I was pretty sure our days of shopping together had ended and I was just as glad. Jeremy had begun to get tiresome. I got my shit from the trailer and sent him off home dragging the trailer behind. The biggest thing I had was the antique pistol. Everything else was small, but the items did fill up four of the large plastic storage baskets, which I took from the locker.
I wasn’t sure whether Jeremy would take care of selling my stuff on line or not. I was absolutely sure I would go crazy trying to handle that end of the business. However I was prepared to do it until I could find someone else if necessary.
I bought a lot of the auction things with gray money, so I could clean it up. I didn’t need to explain that to Jeremy, that’s the reason he was important to me. However he might need replacing, if he got a bad case of the guilts and confessed to The Brit.
I had put and ad on Craig’s List to sell the cruiser on Monday and it was sold the same day. Maybe I should sell used cars, I thought as the sun went down on Monday. I sat in the box drinking the moonshine, which I had made with red peppers in the mash. That shit really burned going down. Next thing I knew I was fall into bed.
Before my next conscious though it was Tuesday. I sat in my box house after the morning ride, and the animal fat breakfast, to I asked myself what I was doing. After the latest buying trip I hadn’t called Jeremy or The Brit. I cleaned the jewelry from the road trip, and was considering what I should do with it. It was a miserable feeling not to be in control of things. I really was a little depressed to be honest. I discovered that even though I could scheme a little, and maybe even make a profit in the trading business, my heart just wasn’t in it. There was no excitement in buying stuff and reselling it. That was really more Jeremy’s thing, than mine. I was ready to sell the trading company to Jeremy and stay home weekends and take up knitting.
That was before the deputies with the search warrant showed up at my door. I saw them at the gate an hour before noon. I was on the phone to Rita immediately. They waited while I walked down to the gate. There were a half dozen of them standing there waiting for me to open the gate. There were three cars parked on the shoulder of the road. Two sheriff’s cars and one unmarked car.
When I arrived at the gate, the unmarked car door opened and Agent Morris stepped out. “Well I guess when the state cop makes it to the to the gate. the gang will truly all be here except for my lawyer. So you want to wait for her. She is on the way. Her ETA is about ten minutes. If I stand here with you, so that I can’t be destroying evidence of my boring existence.”
“Miss Porter we are required to serve you with the warrant not your lawyer,” Agent Morris replied.
“Do you guys really want to listen to her and not wait the ten minutes in an election year. You know I am going to make an issue of this, if you do. If I were you, I would want to be sure it was all by the book,” I said.
“This operation is by the Warren County Sheriff’s Department. I am the commanding officer and we will wait the ten minutes, but not a second longer,” the sergeant said.
“Good choice,” I said.
“I sure would like a cup of coffee. I don’t suppose you would allow my lawyer time to go through the drive through at Hardee’s on the way?” I asked. “I’ll have her bring you some.
“Afraid not Sylvia,” the sergeant said.
“Just for the hell of it what does that warrant say you are looking for?” I asked.
“A moonshine still,” the Sergeant said.
I broke out laughing. “Unless you can brew shine in a coffee pot, you are really wasting your time,” I replied.
Rita arrived in eight minutes and Morris read her the warrant. “That’s fine now listen up people, Rita said. “Unless you know more about making liquor than I do. You know you can not to look in furniture storage areas, which are obviously too small to house a liquor still. You can not search her vehicles nor open any drawers in any storage areas. Before you cut any locks, you must give her a chance to open them and I will make sure your warrant cover any other areas you wish to search. I think you can probably send half the deputies back to work other places, we are not going to resist.”
“They are here because it is well know that your client travels armed,” Morris said.
Rita turned to me. “Are you armed?” she asked.
“Actually I am. Would you like to hold my firearms, since the warrant does not cover them. I am on my own property, so there is no question at all about how legal they are.” I said even though I had carry permits, since I was a still private protection officer with the Swamp Dog.
“If you would be so kind. Just have your lawyer hold them,” Morris said.
“Not a problem,” I agreed. “Let’s not make this a test of the elephant in the matchbox rule of law.”
“Don’t worry, we will stick to the letter of the search warrant,” Morris said.
“Only because Rita is here,” I mumbled.
“Come on in,” I said as I walked back up the drive with two of the deputies and Morris fuming. She just hated that she couldn’t search inside my storage boxes. About all she could do was open the door of the storage building and look inside. A still is such a large thing it can’t be in a small storage box. I did have a vodka bottle half full of shine, but it was not the green dragon, so I think they would have trouble making a case against me with it. Even if they could, it wasn’t covered by the search warrant, so they couldn’t seize it. It was not obviously shine. It was obviously vodka.
