“I’m not looking for a job. I have an idea I want to pitch to you. We can both benefit from it. I really would prefer to pitch it over dinner,” he said it smiling his boyish smile of course.
“What time?” I asked. “I know I’m going to regret this maybe not tonight or tomorrow but someday soon and for the rest of my life.” I know it was a flagrant violation of some copyright law somewhere, but there it was.
“I’ll be by at seven, and trust me you won’t regret this,” he said.
“Yeah, like trust me I won’t cum in your mouth,” I said with a smile. “You want me to go with you, when you ask my tenant to leave.”
“Can’t ask him to leave yet. He has to be served with a cease and desist notice. I had to verify that he was sleeping on the boat. Then I have to give him a chance to find a place to live. Then I can toss his ass on a violation of the lease. You don’t want to get involved you have money and therefore are a target for lawsuits. That’s why people like you contract with people like me. I ain’t got shit.”
Then I’ll sit up here with my cell phone to call the Sheriff, if it all goes to shit,” I said. “Hey you can do me a favor, if you aren’t busy after you serve your stop the shitting in our porta-potty notice,” I said.
“Oh what is that?’ he asked.
“I bet you know everyplace around here. I was going to call a Realtor in the morning, but maybe you can ride around with me this afternoon. I’m looking for a piece of land where I can put a glider port,” I said.
“I can’t think of any right now, but sure I’ll ride with you. We can go to dinner from there,” EZ said.
“Sure why not. Come on by after you finish your business,” I suggested.
It took him about ten minutes to talk to the man. There seemed to be a lot of shouting. When it was over EZ walked up the dock and onto my gangplank. I was glad it hadn’t turned violent.
“So you are finished with your business?”
“He promised that he wouldn’t be spending any more nights on the boat. I just don’t believe him to be honest,” EZ said.
“I’ll keep an eye out now that I know,” I suggested. “So lets go.”
We left the parking lot about 3 PM. I found EZ to be easy to talk. Maybe it was how he got the nickname, I thought. He also had obviously rehearsed how to pitch his business idea, and wanted to do it over dinner.
It looked as though all the fields were nice and flat around the river basin. We found four that had realty signs on them. “Let me see what my mechanic says about length of runway,” I said to EZ. I planned to called up to Hanford Air Service before I did anything. I forgot that it was Sunday. The mechanic wasn’t working, but one of the flight instructors was hanging around.
“I just wanted to ask your head mechanic, how much runway I needed for an ultra light?” I asked.
“Those things are pretty much designed for short unimproved runways. Grass strips in other words aren’t going to be a problem. They are not easy to control at lower speeds but they really are a lot of fun. They are good for the hobby flier. You need less than a football field to get them up and down I would think,” he said.
“Thanks I appreciate it. Your chief mechanic is supposed to be finding me an enclosed ultralight aircraft. I’ll get back with him sometime soon. Thanks tell everyone hello,” I said.
“So which one you gonna buy?” EZ asked.
“Probably the one closest to the Marina,” I said. Since the marina wasn’t in any prime real estate area. The road was just a broken pavement loop down to it, so the land had been worth very little.
Finally it came time for dinner and I drove the truck since we were already out looking at land. The place he took me was a frame building which had last been painted when Nixon was the president or even earlier. I expected the fish to be good, since it had the atmosphere of a depression era fish camp.
The food was excellent and the service was good. I think every high school girl within a hundred miles was working there as a waitress. I had the land on my mind, so I wasn’t devoting my full attention to EZ until he said, “Okay Sylvia this is what I wanted to talk to you about.” With that he laid an auto trader magazine on the table.
“What about it EZ?” I had finished the meal by that time.
“See the picture of that wrecker there?” he asked.
“Sure it’s a small auto wrecker according to the picture and it is 75K. I wonder what a large new one would be?” I asked.
“Twice that at least,” he said.
“Tell me why I would want one of those,” I asked.
“You probably wouldn’t, but I do. See Sylvia the business I’m in is making a little money now. I can sorta see things picking up, but I need a partner,” he said.
“EZ I still don’t see where I come into this?” I asked.
“I want you to invest in me. Make me a loan like you did for my uncle. Be my partner and take the money of the company’s profits till the truck is paid for,” he suggested. “That way your loan is secured and my payment is based on the profit.”
