Chapter 217

It was noon before we needed to be over to the gym. I had left a note for Patti that I would not be going to KCC today and also a voice message in Bob Jackson’s phone. “Just turn on the local news; that will explain it all.” The rest of the girls had done the same thing at the gym.

I had slept on the couch; the burnt hair smell was still strong, even after two washings. I did not think that anyone would be able to sleep with me nearby. There were areas of my neck that were burnt but I had no blisters, thanks to the aloe goop I had been coating myself with.

I called my hair dresser at 10. I needed an emergency cut or whatever ASAP as I explained what I had done. At 10:30 I was sitting in the chair with her looking at me, shaking her head.

“Do what you have to do – crew cut it if that is what it takes,” I said. One of the ladies who were waiting asked how I felt this morning “You looked bad on the TV news this morning.” Then she asked if Crash was OK.

“The text I received indicated he is being released before noon, and all considering, I’m OK,” I replied.

When Margie finished I had a short butch hair cut. After a wash with something special I could no longer smell the burnt hair.

The text messages had been coming in one after another while I was in the chair. Many of them were from friends inquiring about my condition. The most important one was from Jenny, “Investigation to start in the office meeting room at one. County and State detectives will be here. Cindy has left to pick up Crash. What are we going to do with him?”

“Good question, maybe he will stay with us in the extra bedroom for a day or two. Then move him over to the horsey house. It will take a while to replace his house, unless he will accept a big trailer or modular,” I sent back.

Kate and Tony were at one of the tables when I walked through the office, with a computer generated map of the farm. There were notes all over it.

“Jake says for you to be more careful or he is going to come kick your ass, among other things. I sent him the front page of the paper and this morning’s local news report, “Tony jokingly said.

“He was not able to take the retaliation for trying that over ten years ago. I know he can’t now,” I replied with a grin. Tony just laughed.

Pointing to the map, “These are the test holes they did yesterday. The codes by each one are the soil types at different levels. Janet has already identified where the groundwater runoff ponds need to be. By the end of today, we will have most of the information we need. There may be some really good news if the data works the way it looks. We just overlaid two runways for more ideas.”

“Right now, I can use all the good news I can get,” I replied as I walked towards the girls.

Jenny waved me into the main meeting room. “Crash and Cindy will be here in a few minutes; they just finished shopping for something to replace scrubs.”

“Everyone will be here in a less than 30 minutes. I have the meeting room set up,” Jenny said.

Jason had been standing with Jenny. I took the opportunity to explain the changes to the hiring requirements for the security division.

“Add a second language need to all field office personal, to be done by the end of the probationary period for new hires. For current employees, JBG to pay for approved education and or materials and as a requirement for promotion,” I explained. “We will develop a list of preferred languages at our next meeting,” I added.

The participants in the investigation were sent up as they arrived. They were people I had met before. Detective Sergeant Jim Spears and Detective Walter Brooks from the state police and Detective Carl Winters from the county sheriff’s department took seats at the table. They were the same officers that had responded to the Food King assault that was now a long distance memory.

They were sitting around the table with Jason, Jenny, Lorrie, Vicky, Ching Lee, Marcy, Crash, Roger and me.

“Just how did JBG end up out to Morton farm last night?” Spears asked.

“JGB has entered into several contracts with Mr. Morton. One of those involved a security contract, a contract to supply pilots for the crop dusting business and the farm,” I replied. “Mr. Morton called at 10:45 and reported someone outside messing around. Earlier in the day while we were out there surveying the property for improvements, Bruce and Samuel – his nephews – stopped in and harassed Mr. Morton about putting in beans.”

Roger interrupted to fill the detectives in on the past conflicts.

Detective Winters asked, “How did you know the two Morton boys were in the truck?”

“When the truck swerved out of the lane to avoid a collision, I saw that it was the same white truck with the bent up body behind the cab that someone had taken a sledge hammer and tried to straighten,” I replied. “It was the same one they were in earlier in the day when they threatened Crash.”

“Who gave the order to shoot at the truck?” Detective Brooks asked.

“I instructed the cars following me to block the roadway and stop the truck by shooting the engine if necessary. I also told them not to shoot into the passenger compartment,” I replied and then asked, “Who gave the order for the Deputy and the State police officer to shoot into the cab?”

Detective Spears responded to that with, “There were several mistakes last night – one of them was that the weapons were not collected that were fired at the scene. We need to collect them today for ballistic tests while we are here. The officers thought their lives were in danger, standard procedure.”

“My people have the same standing order,” I replied.

“Did you take both officers’ guns last night?” Jenny asked.

“No. As I said there were mistakes made,” Spears replied.

“A fired slug and shell casings for all the weapons we have, was submitted when we registered the guns with the state. If the state is unable locate them we have more certified in lockup,” Jenny said.

Then she asked, “What caliber were the slugs removed from the victims?”

“I believe nine millimeter,” Detective Winters said.

“There is your answer then. JBG, to simplify corporate wide supply, uses only 40 caliber handguns. I remember reading the state and county both use 9mm,” I replied.

“Ms. Coles has a state issued 9mm,” Detective Brooks replied.

“When I work for the State I carry the 9mm, when I work for JBG I carry the 40. I like the 40, better kick, penetrates better, kick’s ass. The 9mm is for pussies,” Jenny replied.

“Mr. Morton, can you tell us your side of this?” Detective Spears asked.

“BJ’s people had been out at the farm all day busting ass. Around eight the last one left, said he was the last one and would see me in the morning. Just before 11 I heard a lot of racket outside. I called BJ to see if any of her people had come back,” he said stopping to take a breath.

“She said that all her people were there and for me to lock the door; she was on the way. Bruce and Sam came through the door as I was hanging up the phone. Sam cold cocked me with a board. The next thing I remember was being dumped on the ground.”

“I need a list of everyone that fired a weapon last night and the serial number. If we need the slugs we can come back for them,” Detective Spears said.

“We will be in contact,” Detective Spears said as they stood to leave.

Edit by Alfmeister

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