I do not own the Perry Mason or Ironside characters. They are the creation of Erle Stanley Gardner and Collier Young. Nor am I making any profit for the writing of this fanfiction.
Please remember the story is written present day rather than when the shows took place. All stories about Perry Mason and Robert Ironside follow a timeline. However, they are written so that they can stand alone when read.
This takes place after The Case of the Defenseless Prosecutor which is nearing the end of the story. I decided not to wait to start posting this story.
I do not claim to be a lawyer nor do I have any legal training. I am sure there are many legal errors. Please accept this for what it is…pure entertainment fiction.
The Case of the Politician's Wife
President James Whitmore looked at his chief of staff, Artie Hanson. "Are you telling me my wife went to a bar last night?"
"Yes, Mr. President," Hanson answered.
"For god's sake, who the hell was in charge of her secret service detail? Who was stupid enough to allow that?" the President roared.
"Sir, the secret service is responsible for protecting the first lady. They cannot tell her where she can and cannot go."
"Oh that's ridiculous, Artie. They could have talked her out of it. At the very least, they could have informed us so that we could have avoided an embarrassing situation. Now, how in the hell are we going to explain this to the American people?"
"We don't have to."
"What do you mean we don't have to?
"Well first of all Mr. President, it is nobody's business. It is a personal matter…"
"You should know by now," the President interrupted, "that the American people decide what is their business. We are at their mercy and that of the liberal press."
"Not this time, Mr. President."
"Artie, why am I having to drag this out of you word by word. Tell me what happened for heaven's sake."
"Sir, when the limo pulled up to the rear door of the bar, Congressman Ivan Cunningham stopped her as she was stepping out of the limo. He was able to convince her not to go into the bar."
"Why didn't you say so in the first place? Ivan's a lousy congressman but he is loyal to his party. I don't have to ask what he was doing there. What floozy was he cheating on his wife with last night?" James Whitmore turned his executive chair around to look out the window of the oval office. "If I behaved in the manner he does, I would not have gotten elected to this office in the first place."
"The people have a higher standard for their president than they do for a congressman, Mr. President."
There was a knock on the door. Whitmore's secretary entered the oval office. She set down two papers in front of the president, the Los Angeles Times and the San Francisco Chronicle. The San Francisco paper immediately caught his attention. On the front page was a picture of Chief Robert T. Ironside. He had successfully found and caught a cop killer that had been murdering police officers with variations of Robert in their names. Whitmore smiled and thought to himself, give 'em hell, Bob. He set the paper down and picked up the Los Angeles Times. Shaking his head and smiling he looked at the picture of Perry Mason and his secretary, Della Street. Mason had just got another client off from a murder conviction. Whitmore did not understand why the city didn't save themselves a lot of money and just not prosecute Mason's clients. If he defended them they were innocent.
Whitmore wondered what a city might be like is one of those two moved to the other one's city. What a team they would make. He thought back on his friendship with both men. Perry Mason had come to his son's defense when he had been charged with the murder of a San Francisco cop. He joined forces with Bob Ironside and between the two of them, they found the real killer. The experience had a positive effect on his son, Scott. He had agreed to accept his father's help and go back to school. He had been so impressed with Perry's performance that he had decided he wanted to become a lawyer. Whitmore did everything he could to encourage him.
Bob Ironside went against the prosecution and the entire city council because he believed in Scott's innocence. Both man worked tirelessly, along with their staffs to find the evidence to clear Scott.
Later when Commissioner Randall had been accused of murder, Bob had asked for his help and quickly pointed out to Whitmore that he was in Washington to enforce the laws. Whitmore made several enemies when he helped Bob and Perry bring down the governor of California. It had cost Whitmore but he could sleep at night knowing he did what was right.
Time had gotten away from him. It had been quite some time since he had talked to either man. Regardless of his busy schedule, he simply had to pick up the phone and call both of them. It would be nice to talk to a friendly voice for a change. Sometimes in Washington, you could not trust anyone. You had to get outside the beltway to keep your perspective.
"What are you reading?" Hanson said bringing the president out of his day dreaming."
"About Ironside and Mason. I see they both are still at the top of their game. You know I asked both of them to come to Washington with me and take jobs in the attorney general's office and they both turned me down. I expected Bob to turn me down. He has a fierce love of the people of San Francisco and protects them like they were his children. But I did not expect Perry to turn me down. I really thought he would jump at the chance of working in the attorney general's office. But I guess he prefers playing detective as well as defender. I just underestimated how much he loves what he is doing."
"That is because he loves those sky high fees he charges his clients more than public service."
