Anna shrunk away, looking a little fearful. “What’s going to happen?”
Mason frowned at her. “I haven’t got time for talking, time’s pressing on. Let’s just say your boyfriend is part of my workforce. He’ll be joining you soon.” He looked down at Jake. He had clubbed him good and hard. Then stuck the Beretta barrel in the kid’s mouth. That was enough to make the girl tell him who they were and, best of all; they had the money stashed in their rooming house.
“Try and escape before I get back to tidy up, you’re never going to see your girlfriend again, you understand me, son?”
Jake groaned. He grunted a yes.
Mason turned to Anna. “Just so we understand each other. I’m not going to kill either of you unless you give me a reason to. I got bigger things planned.”
Mason repeated himself to let his words sink in. Keep them docile, thinking they’d get out alive. Well he would see, after Saturday’s game. “Now young lady, time’s moving on and I’m on a tight schedule.” He gripped her arm and propelled her towards the apartment door, “Get your pretty ass into gear, we’re out of here.”
Back at her rooming house, Mason opened the cart and inspected the contents. Beautiful one hundred dollar bills all nicely wrapped in their purple wrappers. A cool quarter of a million bucks to add to Sammy’s contribution, making a half million all told. Okay, he had fallen behind his schedule but now he had the kid with a ‘girlfriend incentive’ to help drain and fill the tanker. The tanker that would be arriving that evening. Friday the thirteenth. He chuckled to himself. Prelude to a more terrifying Saturday.
“Okay, wheel it out to the pick-up outside. Don’t want to get a ticket today,” he said, glancing around the room. Untidy, clothes spilled around. No discipline. He sighed. “First though, pack a change of clothes for you and your boyfriend; place we’re going isn’t the Hilton.” Keep up the illusion he’d set them free.
Anna complied without saying anything.
“Make it quick, I haven’t got all day,” he repeated, examining his watch. “Time’s moving on.”
From his blind, the bird watcher saw the pick-up move up the dirt road to the barn. Half an hour passed and then the pick-up came back out. Plenty of activity today, he thought. Anyway it was not his priority, although he recorded it in his notebook.
More pressing was a rare sighting of a Fork-tailed Flycatcher in the state locality according to Birdwatch news, and he was sure not going to leave his blind until it was ticked off his list. He had over two days worth of supplies and a portable pan. It would keep him going until Saturday night. Then he could take a break until dawn on Sunday. He settled back down again and continued to wait.
Before returning to Emmy’s apartment Mason cruised the streets downtown until he found what he was looking for. A ghetto drugstore to stock up on Rohypnol, which he explained he needed for a sleep disorder. Half grinning, like it was no way a sleep disorder.
“You know ‘Whiteys’ are illegal, cowboy?” said the half-breed behind the dusty counter. Sly grin revealing stained brown stumps, like he was on the take. “Street price is five bucks a shot.”
“Haven’t been able to get any sleep for a week,” Mason replied, reading the body language and pulling out his bankroll. “Look, here’s a couple hundred bucks. Twenty ‘Whiteys’ should tide me over.”
The half-breed eyed the money greedily, and a nicotine tainted claw snatched it from Mason’s hand. “You hold on there, cowboy.” He went out to the back. Mason heard him shouting at someone and, minutes later, he returned with a blister pack. He slid it across the counter. “Here’s the twenty. You go easy on this, cowboy,” he said, with a knowing look. “It’s pretty powerful stuff.” He gave Mason the eye. “Some use it for date-rape.”
“Well I don’t need it for that,” replied Mason sniggering and dusting off the pack. “I get mine free anytime I want.”
When he got back to Emmy’s apartment he gave Jake a dose and tidied up the living room while he waited for the drug to take effect. Then he escorted the drowsy kid back to the pick-up. Once Anna was drugged and both kids were comfortably trussed up in the barn, Mason drove the pick-up back out again, and stopped by the Fairview office.
The man shrugged. “Mister, most days you phone in to check, I tell you delivery is on schedule for this afternoon, somewhere around five. I got the tab here if you’d like to settle. That would doubly guarantee it even if I have to come out myself.”
Mason looked at the man and the tab. Didn’t want to push it. Hoping that the ‘motherfucker’ would come out himself. Scrawny neck with a protruding larynx. Easy kill. He pulled out a few hundred bucks, making sure the man could see the thick bankroll. “I appreciate it, just concerned about getting the corn crop in on time, that’s all.”
The man nodded, and pocketed the notes.
Mason cruised out of Fairview’s yard and detoured around until he came to a gas station that he hadn’t used before. Attached was a workshop and a salvage junkyard, and he could see plenty of spare fuel drums. He refuelled, and filled up several drums with gas and loaded them into the pick-up. That should do it, he thought. Together with what was already at the barn there was enough to cause substantial damage before they shut down the sprinklers. That’s if they could shut them down. With what he had planned, it wouldn’t be easy. He scouted around the junkyard and picked up a few car replacement parts and also a couple of sets of licence plates. Escape precautions, if it got too hot.
He stopped off en route for a T-bone steak with fries and the trimmings, and then washed up in the john. All he had to do was return to the barn, and sit and wait.