I’m gonna hire you to Ghostwrite a book on making moonshine. We gonna have a beer every day for a week or so and you are gonna tell me all you know about making moonshine. I want to know what it’s like to search for the place to set up what I can and can’t use all that sort of thing.
When we are finished I will give you five hundred dollars and make a couple of calls to get your daughter a slot at the University Christmas Camp. What do you say.
“Well I like to drink beer and hell I would tell you about moon-shining as long as the beer holds out for free, so of course it’s a deal,” Bosco said
“I need to tell you this is between us and you will sign a non disclosure contract. I’ll probably take full credit for the book, so I don’t won’t you out saying it’s my book,” I said.
“Hell my probation officer would probably frown on me writing a book on moonshine anyway,” Bosco said.
“Okay, so let’s go find a quiet place for a drink,” I said.
“You got a guard with you, so get a six pack, and we can do the talking out by the reservoir. There a overlook on the Shiloh Church road,” he said.
“I know where that place. I’ll meet you there in ten minutes,” I said.
I drove off to the closest convenience that sold beer. “Is he gonna trust you, and can you trust him?” Andrew ask.
“He is going to trust me, because he has nothing to lose, and everything to gain. I’m going to trust hiim because I’m going to verify everything he tells me. I”ll look it all up on the internet,” I said.
“If you are going to verify everything, why are you going to bother with Bosco?” Andrew continue.
“From talking to Bosco I’ll get a feel for the business, not just the written word,” I replied.
Andrew looked at me while I paid for the beer then followed me to the car. When we got inside, he said, “You gonna have him make the shit for you?”
“Let’s say it’s an option down the road.” I replied.
We were waiting for Bosco when Vivian called me. “Hello Vivian,” I said into the phone, “It seems we might have something to talk about after all.”
“I thought we might have after you had a chance to think about it. So when do you plan to meet?” she asked.
“Well I’m in a meeting now, so when is good for you? I’m pretty flexible.” I said.
“How about we meet at Old George’s Chicken Coop tonight?” she asked.
“I expect that is a possibility,” I agreed. “You aren’t wasting my time I hope.”
“I’m more worried about you wasting mine,” She said.
“Well, I guess we will both just have to feel our way along,” I said. Yes I knew we both looked a little butch, so it sounded suggestive. I really didn’t care how it sounded. We were going to be all about business.
“Damn Sylvia, when you move you move like hell. You are all business,” Andrew said.
“So I need to remind you that you owe me and keeping your mouth shut about this is pay back. Not to mention I might need a competitor killed some day.” I said.
“I can see it now, I can write a book when it is finished. I can call it the great moonshine wars. Sell it to TV and Retire,” he said.
“Just as long as you wait till everyone is dead,” I said.
“I’m only half kidding, if the shit gets rank you call me,” Andrew said.
“That was my plan all along,” I said. “Why do you think I screwed you?”
“Good, then here comes Mr. Bosco. We can start our education.” Andrew said.
Bosco sat at the picnic table with a plastic cup of beer. He had the lapel microphone on his shirt and the digital portable recorder sitting on the table top. “So Bosco you ready?” I asked.
“Let her rip,” he answered.
I spent the whole hour asking about fixture, from what they needed to be made and what sizes I needed to make what volumes. I found out a lot like I need approx five gallons of mash for every gallon of liquor I hoped to run.
Bosco could drink some beer. By the time he had told me about holding barrels and cookers the six pack was gone. So we agreed to meet the next day. He was back in his truck and gone before Andrew asked, “Do you trust him?”
“As much as I trust anyone who hasn’t been beside me when the bullets fly.” I said.
“You are right, we don’t trust many people do we?” he asked.
“I can count them on the fingers of one hand,” I said.
Can’t we all,” Andrew said. “So what is the chicken like at our next stop?”
“ Old George has two long chicken houses and a fenced in yard. He goes out and kills the chickens every day then fries them. He feeds on picnic tables outside in the summer. You can’t really say ‘serves’ cause it’s pay at the door, when you come in, then go get whatever you want.” I explained.
“Sounds like a place with character,” he said.
“It’s the only chicken I can eat. Restaurant chicken give me the runs. I’m allergic to some cheap antibiotic or something. George doesn’t have his chickens long enough to get sick. They bring him new small chickens and a week later his house is probably empty. Frankly Andrew it’s better not to ask any more than that,” I suggested.
It was close to five when we got to the house. We went in and changed for dinner. I don’t mean dressed fancy, I mean put on long sleeve sweat shirts. Mine had the logo of the community college nearest to us. “Some college student leave that?” Andrew asked.
“That my friend is none of your business. So where did your army ranger shirt come from?” I asked in return.
