Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Chapter Six......The Cardboard Box...........property of Diane Ogden

No decision had been made on my part as to whether to ask the cashier for help or not.  But help for what?  Would I say I thought someone had been kidnapped?  When the truth was that person stole from me and ran off.  Would I say I was afraid and needed help?  Afraid of what?  I had no idea what was even happening and if I even needed any help.  Although Becker knew I wondered where Roger went.  And Becker knew Roger was a hitchhiker I had picked up in Illinois and that he stole my boom box and disappeared.  Becker also knew the strange trucker holding tightly onto Roger like a captive.
Maybe I should just get in the Pink Cadillac and hit the road on my own.  But how could I leave Roger.  What if they were going to kill him.  But why?  I knew I could never sleep again if I left Roger without knowing the whole story.  So, I pretended not to see the silent unknown trucker with Becker and Roger.  My safe traveling caravan had come to an abrupt end. 

I had asked to meet the other person in our trucking caravan but Becker said there wasn't time.  We needed to get back on the road again.  He "ordered" me to gas up again.  I noticed a change in his voice tone that frightened me some.  I had started to feel like a blind person that could see but not enough to make out anything but dark figures.   I had made the blind decision to travel on with the devil's caravan.  What was I thinking.

I followed Becker out of St. Louis heading for Rolla, Missouri and then onto Springfield, Missouri.
According to my calculations that took us about three hours considering our 70 mph plus driving speed.  I recalled clearly Becker saying he could only take me to Tulsa, Oklahoma area.  What would they do with Roger then?  And as for me following them incognito in a bright Pink Cadillac.  Well that went without saying.  I supposed I could get help from the authorities when we got to Tulsa.  After all I had both license plate numbers but only one name to offer. What if these men decided to do something with me before we got to Tulsa?  I had to stay in public areas at all times.  Wait, they could pull over at anytime and drag me out of my secure ride and throw me in the back of one of those trucks.  I had heard horror stories of men and women who got sold to foreign countries as slaves.  Sex slaves. Oh sweet Jesus my brain screamed at me to exit, exit, exit.  But I never did what my brain said to do.  I always worked on emotions.  Never could quite shake them up together to get a good answer.  It was black or white.  I made a deal with myself that if Becker pulled over anywhere but in a public area I would pull out and around him and speed off.  I prayed my car would not break down as it had before.  I still hadn't retrieved my senses from that ordeal. 

We drove through the cities of Doolittle,  St. Robert, Buckhorn, Lebanon, and so on....until we finally hit Springfield, Missouri, where I thought we would stop for food.  Not a chance.  Those Hostess Snowballs were going to have to sustain me a while longer it seemed.  We sailed around the Springfield bypass and onto Paris Springs Junction, then Spencer,  and into Rescue. I wondered if that wasn't some a direct omen from above for me to step up and do something.  Anything.  But doing anything without knowing why wouldn't be very bright.  So I bypassed Rescue.  The things going through my mind were either horrific or plain stupid.  Rational thinking had left the vehicle.  I was a raging nutcase with pretty blonde hair blowing in the wind, dressed in jeans, a pretty pink sweater with pearl buttons, and clean white canvas shoes. I wasn't ready to die or be sold.  So why didn't I run?  Because I was a natural born detective.  If there was a story I had to know why it happened, where it happened, and it had to have an ending.

I thought the tires would start smoking those trucks were moving so fast and I was riding the winds between them.  Sandwiched between two murderers.  Or kidnappers?  Roger was somewhere behind me in that big black scary truck with no significant signs on it to say where it was from or who owned it.  Was he tied up?  Was he in the sleeper or did they put him in the hauling section with God knows what.  Did they tape his mouth? Were they trafficking drugs? Maybe it was drugs.  After all I didn't know where they were headed after Tulsa.  Maybe Mexico for all I knew.  And maybe Roger was in on everything or just knew too much.  How will I ever get to Roger?  Oh wait, I bet this is mafia based for sure. I was going to end up at the bottom of a dirty river with my feet in cement. My mind had taken off like a rocket ship to the moon where it would land and never return.

We hit Joplin, Missouri in a record one hour and seventeen minutes. I had a full tank of gas when we left the St. Louis area.   The gas gauge was now reading less then a half tank of fuel left.  I had to make my move soon because we were only a couple hours outside of Tulsa, Oklahoma.  That is as far as I was to be "with" them.

Any sane person would have found a phone and contacted the authorities at the next opportunity.  Not to mention, cement shoes were not in my idea of wardrobe choices.

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