Murder on the Mainline: another Mike Claymore Mystery Chapter 3 by davebccanada
Rating: 80%, Read 6065 times, Posted Jan 09, 2015
Saturday they putter around the house since it’s raining and the kids keep getting under foot. Mike spends part of the day doing up paperwork for an insurance claim report he has been working on for a week. He drops it off over at the ABC Security Service office late in the afternoon. He checks with the secretary but she doesn't have any more work for him right now so he heads home for supper.
Marlene is snarly this evening from having the kids home and in the house all day. She claims he cops out by going to his office or sneaking away to the security office. He tries not to argue and they go to bed in a sour mood.
Sunday morning the sun beams into their windows and it looks like it will be a beautiful day. Mike suggests a picnic lunch and a drive in the country. Marlene loves the idea so she packs a lunch while Mike gets the kids around and ready. They head out of Abbotsford to Mission then east along the Fraser River. It's a bright sunny day in early May and the yellow broom is just starting to bloom. They dot the riverside and along the roads. The fresh green leaves and growth of grass has turned the landscape into a fairyland of newness, a reaffirmation that spring brings all things alive again. They stop at the lookout on Mount Woodside and peer out over the many meandering courses of the mighty Fraser River with Mount Cheam looming in the background over Agassiz.
Marlene suggests they stop here for lunch but Mike says he plans on stopping at Bridal Veil Falls, unless they are too hungry to go on. "Is anyone too weak to go any farther?" he asks. A chorus of 'no's is his response so they pile back into his wife's station wagon and head on out through Agassiz, across the bridge and into Bridal Veil Falls Park. Of course the first thing the kids see is the Flintstone Park and water slide. Mike insists they find a table by the falls and have lunch before they go into the Flintstone area.
After lunch he flips a coin with Marlene to see who will take the girls and who will take Richard. He ends up with the girls so they head off to the Flintstone Playland hand in hand. They ride a few rides and then he turns them loose in a pen filled with brightly colored Styrofoam balls and tumbling equipment. There are a dozen other kids in there so Mike relaxes and wanders over to get himself a soft drink.
He comes back to see if they are tired but they seem to have teemed up with another little girl and are having a ball. He absently watches Shelly climb a ladder and call down, "Come on, Crystal, you can do it. Come on. Janet, you help her." He starts and looks closely at the other little girl then turns his head to scan the crowd. She's by the corner of the pen grinning at him and holds up two fingers then points at the girls and looks quizzically at him. He grins and nods in the affirmative. She looks around and seems to be looking for someone then looks at him again in a quizzical manner. He looks around and sees Marlene far over near the front fence so he sidles up to Trudy and whispers; "She's over near the front fence in the red sweater. That's our son, Richard, with her. What are you doing here? I thought you were working this weekend."
"The kids look like they're pretty busy and safe. Come on." She nods at a trail behind the pen that leads up to the falls. Quickly they follow the trail to an area where a short side trail leads into an alcove. They slide in out of sight and he picks her up to kiss her. She wraps her legs around him and they kiss again. Her tongue darts into his mouth and she wriggles in his arms with hers clasped behind his head. Breathlessly she gasps, "I'm so glad to see you today. I've been thinking about you ever since I couldn't make it to go with you this week. When do you have another trip?"
"If you don't stop wriggling you won't have to wait for another trip. My God, where are your panties?"
"Where's your sense of adventure? Wouldn't a quickie under the nearby watchful eye of your wife thrill you? I thought you had balls!" She teases him by working her body up and down against the front of him while she clings to his frame.
"We have to get back. It's been five minutes since we left the kids. Behave now."
She kisses him again and he can't refuse her. He reaches under her bare bottom and releases his throbbing manhood. In another five minutes they're done and he sets her on her feet. She laughs and says, "Race you back to the playground." She takes off and he cleans himself up a bit before following her. She's demurely standing by the pen when he comes out of the trail. He spots Marlene and Rick coming their way so he calls to Shelly and Janet to come out now. They come tumbling out with Crystal in tow. Mike steps back so Crystal won't recognize him and she goes to Trudy. Trudy raises her hand and wiggles her fingers at him as she leaves. Mike picks up the girls hands, one on each side and turns to meet Marlene. "How we making out here? Has Rick had enough for one day? How about it, girls? Shall we go home now?"
