Wednesday, December 20, 2017

The Dark Arts, Freedom, and Uncle Burdell

Carrying on his charade, 'Frederick' aka John was incensed. "About what? I have a notarized document giving me my Aunt's  Power of Attorney. Mr. Sweeney looked over it and said it was legitimate."

"No, Mr. Sweeney looked at it and said that it 'looked' correct. It's not his job to judge whether or not it is a forged document." He paused," That is our job." The Sheriff looked at him, "Do you have anything you want to tell me before we get serious here"

Mike walked in just then. "Here it is, the judge signed the order, no problem."

"Order for what?" asked 'Frederick'.

Bunny stood up, "Mike."

Mike turned to see her there. As he did, he heard the Sheriff say, "The Order for us to search the Bay Minette Midsummer Sanatorium for your Aunt."

'Frederick' was stunned.

"If I were you, I would just pray that she is in good health and good hands."

At that point 'Frederick' took off for the door. Mike took off after him, telling him to stop - which he did not do. The subject jumped into his car. Mike slowed down, pulled out his taser, "Get out of the car, you are not going anywhere."

Slowly John Dean opened the car door and got out with his hands up. Mike cuffed him and walked him back into the station. The Sheriff and Mary Lou were at the door. They had been following him but stopped once they heard Mike tell him to get out of the car.

"Good work," said the Sheriff.

"Thank Bunny,"laughed Mike.


"Yes, she double parked behind Mr. Dean's car. When I parked beside it, he had no where to go." Mike and the Sheriff went through the booking process with John Dean and put him in a holding cell. Right now he had been arrested on falsifying documents and false imprisonment. No doubt other charges would follow. Mike allowed John to use the phone on the front counter to contact Luther to let his attorney know he was in jail.

The Sheriff was still laughing about Bunny when a strong wind blew the front door open. In walked Reeza. "Well, well, well,"she said in her deep voice as she looked at John,"the prodigal nephew."

Everyone in the room looked at her. "Now what?" asked the Sheriff, knowing Reeza had been a big help and he really should thank her.

Quietly, she walked across the room, her long flowing robe making her appear as if she was floating above the floor. She placed 2 cards on Mary Lou's desk and turned them over. Before they knew, there was an eerie cackling laugh and she was gone.

Mary Lou quickly picked up the cards. The first one was the Sun Card from a Tarot deck. She immediately turned to her computer and Googled 'Sun Tarot Card'. She read aloud. "The image is portraying a resolution of the tension between opposites at all levels," Mary Lou paused then looked up at the group looking at her. She continued, "Life reclaims its primordial goodness, truth, and beauty - it's all to the good!"

Then she looked at the second card, the Moon Tarot Card. She Googled again, "The Moon Card often suggests a time when something is not as it appears to be, an illusion. Vigilance and clear perception will be necessary to find that which is hidden before it is too late."

"Well that is all fine and good, but we have a Widow to find," said the Sheriff as he prepared to leave for Bay Minette. Bunny interrupted him, "Was that a witch?" referring to Reeza?

"More of a Voodoo Priestess. She has ..." Then Mike's phone rang. He held up his hand to interrupt Bunny. As he answered his phone, Mary Lou gave Bunny a short version of Reeza's story.

"Yes, sir. Oh, that is great. And, she is OK? in good health?" Mike paused. "That is super. We will be over as soon as we can to get her. Thank you so much." Another pause, "Yes sir." Mike put his phone back in his pocket.

"That was the Sheriff of Baldwin County. They have the Widow and she is in good health."

"How the Hell did that happen?" asked the Sheriff.

"When I spoke with the Judge, he suggested that he not only issue an order for you, but he called Baldwin County and explained the situation to their judge." Mike smiled. "Apparently, the Sheriff over there had been waiting for a legitimate and legal way to get into the Sanatorium. Judge Kelly's order gave him just that."

Mike explained the details of where the Widow was. The Sheriff called Dr. Magill to explain to situation to him.

Mercer immediately said he would send an ambulance to Bay Minette to get her. And he would leave forthwith to go examine her, make sure she was OK, and see what she needed, if anything. They rang off.

The sheriff relayed the conversation to Mary Lou and Mike. Mary Lou laughed, "Reeza comes through again with the Sun Card."

Everyone was relieved. From the seating area, Bunny spoke up,"Where was she?"


"No, the Widow Barker?"

Mike explained that the man impersonating the Widow Barker's nephew had taken her from the facility in Montgomery and put her in The Bay Minette Midsummer Sanatorium. This not only would cost less, it would hide her where no one would be able to get her released.

"Really," Bunny looked at Mike, "I have always wondered about that place."

"How would you know?"

"Harrison's Uncle Burdell is there. I try to visit him when I can."

"And they let you in?" asked the Sheriff a little shocked.

