The Return of Gary Martin

Part 4: Snap!

Wednesday, October 23, 1935
Tommy returns from Washington, having talked to some of the other returned-from-a-Turkish-prison escapees, most notably Joseph Peltzman, a new celebrity in Richmond, who appears to have been the ringleader for the escape; approximately ten people escaped. They're the only ones that Joseph knew of as having survived the capture for the entire time; a lot of people died or got taken away.

Eddie sulks in bed with hot flannels, not having completely recovered from lying in an alley all night. Charlie thinks the next plan is to talk to the fence. No, not to go ask the fence about Gary, just to be in the place selling or buying something, when Gary comes in next time to sell something.

Eddie meets with Mrs. Martin and tells her about Mr. Martin selling things to a fence. She is, understandably, a bit disconcerted, though there's some thought that this may be a psychological defense or an unwillingness to ask her for money. Mrs. Martin requests phone numbers for Joseph Peltzman and Davy Barron (Tommy's War Dept friend), and intends to call Joseph to confirm Gary's identity.

Wednesday night, Charlie and Tommy ponder where they might hang about near the fence without getting into too much trouble. They settle on a bar, where Tommy manfully steals Charlie's drinks to keep Charlie passably sober. Adele wanders by and says hello to Tommy (but she sees he's on duty), but Charlie doesn't notice.

Eventually, Eddie (who is staking out the Martin house again) calls the bar and Charlie heads to the fence to intercept. Charlie asks about some jewelry for his wife, and looks at various things. Anything with a previous inscription is right out. Come to think of it, rings are probably out too, as Charlie isn't quite sure of Gerti's finger size. Stalling through necklaces and bracelets is effective - Gary shows up, moving briskly and speaking with a faint accent (Charlie can't place it). He sells a gold-plated set of beard grooming tools, and is unhappy that it doesn't fetch much ("Who buys gold beard trimmers nowadays?" asks the fence).

Charlie returns to the bar, where he and Tommy finish drinking some more, and eventually get to the Walkers' house where Tommy crashes on the couch.

Thursday, October 24
Dr. Schreber is filled in on the past day's events, and goes to talk to Mrs. Martin about Mr. Martin. A house call is arranged for Friday.

Friday, October 25
Dr. Schreber (and Sheila) arrive at the Martins' to examine Mr. Martin again. Dr. Schreber tries some psychoanalysis, starting from the tack of what Mr. Martin plans to be doing in the future, and discovers that while on the surface, he appears to be trying to make no waves and continue in this much-better-than-prison life, underneath he doesn't seem to think he has a future.

An attempt at hypnotism initially appears to not be working, but then something happens, as if it was easier than it ought to be. The second personality (the one who goes to sell things) emerges, and is somewhat unhelpful. Dr. Schreber attempts to be mean as an interrogator, but the new Gary is not impressed; apparently after Turkish prison, Dr. Schreber isn't very fierce. At some point Gary breaks one of his own fingers to demonstrate that he's not impressed by anything Dr. Schreber is likely to inflict ("I think I have underestimated him." - Dr. Schreber), and then he shuts his eyes and "wakes up" again as the original Mr. Martin (who is substantially more troubled by the broken finger).

Mrs. Martin, drawn into the room by the shouts, is shooed away again. Mr. Martin is sedated and then hypnotized again, and the second personality again emerges (also somewhat sedated). There's more fencing with Dr. Schreber, during which it is hinted at that Gary has some surprises planned. At some point, Dr. Schreber suggests that it will be difficult to carry out any of these plans if Gary is committed to Arkham, which causes a lunge for the syringe. Gary misses. Dr. Schreber tells Sheila to restrain him; she gets him in a headlock and whispers into his ear.

Gary gets sedated again, and then Mrs. Martin is talked into temporarily committing him to Arkham.

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