After I put the Canary away I took off on the trike. I flipped the motor over so that it rested on the front wheel. I used a combination of the motor, and a pedal every now and then to get into town. The bike was slowing even farther by the time I reached town. That told me the battery was almost exhausted.
I pulled the motor back to lessen the drag. Then I pedaled to the boat yard. I found my way along a familiar route to the office. “Hey Ev you old pirate. I need you to build me something,” I said.
“Me and you are through,” he said.
“We are finished with our last business yes, but I need you to build me something different this time. You have a machine shop, so I need some work done,” I said.
“What do you need?” he asked.
“Come on out I’ll show you.” When we got out I showed him the trike. “Here is the deal. An old man in County seat built this in his home shop. I want another one built but this time I want it made from a regular bike, actually two regular bikes. I want a full suspension mountain bike for the frame. Take the rear wheel off and mount two 20“ wheels on it just like these are mounted. Remove the chain drive system completely. That’s all you have to do. I’ll bring you the two bikes this afternoon if you can do it for a reasonable price.”
“Let me get a pencil to sketch it.” He spent ten minutes turning my trike every which way. What you want me to do is build a frame around two 20“ bicycle wheels and then weld some decking to the bike frame and add the wheel frame to them. I can do all that no problem. It will take a welder half a day. Give me three hundred bucks and you supply both bikes,” he said.
“Fair enough, I’m going to buy the bikes right now,” I said.
“Hold on a second. There is a full suspension bike by the dumpster. It has been there out in the weather for a while so it’s a little rusty looking. We can clean that up no problem. You just need to pump the tires up. I’m sure there is a 20“ kids bike at the thrift store on the Ellisboro road,” Ev said.
“Why in the world are you helping me? You think I’m the devil,” I said with a laugh.
“I have no idea, but you better take the deal while I’m out of my mind,” he demanded.
“Well it’s a deal of course. I’m off to find a bike,” I said as I climbed back onto the trike. I pedaled it off to the marina which wasn’t all that far away from the boat yard.
Wilson and Mel weren’t stirring, so I just took off in the Honda. The bike hunt took me a half hour. I was in and out of the thrift store in ten minutes. I paid twenty five bucks for the bike.
I dropped it at EV’s office. “So it will be ready tomorrow?” I asked.
“No tomorrow is Saturday. It will be ready Tuesday,” Ev said. “Do you want these handlebars. They would be more functional than the mountain bike ones,” he said.
“Sure why not,” I replied. “It’s the kind of bars on my pedal trike.”
I got back to the barge in time to call The Brit. “Hey Brit when you gonna arrive?” I asked.
“We will be in about nine tonight. We are going to stop in Capitol City for dinner. Jeremy wants to show me some fancy restaurant there,” Brit informed me. I’m going to use you as an excuse to leave early.
“Well come on down, we will be happy to have you whenever you get here,” I said. I walked to the office to find Wilson finally on the job. It was fine, since it was pretty close to noon, our agreed on start time.
“So how you doing?” I asked Wilson.
“I’m worn out,” he said.
“I can imagine. You didn’t forget how sound carries in the boxes did you?” I asked.
“Oh no, I knew exactly how it was going to sound. Mel does not know however, and I would like to keep it that way,” he said with a laugh.
“Wilson you are a dirty fucking old man,” I said.
“Guilty as charged,” he admitted.
“Okay before they come to take you away, find me a front wheel hub motor about 36 volts 800 watts. When you finish that buy me a set of lead acid batteries. I will need three about 18ah each,” I said.
“My you have been doing your research,” he suggested.
“Yes and you and I are going to build an electric moped,” I said.
He and Mel took his Econobox and left me the Honda to go meet The Brit and Jeremy, when they arrived. The call came about 9:30 PM. “Hey Sylvia it took me a little longer to pry Jeremy loose than I thought. Anyway we are at the Motel and it’s beautiful thank you so much.”
“Hey it’s okay Brit. You are both going to earn every penny of it. You and Jeremy want to go out tonight or are you worn out?” I asked.
“I’m never too tired to see you,” he said. “If Jeremy is, he can go to sleep early. Where do I meet you?”
“You drive back to the main road turn right go about a hundred yards and you will be at the pier. Meet me there and we will drink some coffee and tell some lies,” I suggested.
That’s how 10 PM found me sitting on the pier with The Brit on the way. I had no idea if he would come alone or if his shadow Jeremy would be tagging along. I was almost surprised to see The Brit walking out of the parking lot. I hugged and tried to kiss him but he move his head and took it on the cheek. “What, you don’t trust me to kiss you? Maybe it’s you that you don’t trust.”
“Maybe,” he said. “How you doing?”
