Sheriff Porter 78
Before I left their house for the last time, I kissed Jose and his wife Hilda, a very Germanic looking young woman, goodbye. As well as keeping my word to Jose about the sex, I had taken them out to a fancy breakfast at the Georgian Terrace dining room.
After the sloppy goodbye, I put the truck on the road toward home. I had some help from Jose in getting the MoPed scooter loaded into the bed of the truck. There wasn’t a lot of extra room even so I did manage to fit the black plastic trash bag full of dirty clothes beside the scooter. I tied it down to prevent my dirty panties ending up somewhere in north Georgia.
I left after breakfast and got home in time for dinner at the B&B with Wilson. I easily slipped back into the hunt for my serial rapist. I did have to admit the trail was cold, but I was still thinking about it.
“Wilson this hotel and Brian are our only leads. Those only pertain to me, but it’s all we have. If we confront him, Brian will just lie. Why shouldn’t he? Since we have no leverage. How about we put one of those cameras I brought back behind the bar. You know just to see who comes in here?”
“They will never agree to that,” Wilson said.
“Of course not we won’t ask. I don’t want them to warn anyone anyway,” I explained. “Now that covers the B&B’s bar, how do we keep track of Brian?”
“Clone his cell phone of course. I am sure he doesn’t have military grade encryption on his phone,” Wilson said.
“Shit you mean I have to get close to him with that scanner,” I asked.
“It’s the only way,” Wilson said.
“Shit, I have to do all the nasty shit in this partnership. People run around pointing guns at me and you sit behind a desk,” I said.
“Would you like it better if I ran around talking to people and you sat behind the computer desk?” he asked.
“Fuck no,” I said. “Find that dick head Brian, and I’ll clone his ass.”
“Let’s just clone his phone and leave his ass alone,” Wilson suggested.
“Oh you can count on it,” I said.
“How about EZ? What did you decide?” Wilson asked.
“I haven’t cleared him yet, but one thing has nothing to do with the other. I can use him till I find out who really is guilty,” I said.
“Well as soon as we finish here, I’ll get onto Brian. I can find out how he spends his time based on his credit card use. We can probably arrange for an accidental meeting with him. Just don’t drink anything when he is around,” Wilson suggested.
“If I order a coke and need to go to the bathroom, I will take it with me,” I said with a laugh.
“That’s tomorrow, let’s just have a nice dinner and sing some songs,” Wilson said.
Wilson was well enough known at the piano bar so that people in the audience asked him to sing. He did a passable Sinatra. I was impressed that he had been working on it, since I last heard him sing. The bar’s menu had two sandwiches and a beef stew. I love good beef stew and can even manage the not good ones. Fortunately the B&B had more than just adequate beef stew. The vegetables were very large chunks and were well cooked. That is the secret to a good stew, veggies you actually want to eat. Most of the time they are just fill dirt.
We stayed listening to music and drinking beer till midnight. I didn’t feel the beer at all, which was another indication I wasn’t imagining things. “So Wilson, how you gonna slip the camera into the joint?” I asked as we hit the parking lot. I think I’ll use the air freshener in the wall plug. It worked for you and it should work for me, especially if I get it in an out of the way plug.”
“Yeah but angle the lens up. All I got were people’s legs and feet unless they were all the way across the room,” I said.
“I will have to keep that in mind,” Wilson admitted.
We got back to the barge in just a few minutes. It didn’t make any difference because we had all the communication necessary with us to do business. Nobody called of course, which was more than alright with me. Since I was tired enough, I slept wonderfully.
I awoke at 6 AM and rode the trike around town. It took me an hour to figure out why the trike was more tiring at the coast, than it had been in the mountains. At the coast it was easier pedaling, but you had to do it continuously. In the mountains it was puff like a mother for ten minutes then rest and catch your breath for ten. That short break made all the difference. It was still great exercise and I got to see a lot of the town. I also got to try out a lot of curse words I hadn’t used in the mountains.
When I called off the exercise at 8 AM, it was just in time to take the call from Martin in the Swamp. “I was going to call you after my shower,” I said to him.
“Sylvia I can’t smell you over the phone.” He did laugh. “I got an offer for you. Would you like to command the church camp?”
“No thanks, I have been busy setting up this new company. We are up and running now, so I think I should stay with it a while longer,” I said.
“Sure you don’t at least want to think about it a while?” he asked.
“No, I don’t. When life gets boring. I will see what you have available then. For now, I’m staying with the things I know how to do best.”
