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0070 Missing Person, Part 10: “The Bartender Shows Up.”

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Welcome to English as a Second Language Podcast number 70 – Missing Person, Part 10: “The Bartender Shows Up.”

This is English as a Second Language Podcast episode 70. I’m your host, Dr. Jeff McQuillan, coming to you from the Center for Educational Development in beautiful Los Angeles, California.

This episode is the tenth in our 12-part special series: Missing Person, a murder mystery. In our previous episode, we learned that the person who hit Anne's car is named John Costello. Remember, Anne’s sister Sarah was kidnapped; Anne and her brother-in-law, Bill, are trying to get her free; and our narrator, Dr. Reeves – a university professor turned private detective – is helping Anne to find her.

Dr. Reeves also went to talk to another former employee of Prado Computers, the company that Anne and Sarah’s parents owned before they died. Unfortunately, he was not able to get any information from the ex-employee, a woman named June Brown. He went down to the beach to talk to her at the store where she works, but she didn’t want to tell him anything. So, he’s very frustrated and he’s very confused.

Now, we continue with part 10 of Missing Person: “The Bartender Shows Up.”

[start of story]

It was time to try a different approach. I decided to find John Costello first and talk to him. I wanted to find out why his car hit Anne’s and almost killed her. I knew Costello lived in Santa Monica, so I drove up the freeway and got off near Main Street. I went to the address Officer Cho gave me and knocked on the door. No one answered. I knocked on the apartment manager’s door. An old woman answered. “Excuse me, I’m trying to find John Costello. He lives in number 503.”

“Mr. Costello lived – past tense – in 503. He moved out two months ago,” she said.

“Do you know where he lives now or where he works?” I asked.

“I don’t know where he moved to, but I think he still works at the bar on 4th Street.”

“Thanks for your help.” I got back in my car and drove down to the bar. It was only 10:00 a.m., and already there were cars parked outside the place. Some people like to start drinking really early.

As I walked down the street toward the bar, I heard two gunshots. I immediately reached for my gun, which I keep on my belt. The gun is registered, of course, but I only carry it with me when I think there might be trouble. I ran toward the bar and I heard another sound, like the wheels of a car turning very fast. I slowly opened the front door of the bar and looked around. There was a man standing over a dead body. The floor was covered with blood.

“Don’t shoot!” the man yelled at me.

“It’s okay, I’m a private detective. What happened here?” I asked.

“Someone just ran in here and shot John! I think he’s dead,” the man answered.

“John? The dead man’s name is John?” I asked.

“Yeah, he is – was – the bartender. His name’s John Costello.”

“Someone call the police,” I said. “Did anyone recognize the man who shot Costello? Did anyone see what he looked like?” There were four men at the bar. Each man looked at the others. Everyone just shook their heads.

“Uh, I really didn’t see him very well,” said one man.

“Yeah, it’s dark in here. I didn’t see his face,” said another.

I decided not to stay at the bar. I didn’t want the police to find out about Sarah’s kidnapping and how Costello may have been connected. I drove back toward downtown.

I stopped to have lunch at my favorite sushi bar and thought about the case. I was now more confused than ever. This morning I guessed that John Costello might be the kidnapper. Now Costello was dead. The girl at the beach store might be involved, but I had no evidence of that. I was stuck. At around 2:00 p.m. I went to the hospital and picked up Anne. She was feeling much better and was happy to see me.

“Have you heard anything from Bill about giving the money to the kidnappers?” I asked her.

“No, Bill hasn’t called.”

“Well, let’s get over there and see what happened.” We drove over to Bill and Sarah’s apartment, and we were surprised to see two police cars outside the building. Bill was sitting on the steps of the building, crying.

“What happened?!” Anne said to me as we parked the car. “Why are the police here?”

“I don’t know, Anne,” I said. “Let’s just try to stay calm and find out what is going on.” As we walked toward the apartment building, I had a feeling in my stomach that something was wrong – very wrong.

“Oh, Anne, she’s dead! She’s dead!” Bill cried. He jumped up to hug Anne. “Sarah’s dead!”

“Bill, what happened?” I asked. “Did the kidnappers call?” I saw that Anne was in shock. She couldn’t believe what Bill was telling her.

“No, I made a terrible mistake,” Bill said. “I got scared, so I called the police this morning. I told them everything. I told them that Sarah had been kidnapped. Then two hours later . . . she was dead! I found Sarah’s body in the street in front of the apartment building!”

Bill began to cry again, and Anne looked like she was going to fall down. I grabbed her arm and helped her sit down on the steps. I turned to the police officer standing next to us. “Where was the body found?” I asked.

