Doin’ Hard Time
I let them lead me away in cuff while they booked my weapons into evidence. I was printed which was a lot less messy than I remember it. I just had my fingers scanned. Then I sat in a holding cell in my own clothes for a few hours. I sure hoped they didn’t think that bothered me any.
A plain clothes detective entered the cell. I expected that he was SBI but I really didn’t know for sure. Well I didn’t know until he said, “My name is Wade Jordan.”
“You are a tall black man named Jordan, I have to ask. Are you any kin to the ball player?” I asked.
“No but I’m pretty good at the pickup games in Capitol City,” he said.
“That is very good,” I replied.
“Would you like to waive your right to an attorney?’ he asked.
“Afraid not,” I replied.
“So how about we chat off the record and with nothing you say being used against you?” he asked.
“You do realize how dangerous that is for both of us,” I said.
“I hear you are an adrenalin junkie. A little danger should fascinate you,” he suggested.
“You know the last time you guys came after me it didn’t end well for you,” I said.
“Oh we aren’t after you this time. Ahmed swore that you assaulted him,” Wade said.
“I see. Since this is just a chat, exactly what were his injury claims,” I asked.
“It was more of a verbal threat according to Ahmed,” Wade suggested.
“And where exactly did this threat happen?” I asked.
“According to his statement, Ahmed went to your office to ask you to be reasonable about his nephew, who you claim is the perpetrator of a hit and run,” Wade said.
“And you don’t see that is a motive for him to lie?” I asked.
“Sylvia those issues are for lawyers, you know?” he asked.
“So we have Ahmed coming to my office to ask me, asking me to be reasonable about his nephew and for no reason whatsoever I am supposed to have threatened him? Well in my opinion that is a clear cultural misunderstanding. My partner Wilson was there at the time. I think I will wait for Rita, the attorney in my last case against the state, and the justice department for malicious prosecution, to get here.”
“Yes we heard. That’s why we waited till someone had the courage to file a complaint,” he said.
“I see, I wonder what Mr. Ramadamadingdong will say when he is facing a lawsuit for false arrest. Will he say how he was pressured to file those charges?
“When the young woman, who almost died, tells how I saved her life which I did by taking off my tee shirt and stuffing it into her chest wound. I wonder how the jury will react to the uncle of the man, who almost killed her coming to my office to threaten me. Of course they probably will understand, why he would come to my office and try to intimidate me.”
“When the intimidation didn’t work, he cried foul. How could a mere woman dare to get involved? What percentage of jurors are women these days?” I asked. “I think I am through talking till my lawyer gets here.”
“He says it is a race thing. I think your time in Afghanistan will come into it,” the agent said.
“I have nothing more to say,” I said.
I went back to my holding cell and waited for Rita. I figured she would be about three more hours minimum. It was after noon before they took me back to the interview room. That made it twelve plus hours since my arrest.
“Sorry, I had to wait till the bank opened to take care of some things,” Rita said.
“Checked my credit did you?” I asked with a laugh.
“You know better. They should be dropping the charges about now,” she said.
“I don’t think so this time,” I said.
“I think you are wrong,” Rita said with a smile. She put her finger to her mouth the universal signal for silence.
“Breakfast was crap do you think I could at least get a cup of coffee while we wait?” I asked.
We waited another twenty minutes or so, before the SBI agent came in to release me. “Don’t leave town,” Wade said.
“There is no were else I would rather be,” I said.
“What the fuck happened?” I asked Rita when we were on the steps of the courthouse.
“I asked for an immediate arraignment. It seems the state can’t find Ahmed. He got a call from the Immigration and Naturalization Service last night. That agency asked him some question and made some statement which led Ahmed, who is here illegally, to decide he needed to relocate quickly. It was hinted that his name was found on a terrorist watch list. The INS would have an agent by his house this afternoon to discuss all this, as well as his nephew’s actions during and after the accident,” Rita explained.
“You have been hanging around with the wrong people again,” I said.
“Or the right ones for a change,” she said smiling. “You owe me a thousand dollars, by the way.”
“Is that what you are going to charge me for driving down here?” I asked.
“That and working on your real estate acquisition,” she said.
“I think I should get a lawyer down here,” I said.
“Funny you should mention that. Being your lawyer is a cottage industry. I hardly need any other clients,” Rita announced.
“Bullshit! You would be so bored,” I suggested.
“Hardly, what is boring is County Seat without you,” she said.
“Well since you are here call the owner of the Railroad Hotel and we will take the tour,” I suggested. “I don’t think he has stewed enough, but you never can tell.”
