Sheriff Porter 37
It took them two days to come back with a counter offer. Admit that the arrest was a mistake and throw Morris to the Wolves, a trusted agent with a long time vendetta. The press tip off was solely so that there would be coverage of the false arrest and damage to the Sheriff’s reputation. The SBI agent at the center of the controversy has been fired.
“That’s all they will give us. That and fifteen million dollars,” Rita said. “It’s more money than we would ever get from a jury. Let’s face it your reputation wasn’t snow white.”
“They are going to fire Morris, and they are going to have to put the socialistic agenda on the back burner for now. I can live with that and 15 million dollars,” I said.
“You are going to give me some of that,” she asked.
“You do remember you wanted your fee win or lose. That means you forfeited any claim to the money,” I said.
“Yes, but you know I brought the Socialist memo to the table,” Rita said.
“Rita a whistle blower wanted you to shut them down. You didn’t do anything but repeat what he told you,” I explained.
“Okay just one million, so I don’t feel like a chump,” she said.
“Alright, you can have a million of their money less what I already paid you. That is if and when the settlement is dispersed,” I said. I really never expected them to disperse the money. The politicians were too slippery to part with money which they could steal.
I took a job from Colonel Martin. He spent most of his time at the swamp, but he still didn’t have a commander for the Church Camp. Liam was in charge of the training facility. He wanted me to baby sit the occupants of the two special cabins. One was a very eastern European man about forty. The other was a family of two. None of them spoke very good English. I had one of those electronic translation devices to help. Otherwise I was on my own with them. I couldn’t leave the safe house area of the compound. I lived in a one room cabin from the church camp days.
“We gave the single gentleman the name Boris, and the couple is Fred and Ginger Smith,” Liam explained. “Your job is to keep them happy and away from the trainees.”
“It isn’t my job to be sure they are safe?” I asked.
“Silvia this is a high security area and no one knows they are here. I think you can relax and consider this a vacation till you get your money,” he said.
“How exactly do you know about the money?” I asked.
“Sylvia, Martin knows everything about everything,” he told me.
“Terrific I will have every trainee here wanting to marry me for my money. Money I don’t even have yet and probably will never get.”
“Would you believe the lottery is fixed and you are about to win it?” Liam asked. “That’s what I hear.”
“Another wild rumor,” I said.
“I see you are in no hurry to go back to playing Sheriff,” Liam commented.
“It had gotten boring,” I said as an explanation, even though I did not owe him one. I hated to admit it, but I kind of missed my old routine. I wasn’t much of a babysitter. I for sure wasn’t going to sit around in one place explaining to war criminals they couldn’t visit McDonald’s. Of course I would be happy to send out for a big Mac. I couldn’t believe Martin asked me to baby sit these assholes.
I found time to go over to the cabin that pretended to be a gym from time to time. One of those times, I went with the male member of the couple I was protecting. He said a bunch of gibberish in his native language whatever that was. My translator device told me he had asked if I really boxed. I said into the translator, “Not really.”
He said, “One of the guards had mention, we are getting a female boxer. He had boxed in school. So he was curious.” He spoke as always through the translator device.
“Sorry, I can help you,” I said into the device.
“Just spar with me. It is so boring here,” the translator said.
“I know, but I really can’t. I punch the bag, I only fight when I have to fight,” I said. “Then I don’t follow any rules.”
“Ah, I did a bit of street fighting as well,” he said.
He had no idea how I longed to punch his fucking lights out, but I said, “Sorry against the rules.”
“Always rules, someday maybe we won’t be bothered by the rules,” he said.
“Maybe,” my translator said.
“Martin,” I said into the cell phone. “I am giving you notice. I have sat here for two weeks now waiting for you to come back. You better be back by the weekend or send someone else from the swamp to do your babysitting.”
“So now we know what your boredom tolerance is. Three weeks max, maybe four if there is something important at stake,” Martin said.
“And exactly why was that important to know?” I asked.
“Some of the things I ask you to do might take a month or more. They probably won’t be as boring as this assignment, but they won’t necessarily be exciting either.”
“Why me,” I asked.
“We will talk this weekend, when I bring another operative up to baby sit. Also I have need for a camp commandant. I think I will make that decision by this weekend,” Martin said going all mysterious on me.
“Okay you bring the replacement this weekend and I’ll play nice till then,” I said.
“Fair enough, so how do you like the renovations up there?” he asked.
“I like most of it just fine. I assume there are lots of electronic surveillance up here,” I said.
“Yes, but it only goes so far. It can give us a 2 minute warning at best. Then we are on our own. Then it’s our wits and instinct against their determination. So far we haven’t needed to protect ourselves, but now the game has changed. Some of the people you are babysitting have some serious enemies. Some of them are even heads of governments. Their enemies would rather they not testify, Martin said.
