I threw thing on the false floor of the truck as I went along. Within a month I had a lot crap covering the floor. It looked really used without showing the false floor so much. I enjoyed driving it even though it took more gas and more space in the parking lot, than my Toyota had when I lived in that Motel in County Seat.
I started looking for an excuses to go to the Green Valley Vineyard. I knew that unless it was a damn good one there would be questions. I had no idea how good my cover was. It wasn’t exactly prepared by the CIA. As far as I knew it would only hold up, if they called my supposed bother. If they could get access to the military files I doubted that Karen Smith would show up. Of course the cops said the military connection would hold, but they would say that.
The connection came with a trip outside Stoneville. Since I could created a fishing pole with line for next to nothing, I collected the pieces to make one. I had begun to fish in County Seat’s water supply, so I knew it was a good way to fill in the down time.
I had considered the ole stick and string idea, but decided to go for the more elaborate two dollar driveway marker. It was a four foot long plastic stake. It was under 5/16 in diameter and bright orange. I bought two rods and all the parts to assemble them. There were home made but should stand out where ever I went.
I was using butcher’s wrapping string, so it wasn’t all that strong. I should have bought nylon mason’s string, but I hadn’t thought of it, when I was at home depot. I manage to rig the short pole with thirty feet of butcher’s wrapping string, so I needed some weight at the end of the line. I used a couple of paper clips attached to the stake as line guides. They actually worked pretty well.
The line was wound up on a small piece of metal that I glued on with JB Weld. I simply hand wound the line on. I had to pull off what I wanted to throw at my feet before I threw it. I couldn’t throw the hook as far as I could with a fancy rod, but I could get it pretty far out depending on the weight I used.
The point of all the above information was that there was a mountain stream running through The Green Valley Vineyard. I stopped the truck and began fishing with my ratty old system. As I expected some workers saw me moving toward the stream and reported me. Eventually two men came to discuss it with me. Neither looked like the law to me. “Hey there,” the one who looked the roughest said. The other actually looked like a country gentleman. The rough looking one appeared to have a pistol in on holster concealed on his hip. I decided to ignore it. I was not planning to make any trouble over a fishing stream.
“Hey, what can I do for you two?” I asked. I never was the shy type.
“That’s what we planned to ask you. My name is Todd Green I own this property. I don’t usually allow fishing,” the gentlemanly one said.
“Well Mr Green, I’m Karen Smith and I usually ask the owner before I do any serious fishing, but I just saw this stream running by the road and I didn’t know who to ask right away. So I figured I would find out whether if it was worth the effort befire asking.” I said.
“Ah so is it worth the effort?” he asked.
“Not so far,” I replied. “Actually Mr Green for me it’s about the fishing not the catching.” I at least said it with a smile.
“I don’t see anyway for you to carry them away, so I assume you are catching and releasing the fish?” The man with Green asked.
“That’s right, I have time on my hands so I just catch them as a way for me to get me out into the fresh air. I certainly don’t want to keep them to cook. I don’t cook much to be honest.” I said it smiling.
“Well then, why don’t you come to the meeting room on the vineyard for dinner on Friday night. That is, if you are in town. It’s a small town and I know all the locals,” he said.
“I’m sort of checking out the fit around town,” I said. “So I may or may not be in town, but thank you for the invitation. Right now I am more interested in whether or not I can continue fishing in the stream.”
Green looked at me seriously and then said, “Fish as long and as often as you like. As a matter of fact there is a farm pond that I stocked with some bass and pan fish. Come on down to the house and I’ll introduce you to the wife. Just so that she won’t freak out, if she sees you drive into the yard. You can follow us down now.”
It all sounded very polite and above board, but there was hidden threat. It was clear to me at least that I had better follow along, or there would be trouble. If I hadn’t been a woman the threat would have been a lot more open. Even though he had nice manners Todd Green was no gentleman. At least he was no real gentleman.
I packed up my rod, which took only a second, tossed it in the back of the truck and followed them. Since the weather had finally gotten warm, I was wearing a tee shirt, without a bra, and cut off jeans. In my case, however, it wasn’t sexy. I wore a thick red tee shirt, so it wasn’t see through by any means, and the cutoffs were neither short nor tight. I tried to look like the kind of girl who wouldn’t get noticed on a crowded street. I thought I succeeded pretty damn well, since neither Green nor his henchman seemed to have a hard on for me.
