On April 9, I posted the first installment of "Coming Home" and then followed with Pt 2, on April 10, Pt 3 on April 11,Pt 4 on May 8, and Pt 5 on May 21. You can read Pt 5 here,http://dutchhenry.blogspot.com/2013/05/coming-home-pt-5.html ... and there are links to previous segments … We left Billie at the end of Chapter 2 as she was heading back to town … Enjoy this next installment.
Pt 6 Coming Home - Chapter Three
As Deputy Montoya drove, Billie flipped through her tablet, studying her notes and making more. She'd solved the mystery of how the dump truck could get within ramming distance of Roy's car when she'd walked the lower side of the road and found tire tracks in the sand running parallel to the road about a hundred yards away. She'd sketched a diagram in her tablet. The dump truck must have been following Roy, when he slowed to look at the car in the sand, the truck rammed him. New note - Whoever it was, couldn't risk hitting the prisoner they were there for – so pushing Roy's car off the road had been the plan. Only he fought back. She circled, 'he fought back', because except for the windshield, Roy's car's damage had all come from the dump truck. Whoever fired on him, fired high. Another obvious statement as to the importance of the prisoner.
Deputy Montoya stopped the car in the street in front of Martha's, behind Billie's Vette. "You want me to wait for you?"
Startled, Billie looked at him, "I'll meet you at the office, don't go home. I have a few questions." She closed her tablet, slipped it in her pocket, and grabbed the bag containing her badge and gun. "Do I have an office?"
"Don't know." Deputy Montoya nodded then grinned, "Most likely."
She looked at her watch. "Six-thirty. Suppose anybody there would know?"
Deputy Montoya shrugged.
"I guess we'll find out when we get there." She carried the brown paper sack with her, slid behind the wheel of her own car, started it. She gave it a second to warm up while she slipped her badge in the vest pocket of her jacket. The side arm she attached to her belt by the clip on its holster. She followed Deputy Montoya the seven blocks to the Hondo/Salado County Sheriff's Department building behind the new Hondo County Courthouse.
The Sheriff's Deputy on duty greeted them when they entered. "Evening, Hector." He turned to Billie, "Hell of a way to start a reunion." He offered his hand, "Shane Hardin, you probably don't remember me. I was just starting out when you were packing your things to head out for Quantico."
Billie took his hand and sized him up. "Of course I remember you." She thought a second, "Your mother breeds Quarter Horses, and your dad works on oil rigs."
Deputy Hardin smiled as if he was proud to be remembered. "That's right, but Dad's retired now. Mom's still selling horses, but as I recall, you and your family like those Walkers."
"Is everybody retiring in Hondo County? And you bet, we do like our Walkers." She winked at Hector, then asked Deputy Hardin, "Do I have an office?"
"You do, before Sheriff Lovell went home he asked me to make sure you found it. I'll show you."
She signaled for Hector to follow and walked with Deputy Hardin around the front counter, down the hall between stacks of faded cardboard boxes to the third, and last, office on the right. Deputy Hardin swung open the door. "Never been used yet. Well other than to store stuff." He nodded at the boxes stacked high in the corner. "I moved as much as I could into the big closet in the conference room, and the hall, but those wouldn't fit."
An old wooden desk, an older wooden desk chair, a tall metal file cabinet, missing a drawer, and a leather sofa furnished the room. On the desk sat a lamp and a slightly bent in/out basket. The single window had a newspaper taped over it dated, November 12, 2007.
They stood in silence while Billie surveyed her new operations center. "Phone?"
Deputy Hardin shrugged, then smiled weakly. "I'll be out front if you need anything else."
She motioned for Hector to take the desk chair, Billie had designs on the leather couch. She called down the hall for Deputy Hardin to bring everything he could get his hands on about the prisoner Roy was transporting from Salado County, then collapsed on the couch. The day was beginning to take a toll. She'd been up for thirty-six hours, fast highway driving for too many of them, then sworn in, sort of, as a Detective in her home town, so she could start the investigation of a lifelong friend's killing.
She turned so she could see Hector, "That was, Juan del Paso, killed out there today wasn't it?"
**********************Gitty Up ~ Dutch