The Cardboard Box Part IIChapter Twelve Interrogation Continues:
Reed and I were practically to the elevator when he acknowledged he had not finished his addressing me in regards to what information I may have on Pam Hawkinson.
I informed him I did not think I could handle anymore questioning that day. He stopped abruptly, turned toward me and in a firm voice expressed that the sooner I complied the sooner I just might find my dog and my friend. I responded, “In that case Miles let us begin.” We walked slowly back down the dingy hallway with the missing paint chipped off the walls some of which still remained on the unclean unwaxed floors. I recall thinking how much cleaner the grocery store bathrooms were than this place and it was a government facility for gosh sakes. I began to wonder if I could really put my trust not to mention my life in their hands. But then I had not been doing such a bang up job myself.
I could tell Reed was pretty much drained as I was however we proceeded anyway. We both had a genuine purpose behind not giving into our physical needs of any sort. Be it hunger, tired, or some sexual desire hidden behind the unspoken laws of office etiquette. Or possibly I was not the “Fox” I thought I was and Reed really had no interest in a Yankee girl with a bag of troubles, not to mention the Governor of Texas in her back pocket for some reason. All of which signaled Reed a big red X.
And so it began. Miss Rowe, please tell me everything you can recall about Pam Hawkinson, manager of the Rice Motel Restaurant. Conversations, people she introduced you to, her job, where she lives, and so on. We have all night Miss Rowe.
Oh Lord I thought. Because he was right, it took near half the night after all. And so I began telling him about Pam and not in any chronological order from when I met her, rather whatever came to my mind, as he continued typing.
I recalled Pam telling me she had found herself falling in love with the Attorney Haine's Brother Jake. He had come to her totally out of the blue one day at a red light downtown. Yes a red light. She was acting up as usual with her comedic rubber Halloween bloody leg hanging out the side of her car with a magnetic sign next to it saying, "My Last X Husband,” which of course was not true but it gave her attention and produced Jake to jump out of his truck, run around to her side and hand her his brother’s business card. He said, "Call me Babe!" You see Pam’s exuberant way of facing life since her parents had died in a horrific car accident was to pretend she was okay. She advertised herself that way even though she was not okay therefore in my opinion Reed she unknowingly walked into one of Amarillo’s worst snakes nest.
Pam had recounted to me some of her story just after we initially met however never said who or what sort of vehicle this Jack drove. In fact she was overly secretive about that and actually about him also. Reed, you recall the evening she invited those boys to my motel room after the Palo Duro night out? I wondered why she had done that but then that was Pam, sort of flaky. So it was probably about drugs right Reed? He didn’t answer so I continued. I recall her telling me how several days had passed with no call from her handsome Frenchman Jake. Once more, I pondered what a nice looking Frenchman was doing in Amarillo, Texas unless he was buying into an oil rig or a cattle ranch, which didn't bode well so I simply dropped it on the grounds that I truly couldn't have cared less at the time. At times Reed would stop typing and just listen. I came to understand it was when I added my opinions and comments he did not need in his report.
I informed Reed that later that same day back in my motel room I received a telephone call only to pick up and hear the very raspy voice of Tilton Boyer. He gave me the address of the small church that may be for sale as well as may need a preacher in the near future as we had discussed the previous day at his office. He told me he would be unable to accompany me to the viewing. Reed, I was thrilled that man would not be meeting me for “the viewing” because, ewe, it sounded like a funeral anyway and I really didn’t want to go “view” it, alone or otherwise. Then suddenly I stopped talking to Reed and found myself in a trance staring at the grey filing cabinet but all the while in my tranced mind I continued driving the country roads in the area Tom and I last saw the black and silver truck we presumed had stolen Duke. I was so tired I guess I was in a trance for what seemed like minutes where my mind also took me away from the uncomfortable. You know those trances that have sliver threads that connect us to a star in the never-ending universe when someone tries to call you back to earth and you want to stay right where you were for as long as humanly possible. That place of total peace and tranquility when people wave their hands in front of your face to wake you back up to reality when you don’t want to come back. But it didn’t matter what I wanted because there were Reed’s hands waving vigorously as they tore my beautiful shimmering silver threads connecting me to the peace of the universe into shreds of nothingness. Gone.
Reed asked me what the heck was wrong with me. And why was I looking at Churches for sale in Amarillo anyway? That is when I filled him in on Tom Baird and his family and his dreams at which time he once again stopped typing. Guess the FBI doesn’t need to know what people’s dreams in life are.
