January 5

Posted on: January 6, 2013

“A job in Marquette?” John was not happy.

“Don’t worry, I’m not going to take it, but I thought you would like to at least know about it.”  I was a little affronted that he was angry with me about the job offer.  We’d been together for what, 2 weeks?  And he was trying to tell me what to do?

“I’m sorry for snapping at you like that, I’m just tense that’s all.  These past two weeks have been…..”

“Been what? I thought you were happy here,” What’s going on?

“Oh, I am, I am.  That’s part of it.  It’s all been overwhelming.  You; here; I really thought I was going to die, Deb, and now…….” he pulled me into his arms for a hug.  “Marquette is so far away, and it’s still dangerous.  I just don’t want anything to happen to you, that’s all.”

“Well, I’m not taking the job, I already told Don that.  I’m not going anywhere.”  We were both on edge.  We needed a diversion.  “I know I’ve said one of us needs to stay here, but with the arrest yesterday of the arsonist, I think we can bend the rules a bit.”  I smiled up at him, “How would you like to go to Bob & Kathy’s for dinner?  Of course, we’ll take the dinner, but I think we need some company besides each other.”  At first he looked hurt, then realized what I meant, and smiled.

“I think that’s a great idea.” That soft North Carolina accent just melts my insides.


And that’s how we came to be in the middle of the mob violence in downtown Moose Creek!


Donna had taken my suggestion and called the Sheriff’s office before they transported Billy Simms.  The dispatcher turned their request down, saying their jails were at double capacity already, and to deal with it themselves.  So they ended up taking Billy home with them last night.  They handcuffed him to a bed, and Gary gave him a sedative.

Downtown Moose Creek once had a courthouse, town offices and a jail.  After new, modern offices were built, the building was sold and has been a bait shop for twenty years, and now also sports a gift shop.  Part of the gift shop includes the old jail cell on the lower level.  Paul contacted the owners this morning and said they needed to use the old cell for a few days.  The owners reluctantly complied.  Because the locks had been dismantled for safety reasons, Paul went to Fram’s and got some chain and a padlock to keep Billy secure while they decided what to do with him.  As much as they tried to keep Billy’s whereabouts quiet, word still got out.


There was no way to get hold of Bob & Kathy, so we were risking just showing up.  John got a picnic basket from the barn, while I put a few things together: a pound of rigatoni pasta, a jar of my own tomato sauce with meat and a store bought jar of alfredo sauce; a fresh loaf of bread, a stick of butter, plus the rest of the scones.  I added two cans of salmon and a dozen eggs for them.  This excursion was really lifting our spirits!

When we arrived, I had to pound on the door for a few minutes to get their attention down in the lower level where they were staying warm. When Bob finally opened the door, it was with rifle in hand; smart man.  They were really happy to see us and our basket full of goodies.  I think they needed the company too.

After dinner, as we sat around the gas fireplace sipping sherry from their wine cellar, it was almost as if the world was back to normal.  The guys had just stepped out to the enclosed porch for a cigar, when we heard the gun fire.


Paul had decided to take the first shift of guard duty, so Donna could go home and catch a nap.  He was caught unaware when the group of men stormed the building.  Being in the lower level he had just enough time to grab his shotgun to meet the mob.

“Get out of the way, Paul.  We want Billy; we don’t want to hurt you.” Beamer sneered.  Beamer must have found more beer to rile up his customers at the Jack.

“Carl,” Paul used Beamers given name, “you don’t want to do this.  Just go on back home now, all of you.” Paul said to the crowd forming in the store.  When no one moved, Paul racked the 12 gauge, a sound like no other.  The liquid courage faded fast with the resistance to their demands.  Then a second shotgun was heard racking from behind; they turned as one to see Donna in the doorway with her gun ready; then Vince stepped around her and leveled his gun at the mob.

“This isn’t over, Paul,” Beamer threatened, as he and the crowd turned to leave.  At the last minute, Beamer turned back and fired at Billy, who was curled up in a corner.  Paul used the butt of his shotgun on the back of Beamers head, knocking him out.  The shot, which echoed thru out the building, had missed its target.


John rushed back in, his calm buzz gone.  “That sounded like a .223! And it was close.”  Another shot rang out, then another. “A .22 and a .38,” John could distinguish the sounds, surprising Bob.

“Three different calibers; someone might need help,” I said quietly.

Bob looked at Kathy, and said “you stay here, please!  And lock the door behind us.”  He looked at us, “what do you have?”

I answered that we both had 9’s.  Bob grabbed another long rifle and handed it to John and the three of us went upstairs and out into the street.  As we cleared the tree line, we saw a group of guys running in all directions out of the gift shop.  Gift shop?   Most of them had a rifle or a club.  One stopped and looked at the three of us.  Bob and John instantly leveled their rifles at him; my 9mm was already in my hand.  The guy turned and ran up the street away from us.  That’s when I saw Donna stagger out of the bait/gift shop door.

Donna leaned against the door jamb, but came to full attention when she saw our movement.  Once she recognized us, she slumped.  Vince, a former member of the EMS team, was tending Paul, who had taken one to the shoulder; Donna had a graze on her calf, lucky to have been standing on the stairs, higher than the rest.  Billy was still curled up in the corner; and Beamer was now handcuffed to the bars.

I used the still working land line to call our fire chief, who used his 800 radio to call Gary.  Since Gary was taking a rotational turn sleeping in the Fire/EMS building, he arrived in minutes.  He took over working on Paul, while Vince cleaned and dressed Donna’s calf.

“Donna, what the hell happened here?” I could no longer contain myself, and she was stable.  That’s when she explained what had gone on, starting with having to keep Billy.  As the crowd was breaking up, it seems that someone had tripped or was shoved and his gun discharged, sending the round that grazed her and starting the stampede.  No one really knows yet how Paul got shot.

I borrowed Gary’s radio to get to dispatch, and demanded to talk to Don White, and I was pissed enough that I was put right thru.

“We now have both of our officers down and two prisoners instead of one, because your dispatcher wouldn’t take an arsonist/murderer off our hands!  And you want me to leave here?”  I was mad, really mad.

Don was silent as I explained the Billy situation.  “Have Gary transport Paul to the hospital.  I’m sending two scout cars.  I’ll find out about dispatch on this end.”  And he hung up.

Donna was shook, but doing ok.  As soon as the backup arrived, she went home.  One cruiser took the two prisoners to Marquette; the other parked himself at the EMS building.


The sun was set by the time the three of us made it back to a very worried Kathy.

“Can I have more of that sherry?” I asked as I sank into a chair.

“You got any Scotch?” was John’s request, as he sat next to me.

Bob had already lined glasses up on the bar, while Kathy brought in ice from outside.  As he handed me a glass of amber liquid, he smiled and said, “Not Sherry, Appleton.”  My favorite rum from Jamaica.


What a day!

7 thoughts on “January 5

  1. Oops – using borrowed device; dang spellcheck. Should read ” no MEDS” not mess

  2. Uffdah! Plenty real enough for me. When the usual restraints vanish u need others. No mess,bar is open– recipe for trouble. Close down Beamers bar please & make the rioters shovel snow & go ice fishing to help pastor Carolyn! Grrrr!

  3. Wow… I can see why you couldn’t make this into multiple parts!! I thank you for the extra long post today!! This is still getting more and more real seeming! :o)

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