From the box we went to the storage building. Along the way they passed The Brit’s trailer. “That doesn’t belong to me, but I do have a key if you would like to look,” I said.
“Open it up then,” Morris demanded.
The trailer was empty except for a folding tarp and a couple of tie down ropes. “Seen enough or should I unfold the tarps?” I asked.
“That wont be necessary,” Morris said.
When we reached my storage building the only thing left from its still house days was the propane burner and tank. “What do you use that thing for,” she asked.
“I haven’t used it for anything yet. Me and The Brit have talked about maybe having a fish fry at the pub. Those are better outdoors. It cuts down on the smell,” I said.
Rita was about to say something. Morris and I both noticed she had her smart phone out and was taking pictures. The deputies walked through the woods but the water lines had long ago been removed from the creek. There was just nothing to tie me to the liquor business.
“Now I believe Sylvia has complied with your search warrant. I believe it is time for you and you storm troupers to leave my client in peace,” Rita said with a real bite in her voice.
“I know you are guilty of something,” she said.
“No Morris, for some reason you hope I am, but you are not sure of anything. Now if the fishing expedition is finished, I believe your fans await you. Did I forget to mention I called the press before I came down to meet you. I do believe they are here now,” I said.
Sure as hell the channel 8 news van was parked on the shoulder of the road. The crew was standing in the drive being held back by the lone deputy posted to prevent that kind of thing. I locked the storage area and went to meet the press.
“It appears challenging the Sheriff is not without consequences. Half a dozen deputies showed up a half hour ago with a search warrant for a still, or other illegal alcohol related items. Of course they found nothing. It was a simple matter of wasting your tax money and their time, when they should be out doing real police work,” I said. It was going to make a hell of a sound bite I knew. It also leads one to ask, why the hell a judge would issue such a frivolous warrant.”
I figured I might as well piss them all off while I was at it. For sure the cops were going to be pissed. I was going to have to be careful about driving home from the pub at night.
Rita addressed the press next. “I am putting the Sheriff on notice. It will not be a good idea to harass my client again. He might not have heard of the 4th amendment to the constitution but I assure him I have. I would like nothing better than to file a civil rights action against him personally and his jack booted thugs.”
Now I thought she went a little far with that. “I don’t think the sheriff’s people are jack booted thugs. They are just doing their job, but then so is my lawyer,” I explained.
When they all had gone, including Rita, I decided it was time I rethink running for Sheriff. It took me till almost five to make the call. I called the board of elections to find out how I ran for sheriff as an independent. After the lady explained, I agreed to jump through the appropriate hoops the next day.
What I expected to happen was for her to reach out to whoever was in charge of the different political factions, and let them all know my decision. I figured if anyone was interested in incorporating my run with their particular party. Maybe some faction of a party wanted to back me, if so they would contact me before I filed as an independent. Meaning I should be hearing from them sometime that same night.
I managed to heat a frozen meat loaf dinner before the call came. The dinners were different than I remember as a child. They no longer had those inedible green peas. Instead there was a pretty good macaroni and cheese side dish or some not too awful mashed potatoes. The meat load tasted nothing like meatloaf, but it wasn’t awful, especially with enough hot sauce on it.
I finished it and was drinking a second glass of the only slightly chemical tasting iced tea, when the phone rang. I was think about how I learned how to make the tea, so I could at least stand the stuff, when I said, “Hello.”
“Miss Porter this is Randall Davis. I am involved with the Republican Party.” the voice said.
“Well Mr Davis, I have been expecting your call, or one like if from someone,” I said.
“Oh why is that?” he asked.
“Well you are either going to suggest we join forces, or you are going to ask me not to run for Sheriff,” I said.
“Just for the sake of argument, why would I do either?” he asked.
“If you have a weak candidate, I made a pretty good showing in the democratic primary. If I brought some of those votes to the base you can whip up, I just might pull it off. Now if you have a strong candidate, I just might dilute the vote, if I run as an independent. So how close am I?” I asked.
“Frankly I was going to appeal to you not to run, but frankly that was exactly the answer that a good politician would give. We might should decide to back you, instead of the retired Dobson police chief.”
“You should decide quickly, since I am going to sign up as an independent tomorrow,” I informed him. Nothing else of interest was said at the time.