I responded just as harshly with, “What? Nothing is wrong with me Reed, what is wrong with you? I am tired and I wondered off momentarily. So what? And anyway you ruined my trance!” And then we continued with the interrogation of the “what do you know about Pam Hawkinson book.” I told Reed she relayed to me the fact that she and the Frenchman Jake had become very close as well as intimate. She said he was the most romantic lover she had experienced in all her life. I recalled giving her an inquisitory look as if to say, “Well how many men have you been intimate with Pam?” I guess that was more information than the detective truly needed but as a woman I tell it all and with some gusto added. And then I added some more unnecessary information. Reed, she replied to my personal question with whiny voice stating, “Not really Julianna! He loves me from somewhere deep inside his soul along with every other part of his being. She added she was not used to a man that gave of himself so deeply and with such intent. I was silent for I could actually understand that part of her story from my own experience. Reed had stopped typing and was staring at me with a blank look simply waiting for me to finish my little mental movie of words. I stopped, looked back at him and said, “What?”
He informed me he did not need to know how many men Pam had been with nor did he need to know what my individual involvement with men had been and to stick to the facts please. That is when he turned back to his typewriter and waited for me to begin again.
I wondered if I should continue telling Reed the rest of the story. That was after I backed up and shared how she had given Tom a job at the restaurant, stolen my gun, and never discussed where she lived and or anything about her family. And then I dropped the big bomb on Reed how I had informed Pam that I leaned toward hearing from the beyond at which point I stopped and just stared at Reed not being sure I should continue. He did not move but remained sitting tall facing his metal clicking best friend of a machine waiting for me to carry on. And so I did.
I blurted out, “You know what Reed? After I told her that she sat up tall, eyes big as saucers talking way too fast firing question after question at me. She had assumed I was a fortune teller where as I immediately put both my hands in the air as a sign of STOP! I informed her I was not a fortune teller, that I merely sensed if something was good or evil, as well as whether the outcome would be beneficial or not. She looked at me, slanted her head with anticipation of me telling her he would lavish her with gold and silver jewels, fancy cars, big houses, and diamonds while he loved her passionately the rest of her born days. Instead, I rather blatantly told her not to see that man anymore as my spirit told me he was known for using women to his benefit and then telling them he had to leave the country for various reasons. You know Reed, I don’t know why I bothered because she just argued with me, saying no no, he loves me as she flipped her long blond curly hair away from me and curtly walked out of my motel room saying, "You will see Missy!" I stopped talking and scanned the room from left to right and back. Reed had stopped typing and was coarsely staring at me again. I guessed I had gotten off the track of necessary facts again.
I said, “What? I can’t help it, I am giving you all the information I have in my head from the past week. So some extra girl stuff gets in there, ssoo-rryy! Do you have enough Reed? I am so gone tired.” Anyways you are the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Don't you already know all of this? I recall now the look on his face when I so overspoke his masculine authority. It was a look I shall savor in my little mental book of Texas women and how and what to not say to Texas men. Especially ones who think they are in charge.
Miles Reed finally turned away from his gray metal friend and faced me squarely saying it was time for us to go downstairs and get my temporary vehicle. On our way to the vehicle room Reed gave me explicit instructions not to leave my motel without talking to him first and there would be an undercover agent following me to “the viewing” the following day. I asked him if I had given him the address and he affirmed although I didn’t recall doing so.
Reed picked me out a light blue VW bug to drive until the case was closed. Of course I asked if they didn’t have any pink ones and of course he laughed in return. I told him if I found Duke he wouldn’t even fit in that car. Reed said he figured the dog and I
would find a way but I was not to go searching for my dog. It was too dangerous as I was being watched by both sides. This time it was the real mafia and the real FBI. Suddenly I was afraid. Before Reed handed me the keys he held them in the air dangling them between his handsome
thumb and middle finger as he said, “Might I ask how you know the Governor of Texas Miss Rowe? “ And then he added, “Nevermind, I think I don’t have time for the answer.” And he walked away after opening the large garage door to let me drive out into the Amarillo madness of mafia drug lords.
I turned the key, put it in Drive and headed out the big doors of the government building when I heard several loud popping sounds. I hit the accelerator and headed for the Rice Motel. I could see in my rear view mirror I was not without armed guards. I had just been hit with a barrage of gunfire. Several unmarked cars, one with Reed present followed me to the Motel where I was told to gather my belongings, as I would now be under protective custody. I put up such a fuss none of those FBI Agents had a clue how to handle me. Reed excused us to my motel room while the others waited outside. He informed me I could stay with him at his residence but it had to be top secret. He knew I would never go back to the pokey again without a nasty struggle. We walked together to the Motel office where I paid my bill and checked out. We rode in a dark blue sedan back to the FBI headquarters where we changed vehicles and drove to Reeds home not far from his office. He informed me the gunshots weren’t intended to kill anyone rather to let us know they knew what was going on meaning we had to have a new plan. I was not to leave his house for any reason. Not even for “the viewing.” Before he left the room to fix us some dinner, he laid the "Baby Browning" on my dresser.
I did not argue about anything this time because I was basically drained and in need of a bubble bath and my dog, but I can’t say wanting to see Reed without his suit or actually anything on hadn’t crossed my mind.