As I Like It!

Saturday Serial, Mike Lomax, PI, Chapter 2

MIKE LOMAX, PI

CHAPTER 2

grilling

The Saturday Serials always showed the last reel from the week before—usually the hero going off a cliff in a wagon or being blown up in an explosion.

You can see what happened last week by clicking here.   https://tomlawrenceblog.com/2016/11/05/as-i-like-it-saturday-serial

HERE IS THIS WEEK’S EPISODE…

Mike paused for a moment and thought,

Something about this is just too pat. There must be a dozen PIs in Memphis and Jackson who specialize in domestic surveillance, and yet, they just gave me a retainer. Wonder why?

Finally, he said,

“Look, guys, we all know that I need the work, and don’t think I’m not grateful, but why me? I live and work in Barksdale County, not Tupelo or Lee County.”

Billy Ray turned on his best Mr. Ole Miss smile and said,

“It’s precisely because you live in Barksdale County. As we mentioned, Bessie, Warren’s wife, is wealthy in her own right. She’s an avid sportswoman and owns a riding stable and hunting preserve in Barksdale County. We believe that this is where she meets her lover, and you know your way around the County better than some guy from out of town.”

“Okay, I guess that makes sense. Just what do you expect me to come up with?”

“Just her lover’s identity. We aren’t looking for the usual evidence; we don’t need it. Once we know who he is, then we can see if he’s willing to leave town with a pocket full of cash.”

“I’m surprised you don’t want photos and such. What will paying him to get out of town accomplish?”

Warren Floyd had left the talking to Billy Ray, but he interjected,

“It will achieve exactly what I want. I love my wife very much and don’t want to lose her. If her lover leaves, I’ll do everything I can to console her and keep her. She must never know why he’s gone.”

Mike decided to let up on the questions and just take the check and get the hell out of Lloyd’s office. He didn’t want Billy Ray telling him how to do the job, nor did he want to be held to a timetable. He stood and said,

“Okay, I get the general idea; can you give me directions to Mrs. Lloyd’s place?”

Billy Ray offered him a folded US Coast and Geodic topo map and said,

“It’s between Saltillo and the Natchez Trace and borders the west side of Lake Lamar Bruce. It’s all laid out on the map I’m giving you.”

Mike took the map and replied,

“No one has asked, but my hourly rate is $300 per hour plus expenses. I’ll bill against the retainer and let you know if I need more.”

“That won’t be a problem. Take your time and do it right.”

Mike extended his hand to Billy Ray and said,

“Thanks again. I’ll be in touch. Who should I call with updates?”

“You have Warren’s number. He tells me everything.”

As Mike was escorted back to the bank’s lobby, he thought to himself,

Yeah, Billy Ray. I bet he does tell you everything; you’ve got him by the balls.

As he drove back to Leesburg, he thought about the meeting with Lloyd and Billy Ray. Something just didn’t add up, and he couldn’t shake the uneasy feeling. He had planned to rush to the bank and deposit the retainer, but instead he decided to wait for a while. He hit the Bluetooth and dialed Stella’s number. She answered,

“Hi, guy, how’d your meeting go?”

“I’m not sure; I’d like to talk to you before I do anything else. Can we get together?”

“Sure. I’ve been put on “administrative leave” while the MBI investigates the shooting at the gin last week. Bubba’s coming over, and I’m grilling steaks. Want to join us?”

“Sure, I’d like Bubba’s opinion too. You’re not going to have a problem with the shooting, are you?”

“I can’t imagine that I will, but they have to follow procedure. I should be back at work in a day or two. Where are you now?”

“Just about to Leesburg. Do I have time to stop by the station and change clothes? This suit is killing me.”

“Yeah, just try to be here around six. Bubba and I will be drinking beer; will that be a problem for you?”

“Not unless Y’all get loaded and start making out.”

“We’ll try to behave. See you about six.”

Mike hung his suit on the clothes rack near his bed and put on jeans and a tee shirt that said,

G_ F_CK Y__RS_LF WANNA BUY A VOWEL?

He pulled into Stella’s home on the outskirts of Boonetown and saw Bubba’s pickup parked in the driveway. He parked the VW on the grass beside the truck and unfolded out. As he walked around the house, he could hear Hank Williams singing Kaw-Liga coming from the backyard.

