The Not Exactly Complete Works of Peter Schulman

Circumstantial Evidence

©2010 Peter Schulman


  Chapter 1  

  Chapter 2  

  Chapter 3  

  Chapter 4  

  Chapter 5  

  Chapter 6  

  Chapter 7  

  Chapter 8  

  Chapter 9  

  Chapter 10  

  Chapter 11  

  Chapter 12  

Chapter 7

Doris Gold was available in the afternoon.

“I read through the Reedy file,” I told her.

She sat there with an enigmatic, Mona Lisa smile. She wasn’t going to help me.

“It was pretty light reading,” I said.

“There is a confession.”

“It’s well-written, but I don’t think the author captured the defendant’s character.”

Doris shook her head as her eyes looked up. She sighed. “Always with the jokes. I thought we understood that is for a jury to decide.”

“Without it there is no chance of a conviction.”

“That’s why I need somebody strong. If it were easy I could give it to anybody.”

“How can I do that if I don’t believe in it?”

“I’m not asking for a volunteer,” she said. “Don’t go all boy scout on me.”

“What about the fact that he didn’t do it?” My voice was becoming more insistent.

“That’s not a fact; it’s a theory.”

I paused to think about how to say it.

I paused to think about whether to say it.

Don’t say it!

I said it.

“I can’t do it, Doris. I have no other choice than to resign.”

My impulse control still needed work.

She thought about it for a moment. “I don’t want to lose you, Jonathan, but I can’t let my assistants dictate which cases they will take and which they won’t. Everybody will know if I give in to you on this and I’ll have no credibility.

“And you know I can’t avoid the politics. Nothing gets done if I don’t get elected. What the hell am I supposed to do? You leave me no choice but to accept your resignation.”

I tried a wistful smile. “I guess we backed ourselves into a corner.”

“It was a good run,” she said, without any enthusiasm. “Can you give me a week to transition your cases? What are your plans?”

“To give you a week to transition my cases.”

“I see you've thought this out carefully. That’s it?”

“That’s it. Maybe law. Maybe computers. Maybe I’ll do lab work. Maybe I’ll become a private eye.”

She laughed. “That I’d like to see.”

“I don’t know. Remember, a private detective may detect things that ruin your cases.”

“I know. I wish I had assigned this to somebody else in the first place. I just wanted somebody top-notch. I didn’t know we’d have an issue. I don’t know the guy and I had nothing to do with picking him up.

“I wish you well, Jon.”

I knew her well enough to realize the she had expressed genuine disappointment.

I shook her hand. “I’m sure we'll cross paths again.” And perhaps, swords.

The news was out by Saturday. There was no official statement on why I had resigned, but the whispers said I left to pursue other opportunities, which nobody with any sense believed.

I knew the news was out because I started receiving recruiting calls. Nothing was anywhere near definite. The only sure thing was that I would be able to avoid starvation by a comfortable margin.

Monday was Labor Day so I had only four days to transition my cases.

By Friday I had cleaned up my case load and cleared out my office. I dumped my things into a few boxes, which was pretty much the way I had kept my office organized.

Just after four the phone rang.

“Jonathan Smith.”

“Alfred Boxer.”

“Alfred, I guess you haven’t heard. This is my last day with the District Attorney’s Office.”

“I have heard. Mrs. Caldwell would like to speak with you.”

This was a surprise. Did she want to congratulate me on my skillful victory? Probably not. I knew how to find out. “When?”

“Tomorrow morning at eleven o'clock. Be at my office at ten. I’ll drive.”


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  Chapter 13  

  Chapter 14  

  Chapter 15  

  Chapter 16  

  Chapter 17  

  Chapter 18  

  Chapter 19  

  Chapter 20  

  Chapter 21  

  Chapter 22  

  Chapter 23