“I’m all fucked up. How about you?” I asked.
“I fell bad, but I wasn’t screwing the guy,” The Brit said.
“Yeah,” was my only reply.
“So you going back to work for the Colonel?” he asked.
“I don’t know. I’m not even running the investigation business now. I’m just kind of like a pinball in the machine. Kind of bouncing from one thing to another. I’m trying not to think of Liam, or the ones I dispatched, like someone dispatch Liam.” I stopped, took a drink from the coffee cup, looked out at the ocean then added, “I never had anyone I loved die on a mission before. Yeah I’ve known the names of some and even spoken to a few who died, but I never knew them like I did Liam. I was never on a rescue mission that was so fucked up,” I said.
“I heard what you did in Bolivia,” The Brit said.
“That was nothing but making an air freight delivery. It wasn’t much satisfaction,” I said.
“I think a few more bad guys learned not to fuck with the Swamp Dog,” he said. “Martin sent me a shot of the medallion you put up in the dining hall. It is beautiful. I think I would like a smaller one on a chain to wear as a dog tag. Could you do that for me?”
“Of course, just write down what information you want on it, and I’ll do it first thing next week. But this weekend you have work to do. I don’t mean screwing me, I mean helping decide what to do with my new pub,” I said.
“Well I need to go back and get to sleep if I’m going to be of any use to you,” he said.
We both left the pier to drive home. I got home in time to hear the latest edition of the Mel and Wilson radio show. Live porno to masturbate to, I thought
The next morning was Saturday. Even so, I still did my morning thing except I skipped the trip to the airstrip. Instead I rode the trike into town and to MrBJ’s for breakfast. I stayed to eat at one of the concrete tables. I got back to the barge still too early to call The Brit.
At 9 AM Melody came down to my room. “Don’t make plans for dinner I’m going to try new hot dog recipes on you.”
“Good, I’ll invite The Brit and Jeremy for dinner,” I suggested.
“They are welcome as long as they fill out the feedback forms. That’s what I’m working on now the menu,” Mel said. “I need all the help I can get.
Jeremy called me at 11 AM. “Hello Sylvia, Allen and I are finally awake. We just got back from the restaurant. This place is fabulous. I just love the ocean breeze,” he gushed.
“Good so drive back across the bridge and take the first exit onto Main Street, then first right turn after you are on Main is the corner on which I plan a bar. So meet me there as soon as you can make it,” I suggested.
“Give us fifteen minutes and we should be there,” he said.
I left as soon as he hung up. I carried a cup of fresh coffee in my hand. I was pretty sure The Brit would arrive with one as well. As I expected he and Jeremy each had a cup of coffee in their hands. Jeremy also rushed to hug me. “Sylvia, I am so sorry about Liam. He was a very nice man, and a good friend of Allen’s I know.”
“Thanks Jeremy. He was a good friend of mine as well. Now before we start let’s go and I’ll show you the woodworking plant. The Old Man Enterprises is renting half the building and I have a studio in the other half. Thanks to Wilson it is state of the art,” I said.
“I have seen your ads on TV for The Old Man Enterprises products. I hope they are working,” he said.
“One of them must be, there is a car there,” I said. Once I opened the door, we all went inside. The last old man hired was cutting out train blanks. He would do the carving on them all at the same time.
“Hello Sylvia, who are your friends?” he asked.
“This is Allen and Jeremy, guys this is Stanley,” I said. They shook hands all around. So why you working on Saturday?”
“Believe it or not I can’t keep up and talk to that damn camera crew as well. They don’t work on Saturday, so I’m using it to catch up. The others will probably be in this afternoon or tomorrow.”
Well good luck. By the way, you and your wife are invited to the Barge for a cookout. It’s Mel’s cooking research,” I suggested.
“Yeah, she invited us yesterday. She said you wouldn’t mind,” he said.
“Of course not,” I replied. “By the way Brit you and Jeremy are invited as well. You both know Melody.”
“Barely,” Jeremy said. “But we will be there.” Brit nodded his agreement.
“I will be looking forward to seeing you are there,” I said as the three of us returned to the sidewalk outside the three empty stores.
“So believe it or not these three are all the same building,” I said as we stood in front of them.
“They sort of share the same roof to be honest. Their fronts are a little different but they are all attached,” The Brit said. “I can see that from here.”
“You got it right as you usually do. This one is Mel’s fine foods,” I said using the temporary name we had given the third building. “The one in the middle will be a gift shop like the one we ran in County Seat,” I said to Jeremy. “It will feature the Old Man Enterprises and local crafts as well as estate finds.”
“Really can we take a look inside it,” he asked.
Edited by Walt