Sheriff Porter 54
On the drive back to the motel I wondered why everything had to be so difficult. I was going to take all the bills and charges for the boat and send them to the trustees. I would ask him to have a bookkeeper take a look and research the charges. Ev was a nice guy, but that didn’t mean that I wanted to finance his business and get nothing for it. He had already proved to me that he would pad a bill.
When I got back to the motel, I found Osborn’s belongings were cleared out. I felt bad that our friendship had ended on such a bad note. But that was the way life went. If she tried to blackmail me about our orgy, I was planning to make her produce the two men. I felt pretty sure they would be off to Afghanistan before she could work it out. I guessed that having money was going to make me a lot more circumspect in my thinking. Maybe I would just set up a fake identity to use for getting laid. I did smile at that thought. It was pretty late and I was pretty tired, so I signed on with the burner computer and went to a chatroom. I spent about an hour looking around, but I couldn’t relax enough to play fantasy games, so I went to bed.
I went for a run early in the morning and found it extremely boring. I had run the route about five times now and all the new had worn off the sights. I had a plan in the back of my mind. I went to the boat yard and the barge was still being scrapped and prepared for panting.
“Hello Ev, it seems to be coming along,” I said.
“Yes it does. Have you talked to the bank yet,” he asked.
“No but I do have a contract of sorts ready for you to look over. Use it as a guide when you write your contract. It includes the wording we used, with a lot of liberal wording to help you. What I think would be a good idea is for me to work out a deal with the bank, but the marina then pays your charge back as part of the boat build. Then we can work on it from there.”
“That would be fine,” he said.
“My trustee will want the name of the workers on my boat and their hourly salary. There might be an inspector around to verify those records,” I said.
“You don’t trust me?” he asked.
“I’m alive today because I don’t trust anyone completely,” I said. “I’ll be dropping in now and then and parking over here where I can see the work being done. Just to make me feel better,” I said.
What I really planned to do was drive home and pick up the pedal trike. The motor trike I planned to leave in the storage building for a while. I could drive up one day and drive back the next. It would also give me a chance to talk to Wilson. I needed to be sure he was up for our arrangement.
The phone rang while I was in the boatyard that afternoon. According to him, I could buy the boatyard for 105k more or less.
“To buy it would you rather use trust money or use my mad money?” I asked.
“Makes no difference it’s all your money,” he said.
“I’m gonna authorize you to pull the money out of my personal account to buy it. Hopefully I won’t have to do anything to effect the trust account,” I said.
“It would be best to leave the investments in place so we can analyze the results, unless you feel you are going to need whatever this house boat is going to end up costing you,” he said.
“I think the total will be under 300k definitely,” I said.
“Then unless you foresee some heavy duty expenses I’d recommend you take if from those first year discretionary funds,” he said.
“Okay, lets buy it that way,” I said. Sounding as if I had an inkling of what I was saying.
I went back inside to talk to Ev, “I’m going back to the mountains for a couple of days, but I will be back before you finished the painting. We can discuss the next move, when I get back.“
“Aren’t you afraid I’ll stiff you on something,” he said resentfully.
“Ev that may be something we need to talk about. This is difficult for both of us, I don’t like being here. I wish I felt I could trust you not to pad the bill, but frankly I don’t,” I said.
“Well I haven’t charged you for the use of the dry dock yet?” he said.
“I haven’t showed you the three charges of other shipyards for use of their dry dock. And they aren’t charging it off at cost, as you should be doing. You might want to keep that in mind when you make out the charge sheet.” It was unfortunate that our relationship had become adversarial. My guess was I had managed to keep his padding of the bill down to maybe 25% of what he would have done otherwise. He was just trying to keep his family business open. He just saw me as a bag of money. I had a big shock for him. He was not going to wind up on the short end, if I could manage it. I planned to help him get solvent again, but first I had to get his credit fixed. None of that included giving him a wad of money.
The drive up to County Seat was no fun at all without Osborn. I had no idea what she had done, and it was none of my business. I got to County Seat early in the afternoon. I went directly to the Pub.
“Well I will be damned,” The Brit said. Jeremy ran to me for a hug almost in tears.
