[Edge1.1.9] Hitching A Cop Ride
He really wanted to go back to the car and get his suitcase. But that was out of the question. Either the men in the black SUV would still be there looking for him, or Tony’s men would have taken over. And Art didn’t want to be found by either one of them.
He checked the travel pack he had bought for the trip along with a money belt. It was a convenient way to carry his documents. Fortunately, he still had it on him. He started walking down the road. He had no idea where it was headed, but it would take him somewhere he could get directions.
More headlights were coming in his direction. Art decided to take a risk. He continued walking, but turned and stuck out his thumb. The car blew on past him without even slowing down. It didn’t even swerve out into another lane to move away from him.
“Thanks!” Art shouted after the fading taillights.
He kept walking, willing another car to show up. But none came. He must have walked for a good twenty minutes or so when he saw sirens flashing in the distance. He considered jumping behind a tree but decided against it. The worse that could happen is he would have to tell them what really happened in the accident.
The police cruiser slowed down as it got closer. Art ignored it and just kept walking until it pulled up right alongside him. He looked over at the officer who was driving the car. It was an elderly gentleman with gray hair and handlebar mustache.
“Howdy, officer,” Art said with a smile. “Nice night for a stroll, huh?”
“What are you doing out here at this hour, son?” the officer asked. “We got a call from someone saying you were out here trying to hitch a ride, but they were too scared to stop. They felt bad for you though and asked us to make sure everything was okay.”
“Yes, sir! Everything is hunky dory.” Art replied. “I’m on vacation and just drifting along here. I caught a ride up a ways back and got left off a gas station. But then forgot my stuff in the other car. I guess I was frustrated and started walking. I assumed there would be a city closer than this.”
“No city out this way for a hundred miles. You gotta go back that way to get to the city limits.” the policeman said. “I suppose you don’t have any ID on you either. You probably left with your stuff.”
“Oh, I do.” Art replied. He pulled out his passport and handed it over to the elderly gentleman.
“Arthur Costa from Brazil, huh?” the man said with a friendlier tone. “You’re a long way from home, Arthur.”
“Yep, I miss it already.” Art said. “And your name is?”
“I’m officer Frank. This here is Joe. We’re gonna head back into town. We can give you a ride to somewhere safer for you to catch a ride with someone to continue your journey.”
Art thanked them and hopped into the back of the cruiser. Officer Frank turned the car around and drove back the way they had come. It didn’t take them long to get to the placer where the black SUV had rammed them off the road. The black SUV was no longer there. No one was in fact. He couldn’t even see Johnny’s car.
“Pretty calm out here tonight. Huh?” Art asked.
“Yeah. Brimhill is a quiet little city. They seem to have their own way of dealing with things that often don’t even involve us police. It’s strange. Nothing like when I used to work in New York.
“Nice,” Art said. “I always wanted to visit New York.”
“So, what brings you to Brimhill, Art?” the younger officer asked.
“I was supposed to meet an old friend of mine named Johnny.” Art answered. “He’s from Brazil too. But I tried calling him, and he didn’t answer.”
“You mean ol’ Johnny from LocTech?” Joe asked. “He’s a friendly chap. A friend of yours. Huh?”
Art nodded. “Yeah, I met him in Brazil, and he told me to drop by whenever I was in the area. He told me to look up Carla if he was traveling when I came. But I don’t know how to contact her. Do you guys happen to know her.”
Joe turned around to look at him and grinned. “Afraid I don’t. There are probably a thousand Carla’s here in the city. You have a last name on her?”
Art shook his head. “No, he just told me to look her up, but I don’t know where she lives. That’s why I decided just to head on out of town and enjoy the trip. I’m on vacation and time’s a wasting.”
Joe looked a Frank and grinned. “See, that’s what I’m telling you, partner. There are places to go, and things to do, and people to see. We’re getting too old for this stuff. We need to get out and enjoy life while we still have the chance.”
Frank just grunted. “That’s the last thing I want to do. I like my house just fine. I can watch National Geographic channel when I want to see something different.”
Joe burst out laughing. “So, how much longer you got on your vacation?” he asked.
“I just started. So, I have thirty days of vacation.”
“Thirty days!” Joe whistled. “I’m lucky to get a week.”
“Everyone in Brazil gets 30 days of paid vacation each year. It’s the law.” Art said.
“Well, I’ll be jiggered. Sorry, Frank. I’m gonna request a transfer to the Brazil department.”
They were coming up on the edge of the city. Art started to see a few buildings on the skyline that he recognized from earlier.
“There’s a gas station up the road aways that should be fairly easy to catch a trucker to give you a ride. Would you like us to drop you off there?” Frank asked.
“Walmart is right beside it too, so you could pick up a new backpack and some clothes.” Joe chimed in.
“Actually, could you drop me off somewhere near the airport?” Art asked. “Johnny said Carla lived near there. I think I can find her place if I can get there. If not, I’ll just stay at an inn for the night and head out first thing in the morning.”
“It’s on the other side of the city, but we can take you there,” Frank said. “We just need to swing by the police department first.”
Art started to panic. He knew they were still suspicious and were using this as an excuse to check up on him a bit more thoroughly. But if he backed out now, they would become even more suspicious. So, he kept his mouth shut and waited to see how this was going to play out.