Ironside: Brother against Brother
Drama / crime
Ironside's team is in danger – from an entirely unexpected side.
Set late season 2, spring 1969
Sgt. Ed Brown was driving through the quiet neighborhood at a leisurely pace. The window on the driver's side was open to let the soft evening air in. He had been to a football game opposing "The Mambas", the team Mark's friend Bat Masterson had founded*, to another local team. The Mambas was composed of kids from difficult backgrounds. Since their alcohol and drug consumption had been cut down they were getting quite good, and each victory on the field was a personal victory for each and every kid. Ed was thinking of one of their problem children: Hermy who had been caught shoplifting. The Chief had put his weight in to give him a second chance and Hermy had been smart enough to seize the opportunity. He was now a fine young man and the captain of the team. It was very satisfying to see how young people made their way when given the necessary support...
Ed jumped in his seat. Without any warning his pleasant thoughts had been interrupted by the sound of a breaking window coming from a house a few feet ahead to hisleft. He then heard an ear-piercing noise: a woman was screaming. Ed stopped by the roadside. Jumping out of his Ford Sedan he saw out of the corner of his eye a shadow running past his car. Seconds later, a dark cabriolet which was parked nearby, drove off so fast that it left tire marks on the asphalt and white smoke in its wake. Ed got out of his car to try to read the license number but in the twilight he only managed to decipher the first three letters: DOW. Another human shadow – or was it the same one as before? – moved swiftly around the corner and vanished out of his sight.
Ed ran towards the house. He noticed three letter boxes as he reached the entrance of the building. The front door had been left wide open; obviously the fleeing person had let it that way. The scream had come from the first floor, Ed was sure about that. He hurried up the stairs. The apartment door to the right was ajar. An old-fashioned sign was hanging on the door: "Mrs. B. King". Ed knocked but there was no response. He hesitated a moment, then pushed the door open.
In the living room, below a broken window, lay an elderly Afro-American woman, motionless, blood from a head wound forming into a puddle on the carpet; the bleeding didn't look life-threatening though. "Madam?" Ed asked, though he didn't really expect an answer. Quickly he knelt down. He could not feel any breathing nor pulse. After checking that the airways were clear, he quickly started the chest compressions and rescue breaths. Mrs. King needed an ambulance, and fast... but he didn't want to stop the life-saving emergency procedure. Continuing CPR he tilted a chair over with his foot, hoping that somebody might hear it. A minute later he shouted between two breaths: "Help!" and then again and again.
Finally he heard quick, close footsteps. He turned his head to see a very old woman approaching. She had to be at least eighty-five years old: A tiny being with a shriveling face, staring blankly first at him then at the women on the floor, speechless. "Madam," he gasped, "please call an ambulance, quickly!" Ed kept it short as speaking cost him a lot of breath. He needed to spare as much as he could in order to carry on with the rescue old woman found her voice again: "Who are you, young man, and what are you doing here?" Her voice sounded like that of a teacher chastising a schoolboy who has forgotten his homework.
Shouting at her would not help. Distressed Ed replied: "I'm a police officer, and this woman needs an ambulance. Please call one. Then come back to me. Can you do that for me?"
"Why didn't you say so in the first place?" she asked reproachfully and turned around, obviously to go back to her own apartment. There had to be a phone in this apartment as well, but he couldn't see it right now, and he didn't want to upset the old lady any further, so he let her go.
Ed went on and on with his work. There was no change to the unconscious woman's condition. The old lady didn't come back. Had she understood him at all? He was getting tired, he needed help... Finally he heard the siren of an ambulance. And now even the neighbor came back. She just stood there marveling at what he was doing. "Please show the paramedics the way!" he wheezed, and this time she seemed to understand him at once.
The paramedics were good at their job.
When they took over, Ed felt greatly relieved. They gave the patient a shot of adrenaline and immediately she started breathing again. When her heart rate was stabilized, she was moved to a stretcher.
"How long have you been doing this?" asked one of them. Ed didn't know exactly, but it had been at least twenty minutes.
"And how long between the heart attack and the beginning of your compressions?"
"Around two minutes, three at the most, I'd say, but I can't be sure."
As the paramedics were ready to leave, Ed held the door open for them to wheel the stretcher out.
"What can you tell us about her medical history?" they asked.
"Nothing, I don't even know her. I was just passing by when I heard her scream." They had reached the ambulance now. Ed showed his badge. "Sgt. Brown, SFPD. Please notify me when you know more, will you?"
One of the paramedics nodded. "Well done, Sergeant!" he said, and they drove off.
Ed went back into the house. The old woman was still standing in the hallway between the two apartments on the first floor.
"Good evening, Madam." Again Ed introduced himself. "Thank you very much for your help."
"How is my daughter?"
"She is alive, but I can't tell you anything else, I'm very sorry." So he had learned something more. He glanced at the door behind her where another of those old signs was hanging. This one said: 'Mrs. G. Lincoln'.
"What happened to Bertha?" Mrs. Lincoln wanted to know.
"Perhaps we can find that out together. Would you come back with me into her apartment, please?"
It turned out that she hadn't heard anything until Ed started his ruckus. She must have been asleep and awoken by her daughter's scream, but she couldn't remember the scream itself. She had heard a sound – supposedly when Ed had tipped the chair over – but she had thought that her great-grandchildren who lived downstairs had come back. They had gone out to get some ice cream. When she had heard the shouts she had stood up. Now she was looking around and pulled out two drawers. "My daughter's purse and jewelry are gone." Of course Mrs. Lincoln didn't know who had been in her daughter's apartment and had likely taken her possessions.
Ed assumed that the thief had pushed her and that her heart had stopped beating after the fall. He begged Mrs. Lincoln not to touch anything in the apartment until the police would have secured all possible evidence.
"Madam, would you like me to wait with you until your relatives come back?"
She eyed him, stunned. "Do you think I need a baby-sitter?" she asked indignantly.
(*Let my Brother go)
Author's note: Chief fans, please be patient – he will show up very soon!