St. Paddy’s Day (Chapter Seventeen – Conclusion)

ST. PADDY’S DAY

by

The Major

To view the previous chapter, click here.

That afternoon, the usual gang was gathered at Whiskey Dick’s.  They were consoling Dr. Pat.  Guinness stout was flowing.  Irish music was bursting from the sound system.

“I don’t care what the others say.  You done the right thing, Pat,” said Wayne in as sympathetic a tone has he could muster over the St. Paddy’s Day crowd and the loud music.  “Anyway, I’m sure everything will turn out all right.”  The gang drank in silence to that one.  Although no one had mentioned anything, the possibility of criminal charges still loomed over Dr. Pat’s head in connection with the parking lot incident.

From behind the bar, Rich said: “What are they gonna’ try to do.  Give the guy the ‘Model citizen’ award, and then arrest him on the same day?  I just don’t see that happening.”

“Amen to that,” said Mick.  The others chimed in, expressing their support in a similar manner.

“Thank you all,” said the doctor.  “I’m sure it will work out.”  But he stated this without conviction.

Almost on cue, Megan Shapiro, Esq. entered Whiskey Dick’s, and walked over to the group of men huddled around Dr. Pat at the bar.

“Dr. Patel, I presume,” she said with a wry smile.  “It’s a pleasure to finally meet you face-to-face.”

“Indeed, Madame counselor,” responded Dr. Pat in as diplomatic a tone as he could muster considered the many pints of Guinness he had heretofore consumed.  “My sincere apologies for standing you up the other day.”

The other men gave each other knowing smiles.  More than one eyebrow was raised in jest.

“In light of recent events, I understand completely.”  She gave Dr. Pat a broad smile.

“To make amends, may I buy you a drink?” he asked.  She nodded, and Pat turned to Rich and said: “Do you have any champagne?”

Rich replied: “My offerings today are either black or tan.  I don’t think champagne falls into either category.”

Megan said: “How about a Guinness then?”  Curious eyebrows this time among the men.  “Well, I am half-Irish you know.  My mother came over from Clare before she married my Jewish father.  I guess that makes me…”

“One hundred percent Irish today,” said Mick.  “Everybody who celebrates today is all Irish.  Isn’t that right, St. Paddy?”

“Indeed, it ‘tis,” Pat replied in a very poor brogue tinged with sounds of the subcontinent.  He handed the lawyer her pint.  “Good health to yis” he said.

“Thank you,” said Megan.  “Dr. Pat, if you have a moment, I need to talk to you in private.”

This time Dr. Pat’s friends openly elbowed each other in lewd suggestion.  Pat ignored them and said: “Certainly, Ms. Shapiro.”

She looked right at Mick and the boys and said defiantly:  “Call me Megan, Pat.”

The two walked to the end of the bar and sat down together in a booth.  Megan said to Pat:  “I now understand why you wanted to see me yesterday.  I only wish you had come in.  I saw your Volvo down in the parking lot.  This must have been really tough for you.”

“Thank you for your understanding,” replied the doctor.  “However, that, in no way, excuses my conduct in this entire affair.”

“I know you’re not looking to be let off easy.  You certainly made that plain today during the ceremony.”  She looked him right in the eye.  “Although you haven’t yet formally retained me as your attorney, I feel a sense of responsibility for you.”

“Thank you,” said Pat.  “You are most kind.”

Megan continued: “To this end, I had an informal talk with a couple a people today.  You certainly frustrated Investigator Hurley.  Now, he has nothing to investigate on this one.”

They both smiled.  Megan next said: “I also spoke to Paul Daniels.”  Paul was the district attorney, who also happened to be Megan’s former law partner, and a member of the Key Club, to boot.  “After the brunch, he was still in the process of digesting all of the recent events in this town.  Lately, it’s been one bombshell after another.”

Dr. Pat nodded and took a sip of his beer.  Megan went on: “However, I think I can read Paul pretty well.  He told me that in light of the accidental nature of the incident.  They were probably not inclined to bring charges.  I feel we can probably trust him on this one.  Of course, I can’t charge for all this good work since you haven’t formally retained me yet,” she said with a wink.

“Consider yourself retained.  I’ve heard you do good work.”  Despite his calm on the surface, Dr. Pat was greatly relieved.  “Thank you,” he said simply.

“My pleasure,” she replied coyly.  “How about making it up to me over dinner some night soon.  But, don’t share this with your buddies right now, or the whole deal’s off.”

He smiled broadly and held out his hand to her.  Megan shook the doctor’s hand to signify their agreement.

“And now, would you care to join us back at the bar?  Since we are both 100% Irish today, we are both compelled to celebrate.

“Thank you kindly for the invitation, doctor,” she said.  “But I have another affair to attend to.”  And with that Megan Shapiro, Esq. left the bar.

***

Back at the bar with the lads.  In front of his vacated stool, Pat found a full Guinness with a beautiful one-inch thick head resting on a body black as pitch – in short, a perfect pour.

“What was that all about?” Mick asked in his usual nosy-body fashion.

“I’d tell you all of you. But you’re too young” said Pat in his singsong.

The party of gentlemen remained there until closing time at 4:00 in the morning.

There were other significant events later that afternoon.  For example, a committee of principal members of the Key Club stopped by carrying a plaque bearing the inscription “Person of the Year”.  For the second time that day, they attempted to present the plaque to Dr. Pat.  This time he accepted.

In the small hours of the morning, Mick asked Pat: “So, what are you doing tomorrow?”  The next day was a Saturday.  “Care to shoot some pool?”

“Thanks for the offer,” replied the doctor.  “But, I have a few things to do.  I’ve got an important visitor coming in a few days.”

“Are you ready for him?” asked Mick meaningfully.

“I am,” said Dr. Pat confidently.

– End –

— The Major

©2001 The Major

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