Hot Shower and history revised.
It was hard for me not to slap hell out of Brian. Even harder not to at least tell him I was on to him. Either course of action and he was likely to start covering his tracks and I wasn’t sure we were ready for that.
I knew Wilson was busy running Brian’s contacts from the phone. I wasn’t expecting too much, but it would be one more piece of the puzzle. When I got back to the truck the clone had only been activated two minutes. Nonetheless Wilson was just as busy as I had expected.
“Believe it or not his last call was to the B&B. I don’t know who he spoke to, but my guess would be Christine,” Wilson said.
“Mine to, but check the bar film, when we get home. Just to make sure there isn’t a big bald man having a drink in the bar,” I suggested.
“Yes of course,” he said.
“I’m downloading his contact list as well. I want to run background checks on everyone on his phone,” he said.
“I expected no less of you,” I suggested. It was a long ten minutes back to the barge. Wilson immediately disappeared into the office to play with his room full of toys.
While Wilson worked on the phone, I took a shower. As had been the case with the first box house in the mountains, the water ran tepid after five minutes. Knowing that I did my body washing first, then I washed my hair in cooler water. I never actually went cold, but it wasn’t pleasant to stand under tepid water to soak. I was giving serious thought to putting a shower in the office. One with an old fashioned hot water heater.
It wasn’t like the office didn’t have a bathroom of sorts. It had a toilet and janitor’s sink from when it was a bait shop. We had just cleaned it up for Wilson to use when he worked. I thought about it a minute, then decided what the fuck it was just money.
After I dressed in my jeans and red sweatshirt with the chopped off sleeves, I called EZ. When he answered I said, “EZ I’m calling in one of those hundred favors you owe me.”
“Well hello to you to Sylvia. I’m doing just fine thanks for asking though,” he said with a laugh.
“Okay, tell me all that shit, then tell me who to call to get a shower installed in the office,” I demanded.
“I’ll call him to come by to give you an estimate. He only has a cell phone and would probably not answer. He doesn’t know you,” EZ said.
“Have him call first,” I said. “Meanwhile I’ll pick out the one I want online.”
“You need to work that out with him. I’ll just have him call,” EZ said.
“Fair enough, how is the repo business?” I asked.
“Lots of work but most of it is out of town. We are working a two county area. Between that and my trouble tenant business, I am keeping busy,” EZ said.
“Good,” I said.
After all that it was 6 PM. Time to check on Wilson, I thought. I walked onto the pier and into the office. I had a flash of insight as I often do. Most times I ignore it, but that day I didn’t. I dialed EZ again.
“My god how lucky I am to be hearing from you twice in one day,” he said. “I am in the car though so what can I do for you.” he asked.
“I just flashed on how much shit I have in this building. Can you send me someone to install a better door and locks on the windows?” I asked.
“Oscar isn’t really a plumber, he is a handyman. He is honest though, and he stands behind his work. Plumbers don’t, if they have to come back to fix their fuck up, they charge you a service call. That’s why I use him,” EZ explained.
“Right have him call then,” I said.
“Okay now Wilson, how are we doing?” I asked, when I entered the office.
“So far about half a dozen girls, who probably won’t go out with him. Chrissy is one of them of course,” he said.
“Is that what you are calling the daughter at the B&B now?” I asked.
“Yes it is so much easier that way. It what her girlfriends call her,” Wilson said.
“That’s a good thing to know. If someone by that name comes up, I will at least know who they are talking about,” I said. Just then the phone rang.
“Miss Porter?” the heavily accented voice asked, after I finished my opening speech.
“That’s right. How can I help you?” asked.
“My name is Hugo Price. We have a mutual friend,” he said.
“So I’m told. What can I do for you?” I asked again.
“I have a very important shipment coming into a small port near you. I wish to move a package of about one meter by half a meter. I am told you can make it happen without incident,” he said.
“That depends on how much security you need, and what is in the package?” I made it a question.
“There is nothing illegal in the package. I prefer not to discuss this further on the telephone,” he said.
“Than I am sorry, but without a full threat assessment, I’m not going to be able to help you,” I said.
“Very well thank you for taking my call,” he said. He thought that he was calling my bluff, but what he didn’t know is I wasn’t bluffing. If I didn’t have the money in the bank, I might have risked going in blind. As it was, I really wasn’t willing to take the chance that there would be ten men pulling up in a couple of crew cars. They could easily take the package away from me and take my life as well.
