Monday, July 03, 2006

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Since the family hadn't netted any information of value, Sarah decided to reach out to her partner. She hated to see her cell phone bill for the month, but she could always write if off as a business expense. Well a part time business expense to be more accurate.

"Eddie what the hell are you doing home," Sarah had known that her, almost ready for retirement, partner would be home. Eddie Macon did not work weekends for anyone. He was too damn close to pricking the balloon.

"You know me cupcake, always looking for an escape ladder. What you want cookie?"

"Eddie if you don't stop with the desert cracks you are going to get more than a sugar high."

"Yeah for the last ten years I been trying to get the damn wrapper open."

"Well here's your chance for me to owe you one."

"Sarah you owe me about two hundred and it still hasn't gotten me a night in a cheap motel."

"Eddie you know at you age you would have to just watch."

"Watch my ass, Okay what is it you need my little twinkie?"

"You know I'm in Georgia working that re enactment?"

"Sure, only woman I know takes vacation to wear old clothes and sit by a campfire with a bunch of old men in rags. No wait, that's a bag lady or an undercover cop." Macon burst into laughter. Macon was fond of his own jokes, as well as the sound of his own voice.

"Listen up Eddie, I ran into an old special forces type guy. Something about him ain't right. How about slipping into the national crime computer and telling me who he killed lately."

"Is he that bad cupcake?"

"I'm not sure Eddie, if he isn't being looked at now, we might be one day soon. He has that Texas Bell tower look about him."

"You keep your distance cookie."

"I can't, so get on this as soon as you can."

"Alright but you be damn careful."

Sarah gave him all the vitals on Sandberg. As was the case when cops played cops neither said goodbye, the line just went dead.

Sarah threw off the blanket, then she sat upright. She heard the far away sound of banjos and guitars. "Oh hell why not?" she said aloud.

The vendor area of the re enactment was about half a mile from the grassy amphitheater. As she approached the music got louder. There were even several eerie glows coming from the grassy bowl. Kerosene lamps glowed as re enactor families clapped their hand and danced a hoedown to the music.

Everyone was still in costume. Sarah was glad that she had worn her masculine get up. Sarah was dressed as one of the women who had fought in the war as men. It was a well known fact that every army in the war on both sides had women pretending to be young men. When a woman fired a shot that saved a man's life, he usually didn't care much about her plumbing arrangement.

Sarah was quickly surrounded by men and woman from the encampment. Just as in the war the Yanks tended to hang together and the Rebs did the same. As was her habit, Sarah fell into her male role easily. She even danced with a few of the daughters of the old south. It was great fun and since no one actually danced close, no one knew. Well a few who had their pictures made before might have had a suspicion, but none knew for sure.

It was after midnight when the dance ended. Sarah got waylaid by a Yank who had a little too much corn liquor. He argued the merits of the war and of course Sarah argued back. She refused to back down. Her father's motto, which she had adopted at work and in her personal life was, "Make your stand, then never give an inch."

The half drunk Yank was lucky that it was just words. Sarah had turned sideways to him to protect her vital organs. It he came out with anything, she was ready to break a bone or two. It was hard to say if he sensed it or just got tired of hearing himself talk. For whatever reason he gave up the argument with one parting shot. "We could whop you again reb."

Sarah mumbled under her breath, "So you say Yank, so you say."

She was stumbling around in the dark trying to find her way back to her wagon. She couldn't walk well in the dark, since she was a city girl. She also lost her way. Before she knew it she was in the parking lot where the re enactors had parked their cars. It was a half mile east of the vendor area. It could have been worse.

She found the gravel trail that lead to the encampment area. Before she set a single foot on it, she heard loud voices. At first she thought the drunken Yank had found someone else to argue with. She thought one of the voices sounded familiar but wasn't sure.

Sarah knew in here heart of hearts that she should just walk away. She didn't of course. Instead she turned walk as quietly as she could toward the voices. One more loud burst of shouts and then the starting of an engine.

Sarah stepped quickly into the shadows as first a black sedan and then a park ranger truck roared off into the night. "Some drunk giving the night ranger a problem," she said under her breath. Since the argument had moved on, she couldn't do a thing to help. Sarah had a feeling something was going to come of it later, so she made a mental note to file all the details away.

While making the mental notes she walked up the path toward her wagon.


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