The little, beat up white and rust car sputtered before shutting off, and listed a bit toward the driver's side. What could be seen through the dirty windows was a bald-topped head and a big mustache on top of a round belly.
The county Sheriff officers had taken control of the situation at this time, so I observed through my anger. Thoughts of prison guard and juvenile detention center and extremely horrible living conditions kept swirling through my mind.
Now there was a sort of triangle of characters set up. Over to the left was Becky standing with the two officers, her arms crossed over her chest as she leaned against the porch, weight all on one foot with the other crossed over. Her body language said "smug," "cocky" and "no fear." Over to the right was the car with the father still sitting behind the wheel just looking.
When the father got out of the car, it was another visual shock. I got the impression the officers were expecting the same thing I was - a tall, monstrous man capable of producing monstrous Becky. He closed the car door and stood where he was. The top of his head was bald, shiny bald, and had brown hair from the bottom half down. Dark brown eyes, normal nose and a huge mustache that could easily be waxed and turned into a handlebar completed the face. He had no visible chin, it was hidden in the double chin that served as his short neck. He wore a leather jacket the same as Becky, only his was newer and you could still tell it was black. A brand new pair of blue jeans with the bottom of the legs rolled up into large cuffs was the first clue to the fact that this man wasn't much taller than me.
One of the officers called out, "Are you Mr.____? Is this your daughter?"
"Why yes, I am Mr. ____ _____, and that is my daughter, Becky. How may I help you gentlemen?" The voice was again another shock. It was silky, smooth, cadenced and articulated. It sounded to me like the voice of a bullshitter, a womanizer and a complete liar.
Becky's demeanor had changed. Now she stood straight up, hands clasped in front of her, her head hung down and she was frowning. A warning flag went off in my head. The change was too drastic, and there was fear there now. Someone as belligerent and cocky as she had been won't wilt like that without a good reason.
"Sir, your daughter tells us that you have several guns here. Is that true?"
"Yes sir, it is. I keep them locked in a camping trailer out back so that no one can get to them."
"We're here because it was reported that your daughter has been shooting rats."
"I don't know how that's possible, officer. The gun in the house is an antique with no ammunition. I don't believe it works. The other guns are locked up."
"Would you show us, sir?"
"The last time I showed the Sheriffs my guns, they confiscated them all. It's almost hunting season, and I will need them. Will you be taking them too?"
"I'm afraid we'll have to until this matter is cleared up. If everything goes well, you should have them back in a few days."
If time was creeping before, it now switched to fast forward. One of the officers walked Becky to his cruiser and put her in the back seat. The father started walking between the trailer and barn with the other officer following. Jane and I followed. It wasn't long before we were standing in a more open field with a tiny camping trailer all by itself.
"Well, there's how she got in. The window is broken out." The father opened the door and entered the trailer with the officer right behind. The second officer pulled in with another Sheriff car and popped the trunk of the car open.
It took both officers to haul out a huge anvil trunk to put it in the truck of the vehicle. Several other trips netted further shotguns and rifles and cases of ammunition. The back end of the car sunk lower and lower.
"My Colt .45 is missing. Where is my Colt? That's a great gun, and I can't find it. I bet Becky knows where it is." One of the officers went up to the other cruiser and brought Becky back along the same path we had taken.
"Becky, where's my Colt .45?" He had come down out of the trailer and stood in front of the girl, and the height difference was amazing. Becky towered over him by at least a foot.
She stepped into the trailer without using the two little steps, reaching in and up with her right hand. When she turned back around, she used the steps to come down and held the gun in front of her at shoulder height, looking very much like she was going to shoot.
In a flurry of motion, the father scooted around the side of the trailer. The two officers literally dove behind the cruiser loaded with all the guns. And Jane, well Jane grabbed both of my arms from behind and ducked behind me. Becky took two giant steps toward me with the gun still raised, meeting my eyes, pointing that gun square at my heart.
"Do you mean this gun? It was right where I put it." She stood there looking at me, into my eyes, with that gun pointed at my chest. Nothing moved.
The thoughts were flying through my head, back to fast forward: Man, that gun is huge! Those goddamn cops are fucking hiding! What good are they? Jane is hiding behind me and doesn't even realize that a bullet at this range would go through both of us, the stupid ass! And I was furious again.
"Becky, put the gun down before the idiot cops shoot you." I raised my hand up and pushed that gun down and away. I caught that smell again, that dark, dank stench.
"Oh!" That's all she said and her face was startled. Her father appeared and took the gun out of her hand, spun the cylinder and clicked the safety on. Becky met my eyes again, this time with curiosity. The two officers appeared, one to stand in front of Becky and the other to take the gun out of the father's hand. I had to shrug Jane's hands off my other arm.
Jane and I walked behind the officer and Becky back up to the road and our parked cars. I watched the officer put Becky in the back seat and then went up to him. I had to know what he planned to do with her. I was there for her, and I had to know that she'd be OK. He said he was taking her back to the station for questioning, and had no idea what would happen after that.
As soon as we got in the car, Jane was all excited and rattled on and on. I couldn't wait to get back to the office.
To be continued...