“The army surplus store near the swamp,” he said. “Mine has been worn out a year or two. I’m a little older than you Silva.”
“Andrew, what I need to know I’ll ask you,” I said ignoring him. “Now get your ass dressed and stop tormenting me old man.”
We went to big old white house then found a parking space in the gravel lot. “It is a weeknight we probably won’t have crowd control problem. This place is a madhouse on the weekend George doesn’t do take out so everybody come here for chicken.”
“Or they go to the colonel,” Andrew added.
“That’s right,” We went through the hall to the screened in porch. I led Andrew to the desk were the girl took our ten bucks each from Andrew. She didn’t make any change or charge us any tax,
We got our metal tray and silverware then walked out onto the brick patio, Vivian was nowhere in sight. We walked around twice to be sure I hadn’t missed her. Unless I had forgotten what she looked like, she wasn’t there.
“Let’s start eating, if she doesn’t come before we are finished, we will just leave. My grand plan isn’t dependent on her.” I said.
“Oh I figured that, you got too much on the ball to need any of us,” Andrew said.
“Sometimes it isn’t need Andrew, it’s lust,” I said laughing at him.
“I had no idea you were bringing the boss,” Vivian said.
“He isn’t the boss luv, he works for me. If you try to tell on me, he will be coming to visit you. If not him someone else like him. It might be good if you kept that in mind.” Vivian looked hard at Andrew as I spoke.
“She serious?” she asked.
“You weren’t planned to screw her, were you?” Andrew asked really mean.
“No, of course not. I just don’t want to get in business with a hard case,” Vivian said,
“Then Enjoy your chicken and it was nice to have met you,” I said. Andrew smiled at her very cold.
“I still want to sell the product,” she said.
“Look how many times you gonna clean the field?” I asked,
“Just once,” she said.
“Then you cut the stalks with a mower on a tractor. You rake it and you run it thought a wood chipper. You put it in a few black garbage bags and you sell it to me. You met Karl here, so you know we are not playing. You deliver me the bags I pay you and I don’t see you again. If I ever do see you, I figure you are trying to cause trouble. Now you know I can bring trouble of my own. If you want to do business fine. If not, enjoy your chicken.”
“I can process the fields like you say and have the product for you. I got a place so far in the mountains I can even dry it for you.” She said.
“How much?” I asked.
She obviously was rethinking her pricing. “I think I can get about a couple a hundred pounds of that shit, but it ain’t premo. The THC content is low.” she said.
“So how much?” I asked her again.
“Fifty bucks a pound,” she said.
“That would be 10K for 200lb and I ain’t doing 10k for your garbage. I’ll do 2k. but you don’t throw no grass clippings in the bags. It is all the real thing. Bring it all to me dried and cut as small as you can. We weight it together and there better be a min of 200 lbs but I get it all for one price.”
“Okay, we should be through harvest in a couple of weeks give me a couple more to process your shit,” she said.
“Sounds good.” I said. I returned to the chicken as though we hadn’t just agreed on an 2,000 dollar deal.
Once we were outside Andrew said, “You used me. You used me to convince her screwing over you would get her hurt.”
“Andrew, it was better than letting her think it was easy to screw over the little lady and then killing her.” I said.
“You would kill her over a couple of grand?” he asked.
“Would kill her for screwing me? I don’t know I would rather not find out what I would do for a couple of grand.” I said.
“Okay, but next time let me know in advance so I can being my bad ass suit,” he said.
“Oh you mean the Italian one,” I asked with a smile.
“Yeah that one,” he said and laughed.
After dinner we went to The Brits pub. The crowd was mostly farmers, shop girls, and thugs so Andrew and I sat alone at the bar enjoying the show. We sat there and drank a couple of beers each before midnight.
“You guys aren’t drinking much,” The Brit said.
“No one of us has to drive and the other one won’t be worth a crap in bed if they are drunk. Besides I don’t need much convincing,” I said.
“And I don’t need any,” Andrew said.
“I never met a man who needed any convincing,” I said.
“Well, having the two of you around has really been great,” The Brit said.
“I know it’s been the best damn vacation I ever been on,” Andrew said.
“If you guys are going to start singing campfire songs I’m leaving,” Jeremy said.
“Jeremy you never heard us sing,” I said with a laugh. “Before I go, I want a basket of those potato rounds Juanita fixes.”
“You got it,” Jeremy said going back to place the order.
“When you going to tell him what you really do?” I asked.
“I don’t think I have to tell him,” The Brit said.
“Did he guess?” Andrew asked.
“No, I think I’m through with swamp dog. I think I can find enough to do on my own,” The Brit said.