Rehab 101byGrey Eagle 286©
I looked for Terry out the small window of the huge C-141 Air Force aircraft as it taxied up to the crowd of people. I thought I saw her but I wasn't sure. After the plane stopped they wheeled those of us in wheelchairs down the rear ramp.
There was a little welcoming ceremony for us. We were their men from Miami-Dade County coming home wounded from the Gulf War.
I still didn't see Terry and was getting worried when I saw my brother Mike waving at me. He hurried over and said he had his van waiting. I said, "Hey, Bubba, I am glad to see you, where is my wife?"
He looked at the ground, "She is having a problem dealing with you being wounded and in a wheel chair."
"She didn't come?"
"No, she said she couldn't bear to see you this way."
"Shit, what am I supposed to do, I don't really like the idea myself, how do I change it?"
"I don't know what to tell you little brother, I don't have the answers."
I was getting a little steamed by now. "She doesn't seem to object to spending my money though. Shit, she keeps me flat broke. I think she is even behind on the house payment and the car payment. Hey! Don't pay any attention to me. I am glad to see you Bill, real glad, I guess it will be awhile before I can play ball on your team again."
"Aw! Chuck, what the fuck do the doctors say? Will you walk again?"
"Billy, they don't know. They have repaired everything they can. It is up to me to try to get in shape and learn how to walk again. They say about a third of the guys with the same injuries as I have recover completely, another third get so they get around with crutches, and the other third give up and don't live long. They didn't want me to leave. Can you take me home, if I still have one."
"Hell, yes, let me push you to the van."
"Let go, Billy, I will make it on my own. I will even get in the van myself if I have something to grab so I can haul my ass up. This chair folds up."
We were In the van headed home when Billy said, "Chuck, I gotta tell ya your wife changed since you went away. When you left she was a sorta plain, sweet child, eighteen years old. Now she is one of the hottest looking' babes you ever saw. You won't recognize her. She is in some sort of trouble. She is going with some really scary people from over on the Beach. They scare me anyhow. One big black guy told me if I bothered her he would break both my knees. He is like her keeper, bodyguard or something. I don't even try to talk to her anymore. Don't look for her to be home."
I knew something was wrong with Terry, but this was not what I had envisioned. She had almost stopped writing. Her letters didn't say anything anymore.
I looked at my brother, "Billy, I have friends too. I have guys from the Corps who are pretty bad. And as a last resort, remember what Pop always told us. 'If things ever get really, really bad, and you need help call on the Orange Springs Murphys.' I guess they are distant cousins or something. I will try and find out what is going on first."
"Yeah, Chuck, I remember Pop sayin' something like that but I never put much stock in it. He was real proud of being a Murphy from that Orange Springs place. I have never heard about them anywhere else though. Wouldn't even know where to start trying to find them."
My house looked the same, no one was there. The grass needed cutting. I had to show Billy I could get up the steps in the chair. He said he and my sister would be back in an hour or two. He left and I wheeled myself to each room. The place was empty. I mean empty. It felt empty, like there had never been life there.
I stood and walked to the back door and looked out the window. I watched for a minute. Then I saw him. It was a Cuban or Hispanic guy watching the house. I probably wouldn't have seen him if he hadn't been smoking. I moved away from the window and went to the front of the house. IT hurt like hell when I walked. But I was getting better. I kept back from the windows and searched the area across the street. There was a guy in a car about four houses down, just sitting there. People don't sit in cars very long in Miami. Not unless you have to, then you can't stand it too long. I got back in the chair. Rolled over to the desk and looked for my old telescope, it was brass and had Col. Sean P. Murphy engraved on the side. I went back and looked at the guy in the car. Hispanic too. He was talking on a cell phone. As I watched him a movement out front caught my eye. A long black limo pulled up in front. The driver and a huge black guy got out. The black guy looked at the house for a few seconds and nodded to the driver. The driver opened the rear door and a pair off long legs came out followed by a beautiful woman wearing high heels and a little mini dress. She was gorgeous,. It was Terry. My heart stopped. Damn I would know her anywhere. I stayed where I was.