“Why are you guarding them and not the CIA?” I asked.
“These people are here to testify at the UN against war criminals. Sometimes the lines get blurred. We work for money, not some kind of idealistic rhetoric. So they feel, if they pay us, we will keep them safe,” Martin explained.
“So being a reformed bad guy pays well, but you can’t trust any government?” I asked.
“Something like that, it’s always possible for a political idealist will take matters into his own hands. Maybe they worry about someone selling them out. Since we have already sold out, they have nothing to fear from us,” Martin explained.
“Well it’s only four more days,” I said. “I will survive this.”
“Of course you will,” Martin said.
Ginger came to me shortly after the phone call. “I would like to take a walk,” she said.
“Absolutely, I will call to tell the boss I am going for a walk with you unless you would prefer someone else,” I said into the Translator.
“No you will be fine,” it answered after consulting with Ginger.
I called Liam and gave him a heads up. Then Ginger and I began our walk. Because we were on our own piece of land I carried a Glock 19 with the 15 round magazine on a belt holster. It allowed for much easier and faster access.
When we started walking Dog joined us. He ran playfully along beside me. He proved to me that while he might work for Liam, he still belonged to me. We must have walked a mile when Ginger wanted to go back. I told her through the translator that I was fine with that. It had been a nice break from the drudgery of the camp.
When we returned to the camp, Ginger went inside her cabin. When she came out she didn’t seem particularly worried, but she said her husband wasn’t to be found. She and I both thought he was probably around somewhere in the compound. Maybe the make shift gym or the dinning hall.
I called around unconcerned at first. Then when it all came up empty, I called Liam. “If Fred isn’t with you, then we better start looking,” I suggested.
“I don’t have him, but I was looking over the compound while you were gone, no one came or went,” Liam said.
“Well hon I don’t think he vanished. He is somewhere, I just don’t have any idea where,” I said. “I’m going to try to keep Ginger calm. I suggest you get a tracker out here and look hard for him. Martin is going to be here in a couple of days. We don’t need him getting involved. Not if we have a choice.”
“You are familiar with the compound, you need to come with us. I will leave one of our people with Ginger,” Liam suggested.
“Liam have someone search Boris’s cabin. He will scream bloody murder, but I don’t give a shit. He has no forth amendment rights here. He was the only one in the compound with Fred,” I said. “Tell your men not to allow him to be alone, or to dispose of anything. Do not question him.”
The tracker did a thorough search of the area. I was beside Liam when the tracker reported to him. “If Fred left he went down one of the trails or maybe he left by boat, but he did not go out through the bush,” the tracker said.
“I suppose Fred has a crap load of ill gotten gains?” I asked Liam.
“Of course he does, he is a war criminal’s second in command, Liam said.
Ginger led me away so he could make his break,” I said.
“Or he waited till she left, so he could leave her and the UN hanging,” Liam suggested.
“There are other possibilities. He was killed by someone, who slipping up on him, or Boris killed him and he is still here, Or some combination thereof,” I said.
‘If the tracker said he didn’t go through the bush, he didn’t go through the bush. The boat looks pretty promising, and so does Boris,” Liam said.
“So check your cctv of the dock,” I suggested.
“He wasn’t on the dock. We checked that before we started to track him,” Liam said.
”Pull the satellite or drone shots of the lake look for a canoe or kayaks,” I suggested.
“We will, we haven’t had time yet,” Liam said.
“Make time Liam right fucking now. I will go have a go at Boris,” I said.
“You are not the Sheriff here,” Liam said irritated.
“No, but I’m best qualified to investigate this. Let’s get moving before we lose any hope of finding him,” I said.
“Alright, but this is a waste of time,” Liam said.
“What else is there for you to do at this particular moment. We have already wasted an hour checking for signs he went out through the woods,” I said.
Liam left with the attitude that I wasn’t smart enough to be ordering him around. I didn’t give a crap. I went in search of Boris.
“Well code name Boris, we have a problem,” I said.
“From all the coming and going and the shouting I thought so,” he said through the translator.
“So Boris what can you tell me?” I asked.
“I can tell you nothing,” he said. I was right here in my cabin all afternoon,” he said.
“Well that’s a good thing. You do know your door makes a time stamp every time it is opened. If you went in or out of it while Ginger and I were out walking, it will tell us,” I said.
“Then go look I was here all afternoon,” he said. I for one believed him. The kind of device I described would be easy to hook to a door so he had to believe me. Of course I was lying like hell.
Edited by Walt