I mean there was nothing special about him except the scars. I guess I felt a little like scars make the man. Scars on your body and scars on your soul make you who you are. I wondered what my soul looked like.
The morning sun had driven the chill away, which made it pleasant for The Brit to sit in the park and call home. “Number 2329,” he said presumably to the girl who answered his call.
“No elevator music,” I said.
“What?” he asked. “They don’t have music while you are on hold. All the best doctors and shit have elevator music.”
He simply nodded and continued to wait. After about five minutes he said into the phone. “Good morning Sir. I have determined what kind of equipment they are using. It’s a direct RF transmitter with two slave microphone also RF. Bad news it it’s line of sight. There is no platform I can use to track it down. It’s Radio shack shit.
Yes, I was thinking that as well. Very well sir, we shall see who shows up, but not attack them. Yes sir, it makes perfect sense. Goodbye sir.” The Brit said.
“So what’s our next step,” I ask.
“The main transmitter draws its power from a simple 9volt battery. The Microphones have a similar power source. Probably a smaller battery like a hearing aid. So we just have to catch them changing the batteries, or there is some other problem that causes them to go into the apartment. There is a camera on your front door right now. It should give us a view not only of the inside of the apartment, but one of the steps as well. since you have a nice big window in the door.” he said.
“It could take months for the batteries to die.” I asked. “How about we bait them?”
“Okay, what are we going to use for bait?” He asked.
“Well there are only three possible groups interested in me. The county sheriff, the bootleggers or the government. So lets bait them one at a time and see who bites.” I said.
“So what are you thinking?” he asked.
“Well the proof of a crime would be more than enough to bring the Sheriff’s Deputies into the apartment. And if that proof was a list of delivery points and pick up information, it would bring the bootleggers in as well. So I fake a list and we plant it for them to find. Then we sit back and watch your camera,” I suggested.
Tell you what, let’s give it a couple of days before we do that. Just stay out of the apartment during the day for a while. Just go about your business and I will tag along and watch your back.
“Well okay, but I’m going to bore you to tears,” I said.
“I doubt it. You have no idea what kind of things in which I have an interested,” he said.
“Okay, I’m going to make a call to see about some dirt,” I said. “You did know you talk funny?”
“Garden soil,” he asked.
“No, the kind of dirt that holds the earth together.” I left it a mystery as I made the call to Monk.
“Did you talk to your brother and sister?” I asked.
“They said the price was fair and the taxes are all paid up, so all we need is to get old Sam, Dad’s lawyer, to draw up the contract. My sister was supposed to call him this morning,” Monk said.
“Monk I’m going to arrange for a house on the place, don’t fuck me up now,” I said. I had the phone on speaker phone so The Brit could hear.
“What was that about?” The Brit asked.
“I’m going to buy some land from that guy’s family. Then I am going to put a house on it. Well not exactly a house. If you stick around long enough you will see.
The first thing I have to do is get the house on the way up here.”
I made a call to Jerry. Since it was early in the week I had hopes he would be on the road. “Jerry love, where are you?”
“I’m in Maryland about to drop off a couple of front end loaders. a construction company needed right away. why?” he asked.
“I need you to pick up a storage unit at the port of Wilmington and bring it here.” I said.
“That is just great. Can I get it tomorrow?” he asked.
“They said anytime and they would drop it on your trailer. It’s only twenty feet long.” I said.
“That will work just fine. If I drop this today and head back, I can be there tomorrow. If they will load it I can be in County seat day after tomorrow. Will you have someone to take it off my trailer?”
“I was hoping you knew someone with a front end loader to drag it off. You could just drive out from under it.” I knew he could do it because I had seen him do it.
“Sure, I can call my buddy and have him standing by. You gonna meet me at that convenience store by the plaza and pilot me to your drop site?” he asked.
“No problem I can do that and even help you with the work. I might even have another body to help.” I was thinking I could use The Brit, if he didn’t finish my case by then.
“Sylvie that is going to be $500 cash or $600 check,” Jerry said.
“$500 cash would be fine,” I said. I was planning to use gray money as much as possible.
“And Silvie honey, another $100 for the front end loader.” Jerry said.
“Jerry, honey that’s the end of the money. If you come up with anymore shit you need to drop it, you are going to have to pay,” I said.
“You got it,” he replied. See you day after tomorrow. Please remember that will be a Saturday. Don’t go getting drunk and forget me,” Jerry said with a laugh.
I turned to The Brit, “We got lots of shit to do before he gets here. Come on let’s get a move on.”
