Blown by Chuck Barrett Read Free Book Online

Book: Blown by Chuck Barrett Read Free Book Online
Authors: Chuck Barrett
that roiled skyward into a glowing red mushroom cloud along the north bank of the Arkansas River. The concussion wave jolted the Harley and Kaplan eased off the throttle slowing the bike to a stop. Tiny metal fragments from the disintegrated rotorcraft rained down on them and blanketed the hillside behind them with flaming debris.
    "That was close," Tony said.
    "Too close," he said as he turned around and held out his hand. "Now give me my gun back."
    Kaplan felt Tony jab the barrel into his ribs.
    "Not yet," Tony said. "I'm setting some new ground rules."
    Without hesitation and in one smooth motion, Kaplan grasped the barrel of his pistol with his right hand and smashed his left elbow into Tony's face knocking the old man off the bike and onto the ground.
    He pushed down the kickstand, dismounted, and walked around the back of his bike. He looked down at Tony and said, "I'm getting tired of your foolishness." He ejected the magazine from his gun, put in a fresh one, and slipped it back in his jacket.
    Tony was holding his nose, blood oozed through his fingers. "I think you broke it."
    "Nope. Didn't hit you hard enough. Broke a few capillaries is all. Next time you won't be so lucky."
    "What do we do now, smart guy?"
    Kaplan dug around in his back pocket and pulled out a folded bandana. He threw it down at Tony. "Hold that against your nose," Kaplan pulled his cell phone from his jacket pocket, "while I make a phone call."

    I t was like being hit in the gut with a baseball bat.
    "Are you kidding me?" Moss's even keeled demeanor evaporated. "I just got to Chicago and now I'm being sent back to Little Rock? Isn't there another inspector who can take this case? Like, in Memphis. Or anywhere closer than Chicago."
    There was an uncomfortable, long silence before the voice spoke.
    "Sir, the order came from HQ. I'm required to read it to you.
    Due to Senior Inspector Peter Moss's familiarity with the Little Rock, Arkansas area and the inner workings of the staff and functionality of the Little Rock Office along with his many years of exemplary service to the United States Marshals Service, Senior Inspector Moss has been temporarily reassigned to Witness Security, assigned WC 7922, and is hereby instructed to report to Little Rock immediately. The recovery of this witness is considered a Marshals Service top priority.
    It is signed by the Director. Do you understand these orders?"
    He didn't seem to have a choice. The order came from DC. He was still a few months from retirement eligibility with full pension benefits. What was another two or three weeks back in Little Rock going to hurt anyway?
    "Senior Inspector Moss?" The man repeated. "Do you understand these orders?"
    "Yes, of course I understand the orders," mocked Moss. "What happened?"
    "Take down, sir. A restaurant in Little Rock."
    "Which one?"
    The man on the line told him.
    "Know it well. Any civilian casualties?"
    "Five, sir. One dead, four injured, two critical."
    Moss could hear paper shuffling. "Little Rock PD, Arkansas State Police, FBI, and us."
    "Who called the FBI?" Moss asked.
    "Little Rock PD. They already have a man on the scene."
    "Could this get any worse?"
    The voice hesitated. "It is worse."
    "According to eyewitnesses, our witness was last seen on the back of a motorcycle fleeing the scene—"
    "And a dark sedan was making chase, and shooting at them."
    "Description? Plates?"
    "According to LRPD, witnesses stated the vehicle appeared to be a late model Crown Vic. No one got the plates."
    "What about the motorcycle?"
    "Witness at the scene stated it was a dark color and rumbled like a Hog."
    "A Hog?"
    "A Harley Davidson, sir."
    "I know what a Hog is," snapped Moss. "That narrows it down to half the motorcycles in the country. Anything else?"
    "Yes, sir. Little Rock PD received several complaints of a motorcycle fitting the same description on a pedestrian and bicycle pathway known as the Arkansas River Trail. And just

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