The Legacy Ch. 04bykingkey©
I marched the three men into the station.
The fat desk sergeant looked up and yelled, "Wait a minute! Just what the hell is going on here! Carl, are you okay?"
Before Carl could answer I said, "Sergeant, I want this man arrested for attempted murder. Also, he's to be charged with conspiracy to commit murder since he was trying to convince his friends here to help him ambush and kill me, all because of that little fiasco at the bar last night."
"Wait a minute! You can't go around arresting people! Carl's family have always been outstanding leaders in this community!"
Before I could reply Carl Senior entered the station and said, "Sergeant! You will do as this man says! If you had done your job last night, instead of just turning Junior loose, all this would not be necessary! Carl and his friends have been running roughshod over this county for too long! This has got to stop! Lock them up!" Then turning to me he said, "Jake, can I have a few words with you in private? There's a couple of empty offices, over there."
I followed him to one of the empty offices, where he said, "Jake, I know you are plenty mad, and have a right to be. However, I'm not sure sending Carl to prison is the best thing. You have the final say, though. If you insist, I will have them prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law; but I have a better idea, if you're willing to listen."
I could see how the thought of possibly having to send his own son to prison was hurting him, so I said, "I'm not sure about prison, either. Most people seem to come out worse than before they went in. If you have an idea that might make him a better person, I'm all for it."
He started to explain, "After you left I realized I didn't know you from Adam. So I made some calls to some old friends who aren't afraid of me, a couple who used to be on the police forceand they all admitted that everything you said is true. Carl has been getting worse since his mother died. I blame myself, for not being there for him. Then, because of my position, he and his friends think if they can get away with anything. But that stops! Now! So, here's my plan, if it's okay with you. First I'm going to put Carl on trial in front of a judge, who will see that he is sentenced to five years. Then we have that deferred to probation, provided he serves two years of community service. During this community service, he has to make amends to the citizens of this county for all the harm he has done. If he does not do this, I will make sure he goes to prison, and serves his full sentence. However, all this is up to you. I just think it will be a lot better than having him rot in prison."
"Sir, I think that is a great idea. When I got to the Jenkins' house, I found Carl arguing with the Jenkins brothers. They were saying that they were not going to help him kill anybody. I think they may have been up for roughing me up, but I don't think they should be charged on the conspiracy to commit murder charge."
"You're right, of course, but I'm going to talk with the County Sheriff. If any of the boys in Carl's crowd so much as spit on the sidewalk I'm going to see that they pull some community service. This should teach them the lessons that the people of this county are not going to put up with their shit any longer."
With this I shook his hand and said, "That sounds like a good plan, I wish you luck."
He then said, "Well, Jake, it's been good to meet you. What are your plans now? If you're looking for work, I'm sure I can get you a job with the Sheriff's Department. As you can see, they need a lot of changes."
"I'm not sure if I would be more of a disturbance to them than a help. My dad left me a small hobby farm in Wheeling. It's been vacant for over twenty years, so it probably needs a lot of work. I'm going to head over there, tomorrow. I'll figure out whether to stay there and keep it, or fix it up and sell it before I move on. In the meantime; that girl, Laurie, has been a big help to me. I thought I would take her out to dinner, to show my appreciation."
"Laurie's a really nice girl. I've known her since she was a small child. I am surprised that she put up with Carl's shit for so long." He thought for a minute then continued, "There's a nice restaurant just east of town called: 'The Rendezvous'. It's a little fancy, but it's a great place to impress a date. It being the weekend they may be busy but I'm sure I can get you a table. Say about eight?"
"I appreciate it, but you don't need to go through all that trouble. Laurie seems like a great girl, but this is just to show her how grateful I am for her help. It's not really a date."
"Nonsense, it's really no trouble at all and I'd like to do it. Besides, it would be something I can do for Laurie, to help let her know that I have no hard feelings about what happened between her and Carl."
