Alice and Bernie: By Death Bemused
A Brief Conversational Narrative by David L. Haase
Episode 5: In which the police step in.
“Sarge, it looks like a kidnapping. Do we call in the FBI?”
Detective Phil Glans of the Fairfield Police Department started briefing his old partner, Charlie Reid, now a detective sergeant and mostly a desk squatter. Only a slow Saturday would get him out of the office.
“Fill me in,” the sergeant said.
“This is some kind of church camp that mixes old people and young Asian kids. It gives the geezers a break from the old folk’s home and it helps new Asian immigrants get used to the country. Win-win.”
“Where do they get the geezers?”
“Local old folk’s homes. The camp pays their expenses. The homes are glad reduce patient loads for a weekend. Like I said, win-win all around.”
“And the Hispanic kidnapper?”
“Works for a local lawn service.”
“No. He’s got a work permit, but he doesn’t speak any English.”
“Why would he kidnap two old ladies?”
“No idea. Figuring out motives is above my pay grade.”
Det. Glans was more than happy to speculate, but he thought it wouldn’t hurt old Charlie to take a dig about his new exalted status now and then.
“Do we have a line on which way they’re heading?”
“Bunch of high school kids, like escorts for the old folks, saw them leave and said he turned south toward the interstate. We’ve got an APB out. Shouldn’t be that many school buses on the I-5 on a Saturday.”
“All right. Stay on it. Who’s in charge of the camp?”
“Worried looking Asian guy over there. A Mr. Hu.”
“Come on, sarge. Not that old joke.”
“No sense of humor. You used to have a sense of humor when you rode with me.”
“No, I just put up with your dumb jokes.”
”He does look worried, doesn’t he?”
“Yeah. I would be, too, if I lost two old ladies. Media types are going to descend like vultures any minute. Missing school bus. Slow news day.”
“Yeah. Why don’t you call public affairs? Let them know what’s shaking. I’ll go see Mr. Hu. While you’re at it, just run a check on Hu and this camp. Touch all the bases.”
“What about FBI?”
“Let’s work it a little before we call them. If it looks like it’s going to get messy or end unhappily, we can let the glory hogs take over. But how hard can it be to find a school bus?”
“You’re the boss,” the detective said. Under his breath he added, “And it scares me to death.”
Up Next: Episode 6 – In which Bernie gets breakfast and the police get stumped.