Copyright© 2018 by UtIdArWa
After a couple of days, Doc Stone asked if I was up to visitors. He said that there were a lot of people that wanted to talk to me about what happen on the mountain.
“Doc, if all I ‘ve got to do is lay here, At least having some company would be an improvement.”
“OK Matt, but if you get tired or don’t feel good, you let me or the nurses know and we’ll stop everything.” With that said Doc Stone opened my door and called out to someone in the hallway. “You can come in now.”
In walked Paul Thompson, in uniform and looking spiffy. I checked and yes, he was packing. Following him was My old friend from the FBI, SAC Charles Dupree, rumpled suit and all. To me that rumpled suit was more a sign of authority than any rank insignia ever. In J. Edgars FBI it was a cardinal sin NOT to be in a pressed suit. If SAC Dupree was senior enough to be in a rumpled suit, that meant few, if any FBI agents could jack him up over it.
I had first met SAC Dupree during an uncomfortable interview when I had been accused of assaulting a Federal Officer. Using the counter interrogation training I received in the Army, I had taught the inexperienced, ambitious and overzealous junior agent with him, a little bit about interviewing 101, Charles had sent the rookie back to the minors, metaphorically, and then explained what was really happening. That the Federal officer was really a soviet sleeper agent that I had inadvertently exposed. And that this had been intended to be a training exercise / evaluation for the rookie.
Next up was an older lady, carrying a steno machine. obviously, whatever was going to happen, there was going to be a record. Following her was a younger guy, about 26 or 27. Dark suit, tie. He was carrying a cardboard box with what looked like supplies for the stenographer. He spoke up, “Edna, anywhere in particular?”
“No, David any out of the way corner will do. Just as long as I can see and hear everybody, I’ll be fine.”
“Great, you pick your perch and I’ll get the rest of your stuff.” He then walked out. Edna looked around and picked the corner opposite of the bathroom and below the TV. She smiled at me and said. “Good morning Mr. Reynolds, I’m Edna Ives. I’m the DOJ stenographer assigned to this case. While we are doing your interview, I ask that you speak loudly, please no whispers. Also, if you use code words, slang or nomenclatures I will ask that the interview stop and that you explain what you mean. I will keep what you say, But I’ll need to include a description for things I don’t understand or know.”
I immediately liked this lady. Of course, it might have been a job-related talent, but she was that kindly spinster aunt that served you hot chocolate chip cookies and ice-cold milk. “I don’t think you’ll have a problem Ms. Ives. I’ll try to keep it as simple as possible.”
“Don’t misunderstand me Mr. Reynolds, I am here only to provide an accurate record of your experiences. I don’t interpret or analyze. Hopefully you will forget that I am even in the room. Just speak as you normally would. Be truthful and take your time. We, all of us, have all the time in the world. We all just want an accurate accounting.”
I smiled at her, “Ms. Ivey, You have my full cooperation. However, I don’t know about these 2 guys.” I pointed towards Paul and Charles. “That one has been known to ply confessions from me using good food and fine wine. The other has been known to use inexperienced know it all’s to get what he wants. Speaking of which Charles, how is young agent Brian?”
He’s doing fine Matt. After I sat him down and told what and how he had goofed up your interview. He got red-face embarrassed. At first, he wanted to resign. But I convinced him to stick around. He went back to Quantico and took some additional courses in interviewing and psychology. The last I heard he was doing pretty good, working organized crime in Florida. I think he’s got a future.”
“Good for him. How about you Paul, How’s things on the home front?”
“Good Matt. Aside from all the news people that flooded the town after your little adventure got out. Mabel was doing a land office business. She’ll be up to see you later, but she wanted to let you know that Margarite and Jughead are doing fine. Fat, dumb and happy was her term. She also wanted me to be sure and let you know that Shadow turned up. About 2 days after they took you to the hospital, He showed up at her back door, begging scraps. She said it didn’t look like anything was wrong with him. But she couldn’t get any vet brave enough to look at him. As soon as one would get close, he’d bare his teeth and give that low grumbling growl of his and they’d back off. So far he’s been keeping an eye on your stock and gear.”
This was good news. I had been worried about my family. “Yeah, I was a little worried about them. It’s a load off my mind knowing they’re OK”
And Yes, I considered those critters my family. We had been together long enough and through enough, they were family.
While I had been catching up with Paul and Charles, Young Mr. David had finished bringing in Ms. Ivey’s gear and getting her set up. He then waited patiently while we were BS’n. When that conversation petered out, He spoke up.
“Mr. Reynolds, Let me introduce myself and My team. You obviously know SAC Dupree and Sheriff Thompson. This is Ms. Edna Ivey. She will be our stenographer. I believe she has already introduced herself and talked about her expectations and requirements?” He paused until I indicated that I understood. “Great. Myself, I am David Ninebears.” He stopped at that point.
I don’t know if it was because my eyes widened or if there was a change in my body language. I assume that as a trained interrogator, that he was well aware of body language. But he stiffened and His eyes got cold. “Yes Mr. Reynolds, I am an Indian. I am 1/8th Chiricahua Apache. Is that going to be a problem?”
There are times in life that it seems like your past is bound and determined to slap you upside the head. This was one of those, unexpected and quite frankly delightful moments. I smiled at Mr. Ninebears, “Not as far as I’m concerned. However, do you know somebody named Richard Ninebears?”
A confused look came over his face. “Yes, I do. He is one of my uncles.”
I started grinning like a fool. “Damn, isn’t life wonderful.” I blurted out. “Mr. Ninebears, The only reason why I am here today and not under 6 feet of Iraqi sand is your uncle.”
I then proceeded to tell him about my last combat mission in Iraq. How we had been dumped in a hot zone and How I was looking at my own version of the Little Big Horn.