We stopped on our way to the hospital at a fast food joint. A salad with chicken to go along with several large black coffees would be all I needed.
Courtney and I met Dean Skaggs in the emergency room surgery area. While Courtney and I waited we finished our lunches. Then I filled Dean Skaggs in on all the morning’s events, answering his questions as best as I could.
I called Marcy, Lorrie and Jenny on a conference call to fill them in. It was a tough conversation over the phone, one that I would rather have done in person.
After the call, I sent both Marcy and Jenny texts, wanting a private conference with them. Because of today’s events I was worried the conversation we had might rekindle fears and anxiety in Lorrie from her own attack four years ago. I wanted to stress to the girls to stay close to Lorrie.
I called Dr. Rich, one of JBG’s on call shrink’s that we used to evaluate all potential new security employees and who had helped me heal from Betty’s death. She has also helped Misty Black last year. I had hardly finished the conversation when she agreed to be here in the morning to help the family and Caroline as soon as she was able to be seen.
The doctors finally came out to update Dean Skaggs, Courtney and I on Caroline’s condition. It just happened that Major Welch and the sheriff appeared in time to be in on the briefing. She was slowly improving. She had broken ribs, broken bones in her hands and a broken nose with multiple cuts and bruises.
A specialist in cosmetic surgery was flying in from Baltimore’s John Hopkins Hospital to minimize permanent scars. A gynecologist surgical team was finishing up repairs to her female parts.
I was mad all over again. I asked the Major if Murphy had confessed to being involved with the rape and murder of the Frost Borough student last year.
“No, nothing has been said about that yet,” he replied.
“Let’s go discuss it with him while I am still fresh on his mind,” I said.
“That’s not going to be necessary. There was enough DNA left on the body; there won’t be any problem tying them to the crime,” Major Welch replied. “Besides, I hear he may go into cardiac arrest at the sight of you coming to see him again.”
With lunch and the briefings at the hospital it was now after one. My cell phone rang. It was the pilot of the G5 returning from Fort Wayne with the Breeze family.
“Boss the family was early and we have a good tailwind; we should be there between 13:45 to 14:00 hours,” he replied.
“How is the family holding up?” I asked.
“Very worried,” he replied.
“I can understand that. We are all very worried too,” I replied.
The cosmetic surgeon from John Hopkins arrived and went directly into the surgery unit. I drove Courtney to the airport where I signed for the two Tahoe SUVs that the family was going to use during their stay. We just needed to log in their drivers licenses when they arrived.
The manager brought us the special deliver from Jamie. I picked out one, verified the SN on the form and signed that I had received it, then slid in a clip, chambered a round and slid it into my holster. Courtney did the same thing, and then she called for one of her day people to pick up the locked courier case.
While we were waiting I started getting pictures on my phone. I went to one of the computers in the MAAR rental site to look at them.
Aerial cover crop seeding started today. In order for the farmers to get paid from the state we had to complete the process by November 15th and showing green in the field if an auditor showed up. With corn it was no problem; the crop was out in time to plant it in a conventional fashion.
Late beans were the problem; they were still green and growing because of the late fall. A plane or chopper was the only way to plant.
The dusters were using the 15 runway. Crash’s old runway was long gone and the concrete needed several more weeks to set up since it was put down.
Tony said,” You can begin using it any time you want for dusting,” Sabrina was a god send, she had taken pictures of the first landings and takeoffs at our airport.
There were even several pictures of Crash with the planes and several more of him pointing to the new painted and logoed water tower with Morton Field painted in big black letters.
I was glad to see Marcy and Lorrie’s email had received them to; the airport was Lorrie’s baby and planes landing and taking off there would make her day. We were giving the pictures a good look-over and discussion when the G5 contacted the tower to join the landing pattern.
As the G5 was pulling up Courtney and I walked out the door and onto the tarmac pushing the small baggage carts that all small airports used. They were not much bigger than the ones that most motels used but they were several times more heavy duty.
In reality none of this was my place. JBG security was clear of any responsibility. Caroline’s attack had happened off campus but I could not just walk away.
That was what made me detour the flight to Frost Borough. Five minutes was the difference between living and dying for Caroline.
There were many things that could have added five minutes. If I had not stopped the sheriff from reading Murphy his rights it would been over then and there. If I had played nice girl when questioning Murphy we would not have arrived in time. Just five minutes was the difference.
She did all but one thing right. She had stayed with her group of friends at the football game on campus. Then with them at the first bar and it was at the second bar is when things went haywire.
Why did she leave the group? Was she drugged? Her friends insisted that she was not consuming any alcohol at either of the bars when Courtney questioned them this morning.
Was she selected and separated by choice? Had the group been followed from the first bar to the Bulls Den? Unless Murphy talked we would never know. Had they corralled her and just forced her out the door?
During my many discussions today with Major Welch, he had ordered a search warrant to get the video surveillance tapes from both the Bulls Den and the Half Mile Bar. “There is no way they do not record the activity in the bar,” he said. Then he added, “I ordered a drug test on Caroline.”
With the wheels chocked, the engines off and the turbines slowing to a stop, I came back to the here and now; Courtney and I pushed the carts to the plane stairs and assisted the Breeze family to the tarmac.
I helped the co-pilot stack their bags on the cart. Andrea, the flight attendant, followed Mrs. Breeze down the steps. Her face was very red and showed the effects of recently crying.
Andrea responded with, “Hi boss,” as soon as she saw me; I wondered where that title had suddenly appeared from.
I asked who would be the eventual drivers of the two SUVs as we loaded the bags in the back and informed them that they needed to record the driver’s license information.
Courtney and I both drove to the hospital, pointing out various landmarks that the Breeze family would need to get around in the next few days.
At the hospital Courtney and I listened while the doctors, the sheriff and Major Welch undated everyone on the latest information. Because it was so late I decided to stay at Courtney’s house in her guest room for the night. Ching Lee and Vicky had been thoughtful enough to leave my bag at MAAR for me when they departed.
Tomorrow morning after I had made the introductions with Dr. Rich and the family, the G5 was flying me to meet up with Ching Lee, Vicky, Cindy and Mark at Minnesota. If – and it was a big if – everything went smoothly tomorrow morning with the Breeze Family.
With the four of them there I was not needed anyhow, other than for appearance sake.
Edit by Alfmeister
Prof read by Joe H.