I knew the owner of a company that did paving for the state. We drove to his office which was a trailer in a storage yard. “Gary Dean, you old bastard how are you. You remember me, Sylvia Porter?” I asked.
“Yeah I remember you Sylvia. What the fuck do you want?” he asked.
“Now Gary, what kind of greeting is that? I just want you to run by the place I am buying with a scraper and flatten the drive to my new house. Wont take a minute,” I said.
“Sure won’t cost you but a thousand dollars,” he said real mean.
“How much would you lose in a divorce honey. If you try to jack me like I was some stupid city government somewhere, your wife will get a video. And then more copies will start to show up in the mail of city officials, and do gooders on the city councils. You know what a long memory I have, and what a pack rat I am,” I said.
He looked at me real hard then said, “$300 and thats the cost of diesel and a driver no profit at all.”
“Bullshit. but it’s a reasonable cost. First think in the morning Gary Dean or your wife hears what a bad boy you are.” I replied.
“What was that all about,” The Brit asked.
“Oh Gary Dean attended some of the same parties I did. We have some interesting picture of Gary that’s all.” I said.
“You really are a cold hearted bitch,” The Brit said. “I’m beginning to rethink my dislike of you.”
“I was thinking the same thing this morning after I heard you singing in the bathtub. I thought anybody with enough courage to sing that lousy can’t be all bad.” We both smiled then move on.
“So in thirty minutes you arraigned delivery of a packing container which I assume you are going to do something with?” He asked.
“If I had my computer I could show you the tiny house I’m going to build,” I said.
“We have had breakfast, we have called in a couple of favors and blackmailed a contractor, I would say we have time to swing by and get your laptop. Let me take a look at the camera footage first.” He used his smart phone and the Internet to check and playback the camera footage. “Not even a spider,” he said. I turned the corner back to the apartment. I ran in while he waited in the car. I picked up the laptop and turned on the TV, then ran back down the stairs.
“Why are you smiling The Brit asked, “I turned the TV onto the home shopping channel and left it on. That should bore the shit out of anyone listening.”
“If the bugs are voice actuated, it should also run the batteries down faster,” the Brit said.
“I just wanted to annoy them. I really wasn’t thinking that far ahead.” I replied.
We drove to the plaza then parked in the lot of a coffee shop with wifi. I pirated their signal while we drank their over priced coffee. I bought it from the take out window. It took a minute or two, but I found the article.
“This looks something like your apartment now. You don’t have a shower though. Are you going to put in a fancy glass shower like this,” He asked.
“Hell no, I’m going with a shower unit you buy as one piece. IIt looks like a packing crate with a shower head. I’ll have a plumber hook it up. I am going to get a toilet and a janitor’s plastic sink for the bathroom. One deep enough to put pots and pans in as well as wash my hands. That way I don’t need a kitchen sink. I need to have some wiring put in. So I’m going to get enough plugs and circuits to run a microwave and an air condition at the same time. Whatever that takes.” I said.
“You will need a twenty amp breaker for each. A 220 circuit for the air conditioner is better. If you mounted it at the ceiling and used the door frame for support, it would handle one as big as you ever wanted.” The Brit said. “Oh shit there isn’t enough height is there.”
“Nope, but we are going to have to figure it out as we go.” I thought just a minute then said, “You need to meet someone. Come along with me.”
I drove down to Mary Ellen’s Shop. The Brit looked way out of place among all the fancy women’s lingerie. When Mary Ellen approached she looked very curious. “Well now Sylvia, who is this hunk,” she asked.
“This gentleman is name Britt. Britt honey this is Mary Ellen. She is a friend. It there is anyone in town, who doesn’t owe me a favor, he owes one to Mary Ellen.” I said with a smile.
“Oh my such kind words Britt. Our little Sylvia is looking for something. She is only this nice to me, when she wants something. I do believe she brought you in to trade for it as well.”
“Oh no Mary, this one is mine. You go out and find your own. The only thing I want from you now is a name. I need a serious plumber. One that isn’t going to charge me an arm and leg.” I said.
How about a handyman who works by the day?” Mary Ellen asked. “A hundred bucks a day and he can do almost anything.” With that she handed me a card. I allowed her a few more minutes to try to score points with The Brit, then we left.
We drove back to the parking lot for the downtown park. We were the only car in the lot. The Brit checked the camera footage and I called Tomas Escondido. At least that more or less what his card said.
He was finishing up a job, but said he would be free the next day. He agreed to meet me the next morning at the Hardee’s in the plaza at 8AM.