"I think these two young ladies have had enough. Look how dirty they are. We better call it a day."
"We were playing with Crystal. She's really smart and lots of fun. Where did she go, Daddy?"
"You mean the little girl you were playing with. I think her mother came and took her home." Mike hopes he's right when he tells Shelly that. They return to the car and Mike makes sure everything is loaded up before they pull out for home. He is still a bit stunned by the sudden appearance of Trudy and the romp in the bush. He can't believe it happened. He grins to himself as they drive out onto the freeway. Marlene is glad to see him so happy at their outing. She thinks she will make sure he has a pleasant evening tonight and she grins, too.
Monday morning Mike gets a call from the security firm to check out another insurance claim. He tells them he will pick up the form today. A few minutes later the phone rings again and it’s CPX with a run to Calgary. They want him to go today and say they'll have the trailer loaded by three PM.
He uses his cell phone to call Trudy, who cheers so loud he thinks someone in the next room might hear her. She says she's off and will be glad to join him. "It’s about time to finish what we started yesterday", she says. He chuckles and agrees. He hangs up and uses the house phone to call Len.
"What's the latest on that murder in POCO, Len?"
"They've arrested Ray Chauffe. I can't believe it. Ray's not that kind of a guy. He says he was here washing his truck last Thursday night and didn't see or hear anything. They say they have evidence that he was the one who took her back there and killed her. It doesn't make sense to me. Anyone could screw Flo who had the money. Why would he kill her? Of course the investigation is still underway but they've arrested Ray."
"I don't believe it either. Ray and I have gone drinking together and I think I'm a fair judge of character. I've always liked Ray and I'm sure they've made a mistake. Maybe I'll come over there and see what I can find out. I may see you later. I have a run to Calgary tonight anyway. If I don't see you today, I'll catch you when I get back."
"I doubt they will let you have any information here at the cop shop but see what you can come up with anyway. I'll see ya, buddy."
They hang up and Mike goes out into the kitchen. "Got to run, honey. Have a trip to Calgary and a case to pick up over at the security shack. See you tomorrow night, babe."
Mike takes his briefcase and flight bag to his Mustang convertible and leaves Marlene up to her elbows in applesauce she's canning. He goes around to ABC Security and picks up the paperwork. He glances over it and puts it into his briefcase. He checks his watch and dials on the cell phone.
"Nina? Was that ever lucky! I caught you on the first ring. I thought I'd have to ask them to get you to the phone and they'd all tease you about the strange man calling you. Are you free for lunch? No martinis, I promise." He chuckles.
"I'm still hung over, I swear. But it was worth it. We had fun, didn't we? You want to take me to lunch? Does Marlene know?"
"Of course not. This is our secret. How about it?"
"I shouldn't, but what the hell. Okay"
"What time you off?"
"Twelve thirty to one thirty"
"I'll be out front. See ya."
Mike heads out the highway for Mission and swings west towards POCO. Within an hour he's nearing the Pitt River Bridge and twenty minutes later he's in front of the RCMP Detachment. It’s twelve twenty-five so he wait’s patiently and studies the insurance brief. Another juvenile who's car was reported stolen and found shortly thereafter by the police, stripped and burned. The police believe it's an inside job; that the kid wanted to get rid of the car for the insurance so he could get another one. This kid works at the Abbotsford Airport as an aircraft painter. He was recently hired and is just learning the trade. Mike is trying to place in his mind where the vehicle was parked when it was stolen, when Nina slides into the passenger side and says, "Let's go before someone sees us."
"Why the secrecy?"
"I don't frequent local places with men other than my husband. What if someone saw us?"
"Nina, I'm only taking you to lunch, not a motel."
"Oh." She sounds disappointed.
"Don't get me wrong. I'd like to take you to a motel but I don't think Jeff would approve." He grins.
