Chapter Six Hundred and Thirty-nine - Building (part four)
Chapter Six Hundred and Thirty-nine - Building (part six)

Chapter Six Hundred and Thirty-nine - Building (part five)


(part five)

“You’re right,” Whitestone said. “My wife was a Christian woman. She drove me crazy with all of the praying and church going. I wanted. . . Well, I don’t know what I wanted.”

“You were relieved when you could justify killing her,” Seth said.

“Now where do you come off. . .” Whitestone started.

“Big Daddy told me that a very long time ago,” Seth said. “It’s taken me all of these years to realize it was this speakeasy — you — he was talking about.”

Whitestone looked away from Seth, and Seth waited. After a moment, the elderly man’s eyes flicked back to Seth.

“Big Daddy,” Whitestone said with a shake of his head. “The guy before him gave us the capital to start the club. First time I saw Big Daddy, he was traveling with his parents. Huh. The kid had my number the whole time.”

“Big Daddy had everyone’s number,” Seth nodded. “That’s how and why he was able to be who he was for such a long time.”

Whitestone nodded.

“Your children would like to bury their mother,” Seth said. “I guess there’s a plot already purchased for the both of you?”

Whitestone didn’t move.

“We’ll make arrangements,” Seth said.

“They still okay with me going in the ground there?” Whitestone asked.

Seth gave a slight nod.

“They’ve always known that you killed your wife,” Seth said. “At least that’s what your eldest daughter said.”

Whitestone gave Seth a slow nod.

“Out of curiosity, were you involved in building the ballroom?” Seth asked.

“No,” Whitestone said. “That place been around since the 1890s. Build by some guy named Marlowe. I’ll tell you — he built places all over the city. Secret places where people of all colors could meet up. You know. . .”

Whitestone leaned forward onto the table.

“It’s owned by a guy named ‘Marlowe’ now,” Whitestone said. “That family is an old, old Colorado family. They built places all over. Own a mine in Leadville that’s supposed to be filled with blue diamonds, but I don’t know that for a fact.”

“He found the ballroom,” Seth said.

“I bet he’d find them all,” Whitestone said.

“I’m not sure he knows about them,” Seth said.

“He will now,” Whitestone said. “You’ll tell him.”

Chuckling to himself, Whitestone nodded.

“The Feds want me to about the Phosogene,” Seth said. “Did you fight in Europe in World War I? There’s no record of it.”

“My big brother from my Daddy’s first family. Brought that back from the war,” Whitestone said. “You have to understand — most blacks believed that white people would wipe us out. My brother used to say, ‘There’s going to be a race war and we need to be prepared.’ I used the club to organize our people. Take a stand. Many of the more recent black politicians came out of our movement.”

“And now?” Seth asked. “Do you have any more gas canisters? Bomb? Anything lurking in your storage shed?”

Whitestone shook his head.

“At least I don’t think so,” Whitestone said. “My brother was alive when I. . . Well, you know. He told me to use the gas. I did just what he said. He helped me close up the wall. We left the ballroom and never went back.”

Seth nodded.

“Is Wretched angry?” Whitestone asked.

Denver Cereal continues tomorrow...


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