The Brit and I drove out to the site, where all the activity would begin the next day. He asked to go there. I thought for sure it was some kind of security thing, but he asked far too many question about the plans for it to be anything but genuine interest.
“You were right to blackmail the road builder into grading this road. It would have been difficult with these ruts to back that trailer onto the site. As a matter of fact, why not just cut a new drive over here?” he ask pointing to a spot of more or less level ground. “The grader could get down to clay in a just a few minutes and you could have it graveled later. It would be simple. You are going to use the flat spot for you box house anyway, right?”
“Of course I am,” I said not having even thought about the placement of the box. Sure it would be the easiest place to level it.” I was thinking out loud then.
“I’m sure you also thought to put it so that the doors opened on the drive way side. Do that and your laborer can put a deck with a sliding door to replace the ones on it now. that would give you lots of light and a way to get in. Bolt some 2×4 studs up, then attach a patio door, and bingo it’s a home.”
“That is the plan,” I said quickly adding the door to my list of things to do.
Well it’s getting late shouldn’t we check the tape from the apartment?” I asked before he redid my whole plan.
“You are absolutely right,” he commented. Let’s go back to the McDonald’s in, Dobson is it,” He suggested.
“And how the hell do you know where the McDonald’s is?” I asked. “Have you been here before.”
“Of course not, but I found the location of McDonald’s, so that I could get a WIFI signal without any questions.” he said smiling.
“Hmmm,” was my only comment. I turned the car toward McDonald’s. Anyone with half a brain in my situation would doubt The Brit. He might well have been up here running a background check on me before Swamp Dog’s offer of employment.
When we pulled into the McDonald’s parking lot I ordered two coffee while the man from the swamp checked the first of the video. “Do you have mail delivered to your house?” he asked.
“Packages, I am sure come to the house,” I said. “Why?”
“A black woman in a uniform came to your door an hour ago,” he said. “Are you expecting anything.”
“Yes bought a fishing rod from China,” I said.
“Is the timing about right for the delivery?” he asked.
“Sure, it is about right,” I agreed.
“Okay, do you fish?” he asked.
“Not yet, but there is a regional reservoir here. I decided to give it a try,” I said.
“Oh that should be nice. I used to fish as a boy,” he said.
“I had an uncle who fished when he retired. He even raised his own worms, at least he had worms.” I said.
We used these god awful creature on the farm trees. Some kind of caterpillar I think, It might be my only good memory,” he said.
“Mine too,” I said as I backed into a space against the wall of a building next door.
“Excellent choice, no rear sniper threat,” The Brit said.
“Best view of the parking lot,” I said.
“You chose the space as a random selection didn’t you,” he said all serious.
“Yep,” I said and we both laughed.
“I feel it to. The battle never touched this place,” he said.
“Not enough people for any demonstration at all,” I said.
“Good on you,” he said. We sat there drinking coffee until he had accessed all the tape. He went back to the postal worker. “We want to take a look at that package for an outside trigger before you pick it up.”
“Come on Brit, Sometimes a bomb is just a fishing pole.” I said.
“And sometimes a bug is a microphone. There are no coincidences, till we find out who wants to bug you.” he said.
“Well at least the coffee is good,” I said.
“That it is, too bad you can’t get a decent cup of tea in this country,” he said laughing.
“I shouldn’t tell you this, but if you buy a box of good tea, that coffee machine is supposed to make excellent tea as well.” I said. “There is a first class grocery store here. I have never been in it, I have heard they carry all that specialty shit.”
He came out of the store smiling. “Believe it or not this is the brand my mother used to use,” he said with a very small laugh.
“Do you have a bottle of that hooch you make,” he asked.
“I have a bottle or two of the peppermint. It wasn’t a big seller. And I have some Apple Shine. Which would you prefer?” I asked.
“I guess you need to get rid of the peppermint,” he said.
“I do indeed. Let’s go get a couple of bottles.” With that I drove to my apartment. I put on a pair of rubber house cleaning gloves, then went into the garage below my apartment. From a dusty old trunk, with a new combination lock, I removed two 12oz bottle of peppermint flavored Shine. It was a twelve oz bottle of water according to the label, but it was pure flavored fire water.
“Now before we start Brit there is no delivery service for food in a town this size. There is a Little Caesar’s pizza to go, at the plaza. So do you like pizza,” I asked.
“I do indeed but it’s my treat. Besides I have been looking for an excuse to ride that tricycle. So tell me how you start it.” he said.
I explained all the operations and safety feature on it. “So you understand how to start it?” I asked.
“I do,” he said. “I also understand there are no safety features except this one little hand brake.”
“Are you catholic?” I asked.
“Yes, what has that to do with anything?” he asked.
“You might want to say a few hail Marys, and make the sign of the cross. Good luck,” I said.
I watched him pull out of the drive. It was eight miles out to the Plaze and the bike went about twenty five miles and hour, so he had about a half an hour each way. I went inside and planned on him being gone about a hour and a half, so I took a bath.
