The bird watcher in the blind spotted the jogger. He was a patient person. Bird watchers have to be. Even the sound of the car horn had not disturbed his demeanor. He waited until the jogger had gone some ten minutes before emerging from his blind, binoculars in hand. Let’s see what juicy worms, he’s got up there at the barn, he said to himself. Up to no good, that’s for sure. He was careful, very careful to keep close to the tree line and high brush, in case there were others although he hadn’t seen anyone around. He followed the dirt road up to the barn keeping to one side where he was half hidden by overgrown bushes. He checked his watch, and reckoned half an hour tops to check it out before he went back to his blind. The jogger had closed the barn door, but it swung open easily enough, fresh oil on the latches, keeping it quiet.
It took him ten minutes to rummage around the barn. He wasn’t really searching for anything; just hoping to find out what the guy was doing up here. Plenty of fuel in drums and gas cans stacked in a row, a vehicle maintenance toolkit, and various spare parts were laid out neatly on a wooden bench. Nothing much else, hay bales scattered around, he wasn’t going to move them. He retraced his steps and went out and around to the back. There was the limo. He had heard it coming up the track a few minutes after the horn had stopped. Doors unlocked. Driver’s window open. That puzzled him. Why didn’t the guy take the limo; did it need maintenance, or was he some sort of fitness freak? He searched the limo and opened the trunk. Apart from the standard car jack and spare, nothing, no ID, all clean. He looked at his watch, disappointed. Time to get back. If he had a chance, he would take another look.
Coach Mason managed to hitch a lift from a friendly farmer into town. Jogging had strained his bad leg, causing him to limp a little. But he dismissed it; he had come through far worse. Actually he was pleased with his general fitness, he had kept pretty much in shape; he would be a match for anyone, even Sammy’s other ape if he came across him. Not that he planned to carry out a one man vendetta against the hoods, but if it came to it he was ready. No one was going to stop him.
Back at Emmy’s apartment, he cursed. The handcuffs he had purchased on the off-chance had been a waste of money. He had missed the ‘friend’. Someone had removed the cart, together with the paper. Removing the evidence of their involvement. Maybe vanishing with the quarter million. Tax free. The upside was it would be less likely that the friend would finger him. To do that would be to get involved with the cops. No, he reckoned, that would be crazy. That meant he would have time to track them down without looking over his shoulder all the time. That’s if the opportunity arose. He went in and had another look at Emmy. Still dead, as was Sammy. Shame, he wasn’t really into dead people. They didn’t light his fuse, never had. Maybe if he played around with Emmy she would be more fun, he thought. He went to retrieve the knife from Sammy’s hand, but stopped when a cell phone rang. He peered at the display. Number withheld. He pressed the talk button.