The Jezebel, an old cruiser used for traveling between many ports and Alaska, sat at port in Gulfport. Captained by Tyree Adam, pronounced A-dam, the ship was maintained to make the journey three times a week. Any other work would hobble the ship.
Captain Adam, a lifelong friend of Hank Calder, did not hesitate to smuggle his friend aboard his ship. To ensure the safety, and secrecy of Calder, Adam had stricken his name from the logs.
As one last precaution, Adam waited until 0300 to smuggle his friend aboard. Adam stored his friend in the lower hold and told his sailors that he alone was to check the inventory kept there. The sailors were smart enough not to ask any questions, lest they get on the bad side of Adam.
Captain Tyree Adam, a sailor from his youth, spent the young part of his life serving aboard various pirate ships along the Horn of Africa. As he grew taller and added more muscle, he went on raiding parties in the Gulf of Aden. Adam, while not formally educated, was not a stupid man. He knew that the life of a pirate would eventually do him in, so he escaped to America and joined the crew of The Jezebel.
At 6’4, 230 pounds, he was an imposing figure. The former captain of The Jezebel, Hank Calder’s grandfather Walter Junior, used Tyree to instill fear into those who thought to oppose him.
In exchange for Tyree’s service, Walter taught him how to avoid the law and maintain logs that wouldn’t get questioned. On his deathbed, Walter named Tyree as captain. As a token of gratitude, Tyree swore to protect Walter’s family from any harm. Helping Walter’s grandson escape to Alaska was Tyree fulfilling his oath.
After all, a man is only as good as his word.
Konan and Chief Janko left the scene of the crime in the hands of Detectives Manson and Rankin. They left the landfill and headed straight to the hospital. While the doctors checked Gareth, Konan sat by his partner. Words were few, the deafening sound of silence grew between the two. The doctor came out and informed they had sedated Gareth. Lilly went into his room; Konan went back to work.
A piece of pink stationary was taped to his computer: “When you get in, come see Andy.”
Konan sighed a heavy sigh and walked down the stairs to Andy’s office. The door was open. Andy sat behind the desk and noticed Konan walking his way. He waved Konan in and handed him two printouts.
“The first copy is the full license plate of the Tahoe. The second is a printout of the owner, address, that type of stuff. Figured you would want to hunt down the guy that hurt your partner’s kid.”
“You bet. I don’t know if he’s the guy, but he owns that particular vehicle.”
“I got you. I’ll check it out.”
Konan left the office and walked out to the parking garage. There he signed out the use of an unmarked sedan. Hank Calder’s address was listed as 29 Possom Lane, Fredericksburg. He punched the address into the GPS unit and made his way to Calder’s home.
Konan arrived at the residence as twilight fell. The night was still. No wind blew, no leaves rattled. Only the moon illuminated the area, all the lights were off. For a brief moment, Konan thought of calling for backup. He didn’t. Instead, he slipped through the night like a shadow.
He knocked on the door and announced his presence. No one answered. He walked around the residence and listened, nothing moved. The place was immaculate and vacant. Konan walked to the barn. Underneath the canopy there were tires, tire tracks, and a large area covered with oil. Konan shined his small light around, there was nothing else visible.
Without some form of evidence, he would have no chance to get a warrant to search the place. Konan walked back to the house. Across the road from the Calder residence, a light switched on. A middle-aged woman stepped out on her porch wearing a pink housecoat and Disney Princess house shoes.
“I hear you over there,” she yelled. “Ain’t nobody home. You best hit the road ‘fore I call the cops on you!”
Konan walked up to the road and flashed his badge.
“The cops are already here, ma’am.”
“What are you doing snooping around Hank’s place?”
“I’m looking for Mr. Calder. I need to ask him some questions.”
“About what,” the woman asked. She fidgeted with one of the rollers in her hair, a Virgina Slim hung from her lips. Konan raised his eyebrows and contained the sarcastic remark he planned to make.
“That’s private, ma’am. You said he’s gone?”
“Yeah. He cut out around noon. Said he had to take care of some business in town, and then he was getting tropical. Whatever that means.”
“Does he own this place?”
“Yep. Been in his family for years. I’m glad he’s gone.”
“Why? What did he do to you?”
“Nothing. He’s a weird one. You know the type of person that gives you bad vibes? Like on that show Criminal Minds. It wouldn’t surprise me if there was furniture made from women’s flesh in that house.”
“Un-huh. I see. Well…”
“You know his granddad was a pirate, right? A smuggler, pirate, whatever you wanna call ‘em. He trafficked anything not tied down. Hank, he was doomed from jump street. That kid never stood a chance. The Calder’s are a bad family.”
“What’s your name, ma’am?”
“Annabelle D. Smith. Why you need to know?”
Konan smiled. Annabelle smiled back and took her cigarette from her mouth. Her teeth were stained black.
“If he comes back, call me. I’ll leave my card with you.”
“Honey, you’re cute and all, but I’m no snitch.”
“I never figured you for a snitch. There’s a reward for letting us know, I figured you could use the money.”
“Two hundred bucks.” Konan reached for his wallet and showed her the money.
“Gimme your card. I’ll call you for two hundred bucks.”
Konan bid the colorful Annabelle a good night and walked back to the unmarked sedan. He drove back to the department. Lilly sat at the desk looking though the paperwork. She looked up when Konan sat down.
“Did you find anything out there,” she asked Konan.
“Andy said he gave you an address. You went out there, right?”
“There wasn’t anything visible, everything was tidy.”
“No Tahoe? Are you sure? Did you check everywhere?”
“I did not see a Tahoe. There were tracks under the barn roof, there was a spot of oil, but that’s it.”
“That can’t be it, Konan. You missed something!”
Konan rubbed his forehead and sighed. Lilly leaned back and stared at him. She sighed and looked away.
“How’s Gareth,” Konan said hoping to change the subject.
“They’re still checking him out. He was out of air for almost ten minutes. The doctors said he would…they…vegetable. They said my baby is a vegetable, he will never recover according to the doctors.”
Lilly’s tears were silent. Konan leaned forward and leaned his head into his hands.
“Dear Jesus,” Konan whispered.
“I want to find this animal, Konan. He hurt my baby. I want him to suffer.”