Sheriff Porter 134
I awoke at my usual 6 AM and also as the new usual I went back to sleep. Finally at 7 AM I began to stir. I dressed for a run, since I did not have the tricycle. I left the box house at about 7:15 or so. I ran for 45 minutes out and almost an hour back. It took a lot more out of me than the trike ride did. I guessed that it was time I stopped living the good life for a while.
I went in and took a quick shower. Then I threw my few clothes into a bag and left for the drive to Stanleyville TN. It should have been a two hour drive over the mountains but the mountains can fool you. Even on a major highway in the winter shit happens. There had been a heavy fog and a rock slide. It made for a really bad combination. Something a semi driver learned first hand. The State Police had the road blocked. At least we had cell service so I called ahead to delay the meeting for a couple of hours.
I finally met Mr. Evans in the parking lot of a convenience store and gas station at the exit from the interstate closest to his cabin. I followed him inside to sit at one of the snack bar’s three tables. I didn’t like that idea of doing business in a restaurant. I had no idea who the people around us were.
“So why are we meeting here?” I asked.
“Because you are two hours late and insisted no one see you or know about our business. Look just leave me the packet with the instructions,” he suggested.
“This is not going to work out I’m sorry,” I said standing to leave.
He obviously was not used to being told no. “What the hell do you mean,” he said.
“You have no idea what it takes to stay alive working in the dark. You also have no idea what you are dealing with. So let me tell you some things. If you have a million dollar loss that you know about, you have at least double that which you don’t know about. For that kind of money there are men who at some point would be willing to torture me to find out how much I have learned.”
“And you want me to leave fucking papers for your secretary who might be part of it to find. This is where I am coming from so go hire a private security company to tighten the plant down, but you can expect them to have written records possibly covering the workers playing card, and the union taking the government loan money to play the horses, or some such shit. You are hiring a black ops person to hide your shit, as much as to get your losses stopped, so don’t fucking play clueless businessman with me.” I turned and walked out. I expected him to be on the phone to Martin before I left the parking lot. I also didn’t give a hoot in hell that he would.
I climbed into the truck and saw Evans on the phone to god only knew who. I sure as hell didn’t care. My mind was made up. I would never work for that man.
I drove back to County Seat in the allotted two hours since the road east bound was open. I went to the pub for dinner then I went back to the box house. I found one last bottle of the Green Dragon in a dry well I had forgotten about. There was also a hundred, $100 bills in the dry well. “Shit I thought. One thing about the dry wells, they could never be found by men with metal detectors. They were an old five gallon plastic bucket filled with valuables then buried in the ground. You had to either have a map or know where to look.
I recovered the valuables and went inside to use the computer. It was slow on the old dialup service, but that’s why it only cost ten dollars a month. I had it just in case I needed to get online from some place with no other service. When I had lived in County Seat, I had cable internet service but I canceled that when I left.
As I expected Martin called me, before bedtime. “I am sorry that fucking guy is a clown. He thinks operatives are stupid. You figured out the car business is a sham and that scared the piss out of him. I always knew you were intuitive bordering on physic. Don’t let him worry you. I explained that you would never talk about our business. I also explained what would happen, if he felt you were a threat that needed removing.”
“Oh and what did you tell him?” I asked.
“That if he came for you, it would simply be a matter of who killed him. Either way we would make sure it was a long, slow, painful death. The asshole asked if I was threatening him,” Martin said.
“How did he ever get to be a CEO,” I asked.
“Just a better con man than the politicians, which is not an easy thing to be,” he said.
“Do I need to make a preemptive move?” I asked.
“I think he is sufficiently terrified. He is a con man, not a hitman,” Martin commented.
“Well it just goes to show that even I can have a wasted day,” I said. I laughed to lighten the mood.
“Yeah proves you are human. So what now?” he asked.
“I think it might be time I go prospecting again,” I said.
“Well good for you. I always believed there is gold in them there hills,” Martin said. “I think I better go now and figure out my next move should Mr. Evans decide to threaten us.”
I didn’t say anything but the only thing Martin would consider was the who and how, not his next move. Evans was definitely playing outside his league.
