Sheriff Porter 55
The trust had nothing to do with the operation of the marina. I set up an account for it and EZ made sure the money flowed into the accounts. Well that was the way it was set to work and it did for a while at least.
Ev and I settled up and he was happy with the results. He managed to keep his credit line with my name as cosigner for the loans. He made a lot of pictures of the house barge and the Internet got full of them in a hurry.
All that happened before Wilson showed up. “Well hello Wilson,” I greeted him on the dock.
“So this is where we live?” he asked.
“Not very glamorous but it’s home.” I led him into the entrance way with the circular stair up to the living room and bath. The two long rooms were bedrooms, one for him and one for me. They were narrow, but long enough for a bed and a small sitting area.
“This is really cute,” Wilson said. He obviously was a little skeptical.
“Wilson if you want you can fix a frozen dinner, cook oatmeal, or fry and egg, of course you will have to go up to the kitchen and bath unit. Personally I’m doing as little cooking as possible,” I explained.
“Now that sound more like it. So where do we eat?” he asked.
I found a good breakfast and lunch place, but for a dinner restaurant I’m still searching.”
“I’ll help you look, I suppose,” he promised.
“Good for you,” I said.
“God, it’s good to see you again,” Wilson said, “So when do we get started.”
“Hell Wilson, you got to learn to relax, then you have to teach me how,” I said with a laugh.
“Okay, tonight we relax,” he said. “You must know where to go?”
“As a matter of fact I do. We are going out tonight,” I said
“Do I have to dress?” he asked.
“Well you can’t go naked, otherwise you can wear most anything,” I said.
We went to the Railroad Bed and Breakfast. It sported the piano bar with the mom and daughter act. The mom was probably fifty and the daughter was my age.
“You have got to be kidding, I love piano bars but I haven’t been in one in ages,” Wilson said.
“After a couple of drinks, he was singing along quietly. The daughter noticed and demanded that Wilson join them at the piano. He sat on the piano stool beside the daughter and sang duets with her. They weren’t perfect because they had never sung together before, but they were good enough that people didn’t want to let him sit back down with me.
“Wilson, you never told me you could sing,” I said.
“Little theater before I moved to County Seat. We did ‘Rent’ last time,” he said with a laugh.
“Well before they give you a job here, let’s hit the road,” I suggested.
“Very well, but I will come back here, just as you do with The Brit’s pub,” he said.
“Then I don’t have to worry about keeping you entertained,” I said.
“You absolutely do not,” he said with a grin.
“We drove home and he spent the first night on the house barge. I had been on it about a week. I pretty much knew where the bugs were. At the foot of his new but very plain bed was a toolbox made of new wood by a local craftsman. It was what I called crate furniture. It was the design of a toolbox used in every mill all over the state in the twenties. You could make it larger and smaller using the same basic set of plans. Not only did I love it, everyone who ever saw it loved it.
Much later, the craftsman who built it and I went into business together. I drew the plans in my head, he put them on paper then we put it in kit form. We sold them on line, since I could afford to put the kits on the Craft TV show. We could hardly keep the kits in stock. The popularity of the large wooden box kits was ridiculous.
On that day trunk number two of the hundreds made using those plans held Wilson’s sheets and blankets. I did not make his bed for him. He had the pleasure of opening the packages with the new linens in them. Then the pleasure of making his bed, while I sat on the upper deck to have another drink and look at the Marina. The dock was lined with solar lights, so there was no power bill for the marina itself. If we moved we could just shut the power off.
When a light failed, EZ could just switch out the whole light, or add a new battery to the one he took down. It was basically all the routine maintenance he was responsible to do. For that, and making sure that the second trust, me, got repaid. He did that by making sure regular deposits were made to the trust account at the bank.
That bank account was audited by a bookkeeper regularly, so EZ had a check and balance as well as one for the account in general. That main account had way too much money for me to keep track of such a small part.
I was up at 5 AM the next morning after going to bed after midnight. I took the trike for a ride leaving Wilson sleeping. The completely flat terrain made riding the trike a pleasure at first. I rode it all up and down the river roads and even into town for breakfast. I worked up a sweat, and the break I had while eating breakfast was badly needed.
When I got back, Wilson was still in bed. He finally got up in time for lunch. I had been on line doing a quick review of my finances. That job was going to get turned over to Wilson. He could do it a lot better. He should be able to spot anything wrong in the trust or even my private accounts, I thought.
When he woke up I asked, “So you missed breakfast what do you want for lunch?”
