Tag Archives: dog

Chapter Fifty — Nine: Chief

19 Apr

Did you notice my daughter's picture? Yep, she is here.

Did you notice my daughter’s picture? Yep, she is here.

Hi, I am the daughter of the author. What am I doing here? I have a place here. In fact two places. What are they? This is a mystery series. You either have to figure it out or wait until it is reveled.

Hi, I am the daughter of the author. What am I doing here? I have a place here. In fact two places. What are they? This is a mystery series. You either have to figure it out or wait until it is reveled.

 

 

Officer Morgan walked past the squad room into the bull pen past Chewy’s desk. He was early. A common occurrence for him when it was his turn to have the kids. At least they were both school age now. He did not have to worry about day care facilities. But he did have spare time between dropping them off and starting his shift. Not enough time to do anything constructive, but time. So he was early again.

Morgan was six-foot plus a pinch to grow on. Blue eyes and blond hair cut into a three-quarter inch butch. His hair was always perfectly cut, his mother saw to that. It wasn’t that he liked the cut itself. It was the fact it was convenient. He didn’t have to comb it and it was quick to wash. It had the added advantage it made him look more like a cop. Seen as he did not always act the part, he might as well do his best to look it.

Everyone in the room was busy doing something, typing, talking on the phone, talking to each other, rustling papers, cussing under their breath at computer monitors, texting, all very low-key but busy busy busy, except for one. She sat on the edge of a desk doing something intently with her nails. She looked like a teenager ready to pop bubble gum out of her mouth any second. Morgan figured she was in trouble again about something. Every partner she had complained about her.

He was picking his way across the room to his own desk, moving around people and chairs as he had almost every morning, not actively listening to what was going on until he passed close to DeVry who was saying, “Ballistics says the bullet found in the head of the prostitute matches the bullet found in the head of the horse. Fired from the same gun. At about the same distance.”

Morgan paused, wondering if he heard correctly, “The head of the horse?”
“Yeah.” DeVry looked up from his partner, a much shorter man seated in a chair. DeVry sat on the desk, causing him to tower over the other man like a giant. “You remember that horse Mr. Somebody named… Corrigan I think. Anyway you must remember. He was making a big fuss about his horse being shot in the head.”
Morgan looked down at Peters. They were both serious. “We ran ballistics on the bullet from a horse? Must be some expensive horse.”

“Nah, and nah to that too, but the guy has money and he paid for it, so we did it.” Smiling, he added, “I wonder if he loves his wife as much as he does his horse. A real cowboy, that one.”

“Morgan.” Chief of Police Collars had a voice developed to be heard, and everyone who heard it winced. “DeVry and Peters have a case to work on. Leave em alone.” Collars was a square man with a perpetually loosened tie, rolled up sleeves, buttons looking like they were threatening to pop… He looked like a man who ought to have a cigar jammed between his teeth. Perhaps he was an ex-smoker. That would explain why he was so anti-cigarette. It was often said ex-smokers were the most fanatic non-smokers.

“Yeah,” whispered DeVry, “We gotta go find out if the horse and the prostitute were working the same corner.”

“I heard that.” Bellowed Chief Collars. “Get out there and do something… You’re wasting your time sitting in here cracking stupid.” He held a piece of paper in the air. “You. Morgan. You got nothing better to do?” Collars waved the paper in Morgans face. “Here is a crank call. Some idiot’s dog won’t get off a porch.”
Morgan thought about his desk full of undone book work and the fact he wasn’t even on the clock yet and smiled ruefully.

He snatched the paper out of Collars’ hand. As he did so he realized it was an act very close to insubordination. Morgan himself could not have said if it was an act of defiance, standing up for himself, or simply allowing Collars to “get” to him.
Collars continued to bellow, “Your gold bricking partner may never get back here,”

Morgan cut him off, ”I’ll take Delavera.” Except for Morgan and Collars every eye in the place went to the Mexican girl doing her nails. She took a deep breath, which augmented her natural assets, and did nothing to distract anyone’s gaze, then she slowly, carefully, looked up at Morgan and Collars.

“You do that. You bring her back in one piece, you understand?” There was some snickering. Collars ignored it as he locked eyes with Morgan.

The stare down was an open challenge, in front of everyone, a dominant male thing. Morgan was not even tempted to stare back defiantly, a teenager’s trick used by young people who did not know how to really stand up for themselves.
Instead Morgan smiled one of those smiles he used on strange women who eyed him when he strolled into a bar when off duty and out of uniform. Maintaining the smile he strolled out of the room, not once looking back; not at Collars, not at Delavera. Morgan knew every eye and ear in the room was fixed on the exchange. This was confirmed by Collars further bellow of, “Get back to work.” and “Delavera, your partner is gone. Catch him before he leaves you.”

There was another snicker. This time a solo.

When he reached the car she was scampering up behind him.

“Puto,” she whispered under her breath.

Morgan did not acknowledge he understood. He wasn’t sure to whom she was referring, himself, Collars, or someone else. He also knew enough Spanish to be aware that, like English, what was said wasn’t always exactly what was meant.
He started the car as she swung in.

“Where are we going?” she asked. She did not “look” Mexican, she looked like she could be Mexican, and her English betrayed no accent. He thought, as he had thought before, that feature could be useful under the right circumstances.
He passed her the paper. “You tell me.”

She studied the paper; frowned. “All the way up there? Is this even in our jurisdiction?”

