When Hugo finished with the phone call it was only mid-afternoon. “Come on Terry, lets go over to the big cut. You have never been there.” he said. “Your truck will do better than the Bronco.”
“So what is the big cut, a canal?” I ask.
“There are two kinds of cuts in this district. One it the artificial ditched they made to connect bits and pieces of the Waterway, but the other are areas that the logging crew worked. They have been replanted, but you’ll see why I call it the big cut.”
I was dressed appropriately for the walk in the swamp in the spring time. My boots were some nylon like material on top and a very tough leather, shoe area. That particular boot design was make famous in the Vietnamese war. They were still used because for their ability to dry fairly quickly. The big invention was the drainage holes in the bottom. If they got water inside, it drained out as you wore them. You might need to change socks, but the boot itself would dry out. Even military used surplus, they cost fifty bucks.
The boots were worn with the issued fatigues in a dark forest green of the game wardens outfit. I didn’t thing the jungle camouflage was a good idea. Especially not where there might be armed men. The idea was not to sneak up on anybody. The idea was not to have them shoot you by accident. When I left the truck, I added a blaze orange shooters vest over the solid green fatigue top.
Hugo and I had just ridden an hour along back roads to the entrance of the big cut. There were small clear cuts in the swamp area, but only one big cut. According to Hugo the big cut was a thousand acres or more of flat land where once had stood trees as big around as small car. Industry needed the lumber, the state needed the money, so they harvested some of the swamp.
When I turned into the big cut, I switched into four wheel drive. Even then I had to look carefully and plan as far as I could see ahead to stay out of the standing water. With water you never knew how deep it was and the pickup was not a submarine.
We must have driven a mile into the cut when Hugo said, “Stop here, we can walk the rest of the way.”
“The rest of the way where?” I asked.
“The rest of the way to the end of the cut. It’s all going to be replanted this summer, but right now it’s being baited I think,” Hugo informed me. “Baiting is illegal on state owned lands. So if you find bait in the great dismal, you want to bring somebody before judge.”
“Do they get a slap on the wrist?” I asked.
“No cop of any kind ever gets to decide what the punishment will be, but he can’t let it stop thim from doing his job,” Hugo said. It was the best answer I ever heard to why do you bother giving someone a ticket for a rolling stop sign violation.
“I guess you do have a point,” I said.
So we walked over a portion of the big cut and found nothing. After a couple of hours we got in the truck and hoped to make it home before dark. I felt great from the walk. I didn’t realize how much I had missed the exercise of my morning runs.
“You know I got that camera from an illegal bait stand in the big cut. I found one of those bait machines and the camera. The person was filming the baiting operation to see if any deer found his bait. That way he would not have to waste any time on a useless spot.” Hugo said disgusted.
“That don’t sound much like deer hunting does it?” I asked.
“No that’s more like deer shooting. Those guys sit in the stand listening to Ipods, till a deer comes for his welfare meal, then they shoot at him,” Hugo said. “By god they don’t all get away with that shit in my district.”
“Good for you,” I said and I meant it at the moment I said it. He did sound a little pompous, but sometimes the world needed a little of that shit too.
When we got home, I put a couple of slices of bread in my toaster oven. I used them and some canned beef I had bought at the store, to make a pretty good sandwich. I loved junk food and potato chips and canned beef was about as junky as you could get, without leaving the house.
I decided to ride the motorized trike up to the convenience store for a gallon of gas and a can to put it in. I was surprised that when I did all the things Mike told me to, it fired right up. Not only did it fire up, it rode pretty well all the way up to the convenience store. I bought the gas and a plastic bag filled with 2 lbs of animal crackers. I know I paid at least 30% more for them, but I saw them and I wanted them. Even better the food police couldn’t fine me in the middle of nowhere.
When I got home, I found out why I really bought the animal crackers. I had started my period. I have heard some other women say they have craps or diarrhea when the menstruate, but me, I eat everything in sight I am always starving. I can not seem to fill the bottomless pit and it was now that I wasn’t running regularly.
I took some Tylenol for the slight discomfort in my abdomen and the slight pain behind my eyes. Neither of those things would stop me doing anything I wanted. I mean anything at all. Of course the smell might make me a target for bears. I had heard that, I didn’t have a lot of faith in the story, since I heard if from and old wife. Then again, I planned to stay close to the truck for a few days, just in case.
