Monday, February 7, 2011

Anasazi Strip - chapter 19 - Part II

The two men ate in silence for the next few minutes. The chicken fajitas were delicious. When they finished, Dwayne ordered a cup of coffee.

"So what do we do now, Jason?"

"We ought to stake out the ASN mine. If one of the names on that list turns out to be a hot one, then we should think about getting a search warrant. Beyond that, I don't know. You got any ideas?"

"Yeah, as a matter of fact. You ought to go over and check out the Kanab Airport. Art Shaw works on all the planes and choppers that come in there and he probably knows all the ASN pilots. It sure would be interesting to know who brought that chopper in on Monday night, wouldn't it? You might also ask Art about whether he can track a chopper on the airport radar. If they can, we could have 'em keep a close eye on ASN for us."

Jason wrote a reminder to himself on the back of the pilot list. "That's brilliant, Dwayne."

"I don't know about that, Jason, but they do it in the movies all the time."

Mary brought Dwayne his coffee. "The dinner's on the house, boys. Nedra appreciates all you're doing to catch the bastard who killed Willie and Charlie. The whole town feels the same way. You know, Willie Meeks used to haul stuff to the dump for us. And he helped build the addition on the back of this place. He had it tough, and he weren't perfect, but he was a good man. As far as we're concerned, whoever killed him deserves the same."

Dwayne and Jason started to protest.

"Don't argue about paying for your dinner because Nedra already went home, so save your breath. I can't overrule the owner. She's my mother. But feel free to leave a big tip." Mary winked playfully and headed for the kitchen.

Dwayne picked up his Stetson and stood up. "I almost feel sort of ashamed of myself."

"Why's that?" asked Jason as he deposited a tip for the two of them.

"Well, here we are, living high off the hog. We ain't no closer to cracking this case, and meanwhile, Jenny and Linda are all by their lonesome, out in the cold."

Jason patted Dwanye on the back as they headed for the door. "I wouldn't worry about those ladies, my friend. They got what they wanted and they're probably having a great time camping out together."

"I hope so, Brother Pratt," said Dwayne as he held the door open for the Sheriff. "I surely do hope so.”

But deep down, Dwayne had a bad feeling that gnawed at his gut. Things were spinning out of control and he sensed they had not seen the last of the red-headed stranger who had murdered their neighbors. As he said goodnight to Jason and walked back to his truck, he watched a large cloud slide slowly over the moon and the world went dark. Dwayne pushed his battered cowboy hat down firmly on his head against the chilly wind and suddenly had a strong urge to see Linda Joyce and Jenny Hatch.

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