Whitmore whipped his head around. "You don't know much about him, do you? Don't you think defending people is a public service?"
"What? Getting murderers off?" Hanson said with disgust in his voice.
"Boy, you really don't know anything about him do you. In almost every one of his cases, he has not only cleared his clients of murder charges but also dug at the truth until he knew who the real murders were. He broke them down either on the stand or work with Burger and Tragg to trap them. I'd call that public service. A lot of innocent people would have received the death penalty if it had not been for his determination to protect them."
Hanson did not want to argue with the president over two men he deemed beneath him but the president was not going to let it go.
"Perry would have been terrific in Washington. He was my first choice as attorney general, you know? I dare say he would have been the best attorney general this country has ever seen."
"He was not qualified, Mr. President. We went around on this when you said you were going to ask him to take the job. He's a criminal attorney."
"He's brilliant. He could have adjusted. Perry could work in any kind of law and he would still be the best there is doing it. And I think he would have liked it. It would have given him the opportunity to protect people from all over the country, not just Los Angeles. But he turned me down so it doesn't matter now. Bob, on the other hand would have hated it here. He would have made a lot of enemies. He hates politics and he would not 'take one for the gipper' if something smelled foul. He doesn't back down from politicians. In fact Bob doesn't back down from anyone and he would not have back down from me either." The president chuckled over the thought of Bob Ironside standing up to the President of the United States.
"He doesn't have the personality to work in Washington," Artie said.
"Why? Because he is a no nonsense type of man who would not bend his principles for anyone? If we had more like him in Washington, this town would not be in such a mess.
Hanson had tired of this conversation about two men he had no use for even if they were the president's friends. "Mr. President, the national security meeting is in ten minutes. Don't you thing we better get going?"
Whitmore could see his chief of staff was not enjoying this conversation. Some day he would have to sit him down and find out why he had such a dislike for two men that Whitmore admired above all others. "Lead the way, Artie."
"I told you Della, we never should have stopped by here. It's almost one o'clock and we still have not got out of this office. Now we don't have time to stop for lunch. We have to get to the airport or we are going to miss our plane."
"That young lady needed your help Perry," Della said. "That is why we are running late."
"And she will get my help but obviously it will be after we get back, the same as it would have been had we left on time," Perry argued.
"I know that but she feels so much better now, knowing that you will represent her. So, we can't stop for lunch…we can eat on the plane."
"Have you eaten the food on airplane lately? It is not exactly the kind of dining I have planned for us before we left," Perry said with a frown.
Della walked gracefully over to the lawyer. She placed her hand on his massive chest. "I promise when we get to Commissioner's cabin, I will make you a mouthwatering dinner."
Perry grinned. "Mouthwatering huh?"
"I was talking about satisfying your appetite, counselor," Della said with a demure smile.
Perry leaned into Della, pulled her close to him and whispered in her ear, "so was I." He lowered his lips to hers and drew her into a passionate kiss that left her breathless.
The door opened and Gerty walked in. Perry and Della pulled apart from one another. Gerty blushed and said, "I am sorry I did not mean to intrude but Mr. Mason I cannot send out these checks unless you sign them. Miss Street said that it is very important that some of these get mailed right away. "I'll just set them right here on the desk for you to sign." Gerty walked over to the desk and set the checks in the middle of Mason's desk. She averted her eyes from Perry and Della and left the office.
"You are breaking the rules, Mr. Mason," Della said. "We are not supposed to do this in the office.
Perry smiled. "You don't really think Gerty hasn't figured it out, yet?"
"That is not the point, Perry. We should not put Gerty in the position that she walks in on us. It's embarrassing for her."
"She usually knocks on the door before entering."
"Not always obviously," Della countered.
"Then she'll get a surprise." Perry grabbed Della and pulled her to him. "Besides, you know me. I like to push the boundaries right up to not quite crossing them." As he bent down to draw Della into another kiss, she slipped out of his arms.
"We will have plenty of time for this at the Commissioner's cabin. Right now, we need to get out of here and get to the airport. Did you tell Robert, we were going to be within driving distance of him?"
"Not a chance. I booked the return flight out of San Francisco International so we can stop and see him before flying home. I don't want him showing up at the cabin," Perry said.
"He would not show up at the cabin. Barbara is still healing from being shot by that cop killer. He will want to stay close to her. Now counselor, we really must get going or we are going to be late for our flight.
Perry held out Della's coat, helped her into it, and then put on his own. "Are you sure you want to spend a whole week alone with me?"
Della tapped his chin with her forefinger. "I can't think of anyone I would rather spend it with but we cannot leave just yet."
Perry frowned. "And why not?"
