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"The Annual Fear" (6) By Rolly A. Chabot
I sit this morning overlooking the lake from the cabin. The is a slight breeze and the air is fresh. Across the lake in the tree line that runs high I can see the changing leaves just within this past week.
Fishing has been good. I was out in my pontoon boat last night and a hush came over the water just before sundown. Geese are starting to move but what caught my attention was the call of the loon off in the distance. Forlorn and haunting and it echoed off into the valley. Then came another from the far end of the lake. Then came the chill of the evening. Winter is not far off.
Gather around close. I have a fire happily snapping off in the background, coffee is on and if you prefer some hot chocolate help yourself. Lets see where Chapter 6 takes us today. Above all know that you are loved. Make yourself comfortable and should you doze off I will cover you quietly as to not wake you.
Chapter 6 "Weekend Break"
After the departure of Billy Joe under the escort of Wes, Dan felt dirty for allowing this man to get under his skin. As a rule he was a cool mannered man and this display was unlike him. He would need to be keeping his feelings closer in check in the future.
He needed something to bring him back in balance and the open Bible on his desk was looking for. He flipped through the pages until he came to the Scripture Romans 5:9 “Since we have now been justified by His blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath, through Him.
Dan sat back and thought about the teachings of his dad and the many ways he would tell the Bible stories. This one came to mind as he rested his head in his hands and prayed for peace. After all it was the love of Christ who died on the cross for us that lived in us as well. His Dad had spoken it was that same love that Christ had that we can call on to love others no matter what they had done. That meant even the Billy Joe’s of the world. He prayed that God would find his way into Billy’s life as well and the God would give him peace in the work he had to do to keep the town clear of this cancer which had made its way into it unknowingly.
Just then the Fax sounded a beep to announce an incoming message. The first page was a hand drawn smiley face with the handwriting of Jennifer. “Hope this finds you at peace, I have prayed for you this morning, know that you are loved by the Father above. Ronny tells me you are a man who loves good music; having a concert at the Church next month, love to have you attend. Email me at Jennifer@lvpolice.com. More details from there.” It was signed with a hand drawn heart with a cross.
Then came the wrap sheets on the three people requested. Wanda Webber had a colorful past, prostitution charges, ties to the gambling syndicate and money laundering. She had been a busy girl indeed; she had served a few years in the State Pen where she had been released on good behavior. She had studied Real Estate by correspondence and passed with flying colors. There was a letter attached from the LasVegas Judge who had granted her full pardon after serving her time. He wondered if anyone from the town office had done his or her homework before allowing her to run as Mayor.
Tom Reardon had a long list of offenses as well as some jail time. His lawyers were all retained by a well-known organization named the Blue Knights. Ronny had spoken of them once; they were a bunch of crooked cops who worked the strip. Ronny and his team had managed to slow them but they were still active, as they owned a portion of the illegal activity such as prostitution and illegal drugs. At the end of the report there was mention of a connection to Wanda as running an illegal body house owned by Tom Reardon.
Billy Joe Wesson was a small time hood that was connected to many disappearances of some mob leaders. All suspicious in nature but they had never been proven. He had been charged with money laundering, tax fraud and several other minor offences. Once again Bill was always on the outside of the bigger inside circle. Shivers ran up his spine thinking of this mans last words that, “Anything was possible where he came from.”
He sat and wrote a report and submitted it to Ronny and the State police department as a backup in the event anything were to happen to him. If nothing else at least it could be considered a threat and it would be on record.
Next he sent an email to Jennifer after trying to figure these stupid computers out. He would need to sign up and take some courses some day and learn this stuff. He was able to get enough for words in her email to look like he knew what he was doing. Dan thanked her for the offer and please supply him further information as to when and where the concert and a time frame she would be thinking of coming out fishing. He added it would be hard for him to get away for the concert but he would consider it. As well he stepped beyond his comfort zone and gave her his personal cell number. As he pushed the send button he prayed that should God have plans well he was at least open to explore them.
Dan slipped all the paperwork from the Fax into a file folder and marked it “Under Investigation”. The judge would be a great ally in the battle that lay ahead. He would know the best and most effective way to help rid the town of the garbage that had collected. It reminded him of the flooding they had just gone through. Everyone else’s garbage from up river had been deposited. Now it was the garbage from Vegas, which was being left behind. Why had he missed this, it had happened so quietly?