“Is it true that you stumbled on the wreck and stripped naked to use your clothes as bandages?” Rita asked.
“The story of my nakedness is greatly exaggerated,” I said. “I took off a tee shirt to stuff in her wound. Then when the paramedics took over, I redressed since I had more clothes in the car. I was coming back from a trip for Swamp Dog,” I explained.
“Still, that is very impressive,” Rita replied. “Give me the owner’s phone number.”
As usual Rita’s mind was all over the place. She was all business. I liked that about her.
My phone rang. “Hello Wilson, you want to meet us for lunch?” I asked.
“Sure where you going to be?” he asked.
“I thought we would have lunch on the Jefferson Island Pier,” I said.
“Not my favorite, but sure why not,” Wilson agreed.
He arrived at the pier before Rita and I. My plan was to buy her lunch and ride home with Wilson. “Would you rather have hot dogs or hamburger, they also have a dynamite grilled cheese,” I explained to her.
“Get me a grilled cheese and those homemade potato chips,” she said.
“Diet Coke to drink okay?” I asked.
“Sure,” she said. Wilson came with me to order the food.
“That woman is smart and not all that ethical,” Wilson said. “She suggested, I call to intimidate that old fart.”
“It seems to have worked he is in the wind,” I said.
“Yeah but I did it, not her,” he said.
“You were the actor, she wrote the script. I figure you have to share the credit,” I suggested.
I carried the large tray of food to a bench at the far end of the pier. We sat there passing food back and forth between us. “I read the complaint before I came in to see you. Did you really put a gun in an old man’s mouth?” Rita asked.
“No, I did not,” I replied. One should never lie to her lawyer unless the truth will put that lawyer in the jackpot.
“This is really a beautiful spot,” Rita said.
Wilson said almost exactly the same thing his first day here,” I said. Everyone just got kind of quiet. We each were locked inside ourselves with our own thoughts.
“Come on,” I said when I finished my beer joint burger. “Let’s go take a look at the Hotel.”
Their property manager met us at the Hotel. On the way over the bridge I had explained to Rita about the B&B that had previously been in the building and why they folded. The property manager met us at the front door and opened the door for us. Rita and I walked through the bar and kitchen. Then we went to the office and manager’s apartment. After that it was up the stairs to the newly decorated but not renovated rooms.
Some one at sometime had shoehorned a bathroom in by taking the middle room in a group of three rooms and splitting it in half to make it two bathrooms one opening into the rooms on either side. It lowered the number of rooms, but had been necessary. When the tour was over Rita asked, “What the hell are you going to do with this white elephant?”
“I really don’t know. I started out with the idea of making efficiency apartments for short term lease. Now I’m leaning to condos. You are doing the paperwork now for the warehouse behind the hotel. I’m going to donate it to the city, if they agree to demolish the building and turn it into a park. That is my first choice. My second choice is to make a toy factory in the building.
“I’m no expert, but if you aren’t careful, the renovations will cost more than you will ever be able to get back,” Rita said.
“Well if it’s only a few bucks and I can improve the community, I guess I could live with that,”I said.
“Okay, I will tell you what, keep the price on one of the units to under $200,000 and I’ll buy one,” Rita said.
“What are you talking about?” I asked.
“I just decided to move down here. I can practice law here as well as anywhere else. I would want a nice bedroom, a nice bath, a small kitchen and dining area and a nice closet,” she said
“I’ll get a consultant in to design the unit, if I buy it,” I said.
“If you buy it my ass,” she said with a laugh. “You know you are going to buy it.”
“Yeah, I think so,” I agreed.
Rita checked into the Gray Ghost Hotel on the beach. I expected that she had no idea who the Gray Ghost was, historically speaking. Since he was a famous Confederate Soldier, and Rita was a reasonably militant black female, I was convinced that she had no idea.
“So you want to go out and chase men tonight,” I asked. “Or should I just send Wilson over?”
“You know better, if you weren’t my client I would hang around you with my tongue hanging out,” Rita said with a laugh. “After you left, I did have a weekend thing with Osborn.”
“You are kidding me,” I said.
“Not at all. After she lost all that weight she was a knock out, of course, she wasn’t all that good in bed. She was a bit shy at first, but I think by Sunday night she was pretty much at peace with it,” Rita said.
“Damn, has everyone in County Seat screwed her?” I asked smiling.
“Actually probably no one you know, other then me did. She was pretty careful about her reputation. I heard rumors she went wild here, but that sounds out of character. So I am skeptical.”
“Well I can tell you Osborn is living with two men. All in the same house at the same time. I’m not sure about the logistics of it, but it is a fact.”
Edited by Walt