"Because if we do there are some very important bills that are not going to get paid until we get back." Della pointed at the checks.
He shrugged and gave Della a big boyish grin. "You can't blame me for forgetting. I have other things on my mind," he said in a husky voice. He walked over to the desk, sat down and began signing.
"Good night chief, "Eve said as she headed for the ramp. "See you in the morning.
"Good night Eve," Ironside replied, his eyes never leaving the paper in front of him. Looks like his brother won another case. He and Della were again on the front page of the Los Angeles Times. Ironside wheeled over to the desk and pulled a pair of scissors out of the top drawer. He wheeled back to the table and proceeded to cut the article and picture out of the paper. Someday, Perry would want these.
Mark came out of his room carrying a suitcase and his jacket. "Are you sure you are alright with this chief?" He asked his boss.
"Mr. Sanger, I told you it was alright with me. How many times do I have to tell you?"
"Barbara is coming to help you tonight, isn't she?"
Ironside stared at Mark with a look that said 'I am not helpless.' Mark dropped the subject. He did not understand why the chief could not just accept the fact that he, Eve and Ed cared and were concerned for him. "Ok then. I'll see you in the morning. Ba,"
"Good night Mark." Ironside said without looking up.
As Mark headed up the ramp, Barbara was coming in the door. "Hi Mark," she said with a smile. Did Bob kick you out?" She teased, seeing the suitcase.
"No but with the mood he is in I am getting out for the night before he does," Sanger grinned.
Barbara laughed and headed toward the ramp as Mark went out the door. She came down the lift and walked over to Ironside. He dropped his paper and turned his wheelchair toward her. "Aren't you supposed to be taking it easy?" Ironside said with more gruffness to his voice than he had intended.
"Well, I am happy to see you too." Barbara said with just a touch of humor in her voice.
Ironside smiled. "I am so use to using that tone of voice with my staff; it is sometimes hard to drop it when I am with you." He reached for her, pulled her into his arms and kissed her.
"What do you want to do tonight," she asked him.
"You are not doing anything but resting. I have dinner on. Then I thought we would watch the Forty-niners play the Redskins. After they beat the Redskins, I will have something to rib Jim Whitmore over," Ironside said.
"How is the president doing?" Barbara asked.
"I don't know. I have not heard from him in some time. In fact I was thinking of calling the White House after dinner."
"Robert, couldn't you think of something more romantic than a football game for tonight. I mean we have not done anything since the shooting."
"Dinner will be by candlelight. And I thought we would watch the game on my new television that Ed, Eve and Mark got me for my birthday."
Barbara looked around the room. "I don't see a new television in this room."
"That's because there is no new TV in this room," Ironside replied.
Barbara looked at him in confusion. "But you just said they got you a new television for your birthday."
"They did," Ironside answered, his poker face revealing nothing.
Barbara shook her head. "Ok, then where is it?"
"In the bedroom," Ironside grinned.
Barbara laughed. "Now that's romantic. Football on the television in the bedroom."
"Is there something you would rather do?" Ironside asked with mischief in his deep blue eyes.
"Oh, I'll think of something," Barbara said as she leaned into him for another kiss.
"I cannot believe the president is building up troops along the Iran boarder. The last thing this country needs is another war. It is time we let the crazies in the Middle East take care of themselves and keep the money here at home." Vice President Colin Werner shouted.
"Why can't you believe it? He campaigned on stopping Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. Weren't you paying attention?" Senator Joel Brinker asked.
"I did not think he was serious. I just thought he was trying to appease the far right wackos in the party," Werner complained.
"That's the problem with the Republicans. They are always trying to appease the far right wackos in your party."
"Oh and your party doesn't try to appease the far left wackos of course?" Werner asked with irritation.
Brinker ignored the remark and said, "You should have remained a Democrat. Switching to the Republican party was a mistake. You don't agree with much of what they do."
"I could not get re-elected in my district after re-districting went through. It became heavily Republican. I would have got my butt handed to me," Werner said.
"So…..you should have just changed your residence and ran in a heavily Democratic district. You could have beaten anyone just about anywhere as Democrat in the primaries."
"That would have angered the candidates in the district and I would have looked like I was desperate. It would have looked like I knew I could not win in my own district."
Brinker laughed. "You were desperate and you could not win in your own district."
Vice President Werner shot Senator Brinker a dirty look. "Regardless of what party I am in, the president has to be stopped."
"And how do you propose to do it? Both the senate and the house are controlled by Republicans. Whitmore can just about set the agenda and have it passed without argument. How do you fight that?"
"I don't know but I do know he has to be stopped….one way or another." Werner said