a tale of an old hero part five
The black and white hit the lights and syren as they pulled an old truck over to the side of the road. Mr. Johnson just shook his head as he leaned over to get his license, registration and proof of insurance, still not sure of what he had done wrong.
Officer Kopetsky stepped out of the car while the rookie was left to run a check on the plates.
"Sir, do you know why we pulled you over?"
"No. I was doing the speedlimit."
"Well, you have a brake light out."
"I do? Oh, I will get it fixed right away."
Suddenly, Sam Kopetsky turned as he heard his partner slam the door and run over to him with a fax in hand.
"Sam, look at this. Can you believe it? That perp from the convenience store robbery escaped! We have to find that old lady."
"Calm down, rookie."
Mr. Johnson stared dead ahead, hoping these two would consider him a small fish and go after the big shark instead.
"Hey, mister. That bike in the back of your truck. Does it belong to you?"
"Um, well, now it does. A friend of mine gave it to me." Wondering if he should have gotten something in writing from Miss Jones, since he had no proof of ownership and with tweedle dee and dum here, this could get complicated.
Officer Kopetsky glanced at his rookie. "You think the perp might be going after the old lady?"
"Sam, he was very serious in his threat that day." Staring at the man in the truck, the young officer blurted out, "So where is the owner of this bike? Is she a slight grey haired lady in her seveties or so? Possibly dressed in a plaid old coat with a old blue hat and red rubber boots?"
Mr. Johnson almost choked on his words. "She is just seventy. Her name is Miss Jones. And why would anyone be going after her? She is one of the kindest people I know."
"Do you know where she lives? Look sir, this is important. Her life might be in danger."
"Sonny, I just dropped her off at the bus station. She is going to go visit her family."
"Did you notice this guy at all?" Handing the man the paper, he watched Mr. Johnson's face for any recognition.
"I am just not sure. I was busy with ... other... things to notice." He closed his eyes to think thru the maze that clouded his mind. He did watch her go thru the doors of the station. There was a man behind her... what was it? He looked at the picture again.
"Guys, this man with a scar on his face. He was following her."
"John, call the precenct." Then Officer Kopetsky turned and said, "Sir, get that brake light taken care of. Okay?" As he ran back to the car, jumping in the driver's seat and hit the lights and syren. Mr. Johnson stunned watched the car speed off. As he leaned over to return all the paperwork he did not need now, he felt something poking at him in his jacket. He pulled out a pink letter with his name on it. Perfumed? As he opened it quickly, he read...
"Dear Mr. Johnson,
I wish to write this note to you to thank you for all the kindness you have shown me these last ten years. Your gentle concerned scolding made this old widow feel special. It is truly a shame that I am too old for you. I even think that George would have liked you too. Please keep an open mind. I am sure that there will be someone to fill the void in your heart just around the corner. You just have to look more closely.
With a sincere heart,
Mrs. George Alexander Jones.
Mr. Johnson stared back out the window. "What the hell?" he exclaimed. "Who does that woman think she is? A fortune teller? Just how many corners does she think I have left to go around!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" As he made a U-turn and headed back towards the station, hands gripped around the wheel and the peddle down to the floor.
"Excuse me, Maam, but you should not leave your son over there by himself. This is too dangerous a place for unattended children."
"Um, well, um," I looked up at a tall young security guard. "Look, I think that old lady in the navy is in trouble. That man standing behind her is a robber. She helped to catch him... And since it was an armed robbery and all, I can't believe he is out on the streets."
The guard turned rather pale. As he looked at the size of the man and the proximity of the old lady to him. Damn. We were going to install metal detectors this next week after the holidays. He could really have a gun on him.
"Okay, I want you to take your son and leave immediately. Would that man recognize you if he saw you? You sound like you were there."
"Possibly." I turned quickly and grabbed Jeremy's hand to head out the front door. The guard stepped back into one of the recesses and looked like he was calling someone on his cell for help.
"Jeremy? We are going to call gramps. Okay?"
"Dad? whatever you do... stay on the bus. Until they say you can leave, Kay?"
"Dad, for once in your life, listen to me." As we headed to the car and sat there with it on. Dear God, please help that lady.
The black and white pulled up and stopped in front of the station. Both officers slowly got out of their car. Back up would be coming but it would be while. Due to the holidays, the police on duty were few. After all this was a small town, not a big metropolis.
"John, how do you evacuate a building without the perp knowing what you are doing?"
He called me John, not rookie... a slight grin came across the young man's face. "I would pull a fire alarm."
"And what if we miss the perp as they evacuate?"
The police radio squawked. "Kopetsky here, over."
"There has been a report of a man with a scar on his face following an old woman in navy inside of the station. The description matches that robber you guys caught a while back. Somehow he managed to escape last night. He is currently wearing a camo pauncho and jeans with holes in the knees. Security at the station are waiting for further instructions. Over"
"Sally, can you patch me thru to their dispatch?"
The young guard pulled out his cell phone and snapped the picture of the old lady and the man sending it to each of the four guards in the building. They could cover the four exits, but, not being armed, it would only be a guess if the perp would get spooked and start firing, wondering just what they could do with only a tazer and a long handled flashlight as their only weapons.
"Yeah, Lucy. Looks like he hasn't made his move yet. She is sitting in the chairs by the ticket booth. Man, there are a lot of families here today."
"The police are here? Okay, have them call my cell, I will set up a call to the others so we can be on the same page."
Each guard now slowly moved to the four exits of the station. Two men in Green hunter's jackets and jeans entered the building on the south side. Lucy now stood by the fire alarm, making sure that the fire department knew it was only going to be a drill.
Miss Jones sat looking at her watch and ticket. Jennifer... can you ever forgive me? She sighed heavily as she looked up into the face of the man who weeks earlier she had dumped beer on.
"The expression on your face is priceless, you old hag."
The alarm went off, Lucy now spoke over the speakers.
"Everyone must leave immediately. We have a fire on one of the busses that is now stalled by the gas depot. Please evacuate quickly and quietly. The fire department is on their way. Head to the nearest exit. Please remain calm."
Mr. Johnson opened the door of the station, only to find a horde of people heading out towards him and the fire alarms blaring.
"Jenn, you got everything?"
"Yup, it is all in the car. Come on, Gwen. Where's your brother?"
The thin girl of fourteen with dark brown hair like her mother shrugged her shoulders and said, "Alex seems to be an instance on that game of his, mom. It will be like waking the dead to get him to move away."
She saw her mother stiffen her shoulders as the woman prepared to do battle. God help Alex, was all Gwen could think.
"Hey, Alexander Thomas Sanderson get out here now. We have to leave."
Tom sat in the car waiting on the rest of his family. Sighing he could not help but think of Jenn's mom alone again for another holiday. He felt a familiar vibration go off in his chest pocket and answered it.
"Finally. Let's go Tom."
"I can't believe you pulled the cord on my computer, Mom. How could you do that?"
"Get over it. It is rude of you to ignore your mother. What would happen if say, the house was on fire and you ignored me?"
"Like that would ever happen... " mumbled the boy of twelve.
Tom slowly pulled out of the driveway. Heading up to main street towards the interstate, knowing right would take him to his parents house, he turned left instead.
"Honey? What is going on?"
"Jenn, we won't be going to my parents house this year."
"I just got a phone call from the Marion Police Department. Your mom is in the hospital."
"So, what has that got to do with me."
"Jenn. I love you. Remember that." As he now steeled himself into his resolve and headed back to the place of their beginings.