They drive to a local restaurant and he chooses a quiet table in a secluded corner. "Does this suit you? No one will see us here." He grins as she slaps his arm. They order lunch and Mike says, "I hear they've made an arrest already in the local murder case. Did you hear anything?"
"You know I'm not supposed to discuss that."
"I also know you want to tell somebody," he grins again.
"Oh, you! All right, they've arrested one of the CPX drivers. They did a search of his place and found some restricted violent porn tapes. He also had Flo's address and phone number in his things and has expressed a desire to get together with her. He was also on the scene the night of the murder. One of the investigators said he frequents prostitutes, as well, so it looks like he's the prime suspect. But they're still checking up on her ex. He has to be the second name on any list of suspects. And apparently he doesn't have an alibi for the night in question. It's fascinating, isn't it?" She thinks a moment and adds, "By the way, there are no finger prints. They think he wore gloves."
"You’re really turned on by this investigation, aren't you? You look positively aglow when you talk about the crime or the suspects. It's exciting, isn't it? Something out of the ordinary."
"Shhhh, someone will hear us." Their order arrives and they start to eat. As Mike chews he watches Nina eat. She is a sharp looking chick and he knows she digs him, at least right now with the excitement of the crime in her veins; she'd really like to get him in the sack. He feels it in his bones. But after the excitement settles down she would probably feel remorse and tell Jeff. They live too close to home for that. He better put it out of his mind.
"Do you know who the other suspects are? To tell you the honest truth, I think they have the wrong man. I know Ray and he's not their murderer. He's not even their rapist. I don't think he had anything to do with it."
She looks up at him and says, "I could find out for you. I'm sure there's a list. I'll get it for you! Are you going to investigate them? Will you keep me up on what you find."
Mike grins and says, "I'll keep you a breast."
She giggles and says, "Marlene won't like that."
Mike puts his fingers to his lips and says, "Mums the word." They smile conspiratorially together.
Mike drops her off at the detachment and goes to the nearest phone booth. He looks up Robert Hanson in the book. There are two Roberts, a half dozen R. Hansons and he doesn't even bother to look up the Bobs. He'll find him through court records. They divorced two years ago so it shouldn't be that hard. The other one the officer had asked him about was Tony or Anton Vanuetche. He heads out Kingsway to the CPX yards. A quick visit to personnel and a secretary who is sweet on him gets him Tony's address. He hit’s the coffee room and starts listening whenever he hears Tony's name mentioned. From dispatch he finds his load is going to be ready on schedule and Tony is out with a delivery. He's due in any time.
Mike hangs around the docks, apparently interested in the guys loading his load for Calgary, but watching for Tony's Mac. By two thirty he hasn't shown up so Mike goes out and gets his Kenworth ready for the trip. At three he backs in and hooks up. He gets the bills of lading from the office, checks the seals, tires and brakes. By three twenty he's pulling out of the yard. Five-o-clock finds him in Laidlaw and he applies the brakes with a hiss and crash of released air in the yard. She's standing by the back door to the kitchen with a bag by her foot, talking to someone inside. She waves and by the time he's down on the ground she's halfway to his rig.
"Your right on schedule. How do you know so accurately when you'll get here? Don't tell me, kiss me first." She runs into his arms dropping her bag. He kisses her and lifts her up into the cab. He tosses up her bag and closes the door.
When he gets up across from her she hops onto the black padded console and throws her arms around his neck. They kiss long and hard. Mike releases the brakes and they roar out of the yard and onto the highway. Trudy disappears into the sleeper and pokes her head out long enough to tell him he's an awful housekeeper.
"It's that damn maid service. She never wants to clean up in there after we're through." He laughs and gets a cuff in the head from Trudy. She disappears again.
Mike puts on some music and whistles along with his favorite country and western music. They fly through Manning Park and roll on towards Penticton. There were seven boxes put on the rear for Penticton Zellers. They have promised if he is late to send someone in to receive the boxes. Mike knows they're from Imperial Tobacco. Cigarettes destined to fill an otherwise unfilled order or ordered late. He hears Trudy stirring around and she opens the curtain part way.
