“What’s going on?” I asked Deputy Letter.
“They raided Edward James Allen’s house. There was no one there but it appears there had been a struggle. The SBI lab guys took lots of samples. They are going to be checking for DNA matches.” Letter said.
“So what are they thinking,” I asked. I almost hated to hear it.
“From the neighbors they heard that the husband and wife fight all the time. They have been expecting something violent anytime now,” Letter informed me.
“What I don’t understand is why the SUV was left at the boat ramp?” I asked.
“They are thinking ‘family annihilator’,” he said.
“That’s not believable,” I suggested.
“I know, but everyone is struggling to make sense of it. Anyway you and I need to get ready to go out and patrol the roads,” he informed me.
“Right, lets go out and do our part, even if it isn’t part of the main investigation,” I said.
“Porter,” Simpson said from his office when he looked up and saw me. I went to the door. “Good work on the SUV. It might end up being the break in the case. We will know for sure when the lab get finished with the DN A testing.”
“Good, I look forward to hearing,” I said.
Deputy Letter and I went out on patrol. I was a little unhappy about being pushed aside, but it was to be expected. It’s how men did things, not that a woman wouldn’t have done the same or worse. The truth is people just didn’t like to share their toys, We could all remember those feelings from our childhoods.
I checked the boat ramp while I was out. I found that all the evidence tape had by strung and then picked up. It was as if the car hadn’t been there at all. I didn’t really care all that much. It was a job, I loved it but it was still a job.
“Hello,” I said into the cell phone.
“Hello Sylvia, how about you meet me for breakfast. I can’t sleep so I thought we might get together,” the much older Simpson asked.
“Ordinarily I would say sure, but I think it would be a bad idea since we work in the same place. I would prefer ours be a strictly professional relationship.” I said.
“Oh alright,” was his reply to me. “Have it your way.”
“Don’t worry, I will,” I said that as I hung up on him. Simpson was more than twice my age. If he had been Sherlock Holmes maybe, but he was just your typical less than inspired detective.
I stopped at the truck stop convenience store for a cup of coffee at 2AM. I stood in the parking lot with the Styrofoam because I didn’t want to spill it on a clean uniform. Lots of people smiled at me as they passed me heading into the store.
“Sheriff, my name is Boyle, I operate a delivery service. I just wanted to say hello. I thought it might be nice, so that when you see me running around these hills you might stop and say hello,” the man in his late twenties and very clean cut said to me.
“Well fine, hello then?” I said. “What is it you deliver.”
“Legal papers, things that need proof of delivery. I also pick up cars now and then and other valuable. I more or less serve court papers.”
“Well Mr. Boyle I’m surprised there is that much work,” I said honestly.
“Yeah, I do have to scramble to make it sometimes,” he said.
“So okay Mr. Boyle what can I do for you? You do want more than to just say hello,” I said.
“Okay, I’m going to take possession of a very fancy truck in about two minutes. I just thought I would give you some advanced notice in case the present occupant thinks it’s not the right thing to do. Give it up to me that is,” he said. James had given me a really good look at the document.
I nodded to him. “Okay, if he kills you, I promise to arrest him,” I said.
“What more could a man ask,” Boyle said. “It’s James by the way.”
“Then if he kills you James, I promise to arrest him,” I said. I sat in my SUV and waited to see what would happen.
James walked to a very fancy looking pickup truck with a rear cab and dual rear wheels. It had to be a very expensive pick up truck. It looked as though it had everything available sandwiched onto it.
“You Martin Thomas,” James Boyle asked in a voice loud enough for me to hear.
“Who wants to know,” the man in the truck asked.
“I’m going to take that as a yes. You need to get out of the truck,” Boyle said.
“Oh why is that?” Thomas asked.
“Because the truck is being repossessed,” Boyle said it then handed him a copy of the pick up order,
“You ain’t taking my truck,” Thomas said,
“Actually I am,” Boyle said. “So get out of the truck and hand me the keys.”
“You are out of your fucking mind,” Thomas said.
Boyle reached over and opened the driver’s door. Thomas was not belted in, He could have driven off and there was nothing Boyle could have done, but he had to play whose are biggest. When he climbed down from the truck and moved toward Boyle, Boyle pressed a stun gun against him. Thomas went down like a tree,
Boyle got in the truck and drove it away. Someone else drove a really beat up old Honda civic away following close behind.
