produced/written by G. Matthew Smith



EPISODE #117 (Tuesday, 4/23/02) click here for a printable version of this episode
A Few Days Later
March, 1936 - Afternoon


CALLISON PUBLICATIONS - DOUGLAS'S OFFICE

Douglas DavisThe Offices of Callison Pubications & the Daily PostDouglas Davis leaned back in his chair and carefully reviewed the notes that he'd made about Francis Callison's defense.  True, the trial wasn't scheduled to start until June, but he was well aware that the district attorney could be relentless.  In this case, there was no such thing as being too prepared.

"Mr. Davis," his secretary's voice came over the intercom.  "You have...a visitor."

"Myrtle, tell whoever it is that I'm not seeing anyone today," he replied into the speaker.  "I've got Mrs. Callison's case to work on and I..."

"Um...Mr. Davis," Myrtle continued, "I think you really should speak to him.  It's...the police."

Douglas furrowed his brow and let out a heavy sigh upon hearing the identity of his unexpected visitor.  The police?  Why would they want to see him?  Could it have something to do with Francis' defense?  Realizing that he didn't have much choice, he took a deep breath and pressed the intercom button again.

"Okay, Myrtle, send him in."  As he hurriedly put away the papers he'd been working on, he tried to put on his best professional demeanor.  

He was certain that the only reason that the police could possibly want to see him would be to gather more evidence that would be detrimental to Francis' defense and he was determined not to let them have anything that might harm his case.


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THE STOKES MANSION - LIVING ROOM

76 Mapleton Way"Are you ready to leave for the airport?" Dr. Fred Rutherford asked as he watched Leticia Stokes slowly come down the stairs carrying the urn containing her husband's ashes.  Her maid Ruby Thomas followed closely behind carrying several large suitcases.

"No," Leticia muttered as she reached the foot of the stairs.  "I don't think that I'll ever be ready to do this."

"Darling, I know how difficult this is going to be," he sighed as he put his arms around her, "but it's what your husband would have wanted.  He would want to be in a city that he felt was his home.  Albanyville just isn't it."

"How the hell do you know what Daddy would have wanted?" Judith Linford spat as she walked in from the living room.  "You have no business being here!"

"Judith, please don't do this now," Leticia begged with a shake of her head.  "This is hard enough for me as it is."

Judith Stokes Linford"Mother, this man has no business going anywhere with you to honor Daddy's memory!"  Judith quickly stepped between her mother and Fred so that she could address her mother directly.  "You should let one of us go with you.  Let me go with you to New York.  If anyone else is going to be there, it should be me."

"Judith, no.  I wanted to do this alone, but...well...I need Fred there with me."  She turned to address her maid.  "Ruby, just set those bags over by the door and let us have a some time alone."

"Yes, ma'am," Ruby nodded before doing as directed and hurrying out of the room.

"Mother, you can't go to New York with this...this quack," Judith hissed through clinched teeth and grabbed Leticia's arm tightly.  "You know Daddy would be rolling over in his...well..."  She glanced down at the urn in her mother's arms.  "You know what I mean."

Dr. Fred Rutherford"Judith, this is hard enough for your mother as it is without you making it harder."  Fred reached over and forcibly removed her hand from Leticia's arm.  "Just because you feel guilty over your father's death isn't any reason for you to act like this."

"How dare you throw that in my face!" she snapped back.  "You have no right!  You're not even fit to lick my father's shoes let alone be in the presence of his ashes!"

"Judith!  Stop it this instant!" Leticia ordered.  "Why do you have to do this to me?  Why do you have to cause some sort of problem wherever you go?"

"Me?  Causing problems?"  Judith took a step backwards, aghast at the accusation.  "Mother, open your eyes!  See this man for the snake that he is!"

"Judith, I know that you're suffering through some horrible grief over your father," Fred spoke up calmly as he tried to maintain a proper demeanor, "but that's no reason to lash out at others.  Maybe if I made an appointment for you at the hospital with a doctor who could..."

"I don't want or need your help!"  She paused and returned her attention to Leticia.  "Mother, please don't let him go with you to New York!

Leticia Stokes"Judith, I'm through discussing this with you," Leticia replied firmly.  "Fred and I have a plane to catch.  I'll see you when I get back."

Turning on her heel, Leticia took Fred by the arm and led him towards the door while Judith silently seethed.

Judith clinched her fists tightly as she thought about how her mother was trashing her father's memory by carrying on with the vile Dr. Rutherford.  As a look of determination covered her face, she realized that she had to do whatever to took to get him out of their lives.

Meanwhile, outside, as Fred helped Leticia into the car, he made his own realization.  Judith was clearly going to be a force to be reckoned with and if he had any hopes of getting his hands on Leticia's fortune, he had to do whatever it took to get Judith out of the way.


CALLISON PUBLICATIONS - DOUGLAS'S OFFICE

The Offices of Callison Publications & the Daily Post"I really don't understand why you'd want to talk to me," Douglas said curtly as he leaned forward onto his desk.  "I have nothing to say to you as far as Francis Callison is concerned."

