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- Story Listed as: Fiction For Adults
- Theme: Drama Stories / Human Interest Stories
- Subject: Novels
- Published: 07/06/2019
For the Sake of a ChildBorn 1949, M, from Colorado Springs, CO, United States
The Bounty Hunters
For the Sake of a Child
Story #2 -- Even Bounty Hunters and Private Investigators take on cases they should have refused. Ellen and K.C. are handed a case their boss, Mr. Hampton should have refused but money does talk at the oddest times. However, they are still involved in the situation when the case is closed.
Elaine Chase paced her condo living room late into the evening looking at the wall clock for the sixth time that evening. The time was ten minutes later then it was ten minutes ago. Her former husband, whom she had divorced swore he’d only pay child support if the boy, Wesley were to live with him. That weekend her ex-husband had visitation rights.
Finally sitting on the sofa, she began crying again. She knew crying would do no good but it was all she had now. Daniel was not at the agreed meeting place at six o’clock that evening. Elaine waited for a half hour before giving up.
Staring at the blank screen of the television Elaine punched the on button on the remote control. She figured if she were feeling lonely and miserable, she might as well check out what other people around the world were doing – and not doing. She watched a report from Washington – same misery there. Her mind kept wondering why Daniel had not returned Wesley to the agreed location.
Following the Washington report and one from the State Capital then following a couple “feel-good” commercials a local report came on that caught Elaine’s attention.
“Thanks, John for that update. Now this from our stranger than fiction file: Modern day Bounty Hunters, Kevin, better known as K.C. Taylor and his partner Ellen Pascal brought in the notorious Cole Brothers that State and Federal law enforcement agencies have been trying to capture for the past year. Joan what do you have on this extraordinary feat of detective work?
(Signal changes to front of County Corrections Center) “Kelly, K.C. Taylor and Ellen Pascal are modern day Bounty Hunters. Their immediate Boss, Leonard Hampton head of Skip Tracer Investigators are the ones responsible for taking on the case of the Cole Brothers, hired by Case Reserve Bank. The Cole Brothers was considered by many to be impossible to arrest. The Cole brothers –
(Camera switches to reporter) K.C. and Ellen, how is it that you were able to bring the Cole brothers in and the police didn’t?”
(Camera switches to Taylor and Pascal) “Time. We, Ellen and I just went where no one thought to look for them – the mountains.”
(Reporter) “What made you think of the mountains, K.C.?”
(K.C. laughs at question) “If you were a criminal what would you do? Head for the mountains -- !” K.C. reaches out to the cameraman’s arm turning him toward the mountains.
Elaine listened to the report noticing the pair were still in the black one-piece Spandex suits and wearing their weapons. The thought came to mind: Each a One-Man Army. Tapping her teeth with a manicured finger nail Elaine had a sudden thought: All expense aside, she had to get Wesley back and the bounty hunters could be her only hope.
K.C. and Ellen lay in the back yard of their new homes next-door to each other in a new section of the city, sunning and just doing nothing but pure relaxation. K.C. lay on an inflatable raft in their new above-ground pool and Ellen lay sunning on a chase lounge in a little white string bikini. K.C. peered past the Rayban sunglasses at the perfect body of the woman he had come to admire and love.
“Two whole days that phone has not rung.” K.C.’s arms hanging limp in the cool water. “This feels too good to be true. By the way, darling throw the damn phone away.”
“Shut up. Don’t talk about it. I’m still enjoying myself for once.”
To end their tranquility, Ellen’s cell phone rang. “Oh hell. There goes our peace and quiet.”
“Spoke too soon.”
“No kidding.” Ellen looked at the caller ID. The cell phone rang again. “Mr. Hampton.” Answering the phone, she said, “Pascal and Taylor Investigators … ”
Listening to Mr. Hampton for a minute Ellen looked at her watch. “Very well, Mr. Hampton we’ll be right there.”
K.C. slipped off the raft to stand up in the shallow water. “Now what?”
“We have to be in Hampton’s office no later than one. Dress up. He has a very important client coming in. He’ll explain then.”
By Noon they rolled out from their new houses that were next door to each other. K.C. was driving Ellen’s yellow and with black racing strip Camaro. For all the world they appeared to be the successful young business partners or husband and wife dressed up for the day. To Ellen, the job had its perks and like any other job, it’s down side. But this was one of the perks she enjoyed.
At 12:45 the pair entered Hampton’s office. To his administrative assistant, K.C. still preferred the title, secretary, looked up from the word processor.
“Ah! K.C., Ellen I’ll let Mr. Hampton know you’re here.”
