Murders in Progress by Eldon Cene

3 Feathers Whiskey

“So, where the Hell are we now?”

(Episode 37)

“So how many times do you usually let a perp shoot at you before you return fire, Leland?”  Agent Hailey screeched.  “What did you think you were doing out there?”

“I was trying to salvage the situation.  One of our leads was just shot.  And now, there was a good chance the other one was going to get himself killed too.”  He returned the look at Agent Hailey.  “…right about that!”

“So I’m the bad guy here?”

“No.”

“After just saving your ass?”

“I’m not saying that.”

“Then what in the world were you out to prove?”  Agent Hailey looked seriously concerned.  “The guys got a rifle and he’s taking pot shots at you… and you’re still trying to talk him down?”

“He was overwrought.  We had just killed his wife.  Bob Weeds probably couldn’t have hit an elephant at that range.  And besides, I was hiding behind that… that…“

“Cultivator!”  Nancy called from the cell area, checking her notes.

They both looked into the holding pen, and frowned.  Nancy was diligently taking notes.

“Yeah.”  Leland sighed.  “Behind that… cultivator, thing.”

Nobody spoke for a while.  Finally Leland reached into a drawer on his desk.  “Do you ever drink on the job?”

“Only when necessary,” Agent Hailey responded.

Leland looked up under his brows at Ruth as his hand remained in the drawer.

Ruth nodded.

Leland nodded at Ruth, and she brought 3 plastic water glasses.

“Three?”  Leland queried.

Ruth nodded emphatically.  “Yes.  I believe three are necessary.”

So Leland poured them all a stiff one, then raised his glass.

“…to the full letter of the law,”  Ruth proposed.

“…to the full extent of the law,” Agent Hailey corrected.

“…and beyond.”  Leland added.

The three of them drank.

“How about… to the full extant?  And then beyond…”  Leland suggested, wishing he could’ve had just one shot at what he felt to be the real perp.  And wishing he knew just exactly who that was.

Ruth didn’t catch it, concentrating as she was on manipulating her glasses with her tongue.  But Agent Hailey nodded, agreeing emphatically.

Leland filled them again.

After a while, they were all relaxed and rehashing the events.  Leland had his boots up on the desk.  Ruth’s spectacles kept falling off her nose, and she was making a bar trick of pushing them back on with her tongue, and, after accomplishing that, tossing her arms our and taking a bow.  Agent Hailey had undone her necktie and unloosed the top buttons of her shirt, and had her head tossed back cackling at Ruth.

Leland removed all the bullets from his gun and was sighting through the cylinders.  He could see portions of the legs and shirts and shoes of the pedestrians walking past outside his window through the slats in the blinds.  “So where the Hell are we now?”  He asked the room in general.  “What do we now have to go on?”

“Well,” Ruth opined.  And when she lowered he head to talk, her glasses fell off again, which interrupted her opinion, as she scrabbled around the floor for them.

“You got…”  Agent Hailey drunkenly waggled her finger.  “Correction!  We got…. shit.”  She nodded several times.

“Well… shit has got us pretty far,”  Leland said reminiscing.  “That Merlin’s a pretty sharp character…”

Nancy, meanwhile, had finished her interview and had fallen asleep, leaning up against Dr. Ramey who had his arm placed protectively around her.

Leland glanced around.

“Well,” he said.  “Ain’t this a happy little jail?”

Photo by Google Images

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