I was still in the tub, when he came in, slight under an hour later. “Geeze is my trike alright?” I asked when I got to the door in panties and the Russian commando knock off tee shirt.
“It is fine. Hell it’s better then sex,” he said laughing.
“You have been having sex with the wrong people, if you think that,” I said.
“Maybe, but you run along at full speed and the traffic is still passing you. I felt sorry for them cause they are missing so much. The little kids and old men waving at you. Those assholes in car cursing you, my got that was fun.”
“You did get the pizza, right?” I asked.
“Hell no I wasn’t hungry at all while I was on that trike. Of course I am now. Put on a pair of shorts and lets go out to dinner,” he demanded.
“Well my hair is a mess,” I said with a laugh.
“That’s bullocks, if you spend an hour on your hair, it will still be a mess,” he said laughing.
“Alright, but I wear pants not shorts, It might get chilly before we get back,” I said.
We went to a home style restaurant for dinner. It had once been a dairy queen drive in thing. It had been turned into a small high volume, quick turnover joint. But they served the best damn barbecue in town.
“You have to try the barbecue,” I said.
He ordered it and he smiled. “If you knew how many times I refused to eat this you would laugh. I have had everyone from Martin to the Nurse trying to get me to try it. Well it was a day for first. I rode a low speed toy and ate this barbecue so I guess I’m becoming a rebel,” he said.
“Here, I thought you always were a rebel.” He shook his head, so I went on. “What else would you call what we do?” I asked.
“Chasing the rush,” he said. “ Like a forking junkie.”
“Yeah I know,” I said. “So what now.”
“Now we go back to your place and answer our email. We haven’t checked at all today,” The Brit said. He had his own laptop, so he could piggy back on my IP connection.
I checked my email and was bored with it until I got the one from the two documentary makers. It read something like, just wanted to remind you the show premiers tonight at 10PM. It on late because you curse an awfully lot.
“Get off that computer by10PM.” I said to The Brit. I had changed back into shorts after dinner, but he didn’t even notice.
“What happens at ten?” he asked.
“It is that new moonshiner series.” I replied.
“Oh really, I wouldn’t miss it.” he said. “Maybe I’ll learn something about your American history.”
It was about quarter till ten when he went to fix a cup of tea. I waited until he finished before I made a cup of coffee. I rinsed the coffee maker before I started but not after.
“You really should clean the coffee grounds holder. It is much easier to do now, than it will be when you need it next,” he said.
“Geeze Louise, you are a terrible roommate,” I said.
“You are no prize either you know,” he said with a laugh.
At 10PM the promo ran, then there were several commercials, then the history of the mountains, then several more commercials made money for the network. After all that my part in the show started. There I was in disguise as I went through the whole first episode buying the shine. Then there was a lot of talk of picking it up. After the pick up there was more talk about blending, but no real work shots. He was saving those for the next episode it seemed.
That is when the real shock came. The two of them interviewed an AFT agent. Not even a ABC agent, who would be state, but they were talking to a fucking Fed. I could hardly speak I was so pissed.
Finally I said, “I’m going to kill the son of a bitches.” The Brit was sitting beside me. He put his hand over my mouth.
“I know you hate mice, but set traps. It’s best not to go after them with a shotgun. It takes longer, but it is better in the long run,” Then he laugh. He held my mouth till I calmed down and remembered I was bugged.
“But I hate the little bastards. It just creeps me out to hear their squeaking,” I said. I also nodded that I was under control. After that first episode, I was ready to murder the two of them. But I kept in mind someone, probably the ATF was listening in.
“I’m going to take a bath,” the Brit said. “How about you come scrub my back.”
“Sure,” I said. When we were in the bathroom, I said. “Those son of a bitches set me up for the fucking ATF.”
“Not they didn’t. They set up an ATF investigation, but it would kill their show to have you arrested. They want the chase, not a jail house shot of you.”
“That would make more sense, but you know the ATF is going to be watching the show, if they haven’t confiscated the tape already.” I said.
“If they had the film before the airing, the bugs could be their’s except the equipment is pure amateur. I think we have a winner though in the two guys doing the filming. I think they want to use your comments on the show and any comments you make about preparing for next season. They can use them as a voice over for shots of other stuff with no sound track,” he said.
“That makes sense in a sick kind of way,” I said.
“So leave it till tomorrow, and we will figure it out between all the work out at the site of your new debugged house,” he said.
“Are you going to sleep with me?’ I asked standing close to him.
“I have a confession Sylvia. I’m probably get turned on by the same blokes you do.” he said seriously. “I swear one day I might be able to get it up for you but my heart wouldn’t be in it.”
“I guarantee I can get it up for you, but I won’t force you.” I said.
“This stays between us, right?” he asked.
“Absolutely, but I warn you, I’m not giving up on you,” I said.
“That’s a good thing,” he said.