Monday, September 20, 2010

Anasazi Strip - Chapter 7 - Part 2

The "anonymous tip" the police referred to came from Linda Joyce. The Judge had done some additional digging and discovered that Linda was a freelance wildlife biologist on-loan to the Arizona Game & Fish Department. She was to be eliminated, posthaste. If it was not immediately possible to accomplish that task, then B.T. was to proceed with the dig first and the girl would have to be dealt with later. The Judge had ended the message with a military salute from their past: "Be like the wind".

B.T. reached for the telephone and dialed Linda Joyce's number. He picked up a note pad and pen, prepared to take down anything of importance. The phone kept ringing and ringing; the woman evidently didn't have one of those infernal answering machines. B.T. was just getting ready to hang up the phone when an out-of-breath female voice answered.

"Hi! Sorry it took so long, I was in the shower. Who's this?"

"Linda? Linda Joyce?"

"No, she's not here. Who's calling?"

"The name is Bobby James, B.J. for short, and I work for the Arizona Game & Fish Department. I'm doing a field study and I was supposed to meet Linda Joyce yesterday and she never showed up. I was just wondering if she had changed her plans, or what?"

"Oh! This is Amber. I live with Linda. Well, I don't live with Linda – I mean, we like share this place, you know?"

B.T. rolled his eyes. "Linda did mention that she had a roommate. But you say she's not there?"

"No, she isn't. See, Linda's doing one of her bird studies on the north rim of the Grand Canyon and she'll be gone for the whole month of October."

"That's why I'm calling. She was supposed to meet me out at Timp Point yesterday and she never showed. Has she called in or anything?"

"No. I haven't heard a peep from her since she split last week."

"Do you have any idea how I might go about reaching her?"

"Well, there's no telling, really. She like camps out most of the time. I guess you could try Ken Jarvis. He's a college professor up at some school in southern Utah. What's the name of that place? Southern Utah State College, I think. Linda's been dating him on and off for the past year and she might have told him where she'd be."

"Do you have his number handy, by any chance?"

"Sure, it's around here somewhere. Here it is: 643-2273, and, remember, that's up in Utah."

"I'll remember," said B.T. gratefully. "You've been a big help, Amber. Thanks."

B.T. hung up the phone and whistled softly. He'd pay a visit to this professor later this morning. The college was on his way to the Paria Plateau where he was meeting his excavating crew at three. Maybe Linda would be there with her boyfriend, or maybe she had called him; B.T. might get lucky and discover her whereabouts right away. If not, she could wait. Why rush it? There would be plenty of time after the Paria digs to do away with Miss Linda Joyce. Then he could take his time and play some games with her. And if she was pretty – well then, that would be even better.

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