I turned my attention back to Wilson. “So Willie old boy what next,” I asked.
“I guess we pretend we are in the kitchen and let this mess stew a while. Between the camera in the B&B and the cloning of the punk’s phone, we are going to come up with something.” he said.
“Clone Chrissy’s phone,” I demanded.
“You don’t really think she has anything to do with this do you?” he asked.
“I have no idea but we should cover all the basis. She was there when I was drugged,” I said.
“Okay, but I’m sure it is a waste of time,” Wilson said.
“I agree, but we have nothing but time to waste,” I said. It took time to stew alright. I did nothing but wait to hear from Wilson that he had something on Brian. I was still waiting when the noon Thursday came around. It found me standing on the courthouse step where three of us waited for the auction to start.
One of the others looked a lot like a farmer. Possibly the previous owner hoping to buy the property back for less than the back taxes. That often happened I’m told.
It was after all a final auction. In talking to some people the figures broke down to value at $75,000. That was only because it was in a county connected to the ocean. Someday they felt that the tourist communities would reach that far inland. I failed to mention that the land was only a five minute drive from the city limits of New Wales and a ten minute drive to the marina. It really was eight but I rounded it up.
The Sheriff’s auctioneer tried to start at 100k but nobody bit. The first bid was 45k from what looked like a lawyer. The farmer made one bid at 50k then when the lawyer came back with 55k the farmer walked away. It was just me and the lawyer. He gave up at 65k, because he figured I was in it all the way to full retail. I planned to go to 75k then dump it on him.
I took care of the deposit from my working funds, before I left the courthouse. I had a full month to make the rest of the purchase price. I called the trust from the steps of the courthouse. I read the Account Manager the payment information and authorized the purchase.
Since the money was electronically transferred I owned the property the next morning. I hadn’t expected it to go so easily, or be completed so quickly. When I got home EZ’s friend Oscar had the shower installed. It had been two days since I agreed to have him do the work. Between buying parts and paying him I had almost a thousand dollars in a hot shower. That struck me as a bit wasteful. I had to remind myself that even with so many expenditures, I still had over a million in my first year’s draw account.
I called EZ after I paid Oscar off. “EZ call me when you get this message. Well don’t call me after midnight but call me,” I said into his voice mail.
At 10 PM he called. “Hey Sylvia, what you want now?” he asked cheerfully?
“I just bought a piece of land today. I need someone to take a look and advise me what needs to be done. Send me someone who can take down some chicken houses and then plant grass on the field that is left,” I insisted.
“Let me call around tomorrow. I used to know a guy, if he isn’t doing it anymore he will know someone who is,” EZ said.
“Good, I don’t know anyone down here really,” I said.
“You know me,” he reminded me.
“I meant to say I don’t know anyone down here who can do real work,” I said laughing.
“Well you need to check in with your Management Company. Just to make sure they are doing what they are supposed to do. You have customers in the marina who aren’t paying and need to be foreclosed. I sent them the papers and nothing happened,” EZ said.
“How do you know they aren’t paying. I thought you just got their names when they were on the eviction notice,” I said.
“Yeah but these guys were bragging when I was down replacing the solar lights. I don’t know if anyone is paying, or not,” EZ said.
“Well I assure you, I will know tomorrow,” I said. “And EZ thanks.”
“You are welcome. I’ll have someone call you tomorrow,” he said and rang off.
I crawled into bed. I was just plain worn out by making decisions. Life was so much easier in County Seat. Get up go to work and come home exhausted and go to bed. Do it all again the next day. It sounds so boring, and back then it felt boring. Some days I would die for that kind of boredom.
I managed to shut my mind off and drift off to sleep immediately. Well I did have a proper rub, or maybe it would be an improper one, but I did get off. That was the last piece of the puzzle, so I was out like a light.
When I awoke at 6 AM, I rode the trike for two hours. I went into town and did a once around the traffic circle in the center of town. I rode by the new statue. The previous statue of a confederate soldier had been replaced with a new statue just the week before. The local NAACP complained about it, so they were told, find the money to replace it. You can donate it to replace the one in the circle. The town council will go along with the replacement.
Some liberal somewhere must have commissioned a hundred because it was happening everywhere. Another case of revising history. It was hard for people to remember that the vast majority of confederate soldiers didn’t own slaves. Hell before the war they probably never even had a drink with anyone who did.
Edited by Walt