"Want me to come out and join you?" She speaks in a level tone. Mike emphatically shakes his head up and down.
"Here I come." She crawls out onto the console beside him in a bright sheer red baby doll top only. "Do you like my outfit?"
"Where are the bottoms?"
"You know I don't like to wear panties." She kisses and nibbles his ear.
"Hey, take it easy when I'm driving."
"Well, pull over then."
"Can't. Got a few parcels on the back for Penticton and they have to be there tonight. Staff will be on site staying late to receive them."
"Then can we stop?"
"Your wife's not so hot. She's pretty but I bet she's pretty dull, too. She wouldn't have dragged you up that trail, I bet!"
Mike laughs. "Were you really there on the weekend? I still can't believe what we did. You’re crazy, you know." She laughs with him.
As they pass Copper Mountain and descend into the valley around Princeton, Mike says she better duck back into the sleeper while they go through town. She disappears again and he wheels through and along the Similkamine. "You can come out now," he calls. She pops back out and curls up on the padded console beside him. "You heard about the murder last week in POCO?"
"All the truckers are talking about it. Did you know her?"
"No, I didn't. I guess she was popular with some of our drivers, though. One of them was arrested this morning."
"One of the CPX drivers?"
"Yep. Ray Chauffe. He’s a thirty-year old bachelor who drives city deliveries. I had a few drinks with him and I can't believe he did it."
"The truckers all seem to think it was her ex husband who did her in."
"Not likely. He's too obvious. I can't imagine who would pull such a stunt. Not too many details of the case have been released but I have an inside source who fills me in. It was pretty bad. I'm going to investigate some of the suspects. Want to give me a hand? Nothing dangerous, just leg work."
"Why you getting involved?"
"On Ray's behalf. I don't think he did it but I believe the guy who did do it is still out there in the community. I'd like to help Ray clear his name."
"I'd be glad to do whatever I can. Tell me all about what happened."
Mike fills her in on all the details of the crime that he has gleaned to date. He knows she will keep quiet about the information he's giving her. She's helped him with a few insurance fraud cases in the past. When he finishes they are through Keromeos and heading up the Okanogan toward Penticton. It’s only about five so they won't be too late at Zellers. As they round the hill and see Penticton and the lake laid out below them Mike says it’s about time for her to disappear again until they're done at Zellers.
"But I got to pee," she grimaces.
Mike gears down then applies brakes as he pulls into the lookout and almost slides his tires to pull the rig to a stop by wayside washrooms. "I'll get out first and check the traffic. When I wave to you, head for the can." He jumps down and looks back the highway then under the load at the downhill grade. He waves her out and she clambers down the steps and runs to the Ladies. Mike steps into the Men’s and does his business. He hears whistling and a horn blowing, so he hurries back out to see Trudy's bare rump going into his door and a carload of teenage boys in a souped up hot rod turning circles in the pull off. They're laughing and making noise.
He grins and calls to Trudy, "Show off!" She appears in the door and sticks her tongue out at him. He goes over and climbs back up into the rig. "They'll follow us all the way through town. I hope you’re happy. How am I going to get rid of them at Zellers? Any good ideas?"
"I guess I better get dressed." She looks properly chastised as she again goes into the sleeper. Sure enough, Mike glances in the mirror and sees the hot rod following them. Trudy appears again in proper dress and with a jacket. She sits in the far seat and looks like a little girl who has been scolded.
As the hot rod comes up along side them at a stop light on the passenger side, she gets up a bit and looks down at the boys. They laugh and shake their heads as they peel away from the light ahead of the rig. Mike doesn't see them again and he reaches Zellers loading dock in just a few minutes. One door is opened for him as he backs in. The cases are unloaded and the bills all signed. Within half an hour, they're back on the road. Mike pulls in to a truck stop in Kelowna and goes to get supper for them. He brings it back to the truck and they sit across the console from each other eating.
"You gave those boys quite a thrill tonight. Why'd you even try to get back to the truck without me checking for you?"