The curse also made me romantic. Not sexual, really just romantic. I didn’t have anyone to take me out to dinner, to spend an hour hugging and kissing with me, then to be miserable when I said no. I don’t like sloppy sex, some girls do I’m told and that is just fine for them. I don’t mind some things that other girls wouldn’t stand for, but the spilling of blood just isn’t one of them.
I spent a lot of time on the net flirting that night. In the end I found someone as romantic as I tried to be. I expect it was a Cross Dresser without the dress, but that was okay as well. It was all in the mind anyway,
The next thing I new it was Tuesday morning. I checked my Email and found nothing at all. There were only two people who had the email. Mission and Hugo, so I didn’t really expect anything. I had no idea what the plan for the day was so I walked over to the office and found a note for me. It was thumb tacked to the door along with the ‘in case of emergency or you need the game warden call——–’ note.
I took my note and left the ‘In Case Of’note hanging. My note said to leave Hugo alone until 10AM, since he had worked over the weekend. I gassed up the the Trike and headed off to the diner. I really didn’t want anything to eat and their coffee sucked, but I needed somewhere to go. I just needed to get out of that camper for a while. A small place like that is more bearable, if you get away from it often. It is best to limit the number of waking hours inside it,
The trike was an instant hit at the diner. Kids were out of school for the summer by that time and old men gathered at the diner for coffee. Both groups were just enthralled with the trike. Since I wasn’t working, I hadn’t take, a shower. I was in a black tee shirt and the fatigue pants I had worn the day before. I was running low on clean clothes, so I had to find a way to get my laundry done. Only way to find out was to ask I figured.
“Ma’am where is the closest laundromat,” I asked the waitress.
“New Holt is the only one I know about,” she said.
“Okay, thanks,” I said.
I finished the coffee and was headed back to the trike, when an older woman called out to me. “Excuse me, you were asking about doing laundry?”
“Yes ma’am I was,” I said.”
“There is an old house about a mile down this road headed toward New Holt. There is a South American family living there. The husband and son work as farm hands. The mother and daughters do laundry for folks like you. They go to my church. I can tell you they are good people.” she said.
So rather than riding the trike back to the camper I rode it down to the little white house that hardly seemed large enough for a couple, let alone a family. I had no idea how many people were in the family but it didn’t matter it would be a tight fit. When I knocked on the door, a girl, well under 18 came.
“Hello is your mother home?” I asked.
“Yes, mother no speak good English,” she said.
“I see well a women from your church said your mother does laundry for single people like me,” I suggested. She looked at me like she had no idea what I was saying, “Wash clothes,” I said holding out the hem of my tee shirt..
“Yes do wash,” she said smiling at her new customer.
“How much to wash,” I asked.
“Yes wash clothes,” she said not sure what I was asking but making sure I did not leave without the knowledge that her mother did wash clothes.
“Wash clothes, how much dinar?” I made sure she knew it was a question by the way I asked it. I had no idea if I was doing it correctly or not.
She held up five finger on each hand, when she said, “Dinar, one bag.” Then she held up a black trash bag.
I decided to take a chance. The worst that could happen was she would ruing a bunch of surplus tee shirts and used jeans. I left after promising to return with my clothes. I never did get to meet the mother, but if her English was worse than the daughter’s, they were going to have a problem.
When I got back to the camper, it was after 10AM so I went to the office. I did that before I loaded my soiled clothes in the truck. “Hugo you here?” I asked.
“While you were gone Captain Smith called. The SBI has taken over the case of the boat landing mystery,” he said with a laugh,
How long they planing to watch it before the move on it,” I asked.
“They are going to run a live feed from there for a few days then assemble their team. We are going to be part of the team. You are going to wear a ski mask. So for the next couple of days we need to stay available.” he said,
“No offense Hugo but the best I can tell we are always available,” I said.
“Yeah that is pretty much true. So where you been?” he asked.
“I was at the diner, then I got a lead on someone who will do my wash for me, so I went down to talk to the woman.” I said.
“Madam Lopez I bet. Everyone knows she needs the money and works her butt off for it,” Hugo added. I nodded. “Then fill a black plastic garbage bag up don’t worry about mixing color or shit like that, they will do that for you.”
“Well I’m being very domestic today.” I said. Since I couldn’t explain things to the daughter. I would taking a chance that she would see and deal the menstrual blood.