Monday, 20 April 2015

Deadlands Noir: A Case of Courvoisier (part 3)

New Orleans, 01.00 in the morning of 15th August, 1935

Doctor LeBoeuf is facing a policeman, identified as Lieutenant Townsend by his badge, at his front door. The cop is invited inside after he produces one of LeBoeuf's business cards, which he claims to have found at the crime scene of the murder of Father John McNelis in Loyola University. He says he is investigating the killings of McNelis, bookstore owner Matthew Sanderson, and police detective Mike Brandon.

Townsend is surprised to see the flat full of people, and in particular Le Ralf, who has disassembled his SMG and is cleaning it. He questions Le Ralf closely about his intentions with the gun. The Doc explains why he was visiting Father McNelis and tells the Lieutenant that they believe William "Jazzman" James is responsible for the killings. Townsend confirms that the Jazzman is a professional assassin used by the Black Hand on a regular basis, but thus far the police have never had enough evidence to bring him to justice. He warns the detectives about tangling with James and asks that they stay in touch, particularly if they learn anything new.

After Townsend leaves, the detectives hatch a plan. LeRalf disguises himself as the singer, Ann-Marie DuChamps, and leaves the flat with LeBoeuf. Outside, LeBoeuf spots someone ducking down inside a car. As they drive off, the other car follows, and tries to overtake. This develops into a chase and LeBoeuf fires at the chasing car, but only succeeds in breaking Le Ralf's SMG. Luckily, LeRalf manages to lose their tail.

Meanwhile, Lee DeVille and Ramsay Gordon wheel the comatose Mrs LeBoeuf out of the apartment, still in her Hellstromme life support machine, and put her in the back of their truck. They drive her to the deserted old New Orleans police building. Here they rendezvous with the others.

Gordon, LeRalf and LeBoeuf leave DeVille to guard the two women, and drive over to the detectives' offices. Here Gordon works to repair his laser gun and the SMG, while the other two detectives rest. LeBoeuf then wakes up and administers drugs from his bag to keep the exhausted patent scientist on his feet as the sun comes up over New Orleans. Leaving the office, they are shot at by a man on the roof of the block across the street. He hits the disguised LeRalf, who takes cover behind a car. A gun battle quickly develops. LeBoeuf takes cover in an open doorway and spots a black cat watching the proceedings.

The would be assassin is hit in the face with Gordon's death ray and then eventually mortally wounded. LeRalf climbs up onto the roof and, having relieved the Jazzman (for it is he) of his $100 Swiss watch, drops him off the building! The detectives also find James' sonic lock pick, a patent science tool for opening any lock. Gordon takes it. The Jazzman's car with his SMG in the boot, is found behind the apartment building.

The police eventually arrive, and the Doc persuades them to call Lieutenant Townsend, who turns up to take over the crime scene. He identifies the dead man as the Jazzman. He tells the detectives that it was just as well that the assassin didn't survive, as he is not sure a police cell would hold the Black Hand's favoured killer.
William "Jazzman" James - from Deadlands Noir

Gordon, LeRalf and the Doc go to Lakeview to pick up Tommaso Friuli, as he has promised to help them recover the missing brandy from the Red Sect. However, Friuli and his wife are nowhere to be found. They now drive out of town, to the old plantation in Jefferson County where they suspect the Red Sect is hiding the stolen brandy. As it is getting dark, the plantation proves hard to find, but sound navigation from Gordon gets them there eventually. Here they encounter two goons parked outside the locked gates to the plantation. LeBoeuf tries to convince them he has been sent by Bon Bon Lescartier (the Red Sect bokkor killed in last week's episode) to collect the brandy. The hoods seem to accept this, and give him the key to the gates.

Driving in, the detectives see the plantation grounds are overgrown, and the delapidated mansion sits shrouded in darkness. Getting out of their vehicles, they are attacked by walking dead, which come at them out of the undergrowth. Luckily, they have all been issued with invisibility belts by Gordon, which he triggers. He and LeRalf between them take out the zombies, including the two Pantarino boys, now undead, who burst out of the house to attack them. The zombies have difficulty locating the invisible detectives, and the house is lit up by laser blasts and machine gun fire as the detectives finish off the last of the undead.

Detectives arriving at the plantation
Flashlights out, they search the building, and find seven cases of the missing brandy in the cellar. These are loaded into the back of their truck. LeRalf and Gordon then proceed on foot back up the drive, and find the gates closed. Gordon turns on the invisibility belts again, and LeRalf casts confusion on the two goons sitting in the car outside the plantation, before the two detectives open fire. Gordon's ray gun packs up, but they manage to kill one of the gangsters. The other tries to escape in the car, but it gets hit by gunfire and he crashes into the swamp. Scrambling out of the car, he is gunned down before he can draw his .38, and falls back into the mire.

The detectives now drive back to the city, and park outside Sanzone's restaurant in the French Quarter. Here they meet with Mike 'The Stick' Whelan, and deliver the brandy to him. They are questioned about the fate of the missing Sicilans, and claim the Red Sect murdered the Pantarino boys. The Black Hand goons seem suspicious of this story, but they pay the detectives their fee and let them go on their way.

Returning to the old police building, the trio find no sign of De Ville or DuChamps. Only Mrs LeBoeuf remains, in her life support machine. They take her over to the LeBoeuf apartment before driving to the address in Bayou St John, known to have been used by the McNelis cabal. This turns out to be a run down four story town house. A new padlock is on the front door, but this does not resist Gordon's sonic lock pick. Inside, they are confronted by a huge black hound, wrapped in chains, with glowing red eyes. The detectives flee the building before it can attack them, locking it back in.

Getting back in their car, they drive to their offices. Inside, they find the body of Ann-Marie DuChamps. She has been shot in the head at close range. Panicking, they race at break neck speed over to LeBoeuf's apartment. The front door has been broken down, and looming over the comatose Mrs LeBoeuf is Lee De Ville, pointing a gun at her head...

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