“In the street, like Mr. Salas said,” he answered. “We got here about 30 minutes ago. She was already dead. She had been cut in the throat by some type of knife or piece of glass.”

It was over. I had tried my best, but Sarah was now dead. I thought about all the things that had happened. I even blamed myself. Maybe I should have . . . But you can’t blame yourself. Sometimes, you just have bad luck. There was nothing more I could do. I shook hands with Bill and gave Anne one last hug. I decided I would call my friend Officer Cho and tell him what I knew. Maybe they could find the person who killed Sarah.

As I was about to leave, I noticed a list of names on the mailboxes of Bill and Sarah’s apartment building. I don’t know why I decided to look at the list. Sometimes you just do the right thing at the right time and get lucky. This was one of those times. I recognized one of the names on the list. I couldn’t believe my eyes, so I looked more closely a second time. Yes, I was right. The name on the list read “Costello, John – Apt. 1A.” John Costello lived in the same building as Bill and Sarah Salas.

[end of story]

Episode 10 of Missing Person begins with our narrator, Dr. Reeves, going to find John Costello, the man who hit Anne Prado’s car and put her in the hospital. Dr. Reeves has an address for John Costello in Santa Monica, so he drives there and knocks on the door of the apartment, but “no one answered,” meaning no one came to the door. So, he goes to see the apartment manager – the person who takes care of the apartment building – and he says he’s trying to find John Costello.

Dr. Reeves says, “He lives in number 503,” meaning he lives in the apartment with the number 503. The manager tells Dr. Reeves that John Costello “lived – past tense – in 503.” She says “past tense” to emphasize that the verb “lived” is in the past tense, because John Costello no longer lives there. “He moved out two months ago,” she says. “To move out” is similar to the verb “to move,” and means to leave the place where you live, to pack up all your things and go somewhere else. The manager doesn’t know where he moved, but she thinks he still works at a bar on 4th Street in Santa Monica.

So, Dr. Reeves decides to go and find John Costello at his work. As he’s walking up to the bar, he hears two gunshots. A “gunshot” (gunshot) is when a bullet is fired from a gun. Dr. Reeves pulls out his own gun, which he says is “registered” (registered), meaning the police know that he has the gun. In the United States, in the states where you’re allowed to carry a gun (and not all states allow you to carry a gun) you have to register your gun; you have to fill out a form and be approved to carry a gun. Dr. Reeves says that his gun is registered.

He goes into the bar and he sees that there is a dead body on the floor. He says the floor “was covered with blood,” meaning there was so much blood that it was all over the floor. A man yells, “Don’t shoot!” This is what you say when someone has a gun. “Don’t shoot” (shoot) means “Don’t shoot me.” Dr. Reeves says, “It’s okay, I’m a private detective,” and the man in the bar says, “Someone just shot John.” It turns out that the dead man is John Costello, the man Dr. Reeves was looking for.

Dr. Reeves asks if anyone saw who shot John Costello, but “everyone just shook their heads.” “Shook” (shook) is the past tense of “shake” (shake), and “to shake your head” is to turn your head side to side, left to right, a couple of times to mean “no.” The opposite of “to shake your head” would be “to nod your head,” which is to move your head up and down to mean “yes.” But the men at the bar all “shook their heads” to indicate that they didn’t know what happened.

Dr. Reeves decides to leave before the police arrive, and he goes to his favorite sushi bar to have lunch and to think about the case. A “sushi bar” is a place where they serve a popular kind of Japanese food called “sushi” (sushi). Some sushi is made with raw fish, but not all. The “sushi bar” is a long counter behind which the “sushi chefs” stand and make the sushi. You sit in front of the chefs, and they make your sushi right for you. Even though it is called a “bar,” it isn’t the kind of bar where they mainly serve alcohol, although they often also serve alcohol at a sushi bar.

In any case, Dr. Reeves is “more confused than ever,” meaning more confused than before, and says he is “stuck.” “To be stuck” (stuck) can mean to be physically unable to move – for example, if you’re in a car accident and your door won’t open, you might say, “I’m stuck in the car!” But it can also mean to be confused and unsure of what to do next, which is what Dr. Reeves means when he says, “I was stuck.”

He goes to pick up Anne at the hospital, and they drive over to Bill and Sarah’s apartment. There are police cars outside of the apartment, and of course, both Dr. Reeves and Anne are worried. Dr. Reeves tells Anne to “try to stay calm,” meaning “try to stay relaxed, don’t get excited.” Unfortunately, they receive some very bad news. They learn from Bill that Sarah is dead; her body was found in front of the apartment building. Bill says that he “made a terrible mistake” and decided to call the police and tell them everything, even though the kidnappers had told him not to call the police.

