Sheriff Porter 65
Sunday morning passed in a bit of a fog due to the hangover. I remembered bits and pieces. I began to wonder, since I had the memories as if they were someone else’s like maybe I had been drugged. If I had been drugged could Wilson be part of it. I doubted it since why would he do it? He knew almost no one in New Wales. Not to mention, I would expect the culprit to participate in it.
Drugged or not, Brian was gonna remember me. If I was eighteen, as the drug wore off I would have been conflicted. I might have just been relieved not to be injured when it was over. Since I wasn’t eighteen, and it wasn’t my first rodeo, I fought through the haze and through the fear. I was past the need to kick the almost child Brian’s ass. Since I wasn’t a cop any more, I couldn’t do anything, but I might drop a dime on his ass before flight school.
“It is time we get involved in the local crime scene,” I suggested to Wilson. “I would have you get me a copy of any police report involving date rape, but that would be a waste of time. There most likely won’t be any if Brian is still free. Unless he didn’t usually have the women as cooperative as me. I considered it date rape, but what if it was pure rape. What if, say, it was a tourist. The kiddie cops on the island could hide the facts, even from police agencies. It could be they didn’t want to ruin Jefferson Island’s tourist business. In which case Brian, or whoever he got the drug from, had a bloody hunting preserve.”
I decided this was a case for Wilson and his computer. Since it had gone on for who knew how long it could wait till I got back from the flight school.
“Wilson you have a mystery to solve while I’m gone,” I went on to explain what had happened. I also explained that there might be a cover up by the Jefferson Island Security Force or even the New Wales police or maybe even the Sheriff.
“So what I need you to do is to figure out which crimes were most likely to have been an out of town date rape. If some chick filed a report, it has to be in the system in which case they probably classified it as something else. There was a case, in DC I think, where they were listing non-violent rapes, as simple assault. It was to keep the stats artificially low. Tourist you know. They didn’t want them to think Washington was becoming Detroit. When is the last time you heard of anyone going sight seeing in Detroit.”
“I’ll get on it. There is obviously no rush, since you are going to leave me alone with this,” Wilson said.
“I am leaving you alone on it because you can do it just as well without me looking over your shoulder, but this is likely to be a long protracted investigation,” I said. It was a little depressing to think it might be a cover up.
“You know the beauty of the Internet,” Wilson asked.
“No, what is the beauty of the Internet?” I asked.
“It never takes a day off. I can run this as good now, as I could later,” Wilson said like a kid with a new toy. Wilson was still playing with the computer when I left for Hanford.
Hanford was a town of about 75,000 people. It was about a four hour drive, if you stopped for a late lunch along the way, which I did of course. I had an urge for southern style barbecue. When I came upon a restaurant on the rural state highway, I stopped. I had eaten much better when I lived in County Seat. I found it better than that which came from a chain chop shop’s super clean kitchen.
“I found a place to stay called Vic’s Villas. It was a historic looking tourist court from the forties. It was updated to a bathroom in every unit instead of one in the center of the walk in the courtyard. They had resisted the urge to turn the courtyard into a parking lot. It made for short walk, but it added a lot of charm to the place. I found the place thanks to Madison. She noted that I could afford the almost a hundred bucks a night for the little apartment style cabin. Some of the cabins were duplex units, but mine was all one unit. It had a bedroom and a small sitting room with a small dining table and a combo motel kitchen appliance unit. The combo unit had a sink, stove top over a refrigerator and a microwave above the sink unit. Everything I would need for two weeks, Madison had assured me.
It appeared to be all she promised. I even got to meet Vic and he should have been called Gay Vic. He and Jeremy would be great friends. I wondered it gay men were gravitating to the hotel, motel industry. It would certainly improve the two star motels of the USA. NFL player and most cops might have a problem staying in a gay run motel, but people like me would like to see them displace the Paki models, which had recently taken over the old mom and pop motel industry. Maybe it was time for another change.
Anyway Vic had been very nice when I checked in. He explained that a local restaurant delivered a breakfast sandwich before they opened, so it would be available at 6 AM. He promised that the biscuits were very good, so I put in an order for one filled with animal fat for the next morning. Since there was a coffee maker in the room, I made a trip to a local Buyway grocery store for a can of Columbian coffee. The dark roast Columbian almost tasted like day old trucker’s coffee. I had learned that from my own one cup coffee maker at home.
Vic’s Villa used a four cup maker but it was a flash coffee maker. I went to bed Sunday night looking forward to my next great adventure.