Seeing his point of view, I thanked him. After shaking his hand, I left. I headed back to the motel to finish my packing, so I could leave first thing in the morning. Arriving, I noticed a strange car parked in front of my room. Cautiously, I got out of my pickup. I readied myself in case of more trouble, until I saw that it was Laurie sitting in the car. Coming up to the window I said, "Laurie I was gonna call you what are you doing here?"
"I heard you brought Carl and the Jenkins brothers to the Sheriff's station. And was wondering what happened and worried that you were hurt so I came here to check for myself."
"Nah, everything went pretty smoothly so no one got hurt. The Sergeant got real surly until Carl's dad got there, and put him in his place. I don't think anyone is going to have any more trouble with Carl or his friends any longer."
"Why, are they going to prison? Won't Carl's dad get him released?"
"No, Carl Senior is pretty fed up about the way they been running roughshod over this county. Instead of prison, he's going to make sure that they have to work for the county; to make right, all of the wrongs they have done."
"How can they make sure that they will work and not cause more trouble?"
"Oh, they will work all right, when they know the alternative is five years in prison!"
"So what are your plans now?"
"I still need to go to Wheeling West Virginia. I need to look at the farm my father left me. I'm not sure what I'm going to do after that. First, though, I'd like to take you to dinner tonight."
"Oh, you don't have to do that. You've done so much for me already."
"Are you kidding? Taking out a beautiful young lady like you will be a pleasure! How about if I pick you up around 7:30, since we have reservations for 8:00 at The Rendezvous! "
"The Rendezvous is supposed to be a really nice restaurant, although I've never been there before."
After exchanging addresses, Laurie headed for home... or wherever beautiful women went, to get ready for a date. In I entered my motel room thinking if The Rendezvous was so fancy, did I have anything to wear? For the last twenty-three years I'd always worn uniforms, or blue jeans and a nice shirt when I was going out. I thought of going downtown and buying a suit, then thought when the hell would I ever wear it? I was never much for dressing fancy. Finally, I decided: what the hell. One last time I dug through my bags, and got out my dress blues. I remembered seeing a 'One-Hour Dry Cleaners' just down the street. I thought it would make a good impression. I'd walk into the restaurant, wearing my dress blues, with a beautiful woman like Laurie on my arm. It would probably be the last time I ever wore a Marine uniform.
Promptly at 7:30, I knocked on the apartment door at the address Laurie a given me. It was opened by a beautiful slightly older version of Laurie.
She said, "Hi, I'm Jane. Laurie's not quite ready. She's been rushing around like a chicken with its head cut off, all afternoon. Now I can see why. She didn't tell me you were a Marine!"
"Hi, Jane. I'm Jake. I can see where Laurie gets her looks from. It must run in the family. You're both beautiful women."
About this time Laurie came wandering in wearing a 'little black dress' and four inch high heels. Just looking at her took my breath away.
She said, "Oh, I didn't expect you to be in uniform."
"Well, you said The Rendezvous was a fancy place, and I didn't think they would let me in, in my blue jeans. So, instead of going out and buying dress clothes; I thought I would wear this, one last time."
"Well, you sure look a lot nicer than if you were just wearing a suit."
As we walked into the restaurant everyone stopped, turned, and looked at us.
Laurie took my arm and said, "This reminds me of going to the senior prom."
I laughed and said, "I wouldn't know, I ended up going into the Marines before my senior prom."
"That's terrible! You didn't graduate?"
"Oh, it wasn't so bad! You see, in high school, I was one of the bad boys... kind of like Carl's friends. I was always getting into fights. Finally, just before graduation, I got into a fight where I hurt my opponent real bad. The judge found out about the extensive training I'd had in fighting, given to me by my dad and uncle. Even though the other guy had started the fight, I was sentenced to either spending four years in prison, or joining the military! Since both my dad and uncle were Marines... and we have a long family history of joining the Marines... that's what I did."
"That's just awful! They actually made you go into the service before you could graduate?"
"Oh, it wasn't so bad! I already had enough credits to graduate, so I did get my diploma. I just didn't get it to go to prom, or attend the graduation ceremonies, because I was already in boot camp."
