After the chick left I went to sleep. She had been looking for reassurance, that she had done the right thing. I must have been doubly hard for them, since they had moved thousands of miles away to live in a swamp. Maybe the did need that R&R center in the mountains.
It wasn’t something that concerned me at that moment, so I drifted off to sleepy land. I awoke at 5AM to the sound of people assembling in the parking lot of the administration building. The assembled crew left for a morning run in the swamp. It was dark as my soul out there and yet they ran. I quickly dress and followed along the trail they had taken. There was zero chance that I would over take them. but their running gave me an idea where the trail was located. Once on it I saw the small markers that glowed in the reflected light from my pocket held light. I usually used it in the mornings so people wouldn’t hit me with their cars, but it also illuminated the reflective strips along the running path. I ran for a half hour into the swamp, then turned and retraced my steps. When I got back and showered I found that the others were just coming in from their run. They had been on that trail almost two full hours.
In honor of where I was, I wore my camo knockoff fatigue pants and Russian Commando tee shirt with no bra. It was almost warm enough that I didn’t need the camo light weight parka but I needed it to hide the .22 magnum revolver.
I walked to the mess hall while the others assembled in the parking lot and then were dismissed for breakfast. I didn’t really know who was who in the assembled crews, so I just planned to eat alone. It didn’t work out that way. I found myself seated with the three girls. They came after I had sat down, with my metal tray full of eggs and toast and some kind of hash, at the table for ten. They were from different country’s military, so spoke different languages. To communicate they all used bad English. Most of the men, I noticed, were American or English. Less chance of having one of your own kill you in your sleep.
Why they felt these soldiers wouldn’t take a automatic rifle to their detachment was beyond me, but I assumed they had been well vetted. “So,” one of the women in the poorly fitted fatigues said, “You are the Famous Sylvia Porter?”
“Well, I’m Sylvia Porter. I don’t know about famous,” I said.
“Around here you are the woman who ran the shot don’t shoot course with a perfect score even with you hand bandaged.” she said.
“I had run it a few times in my police school, I knew what the targets looked like. It isn’t that hard when you know what is coming.” I replied. “So how are you finding the training here?”
“It is difficult,” one of the soldiers said.
“Are you the Mossad operative?” I asked her.
“Former Mossad,” she corrected me.
“This should be a walk in the park for you,” I said.
“I did not like middle of the night runs for them, and I don’t like middle of the night runs for Swamp Dogs,” she said.
“I was lucky I never did that stuff. I came in through the back door. Special soft operative I think,” I said.
“An you are the one who kidnaps whole families and plans their execution, if her friends are not freed. That doesn’t sound so soft to me.” she said.
“That never happened,” I said looking very hard at her.
“Don’t worry they did not tell me about it here,” she said.
“That never happened,” I said again for emphasis.
“Very well you were just a body guard,” she said.
“What’s your name?” I asked.
“Rachel,” she replied. “I am sorry, if I crossed some line.”
“Always good to know what the other side knows. I do hope you are not on the other side, because believe it or not, I love these people.” I said. I didn’t bother to finish my breakfast, I just went to the cabin to pack. I went into the office part main building. I couldn’t find Colonel Martin, but I did find Liam in his office.
“You leaving?” he asked when he saw me.
“Yes I’ll be going. You will send someone along with the truck who can find his ass in the real world, I assume.” I said.
“I think we can find someone who can drive a truck. So how are things,” he asked. “Are you going to make any money on the auction.”
“I’ll do fine. Listen if you vetted the Israeli girl, do it again. She knew about Vera Cruz and she would have unless Mossad did a background on the organization that was way too thorough.” I said.
“I will pass it on to the Colonel. As for you,” He said closing the gap between us. He kissed me and then slapped me on the ass. “Drive careful.”
“I can do that,” I said. I left immediately for home. I had to drive into the afternoon to get home again. I called The Brit to tell him I was home. “So I’m back.” I said to The Brit.
“Good, we need to talk when you get a chance,” he said.
“Anything serious?” I asked.
“Not much just some deputies started to drink in the pub after shift. They tell me the Sheriff is not running for reelection. Seems he is afraid you are going to run and doesn’t want to face you in the primary election,” he said.
“Well now there is an even bigger chance that I will run,” I said. “So I have a delivery from the Swamp tonight, then I have to unload a crap load of merchandise and get a rental truck returned. I was calling to see, if I could count on you to help.”