I heard the front door open and heard the heels click on the terrazzo floor. She stopped in the living room door and stared at me. She dropped her purse and ran to me. She stopped and looked behind her. No one was there. She was crying and put her hands on my face and kissed me softly. God it was sweet. I felt her tears on my face. I tried to pull her close but she pulled back. She put her face in her hands and wept. She was saying my name over and over.
I said, "Terry, are you ever coming home?"
She sobbed and raised her head, "I can't now, maybe never. Find someone else. Get papers ready, I will sign them."
I I looked at her. I whispered, "Just nod. Do you still love me?" Her head bobbed up and down. She whispered , "Yes. I do."
"Well if that is what you want, I'll look in to it." I held up my fingers crossed. She nodded and looked around the room. Then she put her finger to her lips. I knew then what I had suspected, the place was bugged.
She looked at her watch, she said, "I really have to go now. I'll be in touch."
"Fine. Come by if you can. If you can't, call." She turned and walked toward the door as she went out she dropped something on the floor. I watched as they got in the Limo and left. I rolled over and picked up a small piece of folded paper. I unfolded it and read.
I don't want you to try and
find me. These are bad people, they will kill
my Mom and Dad if I leave. They will kill you
and your brothers and their families too. Don't
try to contact me. They have people everywhere.
Forgive me. I loved you with all my heart.
I paced up and down the room, it hurt but I had to get used to the pain. I tried to think, I needed help. I pulled my bag over and found my address book. I found the name I wanted. I dialed the number. There was a lot of clicking and static on the line. Probably bugged. The party answered.
"Hey!, P.D. is that you old hoss? This is Chuck Murphy. How are you?"
"Couldn't be better. Where are you?"
"In Miami, West Kendall."
"How are your legs? Are they getting better?"
"No, I still can't walk, still in the wheel chair. Do you still live out this way?"
"Out that way?"
"Yeah! Out this way."
"I still have a place out there with Rick Martin."
"That's what I meant. Think I need to get away from here for a bit. Can you help me?"
"You know I will, buddy. Tomorrow morning OK. I have someone I want you to meet."
"That would be great."
"Give me the address and I'll pick you up at nine, that OK."
"Perfect. I would love to see Rick too." I told him the address.
The next morning at nine I sat on the side walk with a small bag in my lap. A SUV pulled up and P.D. Good jumped out of the drivers seat He took my bag and put it in the truck. I wheeled to the door and pulled myself in the back seat. P.D. put the chair in the back and jumped back in to drive. There was a very, very pretty girl in the front seat. He introduced her as his girlfriend Amy. I reached forward and shook her hand. As we passed the same car across the street I saw a black guy now in it. I said, "P.D.. Watch and see if that blue Ford follows us."
"Yep, he is turning around. Want me to loose him?"
"Not yet. Are we going out to the camp?"
"Yeah! Rick and his new wife are staying out there for a while. He will meet us in the air boat at the ramp by the Miccosukee Indian Village on the Trail."
"Great, it would be nice if you could loose him before we got there but it really don't matter, He won't follow us in the airboat I don't think. I don't want them to know we know we are being followed."
"Man, what kind of trouble are you in? I picked up on what you were doing last night. I hope I didn't screw up."
"Hey, you were great. I'll tell all of you what is going on when we get to the camp."
P.D. was very good, he got our follower caught in a red light and went on through. Then he pulled into a gas station and filled up. The follower found us but was going the wrong way when we pulled out. We were on the Tamiami Trail before he caught up to us again.
"I just thought of something." Said P.D., He picked up his cell phone. He handed it to Amy. "Dial 911 and tell them a black man in a blue 2000 Ford is following you and has tried to rape you before. Tell them the Ford has a small dent on the left front fender from when he tried to run you off the road. Better wait just a bit until we are a little closer to the Indian Reservation. Tommy Osceola will nail his ass in a heart beat."
I sat back and grinned.
"Ok, sweetie, put some fear and emotion in your voice."
Amy dialed and asked for help she was really good, she would have fooled me. We could see the blue Ford trying to close the distance. The Indian Reservation Police car was on him like a hawk on a mouse. He was going to be busy for a while. It wasn't far to the Airboat ramp. P.D. didn't have much of a place to hid the SUV but it was in with a bunch of other trucks and campers. It might not be seen. The boat was waiting for us. We loaded our stuff board and P.D. jumped up on the seat beside Rick. He told him to go back to the east paralleling the Trail. We saw the flashing blue light and the police car behind the blue Ford. We saw the black guy standing behind his car in handcuffs while the officer was on his phone. P.D. grinned and gave me a thumbs up. Rick gunned the motor and we were on our way.