“Call dispatch and find out.”

Morgan had been divorced long enough that he had no immunity to her smell, which was excellent; her looks, which were way better than average; or her figure, which, if it weren’t centerfold material it would take a professional to tell the difference.

Delavera pulled out a nine-inch smart tablet and fussed with it for a few seconds. Morgan assumed she was going to use it as a map.

“Take the highway north.”

He did.

“Not sure if I should thank you for asking for me to go with you or not.”

“Probably not.”

“Okay, why?”

“Collars doesn’t like me. That’s okay, I don’t like him either. Right now he is mad at me and you have a reputation of being hard to get along with. He was going to give you to me anyway. I just saved us the embarrassment of having you dumped on me and you the embarrassment of being pushed on someone who didn’t want you.”

“Save yourself the embarrassment, you mean.”

“Have it your way.” Morgan allowed his shoulders a quick twitch that passed for a shrug. “It worked out better for both of us and took some of the wind from under his wings.”

“Why is he mad at you.” She slouched down in the passenger seat in a very uncoplike manner, sidled her eyes out the window, looking more like a teenaged brat he was detaining than a trained police officer.

“My partner had a choice. He could say I did something stupid, or he could say he did something stupid. He chose to say I did something stupid. Collars blames me for him getting hurt.”

“Which was it? Turn here.” She pointed. “Who did something stupid? You or him?”

He turned onto a side road not looking at her. His peripheral vision picking up all the information he needed. “Doesn’t matter.”

“What did you write in your report?”

“That my full attention was on the person I was arresting. I was unable to see what he did.”

There was silence while she digested the implications.

“You telling me you are always Mr. Noble?”

“Nope.”

“So why would you be noble with me? Or with him?”

Morgan smiled and looked at her, blue eyes to brown eyes,
“You haven’t pissed me off yet.”

She held his gaze. “So you think I will or you think I won’t?”

He looked back to the road. She stared at him fixedly.

“I think you’re already pissed. I think you are angry at the whole world and ready to kick out at anybody because you can’t kick whatever it is has you in its grip. Am I right.”

“So who do you think you are? The mentalist or that phony psych guy?”

“I think I’m a cop who has seen a few really pissed off people. Last girl I met acted like you are was fifteen, and her daddy decided she looked just like her mother when she was fifteen and he thought they ought to do the same things together.” He concentrated on his driving.

“So you think you are going to bring me out here and I’m going to spill my guts out to you and then what? We going to be great friends or something?” She concentrated on him.

“Nah, I’m just going to try not to piss you off any more than I have too.” He did not return her searching stare.

“Yeah. I don’t think you’re doing too well.” She turned to stare out the window.

“So tell Collars I’m an asshole. He will probably give you a commendation. Give him reason to fire me. Tell him I was looking at your butt when you got in. Then tell him I tried to look down your cleavage. He will give you a promotion.”

“My shirt is buttoned up.”

“Good liar never spoils a story with facts.”

“So what is with you? The girls say you are a single father”

“Yep.” He sucked in his lower lip.

“So you looking for a mother or a mistress or what?” Her attention was turned back to him, studying him.

“Just looking not to do something stupid again.” He kept his eyes to the road, not even catching her in his peripheral vision.

Delavera rolled down her window.

“So what did you do stupid the first time?” She was staring out the window again, hands palmed together in her lap.

“Wish I knew. Somewhere along the line I decided to be a cop and she decided to be a drug addict. Now the poor kids spend half their time with cops and the other half the time with people who think cops are the bad guys.”

“Ouch.”

They rode in silence.

“You aren’t mad as hell?”

He thought before he replied carefully, “I honestly don’t know how to feel.”

“I’d know how to feel. I’d be pissed.”

“So I don’t know my own mind.”

“Yeah, well I’m still married.”

“Doesn’t sound like a reason to be angry to me.”

“Yeah. Right. I’m married to a worthless gringo who has blue eyes like you. He has never worked a day in his life and all he does is criticize me.”

“What is to criticize?” Morgan looked at her carefully, “It sure doesn’t show from here.”

“He is sick of Mexican food. Wants me to cook more American. I told him I work all day. Why don’t you cook some ‘American food’, I’ll come home and eat it. One day I cooked some ‘All American food’ and he got mad ‘cuz I had tortillas on the table. I forgot the bread.”

“Buy him a hamburger on the way home tonight. That’s American.”

“Turn here, on that dirt road.” Morgan figured they were close. She was now sitting up straight in her seat.

Morgan had to slow down to negotiate the ruts and rocks.

“Maybe you two just married the wrong people. Maybe you should call it quits.”

“He is a racist pig. But he kept it to himself until I was pregnant with my fourth baby. Then every time he gets mad he calls me a Mexican and my kids Mexicans. Then I try to teach the kids Spanish and he gets mad ‘cuz he doesn’t want them talking that stuff.’”

“I know a lot of people speak Spanish and not all of them are Mexican.”

“When I first met him he had me teaching him Spanish. I thought ‘How cute he wants to learn my language’. As soon as we were married he quit.”

“Too bad.”

“Too bad I married him. He is such a racist pig I should have cheated on him. I should have brought him home a nice fat little black baby.”

They rounded the corner. Two men stood by the side of a cabin, next to the steps. One was smoking, the other stood hunched, and there was a large dog, its tongue lolling, sitting on the porch staring at the door as though waiting for its owner let it in.

