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Friday, October 13, 2017

Shine On Flora and Cora

Meanwhile back at the Eldridges', Mike walked into the backyard with Wade. "Notice anything odd," he asked Mike, as they walked around. "Besides the 100 beady eyes staring at you."

"You noticed that too, huh?"

"It gives me the creeps. I can see having one or maybe a pair, but this is a bit much."

Mike laughed as he looked in the lean-to at the old lawn mower and other well worn tools. He walked by the potting bench. Next he came to the wheel barrow and the stack of wood. He stopped, turned and looked around the yard, as if he had missed something. He moved on to the trash pile. Mike brushed some of the grass clippings off the pile with the toe of his boot. He noted the bottles, sacks, and other trash.

Wade said,"Whatcha think?"

"Well, we have a wood pile with no chimney on the house and no wood burning grill or stove I can see." He looked around. "There is a pile of sacks and bottles."

Mike looked at Wade, "If there were some copper pipes and large barrels, I would guess the large sacks of sugar heated with the wood would produce some fine liquor to put in those empty bottles over there." He pointed toward the trash pile.

Wade walked over to the old wooden building and opened the door. "Here she is, in full production."

Mike walked over and looked in. "I'll be damned, we have us some twin sister moonshiners." He turned to Wade, "But I still do not understand why they were so against anyone coming in the back yard. All they had to do was lock the building."

"I thought about that. Then I walked behind the building. Smoke would give them away coming from the small smoke stack on the back roof."

"Well, I'll give the Sheriff a heads up before I arrest them," Mike said as he pulled his phone from his pocket and started dialing.

When he got off his phone, Wade asked him, "Is it possible to handle this quietly? I don't think ladies of their age need to go through a perp walk."

"I agree and the Sheriff suggested we bring them into the house, get everyone else to leave and then take them down to the station."

Wade and Mike walked into the house. Mike stayed in the den while Wade walked out onto the porch. Wade told Flora and Cora, quietly so no one else could hear, that Mike needed to speak to them inside. Then he went to find the Colonel to tell him nothing was going to get done today, but they could dig in the back yard tomorrow.

Most everyone had left by the time the Sheriff arrived. He walked into the house and spoke with the Eldridges. Naturally, they wanted to call their attorney. The Sheriff had no issue with that, so they called Mr. Todd. He said he would meet them at the Sheriff's station. Next the Sheriff called, Joe, the town policeman, briefly explained the situation, and asked him to come, immediately, to secure and watch the crime scene until the Sheriff could return.

Mike quietly got the ladies to the Sheriff's station before anyone knew what was going on. Their attorney was waiting on them. The Sheriff asked them a few questions. He left them in a room to confer with Mr. Todd and went to find the local Judge.

There was a short hearing in the Judge's chambers. He listened to Todd make the Eldridges' case. He asked them a few questions,  set a trial date, then set bail. Mr. Todd assured the Judge he could have the bail, in cash, back in 15 to 20 minutes. The Judge agreed to let the ladies wait in the Sheriff's office until Todd returned. He saw no point in putting the ladies in jail.

Sure enough in 15 minutes Todd was back with the bail in cash. Everything was processed and the Eldridge sisters were free to go, with the understanding there would be no more moon shining.  Mr. Todd took them home.

The Sheriff called Wade to let him know that the search for General Kirby could officially continue in Flora and Cora's back yard. Wade called the Colonel and passed on the news.

Meanwhile the Sheriff and Mike returned to the scene of the crime to relieve Joe of his assigned watch, as well as photograph and note all the evidence.

After lunch, Mike stopped  by the rental office, "Y'all been busy?"

"Well, let's see," said Della. " 'Miss' Ella brought a jar of jam in for Larry. Terse is back in town . . ."

Vivian piped up, "And I met Grace, when she stopped by. She seems very nice."

"Grace?" asked Mike.

Behind Vivian, Della was waving her hands, silently 'telling' Mike not to question it.

"Oh, Grace, good," said Mike, not sure what she was talking about.

Bunny walked in from a showing. "Hey Mike, what finally happened at the Eldridges after I left?"

"The Colonel can resume his search tomorrow."

"There has to be more to it than that?"

"It's a long story, Wade can probably tell you more about it than I can."

Della commented,"That sounds exciting."

"Everything having to do with the Colonel is exciting," laughed Bunny.

"If you are into that kind of 'exciting'," Mike added. Then he looked at Della. "Actually, Della, I came to see you."

"Really?"

"I need some information on the person leasing this address." He handed Della a small piece of paper.

Della read the name on the paper. "Can I email the information to you?"

Mike smiled, "Of course." He looked at Bunny and Vivian," I've got to go. Y'all stay out of trouble," he said with a wink and walked out of the door.

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