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TALES OF THE TOWN: Part 34

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Rosey Learns Something About Devon Camber

It was a warm Spring Sunday: baseball weather. Rosey’s plan was to catch the A’s, who were playing the Yankees, on T.V. Ceci, also an A’s fan, had bought the food: Buffalo wings, chips, cheese dip, beer. It had been a long week; all of Rosey’s weeks were long. A few of his friends were going to join them. A nice day was shaping up: Rosey needed this Sunday to relax and recoup.

He and Ceci were watching the pre-game show and chatting. “It’s the weirdest thing,” Rosey told his wife. “I’m absolutely nowhere in this case. But at the same time, I feel like I’m close to something.”

“Like with the Dobson murder?” Rosey remembered that case: a Catholic priest had been found brutally murdered in the Hills. The City was aroused; the public demanded the killer be found. Rosey, who was working the case, had interviewed the priest’s brother twice. The man was a quiet, hard-working plumber who lived in Union City. He seemed profoundly aggrieved by his brother’s death. There was no reason whatever to suspect him, yet there was a feeling Rosey simply couldn’t shake—an intuition he trusted. He did a little snooping. It turned out that both men had had an uncle who had recently died, in Brazil. The uncle owned a vast tract of valuable land in Brasilia. In his will, he had left it to the priest and his brother. That was all Rosey needed. The brother eventually confessed; case closed.

Rosey was opening bags of chips and putting them into bowls when the doorbell rang. Their friends were arriving. In addition to a couple cops, there was a guy Rosey knew from the Rotary Club, Amooz, who owned a little Afghani restaurant on 15th, just off Webster, just a block from Devon Camber’s apartment. Rosey and Ceci occasionally dined there. Afghani wasn’t his favorite food, but he liked Amooz. During a commercial break in the baseball game, one of the cops, a guy named Dudley, mentioned something about that new city councilmember, what’s his name, Camber, making a speech someplace that was critical of the police.

“What’d he say?” Rosey asked.

“The usual crap,” Dudley said. “We’re a good-old-boys club. We protect each other. We’re too quick to shoot.”

“I am tired of that bullshit,” Rosey said. “What’s up with that Camber? What’s he got up his butt?”

Amooz chimed in. “I see him with this flamer all the time at night, one of those, how they say? Trans?”

“Transsexual?” Rosey offered.

“Yeah. Big, black guy, wears a wig, women’s clothing, you know, high heels.”

Rosey and Dudley both whistled. One thing cops know is that everybody, including public figures, has a private life, aspects of which they prefer to keep well-hidden. “You figure that’s his squeeze?” Dudley asked Amooz.

“I see them kissing one time. I see her—the black lady—grab his butt.” Then the game resumed; the Yankees were beating the A’s 4-1 in the sixth inning. Rosey found the information about Camber interesting. He stored it, as he always did with such tidbits, into a mental filing cabinet in the back of his mind. Information like that might come in handy; you never know.

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