Since I didn’t really want to get involved, I sat in the parking lot to finish my coffee. Martin Thomas came around very quickly. He was on his cell phone making a call and screaming at someone. Pretty soon someone drove up and allowed Martin Thomas into the car. The woman drove Martin away and I left shortly thereafter. I had seen a very well done repossession. If Martin had approached my SUV, I might have had to investigate it, but he took it like a man once it was over.
Once I was sure he wasn’t going to do anything really stupid, I drove off into the night. I drove through some of the small communities to just see what the buildings looked like. It is what we did on the Air Force Bases. When we had nothing to do, we would shine a light on the window glass. It was just a way to use up a little of the time left on our shifts.
Nobody needed me all night, so I got a lot of checks made of places that didn’t really have a big need for them. Most of the small communities had nothing of any real value, so things seldom got broken into. Now and then they did, but that was more vandals than thieves.
It was 630AM when I headed into the station. There was just nothing to keep me out in the field. I stopped in town to observe the people who worked downtown come in to work early. There wasn’t any real crime or even traffic at that time of the morning, but I needed to be back in town to check out at the office anyway.
Nothing came up to prevent me from checking out at 7AM. With my time up for the day I rode the Toyota to the Motel. I was glad to find an excuse to stop by the office, I liked to keep in contact with Jennifer, the day manager, and owner. She kept me informed if anything important was going on in the business community. Ada and Sarah were just employees and not privy to all the local gossip like Jennifer.
“There isn’t any gossip in town at the moment. We are all in shock about the little girl they found in the woods. Have you got any idea who she is yet?” Jennifer asked.
“If they have any idea, then haven’t told me yet. I have a feeling the town will know before I do,” I said it with a laugh. I had a pretty good idea that it was connected to Edward James Allen, but I dared not say that to anyone. I dared not say it, especially not Jennifer Wilson. In the short time I lived at the motel I had learned that it was a hot bed of gossip. I liked that about it, even though I probably shouldn’t have.
I fell into bed after having learning nothing, but also not spread any gossip. I wasn’t proud but I was neutral for the day. I slept from 10AM until about 5PM which was pretty good for sleeping during the day as far as I was concerned.
When I woke up something was nagging at me. Was it really very likely that Edward James Allen had help in wiping out his family. It certainly didn’t fit any profile I had ever read. If not, how did he get away from the place where he left his car.
I called the station to ask Simpson if he knew, but Simpson was busy playing his part for the press. The news whores wanted updates a lot more often than the cops wanted to provide them. Which led to the constant irritation of both.
I found out from one of the other deputies that Allen did not have anything but the car. It was possible that he drowned his wife right there then walked away. It made just as much and as little sense as anything else. Actually his wife had a car as well which was missing, so there was an alert out for it at that moment as well. The department had pinned most of their hope to that car. I was skeptical, but only because I was always skeptical. I had to admit the odds seemed to be in favor of it.
“By the way Sylvia.” the deputy said. “There is a message here for you. You want me to save it till tonight or do you want it now?” he asked.
“Oh hell give it to me now. Nobody wants to talk to a cop at 10PM,” I said.
“Good point,” with that he read me a phone number. “Give this guy a call. He said he had some information for you.”
“Thanks, I will see what he has to give up,” I said.
“Right, it sounded more like monkey business,” the deputy said.
“Well good, my life is way to serious,” I replied with a laugh. I hadn’t had a date since I moved to the little town. Hell I really hadn’t have a date since I broke up with my boyfriend in the military. Breaking up was his idea, so I was pretty broken up about it. Even though it was approaching a year men were not high on my list of hobbies. I knew I had to start going out soon, or I was going to get a reputation. I expected that it would be that I was a stone lesbian.
I wasn’t of course. I had never been with a woman sexually, not that there was anything wrong with it, I always said. Being around women who were into that kind of thing was an occupational hazard in the Military, as much as it would be in jail, I imagined.
I waited until after I had dinner to call the number. “This is deputy Porter in Warren country. What did you want to discuss with me?” I asked of the man who answered.
“This is James Boyle, you do remember me?” he asked.
“Yes, I remember you. What can I do for you?” I asked.
“You can have dinner with me next time you have a night off,” he said confidently.