I went to bed with a mellow buzz on. It also made me horny as hell. Since I wasn’t interested in leaving the house, I went to the net. Of course the computer ran so slowly I got frustrated. I finally just went to bed. I was surprised that it was easy to fall asleep. I must have been exhausted, I decided.
I ran for an hour and a half the next morning. After I spent some time inside warming up, I went back into the cold to load the gasoline trike into the bed of the candy colored pickup truck. I left it there while I showered and changed into a pair of British officer’s Wool trousers. I’m sure they were knockoffs but they were good knockoffs. I would have preferred the course twill cargo pants, but it was cold in the mountains and the wool pants were much warmer. I wore a blue striped long sleeve tee which was also a knock off. It, like the trousers, was a good one.
After all that shit, I struggled into the upside down shoulder holster with the 8 shot .22 mag revolver. I pulled on a parka over the pistol. The revolver was my big weapon, but just as likely to be used was a well worn .22 mag derringer. It was nothing fancy, since it was a simple blue steel model with oiled wooden grips. Even though it wasn’t flashy, I liked it just fine.
Since I was tooled up, it was time to head for the coast. I could wait until I arrived to give Wilson the bad news. I wouldn’t be leaving him in charge after all. I had no idea how Wilson would take the news. It most likely would depend on his relationship with Mel. He seemed a little more serious about her than any of the other women in his life.
Men are so stupid, I thought. They were almost as dazzled by a needy woman especially one with giant breasts. I laughed at the thought. I drove all morning and into the afternoon before I arrived in New Wales. I went straight to the barge house and of course it was empty. So was the office where Wilson should have been entrenched. He couldn’t know that his help would no longer be needed. He was supposed to be at work sweating over the computers and other toys.
I went in to make a cup of coffee and hope that Wilson would show up on his own. I did not want to have another discussion about his work ethic. He wasn’t as bad as Osborn, but I didn’t like where the trend was headed.
I waited till past six before I went downtown to see how the miracle block was coming along. I knew that The Brit and Jeremy would be coming sometime within the week, but I didn’t know exactly when. Not much would happen until they showed up,
There was a lot of cars parked in the city’s street side parking lot. I stopped in Mel’s and the place was filled with life. There weren’t too many eating at the buffet, since Mel had removed it from the center of the room. There were plenty of patrons sitting around eating from plates filled with hot dogs and sauces. They had ordered from a menu and the plates of dogs were carried to the tables. The people were obviously happy with the service.
Wilson was carrying things to the tables. He was a waiter of all fucking things. I walked up and cornered him. “What the hell happened?” I asked.
“I can explain,” Wilson said.
“Then you fucking better get to it before I close the doors on this place right now this minute,” I said. “I am sure as hell not paying you to be fucking waiter.”
“I thought you wanted me to help Mel?” he asked.
“You fucking know this is not what I had in mind,” I said.
“We need to take this outside,” Wilson said.
“No, you need to get your head out of Mel’s ass and get back to your job,” I said. I had lost it and I knew it, but I couldn’t stop. “I will give you thirty minutes to do what you have to before we have a talk. So get it done and be in the office in thirty minutes.”
I was so mad I didn’t stop to eat at Mel’s. Instead I drove out to Jefferson Island and got a burger and a cardboard carton of fries from the pier. I drove home with the maddening smell of burned meat filling the truck.
I was almost finished with the burger when the phone rang. “Hello Wilson so what’s going on?” I asked trying to stay rational.
“I can’t find anyone to fill in for me. Can we put this meeting off till after midnight?” he asked.
“No, tomorrow at noon I want you to meet me at the office. I want the keys to your Honda and the office. You can bring me the shit at your daughter’s house when you have time to get it, but I want everything else of mine now. Everything you have in your possession,” I said.
“Sylvia you need to calm down, before you say something you can’t walk back,” he said.
“Didn’t you hear me I just did,” I said.
“What about all the shit we have done?” he asked.
“There is nothing you can implicate me in that you aren’t in just as deep into as me. But if you feel you need to rake the shit, be my guest. You of all people should know I can’t be intimidated,” I said.
“What about Mel?” he asked.
“She has the option of keeping you around or not. I just don’t care. What I do care about is the restaurant. Tell her to put the fucking buffet back and return to the original business plan, or she too can leave.”
Edited by Walt