Morgan winked at Delavera, “At least we have settled one thing.”

“Whats that?”

“You have reason to be pissed off at the world.”

“Nah. Just you gringos.”

“Time go get out and be professional. We will try to pretend we don’t notice they are gringos.” The two men were obviously hunters. Their rifles were leaned up against the porch, within sight but well out of reach.

Morgan noticed that she almost smiled as she swung herself out the door of the squad car.

“What is going on?” Morgan asked the men.

The man in the heavy brown vest used his cigarette to indicate the slightly younger, slightly thinner, man.“ He can tell you. He thinks his damn dog is Lassie or Rin Tin Tin or something.”

The other man, smiled engagingly, “Not Lassie. He is a boy. His name is Harry.”

“Yeah, Harry. Know why he named the dog Harry? Because my name is Tom, his name is Dick,” he stressed the other man’s name, “and my sister married him for crying out loud.”

“So what is wrong with Tom, Dick, and Harry?” asked Dick.

“What is with the dog?” asked Morgan.

“Does he bite?” Asked Delavera.

“Nope.” Dick answered her.

“Stupid dog won’t get off the porch. We are supposed to be up here hunting, not dog sitting. Anyway numb nuts here thinks his dog has psychic powers or something and is wasting our day because the fool dog won’t get off the porch.”

“That your car?” Morgan indicated the SUV parked a few foot away.

“Nah. Probably the guy owns the cabin.”

Delavera petted and talked to the dog, calling him Harry, and knocked loudly on the door saying, “This is the police. Open the door please.” There was no reply from within.

“So how did you two get here? Why are you here?” asked Morgan.

“Followed this stupid dog my brother-in-law thinks is a canine genius. We came in one of the other roads, hadn’t even intended to come this way. Now we’ve wasted half the morning over nothing. I swear the only reason I tolerate him is because of my sister.”

Dick winked. It was unclear who, if anyone, he was winking at. “The only reason he tolerates me is because his sister and his wife are best friends. They are like sisters and he is afraid my wife thinks more of his wife than she does of him.”

“No puedo entender porque eso seria.” Delavera told the dog in a tender voice.

Even without a basic understanding of what she said Morgan could have detected the sarcasm in her voice.

“What did she say?” asked the smoker.

“I told him he is a very good doggie.” She stood up, went to the window to look in. Harry followed her.

“We already did that,” Said the smoker again, taking a last drag off his cigarette, he spit in the palm of his left hand and then put the bright red butt out in it. He had followed Delavera and was within a foot of her, yet he was unaware of the fleeting look of disgust on her face. Like Morgan she had excellent peripheral vision and did not need to look directly at him to see what he was doing.

Morgan had two reactions to this, one was disgust, the other slight admiration for the practicality of a woodsman or hunter making sure his cigarette did not start a fire in the woods. He was also aware Delavera would have no such qualms. She would be disgusted, period.

When Tom reached into his pocket Delavera stepped back from the window, placing herself to his side. Had he pulled a gun he would have quickly found himself face down on the ground with his gun and hand behind his back. It was not a gun. It was a small plastic container. He put his cigarette butt in it. As he did so he jabbed his chin in Delavera’s direction. “Tell her it is rude to talk that gibberish in front of people who don’t understand it.”

“I was talking to Harry,” she said. “I wanted him to teach me how to speak dog but he is reluctant. Perhaps you could help?” Morgan noted Delavera suddenly had an unmistakable accent. As Tom turned red, Morgan was able to understand why Delavera’s last couple of partners had wanted to strangle her. She knew where people’s short hairs were and didn’t hesitate to tug on them. He remembered his grandmother reaching around to the back of his neck when he got out of line as a kid in a public place and giving the hairs on his neck a solid yank.

“Let me get your names. Write all this down.” Morgan used his official police officer voice, brought out his notebook. While their attention was on Morgan, Delavera dropped off the end of the porch and disappeared around the side of the cabin.

“If Dicky Wicky here would teach his dog to mind we never needed to call you and waste your time or ours. We’d all be on our way. Probably have a nice big buck by now.”

 

Dick smiled. “Harry is up about something. I didn’t want to break in and I don’t want to leave someone behind who is in trouble. I hope its not too late and everything turns out okay.”“Windows open.” called Delavera from the side of the cabin. The three men went around to where she was. She had pushed the window partway open but was unable to reach further. Nor was she able to hoist herself in.

Tom frowned, “Can you just go into someone’s house like that?”

“We have cause. Car is outside, no one answers inside and you two made a report.”

“I didn’t make any report. I think it is all a waste of time.”

“Let’s hope you are right.”

“Aren’t you supposed to go through the door or something?”

“We would prefer to do minimum damage. Why break down a door or wait for a locksmith when we can climb through the window?”

“You gonna talk all the day or you gonna do the help your partner though dee window, Meester Morgan?” Her accent was becoming thicker and more fraudulent by the minute. Still it was the man who complained about her talking Spanish that immediately offered to help her through the window.

Delavera pooched her lips at him. “We are dee professional policemans all trained right. My partner he will help me. You stands over there, out of dee way.” She indicated an area well away from the men’s rifles. They complied. The bigger man sullenly, the other cheerfully.

Morgan knelt in the basic lunge position, offering his left leg as a platform while his right leg and right hand were free next to his holster. She stepped up in one quick motion and quickly put herself waist deep into the window.