“Pancakes and Eggs,” he said. He saw my smile. “What? I’m just getting a feel for the place.”
“Good because the work day begins at eight, even if there is no work to do,” I said only half kidding. Since that had been my problem with Osborn, I was a little cautious.
“You got it boss, no more late night show tunes for me,” he said. Still he was humming ‘Piano Man’ as we went out the door for his very late breakfast.
I drove us to Mr. BJ’s for whatever meal he had in mind. “Mr. BJ’s closes at three, and doesn’t open at all on Sundays,” I explained to Wilson.
“Sylvia it isn’t often we see you twice in the same day,” the manager said as I entered.
“I come here a lot for lunch, but I go through the drive in window,” I said to him. “This is Mr. Wilson. I expect he will become a regular.”
“Welcome Mr. Wilson. We will try to take care of you,” the manager said.
“Jesus,” Wilson said. “This place is packed.”
“Not really. See there is another empty table over there. When it is really packed, people are waiting in the lobby. That sort of porch thing had to be added a couple of years after they opened the place. It got so popular, so quickly,” I explained.
The food came. Wilson had ordered the ‘Big Man’ special with a side of pancakes. I had a bowl of banana pudding. “I had a big breakfast already,” I said.
“I forgot you don’t eat lunch,” Wilson said.
“Well I do, but not usually. Especially now that I’m not working out on the bag,” I said. “I make an exception for Mr. BJ’s banana pudding, if I’m in the area. This town is so small I’m usually in the area sometime between noon and closing time at 3 PM.
Sometime later Wilson said, “Well you didn’t lie. All in all the food was great. So what are we going to do first.”
“First we have to tool you up,” I said.
“Sylvia you know I do not carry a weapon. I’m a technician not a killer,” he confided.
“I know Wilson. I don’t have the time or the inclination to make you a warrior, even if it were possible. However I plan to pick you up a weapon to defend yourself, since this is a dangerous business we are about to embark upon. We won’t do that today because we will have to go to a gun shop up the road a piece. There are more important things we need to pick up first.”
“Like what?” he asked.
“Like an office and tools of your trade,” I said. “So tell me what you would consider for the perfect office.” At the time we were standing at the end of the dock, by the front door of the old fishing tackle and bait shop.”
“You are kidding,” he said.
“Actually no. The barge is just plugged into a 30 amp fuse panel and has a very limited power supply, and it’s just for the barge. It’s probably not even regulated.
We are going to have to build a real office, one from which you can work. You need a state of the art place to do what you are going to be doing. But the down side to being freestanding is it won’t be very secure. We need to dump the computer every night,” I said. “But I’m going to leave all that to you and just pay the bills. I also want to know the broad stokes on how it works,” I said. “Just in case I get you killed.”
“Well first of all, I can see we need to have the structure repaired,” Wilson said. I noticed a light in his eyes. He was taking an interest in the office. I mean he had appreciated the barge, but this was to be his real home. “We need a really good contractor,” he said.
“I don’t know a contractor, but I know a guy who probably does know one,” I said.
I opened the phone and hit the number for EZ. “Hey EZ can you have first class building contractor call me. I want to repair and maybe do some remodeling on the old office on the end of the pier,” I said. I listened a second then added, “No I don’t want to tear it down and bring in a trailer.” I shook my head at Wilson.
The contractor who showed up two hours later was a woman. I liked that. She wasn’t young and she wasn’t pretty, but she talked like a real contractor. “I suppose you want a price for the work,” she asked before she even went inside.
“Yes I am going to want a price and I’m going to want to know your name,” I said in what I thought was a neutral voice.
“Margo, like in Margo Remodeling,” she said pointing to the sign on the side of her truck. It was a truck with a long bed and the worker transport type cab. That fucking thing was at least as long as the office was wide.
“Alright Margo this is Wilson. You two work out what you want to do. Keep the cost down but let’s get him what he needs. That is not necessarily what he wants,” I said smiling at Wilson. Since I had seen the inside of the dock’s office, I left them alone to decide what they wanted.
The two of them were laughing when I came back an hour later. They were sitting in the office at the counter with the shutter to the outside closed. They were sitting in the space that had been where the employees of the bait shop passed their shit to the customers.
“Well it’s good to see you two are friends,” I said.
“Yeah Wilson was telling me all about you,” she said. “He said I better treat you right or you might shoot me.”
“That is an exaggeration. So what’s the verdict on the building can it be saved?” I asked.
“Long as the bones are good, you can save any building, that is if you are willing to put the money in it,” she said.
That is when I began to worry.
Edited by Walt