Monday, 09 March 2009 10:51

The Wolf of Hyde Park

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I remember the first time I saw Renley's picture on the front page of the Globe. He and the “Wolf” had been trading headlines for some time. One week it was Renley Dumont, the sharp tongued prosecutor with little regard for standard court tact, getting found in contempt yet again. The next, it was the latest kill by the bloodthirsty “Wolf of Hyde Park”, so named because of the neighborhood where the killer liked to dispose of the savagely slain victims. There was no clear connection to be made by the average reader at that point, but I knew something was amiss. Little did I know the day I finally met Renley in person would be the day I discovered the truth. For Boston, it was a scorcher, one of the rare days that got over 90 degrees, nnand Renley had just finished fighting a fire among the press...

Once again, I do not advocate going above the law, even if it is ineffectual at times.” Renley adjusted a pair of coke bottle glasses resting upon his hawkish nose and magnifying his eyes ridiculously. “The statement I made yesterday was a temporary error in judgment. The laws we have in place are there for a reason, they serve us more often than not. The occasional individual that slips through the cracks is no reason to demolish the entire structure.”

The lack of conviction in his voice was obvious. Everyone present on the steps of the courthouse had to know he was simply covering his ass, nothing more.

“So you think today's judgment was one of those occasions?” A reporter said, thrusting a microphone towards him.

“It's not for me to make that judgment. The jury found for the defendant, Mr. Simms, and I accept that.”

“But do you believe they found in error?” Another reporter shouted. It was a silly question. He was just fishing for an angry response.

“I'm the prosecutor. Are you really going to ask me that? Again, what I believe is irrelevant in light of the court's decision. The jury is made up of human beings, so it is susceptible to error. We can only hope to honor justice more times than we fail. Thank you very much.”

Renley ignored the rest of the questions as he made his way through the press gang to a cab waiting for him on the curb.

He did a double take when he sat down and found me already seated within.

“Who are you?” Renley made it sound like an accusation.

“Allen Derby,” I said, holding out my hand. “I was told I could interview for the assistant's job personally.”

Renley quickly nodded his head, holding his own hand up not to shake, but to stop me from talking.

“Yeah, now I remember. You're the young hotshot from Iowa or whatever. I hope you realize, Allen, that whatever favor you cashed in will only get you so far. I don't let just anyone join my team. I don't care who you know.”

“I am confident I will be a...”

“Save it. Words only count in ncourt, kid.” He clicked open his briefcase and pulled out some choice papers. “Have you been following this trial?”

“I have.”

“Well then, you must be at least partially aware of what we're up against. These mob guys have a lot of money, and they can buy some pretty convincing friends.”

He wasn't physically impressive, his small frame and angular features coupled with pale skin and greasy black hair, made him appear frail and sickly. His quick, precise movements told another story, however. The more I watched him, the more I realized that he had an uncanny awareness of the world around him, regardless of where he was looking. The thick lenses of his glasses must have hampered his peripheral vision. Nevertheless, he was never caught off balance by a sharp turn from the driver, even when his head was buried in files. There was something else, too. He possessed a rare natural confidence and determination that was hard to miss and always present in the way he moved and spoke. I couldn't help but admire the strange little man.  To be continued

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