Bill is crying because his wife has just been found dead, and Anne, who is Sarah’s sister, is also very much affected by this news. She begins to have difficulty walking, and it “looked like she was going to fall down,” meaning it looked like she was going to fall on the ground. At the end of the episode, Dr. Reeves says, “I had tried my best,” meaning he had done the best that he could, but he still “blamed” himself, meaning he felt that he had done something wrong, that he was somehow at fault. But then he says, “You can’t blame yourself,” meaning there’s nothing more he could have done.

As he is “about to leave,” meaning as he was just going to leave, he looks at the names on the apartment building mailboxes. He says sometimes you “get lucky.” “To get lucky” means to have something good happen to you, something fortunate. He says, “I couldn’t believe my eyes,” meaning he looked at something and it was so incredible that he doubted it was true. He can’t believe his eyes because one of the names on the mailbox list is “John Costello” – the man who had just been killed at the bar. And now there are two bodies to explain: John Costello as well as Sarah Salas.

On the next episode of Missing Person, Dr. Reeves confronts a killer.

Now let’s listen to the story, this time at a normal speed.

[start of story]

It was time to try a different approach. I decided to find John Costello first and talk to him. I wanted to find out why his car hit Anne’s and almost killed her. I knew Costello lived in Santa Monica, so I drove up the freeway and got off near Main Street. I went to the address Officer Cho gave me and knocked on the door. No one answered. I knocked on the apartment manager’s door. An old woman answered. “Excuse me, I’m trying to find John Costello. He lives in number 503.”

“Mr. Costello lived – past tense – in 503. He moved out two months ago,” she said.

“Do you know where he lives now or where he works?” I asked.

“I don’t know where he moved to, but I think he still works at the bar on 4th Street.”

“Thanks for your help.” I got back in my car and drove down to the bar. It was only 10:00 a.m., and already there were cars parked outside the place. Some people like to start drinking really early.

As I walked down the street toward the bar, I heard two gunshots. I immediately reached for my gun, which I keep on my belt. The gun is registered, of course, but I only carry it with me when I think there might be trouble. I ran toward the bar and I heard another sound, like the wheels of a car turning very fast. I slowly opened the front door of the bar and looked around. There was a man standing over a dead body. The floor was covered with blood.

“Don’t shoot!” the man yelled at me.

“It’s okay, I’m a private detective. What happened here?” I asked.

“Someone just ran in here and shot John! I think he’s dead,” the man answered.

“John? The dead man’s name is John?” I asked.

“Yeah, he is – was – the bartender. His name’s John Costello.”

“Someone call the police,” I said. “Did anyone recognize the man who shot Costello? Did anyone see what he looked like?” There were four men at the bar. Each man looked at the others. Everyone just shook their heads.

“Uh, I really didn’t see him very well,” said one man.

“Yeah, it’s dark in here. I didn’t see his face,” said another.

I decided not to stay at the bar. I didn’t want the police to find out about Sarah’s kidnapping and how Costello may have been connected. I drove back toward downtown.

I stopped to have lunch at my favorite sushi bar and thought about the case. I was now more confused than ever. This morning I guessed that John Costello might be the kidnapper. Now Costello was dead. The girl at the beach store might be involved, but I had no evidence of that. I was stuck. At around 2:00 p.m. I went to the hospital and picked up Anne. She was feeling much better and was happy to see me.

“Have you heard anything from Bill about giving the money to the kidnappers?” I asked her.

“No, Bill hasn’t called.”

“Well, let’s get over there and see what happened.” We drove over to Bill and Sarah’s apartment, and we were surprised to see two police cars outside the building. Bill was sitting on the steps of the building, crying.

“What happened?!” Anne said to me as we parked the car. “Why are the police here?”

“I don’t know, Anne,” I said. “Let’s just try to stay calm and find out what is going on.” As we walked toward the apartment building, I had a feeling in my stomach that something was wrong – very wrong.

“Oh, Anne, she’s dead! She’s dead!” Bill cried. He jumped up to hug Anne. “Sarah’s dead!”

“Bill, what happened?” I asked. “Did the kidnappers call?” I saw that Anne was in shock. She couldn’t believe what Bill was telling her.

“No, I made a terrible mistake,” Bill said. “I got scared, so I called the police this morning. I told them everything. I told them that Sarah had been kidnapped. Then two hours later . . . she was dead! I found Sarah’s body in the street in front of the apartment building!”

Bill began to cry again, and Anne looked like she was going to fall down. I grabbed her arm and helped her sit down on the steps. I turned to the police officer standing next to us. “Where was the body found?” I asked.