"Mr. Davis, this doesn't exactly concern Mrs. Callison," Detective Jim Fitzpatrick replied as he stood in front of the desk.  "As far as my department is concerned, that's a closed case.  It's in the D.A.'s hands, now.  What I want to discuss with you pertains to another case I'm working on."

"Another case?"  Douglas furrowed his brow as he tried to figure out what Jim was talking about.  "What kind of case and what does it have to do with me?"

"I really can't go into specifics," Jim explained and then paused awkwardly, unsure about how much of his unofficial theories he should reveal.  "However, I know that not only were you Annabelle Lake's boss but you were also her attorney and..."

"I thought that you said that this didn't have anything to do with the Francis Callison?" Douglas shot back, immediately suspicious of the detective's visit.

"I said that it didn't exactly concern Mrs. Callison," Jim corrected.  "However, it might have something to do with the murder and...um...well..."

"You must be crazy if you think that I'm going to help you nail down the D.A.'s case against her!"

"Now, Mr. Davis, that's not what I'm trying to do."  Jim paused and took a deep breath.  "In fact, well, as this current case relates to your client, I'm here in a completely unofficial capacity."

"What?"  Douglas furrowed his brow and eyed the detective curiously.  "I don't think I understand what you're trying to say."

Jim Fitzpatrick"Mr. Davis, I'm beginning to think that we might have made a mistake," Jim confessed.  "Now, I can't be certain but...well...some new evidence has appeared in regards to a current case that might have some bearing on the Lake murder.  As I said before, that case is officially closed, but...well...I'd like to settle my own curiosity.  You can help me kill two birds with one stone."

Douglas leaned back in his chair and considered what Jim was telling him.  However, how could he be certain that he wasn't being fed some kind of story in order to gain his confidence.

"What kind of information are you hoping to find in Annabelle's personal records?" Douglas finally asked.

"To be honest, I'm not sure," Jim sighed.  "It's one of those things that I'll know when I see it.  I'm actually looking for some information concerning her husband."

"Stephen Lake?"  Douglas paused as he tried to make the connection to Annabelle's death.  "Truthfully, I don't understand why you'd want any information about him.  The man's been dead for years."

"Did Mrs. Lake ever confide in you any intimate details about her husband?"

"No, not really," Douglas shook his head.  "Annabelle and I never had a very close, personal relationship.  She was my secretary.  She didn't talk about her personal life much outside of her daughter."

"If I'm not mistaken, you dated her daughter at one time, didn't you?"

Douglas Davis"I...um..."  Douglas grimaced at the thought of his brief romantic involvement with Stephanie Lake.  "Yes, she and I dated briefly last year and it...well...didn't work out.  I assure you, detective, that nothing serious ever happened between us, if that's what this is about.  And besides, she had already turned 18 and..."

"No, Mr. Davis," Jim laughed, rather amused by Douglas' reactions, "that's not what this is about."  He paused again.  "Do you still have Mrs. Lake's personal papers?"

"Well, yes, of course," Douglas nodded.  "I keep all of the files for each of my clients."

"And what kind of work did you do for Mrs. Lake?"

"Basic legal matters," he explained.  "It was all pro bono.  I did it as a favor in appreciation of her work for me.  I drew up her will---not that it mattered because she really didn't have a lot of money.  Annabelle liked to put on airs, somewhat.  She liked to appear better off than she really was.  In fact, when she died, she really left Stephanie in some pretty severe financial straights."

"Can I see those files, Mr. Davis?"

"I...guess so."  Douglas took a deep breath and slid his chair back so that he could open his file cabinet.  "Let's see...Abbott...Ames...Alden...Bauer...hmmm...Frame...Horton...Hughes...ah, here it is.  Annabelle Lake."  He pulled out the file and turned around to spread it out onto the desk.  "As you can see, detective, there's really not much here.  A copy of her will, a few other papers that really don't have much importance, anymore, and..."

"What's that?" Jim asked as he quickly spotted something poking out from the bottom of the file.

"It...looks like an envelope," Douglas replied as he pulled it out so that he could further examine it.  "Oh, yes!  I remember this, now.  Gee, I'd forgotten all about this."

"Mr. Davis, what is it?"  Jim eyed him curiously.

"Well, a few years ago, Annabelle gave me this envelope with explicit instructions in the event of her death," he explained.  "She never told me what was inside and I never felt it was my place to ask.  I just filed it away and I guess that I forgot about it."

"Well, Mrs. Lake is dead, now," Jim reminded.  "It's time to open that envelope.  I'd really like to know what's inside."

"Oh, I couldn't do that."  Douglas shook his head.  "She gave this to me with the utmost confidence that I would do as she'd asked."

"Mr. Davis, you don't understand how important this is.  My entire investigation could hinge on what's inside that envelope."

"I'm very sorry about that," Douglas sighed, "but I'm bound by a code of ethics.  I cannot betray a client's trust even after death.  Annabelle put her trust in me and I have to honor her final wish.  This envelope can only be opened by one person---the person whose name is on it."

Jim grumbled slightly as he tried to figure out a way to convince Douglas to reveal the mysterious envelope's contents.  "And who might that be, Mr. Davis?"

"Her daughter," Douglas replied matter-of-factly.  "Who else?"