Evil vs. the Angels of Stony Island
by Jim Heaney

“Can I help you, sir?” he yelled.
We started to cross the aisle when another policeman cut in front of us, hurrying a handcuffed man across the room.
“No, please don’t do this to me!” But the scream was only inside my head.
Standing at the desk, my father said,
“We’re here to see Detective Ryan.” The fat cop swirled around in his chair and yelled to someone we couldn’t see.
“Hey, Pete—you seen Rhino?”
“He’s in Room Three, waiting for some kid.” The big cop leaned over the desk and glared at me, then politely said to my father,
“As you can see, we’re a little crazy around here this morning. Saturday night every weirdo in town was out, and now they’re in here. How about grabbing a seat over there while I find Detective Ryan for you?” He motioned to a couple of chairs against the wall. We walked slowly back across the room, trying to avoid bump- ing into the crowds of people coming through. My father dug through his pockets for his smokes and lighter. His hands shook as he lit a cigarette. The cop at the desk kept glaring at me. There was so much commotion in the lobby that it was impossible to pick out Ryan, but suddenly we noticed a younger man in a blue business suit walking toward us.
“Hello, I’m Detective Ryan. Thank you for coming. Would you follow me?” We walked down the long hallway until we came to a door. He opened it and asked us to step inside and take a seat. I stepped inside the door— Oh my God. There he was. I couldn’t believe it. Larry the Monster, sitting right in front of me in Room Three. An older man was there with him. I braced myself. The oth- ers were seated. There was only one empty chair. I sat down right next to Larry. Detective Ryan began by thanking my father for coming down on a Sunday. Then he explained that Larry’s mother and father had reported some wedding rings stolen from their house. Larry the Monster had a mother and father? The detective explained that Larry’s mother was cleaning out her dresser, noticed that two heirloom rings were gone, and called the police. After looking at the evidence, Detective Ryan had decided it wasn’t a break-in because no doors or windows were broken.
“I decided that something else had gone on there. The par-ents worked during the day and were home at night, so it couldn’t have happened then. They told me they had been on vacation in Germany for about a month and that Larry had been home alone. I asked Larry if anyone had been around while his mother and father were away, and Larry said no.”
Good, I thought. Now I could say I was never there and we could go home.
“But while driving back to the police station, I kept rolling Larry’s name over in my mind. Where had I heard his name before? A few days went by and I got a call from Larry’s mother saying that one of her neighbors had seen the paper boy around the house a few times while they had been gone. Maybe, she said, he had taken the rings. They picked Jimmy out of the class pictures from St. Ailbe’s and here we are.” Detective Ryan turned to me.
“Jimmy, did you take the rings?” I tried to talk but my mouth was so dry nothing came out. He asked again.
“Jimmy, did you take the rings?” I looked up into my father’s eyes and knew exactly what to say.
“Were you ever in the house?”
“No.” Detective Ryan looked right through me and then at Larry.
“By looking at the two of you, I think you took them.” He turned to my father.
“We have another problem, sir. When Larry’s mother said the paper boy was around the house a few times, I started to ask around the station about Larry.” Just then the door flew open and in walked another very heavy detective, wearing a gray suit that must have fit a few years back. Detective Ryan introduced him as Detective Spears. Ryan said it was Spears’s day off but he had wanted to come in because he felt it was important.

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