K.C. and Ellen casually took their Rayban Pilots sun glasses off tucking them into pocket and purse. Whenever Ellen or K.C. visited Hampton’s office they were amazed there was no sign to indicate what he did for work. He was located in the mid-town area, the business and banking district of the mid-size south western city of Colorado Springs, Colorado.
The girl stepped out of Hampton’s office then indicated the adjoining conference room.
She opened the door ushering them in.
Ellen entered first, K.C. followed.
Elaine looked up as the two Bounty Hunters entered the room. The two did not seem the same pair Elaine had seen on television the other night. The two were dressed in dark business suits; they could have walked in to any corporate office in town and not appear out of place.
Sitting at the conference table Elaine looked the pair over with a critical eye to detail. Already she like what she saw. The two worked in harmony seldom achieved even among the corporate set. Hampton introduced his ace pair of “agents” as he called K.C. and Ellen to Elaine.
Taking in every detail Elaine noticed K.C. sat straight with his hands folded on the table. Ellen on the other hand set up a laptop computer and digital recorder to take notes. Hampton deferred the meeting to his Agents.
“Miss Chase, as sordid as it may seem,” K.C. began as smoothly as he could, “please begin from the day the divorce was final … ”
“Daniel said if he were to pay child support Wesley would live with him. Which in my mind meant he would never pay child support.”
K.C. had to consider he’d heard that line of mis-reasoning too many times to put a number to it.
An hour and a half later the pair were back at K.C.’s study at Ellen’s house. Ellen had the laptop hooked in to the parallel cable to down load several pages of information they were able to get from Elaine. The data down loaded Ellen began sorting through the details. The digital recorder set close by to play back the interview.
“I hate to say this, I don’t like this case already.”
K.C. leaned over Ellen’s shoulder looking at the information she had displayed on the desk top screen. He Googled the family name coming up with the sister in the Four Corners area. “There,” he said pointing to a phrase. “Four Corners – he may have gone to Four Corners.”
“Where Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Arizona meet – perfect right angles. But look at this -- ” K.C. pointed to another item. “The sister-in-law. Now I’m not a psychologist, but she doesn’t get along with the sister-in-law, his ex-wife.”
“Yeah and as I recall, she said to the sister-in-law in Alamosa if he ever took Wesley away from her he’d pay dearly. That doesn’t sound right.” Ellen looked back at K.C. leaning over her shoulder. “But I still sense there is something here she’s not telling us.”
K.C. dropped into the chair beside the desk drumming his fingers on the arm of the chair. “A collusion?”
“Mm, not exactly. She would not have gone to Mr. Hampton if that were the case.”
K.C. thought again then said, “Start with the obvious – the meeting place.”
“Okay. The fast food place on Fremont Avenue, that’s where they met on alternating weekends.”
The Manager of the fast food place stared at the two Bounty Hunters standing in front of him then at the badges and credentials. Their well-dressed attire did not match his idea of the Bounty Hunter, rough clothes, the needing a shave, the woman, jeans, hair-cut short, boots.
“Um, well in answer to your question, yeah. They used our parking area several times for the boy to go with one or the other parent. And several times they were having bad arguments about one thing or another.”
“You didn’t happen to hear what it was about did you?” K.C. asked the manager.
“One time if I’m not mistaken it had to do with money. And he said loud enough, and this I recall, he accused her of having enough money to pay off the national debt.”
“The child support.” K.C. nodded to Ellen as she made notes in a note pad.
Ellen asked, “Did any of your employees over hear them?”
“Oh yeah. Karen did she brought it to my attention.” He called the girl over to the side.
Karen recognized the pair from the news cast the night before. “Oh yeah, I thought they were going to come to blows a couple weeks ago. He was accusing her of child abuse and child molestation. Then she accused him of not being a good father – not paying the child support for the past three months.”
“All that at one time?” K.C. said glancing toward Ellen.
Ellen met K.C.’s thoughtful glance.
Karen nodded. “I finally had to leave the drive-up window, they were screaming at each other -- it was getting upsetting.”
Ellen wrote the information down. “Don’t blame you. Where was the boy, do you recall?”
“Standing right there the whole time. I told Al,” she nodded toward the manager, “I just could not take the screaming and hollering anymore.”
Al nodded. “I was about to call the cops about it. But she went storming off yelling something about getting her lawyer on it.” Al shrugged. “I swear when she left here she left a patch of rubber fifty feet long. Smoked the place out! You can still see the rubber marks on the asphalt.”
“One more question, was she or he back four days ago stayed for awhile then left?”
