Saturday Serial

Saturday Serial — November 24

MIKE LOMAX, PI

EPISODE 4

2

 

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.

To see what happened last week CLICK HERE: https://tomlawrenceblog.com/2016/11/18/saturday-serial-11182016/

HERE IS THIS WEEK’S EPISODE…

 

Mike thought for a moment, then said,

“$100 million, no kidding?”

“No kidding. She’s one of the richest women in the South.”

“Does she run the farming operations?”

“No, she uses a farm management firm based in Peoria, Illinois and they tend to everything. She does retain the hunting rights and has one of the best duck hunting clubs around.”

“Stu, do you know her personally?”

“Not really. I’ve been invited to the duck club a couple of times, but I doubt she’d remember me.”

“How was the hunting?”

“Top notch. She’s got flooded woods and open lakes. You can pick which you like best. I like to hunt in the woods.”

“Many ducks?”

“Thousands. The farm grows a lot of corn and grain, and there’s plenty of water, with light hunting pressure. The ducks flock in.”

“She also has a club over in Barksdale County. Mostly deer and turkey, I suppose.”

“Never been. She’s also Hunt Master for the North Mississippi Fox Hunter’s Association. She’s quite a horsewoman.”

Mike paused then said,

“Have you heard rumors about her marriage?”

“There are always rumors about very rich people. Word is that she’s been known to have a boy toy from time to time, but if she does, she’s very discreet.”

“Good, because one of our friends is her current squeeze.”

“No kidding? I’d be careful if I were him.”

“Yeah, well careful ain’t one of Junior’s better qualities.”

“Junior? You don’t mean Swafford, do you?”

“One and the same.”

“Son-of-a-bitch! Junior’s nailing Bessie Lloyd?”

“Apparently, and he’s been at it for several months. Bubba knew, but no one else seems to have caught on. Especially not Lucy Lee. She’d kill him.”

“If Lucy Lee were going to kill Junior over a woman, he’d be dead, and she’d be Bubba’s partner.”

“The thought of that must make Bubba’s blood run cold. If Lucy Lee were his partner he’d probably take the gas.”

“Yeah, but L&S wouldn’t be operating out of an abandoned school bus either, or if they were, she’d have it spiffed up.”

“Let’s get back to the wealthy Mrs. Lloyd for a minute. Does she have a home over here?”

“You bet. Her old family home is north of town on old Grenada Road. Her great grandfather built in 1889; it’s called Kilkenny. Named after the old man’s home in Ireland.”

“Is it still habitable?”

“Not only is it habitable but it’s completely restored and modernized. I’ve been to a couple of parties there, and it makes Tara look like a tenant house. Bessie still considers it her home.”

Mike thought for a minute then said,

“How often does she stay there?”

“If you can believe the rumors, she there more than in Tupelo.”

“Wonder if she’s there now?”

“Well Sherlock, can you think of any way to find out?”

“I suppose I could drive out there and see.”

Stu reached into his desk and tossed a yellow phone book to Mike and said,

“Or you could give her a call. Are you sure you’re cut out to be a detective?”

Mike gave Stu the bird as he leafed through the book. Finally, he looked up and said,

“Doesn’t seem to be a listing for Kilkenny Plantation. How else could it be listed?”

“Duh. How about Elizabeth Lloyd?”

“Oh yeah, here it is.”

“Lomax, you should have stuck with football; detecting may be above your Peter Principal threshold.”

“Stu do you remember that time after practice when you were giving me a ration of shit about taping my own ankles?”

“Not really, why should I?”

“Because I grabbed you by your belt and shoved your skinny ass into the whirlpool head first. I thought you’d remember it because Junior was sitting in it and you got eyeball to foreskin with his famous wanger.”

“And you bring this up because…?”

“There may not be a whirlpool handy, but I bet I could find a barrel of ink if you continue disparaging my investigative skills.”

“Go on a call her. The sooner you get her, the sooner you leave and let me get some real work done.”

Mike pushed her number into his cell and waited for a least five rings before a female voice said,

“Bessie Lloyd.”

Mike seemed surprised and blurted out,

“Miss Lloyd, this is Mike Lomax from over in Leesburg.”

“Well, hello Mike Lomax from Leesburg. What can I do for you?”

Mike had an “oh shit” moment, but finally managed to say,

“I’m here visiting my friend Stuart Fong and wondered if I might have a moment of your time?”

“Do I know you, Mr. Lomax?”

“No, but I believe we have a mutual friend that I’d like to talk about.”

“I see, and who might that mutual friend be?”

“Junior Swafford.”

The line went silent for several seconds, then Bessie calmly replied,

“Did you say you were in Carrollton?’

“I am.”

“Why don’t you plan on coming out to Kilkenny around 2:00, if that will be convenient.”

“That will be fine; I’ll see you at 2:00.”

Mike killed the call and smiled at Stu. Stu shook his head and said,

“What in the hell do you plan to do until 2:00, hang around here and pester me?”

“No, but It’ll give us just enough time for you to buy me lunch.”

