The room was warm and it really felt good. I had been standing out in the cold wearing just my running suit and the light parka for well over two hours. I made short work of stripping off the running suit and hanging it on racks to dry. After that little domestic chore, it was on to the hot shower. I also washed my new peach fuzz of course.
I was dressed in a clean uniform and in the office well before nine. I didn’t think that was too bad, since I had been waylaid for quite some time. “So Sarge where you putting me today?” I asked when I entered his office.
“Before you do anything else, we have a meeting with the Chief Deputy,” Michaels said.
“Am I in trouble?’ I asked I remembered his words on the phone earlier.
“We are giving you your thirty day evaluation and some good advice,” the sergeant said.
“Then I am in trouble,” I said.
“Let’s say you still have a job and go from there,” he said.
“Well that’s a good beginning,” I admitted.
“Why don’t you go have a talk with Simpson, while we wait for the Chief Deputy,” Michaels said.
“Sure,” I replied. I really did want to get some information from Simpson.
I called dispatch and had them call Simpson for me. Fortunately he was nearby so we arranged to meet at the station. Since I was in the station, I just went to the detective’s office to wait.
“Deputy Porter, what can I do for you?” Simpson asked.
“Sergeant made it sound like you wanted to talk to me,” I said.
“Not really, but I guess we could discuss the Gypsy Allen thing.” he suggested.
“So do you know what happened?” I asked.
“It’s a given that Gypsy killed her husband for sure. The question is under what circumstances. She says he killed Jenny and was coming for her. Also according to her she shot him on sight.” Simpson said.
“Yeah, I know all that, so what really happened?” I asked.
“Truth is I’m still working on that. Gypsy’s husband lost his job three months before the shooting. They went from struggling to make it one day, to almost total poverty the next. They were still on public assistance of one kind or another when all this happened, but they weren’t really in poverty after that first month.”
“Something to do with the loud lifestyle?” I asked.
“Gypsy ain’t talking, but we found someone who wanted to volunteer information for consideration in a different open investigation.” Simpson said dragging it out.
“So what was it? I’m dying to know,” I said.
“You are going to love this, nude pot parties,” Simpson said. My heart sank. “One of Edward Allen’s friends needed a place to have a party and Edward needed the money. After the first one, he just pushed out the guy who brought the idea to him in the first place.
Edward bought a big screen TV and a subscription to ‘porn is us’ on the net. He sold pot and rented out rooms in his house to people from the first party and friends of theirs.”
“So Gypsy wasn’t interested and went to hang out at the bars?” I asked.
“She isn’t talking and her lawyer isn’t either, so we don’t know. We also don’t know where Jenny was during the nude parties.” Simpson said.
“If Jenny was staying with the aunt, and no one had died, it would have been a no harm no foul kind of party. Bust a few people for simple possession and let them all go home after an hour.” I suggested.
“Yeah, well that’s where we are right now,” Simpson said. “You got any ideas?”
“I still remember how quick she was to suggest sex for our silence. I have a feeling she was out soliciting, while those parties were going on. I would expect that selling it at home those nights would be easy. Why would she bother to go out?” I asked aloud. I had a pretty good idea. It was because the men wanted her to be the entertainment. Perform live for them.
“We don’t know that she was selling it,” Simpson said.
“True,” I said. A message came over the radio ordering me to report to the Chief Deputy’s office.
“Deputy Porter, I see you have been involved in more high profile crap,” Webster said.
“I’m sorry what high profile case are we talking about?” I asked. Anything can be high profile and anything can be nothing. It is all about circumstances nothing more.
“Do you have cable in the motel where you live,” Sergeant Michaels asked.
“Sure, but I don’t watch a lot of TV,” I suggested.
“Have you ever heard of news99?” Webster asked.
“Isn’t that the local cable operated news station?” I asked.
“You are almost right. It’s statewide cable news association. They have branch offices all over. They have a reporter out of Asheville, he covers the mountains and he drives a company owned compact car. Would you care to guess where he was at 5AM this morning.”
“Headed for the Cafe on the Square to interview the Judge in the Gypsy Allen case over breakfast,” Sergeant Michaels answered for me. “He was also going to do a human interest piece about the Cafe, since it is a landmark around here.”
“Oh so the reporter was in the crushed compact car?” I asked. My heart sank as I tried to remember all the silly things I said to him.
“You guessed it. News99 did a live segment with him at the hospital, since his camera man was already here. Would you like to guess what he said about you?” Webster asked.