“Yes,” Karen quickly said, “I saw her – I was working the order window it was her, sat in the parking lot for a good half hour before leaving by herself.”
“Thank you. Appreciate your time.”
Out in the car K.C. stared off across the street. “I feel sorry for the boy having to be caught in the middle of this.”
“That’s the part she didn’t tell us about.” Ellen glanced toward K.C. “Now what do we do?”
“Public disturbance and domestic violence – either one or both. The police, Sand Ridge Precinct.”
Fifteen minutes later Ellen and K.C. were seated before Detective Jose Martinez’s desk at the Sand Ridge Police Station on the toney side of town.
“Those two?” Martinez visibly cringed. He looked around then said in a low voice, “Give me a couple good drug pushers I’d be happy. How those two ever got together, other than to have good sex is beyond me. Just a minute let me go pull the file.”
Ellen cringed at the comment, K.C. quietly laughed.
They waited until the detective was away from the desk. K.C. glanced over his shoulder to see if anyone was close. “Mr. Hampton had to have been blind-sided on this one.”
Daylight slowly turned to a caramel colored sunset with streaks of black laying across the face of the sun. K.C. stood at the door to the patio staring at the sunset. A pair of hands wrapped around his waist.
“Uh, huh. Yeah. This one has me worried. A criminal I can figure out but a desperate father or mother with their child is a different matter.” He turned to take Ellen is his arms. “I got a good mind to take her up on the idea of the reservations down in Four Corners. We might learn something.”
“What’s down there?”
“The Navajo and Apache reservations, the Anasazi ruins and several hundred square miles of nothing.”
Ellen raised her pencil thin eye brows in question. “What if the sister-in-law’s information is a smoke screen?”
K.C. rested his chin on Ellen’s shoulder. “That thought did occur to me. But what if we use her to smoke out Pop’s?”
“He might try to hide the boy and draw us away. Chance we have to take.” K.C. leaned back against the door frame still holding onto Ellen. “Two can play that game.”
“What are we going to do?”
“A background check just now turned up the sister who still lives in Alamosa; start there and see what happens. But I got a feeling the sister – his sister will alert him the second we’re out the door. But we follow my instinct and head over Wolf Creek Pass to the Four Corners area.”
Dark. Early the next morning Ellen was sound asleep beside K.C., in the big K5 Jimmy, the heavy lugged tires lulling her to sleep before they passed Midway just off Interstate 25 south bound toward Pueblo. Sometime later outside the town of Walsenburg, K.C. pulled off the interstate in to a sleepy truck stop. Ellen slept through K.C. gassing up his beast. After the gas and checks, K.C. pulled the truck over to the restaurant.
Gently nudging Ellen awake, he said, “Hey, hone, want something to eat?”
Ellen squinted at the bright blue neon sign in the restaurant window then rolled her head to the side to frown at K.C. “Where are we?”
“Outside Walsenburg off the ‘I’ at the I-twenty-five truck stop.”
“Oh, I am sore.” Ellen tried sitting up her back and neck screaming from the pain. “What time is it?”
“You could have laid the seat back to sleep. Three-thirty in the A.M.”
“Now he tells me.”
“Wait.” K.C. got out running around to help Ellen out. Getting out she almost fell into his arms.
Leaning on K.C., Ellen followed him into the restaurant. The one thing K.C. noticed right away, customers were outnumbered by the staff. The hostess and waitress were sitting near the door a deck of cards lay on the table between them. The hostess reluctantly got up to take them to a worn table laying the menus in front of them. The waitress walked up with coffee.
Ellen looked at the coffee. “Oh, bless you! I need that more than anything right now.”
Ellen poured a healthy amount of milk and a spoon full of sugar into her coffee. K.C. cringed at the sight of milk and sugar in good coffee. The waitress tried to smile despite the early hour.
K.C. took a sip of his coffee that was blacker then the night said, “We’ll make it easy on you -- ”
Ellen muttered as she sipped the coffee, “Uh oh here it comes.”
“Four eggs sunny side up, sausage, home fries, four buck wheat pancakes, and put it all together on the same plate.”
The girl looked at Ellen for an answer.
“That’s his normal breakfast you should see supper. I’ll take the morning special – eggs sunny side up, hash browns and bacon.”
“No thanks. I’ll take your word for it.” The girl walked away
The sun was beginning to rise as they passed Fort Garland just off Highway 160 west.
Behind them the sun was peeking through the cloud cover shedding a warm red glow over the early morning. K.C. leaned on the open-door window thinking as he drove.
“I smell smoke, you must be thinking again.”
