solid.  Maybe one day he would put Sloan and Carson together on a case just to see how they got along.

Approaching Tommy's desk, he smiled apologetically as he placed the file on it. "You've written a good report, son.  Full of details and I can see that you've done the groundwork but it's not enough to go on.  This is BOI and not the Miami Police."

 


Tommy Sloan

Federal Agent
176
?Years Young
114 Posts

"Fulfill the prophecy;
Be something greater;
Go make a legacy;
Manifest destiny"


Tommy nodded and went back out to his desk, where he started to look through some papers unrelated to Johnnie O'Doul. He kept getting distracted, however, looking over to see if Morris was coming over. His knee jounced under his desk, making it hard to concentrate. He tried taking notes, but ended up splotching ink all over the paper he was marking up.

When the file landed back on his desk, his heart leaped. But it sank as Morris spoke. Tommy stood up hurriedly, almost knocking his chair over in the process. He glanced from the file to Morris's apologetic expression and his eyebrows contracted, along with his insides.

"Does that mean you're pulling me off? Chief, it's only been a few days! I know it doesn't look like much, but it could lead to something big. Those names in the report, they've got to lead to bootleggers eventually!"

How could Morris not see it? There had to be something that would make this case worth it. Gracie had practically handed him Smiley and Lenny, but he couldn't say too much about them without bringing Gracie into it. He couldn't bring himself to beg for more time, so all he could do was protest.

But maybe Morris was right. Maybe this was a case for the police, not the bureau. But the police hadn't done anything with the case. If he didn't, who would?


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Dan Morris

BOI Chief
114
?Years Young
11 Posts

"Does that mean you're pulling me off? Chief, it's only been a few days! I know it doesn't look like much, but it could lead to something big. Those names in the report, they've got to lead to bootleggers eventually!"

"I'm afraid so, son.  Unless you've got a rock solid reason why I should keep you on this case, then you better tell me now."

Having gone through the entire file which included pictures of the victim and his girlfriend, Dan had a feeling why Tommy was so eager to investigate this one, he just hoped it wasn't the only reason.  He could see the look of disappointment on the young man's face.

"Look, you did a good job on the report but our resources are stretched to the limit.  We just can't go and check everything out based on a whim.  We need something more than just maybes."


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Tommy Sloan

Federal Agent
176
?Years Young
114 Posts

"Fulfill the prophecy;
Be something greater;
Go make a legacy;
Manifest destiny"


Tommy's jaw worked back and forth for a moment as he tried to think of something that counted as rock-solid. If he had had more time to track down Smiley or Lenny or Turk Flagg, maybe. But there was nothing rock-solid in what he had now.

"That's all I have...maybes," he muttered finally, his shoulders slumping. He didn't like admitting that the leads were too flimsy; to Morris or to himself. And now he would have to tell Gracie, too.

He flipped up the top page of the report and looked at the typed words blindly, Morris's praise meaning nothing if he couldn't keep going.

He looked back up at Morris. "Are you going to fire me now?" That was what he had expected Morris to do if he failed, but he hadn't failed. This just wasn't the right time or place for the O'Doul case.


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Dan Morris

BOI Chief
114
?Years Young
11 Posts

"No, I'm not going to fire you," Dan replied in a slightly disgruntled tone.

He could see that the young man was disappointed but he may as well learn now that he couldn't use the bureau to satisfy a whim or to impress a girl.  "Look at this way.  You got some experience in questioning a witness and putting together your findings in a report. Maybe we can use this information later on if we come across the fellows you mentioned in it.  With the way things are around here these days, most everybody on the other side of the law is usually tied up in at least one or more different capers."

After a brief pause, he spoke again, "I'm sorry but I just can't give it into one case that has the flimsiest of evidence.  If I did that then I would have to give into all of them and we just don't have the time or resources to do that."


Tommy Sloan

Federal Agent
176
?Years Young
114 Posts

"Fulfill the prophecy;
Be something greater;
Go make a legacy;
Manifest destiny"


Tommy nodded, staring off at nothing in particular as Morris talked. The chief made good points about how this was a good experience for him. He had learned how to do useful things just in the two days he'd been on the case. But then he said something that made Tommy look up; something about using the names he'd mentioned and the information in the report.

"Right." He wanted to say so much more than that: something like "Right, and that's why I should keep going." But he knew that wouldn't fly with Morris. He looked back at the file and flipped the top page down again with an air of finality. "Right, Chief. I get it."

It was hard to get, but he got it. Almost. He was still sore about it, but he knew he'd come around to Morris's way of thinking if he gave it enough time. He stubbornly didn't want to give it time, though, mostly because he worried that the case would be the only reason Grace had agreed to spend time with him.


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Dan Morris

BOI Chief
114
?Years Young
11 Posts

"That's good," Dan said as he turned to head back to his office.  He was part of the way there when he decided that young Tom needed to get more experience at handling the bigger cases and not the small stuff.  Maybe if he got a taste of what being an agent was really like, he wouldn't be so worried about chasing down who killed some no-account hoodlum.

When he got back to his desk, he began going through the current cases the bureau was working.  One particular one caught his eye and he began to formulate a plan.  In about a week or so, he would be needing a couple of extra men to do some surveillance work and he added Tommy to list.  The boy might not like what he had planned for him but if Tommy was ever going to be a half decent agent then it would have to do it sooner or later.


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