“Anything, you know that,” he said.
“Thanks Brit,” I said and hung up. I found some pimento cheese with a good date, so I had a sandwich. Pimento cheese sandwiches always made me think of watered down soup. I guess it is a common memory of school kids of all ages in the South. Everyone I ever spoke to from the south remembers that good pimento cheese and that terrible vegetable soup.
I had loaded the one computer from the packing case into my cruiser so I played with it until the truck pulled up. I rushed to the road to let them in without tearing my traps to hell. I decided then that it was time to move the gate back farther up the driveway.
We got the truck up to what had been my still house, then they helped me unload it. That was a big deal because those packing crates were heavy. The three of us managed to move them but only by taking some of the merchandise out first.
I carried a set of the dishes into the box house. I also carried one of everything else as well. It was going to be a hell of a mess trying to sell all that merchandise one at a time. I wasn’t sure I wanted to do it. I also realized that by buying nine crates I would compensate for those I had over paid for with some that I got a real deal on.
The crate of funky computers should be a winner, since I really had less than two grand in any one crate, if I averaged it out. I had first thought there would be about a hundred computers in the crate but there were only fifty because of the packing. If I only got fifty bucks a piece they were worth $2500. I thought they might be worth more. That little tablet was like a book reader. I found that much out when I researched. The retail on that brand was $79. I had one hundred of them. If I took $30 each, I still came out at $3000. Those two crate could potentially break me even. Of course that wasn’t the business I was in. A trading company wouldn’t last long if it just broke even. I really needed to know how to get rid of them.
I decided to take one of each of the electronic devices to Jeremy and see if he had any ideas. I loaded the car up with the dishes and cutlery and blankets too for that matter. I hadn’t even opened two of them. The crates were so light I didn’t think it was anything but more blankets or something similar.
So off to town I went with the back of the cruiser filled with junk. I went into the pub and found both The Brit and Jeremy inside. “I need to borrow Allen to drive a truck for me,” I explained.
“It’s pretty slow these days so no problem at all,” Jeremy said.
“Do me a favor take a look at these things and let me know what I can do with them Jeremy. I trust your judgment.” I knew that would make him feel good.
“You ready to go?” I asked the Brit when we were sitting in my driveway.
“Yeah, That rental place is in Dobson so it could be worse.” he said.
“Yes it could,” They are open till nine so we have time, but I would rather get it there a little early than late,” I said.
Thirty minutes later I said to the clerk at the rental office, “This thing is paid, so all I’m supposed to do is drop off the keys.”
He read the paperwork and said, “Yes we had an open account on this card number, so you are good to go.”
It was that simple and we were off for home. We were back at the pub before 9PM. “So Jeremy what do you think?” I asked.
“Well the tablet is nothing more than a book reader. It does have a USB port for a card reader so you can add books though that as well as downloading from the net. It is WIFI capable and it uses that new removable battery system. When the batteries need charging you can use the cord or take them out to recharge if you want a second set. That’s a pretty nice thing.”
“Okay so what is the price for a quick unload?” I asked.
“Fifty bucks should be a good price how many do you have,” he asked.
“I think I got a hundred,” I said.
“Wow, how much would you like to sell the all to me?” he asked.
“Thirty bucks each,” I said.
“I’ll take them all,” Jeremy said.
“Are you sure? There is probably going to be some sales expense.” I said.
“I’ll take them seriously. I think I can get fifty bucks each for them, or maybe more after I check them a little bit.” he said.
“So how about the funky computer,” I asked.
“I love that computer. It is really a nice little laptop. I used the one you gave me and it works awfully well. I had a glitch, but I think that is the Linux program, not the computer. I have a really old windows program I am going to load, if it’s okay with you. If that works well, we should think about selling some of them with some kind of windows, some with the Linux you put on this one, and some with no program at all.” Jeremy said.
“Well I’m sure of one thing, you know more than me about these things. So what is it worth?” I asked.
“I’m out of cash with the little book reader, so I couldn’t give it to you, but a hundred bucks with no program would be a good price.” he said.
“Jeremy why don’t you not buy the readers and be my partner. I got the product, and you can put up the cost to sell them, and we will split the profit.” I suggested. “We can work out the details later.”
“Are you sure?” he asked.
“Of course I’m sure, However there is one more thing. You have to get rid of the other junk as well.” I said.
“God I would love to do that,” he said.
“Good then it is settled.” I said and we shook hands.