1928 - Alderson High School - 1968


Mystery At Midnight

Barry Worrell - February 12, 2010

The Characters:

The Villain -  "Midnight" Mike Harrigan
Town Cop - "T. C." Young"
The Sleuth - Charles "Cisco" Kessinger

In the early 1940s the businesses of the town of Alderson were being burglarize by a scoundrel named Mike Harrigan. Mike's modus operandi was to strike in the middle of the night and many people suspected that Mike was the culprit. In their whispers he was referred to as, "Midnight" Mike. Even the town cop, "T. C." Young, had also heard it was Mike but couldn't prove it or catch him in the act.

Cisco Kessinger, a house painter, was a fairly new comer to Alderson and lived in an apartment over the drug store. Occasionally suffering from insomnia, Cisco used to walk the streets on the both sides of the river and when he wasn't walking, he sat and observed anyone else that did. One night as he was looking out his window, he noticed a figure coming off the end of the bridge and crossing the tracks. It wasn't too dark for Cisco to recognize it was Mike Harrigan. Could it be that Mike was about to continue in his  chosen line of work ?

Mike walked toward the City Hall building and Cisco ran to the back of the apartment, raised a window, and went out on top of the ajoining roof of Mick or Mack's grocery store. From there he could see if Mike was in the alley where he could get to the back of any store on Main street. Sure enough Mike appears from behind the City Hall, walks by the Jail, and disappears behind Russell's depart store.

The next day the main topic was about the burglary of Russell's store the night before. T. C. Young was asking the people who live and worked on Main Street if anyone had seen or heard anything. Cisco being a recent resident was, in T. C's mind, a main suspect for he had been observed out late several nights from time to time. Cisco told T. C. he hadn't seen anything; for once in a long time he was asleep. Upon further investigation, it was noticed the store room was very dusty and there were very large foot prints all over the floor. This was the only clue T. C. had.

Weeks passed and still no further development in the case of the late night robberies. Cisco later ran in to Mike at the beer joint one night and Mike had too much to drink. Cisco told him that he saw him behind Russell's the night it was robbed. Mike, not in his best condition, confessed to Cisco he was the one that did it. Not seeming to care what other information he divulged, he also confided the moment he got in the store room, he pulled a size 15 pair of shoes from the box and put them on before he walked around. A fact he seemingly was very proud of. (sheer genius)

To my knowledge the case of the "Mystery At Midnight" was never solved. Cisco never told what he knew.

One thing that was certain, T. C. was very diligent in his observation of the size of people's feet for a long time after that.

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