I took her copies of the official police reports. I planned to do my own background check on the two officers with Jamie on the raid. Okay I called Lucus to ask for the favor.
“Lucas, a young female cop in Tryon needs a favor,” I said it when I had him on the phone.
“Oh really?” he asked.
“Yes really. I went on to explain the circumstances of Jamie’s predicament. I gave him all the details I then put him to work on the hacking of the two officers finances. I expected it to take somewhere around a day to crack the codes.
While I waited for it, I had to go back to some kind of normal life. I wanted to keep my involvement in the affair quiet, if possible. I didn’t need any cops pissed at me. I figured that I would try to pull the strings from behind the scenes.
“Hey slut,” Jen said. “Did you know your show is on tonight?”
“I knew it was running this season, but not what night and time,” I said
“Well it’s on tonight do you want to come over to watch?” Jen asked.
“No thanks hon, I think I’m going to go somewhere for a drink,” I suggested.
“You will be sorry, this is the third week so they are working on the first real homicide you broke.” Jennifer announced.
“Jen the problem is there were a dozen cops who rushed in to save my ass,” I explained.
“And I’m sure Mike will tell it that way,” she said.
“He is interested in TV not the truth. I would like to believe that what I did was enough to entertain people, but I know that it isn’t. It needs everyone’s effort. But still it was his show.
I found Mike’s phone number in New York. I called him during the show. “Mike what the hell are you doing cowboy?” I asked.
“Watching the show, are you watching it as well?” he asked.
“You know I am. I just have one question. Who is that woman and what is she doing in my body?” I asked.
“Don’t worry we can pull it off. We can fool them all, I have faith in us,” he said still laughing. “This is the just the third episode and it’s already a hit. Give it a few more weeks and it will be the number one show on TV.”
“Well, I’m going to give you all the rope you need to hang yourself.” I said.
“Well we shall see, so what are you up to tonight?” he asked me.
“Me, I’m hanging out here alone. Jennifer told me to watch the show tonight, so I caught my first one. I was in transit when the first two aired. This one looks pretty awful.” I broke into a laugh to show him that I wasn’t upset.
“So what did you think?” he asked,
“I look a little like a super hero, but not too bad.” I said.
“Bullshit I can document that you did all that stuff. I have witnesses,” he replied.
“Winos who will say anything for a drink,” I suggested.
“I am truly hurt,” Mike said, Then he laughed erasing all his hard work at trying to appear serious. Is it really that hard to watch the truth. Remember we only have the stuff from the last year or so. All those things done before we started to film are lost forever,” he informed me.
“Good riddance, I said.
“No matter what either of us think, it is out there now and is going to be whatever it becomes. there is nothing we can do to change it now.” he said.
When Mike rang off, I decided to see if I had any friends left at the Cop Out Club. I lived close enough to walk to it, so I did. It was after 10 pm, so the place had about half a crowd. Even with the crowd I hardly recognized anyone. I knew them all to speak to, but none well enough to ask a favor.
Finally one of the old patrol Sergeants came into the bar. I had worked on a few things with him, so he knew who I was at least. He was a bantam rooster type. He was all of five and a half feet tall and his weight might be 150 pounds. The story was that he had always been fast with a night stick and now he was fast with a tazer or pepper spray. I suppose if you were his size you couldn’t afford to get behind, and more than I could.
“Hey Sergeant Wilson how you doing,” I asked.
“I’m doing just fine but Max I know when you start a conversation it’s to ask a favor, so what is it I can do for you?” he asked.
“I’ve got some notes from a drug raid and I need someone familiar with procedure to take a look. Read them and let me know who I should look at.” I said.
“Was it here?” he asked.
“No Tryon, Just trying to get a thread started, so that I can unravel the mess.” I said.
“Why you interested?” he asked.
“Well they are about to hang out a rookie who swears she is innocent. If she is, then the other two with her probably aren’t.” I said.
“That would sound reasonable, if the money was really there in the first place. Dope dealers are pretty damn slimy Max.” he said.
“They are the absolute worst,” I agreed. “If you would just read over the notes to see if anything jumps out at you, I would appreciate it.”
“Oh all right bring the notes to my house tomorrow about four. I will arrange what you need.” He said. I had no idea what he meant, but I made a note to do it.
