Feast of Fish
A Change in Viewpoint
Angus returned to the Tavern, confused and distraught. He wasn’t sure what to think of the events of the last few days. Remembering his own thoughts and actions in contrast to what he had seen from his dead friend in the last few days, made him seriously consider the choices he had made throughout his life, and where those same sorts of choices would lead him. He did not like the man he saw in the mirror and his inevitable future, and made a commitment to himself that he would change!
Dealing with Johnny’s Home
Having settled his own mind and firm in his new direction, he set off to Johnny’s house. He felt a personal responsibility to set things “as right as possible”. He would clean up the place, take care of it as if it were his own, find decent renters at a minimal cost to them as possible, and search for Johnny’s family. When he found them, he would let them know that the property existed, and was lawfully theirs; and would help them, even monetarily if they were not in a good enough financial position to own property.
While cleaning up, he ran across one dresser drawer that was locked. Making quick work of the lock, he found an old, yellowed folder. Inside was a birth certificate, $50 in small bills, and an envelope. The envelope had a single word written on the outside: “Sally”. Inside was a ring and an old, worn photograph. The ring was a simple silver band with interior engraving reading: “My Love”. The photo depicted a group of five sitting under the shade of a large oak tree in a park. In the center was a much younger Johnny, sitting between two young girls. One was obviously younger than he and shared a striking resemblance. The other was of a similar age, and starkly different features. She wore an extremely expensive looking dress and jewelry, in contrast to the rest of the group’s less formal attire. Behind them stood a mother and father figure, stately in appearance with a slight smile.
The birth certificate was for John Leraines, born Jan 28, 1864 in Boston Massachusetts. In Angus’ mob dealings, he had heard that name before. John was accused of double-crossing the owner of a Gambling House in Boston, stealing thousands of dollars, then running off to New York city where he murdered and robbed the owner of Lady Luck Race Horses in early August 1891.
Johnny must be the same John Leraines, Angus realized. But this was not the Johnny that Angus knew; and besides, the story didn’t make sense! Johnny had started work at the Raven’s Head in July 1891 – so he couldn’t have murdered that man in New York in August. Things suddenly became clear, Angus realizing that Johnny must have stumbled onto some secret information about the Gambling House, had been framed for murder, and had been hiding out in Fairfield ever since.
This new understanding of Johnny cemented his convictions to better himself, and set things right!
Police Officer Angus McAbus
With a rave review and personal reference for Chief Inspector Jackson, Angus was instantly hired on as a Fairfield Police Officer. At first, very excited to be working towards the good of the people, he was soon disturbed by the general attitude towards the Portchester population.
“We typically just disregard reports from Portchester,” he was told. “There are always problems there with such low-class folk; and they usually sort themselves out, if you just give it a few days. And besides, when we have gone to investigate, the person making the report usually ends up asking us to drop the case; so it’s all just a big waste of time. To be honest, we really don’t have the resources to police and patrol Portchester in addition to keeping the Fairfield citizens safe.”
This did not sit well with Angus, but after pursuing the matter through every available channel, he came up with the conclusion that, given the current situation, nothing would ever change. He realized there were several problems that needed to be solved if proper police protection would ever be seen in Portchester:
- To provide basic police support would require hiring more officers
- To provide police presence would require a Police Station in Portchester
- None of the current Fairfield officers would be willing to work in Portchester
- The station could not be Privately Owned and Operated, as this would quickly lead to bribes and increased organized crime
- Since it must be Publicly Owned and supported by the City, it would impose a substantial additional expense to the city
- Once a Portchester Police Station is in place, it would constitute a permanent commitment and therefore permanent additional expense to the city
- The people that make these sorts of decisions (City Counsel members in Shippan) don’t care about Portchester, and will argue that: “things have been fine for over 50 years, so there is no good reason to go making drastic changes and costly investments that carry great risk.”
In order for his plan to be accepted and sanctioned by the City, he would need to come up with a way for it to be no cost and no risk. After lots of deliberation and several discussions with one of his most trusted militia members, he came up with both a solution and a new business opportunity for Douglas. Douglas would make the following proposition to the City Counsel:
- Douglas and associates will pay for the cost of erecting a Police Station in Portchester, and recruitment, hiring, and training of additional Police Officers to staff it
- Douglas will sign a 2 year contract stating he will make a quarterly (or annual) donation to the city for x amount of money
- The donation amount will be recorded and deposited in an escrow account used for all costs of maintaining the station
- The donation amount will always be 10% greater than the current actual costs to man and maintain the station to allow for future raises, increasing numbers if necessary, and building improvements and maintenance
- At the end of the contract, if property values have increased (greater than the standard County-wide growth rates), then the city can either:
- pay Douglas 10% of the 2 year additional increase in property tax revenue; reimburse him any money remaining in the escrow account; and re-sign a new 2 year contract
- pay Douglas 20% of the 2 year additional increase in property tax revenue; reimburse any money remaining in the escrow account; and buy out the contract
As a result, the city’s initial investment and commitment is zero. In addition, if property values grow, the city will make more money and can choose to either buy it out, or enter into a new no-risk contract. If property values do not grow, the city is out nothing, and can choose to either cancel it with no cost, or enter into a new no-risk contract.
It was a simple no-risk win for the city, regardless of the outcome. So they quickly accepted the deal. In response, Angus volunteered to run the Station – and since no one else wanted the job, was given the title of “Station Administrator” and the authority to make all executive decisions required to run the station.
In addition, Douglas now had incentive to buy up a majority of the low-cost Portchester property as “long term investments”. In the short term, he could rent them out to defer some of his initial investment cost. But in the long term, as property values increased due to better living condition and reduced crime, he could make large profits through leasing and sales.