Chapter 37


    Finnigan's Wake, the popular Irish pub at Third and Spring Garden Streets, in the Northern Liberties section of the city, was packed with a who's who from the department and the DA's office, as well as defense attorneys, paralegals, FBI agents, commissioners, medical examiner's investigators. As always, everyone clustered with their tribe. David Albrecht was there, shooting from the sidelines. Russ Diaz was with his new team. Tom Weyrich was there, looking a little better than Jessica had seen him look in a long time. Maybe it was the Guinness. Dennis Stansfield stood in the corner with two of his old squad mates.

    The jampacked party was held on the second floor, also known as the Lincoln Level. After Abraham Lincoln was assassinated, his body was transported to Philadelphia to lie in state at Independence Hall. That night his body had been kept in a Northern Liberties funeral parlor, and the doors from that establishment became part of the second floor at Finnigan's Wake. More than one pint had been lifted to Honest Abe in this room.


    As the evening wore on a number of people got up and told their Michael Drummond stories. Like all leaving parties, the first hour's worth of stories were mild, only somewhat ribald recounts of incidents that happened around the office. The second hour, seeing as Michael Drummond was about to become part of the opposition to most of the people in the room, became a little more adventurous, if not downright drunkenly libelous.

    At eleven p.m. Michael Drummond himself took the microphone. Although Drummond was not yet forty, there was a lot of fresh blood in the DA's office and he was referred to as the old man.

    'Yes, it's true that I joined the office after an unfortunate incident with a Model A Ford,' he said, drawing polite laughter.

    He went on to thank just about everyone he'd ever worked with, on both sides of the aisle, taking particular care to heap praise upon all the judges - men and women in front of whom he would shortly be arguing for the defense - regardless of whether they were at the party or not.

    Soon it became time for him to spill the beans. With a clank of a spoon on a crystal glass, he got everyone's undivided attention.

    'Folks, I have an announcement to make,' Drummond said.

    Everyone quieted down. This was, more or less, the reason they had gathered.

    'In two weeks I will start work as a junior partner at Paulson Derry Chambers. Until then, I'm on the job. So watch yourselves.'

    A rumble went through the room. Paulson Derry Chambers was one of the most prominent firms in the city. Everyone expected Mike Drummond to go for the dollar, but a junior partnership at Paulson Derry was like stepping into Valhalla. Applause followed.

    'Although I didn't know him personally, I'd like to leave you with the wise words of Pericles,' Drummond added. 'He said: "What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others."'

    'Hear, hear,' someone said.

    Everyone raised a glass.

    'Here's to old dogs,' a slightly inebriated Nick Palladino added.

    Drummond laughed. 'And soft bones.'

    Everyone returned to their small groups. The detectives gathered near the tall windows overlooking Spring Garden Street and the view of the Ben Franklin Bridge.

    'Ah, shit,' Dino said after everyone sat down.

    'What?' Jessica asked.

    Dino stood up, looked in his pockets, patted himself down like a suspect. 'I can't believe this.'

    'What's wrong?'

    Deadpan: 'I think I left my lip gloss at home.'

    Someone snorted.

    Dino pointed at Byrne's man bag, hanging off the back of his chair. 'Hey, Kev. You wouldn't happen to have any in there, would you?'

    Muffled laughs around the table. Byrne shook his head. 'I'm a lot bigger than you are, you know that, right?'

    'I know,' Dino said. 'But you're also older.'

    'By what, five or six months?'


    'That just means it will take me a few seconds longer to get across the room.'

    Dino held up both hands. 'Just don't hit me with your man bag.'

    Byrne shot to his feet.

    Nick Palladino ran to the bar.


    By midnight most of the younger players had moved on or gone home. It was a work night. There were young families waiting. After the midnight hour the floor was left to the serious drinkers.

    Jessica, who was just about out the door, stood with Byrne near the elevator. Michael Drummond found them, crossed the room. He'd had his share of cheer, and more.

    'Thanks for coming, guys.'

    Drummond gave Jessica a brotherly hug, shook Byrne's hand, clapped him on the shoulder.

    'You do realize we'll probably go up against each other one of these days,' Byrne said.

    Drummond nodded. 'Yeah. I feel like I've gone over to the dark side.'

    'The money should help ease your pain.'

    Drummond smiled. He glanced at his watch. 'I've got to be up in about three hours,' he said. 'We're moving my mother into an assisted- living facility.'

    'Do you need another pair of hands?' Byrne asked.

    'No, we're good. Thanks.' Drummond slipped on his overcoat. 'I just have to be in Parkwood around six-thirty.'

    Jessica looked at Byrne, then back. 'Parkwood?'

    'What about it?'

    'Well, it's just come up twice in one day.'

    'What do you mean?' Drummond asked.

    Jessica explained what they had done that afternoon, about Abraham Coltrane's claim that Marcellus Palmer, the 2004 victim found in the Dumpster just a few blocks from where they now stood, was buried in or around Parkwood. Drummond thought for a few moments.

    'Well, I'm pretty sure there used to be a potter's field in Parkwood,' he said. 'It closed a while back.'


    'Yeah. I think the bodies were disinterred and either moved to other cemeteries or cremated. I think there was supposed to be some kind of development that went in that spot, but nothing ever happened.' Drummond drained his glass, put it on the bar. 'Can you imagine living on top of a former cemetery?'

    Jessica felt a chill at the idea. 'Do you know where the cemetery was located?'

    Drummond shrugged. 'No idea. Sorry. I might even be wrong about this.'

    'Counselor!' someone shouted drunkenly from across the room. 'You're needed for a voir dire.'

    It was two old-timers from the DA's office. The voir dire was a process of jury selection, generally involving the judge and attorneys asking potential jurors about their experiences and beliefs. On the table in front of the two ADAs was one of every different kind of drink in the bar. There had to be fifty full glasses. Drummond looked back at Jessica and Byrne. 'Looks like the night isn't over for me yet. Thanks again for coming.'

    Drummond slipped off his coat and staggered across the room.

    Downstairs, a few minutes later, Byrne held the door for Jessica. They stepped out onto Spring Garden Street.

    'So, what time do you want to meet me at L & I?' Byrne asked. The License & Inspections division had city-zoning archives going back more than two hundred years. If there had once been a cemetery in or around Parkwood it would be recorded there.

    'As soon as they open, detective,' Jessica said.

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