Sheriff Porter 57
After the call to the swamp, things just fell into a slow steady march to completion. Then things got boring for me, but Wilson found all kinds of things to keep him busy. A lot of it was spending my money, but he could always justify it.
It took two agonizingly slow weeks before anything from the swamp came along. When it did, Colonel Martin said, “You need to go to Washington right away. You will be meeting with Senator Devon and his staff. It will be good for us to have him owe us a favor, plus he is willing to pay you anything, if you are successful.”
“And how do we measure success?” I ask.
“If you can make his problem go away as if it never happened, and no one finds out that it ever happened,” Martin said. “He is a flaming liberal. If it gets sticky try to remember that. Sometimes it’s better if the clients don’t see the small print.”
“Wonderful,” I said. “So I can’t count on him having my back?”
“He will throw you too the wolves first, and figure out later how to spin it so that he is a hero,” Martin said.
“Do I go to Capitol City for a flight?” I asked.
“ No, you are going to need to go up in our plane. Chose your luggage carefully there won’t be room for more than one bag. It should have all the things you need for the assignment,” he informed me. “There is a grass covered field that should be suitable about 12 miles north of town. Of course there is no tower, so there will be no records. We will be wheels down in two hours, so you should be there ready to leave. I’m sending the GPS coordinates.”
“Wilson wake up,” I said as I knocked on his door. “We have a job. From now till I get back be standing by the computer, okay?”
“Of course,” he said. “I could go with you. I might be of some help.”
“I’m sure you would be, but it is time to try out all this fancy electronics you talked me into buying,” I said.
“Okay, I’ll be your stay at home Dr. Watson,” he said and laughed. I packed three pairs of jeans, five tee shirts, several pairs of panties and a few over blouses in the half duffel bag. Then I put in both revolvers and I carried the derringer. It was going to be an interesting trip, I thought.
I hugged Wilson goodbye then remembered I would have no way to get the truck home. “Wilson, you are going to have to go with me to bring the truck home.”
“Well the hug was nice, even if it was premature. I’m a guy who likes lots of hugs. Of course hugging you is a lot like hugging a guy,” he said. I slapped him playfully as I lugged the duffel bag out to the truck. The drive was no more than fifteen minutes but finding the right field took a little longer. The field was grass, but it had a garage off to one side and a wind sock flying atop the garage. That made it somebody’s runway. Wilson sat in the truck with me until the light two seater aircraft landed. “Will you be okay in that thing? It looks like a go cart with wings,” Wilson commented.
“More like a covered golf cart with wings, but the pilot is important to someone. I’m sure it’s fine. Pray for me,” I said.
“Oh I will. You have all your toys?” he asked.
“Yeah love, I have them all,” I said.
“Don’t call me love. You know it makes me horny,” Wilson said. The town of New Wales had brought him to life. I didn’t know which one of his new female friends he was screwing, nor did I want to know.
The pilot loaded my one large bag into the rear storage compartment. The Colonel had been right there was no other room. I couldn’t have squeezed one more pair of bikini panties in and have the bag fit.
“You flying me all the way to D.C.?” I asked.
“Yes ma’am. We should be there in under three hours if we get a favorable wind,” he said. We were wheels up by noon and on the ground by three thirty. Small planes like that weren’t all that much faster than a car, but there were no traffic jams or speed limits along the way.
We rolled to the general aviation area of the Dulles Airport. A limo driver was on the tarmac to meet me. “Ms Porter,” he said holding the door for me. I slipped into the rear. There was, of course, a very prissy man inside waiting for me.
“Edgar Price, I’m Senator Devon’s aide,” he said.
“Okay, so when do I meet the man,” I asked.
“I’m sorry that won’t be possible,” the aide said.
“Then would you drive me to the main terminal. I need to rent a car. I’m going back home.” I meant it too. I wasn’t about to take a chance that someone had just hijacked his name. I didn’t want this all to be part of some plot to use me. This was after all DC. Anything devious was not just possible it was the norm.
“All you need to know is here,” the prissy guy said handing me a small video player with an earplug.
“Hello Ms Porter, you come highly recommended. I am glad to have you. For obvious reasons I can’t meet with you. My aide Mr. Price will fill you in. If you have any questions ask him, or call me at any time.”
“Will that and this suffice,” Price asked handing me an envelope filled with cash. “It isn’t enough,” I said without even looking inside. “This cloak and dagger shit doesn’t come cheap. The price is 25K and I can’t guarantee the results you all want.”
