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  • Writer's pictureJames Sargent

Honeymoon Interrupted

Blog - Shadow of the Hawk, Ch 3, Mystery at the Lake, pp. 44-45

March 23, 2023

Mickey Mathews and his best friend Frank Tuttle married Patty Gilbert and Norma Jean Monroe, respectively, in a joint ceremony on July 29, 1944. Since all four were friends, they embarked on a joint honeymoon “Up North” to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula at Big Manistique Lake. Before long, their good time at the lake was upset by a message from FBI agent John Becker, in Detroit. Once again Mickey and Frank must launch a dangerous investigation to find two kidnapped men, before it is too late:

After listening to static for several seconds, Mickey heard Becker’s firm voice, although the head of the Detroit Bureau sounded like he was talking in a tunnel. “Is that you, Mathews?”

Yeah, John.” Mickey allowed irritation to color the greeting. “What’s so urgent you have to call me on my honeymoon?”

“I’m acting on orders from Edgar Hoover, and you don’t tell him no.” Becker sounded like he wasn’t having a good day, so Mickey dropped his attitude.

“On Saturday, the same day you got married, the Secret Service lost touch with President Roosevelt’s young cousin, Martin Delano, who’s twenty-nine, and Brendan Dewey, the nephew of Thomas Dewey, who’s twenty-eight. Governor Dewey, as you know, is running on the Republican ticket for President against Roosevelt.”

“That’s two days ago, John. What happened?”

“That’s just it. We don’t know. Those two young men might have been kidnapped. They’re longtime buddies, and they were traveling to St. Ignace to check on investing in a hotel, a luxury operation, you know, to compete with the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island.”

Mickey was listening carefully. “So you don’t know if they’ve been kidnapped, right?”

“We’re strictly off the record here, Mathews, remember that. Here’s the problem. In the past, these two … I won’t say young fools, but you get the idea.” A few seconds of silence followed, making Mickey think Becker regretted his verbal slip.

“These two young men, who could be future leaders of our country, have gone on more than one bender where they drank, partied, and disappeared for a day, and even once, for two days. And nobody has heard from them since Saturday night about nine o’clock.”

Becker’s voice climbed a notch. “They had reservations to stay at the Straits Hotel in Mackinaw City. We know because when they travel, they have Secret Service protection. Delano and Dewey ate dinner at the hotel. They have not been seen since that night. I’ve had two agents quietly checking the area since Sunday at noon. So far, they have nothing, I mean zero.”

Becker took a breath. “President Roosevelt and Governor Dewey are deeply concerned, but they’re not yet sure of any wrongdoing. That’s why the FBI hasn’t released information about Martin Delano and Brendan Dewey. If we don’t hear any word by tonight, Hoover will make an announcement to the effect that Delano and Dewey have gone ‘missing.’ Of course, if there’s a ransom demand, the FBI will proceed quietly. One way or the other, you must help us.”

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