"I don't know. It seemed harmless at the time. I was covered, even if it was a bit flimsy."
"I bet those boys are talking about that for a few weeks." Mike starts laughing at the image in his mind of her bare bottom disappearing into the truck and tells her about it. She gets laughing, too.
"Every day's an adventure with you, Trudy!"
"So are the nights and this one is fast approaching." She grins at him across the console.
By ten they're in Glacier National Park and climbing for the summit of Rogers Pass. Trudy is again curled up on the padded console by Mike's side in her baby doll top asleep. Mike glances at her occasionally and shakes his head. She's sure a wonder. He clears the last snow shed and heads for the long grind to the summit. Another CPX truck comes towards him around a long curve and they toot their air horns to each other as they pass in the night. Mike doesn't even bother trying the CB. In these mountains he would be doing good to get in two sentences to the other driver before he passed out of range. He eases up on the throttle as he sees flashing lights ahead then recognizes it as a tow truck pulling a car out of the ditch. He moves to the inside lane and keeps up his revs as he swishes by starting the curve and climb. Almost immediately he starts down shifting to keep the revs steady. Soon he's on the long haul to the top and the steady hum of the diesel tells him he's downshifted as far as he need go. Now it’s the steady grind with cars flashing by, cursing his slow pace as he pulls up the grade and soon he spots the lights of the lodge.
Along the straightaway in front of the lodge he starts gearing up again and round the far curve to enter the first snow shed on the downgrade. Jake brakes bark as he eases through shed after shed and finally he pulls into the pull off for brake checks. As he opens his door and jumps down to check the brakes he spots out of the corner of his eye some movement on the console. Trudy's awake. Must have been the chill when he opened the door. No wonder. There's fresh snow along the road and up the cliff as far as he can see.
Brakes and tires are all in order so he climbs back up into the cab.
"Close the damn door", comes to him from the console and he grins.
"Don't you like fresh air?" He chuckles as she fumes at him then he pulls the door shut. "Did you get a good rest?"
"Where are we? The North Pole?"
"Top of Rogers Pass. We'll be into Golden within two hours. About two thirty, their time. I'll call T.O. from there and probably spend the night."
Mike pulls back out onto the highway and they start the long downgrade. Trudy watches the scenery unfold in the headlights and breathes a sigh of relief when they get down onto the level. They speed along the valley by a river and cross a bridge then through some curves and start the upgrade into the Selkirks.
"You gotta have nerves of steel to drive in these mountains. What do you do if something goes wrong? What if the truck breaks down or some idiot has an accident on the road ahead of you? We must be fifty miles from a town."
"Not so far. There's road service at the lodge we just passed on the summit and other truckers help each other. It's not as bad as it looks."
"It's still a long hard day behind the wheel of one of these things. Why do you do it?"
"Born to drive! That's me. I guess that's why I love it."
"That's what your crazy tattoo says on the back of your shoulder. Born to drive! I always thought you were referring to driving into women or something ... maybe driving motorcycles."
"Nope. I got that when I was in the Navy. I was one of the drivers in our driver's pool. We hauled goods from naval yard to naval yard, down in the Maritimes. Did that for five years then three years as a federal prison guard. That's where I got my grounding in security. I was hauling naval equipment when I met my wife ten years ago on a trip out here. But you don't want to hear about that."
"Did she ride the truck with you?"
"And that's when you knocked her up?"
"Touchy, aren't we?"
"That was a long while ago. Things were different then. We were young and carefree... and she got pregnant, so we got married. That was that."
"Ever regret it?"
"Not when I look at Rick or Shelly or Janet."
Trudy looks thoughtful and nods. "I know what you mean."
The night surrounds them as they rush along. The road is bare and dry and the long grade down to the Columbia River with the curve and bridge at the bottom soon flash by. Mike has to brake for a logging truck pulling away from the mill at Donald but soon the logger is pulling away from them. He's empty with his bogies mounted up on the frame and can speed away much faster than Mike can go with a full load. Within half an hour he's pulling off the pavement into the Husky Truck Center in Golden. He pulls the rig around in line with about five others and brings it to a hissing halt.
