This morning is quiet. No police outside, nothing to break the stillness of the early morning. Okay, so it's not that early, but it's not really light out. This week I was having a terrible time trying to figure out what I was going to post this morning. My thoughts went something like this:
"I could just pull an old story, but if I did that, I'd break my record of having something 'new' every Friday. Hmm, I could do a 'Graham Quartet' except that I can't remember which one I posted last and I don't have time to go find out. Well, if I can write about last Friday and make it into a story I could post that. Problem is, I don't have time to make it a story. Oh, I do have one story that I haven't posted, except that I still have to correct it. Hmmm."
After much thought I decided I'd give you what happened last Friday as I wrote it to a friend, and a story I started a few years ago and never finished. If you come up with any great ideas for it, let me know! Or perhaps you would like to finish the story. If so, go right ahead and let me know when I can read it. :)
I was hoping to give you a good report on the progress of the new Graham Quartet. But unfortunately, I can't. The Graham Quartet are taking their own time about getting this story finished. However, I have decided that on the days that it won't write, I'll work on other short stories for the blog as I'm almost completely out!
But, without any further interruptions, here is the story of last Friday.
Friday morning started out normal, but that was about the last of "normal" we had. It was about 7:10 when I heard someone outside say, "Is that the guy you're looking for?" I looked out the window and saw two police officers in the street talking to someone in a truck. He was pointing to a figure in black with a black hood who was across the street in a neighbor's yard. The officers starting running towards him and one shouted, "Stop! Joplin Police!" The figure stopped, turned and started walking towards them. It turned out to be a neighbor boy on his way to the bus stop. Well, the police didn't leave after that. Three cars blocked the street and they all sat and talked. Then two of them went off leaving the 3rd before our house.
He was still there after breakfast and that's when we noticed police everywhere! If you didn't know to look for the unmarked vehicles, you probably wouldn't have noticed how many there were. One car would pull up next to the one in front of our house and they would talk, then the parked car would leave and the new vehicle would stop beside the house. This went on for some time and we were not getting any cleaning done.
Then we saw police vehicles up the street. (Getting more interesting now.) Dad had taken milk jars to C's and had asked the officer in front of our house if something was going on. He was not very communicative. By the time Dad got home, we were seeing police offers carrying their big guns around and standing beside their cars.
Then we saw the SWAT guys come in the neighborhood.
|Our view out our upstairs window. (C's house top left mostly out of the picture.)|
We couldn't see where all the action was going to take place because of the brick church across the alley. A sniper (A person who has is a very good shot who is situated farther back from the action who is skilled to shoot anyone at a moments notice.) came down the alley and positioned himself prone on a cement slab at our end of the parking lot. By now all thoughts of cleaning house had been forgotten. Dad, Sis and I were all glued to windows. More SWAT guys came. The police cleared the houses up the street. We watched them escort a lady with a baby in a car seat to a truck and another couple from their house with their little dogs. At this point we were a rather glad for the brick walls of the church.
When the BIG BLACK SWAT truck (that looks more like a tank than a truck) drove up our street and disappeared on the other side of the church, we knew something Big was going on because this sort of thing never happens in our neighborhood! Another sniper joined the first one.
|Here you can see the second sniper and the gun of the first.|
One man did come out and give himself up. We saw them escorting him in handcuffs to some waiting officers. And the time ticked by. All we could see were the snipers, police on the side, and hear shots, and the commanding voice. At one time a news reporter started to set up his camera up near the scene. A police officer jumps from his car, and frantically waves the reporter off. The reporter starts moving away and we couldn't see him, But then the officer started running towards him. I'm not sure what he told him, but later I saw a guy with a camera set up near the C's. Perhaps it was the same one.
All this continued hour after hour. Finally, around noon, it looked like the house was going to be raided and Dad asked the officer if he could leave. He moved his car so Dad could get out of the alley and then put it right back where it was. (He had to block the alley because some people decided that it was okay to drive through the alley even though the police car was right there.) The officer had told Dad that they were searching the house and it would probably be another 30 minutes before it was all over. The snipers packed up and then waited around chatting. One sniper, the younger one, was showing all kinds of gadgets to the other.
It turns out that the police had been told by two different sources that a man they really wanted was in that house. He has a history of eluding them, and he did it again because he was not in the house. I'm not sure what the guy is wanted for, but he's wanted in 4 states.
And now an unfinished, unnamed story.
The shadows cast by the morning sun were long. The air was dry and still. A pale blue sky was in the west and the still waters of the Rio Grande reflected the deeper blue sky above. Joe Sedlock stirred from his cramped position behind a clump of cactus bushes and shrubs but kept his eyes scanning the opposite side of the canyon. All those shadows would make it easy for an Indian or several Indians to move without much fear of being seen.
“They could be down there now or they could be miles away,” young Sedlock thought to himself. “That’s the trouble with these redskins; never where you think they should be.”
For another hour Sedlock continued his vigil until the sun was well up and the shadows in the river valley below were shortened. Then, inching his way slowly from his hiding place, he glanced carefully around before mounting his horse which had been tethered nearby in the shelter of a rock and setting off at a quick canter.
About thirty minutes later he pulled up at a small, well hidden camp and swung down off his horse.
“Well, what happened?”
“Nothing,” Sedlock replied dropping down beside a small fire and reaching out for the cup of tea his companion held out. “I watched the river near the crossing all night and didn’t hear or see a thing.”
“You were hidden?”
Sedlock nodded. “I don’t even know if we’re anywhere near them now. Those Indians could be hundreds of miles away. Perhaps we’re following a cold trail.”
His companion shook his head. “No, I don’t think it’s cold. But we could be miles and miles away from them. We’ll wait here until Radclif comes. If anyone can track those redskins, it’s George Radclif. Now get some rest. He ought’a be along in a few hours.”
Sedlock nodded and, having rolled himself in a blanket, was soon sleeping in spite of the worry that gnawed inside of him.
When he awoke some hours later, young Sedlock noticed there were two men sitting by the fire. Quickly he arose and joined them. Both men looked up as he came closer. “Howdy, Sedlock,” the newcomer greeted him quietly.
“Hi.” Joe Sedlock sat down. “Well, what’s the plan?”
“Clint said you saw no sign of Indians when you watched last night.”
Joe nodded. “He’s right. No sign of anything alive. They could’ve been there, I suppose, but I don’t miss much when I set out to watch. Think we lost the trail?”
George Radcliff shook his head. “No, they’re there. I haven’t been a scout for the wagon trains and then the army for nothing. I saw signs of Indians before I came up to meet you men. I just reckon you were at the wrong place.” Tossing the last bit of his coffee on the fire, the man stood up. In the bright afternoon sun, his gun belt with its colt twelve-shot hanging on his hips gleamed. Slapping his wide brimmed hat on his head, he said, “I reckon we ought’a break camp and get moving if you want to catch up with those redskins before . . .” His sentence remained unfinished, but the other men finished it in their own minds. “Before it’s too late.”
The sun was slowly sliding down into western horizon as Joe Sedlock, his cousin Clint Bryant and their companion George Radclif, urged their mounts through the shallow waters of the Rio Grande. The day had been long and hot. Their horses were tired and the men knew they had to keep going.
“You know,” Radclif remarked slowly, “there’s an army fort not far from here. We might be able to get some info there.”
“Does the trail go that direction?” Clint wanted to know.
Radclif looked over at him and noticed, not for the first time, that Clint was not
I don't know why I didn't finish the sentence.
What do you think happens?
Do you want another part of the new Graham Quartet?
What do you think of our Friday adventure?