Home > culture, religion, secular > Lured Into A Secretive Squad (continued)

Lured Into A Secretive Squad (continued)

I stayed in my office downtown after everyone else had left. I skipped supper and cleaned up some work that had been cluttering up my desk. I left at 6:30 and arrived at the YM-YWHA at 6:55 and went straight to the upstairs meeting room. The ‘Y’ smelled like it always smelled, from humidity and chlorine from the Olympic size pool on the lower level.

I cracked the door to the meeting room open and peered in. There were several people there – two women and four men. Two of the men wore skull caps and all four of them were in their twenties, like I was also. I entered the room. The six people looked up briefly, smiled unenthusiastically and resumed their conversation. I looked around for Aileen but she was not there. I sat at the far end of the room to avoid inhibiting the conversation among the others.

Promptly at seven o’clock the room filled up with people who seemed to be together, arriving from a previous meeting. Aileen was with them. I was unjustly irritated to observe that she appeared to be close with one of the guys that had been there when I arrived.

The meeting was called to order promptly, by Aileen Schachter. She began by introducing me to the group and there was a murmured wave of greetings. Aileen then stood at the head of the room and outlined a plan to identify the Aryan gang that had perpetrated the humiliating, brutal attack on the Hahn family. Mrs. Hahn was healing in a hospital, Molly was getting post-traumatic counselling to deal with the rape, and Mr. Hahn was limping around the shop, scraping the swastika off the front window.

There was an interesting phenomenon as I watched and listened to Aileen as the evening progressed. I knew her to be barely five-foot-two, thin and slight, yet she seemed tall and powerful briefing the group of eighteen people, including me. Aileen gave assignments to each of the eleven men and seven women. I judged the ages of all of us between twenty-five and forty years old.

“Gordon Goldstein,” she said, looking at me. “You know the Hahns well, do you not?”

“I used to. I grew up on the street. Molly was a little girl I knew in the neighbourhood and the Hahns were like extended family to me. I didn’t see them much over the last few years ‘cause I got my career started and moved away.”

“Okay, Gord,” she said, “you’ll interview the Hahns and gather as much information as you can from them. Did they recognize any of the goons? Did the goons say anything interesting? Was there a noticeable scent on them? What kind of tattoos did they have? Things like that. Clear enough?”

“I’m not as dumb as I look,” I said. She pissed me off, talking to me like I was a simpleton.”

“Oh, sorry Gordy. I know how sensitive you creative types can be,” she said.

“I got it clearly,” I said, and immediately left the room.

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