“That’s a bit much. How about the 10k in the envelope and the other 15k when it is settled. You will be paid, you have my word.”
“I’m sure the Senator is either listening or you will call him, so I want his word not yours.”
“For God’s sake Porter do you not trust me. I’m a US Senator for Christ sake,” the smart phone said.
“I never heard a better reason not to trust someone,” I said. “I’m quite satisfied to take the ten grand and go home.”
“Do you think I would allow that,” he asked over the phone.
“Well, I don’t see anyone to stop me. Your sissy aide gets a chop to the larynx and the driver is in front of me and I have a pistol under my shirt. So exactly what other assets do you have?” I asked.
“I would chase you to the ends of the earth,” he said not wanting to admit defeat.
“Better men have tried that, with poor results,” I said.
“Well, let’s just see how this goes,” he said.
“Fine I’m here and you obviously need help so what’s up?” I asked.
“How much do you know?” Price asked.
“I almost know less than nothing. All I know is there is something going on that concerns the Senator. Something he wants cleaned up without a trail of bodies leading back to him,” I said.
“Yes it is quite that simple,” the sissy boy said.
“If that’s simple sounding to you in what kind of world do you live?” I asked.
“I live in D.C. This kind of thing is more like the normal scandal than something terrible. We just don’t want the police involved, and we were told you were the best even if it gets nasty,” he said.
“I’m pretty good at covering my ass, but you may not leave me with that option. So what is this situation?” I asked.
“Last night the Senator was on his way to visit a friend at home.” The sissy boy saw my look. “She was a good friend. She is shall we say a courtesan,” he said.
“A hooker,” I said, “and judging from all the past tenses she is dead?” I asked.
“She was shall we say taken,” he suggested.
“So you know she is a kidnap victim, and not a participant in this blackmail scheme. It is blackmail isn’t it?” I asked.
“It is a ransom situation. We can’t bring in the FBI, since we don’t know what she has to bargain with,” he said.
“If she is involved in the bargaining, she is part of the plan. Have you been contacted yet?” I asked.
“They want a hundred thousand dollars by tonight. We are prepared to pay, if we are assured we will hear nothing further,” he said.
“The only way you stop hearing from them is if the blackmailers are in jail or dead,” I said. “If you wanted them in jail you would call in the FBI. If you wanted them dead you would call in a hit man, but if he were caught that would lead right back to you, so what do you want from me.”
“Identify them, locate them, and determine what the risk is. The Senator will decide how to deal with it. You will not be involved in that part of the operation, but we trust you are discreet,” he said.
“You mean, if they show up in the morgue, I agree to keep what I know secret. Since there is nothing to connect me and the Senator, there should be no questions asked. Don’t ask don’t tell, I believe it has been called. I can do that. So my job is to ask question of the right people, and then turn the information over to you. So when is the exchange and do I get to deliver the money,” I asked.
“You do,” the sissy boy said. “They will be calling me at 6 PM tonight,” he added.
“You do know there is no guarantee that you are getting all the copies of everything,” I said. “You will always be waiting for the other shoe to fall even if they are eliminated. By its very nature, this kind of thing is based in duplicity.”
“So, what can we do?” he asked.
“Own up to it. That is the only way. There is quite likely a dead man switch on the information. If they don’t to something at a certain time the information goes public and the girl dies. Her death is what will give the story legs. If they are really smart they make it look as though she took an overdose or jumped off a building and spin it so that the Senator comes in as a suspect.”
“You know a lot about this,” he said.
“I was recommended because I can put myself in the bad guys shoes. I know what I would do, and most of the time I am right. The trick here is how do we pull their teeth without exposing the Senator. At the moment his plan seems the only one, foolish as it may be,” I said. “So it’s 4 PM now let’s go somewhere and have an early dinner we may not get a chance later.”
The limo took us to his car. Then he drove me to a restaurant filled with very clean looking young men. I was dressed wrong but my body could have fooled a few of them. I had a sandwich and potato salad. I knew better than to order their iced tea so I had a diet coke. By five we moved on to the park near the restaurant. We waited almost a full hour for the call. It came in right on time.
“Who is the man with you?” the voice asked as a greeting.
I took the phone. “So you have eyes on us very impressive. Now you know they have a crisis management specialist involved. My job is to do exactly as you say and since I’m sure you plan to do everything you promise I will be driving the young lady home. Now that’s fair isn’t it.”
“Fuck you lady,” he said.
Edited by Walt