She was no more inside than she was saying, “Back, back, get me down outta here.” Her accent was gone.

Morgan grabbed her by the legs, in a not altogether professional manner and got her back down on the ground. She held herself against the wall with one hand and spewed. He waited until she was done.

“We need forensics,” she said. “And you two… Don’t even think about going anywhere.”

Tom groaned as he pulled out another cigarette, shooting a glare of hatred at his brother-in-law, who beamed proudly at Harry.

 

 

© 2015 All Rights Reserved

 

Chapter Fifty — Six: The Garage

8 Feb
Did you notice my daughter's picture? Yep, she is here.

Did you notice my daughter’s picture? Yep, she is here.

Hi, I am the daughter of the author. What am I doing here? I have a place here. In fact two places. What are they? This is a mystery series. You either have to figure it out or wait until it is reveled.

Hi, I am the daughter of the author. What am I doing here? I have a place here. In fact two places. What are they? This is a mystery series. You either have to figure it out or wait until it is reveled.

Lonnie drove the pickup without incident into town and up the alley to Cody’s old garage. He pulled L C out from the back of the pickup, chair and all. Drug her, using the back of the chair, and the two hind legs as if it were a dolly. Then the right leg broke and it keeled over, taking L C with it.

It had been a long day. Lonnie was tired. He did not want to have to move another muscle let alone carry L C.

Finally, with a sigh, he went to the other end of the chair, grabbed the two front legs, and drug her by them, the back of the chair and her head bouncing every inch of the way.

He went back out to the pickup. Got the dog out from the back. It was no longer interested in fighting with him, it just lay limp in his arms, looking painfully at him. Lonnie placed it in the front seat as gently as he could, considering how exhausted he was.

He drove the pickup to an intersection that was sporadically busy, where Lonnie knew there were no cameras to identify him, left the driver’s side door open, turned on the emergency lights, and left it in the middle of the street.

By the time he got back to the garage he fell onto the couch and quickly went to sleep.

Chapter Fifty — Five: And Lonnie Makes Three

7 Dec
Did you notice my daughter's picture? Yep, she is here.

Did you notice my daughter’s picture? Yep, she is here.

Hi, I am the daughter of the author. What am I doing here? I have a place here. In fact two places. What are they? This is a mystery series. You either have to figure it out or wait until it is reveled.

Hi, I am the daughter of the author. What am I doing here? I have a place here. In fact two places. What are they? This is a mystery series. You either have to figure it out or wait until it is reveled.

 

 

Lonnie did not turn the pickup lights on. He traveled over the hill in near darkness. He would like to have gone faster but felt being unseen was the best card he could play in the situation.

 
Patience did not come easily. Luckily the pickup was new, silent, and dark colored. There were a lot of back roads up here, they led in a lot of directions. If it were not for he fact he had a prisoner stashed in a closet in the safe house going over the top of the hill would not have been the most reasonable thing to do.

 
On the other hand, simply because it would be unreasonable, it would also be unexpected.

 
Coming at the house, not uphill from the road, but downhill from the hill itself, Lonnie coasted the last two miles. Catching the person in the ninja suit by surprise. They had been listening for an engine, not the small hiss of rolling tires.

 
“Keep quiet,” said the breathy voice, “or I will shoot you first.”

 
L C’s heart began to race.

 
Footsteps could be heard on gravel, up the creaky steps, across the porch. The front door opened. Steps entered. The door was not pushed shut. Steps sounded down the hall, around the wall, and proceeded to the closet. There was fumbling. The closet door opened.

 
Frantic movements followed. A man’s voice cussed.

 
“She is behind you.” A breathy voice said.

 
Lonnie stepped back and spun around quickly trying to find the source of the voice. So Quickly he collided with L C and the chair she was tied to. He tried to grab hold of it to steady himself. Instead he grabbed L C’s face. She pulled it out of his grasp, pulling off the blindfold in the process.

 
Lonnie, chair, and L C crashed to the floor.

 
L C did her best to keep her wits about her, to try to understand where she was and what was happening. Lonnie just groaned.

 
“That is pathetic,” said the breathy voice.

 
Lonnie struggled to rise up. When he did so the voice continued, “I have a gun. I will use it. Don’t try anything smart or you will die before we have a chance to chat.”

 
Lonnie began to shake. Starting with his chin and finding a home somewhere in his knees. Wild eyed he searched the darkness for the source of the voice.

 
“Pick her up.” Lonnie looked around. There was some lighter patches of dark. He searched them.

 
“In the chair fool. Pick her up.”

 
Lonnie moved, bumped the chair with his foot. Struggled to set L C upright. Eventually he succeeded.

 
“Tell me,” ordered the breathy voice, “who you are and why you are here.”

 
“My, my name. My name is Wilbur Daggit. I’m Cody Daggit’s brother. You people killed my brother.”

 
There was a pause before the breathy voice continued. “You people? Explain?”

 
“I know you people are with the CIA. I know you had my brother killed. I know this is a safe house. I followed all of you here. I know. I know.” Lonnie began to sidestep back and forth, one side to the other. “Cody was working for Mr. Penn. A CIA agent who brought Cody here a couple of times.”

 
Another pause. Then the breathy voice asked directly, “Are you on drugs?”

