The next morning after my bike ride I drove the Cruiser van full of odd and ends to the pub. I had called the previous night to advise The Brit I was definitely coming. So yes I expected him to open at 9AM even though he was open till 2AM the night before. They hadn’t gone to bed till 3AM I was sure. But that wasn’t my fault, he promised to help me build a trailer.
“Alright Sylvia I am going to help you build a trailer to haul water from you house to the storage building,” The Brit said. “We will lay everything out in the alley behind the pub.”
“Okay Brit, but I have no idea what any of this shit is for,” I said
“Do you know what the bike wheels are for?” he asked.
“Of course but I have no earthly idea how to attach them to the trailer,” I admitted.
I could tell that The Brit was looking forward to showing off his expertise of such things. Just to prove he wasn’t just a gunslinger. He used most of the alley to lay out bits and pieces of the trailer and hardware that somehow magically held it all together.
“You do plan to help?” he asked.
“Brit get off your high horse or I’ll do the whole thing myself,” I said even though I knew I could never do that. I would just reload it and go find Tomas.
“If you decide to fire me, good fucking luck.” he said with a strong laugh.”
“Alright, lets get to it,” I suggested. The Brit set me the task of taking the axles out of the two wheels. Of course I didn’t know how he wanted it done, so he took over half way through.
I did get to bolt the metal angles to the bed of the trailer, while The Brit managed to somehow have that bolt run under the trailer bed and through the angels where they got bolted. Even before The Brit bolted the wheels on I could see it as a trailer. Then when he bolted a wheel on each end of the threaded shaft it really became a trailer.
Somehow the construction of the trailer made the wheels just a stable as they had been on the bike, even though the axle was bolted only on one end. They also seemed also plenty strong enough for what I wanted.
I stepped back and looked at the tiny little trailer and knew that I could never have done it alone, but The Brit could have. When it was finished, I had a 2‘ x 1.5‘ trailer eight inches off the ground. It also had a tongue that extended 18“ from the front.
“Now go over and have Monk fabricate you some kind of trailer hitch for your cruiser/van.” The Brit insisted.
An hour later I returned and attached the trailer to the van. Even though it would easily fit inside the van. I pulled it to my box/house. No it absolutely was not legal. It wasn’t even close to being legal, but I managed to make it home without being stopped. I did it to test it’s stability just in case I had to pull something using it. By late afternoon it was in my yard and I had test fitted one of the 32gal recycle plastic cans with wheels. There was indeed enough room for it. I decided that there was no way I could unload that thing full of water, so that was out. I figured I could load four of the ten gallon water coolers on the trailer and off load them by myself. Hell I could fit them in the back of the cruiser van. Oh well I was sure that if I had the trailer, I would find a use for it.
It was too late to do more than go buy the ingredients. I didn’t have a cooker, but I would in a week for sure. The ingredients were all dry so they wouldn’t spoil. I would just wait to mash in till the cooker arrived and the assembly was finished. Since that was the case, I went out to buy the grain.
What Bosco had told me was that the place to buy feed grain, which would attract the least attention was Walmart’s deer feed corn. So I bought a hundred pounds but knew I needed a lot less. I bought a cheap hand crank type food mill, for ten bucks on sale.
I went to one of those grocery warehouses to buy fifty pounds of sugar. I asked the cashier, who didn’t even seem curious about the purchase, if I could get a discount. Since I was buying if for a bake sale at the church.
She smiled and said, “Sorry.” I also had a six pack of baker’s yeast in the Discount store purchases.
I didn’t have the ground stalks from the pot plants or the cooker, but I felt like I was close. Once I got the cooker, I had to make a condenser bucket. By the time the cooker came I was getting really bored. It came from Fed Ex Ground in a big ass box. I really was surprised at the size of that monster. It was only a ten gallon cooker.
When the cooker came I removed the pressure gauge as Bosco had told me to do. I had monk drill out the hole and fit a 1/2“ threaded bushing onto to the lid. Then I had him use a reducer fitting to fit the female end of pipe joint onto one end of the 3/8 copper tube I was going to try for the worm. Yeah he knew what it was for, but he also wanted to try the product.
“Monk I have no idea what you think, but I am making gasohol,” I said.
“Okay, well this should do the trick. Is Vivian helping you with the formula?” he asked.
“Vivian and Bosco contributed to it, but neither of them know for sure,” I said.
“Neither do I, but I will tell you this, that shit will be worth about $12 to $20 a pint. Bring me the first one and I’ll get you a bid for all of it.”
“Monk you can distribute it if the price is right but nobody knows where it is coming from. If they do I wont need you. I don’t want to know them either.” I explained.
“We can do that. No problem,” he said. “You are going to need some pint bottles. I will supply the bottles for my batch, We can figure that into the price.”
