The Brit was dealing with contractors the next day, so he didn’t need my help on the pub at all. Which left me time to think about the shotgun problem again. I decided not to trade the Mossberg pump gun in on a new shotgun. It would be worth next to nothing in its present state.
So Tuesday after my ride and while the kitchen equipment contractor worked on The Brit’s pub, I headed for the gun store where I had bought the .22 mag revolver and derringer. It was almost an hours drive, but I didn’t mind.
“Hello,” the salesman, who had been so arrogant the last time I visited, said.
“Hello yourself,” I replied.
“What can I do for you today,” he asked.
“I’m looking for a 20 gauge over and under shotgun. Not too expensive and I don’t plan to ever use it.
“Well in the last couple of years a Brazilian gun has gotten a lot of chatter. They haven’t been around long enough to get a reputation for reliability, but they seem to work fine for the first year or two at least.” he said being a hell of a lot more helpful than on my first visit.
“Have you got one here?” I asked.
“I sure do,” he said walking across the store and retrieving a moderately long barreled shotgun. “It ain’t fancy but it will do the trick.”
I tried to hold it with my bad hand and knew that it wasn’t going to work the way it was supposed to. The forearm was a bit thin. On the other hand it broke down allowing me to use my good hand to reload it as opposed to having to pump it.
“So how much,” I asked.
“Retail is $350 but I could maybe do $300,” he said.
“I need the barrel shortened. It isn’t any good to me at it is now. If you cut the barrel down to half inch over legal, I’ll give you $300 for it. I would also like to leave with it now,” I said.
“Let me check with the boss.” the salesman said.
He was gone about ten minutes before he came back. “Boss said you pay up front and accept a hacksaw cut and it’s a deal.”
I reached in my cargo pants pocket for the cardboard wallet I carried. I gave him three one hundred dollar bills and two twenties for tax. Without a word he carried the over and under into the back. Then minutes later he brought the gun back.
“You want to be careful, those barrels will rust. You to keep some protection on them. Boss coated them with some lacquer, but it needs to be redone now and then.”
“Sounds reasonable,” I said. I left with a riot length shot gun and a box of 20 gauge #2 buckshot It would stop a man and I didn’t need to be all that accurate to do it. I could have had The Brit hack it off, but I figured why not get it done at the shop where I bought it.
I decided after I got home I wanted a pistol grip, so the next day I went to the pub. Tomas was helping The Brit paint and put Formica on some pantry shelves. Painted wood alone would not pass the health department inspection.
“Hey Brit how about using your Columbian Spanish to ask Tomas, if he can turn this stock into a pistol grip.” I asked.
The Brit looked at the weapon and said, “You do realize that you have totally fucked up this shotgun?”
“Yeah, now will you ask him?” I asked
Rather than answer he rattled off some Spanish. Then The Brit said to me. “He will do it, but he doesn’t like it either. He insists you never tell anyone, who did it for you.”
“Agreed.” I said.
When Tomas left he took the shot gun with him. He wanted to do it in his shop at home. I didn’t have any problem with that. “So Sylvia, it’s been two weeks since we saw Mary Ellen where do you think she is?”
“Probably California, she was always saying she might go to California.” I replied.
“Sylvia are you alright out there in the county all by yourself,” Jeremy asked.
“I’m just fine Jeremy. I stopped drinking anything I didn’t fix myself,” I replied looking at The Brit when I said it.
“That sounds like a good policy to me,” Jeremy replied.
“Well I’ve been good since that Mountain Home party. I might just go out this weekend and get in trouble,” I said.
“You want us to come along and be sure you don’t get in over your head,” The Brit asked.
“No that’s okay. I learned my lesson,” I said.
I went home to spend the day alone. I did some research on the computer, then I went for a ride on the tricycle. I ate my meals alone and I drank my shine alone. I really didn’t like it since I had gotten used to The Brit being around. I knew he and Jeremy preferred each other’s company to mine. Hell I didn’t blame them a bit.
I rode out to the biker bar where I had sold my shine. The owner was very nice to me but he was a business man. It was buy a drink or sell some shine, which is how I preferred it myself. I had one beer and left before the crowds arrive. I was getting bored and that was dangerous. I probably shouldn’t start anything new at that moment, I thought.
So I drove home thoroughly miserable. I just climbed into bed. I seemed to be sliding into a depressed state. The next morning after my ride, I met two deputies over breakfast at the Cafe on the Square, where I had taken to eating breakfast lately. They were late getting away from the office it seemed. They were late because someone, who was cat fishing in the reservoir, hooked Mary Ellen.
