The general partner hated to see Mitchell go. But, being a great money-maker and an old-time capitalist, he knew that people coming and going was a part of business. He asked the crusty old veteran to find someone else to get the left fielders head on straight and another team shrink ‘just in case’.
Emma was in a different mood.
“You what?!” she screamed when her husband told her what he had decided to do.
“The money is better and the hours even more so. I’ll be at Harvard with you, and besides, the arrogance of the athletes is starting to wear on me.”
She shrugged her shoulders and later wrote in her diary I hope he doesn’t spend some of those free hours around here.
Which he did, because a few days after leaving the Boston Red Sox and joining up with Dr. Bill Hurt, Mitchell’s Cousin Larry showed up at the front door.
Mitchell Hancock was an only child. His mother was an only child. His father had a sister who married a man with the last name Harry. That union produced an only child, too. His name was Larry Harry. His mother (Mitchell’s aunt) wanted to call him ‘Harry Harry’, but everyone involved in the family persuaded her that would be pushing the envelope, as they say.
Larry insisted that everyone in Mitchell’s immediate family call him ‘Cousin Larry’, which Emma, the two girls and even Mitchell found himself doing.
Cousin Larry blew in and out of the Hancock’s lives like a strong wind.
It drove Emma nuts, but her daughters loved this adult who they loved calling ‘Cousin Larry’.
Emma wrote in her diary If the dictionaries of the world printed pictures of people next to the words, Cousin Larry’s picture would be next the word eccentric.
It also annoyed Emma that when he was in her house, Cousin Larry talked sports non-stop with her husband.
Emma wrote in her diary That these two grown men would act like little boys remembering their glory days in youth sports, high school and the professional teams that they root for should have gotten their two pictures next to the phrase ad nauseam in the dictionaries of the world.
There was a reason why Cousin Larry acted the way he did.
He was the epitome of the word quirky.
He was balder than que ball, yet refused to be seen in public without his wig on. His wigs were terrible, and when he slept over he put the wig on a styrofoamed head.
Emma wrote in her diary The funny thing is that as a bald man he is attractive, but with the wig on, he looks like a doofus.
Whenever he couldn’t sleep, he would come into Emma and Mitchell’s bedroom, sit at the foot of the bed and talk sports non-stop with Mitchell, while they both ignored Emma. She learned how to ignore them and as she wrote in her diary This made her even with them.
But boy did she hate those sports stories! As annoyed as she got, she never found herself protesting about Cousin Larry. “Because he is so sweet,” she would find herself telling others after she complained about his wigs, his sports talk and the other things that she found odd about him.
Cousin Larry was into health, fitness, dieting, the environment and holistic health long before it started to become the norm. He was always cooking up a health meal when he showed up at the Hancock’s (because the Hancocks paid for everything). He always cleaned the house from top to bottom. He would babysit the girls and entertain them by reading good old fashioned children’s novels to them.
“There’s something I have to ask you about Cousin Larry,” Emma said one night to Mitchell.
“Uh oh,” was Mitchell’s reply.
“Eating healthy and using products that do not hurt the environment and all the other things he does is expensive. How does he afford it when we are not paying for it?”
“He only has to support one person,” Mitchell pointed out
Emma bought it and wrote in her diary Made sense to me.
But she couldn’t get the thought out of her head and when he showed up later (after Mitchell had left the Boston Red Sox for Dr. Bill Hurt), she was about to ask Cousin Larry how he did it all, when Mitchell, sensing the on-coming probe, intercepted the thought and told Emma that Cousin Larry was in between jobs, as they say.
“That’s not true Mitchell,” Cousin Larry said, beaming. “I have a job that brought me back here to you all.”
“Fitness instructor?” guessed Mitchell.
“Sports writer?” Emma said sarcastically.
Emma and Mitchell looked at each other and shrugged their shoulders.
“Floral transportation,” Cousin Larry said.
“Wow!” exclaimed Emma.
“Congratulations. Sounds exciting and profitable,” Mitchell said.
Later Emma and Mitchell both learned what ‘floral transportation really was.
Cousin Larry got a job at a Cambridge florist delivering flowers via bicycle.
But it was Cousin Larry who sensed something was wrong with Mitchell a few months after arriving. He approached Emma with his concern.
“Emma, there is something wrong with my cousin,” Cousin Larry said.
“I hadn’t noticed,” replied Emma, who had given up long ago on paying acute attention to her husband’s good points and just ignored his bad points. After all, she had two beautiful girls to look after, along with a promising career at Harvard and maybe a private practice to grow which was down the line.
“Emma, I am very worried about Mitchell. When I want to talk about the pitcher that he hit the grand slam off that won our little league sectional title for our team, he talks about music by The Eagles,” Cousin Larry said.