I followed the two slightly older men to a simple farm house. It didn’t seem to be the big for fancy house one would expect for a vineyard owner, or a successful gangster to own. It was very realistic to an era of mountain farm houses though. It would have fit in just as well in 1800, 1900, or a 2000 rebuild or restoration in either one.
“The house is gorgeous,” I said looking at it in awe.
“Thanks,” Green said. “I grew up on this farm. My family didn’t own it, but we farmed it. When I made some real money, I asked my mom what she would like most in the whole world. She said to restore this place and live on it.”
“Did you get it done while she was still living?” I asked.
“I got the house done for her. She passed before I had the vineyard done.” he said.
“I’m sorry to hear that, but you know that sometimes it’s the doing of the work, not finishing of it that is important. It’s like being a good soldier, win or lose.” I said.
“Absolutely, enough people don’t understand that,” he said. His employee just looked at me. He had said very little and I was afraid I might
had blown it by not engaging him as well.
The front door of the house opened and a women dressed in shorts and a halter top came out. “Molly I got someone I want you to meet. Molly this is Karen Smith. I found Karen fishing in one of our streams. so I brought her where there were some real fish.”
“Oh really,” the woman, who was a well taken care of women in her early thirties, said. That made her eight to ten years older than me, but she was better looking. “Do you like to fish Karen?” she asked.
“To be honest Mrs. Green, I like to be out in the fresh air and I don’t like to work out. Fishing gets me out and it’s a cheap hobby. I do run everyday, but I hate it.” I explained.
“My God were we separated at birth?” she asked. “I run down these stupid farm roads but I miss big city gyms and the men who watched me run on those tread mills. I tried fishing but it’s just a lot of trouble for very little reward.”
“Maybe it isn’t the fishing, maybe it’s the company,” I suggested.
“Well, why don’t you take me fishing with you?” she said. She seemed fairly serious. “Absolutely any time at all.
“How about right now,” she said pointing to the farm pond.
“You need to get yourself a hat,” I said. “I have all the stuff to make you a simple rod, so sure.”
“Give me a minute to get the hat,” she said.
“This place is pretty remote and my wife doesn’t have many friends here,” Green said.
“Well I just moved here myself, so I can use the friend,” I said.
“What kind of work do you do?” he asked.
“I work for myself. I operate a kind of courier service,” I said being just vague enough to hide my employer. Of course since I was told to try to meet him, it was likely that he was my employer. Still I did not want to play a part, I wanted to blend in as realistically as possible.
By the time Molly got back from her house I had the my driveway stake pole out of the back of the truck. I also had the extra pole that I carried just in case I ran across a child, or someone else who wanted to fish. In this case it was Molly.
“Mrs. Green, we are going to need bait. I’m afraid I didn’t plan on catching anything, so I was just using a slice of break from the diner down the road.”
“Well I don’t really want to catch anything either, I have a slice of bread in the kitchen.” She turned her attention to the rougher looking man. “Price you know where we keep the bread get me a couple of slices and bring them to the pond. She turned her attention to her husband. “It is alright if I borrow Price for a minute isn’t it?”
“Of course dear it’s fine,” Green said.
“In that case price sprinkle some pepper on the bread,” I said. Molly and I walked off to the farm pond carrying the short plastic poles, and my cloth bag of tackle, When we got to the pond I rigged a hook and leader to the washer, which I kept on the end of the line. Then I put a bobber about two feet from the washer. That put her hook at a depth of about 2 1/2 feet deep.
Since I had it ready before price returned I baited her hook with my bread. I showed her how to strip off the line first, then how to throw the bobber out into the pond. The system was very hands on, so it wasn’t as boring as fishing usually was. Especially in her over stocked farm pond. She began catching small perch instantly. She was laughing and talking about other times she had been fishing.
“I like to fish but like I said earlier, it is mostly getting out of the motel room,” I said.
“You live in a Motel,” Molly asked.
“For now, I just got to town a couple of weeks ago. I haven’t had time to settle in.” I said. “I’m kinda hoping for a friend, if you get my drift.” It was clear from the leer that she did.