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"The Annual Fear" (14) © Rolly A. Chabot
Good morning all those who are following and shame on me for falling behind on offering another chapter on the Annual Fear. This past few weeks have been busy ones getting the last two books edited. They should be available soon on my website.
We are covered in snow here the past few days. If you are in Canada we have 22 plus centimeters and for those who are in the US that comes out to 8 inches. No matter where you live it works out to a great deal of shovelling.
We have arrived back to the Fireside season again in full swing. I have taken on the challenge with the National Novel Writing month this year. November may be a slow month for hubbing... but stay tuned. Gather around and lets spend a little time with Dan and his team getting the town cleaned out. Cuddle in close this morning as it is chilly out there... if you find anything here during your visit please take away one thing knowing that you are loved... Hugs included.
Chapter Fourteen: “Sniffing Around”
Dale Rugger arrived with his dog Shasta at the office. The dog was excited as it sniffed around his desk. Dale said, “Looks like we have something here already Dan, what have you been holding in your office.
Immediately the dog started working and within minutes located the drawer that had contained a small amount of pot that Dan had collected in the fall from some ruffians who had stepped out of line at the motel here in town. There had been a large party and he had been called out to keep the peace. A few arrests had been made and he had found the pot on the one young fella who was to be housed that night in cells.
“Impressive, does that mean I get busted," said Dan as he stood and extended a hand towards Dale. “How are things the next county, I heard you had some Moon Shining starting up again over that way.”
“Shiner’s will always be around, we have broken up some family circles there, running the supplies over east and turning a huge cash profit without paying a cent on taxes. Just need to keep the fire lit under their butts is all no real concern these days. It has always been a game really, nothing more. Shut one down and another is running right next-door. It is hard to keep a handle on that stuff. I even have a few jugs of the stuff in my house, comes in handy at a party when you want people to go home.”
"I hear you, I guess we both bend the law a little. I will take this stuff home and burn it. Thanks for the reminder it was here. Ready to put Shasta to work, should only take a short while then we can have lunch as promised, I broke the town Piggy Bank for this one.”
They laughed as they loaded Shasta into Dales vehicle and headed over to the Green Wiener. It was early in the morning but there were a few vehicles in the parking lots. Dan stiffened as they drove around the front and found more there. "I would say we are going to have an interesting day Dale, we have some company."
Just as they pulled up a semi was backed into the rear door. Tom Reardon was talking to the driver and was followed by three strangers. Rough looking men covered in Tattoos. One had a long scar across his face. He tensed when he saw the lawmen getting out of the truck.
“Tom, I have a search warrant here for the premises, appears as though we have suspicion of drug trafficking happening here and we are going to put Shasta to work,” he pointed to the dog.
“I need to call my lawyer before you can enter. I see you have been busy, you have locked us out, Just brought in the truck to clear out some inventory, perishables, concerned something may go bad.” Tom spoke up and the two thugs stepped forward as though to create a fence to stop their entry.
“No time for that Tom, too bad about your inventory but the warrant has already been executed and approved, have your goons step aside or they can join the party at the cells, you included.”
With that said Dan, Dale and Shasta entered the premises. Dale spoke “Sit” and Shasta sat. He looked at the dog and spoke softly. "Go find it Shasta” and gave the dog a rub on the top of it’s head, and unleashed Shasta.
It was like the dog entered a new world as it started to cruise the bar area. Its first stop was at scar face and he stepped back as in a fighting stance and Shasta barked once and the hair on its back raised. Dan stepped in and instructed him to take a stand spread eagled with his hands on his head. Dan gave him a quick search and pulled out a bag of Crystal Meth from his pocket. He cuffed him and sat him in a chair.
Next Shasta started to work his way to the kitchen part of the Green Wiener and within minutes stood barking at a shelf lined with tomato juice cans. Dale picked one up and instead of sloshing it had something solid inside that rattled around.
“Open this can," He said to a man who looked at the man with many tattoos. He sheepishly looked at Tom who immediately stepped forward and said, “You have no right to destroy property.” He gave a menacing wave of his fist, Shasta immediately responded with a growl and a show of teeth. Tom stepped back.
The man opened the can, stepped back and said, “I have nothing to do with this stuff and I just cook the food around here. There was something different about this man and Dan had the sixth sense kick in. He had come to trust it but he sensed there was something very different about him.