K.C. glanced over at Ellen. “Got a problem. If and when we find the boy, we’re going to need to have police back up.”
“Especially the Apache or Navajo reservations. Only ones who have jurisdiction on a Native American reservation is the FBI or US Marshals.”
“Have to prove the boy is there and the father is there illegally. Then call for the Indian police to arrest him, get a court order for extradition back to El Paso County. But, it’s easier said than done.”
They slowed entering Alamosa. K.C. stopped for gas at a convenience store. Ellen watched from the truck when K.C. walked inside for a cup of coffee and directions.
“Excuse me, but can you direct me to Forty-First Street?” He asked laying change on the counter.
“Four blocks from here on Alamosa Avenue, turn left.” The lady did not look up as she
scooped up the change dropping in to the cash register.
“Thanks.” K.C. exited with the cup of coffee.
Ellen reached out the window to take the coffee from K.C. “And?”
“Have a cup of coffee no creamer. Four blocks on the left at Alamosa and Forty-First.”
K.C. climbed in the cab starting the engine. “Personally, this may not lead to much but it’s worth a try.”
“What do you expect to find?” Ellen set the cup of coffee in the cup holder between them.
“An old fashion smoke screen but that always leads to what you want anyway.”
Ellen watched the street signs as they slowly drove along Alamosa Avenue. “How so?”
“Should have guessed.”
K.C. rang the doorbell. His assessing eye noted the neat yard but unadorned nature of the house. He glanced back to the door just as a blonde head peered out the side window. The door opened the length of the chain. K.C. and Ellen produced their credential cases.
“Yes, and you?”
The two bounty hunters showed her their credentials. Miss Chase expressed shock at the bounty hunters.
“K.C. Taylor and Ellen Pascal. We just need to ask you some questions. We were hired
to find your brother Daniel and nephew Wesley. They are believed to have left the Colorado Springs area two weeks ago during a weekend visitation and have not been seen since. Do you have any idea where they might be?”
“No. I have no idea and don’t know anything of the sort.”
The door was closed and locked.
Twirling a finger K.C. stepped off the stoop. “Smoke screen. Did you see the shocked look on her face when she answered the door?”
“Yes. In other words, she was expecting someone else.”
“Sheriff’s deputy maybe. Let’s head over to the Sheriff’s office.”
K.C. leaned on the counter of the Sheriff’s station, Ellen stood to his side watching the
Sheriff’s reaction. Two deputies studied the pictures of Daniel and son Wesley, and information on the car on the card K.C. laid in front of them.
“Can’t say I’ve seen them lately.” The deputy walked away.
“Good chance they just passed through too,” a deputy said turning away from the counter.
“His sister lives here,” Ellen added.
The Sheriff looked up at them with mild interest. “Oh?”
“Forty-First Street.” Ellen glanced at the other deputy then the Sheriff.
“And what did she have to say?” the Sheriff asked.
“Not much,” K.C. replied. “In other words, she didn’t know anything.”
“Usually don’t so you got to dig up the evidence yourself. Well, all I can tell ya Mr. Taylor is we’ll keep an eye out for this guy.”
They stood outside the Sheriff’s Station, K.C. flipping the truck keys in his hand. Ellen looked at the gesture finally putting her hand on his.
K.C. looked at her with mild surprise. “Oh, sorry. Just thinking.”
“More like nervous. Now what?”
“West young lady, west. Cortez County.”
Ellen stared out the window at the vast circular fields of grain, pivotal irrigation systems, in other fields next to the irrigation systems cattle grazed. They passed the small foothill towns of Del Norte and South Fork to begin the long serpentine climb to the summit of Wolf Creek Pass.
“Want to see what the top of the world looks like?”
“I’ve been up Pikes Peak.”
“Now you can say you’ve seen the western half.”
K.C. pulled off into the summit parking area. Ellen forgot the temperature dropped five degrees at the summit. They got out to walk to the overlook area to see nearly to Nevada. K.C. pointed out the states they could see from the top of the Pass. They dug out the camera to do the tourist thing to take pictures then a tourist took their picture by the historical marker.
Starting down the other side K.C. held his breath he did not glaze the truck’s brakes on the downhill side in to Pagosa Springs. They passed through Pagosa heading out the other side toward the town of Cortez close to Four Corners.
“We’ll stay in Cortez tonight and go out to the reservations tomorrow.”
“Thanks. The truck is nice but no place to sleep.”
K.C. smiled. “Didn’t think you were the camping type.”
“Not even close. Just show me the nearest motel. I like taking a shower in the morning.”