When we got to the camp Rick hugged me and introduced his beautiful wife Keiko. She was Japanese. Tiny and perfectly gorgeous. I got a better look at Amy, she was a real heartbreaker too. We went in and got settled in. Keiko and Rick were on their Honeymoon. Lucky guy. I sat them all down and told them my story. P.D. and Rick were furious. Rick said, "That can't be happening, Not in this day and age." P.D. said, "Hey that is slavery, they are probably drug dealers, they can do pretty much what they want, they have so much money no body can fight them. We can't help unless we know more, who they are, where they live, how they operate. Who can we trust. Who might sell us out, who has the guts and the ability to help."
"Wait," said Amy, you said something about the Orange Springs Murphys, I heard my Dad talk about some relatives of his who are Murphys but he said Elkton Murphys."
"Where the hell is Elkton?"
"Wait, we have an Atlas of Florida over here. Let me look. Here it is Page 68, B1. Yes, here just south east of ST. Augustine, hey here is Orange Springs over on the next page. They are only about twenty miles apart. They may be all related. God knows there are enough Murphys around, they must breed like rabbits." Rick ducked the pillow I threw at him.
"I may need every one of them to get my wife back."
"Shit, I just remembered, Elkton was ringing a bell in my head, my great, great umpteen times grand dad was a Murphy from Elkton, his son, I think it was, that lived in Orange springs. Yeah, that is it. Gramps was a hero in the old Seminole Wars, the Mexican War and the Civil War. He was a Marine General. Hell of a fighter." said Rick.
P.D. said, "Holy Shit, I flew with a guy in the Corps named Murphy. He lives up near Ocala now. He told me the same story about HIS great umpteen times grand dad, had to be the same guy. He is one tough son of a bitch. We need to call him. He might be able to tell us who to call."
"Sounds good to me. You want to call him?"
"Here this old bag cell phone works clear as a bell out here."
"I haven't seen one of those in years."
"This is a five watt phone, the new tiny ones are one tenth of a watt. This one will really reach out and touch someone."
Rick went out to the boat and came back with a small bag. He took a book out. He thumbed through it. "Here it is. 'Sean Patrick Murphy.'."
I yelled, "What, I have an old, old telescope my grand daddy gave me. It has Sean P. Murphy engraved on the side. He told me it had been handed down for generation after generation. Has to be he same guy."
Rick dialed the number. It apparently rang several times before it was answered. "Major Sean Murphy , Please. Yes I'll hold, Tell him 'Checkerboards for ever'."
"Hey! Sean, how are they hanging? Yeah, how did you know it was me? Same to you asshole. I have a Marine here you might want to talk to. Fresh out of Bethesda Rehab, name of Murphy." He looked at me. "Sure is. He has a serious problem. Life threatening. Can you talk. Well, we are sitting in a cabin in the middle of the everglades. This boy's daddy told him one time that if he was in real deep do-do to call on the Murphys from Orange Springs. I have heard his story, he needs serious help. Preferably not on a phone. Can you take a day or two. Bring your wife, fantastic fishing here. What, yeah, bring them along, maybe a big help. Sure, write this down Do you know Route 27, comes south from Haynes City way? Right that's the one. Follow it south until you hit the entrance to Alligator Alley, I-75, Route 84. Yeah, it's all three. Come west for twenty seven and one quarter miles then you will see a large canal. Go over the canal and turn left. It will be a good dirt road, go five miles and you will see an airboat waiting on the right side of the road. There is a parking area there. When will you be there. You know me pretty well. I'll be waiting at ten tomorrow morning. Right, Buddy, Damned right, Semper Fi."
Rick looked at me. "He will be here in the morning, no bull shit to that guy. He is bringing his wife and their best friends, they are both Detective Sergeants in the sheriff's office up there. They should be able to give us good advice."
I teared up a little and hobbled to the door and looked out. Damn, I sure felt a little better. I didn't know I had so many friends.