Stella was sitting in a lawn chair, while Bubba was attaching a fresh bottle of gas to her grill; both with Bud Light in hand. Stella looked up and saw him and said,

“Evening, Mike. There are some diet cokes in the cooler.”

He grinned and said,

“Thanks; got any snacks?”

“Bubba’s about to grill some Conecuh sausage wrapped in bacon, but he had to change the gas bottle first. I just set out some goodies on the table.”

Mike took some Fritos and dip and looked around for a place to sit, but here was nothing that looked like it could safely support 300 plus pounds. Stella saw him looking and said,

“We’re gonna eat out here, so I thought we’d pull the table over and let you sit on the brick wall.”

Mike looked at the wall and decided it was sturdy enough to hold him. He smiled at Stella and asked,

I don’t guess you have a boat cushion, do you?”

Stella stood and said, “It happens that I have several. I’ll grab one for you.”

She walked to her garage and came back carrying a thick cushion, just as Bubba put the first of the little sausage rolls on the grill. The patio filled with the aroma of grilling sausage, and Mike got some more chips and dip. Once Bubba had finished the sausage, he brought them to the table, and everyone dug in. He opened two more Buds and sat down.

“Stella tells me you have a new paying client.”

Mike put one of the bacon wrapped sausages in his mouth and replied,

“Yeah, that’s what I want to talk about. Do you remember Billy Ray Burton?”

“Yeah, what a TOMSA!” 1

Stella quickly agreed and said,

“Bubba’s right; he’s one of those Delta boys whose daddy was a farmer but became a planter when he hit the Grove.”

Mike grinned and said,

“I didn’t say I liked the bastard, but he just gave me a retainer check for $1,500.”

Bubba took a swig of Bud and asked,

“Who you got to kill?”

Mike told them the gist of the meeting and said,

“I know I should be grateful for the work, but I just feel like something’s a little fishy.”

Stella ate a sausage and asked,

“All they want is to know her lover’s name?”

“That’s what they say.”

Bubba didn’t say anything but stood up and headed for the kitchen.

Stella called after him,

“Where you going, to the john?”

“Naw, thought I’d better get the steaks on before Mike runs out of snacks.”

When Bubba went in, Mike looked at Stella and asked,

“What’s with him. I expected him to jump right in on me.”

“With Bubba you never know; probably got baseball on his mind, Y’all will start the tournament next week, and he may have the pre-game jitters.”

Bubba and Junior sponsored the L&S Hauling Vampires semipro baseball team. They’d won their league and were headed to Tupelo for the Northeast Mississippi championship and a berth in the State Tournament. Bubba was the team’s manager and relief pitcher; Junior played shortstop, and Mike played right field and batted cleanup.

“Yeah, I guess that might be it. I’m glad he decided to get on those steaks. By the way, I hope you had enough when you put my name in the pot.”

“Bubba and I have a rib eye, but he ran over to Claude’s and talked him out of a 48-ounce porterhouse for you.”

“That sounds great; what are we having with it?”

“Baked potatoes, salad, toasted French bread, and strawberry shortcake. Think that’ll hold you until you can get to Wendy’s?”

Soon Bubba had the steaks ready, and they all dug in. Mike polished off his porterhouse for two and ate about half of Stella’s rib eye. After the dessert and coffee, Stella looked over at Bubba and asked,

“You’ve been mighty quiet; what’s going on?”

“I’ve been thinking about Mike’s new client and what repercussions it might bring about.”

“Repercussions? Like what?”

“Oh, you never know the unexpected consequences of your actions and the impact it might have on others.”

Stella turned to Bubba and said,

“Don’t you think that’s a little weird?”

“Oh, weird doesn’t start to cover it. I can save Mike a lot of snooping; I know exactly who her lover is.”

Mike looked puzzled and said,

“No shit, you know who he is?”

“Yeah. It’s my partner and our shortstop, Junior Swafford.”

 

1 Typical Ole Miss S—t Ass
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4 replies »

  1. After reading your latest serial release, I can’t wait until next Saturday! Which is when we get our asses beat by Florida State, By the way… Ken

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