The next day they drove through the reservations on Highway 160 to Tuba City. Several hours later K.C. turned onto Highway 88 arriving at the Navajo Nation Tribal Government offices. Across the street was the Tribal Criminal Investigation Office. K.C. had to admit he was impressed by the buildings. Several Tribal Police cars were parked out front. He paused to look around the area and was surprised when he spotted the Golden Arches poking above other
signs along the street.
“Yeah they’re modern. This is definitely not their grandfather’s reservation. Now they have it all.”
K.C. and Ellen walked into the busy police station which reminded them both of a couple police stations back home they were familiar with. K.C. avoided looking at a bench lined with several surly looking youth in handcuffs. The harassed looking desk sergeant looked at the two surprised standing at the counter.
“Yes, may I help you?”
K.C. and Ellen produced their badges and credentials.
“K.C. Taylor and Miss Ellen Pascal Investigators. Is the Chief or Supervisor in? We’d like to discuss an on-going case with him.”
“Um, yeah. Hold on. Hey, Bobby watch the desk for a moment I gotta see if the Captain is busy.”
The Policeman called another over to watch the desk while he checked with the Captain about seeing the bounty hunters.
K.C. and Ellen looked over the front of the Criminal Investigation office. A few minutes later a short stocky man in civilian attire stepped out of the back.
“Mr. Taylor and Miss Pascal, Captain Red Feather.” They shook hands. “Please follow me back to my office.”
They followed Captain Red Feather through the gate back to his office. He shut the door blocking out the sounds from the rest of the room.
Sitting he said, “Now tell me what is it you need, Mr. Taylor?”
K.C. began, “There’s reason to believe there is a man by the name of Daniel Chase who is divorced took his son, Wesley during parenting time earlier this week from Colorado Springs and is hiding out either on this reservation or the Apache reservation across the highway.”
K.C. took two photo reproductions from his valise to give to Red Feather.
Red Feather looked at the photos. “What makes you think he’d be hiding here, Mr. Taylor?”
“Where can he hide that nobody out side of the Navajo Police – or Apache Police can touch him?”
Red Feather immediately answered, “A Native American reservation.”
“Exactly, only the FBI and U.S. Marshals have jurisdiction. And the only time they get involved is a serious felony otherwise you don’t see them around.”
Red Feather thought a minute then said, “Just a minute I know just who to ask.”
Taking the photos Red Feather left the office. He came back with two uniformed officers.
“Officers Lone Wolf and Rodriguez.”
Officer Lone Wolf said, “You believe they’re down here?”
“Or the Apache reservation.”
Rodriguez said, “He gets on the Apache reservation he’s half way to Mexico.”
“You don’t know what he’s driving?” Lone Wolf said.
K.C. took a paper from the valise giving it to Lone Wolf. “A dark blue 2011 Mercury Sable and there’s the license number. Got the information from his ex-wife and Colorado DMV.”
Looking over Lone Wolf’s shoulder Rodriguez looked at the photos and information. “You know, I seem to remember seeing a blue Mercury the other day.”
“Where?” Red Feather said.
“I believe it was over on Route 40. Blue Mercury’s are a rarity around here.”
Red Feather rubbed his chin. “We’ll keep an eye out for him. Can’t promise more than that. I’ll have this out to my officers by this afternoon.”
K.C. and Ellen stood, he said, “If you find he’s here with the boy I’ll have extradition papers drawn up by El Paso County.”
They left the police station walking in to the blast furnace heat. Opening the truck’s door Ellen was met by a blast of hot air. “Oh my god, I’ll never complain about the heat back home.”
Chuckling K.C. said, “If he’s here, he must be familiar with the Native Americans in this area.”
“What now?” Ellen asked getting back in the truck. They climbed in the truck, K.C. started the engine. If it wasn’t for them trying to find Chase this would have seemed humorous to him.
Pulling a map out K.C. finally found Route 40. “Check with the police in Tuba City. Route 40 is close to Tuba City.”
Lights were beginning to blink on around Tuba City, Arizona as mid-evening set in. The bounty hunters stood in the police station parking area staring across the desert landscape.
Ellen waited while K.C. unlocked the truck door. “I hate to say it, for now I am taped out on ideas.”
“Let’s get a room somewhere and think this through first.”
Outside the Comfort Inn Motel a cool desert wind blew across Tuba City. K.C. lay across the bed looking over the notes from the day. The notes amounted to the same thing, nobody knew anything. K.C. glanced up at Ellen as she was undressing to take a shower.
Ellen called Mr. Hampton just before he stepped out of the office for the day.
