When I got to the nurse’s station, I knew instantly why there was a flag by the room number. There was finally a cop on the door. I wondered why all of a sudden they thought Harvey was in danger. If they did think that he was in danger, then I was suspect number one, most likely.
“Hello, I was told that I had to see you before I could see Harvey Middlehouse,” I admitted it to the nurse behind the desk. She in turn pushed a button on her desk and there was a ding down the hall near Harvey’s room. As I expected the cop came to the desk.
“Could I help you,” he asked in a reasonably pleasant voice.
“Not unless you are babysitting Harvey Middlehouse,” I said quietly. I was very much aware that I wore a small .38 revolver under my left arm. “And Fallon you don’t have to be so formal. After all I have watched you puke in the parking lot of the Cop Out Club more than once. So what’s the problem here?”
“You are on the list of people who trigger an automatic call to the Detectives.” Fallon said almost apologetically.
“ Am I allowed to see Harvey while I wait?” I asked. “I need to arrange for him to be picked up, if you are not going to let me take him home with me.”
“I’ll ask,” he said as he removed a cell phone from his pocket. He didn’t even dial a number it was programed into the phone. Those things were better and cheaper than police radios, I thought.
I stepped back a few feet, then dialed Jennifer’s office. When the receptionist answered I said, “Give Jennifer a heads up please. Tell her the cops stopped me at the door to Harvey’s hospital room and they are presumably on the way down to interview me. If they take me to the station under any pretense at all, I am calling for you to send someone down.”
“Very well Ms Stone,” the receptionist said. There were some perks to having money, I thought. You did get respect from people would wouldn’t even give you a quarter, if you were homeless.
“You can go in,” Fallon called to me. He obviously would be watching me while I visited with Harvey.
“So Harvey, how are you?” I asked.
“I am in a little pain when I try to move,” he said. “Otherwise I’m not bad.”
“Honey, it if hurts when you do that, don’t do that,” I said to him. It was the punch line of a joke stolen from a TV show from my youth. “So are they going to let you go home today?”
“Doctor said I could go, if I had somewhere to go. I don’t have anywhere,” he said to me. “I would have asked you. but it looks like I got you in trouble with that stupid post to my blog.”
“Well that’s no big thing, but I’m not so sure they will allow you to come home with me, since I am suspect number one.” I said. “Besides I still don’t know that I didn’t cause this in a round about way.”
“I can’t tell you how stupid I feel,” he said.
“Don’t feel bad you probably helped move things with Lydia Timmons along. I hate you got hurt in the process, but you seem to have survived it.” I said.
“I’m harder to kill that it looks,” he said.
“Good, if you are going to hang around with us, you damn well better be,” I said.
“Oh am I going to hang around with you?” he asked.
“Until you are ready to leave you are sure. First I need to get you sprung into my custody, if that is what you want?” I asked.
“Damn right it is,” he said.
“Well they are going to give you advice not to do it, but they can’t hold you here against your will. You are a free man, you can go anywhere you want.” I explained. “I can convince them that it is in my best interest to keep you alive, since I am always going to be suspect number one.”
“Actually you are suspect number two,” Thompson said from the doorway. “Raphael Lewis, whose prints were in the car, is suspect number one at the moment. Since we can find no connection between you two, we had to demote you. Is there a connection?”
“None that I know about,” I said. “But, if I think of anything I will call you.”
“Harvey here said that the blog entry was a mistake and he has since made a statement that he does not feel threatened by you. That of course was the same day that Raphael, who you don’t know, put his ass in the hospital.” She said.
“Put it like that it sounds like I might need to call Jennifer,” I suggested.
“Save your money, I want to ask you right up front, have you ever met Raphael Lewis?” she asked.
“Never had the pleasure,” I said lying to her face with my very best demeanor.
“Then you can probably protect Harvey as well as we can.” she said.
“Truth is I can probably do it better. One man on the door isn’t my idea of high security. He has to pee sometime.” I said smiling at her.
“And you don’t pee?” Thompson asked.
“I do, but it will take a red neck truck to get through my doors. Nobody is going to walk in on me. Unlike Fallon out there ,I can cut it off mid stream and come running, if they did blow my door away..” I had to laugh, when she did.
“Good point, okay Maxine you can have Harvey. He is probably safer with you than anyone else. It is in your best interest to keep him alive.” She said. I simply nodded.
