Monday, June 17, 2013

Devil at Dusk - Installment Number Eight

Movie still from the 1955 movie Wichita
Movie still from the 1955 movie Wichita.

Welcome again folks for joining me for part eight of Devil at Dusk!

Soon Tuesday rolled around and it was time for me to get back to work after taking a few days off. That afternoon I stopped into the Sheriff’s Office to meet Assistant Deputy Schneider. He was real reserved and quiet with a very serious look on his face. Deputy Schneider also looked really young; he only looked like he was about 20 years old. I spoke to the Sheriff in his office about JT and the results from the coroner. Then I asked him some questions about Deputy Schneider, while asking the questions I mentioned how young he looked. The Sheriff told me Deputy Schneider will be 29 in August. I told him that must be why he has that serious like on his face, because when you are young the more serious you look the more serious you are taken, the Sheriff agreed with me. I had gotten pretty good at reading people over the years, you have to in my line of work especially when you are a woman and also because I have the tendency to wear almost that same serious look on my face. The Sheriff assured me that once Deputy Schneider gets to know a person he warms right up. I told him very good we ought to get along quite well then.

Then I told the Sheriff I had better get to my office I had some notes to put into some files and that I had more surveillance on Lenny to get ready for later on that night. I stopped off at the office and put my notes in the appropriate files. While I was there I had been thinking I may need to get some office help pretty soon. It did not seem to be good to be away from the office so many days all of the time out working with no one to take care of answering the phone, fielding calls, filing papers and keeping the office clean and tidy. 

Right now I had to get back to the estate and get together with Bet to finish up the funeral planning, we were almost done. After that I would take a bit of a nap before heading out into the night to do some more work. I made it the big house and Bet let me in the door. Bet had finalized the funeral arraignments with the undertaker; we had the graveside funeral set up for Thursday at 2:00 pm. While I was discussing this with Bet, my mind started wandering to the office and leaving it unattended for so long. Bet asks me out of the blue how things are going at the office, I told her I had some things to ponder right after the funeral. Then she tells me she used to help out JT a couple days a week in the office and that if I needed her that she would love to help me out too. Wow, it was like she read my mind! We always did have a sixth sense about one another and we always did seem to know when the other needed help with something. I told Bet that is exactly what had been on my mind and that I really did need some help. I asked her which days she usually helped out JT in the office, she told me on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Then I asked her what she was doing tomorrow and she said she was available to me. I thanked her profusely and asked her to meet me at the office at 9 am.

 While I was there I also asked Bet if I could use one of JT’s many cars for my surveillance tonight (I did not want Lenny to get used to seeing the same car and to become suspicious) Bet said sure thing. She got the keys to the old Chevy pickup and said how about if you go out looking like a farmer tonight? I told her that is a splendid idea! She also went to fetch a pair of overalls, a straw hat and a work coat, when she came back she said here you go! I told Bet I had to go to the cottage and to get a little shut eye before it was time for me to go back to work. I made it to the cottage and it was just a little before 2pm, which gave me a few hours to sleep before heading out.

I got all cozy in my bed and fell asleep. My alarm went off at 5:00 pm, I got dressed in the farming duds that Bet had picked out, I did my hair in two pig tails and put the straw hat on. I filled up the lunch basket with food and made some tea to put into my thermos. I got my camera, note pad and binoculars. I headed out the door and to the garage. I got into the old pick up, started it up and headed out to Lenny’s office. I got to Lenny’s office again at 5:45 pm; I parked the pickup down the same side street as before and waited for Lenny to leave. At 6 pm on the dot Lenny came out with his hat in his hand again, shut and locked the door behind him. He proceeded to get into his car and drove away. I slowly followed behind making sure not to get to close. I followed him all the way home after he pulled into his driveway, I just kept on driving until I went up the road a ways and then found a place to pull off to make a U turn. Then I drove past his house and kept on driving until I got home. It looked like Lenny was not going out for the night. Because I had a nap I was now wide awake with nothing to do so I went home and changed my clothes then went back into town to the movie theater. I went and saw Wichita which was a Wyatt Earp movie that I had wanted to see, it just came out last week. I got my ticket, went the concession stand to get my small bag of popcorn and a soda. Then I went in and picked out my seat, soon the show started. The movie was only about an hour and 20 minutes long, I thoroughly enjoyed it and it was worth every penny I spent. I did not usually go to movies very often, I am usually far too busy but I was still trying to go a little bit easy on myself and find constructive ways to deal with my grief rather than hitting the bottle.

I went home and got ready for bed, I read for about an hour until I fell asleep. The next day I met Bet at the office at 9 am. Since she was already familiar with everything in the office I did not have much to show her I just went over all of the new findings that I had found since I got there. After that I went over to the Sheriff’s office again to see if there was anything new going on and to let them know I had Bet helping me out over at the office a couple of days a week. After that I went home and cleaned the cottage and did laundry then had a late lunch. After lunch I took a nap so I would be ready for another night of surveillance. I got up at 5 pm and put on one of my nicest dresses with heels, hat, gloves, purse, purls and a nice coat (I had to look different all of the time) I looked like a totally different person than the old’ farmer that was out driving around yesterday. I pulled together all of the necessary things and got into my car then headed over to Lenny’s office.

I got there at the usual time however this time I went down the other side street where there was also a view of his office and I waited until he left. At 6:05 pm he came out of his office with his hat in his hand, shut and locked the door behind him and put his hat on top of his head. He got into to his car and proceeded to drive into town instead of towards his house. He pulled up in front of Ling’s Garden again and had dinner. When dinner was over he got his pool stick out of his car and went back into the other door which was Ling’s Lounge. I was starting to notice that Lenny was a creature of habit. The scenario was the same all over again, the flirtatious waitresses, the dark haired one waited on him again but he also had a blond one fawning all over him too. Hugging and kissing him on the cheek, I could see why this place was packed! Every guy that walked in the joint the cocktail waitresses treated them like they were somebody special; they treated each and every one like royalty. This seemed to create quite the following for them and always seemed to insure that they would always be busy. Mr. Ling must be quite the business man and had a great marketing strategy here!

Soon it was around 1 am and Lenny put his pool stick back in its case and headed to the door. In the mean time I fired up my car and waited for him to pull away. Instead of following him (less times I follow the less I will be noticed) I just took the back roads to his house which took a little longer, to see that he really was indeed home. There was Lenny’s car parked in the driveway. So I went on my merry way back to my cottage.

To be continued….

Well that concludes installment number eight of Devil at Dusk; please join us next week for installment number nine!

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