Chronology of Events
Tuesday, September 27
After a leisurely brunch with Peggy and Tom, set out for Watkins Glen, feeling quite relaxed. Didn't make it all the way to New York before becoming terribly tired, and checked into a hotel, falling asleep within minutes.
After a couple hours I woke up, and just like jet lag, am now wide awake. Passed a movie house a few blocks from here, and noticed the film is about the Queen Mary, so think I'll drive over there.
Wednesday, September 28
The movie was Assault on a Queen, and was followed by assault on me. When I came out of the theater, found my tire slashed. Worse, the bunch of youths who did it started attacking me, but in a moment, this big guy drives up and scatters the lot of them.
He turned out to be an ex-cop named Vince Murdoch, and phoned an all-night garage to sort out the tire, then walked me to a nearby bar for a much-needed drink. All helpfulness until he found out that I practiced law.
Then suddenly, I was reliving the scene from two nights ago. Just like Lucrece, the man went from friendliness to raging at me. lashing out, and saying how lawyers got people off when they were guilty.
In the same way Lucrece did, his frenzy became more and more hysterical - and then, he actually gave me a punch. In the seconds it took me to deal with the shock of it, Vince had left the bar.
The garage man showed up then, and I drove back to the hotel, collapsing into sleep as soon as I got back to my room. Didn't wake until 9 am when the phone was ringing off the hook.
It was the police, saying that Murdoch had been arrested for his wife's murder, and he was claiming to be with me at the time.
Duly showed up at police headquarters, explaining the events of last night, but the Captain seemed sceptical of my story, believing Vince perfectly capable of the murder.
Things got even more surreal when Capt. Swain took me to the bartender's home to corroborate my statement. The man agreed I had been in his place around one, but claimed that he hadn't seen Vince for a week.
On return to the station, was allowed to see Murdoch, but when I told him he was being framed for murder, he refused to believe me, couldn't even fathom that I'd want to help him after he hit me last night.
But I've got to get to the bottom of this, and started with the youth Vince identified as one of those who jumped me. A Buzzy Gilman, who wasn't home, according to his parents.
When I rang the house in the evening, his father said that on returning home, the boy had received a phone call, left the house immediately, and hadn't returned.
Told Capt. Swain about the disappearance of Murdoch's second alibi, but he thought it meaningless, so I've told him I'm filing an assault charge on the three boys, and want to see a lineup of the town's troublemakers.
Paul heads for Watkins Glen to attend the US Grand Prix, and stops in the town of Medbury, going out late at night to see a movie when he can't sleep.
Paul relates in his journal how he was jumped by youths coming out of the movie, and rescued by an ex-cop who then gets violent with Paul in a bar in an argument about lawyers.
In the morning Paul is called as an alibi for his rescuer cum attacker who found his wife murdered when he got home. The bartender lies about the man being with Paul, and one of the youths disappears. Paul is sure the ex cop is being framed.
Medbury - Watkins Glen
Thursday, September 29
Arrived at the track as the mechanics were finishing the set-up of our garage. First time I've come to a race ahead of Pete. He and Clive drove in minutes later, the former cool enough, the latter triumphant over the great press the new road car is getting.
He introduced me to his sister who lives in Vermont, and is an engineer herself. Everyone is excited about all the prize money up for grabs, and there should be something in the kitty, no matter how badly we do.
I could see that Pete was scornful about the way I'd cut out at Malaga, but when I saw the trouble he was having with the race car, it was understandable why he was in a bad mood.
Decided to stay away from the machine myself, not wanting to accidentally cause any further problems. When Tom and Peggy arrived, I privately advised the need to tread softly with Pete.
They are just as excited about the movie being made as being in the pit for the race, and barely noticed when I slipped away to drive back to Medbury for the line up which is about to be staged.
Didn't recognize anyone in the line up, but had an idea. and got some money from Vince, taking 500 to Buzzy's father, and telling him there was 4,500 more for his son.
Feeling positive that the move would help, but soon as I entered my hotel room, was hit over the head, and came to bound and blindfolded.
A guy with a fuzzy voice stood over me, saying that, when I freed myself, I should get out of town or else I'd be dead. In two months I probably will be anyway.
So when Buzzy called moments after the man left, telling me to go to a nearby phone booth for a call, I got help and made it to the gas station as the phone was ringing, and arranged a meeting with the three kids.
Then I conspicuously checked out of my hotel, and took the road for New York, noting that I was being followed by a black car. It turned back outside of Medbury, and I met the boys in the next town.
Buzzy admitted being threatened by a man with a muffled voice who said that he could put him in jail - for what he did to me, and a string of other things, and he was to lie low with friends, and never admit having seen Vince Murdoch with me or at the Palace Bar.
His mates had been included in the threat, but the lure of money was too much for them. I gave the other two a hundred each, and said if Buzzy was willing to testify, there'd be 3000 more for him, and another 400 each for the other two just to show up in Court.
Amazingly, rather than jump me to see if I had the rest of the five thousand on me, they seemed delighted with the deal. Continued on to Watkins Glen, but my head and jaw are now far too sore for any partying.
Paul arrives at Watkins Glen for the Formula 1 practice, and in the afternoon, drives back to Medbury, where he obtains cash from the ex cop to bribe the youths into telling the truth.
Before carrying out the plan, he is assaulted and bound in his hotel room, and threatened with death if he doesn't leave town.
