Thursday, October 18, 2012
Installment 3 of, A Walk in the Park
“Good morning Ranger.”
I looked up from the pile of paperwork on the desk that Mike had left for me to sort through and file away. I saw four men in suits. Men who just did not belong anywhere in these parts.
“May I help you gentlemen?”
“I’m agent Dawson, this is Agent Krug, FBI.”
“I’m Agent Wanser, this is Agent Zykerjoksi, from the State Bureau of Investigation… Just call him Agent Z, that’s what we all do.”
Dawson was obviously in charge of this fashion conscious gathering of law enforcement. My phone rang, Dawson looked at his watch and said, “That would be under Secretary of Interior Templeton.”
I answered it.
“Hello. … Yes Ma’am. … Yes Ma’am. They are in my office right now. Yes Ma’am, certainly Ma’am. … Ya’ll have a good day too.”
“Well now, it seems my name is known in Washington D.C. I hope in a good way. So, once again, how may I help you gentlemen?”
“You will be returning with us to the scene of the crime.”
Any further conversation was drowned out by the sound of at least 4 choppers passing overhead. The last one circled and landed on the pad usually occupied by my chopper.
The 5 of us walked out back towards the landing pad.
“You know if my bird was back from repairs I’d fly us all in there myself?”
“Sit in the back with us.” Dawson was as dry as a mouth full of cinnamon. If he ever cracked a smile it would crack his face. Agent Z gave me a look and a raised eyebrow that said without spoken words … Yep, Dawson’s a dick.
We got to Hadley Ridge and set the chopper down along side of the three that had already landed. FBI Agent Krug asked the questions while the dozens of other business suit clad underlings scrambled about their choppers pulling out and assembling all kinds of gizmos under the direction of Agent Dawson.
Krug had me recount every detail of what happened that day; every shot, every movement. He could have read all that in the official report, but he was asking again. It was soon apparent that they were waiting for me to screw up, to say something that didn’t match. We were in for a long day. I had told the truth then, and I was telling the truth now. I wasn’t about to screw up, and the more they leaned on me trying to make me sweat, the cooler and more collected I got. Krug and Dawson took turns, compared notes, and tried to trip me up again. I had been through all this before with the local authorities and an internal investigation by the Forest Service. Bureaucrats, wasting taxpayer money so they can buy their expensive suits.
When the Feds were finished, State Agents Wanser and Z came over. Wanser spoke, Z just smiled.
“How you holding up Jim?” Wow, first suit to call me Jim.
“I’m just fine. I have a pile of paperwork back in HQ that isn’t getting any smaller.”
“You can head back with us. We just need the FBI to concur.”
“So what’s going on here?”
“That’s Wanser’s call. Wish I could tell ya, but it’s up to Wanser.”
In other words I wasn’t about to be told a thing.
I got back to my office just in time to lock up, and head over to my mom’s place to see if she had gotten her medicine in the mail yet.
Mom was real happy to see me. She had a hot meal on the table, and when I had finished eating she casually mentioned that a picture upstairs had fallen off the wall and needed re-hanging. When I got to the top of the stairs my phone started to beep telling me that I had entered an area of good reception and had just received several e-mails.
Three of them were from Tina. The first two were the kind I liked to get, real nice, sexy, playful e-mails. They made my mouth water in anticipation of the third e-mail. It had attachments. Oh Baby, are you sexting me or what?
The first picture was a little odd. It was of a sign behind a bar. “Happy Hour 5 till 7. Free round of shooters with every pitcher of beer.”
The second picture was of a Bar Keep shaking a shaker full of shooters over his head. Well now I wondered, is she an Alabama Slammer drinking girl or what?
The third and final attachment was strangest of all. In that picture Tina had a dead serious look in her eye, and with both index fingers, she was pointing at two shooters on the bar.
A light bulb went on over my head, figuratively and literally.
“Son, I don’t want you to be poking around up there in the dark. Be careful.”