Five am came early, but I had gone to bed early, so I was ready for it. I took off from the Villa and ran out to the main road and turned right. I ran all the way to the small grocery and convenience store where I had bought a coffee. I didn’t stop to eat since I was promised a biscuit at home. I ran about a half hour out and over a half hour back. I walked the last few yards since I was gasping for air. All day on a trike wasn’t enough cardio for a run like that. It was fine for long term fitness, but not good enough for that high exertion activity. That run was what I needed to chase bad guys down the street, not that I planned to do that any more. Besides if I had to chase them more than half a mile let them go, was my attitude.
I went directly to the room and took a shower. When I dressed it was in a pair of shinny jeans and a red tee shirt. Then I went by the office and found my biscuit waiting under a warming light. “I’m Porter,” I said
“Sure you are, here you go.” The gay young man behind the desk said. “I saw you running today. You were gone almost an hour. That’s quite a run for around here.”
“I try to do about five miles when I run. I’m not quite in the shape for that now, but I should be before long. Thanks for the biscuit,” I said and went back to the room for my coffee. It really was the kind of breakfast I would have had, if I were still at home. I am sure some people complained, but I was very pleased.
I found the Hanford Airport to be two strips of concrete. Neither was any wider than a back road in Warren County. There was one large airport hanger and one smaller Hanford Air Service hanger. I asked the chubby but not fat, middle-aged woman behind the counter, “Has Madison Bronson arrived yet?”
“She most certainly has, I’m Madison Bronson.” She noticed my surprise and then said,“ I know, I sound younger and thinner on the phone.” She broke into a laugh. Don’t be embarrassed honey, it happens all the time. “You on the other hand look just like your picture. I Googled you.”
“There seems to be a lot of that going around these days,” I suggested.
“The newest page even has a picture of your barge and Marina. Now that is pretty impressive,” she said.
“Too bad you live so far away, you could come down for a visit,” I suggested.
“Hey I fly airplanes remember. I can be down there in half an hour probably,” she said.
“It would take you longer to get from the grass strip where you would have to land to my place,” I replied.
“Well we can talk about it later. Let’s go talk about getting you licensed,” Madison suggested. We talked for about an hour, then she took me to the airport to take the test with a FAS approved monitor. When it was over I met Madison outside the room.
“Come on it’s time for your introductory flight. This is where we take away all doubt that you want to do this,” she said. An hour later we were in the air and she allowed me to take the controls. I was nervous, but I got through it just fine.
“You are a natural,” she said.
“Hell, I bet you say that to all the girls,” I suggested with a laugh.
“A lot of them yes. If you drive a car, you just have to add the ability to raise and lower it and you have the whole thing in one package. There are some technical things like how to find your way home, which you also need to know, but that will come. You should have no problem.”
“Well even if you are insincere, I’m glad to hear it. So when do we start logging hours for my license?” I asked.
“You know that if you fail you will be billed for the hours at $200 each even if you failed the written test. If you understand that we can begin right away.” I nodded my agreement.
We began flying two hours in the mornings and three hours after lunch. The course had a 40 hour minimum air hours, but if I didn’t feel comfortable with where I was, I could repeat a part for $200 an hour and that included everything. I had budgeted $10,000 so as long as I came in under that, I was fine with the cost. I could afford a hell of a lot more. I still didn’t like the thought of being ripped off, just because I could afford it.
I completed the flight school right on time. I had forty two hours in the log book when I got certified. I had to get a medical endorsement during the two weeks it took me to qualify. I found time while Madison had something she needed to do and I had most of the afternoon off.
“Well come on in lets see what your medical records look like,” the doctor said. Since everything was available digitally under the government mandated health care, he knew it all. “You did know your medical records read like an Indiana Jones novel?” he asked.
“I just had some bad luck and some good luck as well, I guess.” I was trying to downplay it. Just in case it would cause a glitch.
Well a fever of unknown origin in Afghanistan, removal of a shrapnel from your back,” he said.
“It was no more than a splinter,” I interjected.
He smiled and continued, “Shot in the vest breaking three ribs eight years ago, shot in the hand six years ago.”
“That was another case of splinters. A tree kind of exploded near where I was standing,” I reported.
“Yes those splinters left you with less than 60% use of the left hand. Then there was the injuries from a bicycle accident. Those are the ones which were recorded. I would bet there were others you convinced some paramedic or nurse to treat without a record,” he demanded.
“Not a chance Doc. I play by the rules,” I said.
“Whose rules?” he asked. I didn’t answer, since it was a rhetorical question. Well you don’t have brain damage or epilepsy and your heart and blood pressure are good, so I have to pass you. If I were you, I would start taking it a bit easier on my body.”
“Thanks Doc,” I said.
“You realize you might have problems if you decide to fly larger commercial planes. That lack of hand agility might give you trouble,” he said.
“I don’t plan to fly anything bigger than a Piper Cub, but thanks for the warning,” I said and left.
Edited by Walt