“Let’s see how this works before we get too deep in planning,” I said. “Neither you nor I want too many people to know about this. It is safe for both of us.”
Everything except the pot stalks was ready to do. I thought about making a run of peppermint corn. Me and Andrew liked it, even if the real rednecks didn’t. Before I had to make a decision Brit and I got a new name.
“Sylvia you need to meet me at the pub, we have a file to read through,” The Brit’s voice came through the phone.
“2AM at the pub,” I said and hung up. The less said about those files the better.
I watched some TV and chatted with some men. I was more relaxed that I might otherwise have been, when I arrived at the pub after midnight. As A matter of fact it was almost 1AM when I went through the first door.
“Hello Sylvia, what can I get for you?” Jeremy asked.
“The dark draft please. I see Allen got you working behind the bar,” I said with a smile.
“According to Allen, it’s the family business,” he said.
“Ah well, it’s as good a racket as any,” I said with a smile.
“Not to mention all the people I meet. Allen seems to know everyone,” Jeremy said a bit suggestively. I let it go.
“Sylvia you have to try the meat pie that Nita made tonight. It is the best ever I think.” The Brit said when he came into the room.
“Well why not,” I said. “Have Nita bring me a bowl and some of that good bread from the oven.” So I spent the time till closing eating the meat pie and corn bread. You aren’t suppose to have bread with one of those meat thing, but I did it anyway, You can’t have too much corn bread, if you live in the mountains.
I stayed till even Jeremy left. That’s when The Brit brought out the file. “This one bothers me a lot,” he said. “For one thing it’s a woman.”
“Well there are bad women too, but I wouldn’t think there would be career killers.” I agreed.
“This one has had four husbands die under mysterious circumstances,” He said.
“Did she profit from their deaths?” I asked.
“The first one had a slightly too large insurance policy. They were having marital difficulties and he died. There were two motives, but they couldn’t prove it was murder. She didn’t even get charged.”
“Well that isn’t near enough,” I said, “But I’m sure there is more.”
“Oh yes, She used the money from husband one to go back to school. She got a degree in nursing then she went to work in a small town hospital emergency room. One where the doctor’s and nurses spend a lot of time at the hospital.”
“Found herself a nice single young doctor?” I asked.
“No but she did find her self in the room with a nice married middle-age rancher.” The Brit said.
“Rancher here?” I asked.
“Maybe they call it pig farmer. I never know the right term. His wife had died a few months before and he suddenly had a heart attack. There is no known connection between her and the wife, but she sure latched onto the husband when he came to the hospital.”
“Was there much differences in their ages?” I asked.
“Over ten years, kind of like you and me,” he said.
“Ah, didn’t he have kids? ” I asked.
“Yes but he changed his will the year before he died. He left them the minimum amount and her the rest,” The Brit said.
“According to this she was under thirty when the second one died,” I said quoting from the synopsis.
“When she was thirty five, she married a sixty year old divorced man. He owned a slaughter house who bought pigs from her.” The Brit said.
“That just sounds like good business. He was probably going to die in a few years and she would have a hog empire,” I said.
“Looks like men who marry BeeBee have a shorter than usual life expectancy,” The Brit added.
“BeeBee, what the hell kind of name is that?” I asked.
“Just nickname, she had to have some kind of name that was consistent. After The third one she married a fourth,” he said.
“You have to tell me how three died,” I asked.
“Industrial accident, he lost an argument with a commercial meat saw,” The Brit said.
“You know there is no way you have that kind of accident. if you are married to BeeBee,” I said. “Was she present when he attacked the meat saw?”
“You bet she was. Just another commercial accident. Then last but not least, she married her third husband’s financier.” The Brit said.
“Now I got to know, did she need more money?” I asked.
“Sylvia since the first husband, she didn’t need money. After the last poor dead hubby she walked out with money, political power, and a fancy place in the country. She is even a big deal in society now. The good news is after this hit, there will not be a lack of suspects with real motives. It will take them years to get around to considering justified indignation as a motive.”
“Is she bad enough to have done what we do. We started this to be about preventing terrible crimes. Is BeeBee Queen really that bad?” I asked.
“I wonder myself but one of the questions was will the killer continue, if not stopped. I think it is obvious, until she is queen of the world she is potentially a killer. She has developed a taste for it. I expect there could have been more they don’t know about. I mean these were all for obviously a big gain. If she is the kind of psychopath who doesn’t need that big a reason, there could be more we don’t know about.”
“Every human has people they have brushed against who died questionably. I expect if we have them investigate farther back there will be others.” he said.
“Are you convinced it all just couldn’t have been a big coincidence?” I asked.
“You think we should pass on her?” he asked. “And if he were a man, would you even question the decision.”
“You are probably right. She is probably going to be harder to get to if she is high society,” I said.
“Well we need to find a way,” he said.