Mike and Sam had the Eldridge twins set-up a meeting with their distributors for Wednesday night. The ladies were all a twitter with excitement. When they called Sam to let him know that everything was set for 8 that evening, Sam asked them to come to the Sheriff's Station so he could get them ready.
Sam was not surprised when they arrived wearing matching tan trench coats and tweed deerstalker hats. "I assume you are not planning to wear that tonight?"
"Why not? asked Cora. "We will be on assignment, right?"
"Yes," Sam paused. "but for this assignment we need you to act as normal as possible. We do not want these guys tonight to think anything is different."
"Gotcha," said Flora.
The ladies took off their coats and hats so Sam could put a tiny mike, no bigger than a Smartie under each of their right collars. "Now do not touch these. We need to wire the car also, is it out front?"
"Sure is,"said Cora with her head lowered so she was speaking into her collar. Sam took a breath. "Y'all cannot do that. They'll know right away that you are wired. Trust me, those mikes will pick up everything you say, as well as what someone, who is speaking to you, says and most of the ambient noise around you."
They shook their heads in agreement. Sam added,"I do not want either of you shot, understand?"
Sam got on the ground and reached under the back of the car. He placed another receiver on the bottom of the chassis. He stood up and dusted off the knees of his pants. "That is a GPS tracker so we can always keep up with your car - just in case things go awry."
Cora looked at Sam. "We got this under control." Flora shook her head in agreement. Sam covered a few last minute details and they left.
About 7:30, Sam, Mike, and a few ATF guys quietly moved their large vehicle into a bushy area over looking the specified meeting spot. Sam told everyone what the plan was and what equipment they were using. He gave each guy an ear piece so they could hear the transaction. Naturally, it was all being recorded, not just the sound, but also by a small night vision camera Sam had set up earlier that morning in a tree just above the meeting spot.
As planned the twins arrived at 7:50 and sat in the car. Flora whispered, "Sam, you there?"
Sam replied, "Yes, but pretend I am not. Please do not try to speak to me during the transaction. If something goes wrong, not only will we hear it, we can see it also."
With that both women got out of the car and started looking at the surrounding trees. Cora pointed to a tall pine, "See that. That must be a camera."
"Cora, that's just a bunch of pine comes. Look in that oak tree, see on the third limb - that dark object, that's it."
"No, that's a nest."
Suddenly in their ear they heard Sam in a stern voice, "Ladies stop looking up. Trust me. Just act normal."
The ATF agents starting making bets and giving odds on how soon this stake out would go south. One of them said to Sam, "You seriously think this is going to work? I'm not sure if I'm watching Gomer Pyle or the Beverly Hill Billys."
Just then a large SUV drove up. Two men got out. Neither of them looked around, obviously they suspected nothing. Flora opened the trunk to show their wares. "Gentleman, this is some special stuff. It is 'Sweet Mash' with a twist of lemon in it. We remember you liked the orange, so we tried it with lemon."
The 2 men did not say a word, but started moving the crates of moon shine into the back of the SUV. When they were done, the driver came back to the ladies. "Here you go ladies, a pleasure doing business." He handed Cora an envelope.
She casually asked, "Do you want some more?"
"Actually, I'm surprised you had this. Word on the streets is that you two got caught red handed and arrested. Figured you were shut down."
Cora answered,"No sirree, the law thinks they put a scaring on us when they threatened prison time if we fired her up again. We figure they will never suspect us now."
"Well, if that's the case, can you have 10 cases here next week?"
Flora spoke up, "Think so."
Cora asked, "We figure since we are your best supplier, our product is worth more - say $50 a bottle."
"Well, that's kinda pricey don't you think?"
Flora stepped in,"Sir, we know what it is worth, we got other folks interested."
The driver was silent, then looked over at his partner who nodded his head in agreement. "OK, $50 a bottle, but you better keep the quality up."
Cora spoke up, "Wait there is only $2000 in here, she showed him the envelope. If I do my math right, 10 bottles in a case and 6 cases make $2100. Y'all trying to short us?"
"Hugh, get another c-note from the car." Then he turned to the women,"When did y'all start being so bossy?"
Flora looked at him,"You get yourself arrested and you'll get some balls too."
When Sam heard this, he just looked at Mike with this 'Did I just hear what I thought I heard? "
Mike just smiled and shook his head, as he was not surprised.
The 2 men got back into their SUV, turned around, and headed in the direction they came. The twins got in their car, waited a moment then very slowly, with their headlights off, followed them. The dust on the road along with the darkness pretty much hid their car.
As Sam, Mike, and the Agents got into their vehicle, they realized what the twins were doing. Sam yelled,"What in the Sam Hell do you think you are doing? Stop now before you get killed." But the twins continued. Sam tried one more time to get them to stop. But he got no response.
Mike suggested they take a side road that circled around and would put them in front of the SUV therefore forcing it to stop. Sam thought for minute and agreed. A second later the road came up on the left and he turned onto it. If nothing else there was no cloud of dust so he could drive faster.
When they arrived at the main road, Sam took a right with the plan to head the SUV off. They knew it had not passed the side road yet because there was no dust and there were no other turnoffs except the one they had taken earlier. They made their way down the road, expecting to come upon the SUV at anytime. For a few minutes there was nothing. Mike said, "It was moonshine, right? Not fairy dust that would make them disappear."
Just as the words got out of his mouth they spotted the SUV in the ditch, with the twins' car next to it. The 2 men were on the ground. Cora had her foot on one of the men's back and Flora had her foot on the other. Both ladies were holding AK47s pointed at the men's heads.
The ATF agents scrambled from their vehicle and grabbed the men. They cuffed and arrested them on the spot. Mike walked over to the twins, who were right proud of themselves. "What in the Hell were doing? You could have gotten yourself killed."
Flora smiled, "I think the odds were in our favor. It made sense to follow them. Then when I had an opportunity to run them off the road I took it."
"You gave us an assignment and we planned to complete it. Those SOB's tried to cheat us out of some of our money. We were not going to take that sitting down." said Cora seriously.
"And the guns?" asked Mike.
Cora held her rifle up,"Oh, those are ours."
Flora laughed, "You think 2 old broads like us would be in our business unarmed? We ain't stupid."
Sam walked up in time to hear the conversation. Cora added, "And before you ask, they are registered."
While the ATF agents took care of the 2 guys, Sam and Mike talked with the twins. Sam looked at them without smiling and said,"You know you put yourself in danger? Were the 2 of you using sign language in the car so I wouldn't hear you? Or was it that secret language only twins understand?"
Flora just smiled,"No sir. We were talking alright, in plain English. You'll find your 2 microphones back at the pickup site. But don't worry, I threw them to the side so they wouldn't get run over."
Sam and Mike just shook their heads.
Cora looked at them,"We knew you would be able to find them. I'm fairly sure if you just yell at us pretty loud, you can follow the sound and find them. We certainly did not want to lose them."
Flora added,"Who do you think we are, some common crooks?"
Mike laughed,"Ladies, there is nothing common about you. Let's get you back home."
As they followed Mike and Sam back to the car, Flora spoke up, "Guess we can't get the load of liquor back?"
"Nope", said Sam without looking back.
"Or, keep the money? said Cora.