Toby had lost all his friends in the past year. Many of them had gone away with their families, leaving him to wonder what was going on. His father had also begun to change. Where there was once tension between them, now only a big emptiness remained–almost as if his father had lost something that had been important to him.
But only two things meant anything to his father. One was power, the other was money. And he knew how to get both more ways than one. But change was in the air. Big change.
Toby wasn’t sure that he liked the feel. Something told him that he was going to lose big. It was the same feeling that told him that his father had lost something. Still, he could not help but continue to do as he had always done.
A few less than desirable boys were left. None of them had been his friend, but Toby felt he had to make new allies. The least they could do was refuse. The most they could do was beat him senseless and leave him for dead. Perhaps, he thought, the last choice would be best.
Maurice Crandst was the first on Toby’s list. Maurice was a known bully, one that even Toby’d had battles with. Maurrie had been around for a long time. No one knew what his father did, but they knew not to mess with him. The thought made Toby smile. Maurrie was just like him.
Collin Trien was another. He had moved to Des Moines a few years ago. An outsider, he was good with his fists. And mean. He was meaner than any of those who’d originally been in Toby’s gang. Although Toby had suspicions that Collin was a Communist and a Jew, He knew that Collin could care less what he thought. Not so much a follower, Collin posed both a promise and a problem.
Felix Armaud was the third. Felix was a mystery. Most people avoided him, but Toby was inexorably drawn to him. Why, he didn’t know. Was it because Army was dark and mysterious? Or was it just that Felix’ name, alone, conjured up images of his being a bad person?
Then there were the twins, Phil and Stavros Coropolos. The Greek twins were strong and mean. Second generation Americans, they were both a part of the country’s problem and a possible solution…at least in Toby’s mind. Yet, they seemed to be perfect fits when it came to the new gang. He wanted them.
Mark Standish was a violent one as well. He loved to beat on his girlfriends. Toby smiled. He was a lot like Standish. Standish would be perfect.
Finally, there was Rock Holden. Rock was a follower, not a leader. He would do what he was asked. Though he was weak, he would be perfect if they needed a patsy. Who better to lay all the blame on? He smiled.
Tom Goldman was the first FBI agent assigned to the French case. His partner, Kendrick Wells, had followed him onto the case and worked closely with him on it. They were the liaisons between J. Edgar, who hated the Attorney General and others involved in the investigation, and the Department of Justice and IRS. Having gone over the files, tom was appalled at what he had read. Eddy was so busy hunting Communists that the real villains were getting away with crimes even worse than political views.
He had seen men like Toffer French. He also had experience with young men like Tobias French. Those types of people were the true villains. They sought profit in the suffering of others. They weren’t even human in his view.
He had come to like Schoeneman and McGrath. Hell. He was even friends with those doing the investigation at the state level. He knew more about the case than his own boss. He was even better at profiling criminals better than Eddy. He wouldn’t tell his boss to his face, but he knew he was better. He knew what to look for. Both white collar and blue collar.
Eddy’s unholy obsession with communism was disgusting. It solved none of the truly criminal acts taking place in the country. Truly shameful. It was as if the whole country had gone completely insane and paranoid schizophrenia had set in with Eddy as its source.
Tom missed the old days at the OSS. Hell. He even missed his time with the CIG before it became the CIA. At least he knew who the enemy really was.
Now…now he wasn’t so sure. So many were less patriotic than they pretended. Eddy, no matter how pious and patriotic he wanted to make himself look, was the least patriotic of all. All those files. The blackmail. The backdoor deals.
The worst of it was the questionable sources of information. And the internal political battles. Those were the worst. Eddy versus Schoeneman. Eddy versus McGrath. Eddy versus Truman.
And then, there was Eddy versus the American people. More specifically, against the Democrats and non-Republicans. Any who didn’t see that Eddy’s suspicions were correct, even though they weren’t, were seen as a threat. It was sad, really.
In Senate, there was a study being done to verify the feasibility of incorporating the Federal government and making it less about the people. It was the systematic removal of the masses from their own governance. And the people didn’t know anything about it. It was the government’s biggest secret.
It had been going on since the end of World War II. The Korean War was just a diversion for the military and an event to keep the people’s attention off of what was really going on in Washington, DC. But the people didn’t know that there was another war brewing in the Far East. And that was how the government and their corporate allies wanted it. Keep the people blind.
Tom sat behind his desk, his head in his hands. God, how the country had fallen. Such greed. Such hate. Such betrayal of core values.