 
“Hey, man, I’ve cut way back, dude. Way back. And only the good stuff. Drugs got nothing to do with what I know. I know Cody was setting up spy equipment for you guys, for the CIA, and he learned too much and you killed him.”

 
“Spy equipment here? In the safe house?”

 
“Yeah. For the guy who got who got killed here. The newspaper called him something else, but his name he told Cody, was Mr. Penn.”

 
Whatever the breathy voice from the darkest corner of the room was going to say next was cut short.
Something lunged panting onto the porch. Long toe nails scrapped across the wooden floor of the hallway and rounded the corner.

 
From out of nowhere the dark, shadowy shape of a german shepherd appeared. It was headed for lonnie, but the person in the ninja suit reacted before it realized that fact. Shot. There was a flash. There was sound as the bullet left the barrel. Another sound as the dog howled in fury and turned toward the person who had wounded it.

 
Harry had been following the pickup for miles, intent on the driver, Lonnie. The pain, the attack, from the darkest corner of the room came as a complete surprise. However he did not hesitate.

 
Two shadows formed in front of the window, which was only minimally lighter than the rest of the inside of the cabin. Then they blended to one. There was a growl, a human yelp, some scuffling and cussing, then a human shape went out the window. The animal tried to follow, but was too wounded.

 
The dog whined and lay breathing heavily. Someone could be heard running though the woods.

 
Lonnie grabbed the back of the chair L C was tied in and drug her out the front door. It took some effort but he hoisted her into the back of the pickup, her and the chair laying on its side. As he put the gag back in her mouth L C told him, “The dog. Get the dog. You can’t leave it here.”

 
“Okay, okay,” Lonnie said and did as he was told, laying the dog alongside of her just before he closed the tailgate.

 

 

© 2014 All Rights Reserved

Chapter Fifty — Four: The Hunters

16 Nov
Did you notice my daughter's picture? Yep, she is here.

Did you notice my daughter’s picture? Yep, she is here.

Hi, I am the daughter of the author. What am I doing here? I have a place here. In fact two places. What are they? This is a mystery series. You either have to figure it out or wait until it is reveled.

Hi, I am the daughter of the author. What am I doing here? I have a place here. In fact two places. What are they? This is a mystery series. You either have to figure it out or wait until it is reveled.

Lonnie barreled along the dirt road as fast as he dared without getting stuck or jammed up. He cussed when he realized it led him right back to the asphalt again. Somehow in his haste he had missed the turn that would have taken him up and over the mountain to the safe house on the other side.
Didn’t matter. Didn’t matter. He knew where he was at. There was another road just north of here. If he could just reach it before the cops spotted him.
Luck was not Lonnie’s lady. He no more turned onto the dirt road than a cop car sped past. He saw it in his rearview mirror. He hoped it had not seen him. That hope was dashed as soon as he thought it. He could hear the squad car squealing to a stop and the brakes complaining.

Still he had a head start. By the time the cops turned around, found the road he entered, and started after him, precious minutes would have been lost for them and gained for him.

In addition he had been up this road before. They probably had not.

So he sped. Confident he was gaining.

The problem was the car. The gas was low. It was overheating. A bumper was dragging against a tire, and every time he went over a bump the oil pan threatened to rip off. This thing he had stolen was a chick mobile. What he needed was a tank. No car was built to take the punishment he had given it, and this car was designed to run only on paved roads.
He whipped into a clearing. Two men and a dog were there. They were standing away from their pickup.

The rifles were leaning against the pickup. Not even close to their reach.

Lonnie spun the car around in circles, bringing it to a sliding sidewise stop. The two men, and the german shepherd, stared at him as though he were crazy. Lonnie opened the door. Grabbed the rifle he had used to shoot at the helicopter, and pointed it at the men.

“Hands up. In plain sight.” Lonnie cussed at himself that his voice, instead of having the strong masculine tones of authority he wanted, betrayed him by sounding high and squeaky. Had he realized his voice was so nervous, so out of his control, so high pitched, that the two men thought he was a nervous young woman he might have been somewhat relieved. What he wanted at the minute, even more than an image of calm masculinity, was to remain unidentified.

The german shepherd started toward him. Its owner ordered it to stop.

Lonnie told them to lay down on the ground. They did. The german shepherd stretching out next to his owner, keeping an eye on Lonnie’s every move.

Lonnie grabbed all the drugs and guns out of the car. That was when he noticed the rip in his gloves. “Dammit.” He hoped to hell he hadn’t left a finger print in there somewhere. No time now. He ran over to the pickup. Threw everything in it.

Praise Jesus the key was in the ignition.

As soon as he disappeared out of sight the german shepherd ran after the pickup. “Harry,” screamed Dick at the top of his lungs, but it had no effect. The two men ran to their guns laying in the dirt, picking them up.

As they did so half a dozen police cars pulled into view. Surrounding them and the wreckage of a car.

Doors opened.

Rifles pointed at the two men.

A bullhorn announced, “Move slowly. Drop your weapons immediately or we will shoot.”

Tom glared at his brother-in-law. “I swear to God every since my sister married you and that damned dog there has been nothing but trouble.”
© 2014 All Rights Reserved

Chapter Twenty-nine: The Discovery

18 Jan
BTW when you are done reading this chapter. If you think thinking is fun; if you think philosophy should be for everyone try reading  TheMapThinker.com

BTW when you are done reading this chapter. If you think thinking is fun; if you think philosophy should be for everyone try reading TheMapThinker.com

 

Officer Morgan walked past the squad room into the bull pen past Chewy’s desk. He was early. A common occurrence for him when it was his turn to have the kids. At least they were both school age now. He did not have to worry about day care facilities. But he did have spare time between dropping them off and starting his shift. Not enough time to do anything constructive, but time. So he was early again.

