Sheriff Porter 122
“So our window of opportunity, if you are tied to that location, is 4 PM to 1 AM,” Mel said.
“I would say so,” I replied.
“That is sorta good because I don’t like cooking breakfast,” she said with a smile.
“It’s almost time to go do some basic research,” I suggested.
“You mean dinner?” Wilson asked.
“Yes I do,” I replied. I drove the Honda up and down Jefferson Island before I swung it onto the mainland and into the slightly rundown watch tower section of town. That is where I found the old fish camp. I had eaten there once with EZ and several times with Wilson. I liked their deep fried baby shrimp.
“I do hope you can find something in here to eat, since you only eat vegan,” I said.
“That is just your imagination,” Mel said. “I eat everything except red meat. I’m not crazy about fried foods but I can manage the boiled shrimp quite well.” She paused a moment then said, “The volume here is good for a Monday night.”
“Yes it is,” I agreed. “From the way they are dressed, I would suggest there is a cross section of clients, Fishermen to Lawyers most likely. As a matter of fact there are a couple of Jewish people who run the pawn shop in town. I also see a real estate agent who tried to sell me a piece of land over there.”
“I don’t think this area could stand another fish camp style restaurant,” she said.
“I know. I just wanted you to see what is available here now,” I said.
After dinner we went to sit on the pier on Jefferson Island. We drank a cup of coffee and just looked at the ocean for a while. We did some talking, but mostly it was look out at the waves.
“Tell me something Wilson, can I feed an image into the laser engraver and then get a reasonable sized image engraved on metal out of it?” I asked.
“Up to 11×17 with the one I bought you. Why do you ask?” he asked.
“I want to make an image. Get me a good quality camera. I don’t want a fancy professional one with lots of bullshit. I just want a really good, easy to use one,” I demanded.
“It will take a few days to get one here. I would say by the weekend,” Wilson replied. “We have a lot of specialized camera’s already.”
“That’s not what I want. I want one that is easy to use, not one that I can make a picture of a license plate a hundred yards away or one I have to take ten minute to set up just for that,” I replied.
“Okay, I can find you something and have it here pretty quick,” he said.
I walked to the end of the pier before I made the call to his private number. “Hey can you do me a favor. Next person you have making the trip down from Church Camp, have him bring Dog to the swamp. I want to make a picture of him in the swamp for Liam,” I said almost in tears.
“You got it. I’ll call you. How are you and Melody getting on?” he asked.
“Sometimes I think she might have a wire loose somewhere, but she seems to be good hearted,” I said.
“Yeah I know,” he said. “Whatever she needs get it for her and send me the bill.”
“Don’t worry we will work something out,” I said.
The camera arrived on Thursday. Dog arrived on Friday according to the call from Martin, and I had two full days of training on the camera by Saturday.
Saturday morning I flew into the Swamp compound. After that trip I had full access to the compound at anytime according to Martin. Dog met the plane with his handler, a young guy just in his twenties. A career dog trainer with the US Army. He was short a leg which I only noticed because he didn’t bother to hide his prosthetic blade inside a boot. He had been a dog handler till the Taliban shot his dog and then shot him as well, with a very large caliber rifle stolen from a dead US ranger sniper. I heard the story from the New Sergeant major. The Sergeant Major had been told of the pecking order. Even though I had no rank and no special training, he pretty much minded his manners.
I spent over an hour playing with Dog, before I took my new camera and went into the swamp to make his picture. Dog wasn’t a water dog, but he chased that damn ball no matter where it went. I made several pictures with the swamp in the background and Dog standing knee deep in water. None of them seemed just right. Finally Dog stood on a huge fallen log, he was soaking wet and his fur matted, he heard something and perked his ears up. The background was open black water for as far as the shot went. The foreground had a bush in the right corner. I knew I would never get a better picture for my purpose.
I had lunch with the men at the compound, then I flew the canary home. I got home in time to download some free editing software. I did that before I examined the images from my day at the swamp. I didn’t try to work on them I just examined and evaluated them.
I was surprised and shocked to find the one on the log was the most regal of the shots but not the best for my purpose. That one was a shot I set up as well that I made through the foliage. There was almost a tunnel with Dog’s wet stinky body against brown tree trunks. He was isolated from the foreground and background since he was on a bit of a cleared space. He also looked like a wet dog lost in the swamp or just a dog worn completely out but still with it. I wasn’t quite sure which.