After a half hour of catching up, Nita brought in her Hamburger pie. “My god you have no idea how I have missed this already, and it’s only been two weeks,” I said. I explained to the Brit about the house barge and he laughed.
“Don’t you get it, so the creep beats you out of a few bucks. He needs it and you got it so what. Call it a charitable contribution and move on,” he said.
“Oh and you would do that?” I asked.
“No, I’d break his fucking arm,” he said with a laugh.
“Well I’m doing the next best thing, but I’m doing this instead of having fun,” I said.
“Bullshit it’s a battle of wits and you are having a ball. I can not imagine you in some horrible bikini laying in the sun,” The Brit said.
“Too bad, I already bought a bikini before all this shit happened. The problem is I look like shit in a bikini,” I said.
“So do you miss being Sheriff?” Jeremy asked.
“To be perfectly honest Jeremy, I do miss something I just don’t know what,” I said.
“You are just having withdrawal, you will get over it. Just hang in there. I thought I would die without my regular adrenalin fix. You will survive this,” The Brit said.
I went back to the box house and found the electric ceramic heater. I turned it on and went to sleep. I woke up in the middle of the night and had to turn it off. By the time I awoke at 7 AM I was pretty miserable.
I loaded the adult big wheel and went to breakfast. I had a few other things on the back of the truck but everything was just odds and ends of things. I tried to call Wilson’s cell phone but he didn’t answer, so I was expecting to miss him. If I hadn’t stopped for one last bacon egg and cheese biscuit at Hardee’s I would have missed him.
“So I did catch you before you left,” Wilson said.
“Yes you did,” I said. “So have you changed your mind yet?”
“No, as a matter of fact I’m ready to go as soon as they let me leave here. I do want to spend some time with my daughter and her mother, but after that I’m ready to work,” Wilson said.
“Good, I have plenty for you to do. So do you need anything like money,” I asked.
“Everybody needs money, the question is how bad. I don’t need it badly yet,” he replied.
“You just tell me when and how much,” I suggested.
“Thanks Sylvia you always were the best,” he said.
“I’ll keep you up to date on where we are when you are ready to come down,” I promised. I said a few words about his wife and how sorry I was, then I was off for the coast.
I arrived in time to check in with the shipyard. Ev had moved the barge farther up the dock and turned it back to the dock to take up less space. It was fine with me just so long as they could get in to do the work left. I planned the door like I had the ones in County Seat. The upstairs was a problem. Ev found a circular stairway from a fire escape. It was metal and would require very little cutting to make it work. The company welder worked on the building for two days to do it right. The guy with the plasma cutter put in the windows and the interior doors in one morning. Not the installation, but the holes cut to specification. Then they drilled and bolted in the crank out type windows. It wasn’t an expensive touch but it worked for me. At that point they covered the windows and floors and brought in the insulation contractor. I had approved the contract after calling around using their measurements. The only way they could screw me was to measure it wrong. I was pretty sure they had not done that.
The only things left to do were the holding tank for the sewage, and the fresh water tanks. I of course contracted for both with on outside company. The easiest way to handle both would have been to have the toilet on the second floor to have gravity mechanism on the sewage system.
Then a compressed air pressurized water system. I had one of the instant water coils like I used in the good ol County Seat box home. It was just ten days of bullshit and delays but in the end the barge was ready a few days after I closed on the marina. I paid the full $1,000 to have the barge moved to the marina. I really was quite please with how it looked. Even turning and backing it to the dock it took up most of the complete right side of the dock.
EZ had moved out some deadbeats and convinced the other to trade slips. We had 12 slips on the dock with my house barge attached. Then we installed a second floating dock with slips as well. It was lined up so that it added ten more slips. It had to be set up that way because the river had to be clear at that point for some ridiculous amount of space. I didn’t really care since I didn’t want that many neighbors. I went along to give EZ more income since he and I were partners in the operation of the marina. He took care of the day to day operation and I took care of any repair or expenses from my 65% of the take. The very first thing I did was to close the bait and tackle shop. It had also been the previous Managers office. EZ would be visiting, but not using the office. We installed a vending kiosk on the solid part of the dock. Ice, cokes, and snacks were the only thing I allowed in the machines. The machines were contracted, so I had nothing to do with them but collect the rental fees.
Edited by Walt