Morgan was six foot plus a pinch to grow on. Blue eyes and blond hair cut into a three quarter inch butch. His hair was always perfectly cut, his mother saw to that. It wasn’t that he liked the cut itself. It was the fact it was convenient. He didn’t have to comb it and it was quick to wash. It had the added advantage it made him look more like a cop. Seen as he did not always act the part, he might as well do his best to look it.

Everyone in the room was busy doing something, typing, talking on the phone, talking to each other, rustling papers, cussing under their breath at computer monitors, texting, all very low key but busy busy busy, except for one. She sat on the edge of a desk doing something intently with her nails. She looked like a teenager ready to pop bubble gum out of her mouth any second. Morgan figured she was in trouble again about something. Every partner she had complained about her.

He was picking his way across the room to his own desk, moving around people and chairs as he had most every morning, not actively listening to what was going on until he passed close to DeVry who was saying, “Ballistics says the bullet found in the head of the prostitute matches the bullet found in the head of the horse. Fired from the same gun. At about the same distance.”

Morgan paused, wondering if he heard correctly, “The head of the horse?”

“Yeah.” DeVry looked up from his partner, a much shorter man seated in a chair. DeVry sat on the desk, causing him to tower over the other man like a giant. “You remember that horse Mr. Somebody named… Corrigan I think. Anyway you must remember. He was making a big fuss about his horse being shot in the head.”

Morgan looked down at Peters. They were both serious. “We ran ballistics on the bullet from a horse? Must be some expensive horse.”

“Nah, and nah to that too, but the guy has money and he paid for it, so we did it.” Smiling, he added, “I wonder if he loves his wife as much as he does his horse. A real cowboy, that one.”

“Morgan.” Chief of Police Collars had a voice developed to be heard, and everyone who heard it winced. “DeVry and Peters have a case to work on. Leave em alone.” Collars was a square man with a perpetually loosened tie, rolled up sleeves, buttons looking like they were threatening to pop… He looked like a man who ought to have a cigar jammed between his teeth. Perhaps he was an ex-smoker. That would explain why he was so anti-cigarette. It was often said ex-smokers were the most fanatic non-smokers.

“Yeah,” whispered DeVry, “We gotta go find out if the horse and the prostitute were working the same corner.”

“I heard that.” Bellowed Chief Collars. “Get out there and do something… You’re wasting your time sitting in here cracking stupid.” He held a piece of paper in the air. “You. Morgan. You got nothing better to do?” Collars waved the paper in Morgans face. “Here is a crank call. Some idiot’s dog won’t get off a porch.”

Morgan thought about his desk full of undone book work and the fact he wasn’t even on the clock yet and smiled ruefully.

He snatched the paper out of Collars’ hand. As he did so he realized it was an act very close to insubordination. Morgan himself could not have said if it was an act of defiance, standing up for himself, or simply allowing Collars to “get” to him.

Collars continued to bellow, “Your gold bricking partner may never get back here,”

Morgan cut him off, ”I’ll take Delavera.” Except for Morgan and Collars every eye in the place went to the Mexican girl doing her nails. She took a deep breath, which augmented her natural assets, and did nothing to distract anyone’s gaze, then she slowly, carefully, looked up at Morgan and Collars.

“You do that. You bring her back in one piece, you understand?” There was some snickering. Collars ignored it as he locked eyes with Morgan.

The stare down was an open challenge, in front of everyone, a dominant male thing. Morgan was not even tempted to stare back defiantly, a teenager’s trick used by young people who did not know how to really stand up for themselves.

Instead Morgan smiled one of those smiles he used on strange women who eyed him when he strolled into a bar when off duty and out of uniform. Maintaining the smile he strolled out of the room, not once looking back; not at Collars, not at Delavera. Morgan knew every eye and ear in the room was fixed on the exchange. This was confirmed by Collars further bellow of, “Get back to work.” and “Delavera, your partner is gone. Catch him before he leaves you.”

There was another snicker. This time a solo.

When he reached the car she was scampering up behind him.

“Puto,” she whispered under her breath.

Morgan did not acknowledge he understood. He wasn’t sure to whom she was referring, himself, Collars, or someone else. He also knew enough Spanish to be aware that, like English, what was said wasn’t always exactly what was meant.

He started the car as she swung in.

“Where are we going?” she asked. She did not “look” Mexican, she looked like she could be Mexican, and her English betrayed no accent. He thought, as he had thought before, that feature could be useful under the right circumstances.

He passed her the paper. “You tell me.”

She studied the paper; frowned. “All the way up there? Is this even in our jurisdiction?”

“Call dispatch and find out.”

Morgan had been divorced long enough that he had no immunity to her smell, which was excellent; her looks, which were way better than average; or her figure, which, if it weren’t centerfold material it would take a professional to tell the difference.

Delavera pulled out a nine-inch smart tablet and fussed with it for a few seconds. Morgan assumed she was going to use it as a map.

“Take the highway north.”

He did.

“Not sure if I should thank you for asking for me to go with you or not.”

“Probably not.”

“Okay, why?”

