Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Cardboard Box Part II Chapter 13 "Frenchman?"............by Julianna Rowe (Property of Diane Ogden)


Chapter  13   “Frenchman?”

                Miles Reed returned home later that evening with food and a continuing frown on his oh so handsome face.  We shared our hamburger and fries at his grey top marble looking table with shiny silver legs.  The matching chairs had glossy red leather seats, the latest in high fashion kitchen sets along with all the necessary kitchen gadgets.  One would think him a nancy boy by looking at his well dressed home.   I was thinking maybe there had been a Mrs. Reed but decided not to inquire.  We sat quietly for what seemed way too long when he asked me if everything was alright.  I told him it was, but asked how long I would be quarantined here?   He put his burger down in a slight form of disgust if that is possible and told me this was nothing to mess around with.  These people were high dollar dangerous drug dealers who would stop at nothing including murder.  They have left a trail across our state that must be stopped Julianna. 

                I asked Miles if he thought old Tom was still alive. And why they felt any need to take an old hound dog? 

                Miles responded, “They were in the wrong place at the wrong time is all.”  And if the pushers can use them they will keep them alive, but at this point in our investigation I have my concerns.”

                Of course I freaked out and almost had a cow again at his pretty kitchen table when he interrupted me by telling me they were getting close to catching at least the local dealers and not to get all stressed out yet.  That he shouldn’t be sharing even that much with me therefore we had to drop the subject.

                “Drop the subject?  Drop the subject?   I should be traveling Route 66 headed for Sante Fe right this minute but instead, my beautiful pink Cadillac has been impounded, my dog is missing and presumed dead…..”       

                “Now wait a minute Miss Rowe, I didn’t say he was dead!”  During which time his face turned a very bright shade of crimson and his eyes changed from a stunning blue to a pale green.  Sort of like in the movie, “Children of the Corn.” 

                “You might as well have said it Mr. Reed!” I exclaimed in distress.

                I recall thinking in the midst of the small fit I had going on that he must not have had too many deep emotional discussions with women in his life because he did not seem to well adept at handling it, or me I should have said.  Actually he excused himself without finishing our conversation and retired for the evening.

                I had never felt so alone and frightened.  I should have felt safe in the home of Amarillo’s finest FBI Agent Miles Reed, but I didn’t feel safe, and I was frightened for Tom and Duke and Shamika.  Maybe it was time to call Granddaddy, or Billy, or Harper Rutherford.  Nawh, what am I thinking?  I got myself into this mess and I can only hope I can get myself out of it.  I was in such deep thought I almost didn’t notice a cracking sound that came from the West window of my bedroom.  Then again.  At first I panicked still in shock from the gunfire outside the Federal Building but then I realized it was something hitting my window pane.  I immediately shut out the bedroom light and near crawled around the bed and over to the window where I was slowly rising from the floor when I heard it again.  Something was hitting my window.   I carefully pulled back the curtain a mere hair to see if I could see anyone or anything.   And sure enough I saw it, I mean her.  Danged if it wasn’t Pam Hawkinson outside and under my window.   Jeez, wasn’t the best FBI Agents house under any sort of surveillance?  Dang, should I holler for Miles, should I hide, should I open the window and maybe get shot?  Then my mind went to Duke.  I bet she knows where my dog is.  Little did I think about what good it would do me if I were shot dead. As usual without further thinking I opened the window.  

                What are you doing Pam?  Where have you been and where are Tom and Duke?  All I have to do is scream and you are in jail forever Pam! And how did you know I was here?  Start talking!

                She responded with five words……”I know where Duke is.”

                Hot tears filled my eyes and flooded the gates to my brain.  I opened the window, but not before grabbing my baby browning and pulling on my pink boots.  It was then I climbed out the window and ran across the yard with Pam Hawkinson toward a black and silver truck waiting for us.  I couldn’t stop now even though the brain gates had begun to open and stupid was running behind me.  This was a sure enough trap and I ran like a dang fool directly into it even though I knew full good and well the United States Federal Government had tried to protect me.  As I was running the old saying I always joked about came rushing back at me. There she goes, the lady that can’t see anything until its passed cause her eyes are in the back of her ass.

                Pam swung open the door of the silver and black truck and as the dome lite came on no one appeared inside.   I stopped in my tracks as Pam circled the truck to get into the driver’s side.   I did not get in and after she noticed I was not complying, rather standing outside that truck she hollered at me to get in if I ever wanted to see Tom and Duke again.  I checked my pocket for my browning and got in.  Had I looked back I would have seen Miles Reed standing in my bedroom window watching me take off with a suspected drug dealer, unable to stop me.

                Pam hit the accelerator and we fishtailed out of the neighborhood….  I was on my own now which meant I had to take over and so I reluctantly did.  I grabbed her arm and demanded she start talking.   But she didn’t she just drove.  I demanded again and again.  Then I pulled out my baby browning and pointed it at her head.   She told me to put my gun away that she didn’t aim to hurt me, rather she needed my help.  Well anyone that ever told me they needed my help always got it considering I was one of those people that fell in the well to help someone vs throwing them a rope.  And so I jumped in with Pam.  She told me she had been held captive by Jake, who disappeared yesterday with a friend and hadn’t returned but had left the truck and the keys on the key rack. 