He does this, but meets the youths who hassled him in the next town, and makes a deal with them
Friday, September 30
Despite all the trouble yesterday, Pete was sixth in today's practice. Rachel was elated, having followed Clive's discouraging reports closely the past week, and she praised Pete to the skies.
We all got on the phone to share the news individually with Rhona, June and Kate. Then Katie and I had a few words in private, and my jubilation dissolved. But it was good to hear her voice and feel the closeness.
I am distracted by a friend Rachel has brought with her from Manhattan, and it is apparent that I'm to squire her around this weekend, Rachel being on the arm of a Greek tycoon.
June will be here for the race, so Pete is behaving himself, and I will not mind at all being the escort of Carolyn Willins, a lady equally as classy as Rachel.
Peggy and Tom are excited about the round of parties tonight, especially the one John Frankenheimer is throwing, and fortunately, my face is in acceptable shape after the wear and - mostly - tear in Medbury.
All going as agreed Monday, I've arranged for them to make the pay off to Buzzy and his friends.
Paul enjoys the racing scene at Watkins Glen
Saturday, October 1
Amazing! Who did I meet in the pits today but Barry Givens. He came over to me, saying he'd just decided to fly out last night. When I teased him about how he got his VIP badge, he pointed over at Nick's garage. “My cousin, Nick Cooper,” he replied.
I kind of panicked at race friends knowing of any association with the clinic, then realized no one would make any bad connection since I am on the board of directors. My second thought, just as quick was that Nick and his family are all right.
Engine trouble has Pete at the back of the grid, but he is surprisingly philosophical, knowing that most of the teams are struggling, and he's ready for a fight tomorrow.
Am enjoying Carolyn's company very much. We went to an art exhibit being staged in conjunction with the race festival, and I was amazed to see one of my Genevieve Royales. It brought so many thoughts to my mind - memories rushing into the void - and I was glad when Carolyn pulled me away to look at some primitives.
When she showed special interest, the curator told us that there is an exhibition opening in New York City on Monday that she might find interesting, and I've agreed to go to see it with her after Murdoch's preliminary hearing.r casually) can offer.
Paul escorts a woman from New York City around the race activities, and sharing an interest in art, agrees to attend an exhibition in Manhatten with her after the Court hearing for the ex cop.
Sunday, October 2
And so ended the big Hundred Thousand Dollar Race. As best of the non-finishers the team had to take some consolation from the prize money, but being the second-last event of our race partnership, I was disappointed to never see Pete or June after the Mastin gave up.
But it was thrilling to congratulate Jim Clark on his first victory of the season, and have him tell me he might not be here without my skilful driving in Rio.
It left me feeling misty, the Formula 1 adventure having been so wonderful, and being realistic, we couldn't have expected more, but there was always a hope of better, and I was honestly near tears when Jack Brabham took a moment to congratulate me for bringing Pete back to the Formula 1 circuit.
He has the championship now, and it is well deserved. The new engines have undone all but the best, and Jack is definitely that as a driver and constructor. Maybe there is still a chance for Clive to do that too, even if I never have a chance to witness it.
Medbury - New York City
Monday, October 3
I am in shock over what has happened today, and trying to piece together the events on this train journey to Manhatten.
Was in Medbury early for the hearing. As feared, the bartender repeated the false story that I was in his premises alone the night of Mrs. Murdoch's death.
Then the defense called our surprise witness - Buzzy Gilman, who identified his mates in the courtroom, and me as the individual they had been “joking with” after midnight, and Murdoch as the man who had interrupted them with punches.
Buzzy further testified that the kids had followed us to the bar, in hopes of “teaching” the defendant a lesson, but had eventually dispersed when it got too cold to hang around.
The bartender was then recalled, and recanted his testimony, telling the truth about Vince Murdoch being in his bar the night of the murder.
He then told about receiving a call later that night from Capt. Swain, telling him he'd lose his bar if he didn't say - even under oath - that Vince hadn't been with me.
There was a moment of silent levity when it appeared that the judge was unaware the bartender's having done time for grand theft in another state precluded holding a liquor license, but then shock when the witness stated that Capt. Swain had been having an affair with Vince's wife.
We were all trying to come to terms with the news as the judge was releasing Vince, who nodded a Thank You to me as he left the courtroom with a policeman.
Swain gave me an angry look, obviously being the one causing him to become prime murder. The boys were careful not to look my way as they walked out, knowing that's part of the deal for the cash they'll get this afternoon from Tom and Peggy.
I had just finished a talk with Vince's lawyer, giving him a check for $5000 to cover the cash I'd borrowed as persuasion for the boys to tell the truth, when a police car drove up, the officer calling out that Murdoch had just shot Swain dead in the police station.
Followed him in my car, and waited around to see Vince, but they only gave access to his lawyer, so left my rental car at the airport, and am heading for my engagement with Carolyn Willens, only hoping that the disappearance and reappearance of $5000 in Murdoch's bank account won't become an issue in his new trial.
4 - 10 October 1966 ("East of the Equator
In Court the bartender repeats his false testimony, but one of the youths appears, and corroborates that the ex cop was with Paul, and that they went in the bar together, identifying his friends and Paul as co-witnesses,
The barman takes the stand again, and admits his lie, saying that he was threatened by the police Captain that a sentence he had served would be revealed, and he'd lose his liquor license.
He also states that the Captain was having an affair with the murdered woman.
The ex cop is released, and when the Captain arrives back at the police station, the ex cop shoots him dead.