“We’ve left information with police departments from Alamosa to Tuba City to include the Navajo Police. Tomorrow we’ll stop at the Apache reservation.”
“Good. That’s all you can do right now. After the Apache reservation, where to?”
Ellen looked toward K.C., he said, “Check Pagosa Springs. We didn’t do that coming in to the reservations.”
“When should I expect you back?”
“Day after tomorrow. We’ll call you again if there’re any new developments.” Ellen hung up. “Now what?”
“To put it lightly, Ellen we’re spinning our wheels.”
Ellen started for the bathroom. “I should have asked Mr. Hampton if he checked to see if her check was good before taking this case?”
“I know. This is not going to be a cheap in and out case.”
“So, what do you propose we do?” Ellen called from the bathroom.
“Stop at the Apache reservation then head back to Alamosa. His sister lives there. And I’d be willing to bet Daniel goes back to his sister’s.”
“Tonight?” The water started running drowning the rest of what Ellen was saying.
“I hope not. But with the boy along I doubt it.”
Ellen got out of the shower calling, “Next!”
Following a quick breakfast at a local diner they started back east on Route 160 through the reservations. K.C. laid his cell phone on the console between them. “In case.”
Ellen found the latch to the seat laying it back. “Wake me when we get there.”
K.C. slipped a C&W CD in the player which helped him think while he drove across the reservations looking for the exit to the Apache Reservation offices. It was nearly a half hour before K.C. caught up with a dark blue car ahead of him.
Not giving the other car ahead of him further thought K.C. glanced at the expanse of desert where not a thing higher then cactus grew. Suddenly the cell phone buzzed getting his attention.
Ellen opened her eyes grabbing the phone. “I hope – Pascal and Taylor -- ”
“Captain Red Feather, Navajo Nation Police. Just got word from one of my officers, they spotted your suspect heading east on US 160, blue Mercury sedan and Colorado license plate …”
“That’s our boy!” K.C. pressed the accelerator down and locked in the cruise control to help
maintain a discreet distance. “Got him in my sights.”
Thanks, Chief we got him just ahead of us. We’ll alert Alamosa police from here.”
“Ah dear, we’re in a different cell service area and the mountains, we may have a problem.”
“Shit.” Ellen swore. “Have to wait until we get across the San Juan’s before we call `em.”
K.C. followed Daniel back to Cortez on to Pagosa Springs and out the other side and up the serpentine incline of the Pass. Down shifting he began the steep ascent toward the summit. Much to Daniel’s credit he never speeded up or tried to evade them. K.C. had to consider the GMC Jimmy was the only one of its kind in El Paso County. If Daniel was as familiar with K.C. and the Jimmy, he would be putting some distance between himself and the other.
It was not until they reached the bottom of the east side of the Pass and the road leveled out again that Daniel began to increase speed.
“Ah, either he is in a hurry to get to sis’ or he’s finally noticed we’re trailing him.”
“I bet it’s the latter. Hang back like you were. Let him put some distance between us.”
Ellen put the binoculars to her eyes again watching then swore. “Forget it. Pick it up K.C. I think he’s trying to shake us.”
They trailed Daniel through the mountain towns until they left the old towns behind passing fields of potatoes, sugar beets, and grain.
K.C. glanced in his rear-view mirror to see a big ugly looking green Peterbilt semi bearing down on him. K.C. looked again, he was looking at all chrome and lights. “Oh shit! Look who’s behind us!”
“Police?” Ellen turned in her seat to see who it was.
“Oh my god!”
The driver hit his air horn as he passed K.C. A wall of steel passed K.C with no problem. Five cattle trucks passed the Jimmy in succession suddenly blocking K.C.’s view of Daniel. K.C. pressed the accelerator down more to catch up with the last semi rig. Glancing down at the speedometer he was doing seventy fast approaching eighty with no problem but still could not catch the last semi.
“Gotta be doing at least an easy eighty to ninety.”
“Is that the average speed along here?”
“I think I’ve just become religious.”
All Ellen could do was go along for the ride. Telephone poles, mail boxes, houses, barns, passing vehicles were a blur as K.C. passed them keeping his eyes focused on the rear doors of the semi cattle truck ahead of him.
The semi’s slowed as they entered Alamosa turning off at a small truck stop.
“Now, where is he?” K.C. said as he slowed behind the last truck pulling off the highway. Speeding up K.C. looked around for their quarry. “God damn luck!”
“Where you going to go – or hope he went?”
“His sister’s maybe?” K.C. thought a minute. “Try 911 again. Maybe we can nail him that way… Or they can.”