Trudy sits up and stretches. Mike grabs her around the waist and drags her into his lap as he kisses her. "Want anything to eat before we hit the sack?"
"Mmmmm, I'm going to eat you up." She giggles and says, "Maybe a coffee and a donut."
"Alright, get outta my lap, woman. I'll see what Toronto has to say then I'll be right back."
Trudy climbs back up onto the console and Mike heads into the truck stop cafe. He uses the payphone to call their 800 number in Toronto at Central Dispatch. They ask him to drop his trailer in Calgary, pick up 8734 for the coast and catch 8721 in Sicamous at the Husky on the way back. It's also for the coast. He tells them he's going to catch a few hours sleep here and will try to make the yard in Calgary before noon. They ask him to check with them before he leaves Calgary in case of any changes.
Mike then heads into the cafe and Jena spots him as he enters. She waves and grabs up the coffee pot, heading his way. He calls, "Make that two to go and a couple of donuts. Got any jelly ones left?"
She meets him halfway across the restaurant with two jelly donuts in a bag and two takeout cups of coffee.
"Company this trip?" She looks knowingly at him.
Mike just grins and takes the food from her. He heads back to the check out and pays for the goods. Then he goes out to the truck and hands the food up to Trudy, who's hanging out the window gabbing with a young blonde in another truck next to them. Mike goes back around to his side and climbs up into the cab. Trudy is gone and the far window is closed. He pulls back the curtain on the sleeper and sees her seated on the bunk waiting for him. He pulls off his boots and climbs back into the sleeper. Trudy gives him a sugary sweet kiss that tastes of jelly. "These are my favorite," she says. "You've got good taste."
Mike grins and says, "You've got good taste as well. You taste like jelly."
He settles down to drink his coffee and Trudy offers him a bite of her donut. She puts it into his mouth for him then feeds him another bite. "Well, that's all of your donut. The other one is mine", she says with a sly grin.
"You're no fun. You’re supposed to argue with me."
"Why? You'll feed me half of that one anyway, won't you?" He reaches out and tickles her. She giggles and pushes a piece at him. As he reaches forward with his mouth for it, it drips jelly down on the inside of her thigh. "You’re going to have to lick that off, now." She watches him with delight as he shakes his head in the affirmative. They finish the donut and then he starts on her thigh. Much later when she curls up in his arms to sleep they are both happy and exhausted.
Around seven thirty Mike stretches his arms and pulls her nude form tight to his chest. She wakes with his arms engulfing her and plants a sleepy kiss on his nose. "What time is it?" She asks the question in a drowsy whisper as her arms encircle his neck.
"Time to get up. We've got to make tracks for Alberta. Wake up, sleepy head."
She grins and moves her body assertively against his naked form. "Are you sure you want to get trucking?"
"Oh hell, now we're going to be late."
About an hour later they both show up prim and proper inside the Husky cafe for breakfast. By nine thirty they're on the road again. When Mike calls Central Dispatch its quarter to one in Calgary. There are no changes so they head right back to the coast.
It's almost dark when Mike lets her off at her house. She waves good-bye as he pulls away and heads for POCO. He'll be in the yard by eleven: up the valley to Chilliwack then Abbotsford: across the Fraser to Mission and west to Port Coquitlam. He schemes as he drives the miles. How can he get more information on Flo's ex husband? He knows he will have to examine court records, but there must be a faster way. And what was this crap they had on Ray? He would have to check that out for himself. Maybe Tony would know who her ex was if he dated her? Hmmm, that is a distinct possibility. How could he approach Tony? Appeal to his sense of fair play and trying to help Ray out of a jam. Might work. It would also help him in his investigation of Tony.
He wonders what other suspects they might have. Might be an idea to compile his own list of suspects but he didn't really have access to the scene of the crime. Might be able to glean a bit more of that from Nina, but he better catch her alone. With Jeff or Marlene around she has a habit of claming up unless she's had a few drinks.
