The Lovely Chocolate Mob - By Richard J. Bennett

The Lovely Chocolate Mob

Richard J. Bennett

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, organizations, places, events and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, and locales is entirely coincidental.

Copyright © 2013 Richard J. Bennett


I would like to thank the following for their contributions: First of all, to John Belken, Arkansas Parole Board member, who read the rough draft and made suggestions concerning the Law & Order aspect. Second, to Stephen Bennett (my brother), a civil engineer, who read portions of the book and made suggestions in that area. To J. Caleb Clark, who provided the beautiful artwork for the front and back covers, to David Couric, who proofread and edited the final product, to Hampton Keathley, who formatted the book for both the printed and electronic versions, and finally, to Walter Harvey, author of “III”, who showed me that writing could be fun, and didn’t have to be all research.

End of an Era

Cornelius Lovely had breathed his last. Surrounding him at the transition from this life to the next were his personal physician, Dr. Franklin Burke; his granddaughter, Susan Lovely; and his Minister, the Reverend Christopher Cone; plus his personal staff, which included his butler and chauffeur. Cornelius Lovely had made his peace with God many years earlier, but having a clergyman near in his final days brought him comfort. Most of his family were dead or scattered, except for his granddaughter, Susan, who was the likely candidate to inherit his earthly fortune. If she were the sole heir, she stood to inherit all the family estate, properties, and much of the Lovely chocolate industry.

Mr. Lovely had spent most of his final days at his mansion on the grounds of the chocolate factory, but on this last day, he was brought to the hospital for treatment after he’d fallen into a coma. His butler and chauffeur thought he might come around, given the chance to be near the most modern of medical equipment. He had rallied before, and lived a much longer life than most, but this time he didn’t make it.

Cornelius had been a hard-working businessman who knew and loved chocolate. Strangely enough, he had been rail thin all his life, and at six-foot four had towered above his co-workers, employees, secretaries, truck drivers, factory workers, and board of directors. They all owed him their occupation, as did many in the town of Lovely, in one fashion or another.

Being thin, he didn’t appear as though he enjoyed chocolate, but he did, testing his products as many as three times a day. Exercise and hard work kept the extra weight off. Plus, he just didn’t eat it at every opportunity; he had will power, more than the average citizen of Lovely. To him, chocolate was a means to support oneself and to build a business; to others, chocolate was life itself.

This would be the main feature on the local news channels and in the city papers: the founding father had died. The city of Lovely had lost its biggest employer, benefactor, guide, director, heart, and soul. The mayor would soon call a day of mourning. Churches and private school children would offer up prayers; civic meetings and public school children would observe a moment of silence, although there were those among them who would also pray for Cornelius Lovely. Lights would go out at the hospital in observation of the passing of the founding father, the man who donated land for the hospital as well as the elementary, junior and senior high schools. The Lovely Children’s Home he sponsored would close its administration office for a day.

The Lovely Chocolate Factory, however, would keep making chocolate around the clock, with no slowing of production, as per his instructions; he wanted it that way. In fact, “Chocolates around the Clock” was a slogan at the Lovely Chocolate Factory, and had been used in their advertising in years past. Digital clocks were not allowed on the factory grounds, in the administrative offices, and on the workroom floors; any use of a digital watch was frowned upon.

Mr. Lovely saw the creation of chocolate as a duty and a means of spreading happiness to his customers. When making a good product for the buyer, a need is met, and the world is made a better place.

Needless to say, the town of Lovely was thrown into darkness. Within an hour most of the population knew of the passing of Mr.