After lunch with Stu, Mike entered Kilkenny Plantation in WAZE and drove north on Old Grenada Road. It was a typically hot summer afternoon, and the VW’s air conditioning had been out for months. Mike could feel the sweat rolling down his back and thought,

Hope to hell I don’t smell like a locker room by the time I get there.”

The WAZE told him to turn left on a paved farm road and indicated that it was 2.2 miles to Kilkenny. Soon he saw a freshly painted white fence and a brick and wrought iron entranceway proclaiming Kilkenny Plantation. He turned onto a newly paved road snaking beneath mature oak trees, and the outside air dropped at least 15 degrees.

He wound through the oaks for over a half mile before he saw a large white three story house built in the Greek Revival style, with ten columns gracefully reinforcing a large veranda that stretched across the entire front. There was a shaded parking area along the left side of the driveway, where he pulled under one of the oaks.

Mike got out of the car, wiping the sweat from his forehead, and walked up the front steps. When he rang the doorbell, a tall black man wearing black pants and a white dress shirt with a black bow tie opened the door, and with a wide smile, said,

“You must be Mr. Lomax. Miz Bessie is expecting you. Please follow me.”

Suddenly Mike felt severely underdressed and frumpy. The man led him down a wide hall that ran all the way to the back. The interior was cool and smelled of furniture polish and floor wax. He could see a large sunroom with floor to ceiling French doors overlooking a perfectly manicured lawn. The man entered the sun room and stood aside to allow Mike room to enter, then said,

“Miz Bessie, Mr. Lomax is here.”

Mike came in and saw a petite brunette standing by a bar. She was dressed in linen riding jodhpurs, calf-high leather boots, and a pale yellow button-down shirt. She had deep brown eyes, a perfect complexion, and a dazzling smile. She exuded sexuality. He crossed the room and said,

“Mrs. Lloyd, I appreciate the opportunity to visit with you.”

“I’m glad we could meet. In fact, we’ve been expecting to hear from you.”

Mike was a little surprised at the pronoun “we,” but decided it was probably the “Royal we,” much as Queen Elizabeth would use. He shook it off and replied,

“I’m surprised to hear that. I didn’t know I was coming until I called you.”

“Never the less, you have been expected; in fact, you managed to find me quicker than I anticipated. This speaks well of your professional capabilities.”

“I gather you know why I’m here then.”

“Yes, I believe I do. I surmise that my husband has retained your services to find the identity of my most recent lover.”

“Well, you don’t beat around the bush, do you?”

“Never saw the point. Besides, you’re not going to let it go, are you?”

“That might not be a sure thing. If you’re seeing who I think you are, I just might let it go.”

“You like Junior that much, do you?”

“Yeah, I do, and we both know he’s not a home wrecker. He just likes a little strange now and then.”

“Do I look that strange to you, Mr. Lomax?”

“It’s Mike, and no, you absolutely do not.”

“Oh, then my main attraction to Junior is that I’m not Lucy Lee?”

“Look, Mrs. Lloyd, it’s neither my business nor my concern about the whys, whens or wheres of your affair with Junior, but it is my business to see that he doesn’t end up with the shitty end of this stick.”

“Please, Mike, call me Bessie, and I share your concern that my idiot husband might take his frustrations out on Junior. We need to see to it that he never does.”

“Bessie, once Junior climbed into your bed, it made that almost inevitable. Your husband and his sleazebag attorney know something’s going on.They just don’t know with whom.”

“But Mike, I’m sure they do know who.”

“Really, why do you think that?”

“Because I told them.”

Mike had to take a minute for that little bit of news to sink in, then he replied,

“And you did this why…?”

“Because they’d never figure it out on their own, and I need them to know.”

“So you’re telling me that this is all part of an escape plan to divorce your hubby.

“Not only have I seen his very impressive plumbing, but I’ve also seen it angry. I didn’t say I didn’t like Junior for his generous physical features, but that’s not why he’s on my payroll.”

“Juniors on your payroll?”

“Yes, and I’m hoping you will consider joining him.”

“Look, Bessie, I’ve already accepted a retainer from your husband, so it would be unethical to work for you as well.”

“So return his retainer and come work with Junior and me.”

“I’ve already deposited the retainer and have spent most of it, so returning it isn’t an option—even if I wanted to.”

“Bessie reached into her shirt pocket and handed Mike a folded check and said,

“Here’s my offer, which should allow you to return Warren’s retainer.”

Mike unfolded the check and saw that it was made out to him for $10,000 with the notation “Retainer for Professional Services.”

He stood, looking at it for several moments, then said,

“Okay boss. What’s next?”

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2 replies »

  1. Tom What a tangled web we can weave? I like your story and the Southern style of characters. It really is quite good!

    I hope all is going well with you and your Crew. I assume that ya’ll have had a great Thanksgiving and are full to the gills.

    I have not heard from Tim lately. I hope all is well with him and the film business. I am planning on making a sausage run to Haralson about mid-December. If time allows, I would love to come and visit with you and Tim and buy your Lunch!

    It is amazing how this year has gotten away with itself. It seems as we just celebrated July 4th only a few weeks ago!

    Give Sam and John my best along with Miss Klista. Take care and I will call in a couple of weeks. Bobby

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