"I still think it was unfair! Him punishing you like that, when the other guy started the fight. Even if you did have special training, he should've looked at it as self-defense."
"I kind of think the Judge really did me a favor. If I stayed the way I was going, I would've been no better than Carl, and might've ended up killing someone. The Marines really straightened my life out. They made me a man, instead of just another hoodlum. The Judge only said I had to serve four years. I ended up staying in for twenty-three. I would still be in, if I hadn't been injured."
"So, now that you're out, what are you going to do?"
"I'm not sure yet. I'm leaving tomorrow to check out the farm I inherited in Wheeling, West Virginia. I'm not sure if I'm going to keep it, or fix it up and sell it. Other than that, I have no real plans yet."
"So you might become a farmer? You don't seem like a farmer type!"
I laughed and said, "No, I'm not a farmer type, besides its only twenty-five acres. A farmer would starve to death, trying to farm that small of a piece of land. It's what they call a 'hobby farm'. It's mostly orchard, with a small cleared patch to grow a large garden. It's still got the barn and outbuildings, along with the house, from when it was a real farm. I'm afraid it's going to take a lot of work, though; because it's been sitting for twenty-three years, ever since my father died. I didn't even know I owned it, until last week."
She looked at me kind of shyly and said, "Would you ever consider living here?"
"Carl senior did say he could probably get me on with the Sheriff's Department, but I don't think it would be a good idea. After the situation we've had here, I'm not sure I can work with them. I would be an outsider, coming in. I would like to see you, though. Wheeling is not that far from here, so I can always come up for a visit... or you could come down. We could always call each other."
As we exchanged numbers, I heard some music starting up in the other room. When the waiter came to ask for dessert orders, I asked about the music.
"On weekends, in the lounge, we have a band for dancing," he said.
I looked at Laurie. She smiled and nodded her head, indicating that she would like to dance. After paying the check, we moved to the lounge. The band was pretty good, but it seemed as though very few couples were dancing. I didn't have much experience in dancing, but after leading Laurie to the dance floor, she molded herself to me. We seemed to just float across the dance floor. After seeing the surprised look on my face she said, "Mama made Jane and me take dancing lessons for five years, as we were growing up. I just love to dance."
I told her, "I'm not much of a dancer, but if you want to risk your toes being stepped on, I'm game."
I was really enjoying myself and Laurie was fantastic company. Before I knew it, it was last call. The time had just flown by.
As we were heading out to my truck I told Laurie, "I've had a great time and wish it could last longer, but it is getting late. I should be getting you home."
Laurie looked at me shyly, "I'm not ready for the night to be over yet, either. I know you're leaving in the morning, but let's go back to your room."
After we returned to my room Laurie went into the bathroom to freshen up. I was a little nervous. I really didn't have that much experience with women, and that was mostly with bar girls. I had never really been in a relationship. While I was contemplating this, the bathroom door opened.
There stood Laurie, wearing nothing but her panties, framed by the glow of the bathroom light. She looked like an angel straight from heaven. I just stood there, speechless. She walked toward me, and I took her into my arms. I softly kissed her and lowered her to the bed.
Without saying a word we came together just stroking and holding each other. Somehow she worked me out of my clothes, and lost her panties. Finally, she reached down and inserted me into her warmth. This was beyond anything I had ever experienced. I was far from being a virgin. I had slept with women all over the world, but never had I experienced anything like this. We just seemed to fit together naturally, to flow together, reading each other's desires without having to say a word. We ended up making love twice, before falling asleep. We just snuggled in each other's arms, and cuddled between the sheets; still without speaking, before finally falling asleep.
I woke with her staring into my eyes. Upon seeing that I was awake, she launched herself at me, kissing me without any regard for my morning breath. We made love once more, as we both knew that we would have to part in just a couple of hours.