“Honey, I was forced to deal with your uncle like that. He had me over a barrel. There is nothing in this deal for me. I have all the money I want, so I’m not going to do it for a few bucks,” I said.
“Okay, how about for a lifetime of contacts. I know everybody, who is anybody around here. Those I don’t know, one of my friends will know. I’ll be your contact and help you, if you need anything. Besides I rode in your truck, you are going to need a tow someday for sure,” he said with a laugh.
He made the right arguments. Having a tow truck available and a driver who asked no questions might be a good idea after all. “This is just a loan not an ownership issue. If you fail to pay for this thing, I get it back period. There is no equity accumulation till it is paid off, understand? If I buy it, I own it. This will be a lease until you have it paid off. I keep the insurance in effect but you pay the premiums.”
“I understand and I agree,” he said.
“Now tell me why you can’t just buy it yourself. I have already agreed to buy it so you can tell me,” I said.
“My credit is shit. I let a couple of cars and a house go back,” he said.
“So now you are going into the repo business?” I asked.
“Yes,” he said.
“Set it up. I will have the money managers arrange to buy it,” I said. “Also I’ll arrange the closed lease. Understand EZ, this is not even close to a free ride.”
“Should I come in?” he asked when I dropped him in the parking lot.
“If you need to ask, then no it’s not a good idea,” I said with a smile.
“Then I won’t ask,” he said.
“Too late you already have. I’ll see you again someday I’m sure. By the way thanks for taking me to the fish camp,” I said.
Inside the barge house, I went directly to the dining room on the second floor. I cranked up the TV for the evening news. I had time to review the state news on the local stations before they switched to the network for the evening news. There were two things I took from the state news. One was that the temperature was going to be over eighty all the next week. The second was that the SBI had offered to assume the management of a cash poor County’s Sheriff’s Office. The County was going to file for bankruptcy and there would be no law enforcement, if they couldn’t pay the salaries of the Deputies. Under the SBI plan they would absorb the Deputies until a new structure could be set up. The serious investigative work would be done by the SBI and the Patrol would be done by the local deputies under the supervision of the Highway Patrol.
They didn’t say it, but it was the Warren County prototype. It had been worth the 15 Million to get their pilot project up and running. ‘We had no choice’. I’m sure that was how they planned to justify it. Several Counties who were in serious financial default were looking to that model. Warren County had been the camel’s nose in the tent. I had promised not to tell their plans and I hadn’t. Pretty soon it wouldn’t matter how they had taken over local law enforcement, it would just be a fact. It was also a fact that I was an inconvenience, nothing more. It was also true that I would be more of an inconvenience, if anything happened to me.”
Wilson didn’t come home at all that night, so I slept pretty damn well. I awoke at six to ride the trike that required a lot of work. I rode it into to town and then over the bridge to Jefferson Island. I went by the security office, but I didn’t stop. After my quick tour of the island, I went back to New Wales and breakfast at Mr. BJ’s. I stayed in their dining room to eat the sandwich on a biscuit. After that I pedaled the trike home.
“Good morning,” I said to Wilson. I didn’t let my surprise show.
“Good morning Boss,” Wilson said. “I’m going to start on Brian Andrew Eaton. I will know more about him than his mother by lunch.”
“Very good, I want you to do some other things for me as well. I want you to arrange to buy this wrecker. I want it checked by a professional, then I want you to offer five percent more than the pro’s estimate. Offer it in cash that always works best. If they go for it arrange a lease to EZ,” I said.
“Oh so you are going into business with the handsome devil,” he said.
“If you must know, I’m loaning him the wrecker for a repossession business. He is to add one to his present lineup of services. He doesn’t have the best credit, so he came to me. Lease it to him with a five year payback. Tell the Management Company how to set it up for me.”
“I got it. It’s no profit but a no loss loan,” he said.
“Exactly,” I said. “Then check with this Realtor about this piece of property and this Realtor about this one,” I said giving him the information on two parcels that were reasonably close to the Marina. I could make it to either in less than ten minutes in the truck. “Do all that while you are running Brian.”
“And what are you going to be doing?” Wilson asked.
“I’m going to the Jefferson Island Security Company office,” I said.
“The Officer who took the last girl’s statement will be on at 3 PM. His name is Lamont. He has been with the company two years,” Wilson said.
“Well then I’ll call the bookkeeper about the wrecker while I wait,” I said.
“Good plan,” Wilson said.
Edited by Walt