By Michael D. Martin, E.C.P.D. Retired
About the author...Michael Martin (pictured front row, far right in the 1981 photo) is a retired veteran of 25 years on the Eden City Police Department, and has penned a number of anecdotal writings recalling his experiences.
XLI. The Lady of the "Colonnade"I guess I can write this now, surely to God...everyone in this story has been dead for years.
In the seventies, Fat Vestal and I were on duty and we were heading towards Spray from Leaksville on Early Avenue. We pulled up behind a car that was stopped and saw a man beating a woman in the car...in four seconds flat, we had snatched him out of the car, bucked him over the hood and cuffed him. The woman was crying. since we were so close to the Spray jail, we had him locked up in four or five minutes. I can not remember the names or faces now. Fat said "This reminds me of the lady of the Colonnade." I listened as he went on, in the early fifties...Fat was a Spray Police Officer and one early morning, he was patrolling up Early Avenue. The old "Colonnade Hotel sat on the hill above the Spray Police Station just off Boone Road.
There was a mill supervisor who was having an illicit affair with one of his female workers and they met at the Colonnade. On a chilly morning in the early fifties, they were making love when the supervisor stiffened and died of a massive heart attack, Most women would have ran and left the man dead. This woman did not, she gently washed her lover and dressed him and she did something impossible, she draped his dead body over her shoulders and carried him down the fire escape to his car. She put him in his car and tried to drive him to a place near his home. The one thing she did not know how to do......was drive a car!!!
Vestal saw the car, moving from side to side and stopped it at the same place we collared the abusive husband....Fat walked up to the car and the lady had a dead man in the car. she explained to Fat what had happened and said she never wanted to hurt the man's family and all she was trying to do was to take the man to a place near his home and leave and let the family believe he died of a heart attack on his way home. Fat told the woman to leave, and he wrote his report......man found dead of a heart attack. no one ever knew...fifty-five years. Fat always told me he had the greatest respect for this woman, and I was the first one he ever told, and I have not told it for almost thirty five years.
Michael D. Martin
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