It was still a bit chilly, but the best I could do for Harvey was to have Sylvia stop by Wal-mart for a running suit. I had no idea what fit him or what he liked, so he left the hospital in a bright red running suit. We stuffed him into the cruiser, since I managed to get Sylvia to bring the running suit to the hospital.
“Isn’t it time you bought you own car?” I asked as I closed the door on Harvey. Sylvia knew me well enough for me to ask that without offending her.
“Yeah, I just can’t decide what to buy and my credit history is non existent so a loan might be a problem.” she said.
“You know better than that. Green Country Savings and Loan will make you that loan in a minute.” I said. They better it is my money they will be loaning to her, I thought.
“Okay I’ll call Walter,” she said.
“It’s a convertible isn’t it?” I asked.
“No it’s an electric car. One of those from Japan.” She said. “I haven’t really decided.
“You know that is new technology and probably pretty dicey,” I said.
“Yeah, but somebody has to start using it. I can always borrow the cruiser if I have to go somewhere far away.” she informed me confidently. Why shouldn’t she be, she knew that I could never refuse her.
We got Harvey home and installed him in my bedroom. We gave him the bed, since I would do better on a sofa, than he would. “Now Harvey if you need anything just call out. Someone will be here most of the time. If it is something like a glass of water or a coke we are cool with it, I know you can get up to use the bathroom on your own, otherwise I would have left your ass in the hospital. So don’t even thing about asking one of us to hold your dick while you pee. Don’t try the stairs though, call if you need anything from downstairs.” I said.
“I need to go on line and you won’t give me the wifi password.” He demanded.
“Okay you can have it, but I will change it the minute you can walk down the stairs. The password is GemDandy,” I informed him. “I’ll bring your computer up the next time I come.”
“Be sure to get the adapter please, the battery is almost gone,” he said while smiling sheepishly.
“Fair enough, do you want a coke to take your pills with?” I asked.
“That would be nice.” he replied.
“Do you have some kind of timer on your cell phone, or do I need to set one to remind you to take the pills.” I asked.
“I have that covered,” he explained.
“Good then I will let you rest,” I said leaving him alone. When I got downstairs I put his computer on the first step so I wouldn’t forget. I know, I wasn’t supposed to forget anything and I wouldn’t really. It just had a very low priority for me, even though it was high on Harvey’s list.
I placed a call to Jerrod, “Hey.” I said when he answered. “Tell Billy I will give him five hundred bucks, plus expenses, to supervise the conversion of the shipping container and then to decorate it.”
“Wow, he will be thrilled. He has asked me about it a half dozen times, even though it has only been two days.” he said.
“It seems longer to me as well, what with the Harvey thing and all. So how have you been doing with Lydia?” I asked.
“Vlad and I are visiting the other places she spends her money, but we haven’t gotten a lead on anything yet. We are in Tryon now headed to her gym.” he said.
“Well stay with it someone knows something,” I said. I didn’t have a lot of hope. If we found her hidden bank account, we would really have good leads to follow. I called Peter to put a burr under his saddle.
“Maxine how about meeting Alvin and me for a picnic at the lake.” he suggested. “When he said that I realized that I hadn’t eaten since Helen’s breakfast several hours before. I did a quick energy audit and found I was down to 50%.
“Very good idea, are you gonna stop for the sandwiches or should I?” I asked.
“We are finished, so we can get them. Steak and Cheddar cheese for you?” he asked.
“Yep that is fine for me,” I replied. I went to the cabinet and found my open case of snickers bars. I quickly ate one with a Jolt cola to wash it down. The jolt was hard to find. I could find it in only one place in Tryon, so I bought a shopping cart full once I found it. I would most likely be headed back there as soon as I ran low. Mostly I drank the black, bitter coffee, but when I needed sugar it was Jolt.
I wasted a little time making sure that Sylvia got the Laboring Few crew out to change the entrance to the shipping container. The were to remove the overhead door and install a commercial door as close as possible to Billy’s design. It was Billy’s chore to find one that he could live with. Billy had opted for some frosted glass over the bed for light and something he could hang curtains around. Other than that it was pretty much still a shipping container with a few things built in. I told Billy not to try to make it anything but what it was. While he, Sylvia, and the crew from His Laboring few worked on the Container, I headed for the lake.
I was glad to get away from Harvey. He was actually a pretty good patient, but he grunted and moaned, whenever he moved around, which people do more than you would think. The drive to the lake took me over the bridge where Peter and I tossed our cell phones, and I had tossed the pot the night before.