“Alright, how about a contract security job? All you have to do is watch a fishing boat unload its very legal cargo,” the colonel asked.
“Why don’t you use someone from your crew?” I asked.
“I’m going to pass it on to you. I already turned it down. If you take it, please make a careful assessment of the needs,” he said. Then he gave me the contact information.
“I think I’m going to skip this one as well. I prefer to work for people who know me, or at least call me. I don’t like the idea of soliciting business. I really don’t need to do that.”
“I have to admit fifteen million gives one a lot of job freedom,” the colonel said.
“It was only about six after taxes. To be honest I only got about a million. The rest is in some kind of trust or some such shit,” I said.
“If he calls back, I will explain it to him,” Martin said. “Expect a call from Hugo Price. He is a hard headed pig, but he does pay well.”
Wilson was in the office at nine, but we weren’t up and running till 9:30 AM. Wilson emptied the computer completely every night. It happened every night automatically. It went to a single flash drive which held the locations and codes of our files. That’s how he spent the first thirty minutes everyday. He was restoring the computers. If we got raided my burn computer would go into the dark, and deep river outside my window.
“Guess what,” Wilson asked.
“What?” I replied.
“Brian has a job interview with the “Park Place South Hotel on Jefferson Island,” Wilson said.
“Which one is that?” I asked.
“Second one south past the pier on the bay side of the Island,” Wilson said.
“You wouldn’t happen to know what time would you?” I asked.
“He should be walking through the front doors at 3 PM or thereabouts,” Wilson said.
“Should I ask how you know all this?” I asked.
“No, just believe me, there is going to be a misunderstanding. It would be a good place for an accidental meeting. If you were to wait inside and I were to watch from the parking lot. We could arrange for you to be in the lobby, when he approaching the front desk. Just walk by him with the scanner in your pocket and I’ll get him all logged on.” Wilson was really excited.
“Okay, but it better work this time,” I said.
“It will work just fine. After the next week or so, we will know everything he does. All his dirty little secrets will be ours,” Wilson said. “So don’t you think I deserve lunch on you for this.”
“No, but I will take you anywhere you want for dinner, once I see a message from his phone,” I said in agreement.
I had a bowl of bran cereal with raisins and some kind of dried berries. I had put them into a storage container weeks ago, when I had a wild hair up my butt for bran flakes and fruit. The problem was that I tossed the package. That morning I recognized the raisins but for the life of me I couldn’t remember the berries. The milk came from the small freezer built into the cabinets of the kitchen area. The freezer and the refrigerator were each the same size. They were about the size of my old Air Force Foot Locker.
Frozen Milk heated in a microwave wasn’t all that wonderful but it was probably healthier than the alternative. That would have been one of Wilson’s Twinkie like things. After my slightly more than healthy lunch, I started calling the Realtors again. They weren’t all that enthusiastic, since they didn’t think I was serious, or that I could afford the land.
I was quite serious. I had walked the three properties in which I had an interest. I thought a quarter of a million was a bit steep for the one closest to the ocean and on the best road. It might have been worth it, if I was going to build a factory or warehouse. However, just to let it lay fallow though, it was a bit too steep. The one that was a fifteen minute drive was almost a hundred thousand cheaper, but it was still a fifteen minute drive away and it was smaller.
There was one more that really was almost square. It didn’t have a road frontage. What it had was a driveway easement. It had a farm road back to the field where the three chicken houses had been. I had no idea what its sale price would be since it was the sheriff’s auction one. I had a feeling it might be a bargain, since no retail business wanted a property without road frontage. The chicken houses were in ruins but then there was nothing to a chicken house. The property was sitting empty and deteriorating quickly. The sale was two days away and I decided I could wait till then at least to make a decision.
By the time I got finished checking the tax value and location satellite maps it was 2:15 PM. That meant time to get on down to the hotel where I would pass Brian in the lobby. If he saw me, he probably wouldn’t think anything about it. It was a small Island and I got around some. I was siting in the small coffee shop just off the lobby, when I got the text from Wilson. He was advising me that Brian was headed inside all dressed up.
I headed to the lobby, so I wouldn’t miss him. He walked purposefully toward the front desk. I passed right buy him with the machine that would clone his smart phone. It would also clone all his credit cards, just in case he had added one or had a stolen one. I would rather have erased them all just for spite. I got the text message from Wilson.
‘We have the bastard,’ it read.
Edited by Walt