"Of course they do," Bunny laughed. "The family will not pay his bills, unless we can visit him. So someone from the family goes every week or so to check on him and monthly they take the facility their money."

"Didn't you want to get him out of that place? People die there."

"Of course I did. But I did not know anything about folks dying there. Dr. Magill recommended the place. However, once  Uncle Burdell got there, he sent the family a paper that was notarized saying he never wanted to be moved and that the family was to pay the facility monthly." 

She paused. "The only issue I found odd was that he also has arranged for his estate to be left to the Sanatorium upon his death." 

"Bunny! Seriously! You just left him there. You never questioned the documents?" Mike asked. "What about having copies or the originals of these documents?"

"No, but of course the family saw the documents. I promised myself if I ever got to see him, I was going to ask him why he made that decision."

"Did you see the documents?"

"Tula said that the Sanatorium was not allowed by law to release the documents to anyone but close family. And of course, I'm not really related."

"Tula?" asked the Sheriff. "Where does she come in?"

"She was the one who arranged for him to go there. She said that was Dr. Magill's request that he be admitted there. Tula also has Burdell's Power of Attorney which makes no sense because he didn't trust Tula as far as he could throw her."

"When the family questioned the decision, Tula sent them these brochures showing this lovely place with landscaped lawns, gardens, and a healing spring. Funny when I went there, that was not what I saw."

Returning to an earlier remark Bunny had made, the Sheriff asked, "But you did 'see' him several times?"

"Well, seems every time I went to visit he was either asleep or in therapy."

"Then how do you know he was OK?"

"Oh, every time Tula visited, she was able to see him. She would always tell me about their visit."

Mike was quiet for a moment and then looked at the Sheriff, "What you say odd's are there will be no estate for the Sanatorium to benefit from by the time Tula drains it?"

Mary Lou shaking her head, quietly said,"And so we have the Moon Card."

"Oh Bunny," said Mike. "I'm going to call the Baldwin County Sheriff and find out where Uncle Burdell is now."

"And make sure they know not to release him to anyone we do not personally approve of," added the Sheriff.

"Will do," said Mike as he picked up his phone.

"So you are saying Uncle Burdell may not be OK?" asked a surprised Bunny.

Mary Lou put her arm around Bunny's shoulder. "Certainly he is. They are just going to make sure."

"If he is OK, can he go back to the Sanitarium?"

All three looked at her.  She continued, "Well, Tula said that that was his wish. After all it is her uncle. I always liked Uncle Burdell, but I only knew him through Harrison. I'm not really kin."

Mike looked at Bunny and very calmly said,"Bunny, that may not have been his wish."

"But why would he lie to Tula."

The Sheriff added, "I don't think he lied to Tula, I'm pretty sure Tula lied to you."

Bunny was shocked. "I know Tula can be evil, but she adored Uncle Burdell. Every time his name comes up in conversation, she just smiles."

Mike just looked at her,"Just like she suddenly 'adored' Aunt Cordelia when there was a rumor of her impending death?"

"That was different."

The Sheriff called Dr. Magill,"Can you check on someone else while you are up there?"


"Burdell Wells, Bunny says that you had him admitted as a patient at the Sanatorium and she has not seen him in a while."

"Sheriff, I know nothing about that. Burdell is a patient of mine but I have not seen him for almost a year. I wondered where he was. I can assure you, if he is there, I had nothing to do with it."

"We'll see what the story is while we're over there." The doctor thanked him. They rang off.

Across town, a shudder ran across Hattie's spine as she finished the final batch of scones for the day. She stopped and looked out the window. "That evil wind's a blowing. That Voodoo lady is back in town."

Caroline happened to be in the kitchen as the time and asked, "Well is it good or bad this time?"

"Seems things may be better but if they don't act fast they not know."

"Hattie are you sure you do not practice some Voodoo yourself?"

"Nom'e, I just get that feeling in my bones, then I sees things."

"Sounds supernatural to me."

"Where I came from they called it 'the gift'. The evil ones turned to dark side - to Voodoo. Those who sought good, and tried to live in the shadow of the Lord, did not play with the devil."

"I'd really like to know more about this someday. I find it terribly fascinating. Right now I've got to get these scones out there." Caroline picked up the tray of scones and walked out of the kitchen.

Dr. Magill was on his way to Bay Minette, clueless as to what to expect when he got there. Mike stayed at the station just to make sure nothing happened to John Dean. The Sheriff hurried over to Baldwin County to meet with their Sheriff and go visit the Bay Minett Midsummer Sanatorium.

Having nothing else to do, Bunny went to Dot's, telling Mike that's where she would be. She walked in and found Buzz at the bar alone. As she climbed up on the bar stool next to him. Ike asked,"The usual Miss Bunny?"

"Guess so, Ike."

In a minute or 2, a frosty Mai Tai, complete with little umbrella was sitting in front of her.

As she was taking a sip, Buzz asked, "And how was your day?"

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