We cleaned up, and as I was taking her home I said, "Laurie, you are totally amazing. I know we don't really know each other well, having just met; but for some reason, it seems as if we fit well together. I'd love to see more of you; however, right now, I'm basically an out of work ex-Marine. I don't even have a place to live, yet. If you'd like, I can come up and see you every now and then, or you could come visit me once I get a place to stay."
"I'd like that. It seems as if we are meant to be together. I'd really like to see more of you."
She was crying as I dropped her off. Her sister just glared daggers at me, as she was not sure what was going on. I turned and left.
I hit Interstate 70, westbound, and headed toward a home I hadn't seen in twenty-three years. I was thinking about Laurie the whole time, and wondering if there was any possibility of a future between us. Before I knew it, three hours went by, and I was pulling onto the dirt road that led to the house my father and I had shared since my mother died.
After passing the Wilsons', I soon came into view of the house where I had grown up. It looked to be in better shape than I had anticipated. A tree branch had broken the window in the front room, and had let in the elements. A lot of the shingles must have been missing, because someone had nailed a tarp over the corner of the lower roof of the living room. The upper roof that covered the bedrooms looked to be in good shape, as if it had been replaced in the last few years. I know the lawyer told me that there was a budget for repairs to the house, I just didn't know that any repairs and been made. All in all it looked to be a reasonable shape, from the outside. The lawyer's letter told me that my neighbors, the Wilsons, had been looking after the place for the family, but I never expected this. I'd thought that more than likely they would've just called the police if something had happened, or if somebody was squatting on the place.
Getting closer I saw the barn was missing a few sheets of metal from the roof, and a few of the boards off of one side. The main door looked like it needed one of the hinges repaired but in all it wasn't bad. Of the other buildings, I noticed that one small shed had collapsed, and some of the boards from the fencing were missing. From the outside the place didn't look like it was going to be as much work as I had feared. I would have to do something nice for the Wilsons, for taking such good care of the place. After parking my truck I searched in my AWOL bag, finding the keys that the lawyer who given me.
(An 'AWOL bag', is a Marine term for a small carry-on type bag, similar to what a lot of people use as a gym bag)
I unlocked the front door to see how bad it was, inside. The first thing I noticed was that all the furniture was missing from the living room. I could see where the roof had leaked, and where the broken window had let the carpet get soaked and was now mildewed. I'd have to replace it, and hope that the floors were not all rotted, underneath. It looked like I would have to replace the sheet rock on at least two of the walls of the living room, depending on the condition of the floors. Moving to the kitchen, I saw that everything looked in good repair. I did notice that the appliances were so old that they were still avocado green in color. I didn't think they'd made that color in twenty years. I wasn't even sure they would still work. They went on, making my list of things to replace. I could already tell this was gonna take a huge chunk of my savings, but what the hell? If I decided to live here I would need them, and if I decided to sell the place, it would be worth more with new appliances.
I noticed the kitchen and dining room still had furniture in them, including my mother's china cabinet. Next, I decided to check the family room. Opening the door, I discovered everything was actually quite neat, although it all could use a good cleaning. There was even an old TV in the room.
Suddenly, I was surprised when I heard the furnace kick on. What the hell? I never expected there still to be power turned on, here. Then I got to thinking. The lawyer knew when I would be released from the service, and when I would be coming here. He must've made arrangements to have everything turned on, before I got here. I'd have to check with the Wilsons.
The only other rooms on this floor were the bathroom, and my dad's den; which, for some reason, I couldn't make myself open yet. When I was a kid, it had always been my dad's sanctuary, and no one was allowed inside. I knew this was kind of an unreasonable feeling, since my dad had passed away so long ago. It was just that for some reason, it didn't seem right. I knew, eventually, I'd have to go in there; but I decided to save it for later.
Moving to the back of the house, I went through the mud room to the back porch. Everything looked okay, except it looked like the orchard hadn't been pruned in many years. A couple of the boards on the back porch were very soft. They would have to be replaced.
After going back inside, I climbed the back stairs to where the bedrooms had been added, to make the upper story. The house had originally been a one-story rambler, but the previous owner had built bedrooms over the back half of the house, making it like a split level.