                I didn’t believe a word of it.  I told her, “Sure Pam, so how did you know where to come and throw pebbles on my window?” 

                She replied that Jake had told her I had been picked up by the FBI for questioning and he had called her to say his people had followed me to the Agents house.  

                I told her she was a liar.  That she had stated he left yesterday and she hadn’t heard from him since.  She had heard from him.

                I shouted at her that we had been shot at as we left the Federal Building and I suspected her lover was a part of it of which she denied emphatically and so we argued continually for at least the next eight miles at which time she pulled over, turned off the ignition and stared at me intently.

                I said, “What? Now what are you doing?  I suppose you’re going to put me out in the dark in the middle of nowhere, right?  God you’re a skag!  How did you ever get a job at a nice place like the Rice Motel I will never understand!  You irresponsible uncaring retarded ratfink skank!  You better take me to Tom and my dog Duke or I swear I will shoot you.”

                While I was ranting Pam calmly stared out the window past me until I was finished at which time she asked me if I were finished and I replied probably not, but yes for now.   She informed me she could not take me to where I asked because she did not know where they had been taken.  All she knew for sure is she was in love with Jake Haines and he asked her to bring me to the ranch.  This woman seemed to have been separated from her senses.

                My eyes got big as Texas in light of the fact the only thought coming to my mind when I heard the word ranch was Joseph B. Justice Cattle and Oil Ranch outside Tulsa Oklahoma where I was held while recovering from a concussion.   I put my hands in the air and said to Pam, “Oh no, what ranch, where, and why?” 

                She responded she was not sure why.  All she knew was Jake’s Attorney Brother Timothy had prepared them a way out of the country if I delivered you to the ranch.   

                I was in shock.  How dumb was she which I proceeded to ask her.  “Do you have any idea what you have gotten yourself into Pam Hawkinson?  The Federal Bureau of Investigation is in on this, did you hear me Pam, FEDERAL!!”  I shouted at her as I continued, “They will extradite you from whatever country you end up in.  And why?  What did Jake do that he needs to flee from his homeland country, America?  You will possibly spend the rest of your life in prison.  Are you that blonde? “  Of course I meant dumb but I decided beating her up with insults may not be the best path or in my best interest.

                She did not respond for some time.  I was in great hopes a vehicle would come upon us whereas I would jump out to retrieve some help.   And then she said.  “But he loves me Julianna.  No body ever loved me like that before.  Not since my parents were killed.  I only had a couple of boyfriends in school and the girls made fun of me.  Jake is the light of my life. He is my soul mate. He said he would take care of me.  

                Suddenly a bell rang off in my head.  The bell said, wait a minute, she told me he was a Frenchman.  She told me Jake was a Frenchman.  I remember now.  Why was she lying to me.  His brother certainly had no accent.  How could that have slipped my mind?  I stayed silent.  Sometimes circumstances called for listening skills to enter the building or the vehicle whichever the case and this was one of those times. 

         Pam started the engine and I held my breath.  I hadn’t gotten through to her and God only knew where she was taking me.  I still had my browning and my knife and I would use it if I had to.  And that is when I realized I was out in the middle of nowhere with a nutcase just as I was back in Austin with Billy Connally.   I was sitting in this passenger seat thinking the unthinkable might happen to me.  I recall how angry I became after that realization.  In fact I was so angry I pulled out my baby browning, pointed it dead at her head and told her to tell me where the hell Tom and my dog where or I would kill her sorry stupid skanky ass right there and now.  I will never forget her saying, “No you won’t kill me Julianna!”   God I wanted to kill someone! Something!  I put the gun down and started to pretend I was crying.  And after a bit I really did begin crying.  I needed help where there was none.  As I look back I believe my mind was so confused with fear that the crying helped clear my head.  It also appeared the tears had brought out Pam’s nurturing side where as she came to my aid.  Imagine that, we are both in the well with no rope.  Problem was she had no idea she was in a deep well with no rope.  That is when she nonchalantly began talking to me about Jake like I was her best friend forever……  Like I had not just pointed a gun at her head, or had a seriously loud meltdown.   Didn’t she know her lover was going to kill me because I was the only witness from the Palo Duro movie night.  I was the only one who could identify the drug dealer who had hidden himself within the group of young men who came to my motel room with Pam.   She was nursing a serious case of the dumb ass and I was an integral part of a serious drug ring gone bad. 

          I have always been amazed how women lose their God given intelligence when they fall in love.  And in this case her love would get me murdered unless I could think much faster than I was.  And then before I could whistle Jack Robinson I saw the lights of “the ranch” dead ahead.  Dead being a word I should not have entertained at that moment in time.  I had to jump out and now!
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