The next morning I checked with Lucas. He had heard nothing about the incident which told me the cops were playing it low key. Cops don’t like to broadcast their family squabbles. A pile of missing cash is more than a family squabble though. I would have thought so at least but maybe not in their opinion.
“Hello,” I said into my cell phone.
“We got some problems with Jamie,” Jennifer said.
“What kind of problems?” I asked.
“If she didn’t do it they are building one hell of a box around her. Evidence keeps showing up from no where.” Jennifer said.
“Doesn’t that strike you as suspicious?” I asked.
“You know me of course it does, but if it is all real that won’t shock me either. It’s just convenient.” she said.
“So what have they got on her?” I asked.
“Not nearly as much as they think. Nobody saw her take the money. They can’t find any money trail leading from her to 25k. What they do have is that she needs money, but then we all need money. Okay some of us just need more money.” Jennifer said.
“This afternoon I have an Aster cop going over the statements from the raid. Maybe he can find something out of place.” I said. “I also have Lucas doing financial reports on all three of them. We are beginning to accumulate information. We well eventually solve the problem. It’s just a matter of time.
The first floor of the building, I had bought, was to be used as an office. I rushed around finding furniture for it between visits to assorted cops. I had the one long thin room divided into three small offices. The work was simple and took only a day. When it was finished I turned the first room into a waiting room, the second into my office and the third into a storage room where I also drank coffee.
Before I knew it, the time had come to go see Sergeant Wilson. The drive was about ten minutes which was a good ways for Aster. Ten minutes took you out of Aster city limits in an direction. Wilson lived with his wife and two kids in a modern house. It looked as though he had a pretty good life.
When I rang the bell, he came out with his wife in two minutes. Max this is my wife Francine. Francine this is Max Stone.” he said smiling.
“It’s so nice to meet you Mrs. Wilson.” I said. It seemed to catch her just a little off guard.
“It is such a thrill to meet you, Ms Stone. We have watched everyone of your shows. Would you give us a little hint how the one they are running now ends?” Mrs. Wilson asked.
“We catch the bad guy.” I said with a smile.
A little more small talk and she left the police sergeant alone with me. I’m sure once she got a good look at me, she had no problem leaving me alone with her husband. The two of us sat on a small patio bench behind the house while he read the reports.
Since police reports tend to be brief he was finished in ten minutes with all three of them. He took one from the stack and reread it. “There is something wrong with this report.”
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“Okay three of us go into a house with armed bad guys and dope. Our number one priority is to protect each other. We want to search and secure the entire house first. Then we go back and secure the evidence.
“From reading the report there was a large crashing sound in the kitchen. It came from one of the perps trying to get away out the back door. Your rookie was in the kitchen and the other patrolman was entering the room, but the sergeant was nowhere to be seen. He could have been in the bedroom scooping up cash.”
“So you think the sergeant is a possible?” I asked.
“They are all possibles. I’m just saying at that moment no one had eyes on him.” the bantam weight police patrolman said.
“Well thats more than I had when I came here. Thanks Wilson, I owe you.” I said.
“Then how about a drink after shift. Just the two of us,” he suggested.
“Not after I met your wife, that would be just too crude,” I replied with a smile.
“Bitch,” he mumbled.
“That’s me,” I replied.
On the way back to town I stopped in at Lucas’s place. It looked the same as when Ed had the office. I have to admit that I was glad he hadn’t whored it up.
“Sergeant Adam Sandel, I got a cop to tell me he had the opportunity to grab the money. Check him real good please.”
“He knows how much heat is on him. He will dig a hole and bury that money for a couple of years, if he is half smart.” Lucas said.
“You will never go broke betting on the stupidity of all humans, both cops and robbers,” I suggested. “Please do the checks anyway.”
“You got it Max,” he said smiling.
It was late afternoon when I arrived home. I decided to walk down to the downtown sub shop for take out. I stood in line to buy a cheese steak sub Philly style. When my turn came I placed my order with a young man who was all smiles and personality. I made a note to come back again, since it had been a pleasant experience and only two blocks from my building.
I was halfway through the half cheese steak when the phone rang. I considered leaving it, but I finally did answer it. “Hello,” I said.
“Max don’t hang up it’s me Priest.” the voice on the phone said.
“I really have nothing more to say to you. I should come to DC and kill you. but I’ll feeling generous at the moment.” I said.
“That’s a good thing, but we never quite finished our business,” he said.