He typed in the plate he had recorded earlier on the vehicle parked in front of Wanda’s. The marker came up as registered to 678193 Inc. a numbered company. Further search revealed it as being a huge developer in Vegas. Joe Mullen. The company was under investigation by the Revenue Department in the US, Canada and Mexico. Many notes led even further back to Joe and some big players. In flashing letters at the bottom of the screen “Approach with caution advice FBI of whereabouts at all times.”
Dan followed the link, sent off a note of the time and date where he had been seen, along with a request to send a file, as there were concerns in Cedar Ridge. Almost immediately there was a reply “Well aware of his activity there, stay clear as we are monitoring, do not arrest or harass, this is a Federal case.”
Dan laughed as he thought of the peeing matches that Hollywood always had about the power of the FBI stepping into a small town and taking over the case. He had no idea what they had happening but he was willing to watch till it crossed over his line then he would take on the Feds any day.
“Sidon to town yard, Sidon to town yards.” The raspy voice of Wally Harris came over the speaker “Harris at your service, need some of those trees cut down, we can take care of them before the flooding is over. Let the river take them into another county is what I say.”
“Wally, you old coot, stay clear of the trees, they are a part of me and the family resting there. How are you and the crew doing after all the commotion?
“Doing well, I hear we have a new body house in town, authorize me to take a bulldozer over and level the place.”
“Now Wally, judge not least you be judged, it will take care of itself.”
“I know but I have a son that is fourteen, hate to see that get it’s hooks into him, mother and I are trying to deal with it but she has offered our boy a mowing job for the summer and he is tripping over his tongue, Rusty is just a kid and easily swayed. I stopped in the other day and told her to cut her own bloody grass, as my son would have nothing to do with the likes of her.”
“Leave it with me Wally, keep tabs on the boy in the meanwhile, promise me you will stay clear of her. She still has some power in the chair she holds and can be a handful once you cross her path. Ask me I have been fighting her since she came on the scene.”
“Hormones are hard to keep tabs on, maybe I can put something in his food to slow them down, or tie and anchor to his butt.”
They laughed as he signed off, “Keep up the good work brother, tell Rusty I need someone to clean the jail this summer. Something tells me I will have a full house the better part of the summer and maybe I can chat with him as well.”
“Appreciate the offer and yes he will take the job, you have my permission to box his ears should he step out of line.”
“Horseshoes are happening after Church Dan, could use a dead eye like you on the field, come around if you have nothing better to do. Miss having you around the guys buddy.”
“Will see what I can do as this is the second time this week I hear about the horseshoe thing after Church.”
“Another bonus is the Church has turned it into a full day event with food and goodies and a man like you needs a bean or two stuffed under his belt.”
“Let me think on it Wally, thanks for the thought and the consideration. Good friends are hard to find.”
“Better get out of here before we start to have a love in or something, need anything just call me Dan.”
Dan drove around the lower reaches of the town; stopping and talking to people to see how they faired. Other than a few flooded basements and some debris they had done well this year in comparison to others with the exception of the lost bridges. The problem had been taken over by the State and they had already started on restoring the banks with rock and massive concrete pours.
Jeff Atkins was the State man who was looking after all the alterations; he was a good man whom Dan had dealt with before. He stopped to see how things were coming along.
“Jeff, good to see you again and have your crew in town, spend all the money here cause they got to pay some high wages here for the local law.”
“Dan, good to see you buddy, be better to be waist deep in the Middy with a fly rod in hand, laying into one of the monsters. Old Judge was around this morning with an invite for July, we have room for a third.”
“Love too, I will hook up with the judge and get the details. How’s the wife and family, last I counted you had four, anymore on the way.”
“Have another cooking in the oven as we speak, dad always used to say keep them barefoot and pregnant and they are happy, mine has been happy all these years, but I think its time for the machine to stop, will need to work now till I turn 85 just to buy the groceries.”
“Hear tell you have some trouble brewing in town with a few people. Keep it in check; hate to see this turn into anything other than what it is. They tried the same thing in Cedar Rapids a few years back, took a heap of time to clear them out. We have dynamite if you need some help.”
“It will never make it that far but should there be a need I may call on you my friend, my best to the family Jeff.”
Jeff had already turned back to his work, barking orders to get this thing done as quickly as possible. Dan slipped into the seat of the cruiser. It dawned on him at that moment that he had never been alone the entire time since Beth passed away, close friends had all been there, some in the background and others right before him and he had failed to see it.
Sunday morning he would be in Church and thank as many as he could for their support. Yes he had landed right where God had wanted him the entire time. His job was to look after those who had been looking after him. He wiped the tears from his eyes and headed to his next stop, the one man who could answer many questions, a man who had been firm and yet had been there throughout much of his life, his new dad.
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