Things like that didn’t happen in County Seat. I mean sure some women got pissed at their husband and shot him with the family deer rifle. It was possible that a man found his wife in bed with someone else, and then shot them both dead, but a naked Mary Ellen in the reservoir was unusual. Even though the deputies didn’t know the cause of death, with her being naked, they immediately thought of rape.
I was sitting near enough to eavesdrop on them. The deputies both knew me and nodded when I went by, but didn’t speak to me directly. They seemed curious about her but not much more than that. The case belonged to the detectives and the chief deputy. they were just as glad it wasn’t their’s. Cops in general hate who done its. With good reason it could leave a sour taste in your mouth, if you couldn’t figure out who done it, I thought.
I got on my bike for the long ride out to the box house. On the way out there, I knew I should have been nervous, but I wasn’t. I had taken out the trash, and done all I could to clean up after, so now it was in God’s hands.
It was my guess that today they would be tracing Mary Ellen’s movements over the last days of her life. It was good for me that she was paranoid. It would be hard, if not impossible, for the cops to find out about Mary Ellen’s trip to Mountain Home. Neither Jeremy, or the Brit would even come into the investigation. If I did, my plan was, in the words of our president, ‘Deny, Deny, Deny’.”
With that in mind I went to the pub to help out. Tomas had my shotgun, I really hadn’t expected it so soon. I locked it in the cruiser van then went back inside to work. The tables and booths came so we spent a lot of time arranging and rearranging them. The place was beginning to look like a bar though. I didn’t bother to spread the news.
Jeremy had been out shopping. He came in with a big bag, then he asked me and Tomas to go back to the SWV for the rest of his purchases. He had a dart board and candles in a jar. I would never have used those things, but what the hell it wasn’t my place.
I expected the Deputies and Troopers to at least come in once, since it was much closer than the Cop Out in Dobson. That being the case I had my 12 Gauge Mossberg pump with the shortened barrel mounted over the bar. I don’t think Jeremy liked it much, but he went along with it.
I decide that it was Friday and I needed to get laid like a woman. The shotgun reminded me of the Cop out club in Dobson. So of course I had to head that way. It was 9PM when I pulled into the parking lot of the Cop Out Club. It was a members only club but I knew I could sign in as a guest. I was wearing my red tee shirt with no bra and a pair of tight jeans over my skinny ass. I wasn’t sexy, but the guys seemed to like me.
I expected to have to ask someone to sign me in, but the man on the door was someone I knew from my Deputy days. “Sylvia is that you?” he asked.
“Yeah it’s me,” I had no idea what his name was.
“My God girl, it’s been forever. What happened to your hand?” he asked.
“Got a splinter in it. Anybody in there I know?” I asked.
“Don’t think so, you been gone a long time. If you ain’t got a badge you gonna need someone to sign you in. But hell, I’ll sign you in,” he said.
“Thank you, I appreciate it,” I said. I walked into the single room of the cop out club. It was just a converted old commercial building, a half mile outside the city limits. Seemed like a good place to get away from the Dobson PD. Hell everybody knew the Warren County deputies wouldn’t bother checking it, unless somebody called. Nobody in the club was going to call a cop, unless somebody died in the club. It would take one stupid ass, to start trouble in that club.
If I had been a member I would have brought The Brit, but probably found a way to leave Jeremy home. Cops and Queens don’t get on so well. Even thought there are gay policemen and women. Hell they all though I was a pure dyke. I mean I did dress butch and all, but I had a feminine side as well. I was planning to show my feminine side, if I found a man who attracted me at all.
Before I could start trolling for men, a woman approached me. “Hey you are Sylvia Porter aren’t you?” she asked.
“Some days I am, do I know you?” I asked her.
“I’m agent Morris with the SBI. We kept an eye on you for a while when you first got injured.” she said.
“Were you in Capitol City?” I asked.
“No, I worked out of the Dobson motel at the time. We usually have something going up here or down on the coast. The agent who caused the accident, that injured you, was working on something else down at the swamp, when the call came in.. Since we caused the injury we were just keeping an eye on you.” she said.
“So when did you stop watching me?” I asked a little worried that it might not have been soon enough.
“Last year they pulled us all off. For some reason they decided you were on your own,” she replied.
“Messenger,” I said looking at the bar signs. “She decided I had a new gig, so I didn’t need babysitting.”
“We never did an active surveillance. It was more like your name was in the computer’s red flag list,” she advised me. “When and if it came up we went out to be sure you were okay.”
“Well then you didn’t see me at all. I haven’t had any attention paid to me for the last year at least,” I said.
“No, but I know all about you,” she said. Not all, I thought. “You know just in case we needed to get you out of trouble.”