We waited in the morning for Rick to bring back the new members of the Murphy club. When they got there we all sat down and I told them all my sad story . He four new guys were all livid with anger. Molly, Sean's wife was really upset, She ran over and hugged me. She said, "I was raped too! We will set her free some how, I promise, We won't rest until she is back in your arms."
Mike and Shirley Johnson, both ex-Marines wanted names.
"We need names, then we will have to ease our way in. We have a lot of friends but not many will take a chance unless we can show we are good."
"Most cops hate these people., but there are a lot of rotten cops too. We have to go slow. Chuck you have to get us names and most important, the name of someone we might turn who might give us good information in exchange for leniency."
Mike said, "I think we need to bring the feds in on this. It won't be easy. There are a bunch of sour apples in that barrel too. Maybe the military would be best. The Druggies don't have very many of them in the bag. They are transferred too often. They spend a year recruiting a guy then a six months later and he is in Alaska, What good does that do them."
"Just you tell me what to do, I just can't wait. Can we listen to them like they do us. I just want to find out what they are like."
" Good idea, any body know who knows who they are and when they move and can be turned."
"We need intelligence. Where can we get it?"
I looked at them, "My wife. If we could get her away from them and at the same time hide her family and my brothers and their families we might get what we need."
"That would work, It would take coordination and money.
Do we have any resources?" said Mike.
Sean said, "Hell yes we do. Bout all we need. There is a fund called Murphy Money. Last I heard there was millions in it just for things like this. For the Murphy Clan in trouble. I know who to talk to. Let's work it this way. We need get Chuck back home so he can contact his wife. We need a plan so they will want to get her in contact with him. We need to leak something they will hear so they.. .. Hell I don't know what we can use, anybody know anything we can do?"
I thought out loud, "What about they guy that followed us. Maybe the Indian Police found out something."
"Hey! Good thinking." said Mike. "Let me call them and see what they know, do you have a phone book for the area?"
Rick said, "Here is a list of numbers for the Indian Reservation, Yeah! I think this is what we need, right here. Reservation Police Non-emergency number."
Mike took the slip and dialed the number.
"Good Morning, May I speak to the officer in charge there this morning. This is Detective Sergeant Johnson, Marion County Sheriff's Department. You are, Great, Nice to talk to you Chief Osceola. Listen we have had a complaint filed with us by a young lady who was assaulted in Dade County and fled under pursuit by the perp. She said she alerted your Department and saw him pulled over by one of your cars. First, we want to congratulate your guys on their prompt action we feel saved one of our citizens from rape or worse. Second we would like to have any information you might have on the perp. This is a little sticky because the initial assault was in Dade. Then you grabbed him and you are still in Dade right? Then she reported it to us. You have him in custody? And two of his friends? How long can you hold them? I see, you operate independent of Dade. Right. Listen we are on our way and will be there in an hour or two. We would like to question them if we could, we are trying to find out if this did not really originate in Marion County where the girl lives. Right. Chief, it has been a pleasure talking to you. I am looking forward to meeting you. Good bye."
"How about that for a break. They arrested the guy who was following you. He was carrying a concealed weapon without a permit. The car was full of surveillance equipment and communications gear. He doesn't have a license as a P.I. So the Indian's are holding him. He made his call and two thugs showed up in a limo to bail him out. The idiots walked into the Police office 'carrying'. They were busted and didn't have licenses to carry either. So they are being held too. A lawyer is supposed to be on his way. The chief assured me he could hold them as long as they want. He said he could put the attorney off until at least tomorrow, he doesn't like people playing games in his district."
Rick looked at Mike, I'll run you in to the ramp in the air boat while you take my vehicle and go visit the chief, he is a nice guy, you will like him. He let's you think he is a country hick, but he is sharp, has a masters in criminology. He's been to the best schools in the country."
"Sounds like my kinda guy, Oh! Shirl, he said all three are Cubans. Shirley was born and raised on the edge of little Havana, she speaks the language and knows the area."
This was letting me breath a little easier. I walked for about an hour on the treadmill Rick and his cute wife had brought because they had spent about a month here before, and their legs suffered because there is just no place to walk at this camp over the water. I am used to treadmills, they help me a lot. The pain seems to get less and less, I don't know if I am getting better or if I am getting used to it.