By Cindy and Walt
Eddie learned about the Senator from a report on the TV. The TV was in a cheap motel just off the Interstate headed into New England. It was the 8 PM news on the real Foxnews channel not the talk shows that were opinions. So he was sorta in the loop when his burner phone rang at nine.
Lucille: Have you heard the news?
Eddie: Yeah, it was on the news. I assume it was connected to our investigation.
Lucille: Surprise of all surprises a politician did the right thing. Of course now I’m out of job.
Eddie: You won’t go hungry. I trust you know where enough bodies are buried to find a soft landing.
Lucille: Yeah me and the kids could never downsize to a share croppers house.
Eddie: I know. That’s why I didn’t ask.
Lucille: So are you going looking for her?
Lucille: You going to bring her back?
Eddie: Only if she wants to come. If not, I’m going to help her put it in the wind.
Lucille: Good for you. I figured we can keep the hounds at bay for a couple of more days at the very least.
Eddie: I probably won’t need more than that.
Lucille: To make Rose into someone else? I’ll bet she can be out of there in an hour. Anyway I can’t promise you that you will receive a hero’s welcome when you return.
Eddie: Damn no parade? Bummer.
Once they hung up Eddie checked his rifle case again and then returned his .38 chief’s special wheel gun to the lock box before turning in.
He awoke early on the nineteenth work day of the Investigation. Since he never could sleep well in strange beds waking early was easy. He walked to the restaurant near the motel for breakfast and carry out coffee. Then he walked back for a shower. He skipped shaving as he often did since he retired.
He dressed in his new uniform of khaki work pants and a faded blue work shirt. They were both still winter weight, as the weather wouldn’t be warm till after lunch. He had a four hour drive, but that should put him at the edge of the national reserve. Rose’s one hundred and fifteen acres touched on Maine’s share of the Appalachian Trail.
Back in DC Lucille was closing down the office. She explained to Salina that she would intercede to keep her out of jail, but her clinic days were over. However she felt sure that the catholic mission, only a few blocks from the project, could use some volunteer services. She could even direct her former clients to it. How she made a living was totally up to her. The church wouldn’t be able to pay her.
Salina: I’ll figure something out. Thank you.
A few minutes later Lucille spoke with Michael.
Lucille: Mike I’m sorry we are shutting down this operation. I’m sorry but I’m going to be out of work in a couple of weeks myself. If you need a reference of any kind let me know.
Mike: I’m thinking about trying my hand as a researcher. Can I count on you for a good reference?
Mike: Where is May?
Lucille: She is taking a few days off then she is going back to the DOJ. She is the only one whose life is the same today as it was a month ago.
Mike: I doubt it. I think everyone changed some.
Lucille: You know you are probably right.
Lucille wondered if she would have tried to cover up the Senator’s crimes if she had not met her group of misfits. She called Wes.
Wes: So what bone do you have for me?
Lucille: You are the luckiest of us all. You got the brass ring. (Looking at Salina)
Wes: You are absolutely right.
Eddie drove until it was time for lunch. He stopped in a roadside local fast food joint. He took his burgers and went to sit in the parking lot. He checked his voice mail on his real cell phone.
There was a message from May. She was busy spending his money it seemed. He thought about her. She was young and attractive so what she wanted with him was hard to imagine. He decided to just let it play itself out.
After the burgers he sat in the Econobox while he charted his course to Rose Seabold’s camp. The hike would have him either in her house, in a tent somewhere lost on her acreage, or in a hole in the ground.
Thirty minutes later he left everything of any value locked in the trunk of his little car. He walked in carrying a sleeping bag, a bag of trail provisions, his chief’s special and a .30 carbine of Korean War vintage. He walked two hours until almost 5 PM.
Rose Seabold: You are trespassing.
Eddie looked up to the top of the ridge. She was back lit by the afternoon sun.
Eddie: You must be Rose Seabold. Can I assume you have a couple of loads of buck shot for my ass, if you don’t like my answers?
Rose: You may indeed.
Eddie: Okay, what you want to know?
Rose: Who are you and what are you doing here.
Eddie: Until yesterday I was an investigator for the Senate Select Committee for the Investigation of the so called American Foreign Legion.
Rose: Swamp Dog?
Eddie: Right. The senate can’t go after them for their work overseas, so they are investigating their domestic work. In my investigations your name came up. Needless to say finding you wasn’t easy.
Rose: So you are here to take me back?
Eddie: Not really. If you want to testify, I will do my best to see you get there safe. But someone is trying to hijack my investigation. I came to warn you that they may be on their way here. As far as I’m concerned, you can take my phones and I’ll stay here till you make your arrangements and put your ass in the wind.
While she thought about it, he looked at her. She was very unattractive. Her skin was like leather and her hair was just like his, cropped short and no doubt done by herself. Her clothes were dirty and looked as though they would be smelly.
Rose: Let’s go to my place while I try to decide what to do. (She whistled and two spaniels of some kind came running.) Lady, Tramp now y’all behave don’t chew his arms off, he is not a chew toy. Don’t worry stranger they don’t have any teeth. They have turned into damn fine squirrel dogs though.
Eddie: Good to know.
What should have been Day 19 of the investigation turned out to be the last day. After the team dissolved they went their separate ways. Wes and Salina went to her apartment to clear out her things. She and Wes had decided to share expenses. By the end of day they had her meager belongings installed in his sparsely furnished apartment.
On that sunny afternoon Mike went for a ride on his scooter. He found himself back at the “Hole In The Wall” office. He was feeling a bit lost. He really didn’t know where else to go so he went home.
May had a full sized bed delivered to the home belonging to Eddie. She bought the bed with a frame to get it off the floor. She didn’t get the full bedroom set. She felt like that might be a little much. Instead she bought two shoe box shelf sets, one for each of them. She didn’t disturb his cardboard boxes, but the units would be ready when he returned to empty them.
May tried several times to reach him but he wasn’t answering his cell. She knew that it could be for many different reasons.
Rose: Okay I’m going to leave first thing in the morning. I need to borrow your car just in case the people looking for me are as smart as your man.
Eddie: Do you think it’s Swamp Dog?
Rose: If it was Swamp Dog, I would already be dead. It could be the government, a pissed off client, or someone whose toes I stepped on while doing the job.
Eddie: Yeah, but they had access to my team. That worries me.
Rose: That is your problem. Mine is to get lost again.
Eddie: I’m going to forget you are traveling with two Springer Spaniels.
Rose: Lady and Tramp are Brittany Spaniels. They are smaller. Still I thank you for not telling on me. They would be hard to keep with me, if those looking knew about them.
Eddie: I know you always travel with just what you can carry, just so there are no leads. So are you going to give me the keys to your car? I’ll drive it home just so they follow a false trail.
Rose: If we are going to do that, let’s just go into town tomorrow and change the title and I’ll just disappear. Give me an open title to your car and I’ll get it filled out later.
Eddie: When you trade it?
Rose: You are pretty good. There is one more thing you can do for me………………