For All Nails #160: Hope You Guessed My Name
A Samuel Adams Brotherhood compound
Outside Black Rock, NY, NC, CNA
March 6, 1975
Harold Pickett stood about halfway between the house
and the tool shed with a mug of hot tea in his hand.
He was grateful for the tea; it was colder than he was
used to. Mexico Central could get cold, but the
winters here were colder than he'd ever imagined. It
was a beautiful morning, though. The sun was bright,
there were no clouds, and there were no other houses
for a mile around. He understood that all chapters of
the Brotherhood had a place like this, and some other
organizations as well.
A voice from behind him spoke up. "Enjoying the
He turned around at the use of his cover name. John
Hanson and one of his men were there. The second man
was Alvin Bernard, one of the few black men in the
Brotherhood. He had heard Bernard's ancestors had
fought in the Rebellion against the British. Alvin,
like all the others here, had yet to put the past
behind them. Neither had Pickett. _One of these days
I suppose John deserves to know my real name. I don't
know his yet, though_, Harold thought.
"I could use a hand with some business, Ed. Care to
hear a story while we're at it?"
"Sure, John. What's going on?"
"Not everybody's here for the story yet. Let's just
say for now it's high time you knew who I really am.
Al already knows me from before I changed it, but he
doesn't know the other half. Al, I want you to go
find Woody - wake him up if you have to - and bring
him down to behind the garage. Ed and I will be
Pickett and Hanson walked to the compound's garage,
which was a three-loke one about fifteen feet from the
house in the opposite direction of the shed. Not that
it was enough. The Black Rock chapter had grown to
almost 200 members since Allen had started funneling
money to the army clubs. At any given time, there
were likely to be 20 or 30 men here. Use of the
garage was usually on a first-come first-served basis,
with everyone else leaving their lokes on the lawn.
"By the way, John, I've been meaning to tell you my
real name, too. It's Pickett. Harold Pickett. Sorry
for not mentioning it before."
Hanson smiled. "I suppose it's a case of the less
people who know, the less chance you'll be exposed.
Which kind of relates to what's happening right now."
The two of them were waiting about ten minutes,
spending the free time talking about the Mercator
crisis. Harold was just making a point when Alvin and
another man arrived. Wood Ronson, Harold recalled.
"Woody," began Hanson, "just the man we need to talk
"Yeah? Do you need me for a mission, John?" asked
Ronson. He was about thirty, with blond hair, a pale
face, and a muscular body. He looked like he'd have
been a great athlete.
"Not quite. We're going to kill you," Hanson
answered. "You've been leading us on, Woody. You
aren't who you've been saying. Your name isn't Wood
Ronson at all. It's Wyman Richards-Keith, and you're
with the millies. Or maybe the CBI."
Pickett managed to keep the surprise of his face as he
watched Hanson and Bernard pull pistols out from
inside their warm coats. Alvin didn't seem surprised
at all; either Hanson had told him already or he'd
surmised from being told to bring his gun. He had
spoken with Ronson before a few times. The man had
seemed likable and dedicated to the cause.
"No, you're wrong, John. I'm Woody Ronson, always
Hanson shook his head. "Wyman Richards-Keith.
Winfield Scott High School, Philadelphia, class of
'64. Captain of the cricket team your last two years.
Led them to the '63 and '64 provincial championships.
Your photo is framed in the school trophy case. Looks
just like you. Went to William and Mary on a cricket
scholarship, majored in criminalism (1). You rode the
bench most of your time there as the talent level was
so much higher. Dumb of your bosses to send someone
who used to be a public figure, even in another city,
Pickett stood and watched all this interestedly.
Woody shook his own head now. "Boss, I don't know
where you're getting your information, but-"
Hanson cut him off. "You told us you were born and
bred in Black Rock. Told me you went to Burgoyne High
School. I had someone sneak in there and look through
the files; you aren't in them."
"All right, let's say you're right. How would you
know? What would've tipped you off?"