Ellen speed dialed 911.
A lady’s voice came on the phone. “Alamosa County Nine-one-one – is this an emergency?”
“Yes. This Ellen Pascal. Daniel Chase has kidnapped his son from his mother in Colorado Springs – This is Ellen Pascal of Pascal and Tylor Investigation Service. We’ve been on Daniel for three days now and we’re trailing him back on Highway 160 East to his sister’s place on
Alamosa Avenue and 41st Street. We need immediate police back up at that address.”
“Name, call back phone number, address -- Has a physical felony been committed at this address that you need police back up?”
Huh? “The father kidnapped the boy! We need the police at Alamosa and 41st Street to arrest Chase for kidnapping!”
“One moment please. Please stay on the line.”
“God – exasperating!”
“The perfect emergency operator.”
K.C. pulled onto Alamosa Avenue then 41st Street the tires squealing in protest as K.C. slammed on the brakes stopping short of Daniel’s blue Mercury.
“No!” they heard a man yelling from the house. “No, Elaine no!”
K.C. and Ellen were galvanized in to action; K.C. grabbing the .45 from under the dash
board, Ellen pulling the 9mm from her hand bag. The doors were thrust open, the two jumped from the truck as two shots rang out from the house. Running toward the house K.C. gripping the semi-automatic by both hands did not bother knocking, he hit the door at the door handle with his right foot, the door crashing in as he knelt, Ellen on the other side of the door.
Sirens sounded from the street. Neither K.C. nor Ellen gave it any thought the police finally arrived.
Daniel lay on his back near the door, a lady lay face down dead in the middle of the floor a knife stuck in her back.
A voice from behind them ordered, “Drop it, lady!”
K.C. glanced at two nine millimeters aimed straight ahead between him and Ellen.
“You’re working for me!” Elaine yelled firing two more rounds at them and the police. That was her last mistake. Four weapons fired as one. Elaine was knocked against the wall. Three rounds hit her, one missed.
K.C. looked back at the police. “Gee nice of you guys to show up like this. What kept ya?”
Ellen just rolled her eyes toward the sky. “Oh, I don’t believe this.”
One policeman asked, “Um who are you two? Don’t recall seeing ya before.”
K.C. pulled his credentials case out. “Private Investigators -- and Bounty Hunters.”
They stepped through the shattered door as two more police cars pulled up outside the house, a plain car pulled in behind the others followed by paramedics and fire department equipment.
The police cautiously walked around the living room looking the scene over. K.C. and Ellen stood back close to the door out of the way, their job done, their client and suspect both dead. However, a whimpering from behind the sofa caught their attention.
“The boy,” Ellen said peering behind the sofa. She smiled for the boy no older than nine or ten. “It’s okay now – Wesley. You can come out now.”
The boy peered over the back of the sofa hands over his ears to muffle the noise. “Papa! Make the noise go away --!” He saw his father laying on the floor in a pool of blood. He dodged past the police and Ellen to his father’s side. The paramedics stopped as the boy hugged up to his father’s body. “Papa!”
Ellen knelt beside the boy as he cried. She felt Daniel’s pulse shaking her head to the paramedics. “Wesley, he’s dead. There’s nothing that can bring him back now.”
“I want my Papa!”
K.C. nodded to the open door. “I’ll wait outside.”
A detective entered to look the scene over. He noticed Ellen comforting the boy beside the dead
victim and K.C. standing outside on the lawn.
He stopped K.C. seeing he was not one of the police. “Who are you?”
K.C. stood just outside the door. “K.C., Kevin Taylor, my partner in there is Ellen Pascal. We’re Pascal and Taylor Investigators.”
“Oh.” He drew out the ‘Oh’ as he looked at the licenses. “Yeah, you were tailing Chase from what I understand. You were at the station the other day asking about him.”
The detective stepped inside the house stopping as the paramedics lifted the body of Daniel onto the gurney. The police officer lifted the sheet from his face. “He was dead when he hit the floor.
K.C. stepped back in the house looking at the bodies again. “Our boss was hired by the wrong party.” K.C. shifted the weight on his feet not looking at the body inside the door or the boy, Ellen held comforting him.
The detective hooked a thumb toward the door. The paramedics rolled the first body out the door. “Family?”
Ellen held the crying boy in her arms. “If you’re wondering about family, I don’t know. That’s all the family we’re aware of. We’ll have to go through welfare to find any family.”
The detective handed the licenses back. “Wouldn’t doubt it. That’s one job I definitely wouldn’t have in this county.” Turning to one of the police officers he said, “Call back to the station and tell `em we need welfare over here as fast as possible. Got a problem.”