“No sir,” I said racking my brain to see just how badly I had fucked up.
“I’m sure someone will send you a tape. Maybe only a few people will see it, but he absolutely fawned when he talked about you. How you stayed even with the smell of gasoline in the air. How you spoke to him calmly and kept him calm.” Michaels said.
Up to that point it didn’t sound too bad. “All in all it was good publicity for the department and god knows we can always use it. So you get a pat on the back and three atta girls,” Webster said.
“Thank you boss. To be honest I was expecting to be in trouble,” I said. “I seem to be stumbling on more odd crap than anyone else out there.”
“Don’t take what I said too seriously. You are still curious and that is good. Some of us have just burnt out on new things. A lot of deputies just want to see the end of their shift and payday, everything else is just an inconvenience. You aren’t like that and I’m glad.” His speech was supposed to put my mind at ease but it didn’t. Even though he had somehow made sergeant, Michaels was one of those guys who was just marking time. He had been serious when he said he would not want me for a partner. To be honest so far I had not worked with anyone I would want for a partner. “So make yourself available if the news people what to talk to you after he is released from the hospital.”
From the pat on the back meeting I went straight out on patrol and did nothing. All the over night burglary reports had been completed by other people before I made it out of the garage.
The day ended at 1:30pm for me, since I started at 5:30AM. I was glad to see it end early. I had lots to think about while I lay down for a nap. The number one thing I needed to do was to find out if the Boyle brothers had been involved with the Allen family. If so to what extent. I wasn’t going to be much of a hero, if they found out I had gone to a similar party. Especially if it was noted that I had provided the entertainment that Gypsy slut had refused to provide.
I didn’t call the Boyle brothers because there was a good chance that there phone might be bugged soon, if not already. I did need to get in touch with them before they called me on the phone and said something stupid.
I did the next three tours on days trying not to get involved with anything new. It was what I complained about other deputies doing. I did ride by the Boyle Brothers Recovery office at least twice a day. By the end of the third day, I had a good feel for what should and should not be in the neighborhood.
After my day watch tour ended on a Wednesday, I went home and changed into jeans and a sweatshirt. I bought the shirt from a thrift shop and never wore it. It had a hood, which at the time I purchased it, I thought might come in handy for running. The light field jacket with the thermal lining proved to be so much better, I never bothered with the sweat shirt.
I pulled onto the block with Boyle recovery, and then pulled my car into the neighborhood grocery store where I parked it far from the door of the store. I left the car and took off running. I ran with the hood covering my knit cap. It was just a hundred or so yards to the front door of the Boyle Brothers office. When I went inside, I found only Simon in the reception room. I put my finger to my lips then motioned him outside. I led him to a corner of his parking lot.
“Simon this is very important and you need to tell me the absolute truth, no matter how bad it is. Do you understand me?” I asked just as cold as I could.
“Sure what is the problem. Is it the Dragon piss?” he asked.
“I don’t know anything about that and don’t want to know. But you tell me, did you know Edward James Allen?” I asked.
“I know he got himself killed, but I don’t know anything else,” Simon said.
Simon, I know Edward was hosting nude pot parties with sexual entertainment, does that sound familiar?” I asked.
“Sylvia, you have to believe me, I had nothing to do with his death,” Simon said. “Neither did James.” he said.
“Your name has not came up ye,t but it will. So get yourself a good lawyer and get your alibi ready. Make sure it is a good one and that it is the truth. There is nothing worse than to get caught with a fake alibi. It is worse than no alibi at all. If you tie me to the later parties you had, I will sell you out for everything I know, or can guess. Do we understand each other?” I asked.
“Why would I try to deal you. You didn’t break any law.” he said.
“True and I am not going to help you save my, not so pure, reputation. Do not call me again, neither you nor your brother. I would get a couple of burn phones, if I were you. The sheriff my never look at you, or they might look at anyone who can help with filling in the blanks. Be prepared to deal but do NOT deal me. When you and James discuss this, do it away from your home and office.”
“I understand.” Simon said.
“You better understand and go back to your real business for a while. Just in case they run an operation on you, so they have some leverage.” I suggested. Then without even a goodbye, I turned and ran away from my car. I ran a few hundred yards then turned right and ran back to my car. I stopped to throw the sweat shirt in a drive up dumpster. The dumpsite had video cams, so I threw it away with my household trash as everyone in the county did.
I drove home very nervous and checking my rear view mirror every few seconds.