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  • Writer's pictureJames Sargent

California Redwoods

Updated: Oct 18, 2022

Blog Item – California Redwoods #2

October 12, 2022

Mickey Mathews, the celebrated novelist and investigative writer, took on a cold case over Christmas of 1945. Sara Clarkston, his wife Patty’s aunt, had disappeared in San Francisco on New Year’s Eve in 1933. No trace of Sara was ever found. Rather than take his best friend Frank Tuttle, whose new job as Chief of Security at Michigan Normal College began the day after New Year’s, Mickey decided to go it alone. He knew Patty’s cousin Chet Clarkston was eager to help solve the mystery of his mother’s disappearance. On Thursday afternoon, December 27, Mickey’s flight landed in San Francisco, and the dangerous adventure began.

Excerpt from Chapter 2, “The Tale of Sara Clarkston”:

When the elevator stopped on the third floor, Alex opened the door, and Chet followed Mickey into the corridor. Before the doors could close, two attackers jumped Mickey. Both wore dark sweaters, blue jeans, and bandanas over their

faces. A taller attacker with sunglasses surprised Chet, sucker-punching him in the jaw. Caught off guard, Alex kept the elevator door open. He pulled a knife from inside his jacket, ready to help, but he stood staring, frozen by fear.

Mickey reacted quickly when the attacker with the red bandana tried to tackle him. The former quarterback dodged the attempt, and in return, whacked the thug’s head with a left elbow. As the masked man fell, the attacker with the blue bandana slugged Mickey in the chest with a right.

Knocked off balance momentarily, Mickey ducked a haymaker and stepped into Blue Bandana with a hard left to the mid-section, followed by a right uppercut to the jaw. The thug groaned and staggered backward, and his red-masked companion looped a right hook. Mickey tilted his head back and, as the fist missed, he countered with a left to the stomach, which elicited a grunt. Using his right elbow, Mickey cracked him in the jaw, snapping back his head. His body turned, his knees buckled, and his eyes tilted to the ceiling like it offered a haven from fighting.

At that point a loud voice roared, “Hey! What’re you guys doing? This is the Capitol!”

A bulky man in a gray suit with a black Stetson low over his eyes came into view from the front stairwell. Waving a .38 revolver, he bellowed, “Stop that!”

As the armed guard limped their way, Mickey took a step toward the pair with the bandanas, and both scrambled to their feet. Blue Bandana whipped out a knife with a shiny blade. He lunged toward Mickey, swinging his arm up in an attempt to stab him in the mid-section.

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