Both Dan and Dale looked inside and it was filled with what appeared to be Cocaine broken down into saleable bricks ready for distribution. They had hit pay dirt on this one.
Dan motioned all the rest of the men over into the corner and took several of the cans and shook them, they were all the same sound. He looked at the man who claimed to be a cook. "I will give you the benefit of the doubt on this one friend. I would suggest you write out your address and contact information and get out of town. If I need to get ahold of you I will, so make sure what you give is right."
The man wrote out something on a piece of paper and handed it to Dan. "Thanks Mister and what you have here is my adress and phone number. I promise it is all right. Thanks for trusting me on this one. May I leave now?
Dan looked at the sheet of paper and the phone number was the same as the FBI number. "You may and lead me astray and I will hunt you down and throw the book at you. Now get out of here while the getting is good."
He reached for his next set of cuffs and drew his weapon and said “Tom Reardon and all of the rest of you are under arrest for possession of an illegal drug for purpose of trafficking. All of you against the wall as we have some business to take care of. Dale you take care of those two and this one leave to me,” as he walked over to Tom snapped one then the other wrist behind his back.
“Today was a good day to be in Cedar Ridge if you were a tourist but if you were a criminal," He whispered to Tom. "I guess you have now stepped into the big league with this one. This is a case for the FBI now. Remember I told you a while back to not mess with a small time Sheriff. I guess you understand now what I mean."
Dan flipped open his cell phone and pressed 1 on his speed dial.
“Deputy Sheriff Phillips here.”
“Make room for another four at the cells as we have some processing to do, better call in for some back up watchmen for the night as well. I will fill you in later, oh and make up a sign, which says “Out Of Business, Sheriff’s Orders. It is for the Green Wiener."
“Sure boss, man you are making a name for yourself. I have a copy of Ridge Runner here and want your autograph.” “It is in full color Horst went all out on this one.” He laughed. "You will need to frame this one. Our sweet and wonderful X mayor is looking rather dishevelled."
Next Dan called the Vegas Police Department; the familiar sultry voice came over the line. It stopped him each time he heard her voice. “Jennifer could you give me the number of the FBI and hook me up with Ronny, I have something he will need to hear.”
“Hi Dan, oh my are we official today, call me later tonight so you can fill me in. Hang on, the number is 202-278-0000 for the FBI. I will connect you and have Ronny on the line with you in a minute. Hold tight Dan."
“Thanks Jennifer, I will call you later."
“Hang on I will transfer you, sounds serious, I will be waiting to hear from you later.”
“Ronny here, how are you doing Pal, sounds like you have something big happening there.”
“Bigger than me that’s for certain,” he stepped into the back room and filled Ronny in on his findings.
He could almost hear Ronny smiling in the background as all he said was “The missing link."
"This will take our investigation to the next level. We were hoping for this break, man this is great news. I will be certain that you get honorable mention on this one Dan. I assume you found enough to hold a few of the low lives you have there.
“I have the number for the Feds as they will need to process this one as it is far to big for us here in small town America. Yes we found something big here.”
“Good work Dan, excellent work, ever looking for work let me know, you are on the payroll the minute you call. Just got word from the Feds as well, the cook is one of theirs, so go easy on him. He has been undercover for the past year. They are saying to treat him like the rest and they will come in and spring him from this mess after this all blows over.”
Already taken care of. I had a sense that he was clean and sent him packing. That should make the Feds sweat a little. I think he is already packing and leaving town, likely already called into the office. I know we were told to stay out of this one but I refuse to play in the Fed game. May be after I close the door on this one. We can talk of the future, maybe it is you that should consider coming out this way.” He laughed and said Goodbye.
Next he called the FBI and explained the situation. “Lock down the site, place a twenty-four hour guard on all the evidence and please don’t touch anything,” said agent Forbes.
“We might be small town here but we know our jobs, and yes we do them very well.”
“I am sure you do, the last directive we issued was you were to stand down. You may have just jeopardized our entire operation we had going. Do you have an airstrip there that can handle a twin engine, I will fly some agents out this afternoon.”
“Well if we don’t, we have room in the cemetery” he laughed. There was no response came from the other end. Forbes must have missed the humour in his comment. Our strip is 3000 feet long, that should do you.”
“Great, the pilot will call you just before he lands, can you have someone there to pick them up.”