Late evening Ellen and K.C. stepped out of the Alamosa Welfare office with Wesley. The boy was still suffering from seeing his mother kill his father. K.C. and Ellen took responsibility for taking Wesley back to Colorado Springs to the El Paso County Welfare people to help find his family there.
K.C. looked over the welfare transfer paperwork from Alamosa County to El Paso. Ellen
ordered them their meals in the room to give Wesley the opportunity to cry out his fears and frustration.
“He’s still scared, K.C.”
K.C. laid the forms aside. “He’s scared. That was a bad scene the family wiped out like that. I hope the El Paso office can do something to find a living relative.”
Wesley lay on the bed in the fetal position crying and sniffling. “I want my Daddy.”
Ellen looked over at K.C. for help. “K.C. …”
K.C. sat up moving over beside Ellen. “Wesley, someday you’ll understand that your Mom, Dad and Aunt were killed. Miss Pascal and I tried to prevent it but were too late. The police wanted to prevent it from happening but were too late. The system will do its best to help you understand what happened today.”
Wesley looked from Ellen to K.C. then buried his face in the pillow sobbing until he fell asleep.
Late the following day K.C. and Ellen with Wesley sitting between them reported the incident to Mr. Hampton.
“You two have taken on quiet a responsibility taking care of Wesley there.”
“We know, sir,” said Ellen. “Welfare did an ex parta court order for us to take care of Wesley until a family member could be found to take care of him.”
Wesley was quiet during the brief meeting with Mr. Hampton. The boy sat with his eyes down cast fidgeting with his hands.
“There’s nothing for you right now the other investigators cannot handle. Take some time off and devote it to the boy. Technically you’ll still be on the Chase Matter.”
A week later, following two visits to a child phycologist there was another from the Welfare Department the lady sat in the living room of Ellen’s house. Wesley sat between Ellen and K.C. hugging up to Ellen.
“I must say this is a rather unique set up you two have here. However, we have been unable to locate any relatives from Wesley’s family. The Department has put Wesley in the foster care program.”
K.C. quickly spoke up. “That means he can be farmed out to any family within the county.”
K.C. and Ellen quickly exchanged looks of concern which the lady from the Welfare Department read like a book.
“Um, ma’am, let my college and I have a minute here.”
K.C. nodded his head toward the kitchen. Ellen read K.C.’s gesture. K.C. took the boy by the hand and went to the kitchen.
Setting the boy on the counter K.C. said, “Foster care I do not like. Wesley can go anyplace. And as much stress as he went through the last few days – uh, uh. I’d say he’s better off with us.”
Thinking about the situation Ellen looked Wesley in the eye. “Wesley, do you want to stay with K.C. and me? We’re not going to send you to some strange family like the Welfare Department will. This can be your home too.”
Wesley looked from one to the other. “I – I guess so, Miss Ellen.”
“You’re settled in here, Wesley. And you won’t have to compete with others.”
“What does that mean?” the boy asked.
K.C. said, “Other kids and no telling what the people are like. And if your family does not take you in within a year, Miss Ellen and I will apply to adopt you. You’ll stay here – and there are plenty of kids your age in the neighborhood.”
“What does that mean?”
Ellen jerked her head up. “Me a mother?”
“How about me a father?”
Ellen gave it a moment’s thought. “At least he’ll have a roof over his head and plenty to eat here – and love.”
“And a sense of security.”
They walked back out to the living room Wesley between them.
“We decided if you’re going to put Wesley in a foster home,” Ellen said, “We may not be married – yet.”
“Yet, is the threshold word here. We want a chance to either be foster parents – or adopt Wesley.”
The lady was surprised at the move. “You realize there will be a lengthy process here and months of uncertainty.”
“We realize that,” said Ellen. “And we – K.C. and I realize too our jobs as private investigators and bounty hunters is already a strike against us.”
“Yes.” The woman attempted to regain her composure. “Everyone in the county knows of your notoriety as – um, should I just say, PI’s. Well, I’ll have to look into this. Good day.”
Ellen sat heavily on a chair staring at the door as it clicked shut.
“Can’t win for loosing.”
“Yeah we can.” K.C. said touching Wesley’s shoulder. “We’ll give Wesley a home.”
The boy looked up at K.C. searching his face. “An – am I going to live here now, Mr. K.C.?”
“For now, Wesley. We’ll have to see.”
# # #
** Wolf Creek Pass – ten thousand plus feet highway winds over San Juan Mountains of Colorado, Montrose to Pagosa Springs on west side of mountain