“In the street, like Mr. Salas said,” he answered. “We got here about 30 minutes ago. She was already dead. She had been cut in the throat by some type of knife or piece of glass.”

It was over. I had tried my best, but Sarah was now dead. I thought about all the things that had happened. I even blamed myself. Maybe I should have . . . But you can’t blame yourself. Sometimes, you just have bad luck. There was nothing more I could do. I shook hands with Bill and gave Anne one last hug. I decided I would call my friend Officer Cho and tell him what I knew. Maybe they could find the person who killed Sarah.

As I was about to leave, I noticed a list of names on the mailboxes of Bill and Sarah’s apartment building. I don’t know why I decided to look at the list. Sometimes you just do the right thing at the right time and get lucky. This was one of those times. I recognized one of the names on the list. I couldn’t believe my eyes, so I looked more closely a second time. Yes, I was right. The name on the list read “Costello, John – Apt. 1A.” John Costello lived in the same building as Bill and Sarah Salas.

[end of story]

On the next episode of Missing Person, we’ll learn the identity of Sarah’s killer. Be sure to come back for part 11: “Right on Schedule.”

From Los Angeles, California, I’m Jeff McQuillan. Thanks for listening. Come back and listen to us again here on ESL Podcast.

English as a Second Language Podcast is written and produced by Dr. Lucy Tse, hosted by Dr. Jeff McQuillan. This podcast is copyright 2006.

Glossary
to move out – to permanently remove one’s belongings and to leave a place one lived

* My sister wants me to move out of my apartment and to move into her house to help her take care of her kids.

gunshot – a shot from a gun; a bullet fired from a gun; the sound of a bullet being fired from a gun

* We thought that we heard gunshots at the park, but it was just an old car starting its engine.


registered – with an official record of who owns something and details about that ownership, such as how long it has been owned

* The hospital helped to register the birth of our son when he was born.

Don’t shoot! – an exclamation used to ask someone not to shot or fire a gun at one or to not to use another similar type of weapon against one

* The children were playing with toy guns and one of them shouted, “Don’t shoot!”

to shake (one’s) head – to move one’s head from side to side, usually to indicate a “no” response or to show disagreement

* The people in the meeting shook their heads when asked if anyone wanted to stay late to finish the project.

sushi bar – a type of Japanese restaurant that serves raw (uncooked) fish specially prepared for eating

* Let’s go to a sushi bar for dinner on such a hot day.

to be stuck – to be unable to make progress; to be in a specific position without the ability to move or to be moved

* After the rainstorm, our cow was stuck in the mud and it took three strong men and women to free it.

to blame (someone) – to believe or say that someone is at fault, that he or she did something wrong, or that he or she is responsible for a bad situation

* No one can be blamed for the bad weather, although it ruined our plans for a hike and a picnic.

about to (do something) – intending to do something; close to doing something very soon

* Paulina was about to start worrying about our late arrival when we finally arrived from the airport.

to get lucky – to have good fortune; to have something good happen or something one wants to happen occur by chance

* It’s very hard to get a table at this restaurant at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday night, but may be we’ll get lucky.

to not believe (one’s) eyes – to not trust what one sees; to be surprised and not believe in something that has happened

* Monique couldn’t believe her eyes when she opened her apartment door and all of her friends where there to surprise her on her birthday.

Culture Note
Gambling During an Economic Slump

When a country is in an “economic slump” (a sudden and bad fall in prices, value, and more; bad economic situation), the U.S. “federal” (national) government, as well as state governments, look for ways to raise their “revenues” (income; money collected). In the recent economic slump of the 2000’s, several states decided to try the same thing: opening casinos.

“Casinos” are places where people can go to “gamble,” or play games of chance for money. In the U.S., each state decides whether casinos are legal. Most states have decided not to allow “legalized” (allowed by law) gambling in casinos.

There are “notable” (important; worthy of attention) exceptions, of course. The state of Nevada allows legalized gambling and that’s why many people visit the popular city of Las Vegas. Similarly, New Jersey allows gambling, and as a result, Atlantic City is well known for its casinos.

However, most other states do not allow legalized gambling, but this may be changing. In 2010, the states of Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Maryland legalized casinos, allowing games such as “blackjack” (a card game where the goal is to have cards totaling 21 without going over that number) and “roulette” (where a wheel is spun and a ball lands on numbers that people can bet on). According to the American Gaming Association, the 500 existing casinos in 22 states earned about $7.5 billion in taxes for state and local governments in 2010.

Legalizing gambling to increase revenues is not a new “strategy” (plan). Nevada first legalized gambling in 1931 during the Great Depression, a time of major economic “crisis” (with major problems), and Atlantic City “came into being” (was started) during the poor economic times of the 1970s.