“Your man on the ground here is likely on his way home already. We never arrested him as I thought he was different, glad to see he is one of yours.”
“I see, how did you know we had a man there?
“We have our ways here of knowing who is who in our town. Even the Feds can’t cover everything. Shall I arrange for the caterer and room service as well for your crew.”
“Please, a room will be fine, our men can look after themselves once on the ground.”
Again they stepped out of the Green Wiener and started to walk the foursome down the street the two blocks to cells. A little public ridicule was always a good way to say “Not in our town.”
Just as always the locals did not disappoint as they walked. Just before they got to the jail Horst was out on the street taking pictures.
“Sheriff/Mayor you are making a name for yourself we need to chat and I can get the information for this story.”
“Simple, four arrested, drug trafficking and as well add in there the Green Wiener is closed for business.” Horst fumbled through all the papers in his pocket and started to write on a stained napkin. This poor man needed some help getting organized. The crumpled papers he took notes on left something to be desired.
Dan called the Town yards, Harry’s voice rasped over the phone. “Harry I need you for a few hours to stand guard over the Green Wiener. I have Ridge Security as well but want the place covered. Three more men should do it, preferably you and another two you trust, one front and one back. One roaming. No one in, consider yourself in charge over there till the Feds get here.”
“What in blazes you gone and done now Sidon?
“I will fill you in later, just get posted there ASAP and stay till the Feds come in. Consider any and all expenses covered on this one. Overtime and meals are on the Feds. Can you manage that for me Harry?
"Can do Dan, thanks for looking after things for us here in town. Consider it looked after, does that mean we are all deputized and can carry guns? Harry laughed.
"Nope, sorry not this time, just keep the property secure is all I want. Have any trouble just call and I will take care of things."
Horst had followed them inside still taking pictures as Dan reached in the drawer and pulled out a brand new black hardcover policeman’s notebook and passed it to Horst. “Here you are the official police reporter now get rid of that mess you have in your shirt pocket. I have no idea how you find anything on all those scraps of paper."
Horst looked at the notebook as though it were the greatest gift he had ever received. “Official I like that. Thanks Dan."
They processed the four and placed them in cells just as Wes came in. “Going to love this job, been waiting a long while to get this many people in one place maybe I can play the harmonica better with a good audience that can’t run. The wife and the kids all leave when ever I pick the thing up.”
“All yours Wes as we are heading over to the diner for pot pie, I can bring one back for you as you will be posted here a spell. No calls for these guys as the phones are still out of order.”
Wes winked and smiled. "I hear they are having a fair amount of trouble up the road with the phone lines. One of the problems with small towns. Hard to get good service."
He and Dale sat and drank coffee till the two steaming pies were placed in front of them. Dale bent his head and said grace “It’s a habit I have been doing it for years.”
“Good for you we all need to understand that food is a gift from above.”
“Never took you for a man who knew God Dan, surprised me really after all you have been through the past few years.”
“Both my parents were Christians and they taught us all well, I have fallen away for a time but that has all changed again.”
They ate their meal together and took a biscuit out to Shasta. “It has been a pleasure having you over Dale” as he reached out a hand.
Just then Shasta realized there might be something in his other hand he liked and got between them. There was no stopping the dog as Dan handed him the biscuit. “You earned your keep today my friend.” Dale reached out and again thanked Dan for the hospitality and gave a wave as he left. Yes it had been a good day.
He dropped off the potpie for Wes and scanned the cells, all was secure and again the hatred was running high. The looks he was getting from the guests housed in cells were ones filled with pure hatred.
“Your dinners will be coming from the greasy spoon across the road when it gets here. Tight budgets we are on. I hear tell the mystery meat they use is something I should be looking into."
"That reminds me Dan did we ever get any leads on those missing cats from Mrs Roberts place. You know the ones that are always on the prowl in the back alleys?
"No not a thing as far as I know. Maybe some coyote got them?
"Maybe, I ordered some of that stir fry stuff they make over there with the strips of meat for the boys here. Should I tell them to just put it on the tab again?
"Please do," as he tipped his hat and started out the door. "Have a good night boys. I think I wil call it an early day and cook me up a fine thick steak tonight for dinner. See you in the morning gents." He laughed on te way out the door. His day was far from over with the Feds coming.
© By: Rolly A. Chabot.... All Rights Reserved
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