As he pulls into the yard on Kingsway, he notices an RCMP cruiser by the guardhouse and the Commissionaire standing gabbing with him. He waves as he pulls by but the guard flags him down. He hits the air brakes and hisses to a stop, looking in the passenger mirror to see if they were really trying to catch him. The officer and the guard are walking together towards his rig. He opens the door and jumps down to join them. "Were you trying to flag me down?"
The Commissionaire nods in the affirmative and the officer says, "Hello again."
"Oh, it's you. What's up? Come to ask my help on the case?" He grins for the benefit of the guard, but neither of them seems to appreciate his sense of humor.
The police officer speaks, "Mr. Claymore, I have a few more questions for you. Do you mind?" Mike nods.
"Is this the Commissionaire you spoke to when you came into the yard last Thursday night?"
"No, it was Dave Broady. He was on last Thursday on the graveyard shift."
"And what were you driving then?"
"Same truck as now. My Kenworth."
"Was your partner, Len I think his name was, was he with you?" Mike nods in the affirmative.
"Now that's odd, the Commissionaire does not recall seeing Len. How do you explain that?"
"When I saw the Commissionaire I was alone. Len had left for home."
"Oh, you dropped him in the parking lot, did you?"
"No, no. We drove in, dropped one trailer by the shops and backed the other one in to a door of the warehouse for unloading the next morning. Then we parked the Kenworth and walked out to the lot. Len reminded me that I hadn't put the bills of lading into the pouch on the trailers. We have to have them out when we're driving to show them at the weigh scales so we keep them in the cab until we reach our destination. Anyway, I saw Len off and then went back to the Kenworth to get the bills. That's when I saw the Commissionaire. We chatted a moment as I put the bills into the pouches then I left and he proceeded to complete his first round. That's why I'm so sure of the time. He was on his first round. Anything else?"
"Just one other question. Are you sure you didn't see anyone else around when you came in?"
"A car was leaving the parking lot when we came in but I have no idea who that was. Other than that, the guard was the only one I saw."
"Hmmm. Did you get a good look at this car?"
"Look at the parking lot. There's not enough light to recognize my own car except I know where I parked it."
"Could it have been Ray Chauffe's car?"
"Sure. It could have been Percy Wentworth's car or one of the guys in the warehouse who has a similar car. I couldn't say with any certainty whose car it was."
"I believe you said Ray was a drinking buddy of yours, did you not?"
"I said we have gone drinking together a few times, that's all."
"I don't understand the discrepancy here. Your partner definitely puts Ray on the scene but you are rather ambiguous. Did you or did you not check Ray's truck that night to see if it was still warm from having been run recently?"
"I did. I guess I forgot about doing that."
"I see. Could you have forgotten anything else, Mr. Claymore? Think carefully. It's always best to take your time and be certain. I don't think I have to explain that to you, of all people."
"I think that's all that occurred. If I think of anything else I will call you right away."
"No need to be sarcastic, sir. Thank you for taking the time to discuss this matter with me."
"Right. Johnny, do you know where they want this load?" He addresses the Commissionaire as he turns back to his rig.
"Better drop them both in the line up. I don't think anything is scheduled to come off them before delivery."
"Right, John, do you want to book me in at eleven thirty. The company is going to pay for my half hour with you gentlemen. Good night."
Mike drops the two trailers and parks his truck. He bleeds off the brakes and heads for the parking lot. As he pulls out for home, he’s shadowed by a cruiser out to the Pitt River Bridge, but the police car goes south on Harris Road and leaves him to continue down the Lougheed towards Mission.
He thinks to himself that it doesn't pay to get flippant with those guys. He doesn't quite know what came over him unless it’s the fact that he thinks they're on the wrong trail. He really wishes he knew what facts they've collected and how the investigation stands. Now it’s urgent he talk with Nina as soon as possible.
He pulls in home about one and enters the quiet house. He sort of hopes that Marlene will be sleeping on the couch again but all is quiet. He gets a shower and crawls into bed without disturbing her. Within minutes he's asleep.
Rating: 80%, Read 6065 times, Posted Jan 09, 2015