“I like that band, but I don’t remember Mitchell ever talking about them or listening to their music around me,” Emma pondered.
“See what I mean,” Cousin Larry said.
Maybe The Eagles are the music that they play during the third inning stretch at Fenway?” Emma guessed.
“It’s the seven inning stretch,” Cousin Larry said. “I asked him the other night about who was the best Ohio State football player he ever saw play, and he answered ‘who is at quarterback and what is at running back.’”
“I don’t know?” Emma said.
“Forget it. I asked him about whom his favorite coach was at Ohio State and he answered ‘college students shouldn’t have to worry about student loans.’”
“Well, they shouldn’t,” agreed Emma.
“He starts rambling all the time. He wants to know why there is no peace on Earth. Why people apologize for being poor?” Cousin Larry said.
“I’ll have a talk with him,” Emma said. “The lack of talking about Ohio State football does bother me.”
“Please don’t bring up my name, and you are probably the right one to have a talk with him. After all, you are a very good psychiatrist. Mitchell told me that.”
Maybe Larry is right, Mitchell never praised me in the last few years, Emma thought. Later in her diary she wrote Funny that Cousin Larry wanted me to talk to Mitchell as a psychiatrist and not as a wife.
“Cousin Larry, I will talk to Mitchell tonight. So no late night sports center talk on my bed, okay? According to you, it wouldn’t matter anyway,” Emma said, sporting a huge grin.
Cousin Larry sulked away.
But Mitchell never showed up at the Hancock’s home, but the Harvard University police did.
They asked Emma to come with them. They were deadly serious. They told her to get a grip of her emotions.
Emma told Cousin Larry to watch the girls and she would phone as soon as she could. She feared trouble, but to her own surprise, she wasn’t scared.
She ended up being horrified.
The left fielder and Dr. Hurt beat Mitchell’s head to a pulp thinking it was a baseball. The three of them had been experimenting with a new strand of LSD that Dr. Hurt had been working on for years. He had slowly but surely increased the dosages over the last few months for the three of them and thought it was perfectly safe with how they had been reacting to it.
There would be no old age home for Mitchell to ever worry about.
Mitchell and the left fielder verbally consented to getting the maximum dosage. They thought Dr. Hurt would be their designated guide and hoped that the effects would be better than they were the last time they had tripped — which was a day ago.
But Hurt couldn’t help himself and took as much LSD as he had given Mitchell and the left fielder.
The results were horrific.
The coroner, the Harvard police and the Cambridge detectives pieced it all together after a very extensive search and seizure of all Dr. Hurt’s vast cornucopia of information. They sent their findings to the big-shots at Harvard before anyone else –including Emma, had a chance to find out what happened to her husband and why.
This is what the report summarized: Basically, the other two thought that Mitchell Hancock’s head was a baseball and that they needed to practice their hitting. Mitchell’s head became a baseball piñata.
The big-shots at Harvard knew they had the potential for a messy scandal on their hands.
“Send for the lawyers!” they cried out. “Send for the lawyers!” they cried out a second time.
As usual, the lawyers (and the money) straightened everything out. The left fielder went to a fancy rehab center and was there for a very long time. He was cured of his addiction, but never returned to his greatness and was eventually traded to the Cleveland Indians where he performed marginally.
Dr. Bill Hurt was given a significant retirement package and never heard of again.
The big-shots at Harvard archived all of Hurt’s work and buried it deep in a vault. They leveled his building and turned into a much needed parking lot.
Because of the general partner — who owned the Boston Red Sox, and was vastly influential at Harvard, Emma received oodles of money as long as she signed a gag order on what she found out, because Emma did find out the truth.
She wrote in her diary I found out the truth about Mitchell’s death. I’m taking the money, shutting my mouth and starting out on MY second act.
“Besides the big-shots at Harvard in the know, policing authorities, a few lawyers in this law firm, one mountain of a man, and myself; no one else knows all the details about the death of my husband,” Emma told her lawyer as they both waited to hear from Osborne, Hope, Harrington and Willard’s best paralegal that the papers had been recorded and Moise Pipeck’s was all hers.
“And it will never leave my lips or any of the lawyers who know from this office. I promise you,” the lawyer said. “Know why?”
“Lawyer-client privilege?” guessed Emma.
“No. If word ever gets out that anyone in this office leaked out what happened, the big-shots at Harvard will do to us what happened to Mitchell, no offense.”
“No offense taken,” Emma said.
At least Mitchell will never have to worry an old age home and with all this money, neither will I, Emma jotted down in her diary.
If you missed the earlier Chapters you can find them here.