"I went to Winfield Scott in Philadelphia. Class of
'46. I still keep informed of Philly events; I know
you were a big hero at my old school. But I didn't go
there under my current name. Back then I was called
Pickett found himself completely unprepared for this,
and he had no chance to hide his surprise this time.
Richards-Keith scoffed. "Impossible! He's in prison,
and that wasn't even his real name. It was George
"No, I am the real one. You may have noticed he has
continued to deny that he is that man. Because he
isn't." As Hanson/Donaldson said this, Pickett
recalled the vita reports of the man being captured:
he had shaken his head and said over and over, "I am
not Donaldson. I am not Donaldson."
Hanson continued the story. "Six years ago, I was
head of the Philadelphia chapter. I had to go to
Black Rock on Brotherhood business. When I went to
board the airmobile for the trip back, it had been
overbooked. I was furious and made a scene. I was
inexcusable. But two blokes who'd made it onto the
trip noticed my outburst.
"What made things interesting was that my friends had
some contacts with the Tree of Liberty Group, and one
of them was a chauffeur in his day job. They thought
it would be nice to welcome me back with a livery (2)
ride to a public Brotherhood rally that night. Some
of the other Trees were along for the ride. Unlucky
for me, the Trees in question had never worked with
the Brotherhood and had no clue what I looked like."
"So what happened?" asked Richards-Keith, now
engrossed despite the fact that his life was in
"The two buffoons saw the driver with a sign saying
'Donaldson.' They knew I hadn't made the flight and
decided to pretend they were me. One was Donaldson,
the other claimed to be called Murphy Dillon. My
associates were totally taken in until I called the
loke's mobile phone to let them know of the delay.
The livery was at the rally then, so they threw the
bums out and drove off. They were both caught, but so
were the Trees. The one saying he was me was charged
with some bombings and subversion I'd been involved
in. I arranged for the Trees to cut a deal. They
testified that he was Donaldson and got immunity. I
changed my name and got away clean. And now they're
not looking for me..."
Harold finished the sentence: "... because they think
they already have you. They don't even know they
should be looking for you. You're a genius, John, er,
Brian." _That CBI man in Boston asked me about John
Hanson_, Harold thought. They knew about Hanson; they
just had no clue who he really was.
"Thank you. The fool got a ten-year sentence, the
other was convicted of being his accomplice and got
two years. John Hanson has no legal record; the
millies have nothing useful on him. But I am so
f--king mad, because now I have to change my name ALL
OVER AGAIN! There's no telling what he's passed on!"
Bernard spoke up now. "We could get it out of him,
"No. Then we're no better than Brother John and the
Johnnies (3). And we'd never be sure he wasn't
leaving something out." As he said the last word,
Hanson fired his gun into the infiltrator's chest
twice. "Al, I want you to get some men together and
pack up everything in the shed. Leave a little
explosive, put the body in the shed basement, and blow
the place on a timer set for 8 tonight. I want us all
to be at the alternate compound by then. (4) Wait.
Was Woody ever there?"
"No, Boss," said Alvin.
"Good. Harold, let's you and me get to work on
packing the place up. I want to search his room, too.
Let everyone you see know that we're leaving. Oh,
and tell them I'm giving away his stuff to whoever
wants it. Anyone who's interested should be in the
kitchen at noon. I have first claim on his records.
He has some J. W. Zimmerman I like." (5) Donaldson
started to walk off, then turned around. "Do you go
by Harold or Harry?"
"Harold, usually. I was Harry as a kid, but I got
teased when the others made it Hairy."
"You might want to change your name, too. Anyone
Woody may have told them about should."
1. Criminal justice.
2. See FAN #119.
3. Johnnies has taken on a derogatory meaning among
the army clubs in reference to anyone loyal to the
4. Hanson/Donaldson acquired a similar site near the
Pennsylvania line in 1972 in case the primary one ever
5. J. W. Zimmerman is one of the leading singers of
Vandalian road music.