“Collars doesn’t like me. That’s okay, I don’t like him either. Right now he is mad at me and you have a reputation of being hard to get along with. He was going to give you to me anyway. I just saved us the embarrassment of having you dumped on me and you the embarrassment of being pushed on someone who didn’t want you.”

“Save yourself the embarrassment, you mean.”

“Have it your way.” Morgan allowed his shoulders a quick twitch that passed for a shrug. “It worked out better for both of us and took some of the wind from under his wings.”

“Why is he mad at you.” She slouched down in the passenger seat in a very uncoplike manner, sidled her eyes out the window, looking more like a teenaged brat he was detaining than a trained police officer.

“My partner had a choice. He could say I did something stupid, or he could say he did something stupid. He chose to say I did something stupid. Collars blames me for him getting hurt.”

“Which was it? Turn here.” She pointed. “Who did something stupid? You or him?”

He turned onto a side road not looking at her. His peripheral vision picking up all the information he needed.

“Doesn’t matter.”

“What did you write in your report?”

“That my full attention was on the person I was arresting. I was unable to see what he did.”

There was silence while she digested the implications.

“You telling me you are always Mr. Noble?”

“Nope.”

“So why would you be noble with me? Or with him?”

Morgan smiled and looked at her, blue eyes to brown eyes, “You haven’t pissed me off yet.”

She held his gaze. “So you think I will or you think I won’t?”

He looked back to the road. She stared at him fixedly.

“I think you’re already pissed. I think you are angry at the whole world and ready to kick out at anybody because you can’t kick whatever it is has you in its grip. Am I right.”

“So who do you think you are? The mentalist or that phony psych guy?”

“I think I’m a cop who has seen a few really pissed off people. Last girl I met acted like you are was fifteen, and her daddy decided she looked just like her mother when she was fifteen and he thought they ought to do the same things together.” He concentrated on his driving.

“So you think you are going to bring me out here and I’m going to spill my guts out to you and then what? We going to be great friends or something?” She concentrated on him.

“Nah, I’m just going to try not to piss you off any more than I have too.” He did not return her searching stare.

“Yeah. I don’t think you’re doing too well.” She turned to stare out the window.

“So tell Collars I’m an asshole. He will probably give you a commendation. Give him reason to fire me. Tell him I was looking at your butt when you got in. Then tell him I tried to look down your cleavage. He will give you a promotion.”

“My shirt is buttoned up.”

“Good liar never spoils a story with facts.”

“So what is with you? The girls say you are a single father”

“Yep.” He sucked in his lower lip.

“So you looking for a mother or a mistress or what?” Her attention was turned back to him, studying him.

“Just looking not to do something stupid again.” He kept his eyes to the road, not even catching her in his peripheral vision.

Delavera rolled down her window.

“So what did you do stupid the first time?” She was staring out the window again, hands palmed together in her lap.

“Wish I knew. Somewhere along the line I decided to be a cop and she decided to be a drug addict. Now the poor kids spend half their time with cops and the other half the time with people who think cops are the bad guys.”

“Ouch.”

They rode in silence.

“You aren’t mad as hell?”

He thought before he replied carefully, “I honestly don’t know how to feel.”

“I’d know how to feel. I’d be pissed.”

“So I don’t know my own mind.”

“Yeah, well I’m still married.”

“Doesn’t sound like a reason to be angry to me.”

“Yeah. Right. I’m married to a worthless gringo who has blue eyes like you. He has never worked a day in his life and all he does is criticize me.”

“What is to criticize?” Morgan looked at her carefully, “It sure doesn’t show from here.”

“He is sick of Mexican food. Wants me to cook more American. I told him I work all day. Why don’t you cook some ‘American food’, I’ll come home and eat it. One day I cooked some ‘All American food’ and he got mad ‘cuz I had tortillas on the table. I forgot the bread.”

“Buy him a hamburger on the way home tonight. That’s American.”

“Turn here, on that dirt road.” Morgan figured they were close. She was now sitting up straight in her seat.

Morgan had to slow down to negotiate the ruts and rocks. “Maybe you two just married the wrong people. Maybe you should call it quits.”

“He is a racist pig. But he kept it to himself until I was pregnant with my fourth baby. Then every time he gets mad he calls me a Mexican and my kids Mexicans. Then I try to teach the kids Spanish and he gets mad ‘cuz he doesn’t want them talking that stuff.’”

“I know a lot of people speak Spanish and not all of them are Mexican.”

“When I first met him he had me teaching him Spanish. I thought ‘How cute he wants to learn my language’. As soon as we were married he quit.”

“Too bad.”

“Too bad I married him. He is such a racist pig I should have cheated on him. I should have brought him home a nice fat little black baby.”

They rounded the corner. Two men stood by the side of a cabin, next to the steps. One was smoking, the other stood hunched, and there was a large dog, its tongue lolling, sitting on the porch staring at the door as though waiting for its owner let it in.

Morgan winked at Delavera, “At least we have settled one thing.”

“Whats that?”

“You have reason to be pissed off at the world.”

“Nah. Just you gringos.”

“Time go get out and be professional. We will try to pretend we don’t notice they are gringos.” The two men were obviously hunters. Their rifles were leaned up against the porch, within sight but well out of reach.

Morgan noticed that she almost smiled as she swung herself out the door of the squad car.

“What is going on?” Morgan asked the men.

