A Heart of Deception Part 7
Holly Everten was lying lifeless on the cool cement that had befriended her for an indefinite amount of time. more....
Holly and Darrell settled into Rex Fields, a dry, warm, southern town near Oklahoma and Louisiana border. more...
Several years had passed by ever so quickly. Holly chased after Percy who was barking madly at the chickens. more...
Holly drove the rental wooden station wagon to the local shop, aptly named Valerian Feed Store after all the bright red flowers growing in the area. more...
Several days ebbed and flowed by. Holly went about to clean the garage that had sorely been ignored. more....
Darrell was crouched over the hard, cold, steel table in the Rex Field’s Police Department interrogation room. more...
7 De Luco’s dusty maroon car wound its way around the twists and turns of FM 414 in Chantry. There was not even so much of a gravel top to the road, and De Luco had difficulty maneuvering his car around the old, bent shade trees hovering over the road. At last, he approached the lone house on the left belonging to Miles Cartwright, as indicated on the beat-up mailbox leaning over to one side cattycorner to the antiquated farmhouse. De Luco drove in, the cattle guard barely visible anymore and obviously not in use. There was relatively flat acreage as far as one could see; sweet potatoes littered the fields, ready for harvesting. The smell of the wet earth reverberated around De Luco.
De Luco rapped at the door, which had long lost its luster and appeal. The small wood shingle house was perhaps only three rooms in size. A large creaking neared the door.
“Ja?” Miles replied.
“I’m Detective Amerigo De Luco. I need to ask you some questions. Care if I come in Miles?” The portly detective was diminutive compared to the ebony six foot three figure that he made eye contact with while standing in quarter stance.
“Ag man! What about?” Miles began to walk deeper into the darkness that was filling the room, which was slightly dusty and perfumed by the smell of turnip greens boiling on the stove.
De Luco followed, standing nearest to the front door that waved in the wind like a proud flag. “I noticed that you are deeply involved in finding Holly. How is it going?”
“You tell me karel.” Miles shot back.
“I’m not sure what you called me, but I need you to cooperate with me Miles. I know you and the community has been looking for Holly. So far, nothing has come up and I am going to be stepping this investigation up. You need to tell me what you know about the night Holly went missing.” De Luco looked squarely into Mile’s sweaty face.
“I needed a ride. Holly took me home. She went back after she dropped me off. She seemed like she had her hole-full. I don’t know what about, she was kak pissed, ek se!” Miles gave a strange grimace that De Luco didn’t understand as he read his face for underlining clues.
“That’s it? Nothing else? She didn’t say anything?” De Luco seemed frazzled by the lack of momentum in Miles’ story.
“That’s it! I never saw her again. I got stew cooking…” Miles turned and walked off into the kitchen, which was a part of the great room that encapsulated the entire house; exception being one door in the back, which De Luco ascertained was either a bedroom or bathroom, perhaps both.
“I don’t mean to take up your time, sir, but I need to get to the bottom of this for Holly’s sake. The longer we wait, the longer she might not be found alive. As her friend, I know you care about her, right?” De Luco reasoned with Miles, who was ignoring the detective as he stirred the pot on the stove.
“Aweh! And voetsek will you?” Miles shook his hand towards the direction of the door. By the looks of his demeanor, De Luco construed that the dirty man in overalls wanted him to leave.
“I need to get your sister on the horn with me. Here is my card. I will be bringing you in for more information Miles.” De Luco flipped his business card on the crooked coffee table before him. He left the room while Miles still stirred his pot of turnip greens stew obsessively.
Back at the office, De Luco rubbed his furry brow with his forefinger. He contemplated the weepy husband of Holly Everten, the flat affect of the farmer friend Miles, and the yet to be seen Blythe Cartwright. The town was corralling in the thousands, it seemed, to find Holly. The detective was feeling the pressure and gravity of Rex Fields expecting him to find the answer to her whereabouts. Nothing seemed to be making any sense.
Just then, Detective Justine Millen, a rookie from upstate New York, came in to De Luco’s office. “I found a contact number on Blythe Cartwright. She is in Connecticut like Darrell said. Here it is.” She quickly left and began to discuss another case with a fellow detective in the office.
“Yes, I need to speak to a Blythe Cartwright, please.” De Luco petitioned the older woman with a Southern accent on the other end of the line.
"She ain't here, you know. Not been seeing her since a few days ago mister." The woman grumbled.
"Do you know approximately where she may be ma'am?" De Luco began to scratch his pad with a blunt pencil that frustrated him because of its incompetence.
"What do ya want her fer anyway? She ain't in any trouble is she mister?" The lady began to get short and defensive.
The detective took a pause and weighed his options about continuing this conversation. "Ma'am, I had an idea that she would like to see her brother Miles. When do you believe she will be headed this way to visit him?"
"Okay, she mentioned something like that." As the haggard woman spoke, De Luco had a dose of relief. "Yea, she comin' that way in about a week. She got kinfolk there I believe, a cousin. She gonna live with him and then come back here in the spring maybe. What you say your business with her is now?"
"I'm just a friend of hers ma'am. It's very nice to make your aquaintenence." De Luco politely said, all the while wiping the sweat from his ruffled brow.
"Well she made a mighty good friend God bless her, not many of them nowadays. She got not enough of em' with her mind being as it is. I'll tell her you called. Mister, what's your name?"
"Amerigo, Amerigo from Rex Fields." De Luco's demeanor was unusually casual, which he chose to adopt at the last moment. He figured the woman would clam up if she suspected he had official business with Blythe.
Just then Millen came in. "Sir, you won't believe what I found out!" She huffed, being out winded and excited.
"Please tell me something good young lady. I am afraid I haven't had enough today. The trial this morning was just dreadful!" De Luco rubbed his moist brow hard until it was red and hairs fell out onto his chubby fingers.
"Blythe-her phone records show she has been calling Darrell daily... actually, several times a day there has been calls to his house from this number!" Millen produced the stack of phone records into the sizable hands of De Luco.
"Whose phone number is this registered too?" De Luco's deep-set eyes widened and skimmed the documents rapidly.
"Her aunt's cell phone. The name is Mae Delta Gentry. Isn't that the lady you just spoke to?" Millen glanced at De Luco who was resharpening his pencils and categorizing them by color and size on his desk.
"Precisely Millen! You have very good ears. You will make a great detective someday." De Luco sarcastically quipped.
By the day's end, De Luco had ordered Darrell to meet him at his office at eight am sharp the next day. The subpoenaed phone records were breathing new life into the lifeless case.
De Luco locked his office door. He smiled momentarily at the handcrafted sign on the door that read, "Here did she fall a tear, here in this place I'll set a bank of rue, sour herb of grace." It was a quote from his favorite literary master, Mr. William Shakespeare.