W. Slammer, Private Eye
February 21, 2013
The Chamberlain dame is some kina driver, and I’m not talking golf. I don’t ask, but it’s clear that she didn’t learn how to handle the horsepower that’s under this Lincoln’s hood in a high school driving class. Lucky me – I don’t get carsick, though I’m glad I hadn’t just eaten a big pizza!
The two SUV drivers try all the tricks to hem us in, but savvy Marlene Nelson Chamberlain isn’t about to let that happen. Five times the bad guys manage to takes shots at us, but have to get on the brakes, change tactics, or end up in a ditch or wrapped around some tree, and not like a yellow ribbon.
The sound of bullets hitting the car without busting glass or punching nasty holes in its body is like a kettle of popcorn over the fire. Some kina armor! I’m thinking. Where’s the cops when you need one, a siren starts singing its ‘pull-over’ song, and I’m not talkin’ some babe sittin’ on a rock in the sea. This black ‘n white is all over us in seconds. Naturally Marlene pulls over – it’s the break we both hoped for. The SUVs don’t even slow down. The Highway Patrol doesn’t stop either, and I’m betting it’s radioed ahead. Those other guys are in a world of woe.
“Should I wait here?” Marlene asks, dark glasses in perfect place on beautiful nose, cool as an iced drink in July.
“Good idea,” says me. “Definitely not a good idea to follow the cop. He’ll be back, or another one will show up any moment. We’re gonna have some explaining to do.”
“Who do you think they are?” she asks, turning off the motor. “The men in those SUVs.”
“Somebody’s hit men. Someone either wants what you have, or wants you out of the picture.” I’m thinking, that’s a movie I don’t wanna see. “After reading that other detective agency report, I’m not so sure brother Charlie is the one behind this. I’m not saying more ‘til I get a few more facts – ‘til I talk to that agency.”
Just as I’m saying, another black ‘n white pulls up behind us. A loudspeaker makes it clear that we’re to get out of the car and stand off the road. Two uniformed officers get out of their cruiser, it’s red, white and blues flashing like a Saturday night disco. They aren’t looking for someone to dance with. They loosen the straps holding down holstered side-arms, approach cautiously, it’s right out of the cops and bad guys TV series.
“Keep your hands in plain sight,” says one. “What was that all about?” he asks, looking Marlene up and down. “A car chase?”
“We were trying to get away from those men. They were shooting at us with automatic weapons – they shot at me earlier this morning. Let’s guess? They’re trying to kill me.”
The officer adjusts his aviator style dark glasses. “Just stay right here. Let’s see your license and registration. If it’s in the car, tell me where it is and I’ll get it.”
The other cop is looking at me like he’s never seen a warthog wearing Foster Grants®.
“Officer, my private detective license and gun permit are in my wallet. My Glock’s in my shoulder holster.”
“Hand me you wallet,” he says, right hand on his still holstered weapon, “slowly – very slowly.”
He goes through it like a Vegas Blackjack dealer shuffling cards. But there’s no jackpot. “Mr. Slammer – slowly take your weapon out of the holster - by its grip – slowly – place it on the ground – then step back a few paces.
Is this sounding more like a wedding ceremony than a police search?
The cops check out the car and look at bullet dents. The picture’s gotta be gettin’ clearer. They have a short chat with Marlene Nelson Chamberlain, and after examining the requested documents, both officers seem more relieved. I notice them take time to use their radio to verify her statements.
“I’ll finish my write-up,” says the officer in charge. “You will be contacted within a day or two. There will be an investigation. You’ll be questioned by more authorities. You are not under arrest, but your signature on this notice is a promise to abide by all its rules and regulations. Is that clear? It’s a promise you don’t want to break. You can go now – at legal speed limits only. No car chases, understand?” he says, returning her license and registration. “You have a cell phone. Call this number immediately if you believe someone is set on doing you harm. It’s our business to see that doesn’t happen. Legal speed – understand?”
“Yes officer,” says Marlene, handing back his clipboard and taking her copies of the documents.
I retrieve my Glock from his junior partner who shakes his head as he reluctantly hands me the weapon.
“Now what?” asks Marlene when we’re back in the Lincoln.
“Unless you see a pizza joint on the way, I guess ‘it’s back home’. Any chances of me gettin’ something to eat at your place, and maybe a nap? This is turning into a long day.” I fasten my seatbelt. My stomach groans.
She starts the motor and I’m thinking, No wonder the world is in the shape it’s in. Doesn’t anyone take time to get a bit of nourishment and a sensible nap anymore?