The man in the heavy brown vest used his cigarette to indicate the slightly younger, slightly thinner, man.“ He can tell you. He thinks his damn dog is Lassie or Rin Tin Tin or something.”

The other man, smiled engagingly, “Not Lassie. He is a boy. His name is Harry.”

“Yeah, Harry. Know why he named the dog Harry? Because my name is Tom, his name is Dick,” he stressed the other man’s name, “and my sister married him for crying out loud.”

“So what is wrong with Tom, Dick, and Harry?” asked Dick.

“What is with the dog?” asked Morgan.

“Does he bite?” Asked Delavera.

“Nope.” Dick answered her.

“Stupid dog won’t get off the porch. We are supposed to be up here hunting, not dog sitting. Anyway numb nuts here thinks his dog has psychic powers or something and is wasting our day because the fool dog won’t get off the porch.”

“That your car?” Morgan indicated the SUV parked a few foot away.

“Nah. Probably the guy owns the cabin.”

Delavera petted and talked to the dog, calling him Harry, and knocked loudly on the door saying, “This is the police. Open the door please.” There was no reply from within.

“So how did you two get here? Why are you here?” asked Morgan.

“Followed this stupid dog my brother-in-law thinks is a canine genius. We came in one of the other roads, hadn’t even intended to come this way. Now we’ve wasted half the morning over nothing. I swear the only reason I tolerate him is because of my sister.”

Dick winked. It was unclear who, if anyone, he was winking at. “The only reason he tolerates me is because his sister and his wife are best friends. They are like sisters and he is afraid my wife thinks more of his wife than she does of him.”

“No puedo entender porque eso seria.” Delavera told the dog in a tender voice. Even without a basic understanding of what she said Morgan could have detected the sarcasm in her voice.

“What did she say?” asked the smoker.

“I told him he is a very good doggie.” She stood up, went to the window to look in. Harry followed her.

“We already did that,” Said the smoker again, taking a last drag off his cigarette, he spit in the palm of his left hand and then put the bright red butt out in it. He had followed Delavera and was within a foot of her,  yet he was unaware of the fleeting look of disgust on her face. Like Morgan she had excellent peripheral vision and did not need to look directly at him to see what he was doing.

Morgan had two reactions to this, one was disgust, the other slight admiration for the practicality of a woodsman or hunter making sure his cigarette did not start a fire in the woods. He was also aware Delavera would have no such qualms. She would be disgusted, period.

When Tom reached into his pocket Delavera stepped back from the window, placing herself to his side. Had he pulled a gun he would have quickly found himself face down on the ground with his gun and hand behind his back. It was not a gun. It was a small plastic container. He put his cigarette butt in it. As he did so he jabbed his chin in Delavera’s direction. “Tell her it is rude to talk that gibberish in front of people who don’t understand it.”

“I was talking to Harry,” she said. “I wanted him to teach me how to speak dog but he is reluctant. Perhaps you could help?” Morgan noted Delavera suddenly had an unmistakeable accent. As Tom turned red, Morgan was able to understand why Delavera’s last couple of partners had wanted to strangle her. She knew where people’s short hairs were and didn’t hesitate to tug on them. He remembered his grandmother reaching around to the back of his neck when he got out of line as a kid in a public place and giving the hairs on his neck a solid yank.

“Let me get your names. Write all this down.” Morgan used his official police officer voice, brought out his notebook. While their attention was on Morgan, Delavera dropped off the end of the porch and disappeared around the side of the cabin.

“If Dicky Wicky here would teach his dog to mind we never needed to call you and waste your time or ours. We’d all be on our way. Probably have a nice big buck by now.”

Dick smiled. “Harry is up about something. I didn’t want to break in and I don’t want to leave someone behind who is in trouble. I hope its not too late and everything turns out okay.”

“Windows open.” called Delavera from the side of the cabin.

The three men went around to where she was. She had pushed the window partway open but was unable to reach further. Nor was she able to hoist herself in.

Tom frowned, “Can you just go into someone’s house like that?”

“We have cause. Car is outside, no one answers inside and you two made a report.”

“I didn’t make any report. I think it is all a waste of time.”

“Let’s hope you are right.”

“Aren’t you supposed to go through the door or something?”

“We would prefer to do minimum damage. Why break down a door or wait for a locksmith when we can climb through the window?”

“You gonna talk all the day or you gonna do the help your partner though dee window, Meester Morgan?” Her accent was becoming thicker and more fraudulent by the minute. Still it was the man who complained about her talking Spanish that immediately offered to help her through the window.

Delavera pooched her lips at him. “We are dee professional policemans all trained right. My partner he will help me. You stands over there, out of dee way.” She indicated an area well away from the men’s rifles. They complied. The bigger man sullenly, the other cheerfully.

Morgan knelt in the basic lunge position, offering his left leg as a platform while his right leg and right hand were free next to his holster. She stepped up in one quick motion and quickly put herself waist deep into the window.

She was no more inside than she was saying, “Back, back, get me down outta here.” Her accent was gone.

Morgan grabbed her by the legs, in a not altogether professional manner and got her back down on the ground. She held herself against the wall with one hand and spewed. He waited until she was done.

“We need forensics,” she said. “And you two… Don’t even think about going anywhere.”

Tom groaned as he pulled out another cigarette, shooting a glare of hatred at his brother-in-law, who beamed proudly at Harry.

 

 

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