Then in the midst of all the work the phone rang. “Sylvia?” one of the old men asked.
“Yes it is. So did your TV producer show?” I asked.
“Yes he is here now and wants to know if you will have breakfast with us?” the old man asked.
“I would not do this for anyone but you,” I said. “Tell him I said sure why not.”
“He is at the Rum Runner Hotel. He wants us to have Sunday Brunch with him and his co-producer. Honest honey I wouldn’t ask you to do this since I know how you feel, but we are at a loss,” he said.
“Well I suppose the prick wants to eat in their restaurant,” I suggested.
“Afraid so. None of us are going to be comfortable in that place,” he said.
“Don’t worry I won’t be comfortable either,” I said. When I hung up I realized I hadn’t seen Wilson or Mel all day. I mean yeah I was gone till about 6 PM, but they were nowhere to be found and they hadn’t come home at 11 PM when I got the call. I didn’t miss either of them as I always amused myself anyway. I was really just curious.
I went to bed and got a good night’s sleep. I awoke at six and there was still no sign of either of them. I felt very curious, but Mel was less than half Wilson’s age. Still I had done it with him one drunken evening. She might have as well.
Regardless, I took the trike and went to the airstrip. It was time to cut the grass again. On Sunday there was no one even close, so I considered doing it. Then I remembered that I had to be on the island by eleven. I took off on the trike under full power. I got home in time to fight Mel for the shower. Since I preferred the one in the office, and she preferred the one above our heads there was no arguments.
“So did you and Wilson have fun?” I asked.
“He took me to a karaoke bar, we sang and drank till 2 AM. Wilson wouldn’t drive and wouldn’t let me so we stayed in the hotel across the street. It wasn’t on the island it was in Ellisboro,” she explained.
“Sounds like fun, well I’m going to brunch at a fancy place on the island. Would you like to come along?” I asked. “It might be a good idea.”
“Okay sure, but I might not be fit company,” she said looking thoroughly hung over.
“You will be fine,” I said knowing the producers would be looking for a female to run in an out of the scene half dressed. Mel wouldn’t meet my eye. She had obviously done the dirty with Wilson. My god, Wilson was turning out to be a chic magnet. I actually did laugh out loud at that though. Mel looked at me as if I was a little crazy.
Mel and I showed up in the dining room more or less on time. The three old men were waiting at a large table by the window overlooking the ocean. They were all dressed like old men on vacation. I almost laughed again, since I had always seen them in ill fitting jeans and one of them in overalls. They were kind of cute with their white legs sticking out of Bermuda shorts.
I was in baggy cutoffs and a loose tee shirt. Mel was the glamour of the group. She was in a pair of skinny jeans and a middy top with her belly showing. She had really nice boobs but a slightly wide ass. Still she was much better looking than me.
When the producer came in he introduced himself and his assistant. I immediately and intentionally forgot his name. We all placed our orders. I tried to order a bacon egg and cheese biscuit but realized it was going to be a Jack Nicholson five easy pieces, if I continued so I ordered bacon and scrambled eggs with cheese and an English muffin. I didn’t order coffee I ordered sweet iced tea instead.
The old men were intimidated by the place, as I was sure they were meant to be. “So how about we cut right to it,” Mr. Producer. “Why did you feel the need to meet with me.”
“I want you to be in the show, it’s that simple,” he said.
“I don’t want to be in the show, it’s that simple for me. Is there anything else?” I asked.
“Then we won’t do the show,” he said.
“That is your decision, not mine,” I said. Let me say my piece then we can start over. These shows are not scripted, but they are far from reality. What you want is to pretend the shit you show really happens and it doesn’t. First of all most the shit you guys show would never happen in reality. So it is an improvisational show at best. I have no desire to be a part of it, period.”
“I see,” the producer said.
“Now if you just need a woman, take Melody here. You can see she is better looking and you can work her into the show. She legitimately has helped them out a couple of times. We are working on getting her a restaurant open across the street from the factory. You could have a reasonable explanation for her running in and out.”
He leaned back and thought a minute. His female assistant tried to fill the empty air with comments for the Old Men. “I really do like the wooden train with the circus wagons could I get one to take home?” she asked.
“You can get one on the shopping network. The Old Man Enterprises doesn’t have a retail store yet,” I informed her.
“Of course, I’m sorry,” she said.
Edited by Walt