Title: The Igloo Boys
Author: Henry P. Gravelle
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 2
Thou Shall Not Steal, but if you do, know who you're ripping off...
A few disgruntled friends working at a manufacturing company in financial hardship, plan to rob the payroll office before they are laid off. Unknown to them, the money they take is mob money just loaned to the company. Now the thieves have more than the police after them, and no one has any idea where the money is.
Detective Freeman looked curiously at the man seated with his big hands politely folded on the tabletop. He watched his eyes because he believed they gave away emotion, surprise or danger and usually the source of the suspect's innocence or guilt.
Yet Freeman could not read this man's eyes. They remained unmoving and expressionless; he had no fear and had seen all the pain this world could toss his way.
Freeman walked slowly around the table speaking in a low monotone, asking questions yet knowing the answers.
"Several years ago Sotheby's sold a bottle of wine corked in 1787 from the wine cellar of one Thomas Jefferson, ex-president and big muck-a-muck with putting together the Declaration and all that crap. The bottle even had his initials engraved on it but after two hundred and something years the shit was no good, just a rare historical piece.
"Still, the bottle fetched fifty-six thousand dollars at auction from an undisclosed bidder. No one knew who had bought that bottle of Thomas Jefferson's wine until last year when a successful doctor reported the breaking and entering of his Weston home while he and his wife enjoyed the Boston Pops.
"The next day the good doctor presented a complete listing of stolen items to his insurance company containing numerous pieces of jewelry, silverware and electronic gadgets of every description along with the previously mentioned bottle of historically certified wine from the Chateau d'Yquem, circa 1787. A rare white wine in a blue bottle with the initials Th. J etched into the glass, now holding a value of one-hundred plus thousand."
Freeman watched the man's eyes when he mentioned the value of the bottle.
Marty leaned closer and could smell the odor of lockup drifting from the man as he whispered into his ear, "You wouldn't know anything about a bottle fitting that description now would you, Willy?"
The man blinked as though awaking from a trance and opened his hands, palms up. "Don't rightly have any knowledge 'o that, no suh."
"No knowledge of it?" Freeman gave a little laugh, standing erect.
He felt his words had been ignored yet he knew Willy had plenty of knowledge about the missing bottle of wine and even more knowledge about the robbery of the doctor's home, and knew even more about the Igloo.
"Your arresting officers confiscated two Rolex watches, a digital camera, four diamond rings, a pearl necklace, two DVD players and two laptop computers from that room they found you in. All those items with serial numbers of items from the doctor's list of stolen goods. Still don't know what I'm talking about?"
Willy was unflinching, Freeman unrelenting, "I can easily get more time added onto what you already got for hitting that cop. Do you really wanna keep butting heads with me?"
Freeman returned to the other side of the table and opened a manila folder, spreading several sheets of paper across the tabletop. He methodically placed a pair of dark framed bifocals on his aged from stress and demands of 'To protect and Serve' face, then read.
"Willy 'Wampum' Reberio," Freeman stopped, looking confused, "why Wampum?"
"'Cause when I fight I wump the utter guy quick," Willy replied softly.
"I thought because you were part Wampanoag you earned your wampum from fighting?" Freeman said.
It was Willy's turn to look confused, "Suh?"
"You're an old Injun scrapper. Wampum is Indian money ain't it? Isn't that what you fought for, money, wampum?"
Willy shook his head, "No suh, I be called Wampum 'cause I put a hurt on the utter man. I wumped his ass good."
"How many did you wump?"
Freeman smirked, "Fifty eight? You earned a shot at the title with fifty-eight fights?"
"Fifty-eight kay-ohs," Willy stated proudly.
Freeman understood and resumed reading from the report.