Saturday, November 4, 2017

Saving a Prince, Serving an Inmate, and Moving the Stash

Owen Davis was brought back to Gallagher. He was formally arrested, had a hearing, and bail was set. Until his attorney arranged to pay his bail, which his attorney said he would no later than the following day, Owen Davis was housed in the county jail. Now being in the county jail was not as bad as one may think. Since there was no official "custodian" for the jail, the Sheriff had Mary Lou contract out the services.

It was a good way for some local folks to make money. For instance, Lue Ellen Wadsworth provided the three meals for any inmate who was staying in the facility. Lue Ellen was known for her blueberry scones, chicken salad, and pot roast among other things.

Imogene Fitzgerald, the wife of the town cop, Joe, took care of the linens. Imogene had been raised in the family home place, Cre Uisce Aer, (Irish for 'Soil, Water, Air') one of the area's grandest homes. Unfortunately, Imogene's father, the 11th or 12th generation Fitzgerald to live in the house, received a letter from a Prince in Uganda trying to escape a coup in his country.

In order to move all the family funds, many millions of dollars plus the crown jewels, the Prince needed a short term loan. Apparently, the Prince's father, who had been killed in the coup told the young Prince if he ever needed help, he could depend on the Fitzgerald family. Not wanting to fail his father's promise, Imogene's father offered aid to the Prince. During the following months, there were more requests from the Prince, until the family's bank account and stock accounts had been breached, and cleared. 

Imogene's father's last words as he laying dying were, "Make sure you check the mail every day, the repayment from the Prince should be here soon."  Needless to say, the money never came, and the family was left with nothing. Cre Uisce Aer was sold by the bank to an investment group. Rumors were they planned to develop the estate into a country club.

The one thing Imogene was able to save when her family was displaced, were yards and yards of Irish lace and fine Irish linen. She had taken great care of the linen and created the most luxurious linen sheets from it. Therefore she was happy to supply the Sheriff's jail with clean linen sheets. By handling the linens and the laundry, she was able to earn some personal spending money.

The Ladies Club made sure there was a good variety of up-to-date magazines and copies of the best sellers on the side table. One of their tenets was adult literacy. They felt this was the least they could do. 

Needless to say there were many 3 star hotels that failed to have the standards of the Gallagher County Jail. But this was Alabama in the deep south where everyone was hospitable.

As soon as the Sheriff had Owen Davis settled in, he met Sam, and the ATF team at the Eldridge's. The Sheriff wanted to make sure their still was dismantled. And not just taken apart, he wanted the parts removed. The crew went in, took the still apart, destroyed most of it, loaded the rest onto a truck, and removed it from the premises. If the twins were upset they did not show it. The Sheriff commented to Sam,"I'm glad that is over with."

Sam laughed, "You sure?"

The Sheriff gave Sam an odd look.

Sam continued, "I need to get a case or two of that liquor from the raid. The big guys in Atlanta want to see it. And we need to make sure we maintain the chain of custody."

"Sam, you know where it is. Be my guest. You taking all of it?"

"No, just a case or 2. I'll make sure Mary Lou has the paperwork showing that I have taken possession of whatever I take."

"Good deal. It you need any help, just call," said the Sheriff.

"Will do," said Sam as he headed for his car.

At the Sheriff's station he explained to Mary Lou what he was doing. "I'll bring you the official paperwork for the chain of custody before I leave."

"Sounds good. You know where everything is."

Sam walked back to the evidence room and found the cases. He noticed the back door. He knew it would be much easier to move the cases a few steps out the back rather than carry them out of the evidence room, through the station, then out to his car.

"Mary Lou," Sam handed her the paperwork and asked. "I'm going to drive my car up to that back door. Can you come hold the door open for me."

"No problem," Mary Lou said as she got up from her desk and headed to the evidence room. 

Sam walked out the front door, got his car, and drove behind the station. Mary Lou was standing there with the door open. Sam moved the two cases closest to the back door into his car. He thanked Mary Lou and drove off.

Mr. Davis' attorney returned from Atlanta with Davis's bail in cash. However, Mr. Davis told him he wanted to stay where he was. He felt it was in his best interest that he keep up with his case daily - and he needed to be in Gallagher. The attorney was confused. Why would Owen Davis, a well to do, talented attorney want to stay in this county jail in podunk south Alabama, of all places?

He saw the light when Lue Ellen walked in with a large cart. "Mr. Davis, I knew you were having company today so I took the liberty to fix him lunch also." She quickly went to work setting up a card table with a nice table cloth. She set the table with her Minton china, Waterford crystal, and sterling silver. She pulled two chairs up to the table.

When the two men were seated at Lue Ellen's invitation, she started serving their plates. Lunch was thick cheesy macaroni and cheese, fried chicken, and the best collards the attorneys had ever tasted. Lue Ellen served them sweet tea and left the crystal pitcher on the table. She walked out of the cell, and said,"I'll be back with dessert. If you need anything, just holler. I'll be visiting with Mary Lou out front." With that the loud clank of the cell door closing and the lock engaging echoed in the room.

Owen Davis picked up his sterling fork, looked at his attorney, and said with a smile, "Bon appetite".

No comments: